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Both on IR ESA and moving in together

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Tallywoo
Tallywoo Community member Posts: 5 Listener
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum. Apprehensive about being judged so have held off posting or asking anywhere. 

My boyfriend and I are on IR ESA and are due to move in together in 2 months into a new disabled priority house. His daughter who is 6 will be living with us half of the week. I have a rare cancer syndrome, he has MS. Both worked up until we got too ill.  So we will both have a change of address and also change of circumstances as moving in together. 

Can anyone tell us what to expect with DWP? I receive a small occ pension and we have very little savings under £2k. I know we will get less and will probably get the couple rate...am I correct? We are fine about this as we want to be living together.

I wonder if we will get moved onto Universal Credit but am aware we would have transitional protection? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2021
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    Are either of you currently receiving Housing Benefit and when you move will you still be in the same local authority area? The answer to this question is the key issue that will determine your options.

    Do either of you get DLA or PIP and if so which components?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Tallywoo
    Tallywoo Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    We won't be receiving Housing Benefit as it is a shared equity property. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,019 Disability Gamechanger
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    HI,
    Are you going to be claiming for help with any rent?
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Tallywoo
    Tallywoo Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Hi, no there won't be any rent as it is shared equity. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2021
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    If Housing Benefit is not an issue you can simply inform ESA that you have formed a couple. If both of your claims are entirely income based one of you will then have your claim calculated as a couple, the other will no longer receive ESA (but should tell DWP they wish to receive NI credits for a Limited Capability for Work). You will need to decide who should be the ongoing ESA claimant. If either of you is approaching pension age it would be better for the younger person to be the ongoing ESA claimant.

    You could claim UC if you choose but you would need to have a benefits check to know what is best. Transitional protection would not apply (unless you first formed an ESA claim as a couple and this includes Severe Disability Premium - but if that applies you would be better off staying on ESA).

    Other questions that affect what is best to do are:

    Do either of you have a contribution based part to your ESA award?

    Do either of you receive DLA or PIP and if so what components?

    Is your partner receiving any benefits for his daughter?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Tallywoo
    Tallywoo Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Thanks so much for this Calcotti great response. 

    No contribution based part anymore as we have claimed for over a year. 

    We both receive enhanced rate PIP also. Mobility & Living. 

    He receives no benefits for his daughter and also pays CSA for her despite having her half of the week, he chooses to pay more(we are fine about this it doesn't bother us). 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2021
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    Tallywoo said: No contribution based part anymore as we have claimed for over a year. 
    Contribution based ESA continues indefinitely if you are In the Support Group. If you are in the Support Group you both need to check whether your awards are entirely income based or a mix of income based and contribution based.

    If either of you has contribution based entitlement it makes sense for one person to continue with a contribution based claim while the other has the income based claim. The contribution based award will reduce the income based award but will mean that you each have your own income and will give you more flexibility if circumstances change in the future.

    As you both receive a disability benefit the ongoing income based ESA claimant will be entitled to a double Severe Disability Premium (provided no one claims Carer’s Allowance for looking after either of you). 

    (Are either of you living alone at the moment and getting SDP?)
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Tallywoo
    Tallywoo Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    Thank you for this, great answer. 

    We both get SDP whilst we live alone. As far as I know we are both only IR related rather than contribution based now. I was switched over a while ago. Both in support group too. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2021
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    Tallywoo said:
    As far as I know we are both only IR related rather than contribution based now. 
    Please take time to check this. If you were initially entitled to contribution based ESA and were then put into the Support Group within a year of claiming you would still be entitled to contribution based. As explained in my previous post even if only one of you has contribution based entitlement, although you it will not increase your combine income,  it would enable you both to continue to claim ESA. If your award letters are difficult to understand ring ESA and ask them to confirm whether your awards are entirely income based or mixed (contribution based with an income based top up). Note that when an award is mixed DWP will, in general terms, describe it as an income based award.

    (Off to bed now, more advice tomorrow if needed.)
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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