Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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I am 61 and on old style ESA contribution based support group

gjw59helpgjw59help Member Posts: 7 Listener
Hi,need help please,I am 61 and on old style ESA contribution based support group,my wife who is 66 is just coming to the end of her CB based JSA ie 6 months,we need to know who should now claim and what for as it is a minefield finding information and it was a horrific process to get my benefit originally and would be devastating if I lose it now,thanks!

Replies

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

    I note that your wife is 66, may i ask when is she due to claim her state pension?
    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.
  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @gjw59help

    Good Evening it’s great to meet you today.

    I am one of the Community Champion’s here at Scope.

    It’s great to see you have meet Poppy she will be very happy in helping you with things.

    Please let me know if you need any further help /advice?????

    @steve51
  • gjw59helpgjw59help Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi again,my wife reaches state pension age next Jan 25th in six months time
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks. I'm unsure if it's possible for you to add her to your ESA claim and to claim the top up on that because all areas are now a full Universal Credit area so you maybe asked to claim this as a couple.

    If that's the case then your ESA will not be part of the because Contributions based benefits are not part of UC. However, your ESA support group award will be honoured in UC and you'll receive the LCWRA element, as well as the standard couple rate. You may not be paid the :LCWRA element straight away as sometimes there's a delay in adding it. They will ask you for a fit note but if you send one of those that it will trigger another work capability assesment, which you don't want. Make sure you tell them you already have LCWRA (Support Group ESA)

    Do you claim a disability benefit such as PIP or DLA?

    What i would advise you to do first is get some advice from an agency near you regarding your ESA and adding your wife to your claim. I'm really not sure whether it's possible to do that anymore. This link will help you find what's local to you for advice

    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.
  • gjw59helpgjw59help Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks for replying but cannot get through to a local cab office,as she is coming out of CB JSA we wanted to know if she can claim IR JSA on her own as my CB Support group ESA does not come under Universal Credit and also what happens in six months time when her state pension kicks in.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    She will not be able to claim Income Based JSA because it no longer exists anymore. All areas are now a full UC area. She will need to apply for her state pension a few months before she reaches that age. Once she does reach that age then she'll be receiving her state pension.

    I know your ESA doesn't come under UC but you may have to claim UC as a couple, as previously advised.
    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.
  • gjw59helpgjw59help Member Posts: 7 Listener
    So what you are saying is for her to get any income for the next 6 months I will have to give up my ESA,we still don't know what's best to do,I read that if on ESA under UC one is deducted from the other but protected at the moment so no clearer really 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm not sure what you mean by any income? I'm not sure what you read with the ESA is protected.

    I never advised you to give up your ESA, you've misunderstood me.

    What i said was that because all areas are now a full UC area then you may not be able to add her to your ESA claim and claim as a couple.

    This means potentially you'll have to claim UC as a couple. Because your ESA is contributions based it won't be part of UC and you'll continue to receive that every 2 weeks.

    In UC your Support Group award will be honoured and you'll receive the LCWRA element, as well as thw standard element couples rate (over 25) BUT your ESA will be deducted in full from your UC entitlement.

    I'll tag someone that maybe able to help but i don't know how long it will take them to reply. @Adrian_Scope could you help here please because i'm unsure of the answer. Thanks in advance.
    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.
  • gjw59helpgjw59help Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you for your help
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,924

    Scope community team

    Thanks for the tag @poppy123456. Sorry I haven't replied sooner @gjw59help I've been away for a few days.

    Unfortunately your wife won't be able to claim income-related JSA as it no longer exists for new claimants (unless she receives SDP in with any of her current benefits). Income-related JSA now falls under Universal Credit so she'd have to make a claim for that and as you're living as a couple both partner's incomes are taken into account and it will be a joint claim.

    Can I ask if you're currently claiming anything else such as PIP or Housing Benefit?

    I think what Poppy was trying to explain is that when you make a joint claim for Universal Credit, your CB ESA won't come under it, meaning it will continue to be paid separately. As you're in the support group you'll be awarded LCWRA on Universal Credit and then the monthly-average of your contribution-based ESA will be deducted from the total Universal Credit.

    So your UC would look something like this:

    £594.04 - Couple Allowance
    £341.20 - LCWRA
    £935.24 - Total before deductions

    Then your CB-ESA would be deducted from the total UC because you'll continue to receive this separately to UC. The monthly average for support group works out to be £492.05

    So £935.24 - £492.05 = £443.19

    Obviously there may be other deductions such as for advances/debts or if you have any capital/savings or private pensions and if you currently claim housing benefit this would fall under UC so your total UC would be higher, but hopefully this has helped you understand a little more how it works and that your contribution-based ESA would continue as normal.

    Once your wife reaches pension age she'll receive her state pension and this will be deducted from your joint Universal Credit. 

    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Adrian_Scope i thought it maybe a claim for UC.
    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.
  • gjw59helpgjw59help Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks for your reply but we don't get any extras such as PIP and my monthly ESA is £454 total with support component and final question is will my ESA affect her state pension when due 

  • gjw59helpgjw59help Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Now she has had 6 months of JSA her work coach said that if she claims UC that when her state pension is due my ESA will be deducted from that and this is putting her off claiming ,can you clarify please
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    gjw59help said:
    Now she has had 6 months of JSA her work coach said that if she claims UC that when her state pension is due my ESA will be deducted from that and this is putting her off claiming ,can you clarify please

    Yes, that's correct. Even before you claim UC your Contributions based ESA will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement. This is because you can't be paid it twice, so it's deducted in full. However, UC LCWRA (support group equivalent) pays more than ESA Supoort Group.

    So to recap before your wife claims state pension for the UC you will receive..
    £594.04 - Couple Allowance
    £341.20 - LCWRA
    £935.24 - Total before deductions
    This calculation doesn't include help with any rent. Do you own or rent your own home?

    Deductions from UC will be £492.05 (ESA) your total UC monhtly amount will be £443.19.
    Also do be aware that the standard allowance of UC has increased due to Covid19 and will return to normal amount from April 2021, so it will be reduced by about £85 per month.

    When she receives her state pension this will also be deducted in full from any UC entitlement. This means that if you don't need help with any rent then your UC will highly likely be reduced to zero.

    Total income (before she claims state pension.
    UC monthly amount £443.19.
    ESA fornight amount £227.10.

    Edit to add, so until she claims state pension claiming UC will give you an extra £443.19 per month. If you don't claim it then all you will have is your ESA.
    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 Posts: 7,924

    Scope community team

    gjw59help said:
    Thanks for your reply but we don't get any extras such as PIP and my monthly ESA is £454 total with support component and final question is will my ESA affect her state pension when due 

    Hi @gjw59help. No your ESA won't affect her state pension. 
    gjw59help said:
    Now she has had 6 months of JSA her work coach said that if she claims UC that when her state pension is due my ESA will be deducted from that and this is putting her off claiming ,can you clarify please
    I think her work coach may be a little confused. Your ESA will be deducted from UC (as detailed in our posts above) and when she claims her state pension that will also be deducted from UC, likely zeroing the UC claim. Neither your ESA or UC will be deducted from her state pension. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
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