Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA no payment today. I received money from my ex at Christmas and I'm worried they've stopped it

stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
Hi, I’m a single parent with 5 children. Currently on old style ESA. 
And now lying awake stressed and can feel myself spirialling.
I was due my ESA payment today (I also get the disability element) however as yet nothing has gone into my bank.
i received money from my ex at Christmas (divorce settlement) but kept DWP fully informed of it all at the time.
I have spent ages on the phone to welfare rights, and bought a new car, mattresses and a new bed for me and some Christmas presents for my kids with my settlement, all of which welfare rights had talked through with me. It was a massive splurge! My car was off the road, I had my eldest and grandkids placed here by social work, so I needed a larger than normal vehicle. 

I was fully expecting my payments to be tapered, however I do know that for 1 day I was over the £16k limit. 

I feel sick to my stomach that I’ve lost my full entitlement due to this.

could it be a glitch? Would I likely lose all my award, without any notice? I’ve sent DWP receipts and bank statements detailing all the spending and I have letters from back in Jan/Feb saying my award was being reduced by a couple of £s. 
I even called them back in April to ensure they got my evidence and request that they reasses my account.
they informed me then they had everything and it was all fine. Would they really wait till now to just stop my whole award?  

I know it’s the middle of the night, and I’ll likely be told I need to wait till morning to call them as no one can really answer this, I just don’t understand why I’ve had zero communication from them and they can just stop peoples awards like that. Had they done it when I first informed them of the payments I could have understood, but all these months later


  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    Hi hun so sorry you are going through so much stress! It's so scary when you don't get paid! ☹️
     I just wanted to say that this has happened to me before and it was the bank had an issue and the money was late coming into my account? Then another time ESA had problems  so they paid me late? I am hoping that a similar thing has happened here! I am pretty sure they would of told you if they were going to stop your award? I hope you are able to find answers ASAP! Sorry I can't be much help but just didn't want you to feel alone etc xx
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    edited July 5
    Emily, thank you so much for this reply. I really hope so too, but suspect I won’t be so fortunate.
    I’ve lay awake since 2am and can’t sleep now watching the mins tick by till 8am. I feel so sick. I have checked the online calculations and even with my settlement I should still be entitled to a small payment.
    The lack of any prior communication makes me so stressed, if I’d known to expect it it wouldn’t feel so bad.

    It just makes me angry that an abusive ex can still have so much control as the settlement has such a huge impact on the household finances (and an impact on the children too, which he pays no maintenance for).
    thank you for your reply I’m seriously hoping it’s just a glitch somewhere 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    Bless you :disappointed: I hope so too! And I also hope you manage to get some sleep! They can't just leave you with nothing to live off of surely? 
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I have what’s left of the settlement, but it shouldn’t have wiped out my whole award. Unless they take into account the about 12hrs I was over the £16k limit.
    welfare rights were great and have offered me help and support since I was told he had paid towards the settlement, but they did say that it would be down to the decision maker. 
    I just don’t know what to think. I have letters from DWP from when I update them in Dec and Jan, with new amounts, but even welfare rights thought it should be tapered and shouldn’t wipe my whole award.
    I just have no idea what happens now with my housing benefits or council tax award. My mind is racing and overthinking everything! 
    I just don’t understand why they haven’t been in contact! I sent them so many letters/made so many phone calls and even chased it in April as Wefare rights suggested asking them for my reassessment rather than just waiting for something like this to happen
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    That's why I am thinking maybe it's a mess up/mistake because they do normally write and say if stopping money? But then I've also had letters arrive after the event due to royal mail problems so it's really impossible to guess :disappointed: I just wish you weren't having to go through this with all you have already! It really is the most awful feeling! ☹️
    Good luck with the phonecall hun and please try not to get too upset because it will be sorted out somehow! And I know it's sometimes a bit patronising and that is not what I'm meaning! But it helps me at times to think...it could be worse for example I'd give anything to have my children here with me but they are currently living 300 miles away due to my poor health? And I only get to see them once every two months now ☹️
     This is a very horrible thing to have happen! But you are able to call and handle it as best you can and some people can't make calls? So please don't lose all hope!! In some ways you are very lucky?
    I'm sure u will get it sorted!
    So sorry hope I haven't just peed you off! I am trying to help but probably just making you feel worse!
    Big cyber hugs hun and I hope the next hour and 5 minutes flies by!! 👍🤞 Xx
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Not at all, I do understand what all your saying. I’ll end up in tears on the phone probably as I don’t tend to handle calls or talking to strangers all that well. Normally one of my kids is with me for support but they have work so, I’ll be alone, until the smaller kids come through, I’m hoping I can have it out the way before they come through though.
    I know your right some people have it worse, and I can be seen as lucky. Just financially I had finally got myself in a place where I was coping before my ex did this. He can’t support the children but can pay a divorce settlement! I know some others have nothing so in that sense I’m fortunate, but it’s the not knowing so not being able to prepare myself for it.
    thank you for being there and keeping me company, finally less than an hour to wait 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    Please don't think I was making light of your situation hun! And it's stressful dealing with these things and children at the same time having to try and be 2 different people!
    I fully get it I am **** with phonecalls I do them when absolutely necessary but I am a mess the whole time and hours leading up to and after it! So I'm not saying you don't struggle etc I just wanted to say you can do this and you will get it sorted out 👍😊 and no matter how difficult it gets you will not be completely alone? Even if u r stuck with me in here haha 😂🤦🤷 45 minutes to go!! X
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    Sorry forgot about swearing it wasn't the worst 4 letter word 🤦 it began with a c and ended with p but il try harder to remember! 🤓
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,220 Pioneering
    Have you managed to contact DWP this morning and ask? 
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I’m currently on hold waiting. Not sure if not sleeping waiting till 8am was better than being on hold waiting for someone to answer
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,220 Pioneering
    There not normally as busy first thing in the morning so fingers crossed they will answer soon. 
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Was answered and she can’t tell me why it hasn’t been paid. They are now claiming they haven’t received a letter back from me that they told me in April they had got.
    I’ve no idea what’s happening or even meant to be happening. She said someone has suspended my claim without following the paper chain 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    So have they said how you get it unsuspended if there is such a thing? :disappointed: flipping nightmare! 
    Surely if they are saying they can't see why it's not been paid they need to sort out payment? Hope u find out what to do next hun! Sorry it wasn't a straight forward thing to fix or it doesn't appear to be?! X
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    So, my ex paying CMS a lump payment which pushed me over £16k is what’s caused this.
    welfare rights and DWP both told me CMS payments would be discounted, even lump payments (he doesn’t pay regular weekly payments) 
    welfare rights have questioned why when weekly/monthly payments are discounted a lump payment (from a liability order) would be treated differently, they have said it might just need looking at, and might be discounted for 12 months (like other lump payments from DWP) 

    since my 8am call with them, I’ve now had a letter, claiming they’ve can’t pay me from 22nd June (is that the same as closing my claim?) due to me not having paid enough in NI contributions, however I’ve checked my gateway, and according to that I have a full year! 
    I called DWP back for her to only talk about how much is in my account. I feel like I’m going round in circles. 

    She has asked for a manager to call me to talk to me about my case.
    welfare rights suggested getting bank statements going right back to my first settlement payment, and sending it along with all receipts etc in to DWP again.

    what’s made me really angry is the way this has all happened, and the fact that I was told in April I didn’t need to do anything about my CMS payment, maybe I should have just sent in proof of it then, but I specifically checked with them.

    im trying to keep calm. If I lose my housing and council tax benefits what I have won’t last for long, and I don’t know what I do next. Can I go onto UC if I’ve had my ESA stopped like this? 
    Welfare rights have said to keep in touch with them, when I have a decision and a breakdown of why they’ve reached their decision they will help me.

    for now I’m trying to figure what I’ve got left coming in. 
    Tax credits, Child benefit and Pip, everything else is dependant on ESA isn’t it? 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    Sorry hun I fell asleep haven't slept well recently it's all caught up with me!
    I have to admit I personally haven't got so much experience in this area sorry but I am sure others here do? Such a rubbish situation for you to be in? So sorry ☹️ wish I had more knowledge in this area! Xx
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    No please don’t apologise. 

    I’m trying to stop the tailspin. Welfare rights have been brilliant today. They suspect that DWP have seen the Maintenance go in, I’ve not sent anything in as evidence, so that’s what’s caused this. 
    (Bank are sending me out statements but I won’t have them for about 5 days, so more waiting) 
    They have said that when the manager calls me back, take notes and go straight back to them, ask for a mandatory reconsideration.

    welfare rights have no idea what’s going on as the letter means nothing! I’m on income based, and my income hasn’t changed, also income based has nothing to do with NI contributions….
    she seemed to think this is an error, but if not they are on my side and will help, even if it means an application to UC (which means I’ll lose my disability allowance) 

    I just need to know what’s happening, and it feels rubbish that DWP can do this to people! It’s gonna be a looooooooong week! 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    Bless you! I would think if they said they stopped your payment because your out of ni contributions and that's wrong then they should sort it out! But I have no clue why they do a lot of things lol! At least as you say you have welfare rights helping you so u hopefully won't get any incorrect information any longer! 👍😊 And also hope not too much waiting! Xx
  • stormsstorms Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thanks Emily and thank you for being there in the small hours helping to keep me sane. It stopped the overthinking taking over. 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 397 Pioneering
    No worries 😊 you helped me too I was starting to panic myself about an appointment I have coming up I'd been up since 4am! So thankyou too and I really do hope you get it all sorted sooner rather than later! Don't let it get you down! We haven't been through all the things we have to just end up miserable and unhappy! 😊👍 Nite hun! 
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