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Do I have to claim ESA?

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leighton93
leighton93 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
I've never claimed benefits until recently so please excuse how unclued up I am!
Long story short, I had a breakdown and was diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder. I signed up for UC and have received it since November. I was provided sick notes by my doctor and had to go through a work capability assessment, which today they let me know that I'm not expected to look for work or prepare to look for work but the letter states nothing else. What do I do from here? Will my money stay the same? Do I need to apply for ESA? I have a PIP claim in currently. 

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there 

    From what I understand you have been awarded lcwra eg limited capacity for work and work related activity 

    This gives you an additional payment each month on your uc of £343.63

    This is payable from the 4th month after you reported the medical condition 

    So for you this will be from your April payment so you should get a month backpay

    You do not need to claim esa you can claim both but any esa payment will be deducted from your uc payment 


  • leighton93
    leighton93 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    janer1967 said:
    Hi there 

    From what I understand you have been awarded lcwra eg limited capacity for work and work related activity 

    This gives you an additional payment each month on your uc of £343.63

    This is payable from the 4th month after you reported the medical condition 

    So for you this will be from your April payment so you should get a month backpay

    You do not need to claim esa you can claim both but any esa payment will be deducted from your uc payment 


    Thank you for your reply! Are they the same amount or am I best claiming one over the other?
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm not too sure on amounts for esa but uc currently oats the additional £20 per week till September due to covid and esa doesn't 

    I think esa contributes more ni though 

    Others will advise esa payments 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2021
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    leighton93 said: ..Are they the same amount or am I best claiming one over the other?
    If you claim ESA you will get fortnightly payments of ESA. You will also get monthly payments of UC but the amount of UC you receive will be reduced to take account of the UC you receive. Overall the total amount of benefit you receive will be unchanged.

    ESA is paid at a rate of £74.70/week initially and then £114.10/week (if you have LCWRA).
    ———————
    Factors to consider:

    Getting fortnightly ESA can help smooth your cash flow.

    ESA is not means tested so claiming ESA can protect you from future changes of circumstance which might end your  UC (for example inheriting some money or forming a relationship with someone else).

    On ESA you get Class 1 NI credits, on UC you get Class 3 credits. Both count for State a Pension but Class 1 count for some other benefits also.

    UC is not taxable. ESA is taxable income (although you will not have to pay any tax on it if it unless your total taxable income for the tax year exceeds your personal allowance of £12,570).
    ————-
    leighton93 said: Will my money stay the same? 
    Whether or not your current UC award stays the same depends on whether you have been found to have Limited Capability for Work (LCW) or Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity (LCWRA). You only get extra money for LCWRA. Which does the letter say?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • leighton93
    leighton93 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Options
    calcotti said:
    leighton93 said: ..Are they the same amount or am I best claiming one over the other?
    If you claim ESA you will get fortnightly payments of ESA. You will also get monthly payments of UC but the amount of UC you receive will be reduced to take account of the UC you receive. Overall the total amount of benefit you receive will be unchanged.

    ESA is paid at a rate of £74.70/week initially and then £114.10/week (if you have LCWRA).
    ———————
    Factors to consider:

    Getting fortnightly ESA can help smooth your cash flow.

    ESA is not means tested so claiming ESA can protect you from future changes of circumstance which might end your  UC (for example inheriting some money or forming a relationship with someone else).

    On ESA you get Class 1 NI credits, on UC you get Class 3 credits. Both count for State a Pension but Class 1 count for some other benefits also.

    UC is not taxable. ESA is taxable income (although you will not have to pay any tax on it if it unless your total taxable income for the tax year exceeds your personal allowance of £12,570).
    ————-
    leighton93 said: Will my money stay the same? 
    Whether or not your current UC award stays the same depends on whether you have been found to have Limited Capability for Work (LCW) or Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity (LCWRA). You only get extra money for LCWRA. Which does the letter say?
    My letter says limited capability for work and work related activities but they haven't said anything else.
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