Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA - PUZZLING BANK PAYMENT

I applied for ESA - contribution based.  I've had two conversations with the same DWP employee and have been very clear with her I am aware I will not be entitled to the full weekly amount due to pension income.  When I spoke with her on Monday she asked me to submit Fit Notes via GovUK site.  I did this and received texts confirming they had received the Fit Notes.

Today, I received two texts.  The first one telling me I should expect a payment today, and one shortly thereafter saying I should expect a payment on 18/01/21.  Both texts reminded me to submit future Fit Notes as on the (correct) required date.

I've just checked my account and I appear to have received a payment of £148.70 today.  The transaction shows as:

Dwp Dp Uc Mid
[My NI No] Dwp Jsa

Three questions for the gurus of Scope ....

1)    Do ESA payments standardly show as DWP Jsa on transactions?
2)    Should I be concerned that the transaction refers to UC, for which I have not applied as I'm not entitled?
3)    Does the £148.70 equate to two full weeks' payments?  
4)    Are ESA payments fortnightly or four-weekly? 

When I was speaking to the DWP person on Monday, I confirmed I have not yet received my first pension payment, but had received a payment in lieu from my employer (12 weeks salary) and had also received my pension lump sum.  She seemed only concerned about the date on which SSP ceased to be paid, which was early August.  I also explained I was being paid half-salary from that point on until my retirement.  

I'm now worried they are overpaying me - as I should receive only a small ESA payment when taking my pension into account.  Even the reduced amount I expect to receive would not come to £148.70 over four weeks. 

I'm also really worried that it seems I've attempted to claim a benefit (UC) to which I'm absolutely not entitled.  

I know the answer probably is to call them tomorrow, but anything that might offer an insight tonight would be very much appreciated!!  



Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,707 Disability Gamechanger
    Without knowing how much your weekly pension is its difficult to know, however it looks like they have made the payment manually, esa is paid every 2 weeks.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • Girl_No1Girl_No1 Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    @woodbine thanks for replying.  It does seem as though it's two full weeks' payment.  My pension isn't massive - £166/wk.  Having read about ESA on here, I believe any income over £80(?)/wk means a reduction of 50%/£1 from the weekly ESA rate.  My calculation means I think I would receive something in the region of £30/wk.

    I guess I'm just going to have to waste my day, stressing myself out, trying to speak with someone tomorrow.  :( 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    @woodbine is correct the payments will have been manually paid, which is why you have the LSA/UC next to them.

    Your calculation is almost correct. Any pension up to £85 per week is ignored. Anything over this reduces your ESA by 50p for every £1 over that amount. So the figures should look like this... ESA amount £74.35 (over 25's) per week. Pension of £166 - £85 = £81 - 50% = £40.50 deduction for your ESA.

    Total ESA payable per week should be £33.80.

    Yes, you will need to ring them tomorrow morning and i'd advise you to ring as soon as they open because this is usally the best time to ring. You will of course have an overpayment, although if you told them about your pension then you could argue that it was their error, therefore it shouldn't need paying back but that's another story.

    Good luck.
    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.
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,707 Disability Gamechanger
    If you are going to phone them do so at 9 a.m before they get busy, the link below looks useful:
    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-7427027/Will-ESA-PIP-benefits-stop-start-taking-pension.html
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • Girl_No1Girl_No1 Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    @poppy123456 thank you for clarifying the coding and the calculation. 

    The coding was really concerning me in case I'd (accidentally!) entered the UC rabbithole.

    Will call them tomorrow and see where we go from there. 

    Thanks again. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. New style ESA isn't part of UC and has a totally different application process. Also your pension would reduce your UC £1 for £1 because it's means tested.
    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.
  • Girl_No1Girl_No1 Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    @woodbine that article is really straightforward and in plain English, thanks. :smile:  


  • Girl_No1Girl_No1 Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Just a wee update.  Spoke with DWP yesterday and advised them of overpayment.  Reminded them I have a pension, but have not yet received first payment (retired mid-November) nor do I have the statement from pension provider.

    THEN - today, first payment of pension arrived in my account - covering period 18/11/20 - 31/01/21, and an email linking me to online payslip and statement of annual pension amount.  

    Also today, two further payments show up in my account pending for payment on Monday (as per their advisory texts).  

    I've written to them, enclosing copy of "payslip" and "statement".  Ball's back in their court now I guess?

    Does anyone know how overpayments are reclaimed?  Will I be offered an option to pay them back as a lump sum?  Or do they automatically adjust future payments to reclaim?

    Sorry, it's all questions .... questions .... questions .... :/

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for the update. Overpayments can be repaid back in installements from future benefit payments, rather than lump sum. Although, if you keep the money in your bank then you could just offer to pay it all back at once, this way it's paid and out of the way.

    However, looking at your dates, i see you are having your first ESA payment on 18th January and ESA is paid in arrears not in advance. I note also that your pension covers period starting from 18/01/2021 which is after your ESA start date. Therefore you would be entitled to full ESA payment up until 18/01/21 so you may not have any overpayment or a small overpayment,  unless your next ESA doesn't include the reduction.
    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.
  • Girl_No1Girl_No1 Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    @poppy123456 thanks for the clarification that I'll be able to return the money in a lump sum - don't like having debt, even to the DWP!  :smile:

    I think I may have explained things incorrectly.  My pension was effective from 18/11/20, but the first payment only arrived 15/01/21 - along with an online "payslip" and "statement of annual pension".  I had previously received nominal figures for the annual pension and had calculated a weekly amount from that £166/wk.  You very kindly confirmed what deduction would be made from ESA to reflect that pension.  (As it turns out the actual pension is a couple of pounds more per week, so ESA will be further reduced to reflect that!)

    I applied (online) for ESA on 25/11/20 and asked for it to commence in February 2021 because I did not realise only occupational pensions affect the amount paid.  I was paid 12 weeks salary in lieu of being retired on ill-health grounds on 17/11/20, so wrongly assumed I could not claim until February (12 weeks later).

    In the meantime, mid-December, I received a call from DWP and I told the lady all of the above.  Last week, another DWP lady called and said I should have been receiving ESA since earlier in the year when my SSP finished.  She said ESA could only be backdated from application date (25/11/20) for three months to 25/08/20.  I reminded her I was due an occupational pension from 18/11/20 but did not yet have the full details of that confirmed.  

    She obviously processed the payments and I received the first payment £148.80 on 13/01/21 which I assumed was for the immediately preceding two weeks (30/12/20 - 12/01/21)- which would include an overpayment due me having been "due" but not yet paid my pension.

    There were two other payments, one of an amount that calculates @ 12 weeks, by my calculation 25/11/20 - 17/11/20 to which I would be entitled as I was not "due" a pension on those dates. 

    The second payment was for 6 weeks, by my calculation 18/11/20 - 29/12/20 - from which I am only entitled to a portion as a result of having been "due" (but not yet paid) a pension on those dates.

    It's complicated, but I reckon I owe overpayments for 8 weeks at the moment, 18/11/20 - 12/01/21 - but I really don't have a clue!  The two large payments will be in my account on Monday, and will be transferred to a savings account until DWP receive/respond to my letter enclosing pension details.  

    I understand that this entire confusion is down to my own ignorance i.e. belief I was not entitled to CB ESA whilst I still had a salary income. 

    Should I ever consider applying for any benefits in future, I'll use and abuse the gurus on this site BEFORE applying!!  ;)   

    Again, thanks for your help/insight in leading so many of us through the quagmire that is the benefits system.
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