Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Advice about moving into Universal Credit from ESA due to pregnancy and boyfriend moving in.

ChelshishonChelshishon Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hello, I am on ESA in the support group with a disability premium. I also recieve the high rate for PIP in the daily living component. My boyfriend is on universal credit and currently lives with his parents. I am worried as I am now pregnant and need support from him. I can't raise my baby alone so he will need to move in with me. I am scared to be moved onto universal credit and the money will also be paid into one bank account, which is a problem as I have subscriptions which could also mean his money is taken from my bank as I would need the money paid into my bank due to direct debits for bills. I am worried I will lose an income and don't know of the help out there to speak to someone about this. I know once baby comes as well, that I would be forced into universal credit thus losing my disability premium which is extremely helpful to me. I do understand that he can claim carers allowance for me though, but would he still be claiming universal credit (job seekers component) if that is so? It's a lot of changes which is hard enough for me anyway due to my disability and cornovirus making matters much worse and harder as well. Any advice is appreciated please as I am just terrified, I also can't wait weeks for money to come through from a joint universal credit claim either as I only have certain things I eat due to my disability and now also pregnancy and I can't save up due to debts and my disability, so I would need some sort of advance which I believe they do but I worry it wouldn't be enough for the both of us, bills, food, baby items to prepare for when my little one is here etc. It's all just a bit much, thank you for taking the time to read this. 

Replies

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

    May i ask if your ESA is all income related or is part of it contributions based? Also does your part work at all or does he just claim UC?
    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.
  • ChelshishonChelshishon Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Income related and no he's not working at the moment, thank you for replying
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If you're claiming the SDP with your ESA, this will stop if you live with your partner, if they don't claim a qualifying benefit such as PIP daily living or DLA mid/high rate care.

    It maybe possible to add your partner to your ESA claim and claim as a couple. Your partner can claim carers allowance for looking after you, which will be deducted in full from your ESA and they will then add a carers premium.

    However, once the baby is born you'll need to claim Universal Credit for the child element anyway because you won't be able to start a new claim for tax credits. As you will need to do that in the near future it maybe worth you claiming UC now because it will pay more than ESA couples rate. Your ESA support Group award will be honoured in UC and you'll receive the LCWRA element in with your entitement. Your partner will also be able to claim the carers element of UC too.

    Use a benefits calculator to check entitlement for UC as a couple and then you'll at least have some figures to look at. If you're unable to do this it maybe worth you both speaking to an advice agency for a full benefits check.

    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 Posts: 7,997

    Scope community team

    Hello @Chelshishon. First of all congratulations on the pregnancy. :) I'm sorry you're feeling so worried at the moment and hopefully we can help reassure you a little.

    Is your partner already claiming Universal Credit? If so, unfortunately you're not meant to be able to then add him to your ESA so when he moves in you will need to make a joint claim for Universal Credit.

    With Universal Credit, it is possible to request an 'Alternative Payment Arrangement' where the monthly payment is split in half and half is paid to each of you, but they're not guaranteed to allow it.

    There are actually some changes to UC in the next couple of week where there will be a run-on of ESA payments when you switch to UC which will mean you won't go so long without payment and you can always request an advance from UC to help bridge the gap too.

    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    @Adrian_Scope thanks for that. I actually thought i'd read somewhere on here that it would be possible in this situation for the partner to be added to the ESA claim. Sorry for giving the incorrect information.
    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.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,084 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community. I just wanted to add that you can change any direct debits to a different accouy if you want.

    One thing you may find useful is setting up a seperate account for household bills and rent etc and each month transfer enough money into this account then all the direct debits can come out of this account.

    You can then have the rest of what is left transferred to your own accounts 
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