Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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N.I. Contributions

MauriceMaurice Member Posts: 3 Listener
After a long time claiming ESA and DLA I felt that I might be ready to attempt to ease myself back into the work environment.
I went along to my local jobcentre plus and made enquiries about seeing someone with a view towards accomplishing this.
I was referred to an agency that helps people back into work and they helped me to apply for a position working in a hospital. (I have had previous mental health problems and retired on mental health grounds). Meanwhile I had already been ordered to apply for PIP payments to replace the DLA I was receiving.

I managed to attain the position at the psychiatric hospital on the basis that I undergo a DBS check. The check took so long to arrive that they gave me induction training in order that I could start work. The training period was paid. 

I was claiming incapacity and was a member of the "support group". 

When my DBS came through I was refused the position on the grounds I was considered a risk. However, because the induction training was paid the "Contribution based" ESA payments were stopped. I telephoned the DWP when I realised this and was told that I would have to now apply for Universal Credit but there was little chance of my receiving anything because I now have a partner who is working.

I have received a letter to say that I cannot be paid PIP and am not eligble. I DO have a pension from when I was working. (About £350 per month). Would I be eligible to claim unemployment benefit or anything else? 

My main worry is that if I fail to find unemployment, (I have been made to feel as though I am now unemployabl, especially at almost 64 years of age), that my National Insurance contributions will now be interuppted and this will affect my claim for my State Pension in two years time! 

Has anybody any idea where I stand? I have been without payment from the DWP since December 2019. They are also claiming back £600 in overpayments for the time that I was "working". I have written to them to explain everything and that I had been ill advised that I did not have to inform the DWP because the work was only part time. (Bank work). Up **** creek without a paddle!

Replies

  • MauriceMaurice Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Excuse the typos!

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome,

    If you were working while claiming ESA this is allowed as part of permitted work BUT you must work less than 16 hours per week and not earn anymore than £131.50 per week. If you exceeded that then yes your ESA stopping was correct and the overpayment will need to be repaid back. You should also get permission to do any permitted work.

    To be able to claim Universal Credit because it's a means tested benefit then claiming this will depend on your circumstances. As you're living with your partner then you will need to claim as a couple but claiming this will depend on both your circumstances. Household income/savings and capital. Also the pension that you are receiving each month will be classed as income for UC purposes and reduce it £1 for £1.

    May i ask if you rent or own your own home? If you own it then it's unlikely that you'll be entitled to any UC payments. If you rent your home then whether you're entitled to any UC will depend on how much your partner earns each month.

    For your NI Contributions towards your state pension then you only need 35 years for a full state pension. Check here. https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record

    PIP, as you were refused, then you now have 1 month from the date of the decision to request the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) you should put this in writing stating where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Then add a couple of real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you.

    Hope this helps.


    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.
  • MauriceMaurice Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Poppy!
    You have pretty much outlined what I thought. 
    The only good way I can look at all this is that at last I am out of the hamster wheel and will have to become self sufficient if I aren't to feel like I am being a "kept man". I aren't exactly a gigolo so it's a good job I had a phone call for an interview yesterday afternoon. 
    As for PIP I reckon I have as much chance of them changing their minds as I have of plaiting fog! Given that I scored a big fat 0 on all counts I'll have no chance.
    In fact I have done very well in coping and dealing with the diagnosis I was given in 1983. So much so I think the diagnosis was completely incorrect. I think I was just a guinea pig for 30 years. 
    Thank you for your assistance Poppy! The DWP know what they are doing in decimating the numbers that are claiming. The pity is there will be a hell of a lot of casualties that won't come through this! 

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I disagree with your thoughts on PIP. Lots of people successfully claim without any problems at all and this includes those transferring from DLA. What you should remember though is that PIP and DLA are different benefits, with different criteria and claiming PIP for X amount of years doesn't automatically entitle you to PIP.

    If you did request the MR then yes there's a very high chance that the decision will remain the same because only 15% of decisions change at this stage. However, if you took it to Tribunal then you have more than a 70% chance of success, if you appear in person.

    Of course, whether you qualify will totally depend on how your conditions affect you against the PIP descriptors. You can have a disability but not qualify for PIP because if you don't meet the descriptors you won't score the points for an award.


    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.
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