Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Confused about linked period due to not being able to manage the work within a 12 week period

Jewelz999Jewelz999 Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi, my name is Julie. I had until recently  been in the ESA income based support group for several years.

I was offered a job 25-30 hours a week doing a job I had managed to do before I got sick. Stupidly I took the job and quickly realised it was having a negative impact on my help, I cut my hours down to see if that would help but in the end I had to leave, I just could not cope physically and mentally at all. I was doing the job for 6 weeks and I was  under the impression that if I found i could not manage the work within a 12 week period i would be able to go back onto ESA, this is called a linked period. Has anyone heard of this Linked period? I saw something about it online but now I can't find it. Thank you.
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Replies

  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,181 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 22
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    It is something I have heard of but I don't know any details 

    Hope you can find the answers in the info above 
  • Jewelz999Jewelz999 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    chiarieds said:
    Hi @Jewelz999 - & welcome to the community, Julie.

    Hiya, thank you for the link i knew i had seen it somewhere. So am i correct in thinking i should be back on ESA. I was told by ESA that the linked rules only apply if you were in contribution based ESA and that i have to apply for Universal credit which i have done. It's all so confusing which is what i don't need at the moment.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,181 Disability Gamechanger
    I have been unable to find anything that says different to the above, nor have I found that the linking rules only apply to contribution based ESA. If the above applies, I wonder if you'll be able to close down your UC application, should you wish to do so. Others will know more, however.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,209 Pioneering
    edited July 22
    The linking rules apply to income based ESA also. The linking rules mean that if you made a new ESA claim you would still be treated as in the Support Group. The problem is that although the period of Limited Capability to Work is linked your old ESA claim has closed and you would need to make a new ESA claim - which you are not permitted to do for income based ESA because UC has replaced it.

    Furthermore I don't think the linking rules apply for UC so you will not get the LCWRA element in UC from the start of your award  (which you would have done if you had transferred directly from ESA to UC) and will have to have a new Work Capability Assessment.

    Was your ESA entirely income based? 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Jewelz999Jewelz999 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    calcotti said:
    The linking rules apply to income based ESA also. The linking rules mean that if you made a new ESA claim you would still be treated as in the Support Group. The problem is that although the period of Limited Capability to Work is linked your old ESA claim has closed and you would need to make a new ESA claim - which you are not permitted to do for income based ESA because UC has replaced it.

    Furthermore I don't think the linking rules apply for UC so you will not get the LCWRA element in UC from the start of your award  (which you would have done if you had transferred directly from ESA to UC) and will have to have a new Work Capability Assessment.

    Was your ESA entirely income based? 
    Hiya, yes my ESA was just income based. I called ESA the day I realised I could no longer carry on working and was told to put a new claim in, which i did. After hearing nothing for over 2 weeks i called again and was told that i had been told wrong and i needed to apply for universal credit which i did.The universal credit people told me to call ESA about the linked claim and I was told it only applies to contribution based claims. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,209 Pioneering
    edited July 22
    As explained, the issue is that you cannot make a new claim for income based ESA and therefore had to claim UC. There are no linking rules for UC.

    I think another course of action would have been to make a claim for new style ESA (which is contribution based). You would have been told that you cannot be paid anything because you do not meet the NI conditions but the ESA linking rules would mean that you would immediately be treated as having Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity. You would have been entitled to receive NI credits on that basis. If this had first been established prior to claiming UC you would, I think, have been entitled to the LCWRA element from the start of the UC claim without the need for another WCA (although DWP could choose to reassess you anyway). Of course, all of that would have taken time during which you would not have had any ESA or UC income and therefore you might not have been able to wait that long and might have 'lost' even more money overall.

    Was it new style ESA you made the new claim for? If so, although they were right to tell you that you could not be paid ESA, they should still have considered it on a 'credits only' basis. If you can get them to confirm that you were entitled to NI credits for LCWRA prior to claiming UC it may still be possible to get the LCWRA element included from the start of the UC claim.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Jewelz999Jewelz999 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi, yes it was the new style ESA I applied for. Just found out that I am getting NI credits as long as I send fit notes (until i have been assessed i guess) Thank you so much for your help, 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,209 Pioneering
    edited July 23
    If you applied for new style ESA within 12 weeks of your previous claim I think you should be treated as having LCWRA for ESA purposes without having a further assessment.
    ESA Regulations 2018 Regulation 7(1)(b), 7(1A) and 7(1B)(a), Regulation 35A and Regulation 145.

    You need to find out if ESA are treating you as having LCWRA.

    If they are, you need to inform UC and say that you believe you are entitled to receive the LCWRA element in your UC claim from the beginning of the claim because you were already entitled to NI credits for LCWRA at the time you claimed UC. UC should not need to carry out an assessment either - but can choose to do so if they wish. Even if they do they should be including the LCWRA element until such time as they reassess you.

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