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How does ESA work if one of couple is deemed not fit for work? Would switching to UC be better?

CatsMeowCatsMeow Member Posts: 13 Listener
My dad is out of work. He is my nephews carer and gets carers allowance.

My Mum currently receives ESA Support Group. But she tells me 'your dad is accounted for here?' (???, he has no disabilities and is deemed fit to work) - it confuses me.

I know Universal Credit if in a couple you have to do a joint application, but how does ESA work if one is deemed not fit for work and is in the support group?

My Mum is also due to get PIP soon (hopefully!), I'm confident she will get high rate and my Dad will switch his carers allowance to her. 

I'm wondering if (when) switching to Universal Credit would be better for them?
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Replies

  • CatsMeowCatsMeow Member Posts: 13 Listener
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,196 Pioneering
    edited July 8
    For the old type of ESA the only one person is a claimant, in this case your mum. Your dad is simply noted on the claim so that your mum's payments take account of the fact she has a partner and takes into account any income or savings he has. It does mean, that because he is not a claimant, he gets no NI credits through the ESA claim.

    Because your dad gets Carer's Allowance he gets NI credits for this. When calculating mum's ESA the fact that dad is a carer and gets Carer's Allowance is taken into account.

    They may be better off on UC. You can use a benefits calculator to find out https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

    How old are your parents? If either is close to pension age it may be better to stay on ESA even if UC would give more money in the short term..
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,196 Pioneering
    Should have said, if you use a benefits calculator bear in mind that UC amounts will reduce by £86.67/month from October.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • CatsMeowCatsMeow Member Posts: 13 Listener
    calcotti said:
    Should have said, if you use a benefits calculator bear in mind that UC amounts will reduce by £86.67/month from October.

    I'm a bit confused. So could my dad be on Universal Credit (Carers Element) - in this event he'd be expected to be looking for work?
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,196 Pioneering
    edited July 9
    CatsMeow said: I'm a bit confused. So could my dad be on Universal Credit (Carers Element) - in this event he'd be expected to be looking for work?
    Anyone in receipt of the carer element would have no work requirements.

    Please do note the last bit of my previous post
    calcotti said:
    How old are your parents? If either is close to pension age it may be better to stay on ESA even if UC would give more money in the short term..

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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