Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA CB>IB>CB

niknak7278niknak7278 Member Posts: 25 Connected
Hello

Could really do with some input.

In 2011 my husband was in receipt of IB & DLA - MRC/HRM. I gave up my full time job to care for him and applied for CA & IS,

I think in 2013 the DWP transferred him to ESA.  From memory he was awarded CB but was placed in the wrong group.  Took 2 yrs for him to be sent for a medical and finally placed in the support group.

2018 he was transferred to PIP. 

Last May he was sent an ESA3 which he had to complete.  Only asked 3 questions, 2 questions about savings and the third about hours work between March 2012 and present day.  No question about IR benefits.

Beginning of July they reviewed claim and decided not entitled to IR because I was receiving IS, the day after ESA awarded him the disability income guarantee premium.

This February his claim came up for a review.  Just before the lockdown a welfare benefits specialist did a home visit and completed the forms.  The following month DWP wrote to GP.  Mid May DWP phoned to request a telephone assessment, said they wouldn’t cut benefit while waiting for decision, even if that meant waiting until face to face assessments started up again.

The telephone assessment happened, the assessor mentioned he was on the basic rate and they were hoping to put him onto enhanced rate?  No idea what she was referring to.  Three days later hubby received a letter from DWP telling him they were stopping his claim for IR and putting him back onto CB.  I sent letters to the adviser who spoke to DWP at length who had no idea where the letters came from, said he was entitled to IR and would look into the claim again.

True to their letter husband payment was reduced at the next payment date.  Another phone call to DWP who explained hubby was excluded from IR due to my IS - which was reduced in April to £6.10 a week.  Third phone call to IS said they’d reduced money as they weren’t told about the premium until April.

As per advice I’ve written to IS asking them to recalculate claim.

Adviser can’t get straight answer from DWP so he’s figuring it out himself.

Still waiting for outcome of ESA review.

I’ve 2 questions,

1:  what could/would happen to hubby’s ESA if I stopped claiming IS?

2:  Could I appeal decision to reduce my IS given that the error was due to ESA failing to pass info onto IS dept?

Any direction gratefully appreciated.

Thank you!


Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 15 Listener
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  • niknak7278niknak7278 Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Thanks for the info, his benefit has been reduced by £17.10 a week and yes since April my IS has been reduced to £6.20.  IS state ESA never told them about that premium last year but that’s not true as I received  a letter from IS telling me it didn’t effect my entitlement but may do in future due to updating.

    Advisor estimates he should be receiving £180-£190 per week and it should have been a joint claim for ESA with husband claiming for me - doesn’t understand why I’m on IS.

    DWP made mistakes with his claim from the beginning.  That’s why I asked if I closed my IS claim would it force them to pay him the premiums they’ve suddenly “excluded” him from receiving ?

    Thanks again for input.



    Orangutan said:
    hello, i think you need to tell people the specific amount of monetary reduction, and where from ?; are you saying the ESA was reduced in addition to IS etc ?

    if he was incapacitated in 2011, i think it would mean he should have been on income related ESA + DLA 2013 (?), becoming "IR ESA (with "serve disability premium" (hence CA + IS eligability) + PIP" 2018 > to date; and hence the confusion about the "contributions based bit" (- it makes no sense how you can go from IR > CB when you haven't been "contributing" to anything (...but would make sense if he was on IR from the beginning), "assessors" shouldn't be talking about peoples income / your post is very confusing.

    baring in mind you are a "couple"; is your "household" going over the benefit cap by anychance ? (this would explain alot).



  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Scope helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    @niknak7278,

    Hi,

    In 2013, when your husband was transferred from IB to ESA, he should have been put on to contribution-based ESA. If he had been placed in the Support Group, this would have carried on for as long as he met the ESA criteria and you could have made an additional claim for Income Support.

    If he was initially put in the Limited Capability for Work group, his ESA would have ended after 12 months, and you would have been left with IS as a couple, Carers Allowance and DLA (later PIP).

    It is not possible to claim IS and IRESA at the same time as a couple, so you would have to claim one or the other.

    There are more additional premiums available on IS, so it is likely that you were on the right benefit at that time to give you the maximum benefit.

    If he was on IRESA, this was clearly a DWP error, and it sounds like he has now been moved back on to Contribution based ESA, which would then be deducted from your IS.

    Has he been given backdated entitlement to Contribution based ESA?

    Do you have savings over £6000 that would reduce your Income Support as a couple?

    I hope you don’t mind me asking more questions before I answer your questions!

    Joanne

     

     



    Joanne 
    Scope
  • niknak7278niknak7278 Member Posts: 25 Connected
    @niknak7278,

    Hi,

    In 2013, when your husband was transferred from IB to ESA, he should have been put on to contribution-based ESA. If he had been placed in the Support Group, this would have carried on for as long as he met the ESA criteria and you could have made an additional claim for Income Support.

    If he was initially put in the Limited Capability for Work group, his ESA would have ended after 12 months, and you would have been left with IS as a couple, Carers Allowance and DLA (later PIP).

    It is not possible to claim IS and IRESA at the same time as a couple, so you would have to claim one or the other.

    There are more additional premiums available on IS, so it is likely that you were on the right benefit at that time to give you the maximum benefit.

    If he was on IRESA, this was clearly a DWP error, and it sounds like he has now been moved back on to Contribution based ESA, which would then be deducted from your IS.

    Has he been given backdated entitlement to Contribution based ESA?

    Do you have savings over £6000 that would reduce your Income Support as a couple?

    I hope you don’t mind me asking more questions before I answer your questions!

    Joanne

     

     



    Hi @[email protected]_Scope you are absolutely correct.  It makes perfect sense now. Husband was paid IR in error for 12 months which they’ve decided to claw back without a formal letter explaining why.  It was their mistake so why are we being made to pay it back.

    This reduction of my IS has left us below the level they claim we need to live on.  

    I’ve received no reply to the letter I sent informing them of my husbands new reduced award.  It was signed for.

    No we don’t have any savings.

    On the plus side, he received their decision 5 weeks after the telephone assessment, he’s been placed in the support group again.  I had to laugh though, in capital letters they added the line “WE WILL NOT BE PAYING YOU ANY INCOME RELATED ESA” etc to his award letter...

    As a sweetener they’ve said he won’t undergo any further reviews again.  

    We have to be grateful for small mercies.

    Thank you for helping us to navigate the minefield.
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