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Advice Please

bulldog666 Member Posts: 3 Listener

Currently I'm a full time carer for my wife, I had to retire from my job to do it full time and receive Carers Allowance, my wife receives PIP at the highest rates and ESA.

I've just been awarded PIP DLA part at the standard rate.....we've received a Severe Disability Claim form in unexpectedly. 

One of the conditions is it won't be awarded as a couple if someone is claiming Carers Allowance for one of us.....I'm wondering how best to proceed? 

Would I be better calling and cancelling my claim for Carers Allowance and then claiming the Severe Disability benefit? 

Any advice will be greatly appreciated



  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 5,298 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2021
    One thing to think about is your future state Pension entitlement. As the claimant your wife is getting Class 1 NI credits through her ESA. You do not get any credits from the ESA claim. At the moment you are getting Class 1 credits through your CA claim. If you stop the claim you will no longer get these. It may therefore be prudent to get a State Pension forecast to check whether you already have a full pension or still need further NI years to achieve this.

    If your health condition limits your ability to work you could apply for new style ESA yourself. Even if you are not entitled, if you have a WCA and are found to have LCW you can then get NI credits on that basis. That would remove consideration of credits from a decision on the CA.

    Consideration of ESA also raises another possibility to maximise your benefit income.
    bulldog666 said:...we've received a Severe Disability Claim form .... it won't be awarded as a couple if someone is claiming Carers Allowance for one of us.....
    The condition is not that someone is not claiming CA, it is that they are not receiving CA. If it turns out that you are entitled to receive new style ESA then payment of the CA would stop (because of overlapping benefit rules) but you would retain an 'underlying entitlement' to it. Your wife would then become entitled to the double SDP in her ESA award as well as the carer premium.

    If you give up the CA claim she loses the carer premium.

    The contribution conditions to qualify for new style ESA are explained here
    Note in particular the relaxation of the first condition which means that if you were claiming CA at any point in the 2019-20 tax year the first condition can be satisfied from any year of your working life. The credits you get from CA allow you to satisfy condition 2 if you were getting CA throughout 18-19 and 19-20.

    Obviously the ESA is only relevant if your health conditions are likely to result in you being found to have LCW and for the SDP with carer premium to be a long term possibility you would need to be put in the ESA Support Group otherwise payment of the ESA would stop after 365 days.

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • bulldog666
    bulldog666 Member Posts: 3 Listener

    Thanks for your reply although I think I'm evenmore confused lol

    I've been receiving CA for 5+yrs and named on my wife's ESA.

    As for state pension I'm not sure about it just now as we are both under 50yrs old I'm not sure if we'll be around by the time we eventually get there and they'll probably move the the qualifying age lol

    I'm thinking it's more beneficial to cancel CA and get double SDP?

    Sorry if it seems a basic question but I'm a bit muddled about it all 

  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 5,298 Disability Gamechanger
    There are three possibilities
    1) You maintain your CA claim, your wife will gets the single ESA in her ESA claim (an extra £66.95/week overall compared to existing). You both get NI credits.
    2) You cancel the CA claim, your wife gets the double SDP but loses the carer premium (an extra £96.40/week overall compared to existing). Only your wife gets NI credits.
    3) You claim new style ESA and are put in the Support Group and keep the CA claim, your wife gets the double SDP and the carer premium (an extra £133.90/week compared to existing). You both get NI credits.

    You don't have to rush this, it's not a one time choice. If you return the IS10 now you will be in option 1. If you later cancel the CA or successfully claim ESA you will move to option 2 or 3.

    You need to be careful giving up your CA claim if that is what you want to do. There are rules about giving up income to which you are entitled in order to increase means tested benefit entitlement which mean that you can be treated as if you still receive it. If you do want to cancel, it may be better to say that because of your own health conditions you are no longer able to meet the requirement to provide 35 hours of care.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • bulldog666
    bulldog666 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Apart from doing it all initially about 6 years ago I've no experience as been in employment since I was 15 but with my wife having Dementia and being a service engineer I could be sent anywhere in the world for no set time it became too much for us as nearest family was 300+ miles away.

    So I do appreciate all advice

    I was unsure about the one-shot situation as that's what I was worried about.

    I'll more than likely go with your option 1 as that's the situation as of just now....

    We did receive a letter in too about changes to our ESA but it seemed confusing too.

    We got letters in about changes to our ESA, my PIP award letter and an SDP form all in the one postal delivery....that possibility ties in with what your saying?
    As was only expecting my PIP decision letter.



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