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Can my son claim ESA or UC?

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ASDIBS
ASDIBS Community member Posts: 72 Courageous
Hello. I would like someone to please advise if my son would be eligible to claim ESA or UC. I'm not familiar with benefits and I know things have changed. I've read about income related ESA and also UC but not sure.
My son is at university full time education but he's living at home. He doesn't claim his maintenance loan but I know that doesn't make any difference. He claims standard care and mobility on PIP.  
Just checking if he can claim anything else as I'm aware some students can work for extra income but my son cannot physically work due to his illness/disability. He even struggles to attend uni but luckily he's managed remotely this year.
Thank you in advance for any information ?
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  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2021
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    It's complicated.
    Income based ESA no longer exists for new claims. Only new style ESA still exists and entitlement is based on past NI contributions.
    I assume he has not previously worked and therefore does not have an NI record. As a result he cannot be paid new style ESA. However, as a student, he cannot claim UC unless he has been found to have Limited Capability for Work.
    In order to claim benefits he would need to apply for new style ESA. He would not be entitled to receive it but the claim would prompt a Work Capability Assessment. If the result of the assessment was that he had Limited Capability for Work he could then claim UC.
    If he did claim UC he would be treated as if he were receiving any student loan that is available to him even though he is not claiming it so there may be no UC payable anyway.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-and-students
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ASDIBS
    ASDIBS Community member Posts: 72 Courageous
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    @calcotti Thank you. Yes that's confirmed what I was thinking. He wouldn't get a large maintenance loan due to living at home and our household income. I think that I've read that don't take the whole amount of the student loan in to consideration? I suppose he can try. There is no harm. Thank you ? 
    So he needs to apply for ESA be turned down and then try UC? He's never worked so no NI contributions
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2021
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    ASDIBS said:
    So he needs to apply for ESA be turned down and then try UC? He's never worked so no NI contributions
    Yes, apply for new style ESA. He needs a Fit Note from GP to support the claim. He will be told he doesn't qualify due to lack of NI but can still be referred for a Work Capability Assessment. Once the assessment has taken place (which may be many months away), if he is found to have Limited Capability for Work, he can apply for UC, even though he is a student, on the grounds that he receives PIP and has LCW.

    I'm not familiar with the details of how loans are treated. Full guidance here
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907998/admh6.pdf
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    Is your son eligible for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) @ASDIBS? I'm glad calcotti's reply has been useful!

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • ASDIBS
    ASDIBS Community member Posts: 72 Courageous
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    Is your son eligible for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) @ASDIBS? I'm glad calcotti's reply has been useful!
    Thank you?. He did get assessed and got specialist equipment for his course. He also got a mentor too. We just wondered if he could claim anything additional whilst studying due to his inability to work.
  • ASDIBS
    ASDIBS Community member Posts: 72 Courageous
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    Thank you @calcotti. You've been a big help ?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Looking at the numbers I can't see there will be any significant UC entitlement.
    Even if he is found to have LCWRA his maximum UC amount will be £687.63 (assuming he is under 25 years old).
    Student loan (England) for someone living at home appears to be £7,747. If this is treated as covering 10 months then that is £774.70/month. I think there is £110 disregard (but may be wrong) which would bring this down to £664.70/month leaving UC payable of £22.93/month. If the loan is taken over a 9 month period then nothing would be payable. 
    However I may have got this wrong, he can apply and see what happens.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ASDIBS
    ASDIBS Community member Posts: 72 Courageous
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    Thanks again. When I checked how much maintenance loan my son is entitled to it said £3950. May be my calculations were wrong
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2021
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    ASDIBS said:
    Thanks again. When I checked how much maintenance loan my son is entitled to it said £3950. May be my calculations were wrong
    Much more likely that I got the wrong figure for the loan. I got the figure from here https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/new-fulltime-students but I now realise that is described as the maximum amount and may not be the relevant information for your son. If his entitlement is only £3950 then there would be UC payable if he is found to have LCWRA.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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