Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Hi I’m Laura :) Need some advice

Hi everyone! I’m Laura and I’m new to the forum :)

Having worked for nearly 40 years I had to apply for and be accessed for ESA in September 2018. I got a decision in December 2018 that I was in the support group for three years.  Having looked at my first calculation notice it mentions I was on income related based esa. I was under the impression the first year of an esa claim was contribution based then you are moved onto income based which should mean my contribution based ended in September 2019?! When I rang the other day the advisor at the contact centre told me I was getting a mixture of both? I thought I would be on income based from September 2019.

I also have a investment pension which is currently sitting at £19,500 this is for when i reach 66. Do I have to declare that pension even though I don’t get a monthly income from it? I did take out a lump pay payment for £4000 to get a car better adapted to my needs and that was in July 2019. I received a letter the other day from DWP asking for proof of the amount going into my bank account? I didn’t declare it as I thought with being on contribution based (which I thought I was) I didn’t need to. 

Any help or advice would be appreciated- just struggling to get my head around it all. Thanks so much! 

Replies

  • arboclimber52arboclimber52 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi Laura, I have had similar trouble in the past, and would advise going to Citizens Advice purely for professional advice, although they are very good on here with help. I ended up just printing off all my accounts and just giving them the statements. that way if they miss anything its not your fault. I am now in receipt of the right benefits without worrying. good luck with this and the future.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'm one of the community champions here on scope and i'm here to help and advise others.

    Contributions based ESA Support Group doesn't end after 365 days, it's paid for as long as you remain in that group. Contributions based ESA always comes first so part of your ESA should be Contributions based (£111.65 per week)

    You would have been assessed as for the income related top up (premiums) and the Enhanced disability premium will have been added to your ESA. This will mean your ESA increases to £128.45 per week minimum.

    This means that yes you can indeed claim a mixture of both CB and Income related. The Income Related top ups will be means tested, so savings of more than £6,000 will affect any means tested benefits you're entitled to by £1 for every £250 over that amounts.

    Savings of more than £16,000 means you won't be entitled to any means tested benefits.

    Your pension is not classed as savings unless you draw from it, so when you take out a lump sum if that increases your total savings to more than the allowed amount you need to report those savings. Anything under £6,000 is disregarded.

    If in the future you receive a weekly/monthly income from your pension then you will need to report this to DWP and it will reduce your income related top up £1 for £1. Contributions based isn't affected unless your pension income is more than £85 per week.

    Hope this helps.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,941 Scope community team
    Hi @lpm2008. How are you getting on? I hope Poppy's answer has helped.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • lpm2008lpm2008 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thankyou so much for replying :) that’s been very helpful and I think I have my head around it now. 
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