I need advice please due to a change in circumstances. — Scope | Disability forum
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I need advice please due to a change in circumstances.

I'm 57 and in receipt of ESA in the support group. My partner who is 59, is being laid off because of Covid-19, but has an opportunity to take over the business (a shop), if he wants to. The business was struggling before the pandemic, so the owner is using this opportunity to 'shut up shop'. If my partner takes it over, it is unlikely to pay him enough to support us, so he enquired about Universal Credit. I'm worried because straight away they told him we would have to make a joint claim, so I would be put on UC with him, and then if he later came off UC I would still be on it and not returned to ESA. We live in a privately rented 3 bed house and have no savings.

Neither of us really understand how benefits work so would be appreciative of any advice you can give us. Thank you.


Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,351 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Sues hope you are well, just one question if you have no savings how will you fund taking over a business? If you want to check about benefits you could check out the two benefits calculators
    "turn2us" or "entitled2"
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Sues
    Sues Member Posts: 5 Listener
    The current owner is walking away from the business, leaving what's left in situ and letting my partner take over. He also owns the building and has said we wouldn't have to pay any rent until next June.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,351 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't want to get bogged down in business as that's not what your question is about but just as advice you will need a business account with a bank with an overdraft facility, they will want to see a business plan and that you are putting some of your own money into the business, you will also need to pay a solicitor to look over the lease and to register with HMRC within 3 months as self employed(either or both of you) and for VAT.
    It really isn't as simple as you think.
    As for benefits look at the two sites I gave you for an idea.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Sues
    Sues Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Woodbine, thanks for your response. We've had a business before and understand that aspect, what we don't fully understand is how benefits work when one partner is working, but their income won't cover their expenditure, (if that makes sense). 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,351 Disability Gamechanger
    As we don't what your income will be we couldn't even guess that's why I suggested the 2 benefit checkers where you can play around with different figures.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Sues
    Sues Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Sorry, I wasn't being clear. I wouldn't expect you to be able to tell us what we'd get. I was really wondering what would be the pitfalls of claiming UC. For example, how long they would pay it, (ie for as long as needed or does it have a time limit), if he managed to earn enough to cover our expenses and so had no further need for UC, would I be treated differently as I would no longer be on ESA; that sort of thing.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,098

    Scope community team

    Hello @Sues. Do you know if your ESA is completely income-related or is it contribution-based with an income-related top up? This would help us advise what would happen to your claim.
    Community Manager
    Scope

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  • Sues
    Sues Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi Adrian. I'm sorry, I don't really understand, perhaps you can tell me. I am long term sick and used to be in receipt of incapacity benefit which switched to ESA a few years ago. I am in the support group and don't have to attend work related meetings. OH has always worked full time and my income does not affect his, nor his mine.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,890 Disability Gamechanger
    The only benefit you maybe entitled to with your partner working will be Universal Credit. How much you're entitled to will depend on your joint circumstances. As you're privately renting your home then you'll be able to claim for the housing element part of UC but if there's just the 2 of you at home then you will only be entitled to the 1 bedroom rate of local housing allowance.

    Your ESA should be contributions based because your husband was working. If you both claim UC then your ESA payments will continue as normal but it will be deducted in full from any UC entitement.

    For UC your support group award will be honoured and you will be given LCWRA and you'll receive that element included in your claim. They may ask for a fit note though when you first apply.

    Use a benefits calculator to check what you maybe entitled to.

    Sorry i can't help with the business side of things.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,098

    Scope community team

    Sues said:
    Hi Adrian. I'm sorry, I don't really understand, perhaps you can tell me. I am long term sick and used to be in receipt of incapacity benefit which switched to ESA a few years ago. I am in the support group and don't have to attend work related meetings. OH has always worked full time and my income does not affect his, nor his mine.
    Hi @Sues
    As Poppy said, as your husband was working your ESA will be contribution based, so it will continue even when you make a joint claim for Universal Credit (and you'll be placed in the LCWRA group on Universal Credit, so won't have to work or attend work-related meetings). 

    As your contribution-based ESA will continue while you're claiming UC, it will be deducted £ for £ from your total UC so you're not being paid twice.

    It also means that when your partner returns to work your ESA will continue. If he earns enough to close your UC claim, you'll just continue receiving your ESA and the UC claim will close. 
    Community Manager
    Scope

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