I get contributory ESA and PIP. Can I get any other help? — Scope | Disability forum
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I get contributory ESA and PIP. Can I get any other help?

Caranora
Caranora Member Posts: 6 Listener
Hi I'm new to the community... I am single woman, well recently divorced, my idea lol I have severe fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, 4 autoimmune diseases, asthma and severe airborne food allergies... I don't get out a lot!  Living on my own through covid has been challenging, dealing with the DWP even more so... and NHS pensions... I'm a lemonade kind of person and turned my gaming hobby into a business by starting a youtube channel last year.  I guess I mostly joined because I don't get any help and I don't know if I'm entitled to any, I only get contributory esa and PIP.  I did apply for council tax benefit but was turned down, I believe it's a gateway benefit to getting other benefits and help.
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,839 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,
    Council tax reduction isn't a gateway benefit to receiving other benefits so i'm unsure what you mean by that. It's a means tested benefit and all local Authorities have their own rules. As it's means tested then some local councils have a maximum savings/capital threshold of £6,000 some will be higher than this.

    When you say Contributions based ESA is this the old benefit or the New style ESA? New style ESA is contributions based only so you can look at entitlement to Universal Credit alongside this but it will depend on your circumstances because it's means tested so if you have savings/capital of more than £16,000 you're excluded from claiming. There will be a reduction of £4.35 per month for every £250 over £6,000.
    If you claim both New style ESA and UC together then your ESA will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement.
    If you claim the old Contributions based ESA then an income Related top up can be added but it will depend on your circumstances because it's means tested so the savings/capital rules apply.
    If you're receiving a works pension then this will affect means tested benefits such as Universal Credit.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,464

    Scope community team

    Hello @Caranora

    Wishing you a warm welcome to the community, thank you for introducing yourself and I hope you enjoy being involved here.
    Online Community Coordinator

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  • Caranora
    Caranora Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you @poppy123456 that's a lot to unpack.  I don't know whether I am on old style esa or new.  My small pension income is deducted from that, income is means tested.  I do have some savings, I also own my own home, well the building society own half, and it is a poor state of repair and I have been hanging on to my meagre savings to try and get some repairs done, although I have had problems getting workmen because of covid.  I want to remain in my own home, partly because I have 3 cats who all have health problems and moving into rented accommodation would almost certainly mean having to have them put down.  I never applied for universal credit, because I had read that people on UC are generally worse off than people on legacy benefits... although the £20 uplift last year was tempting.  I don't even know where to start with all of this stuff tbh.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,914 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community from me too 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,419 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 15
    Caranora said: I don't know whether I am on old style esa or new.  
    When did you start claiming ESA?

    For new style ESA or contribution based ESA you would have an entitlement of £114.10/week minus 50% of any pension income over £85/week.

    For income based ESA your pension income would be deducted from your maximum entitlement in full.

    If you are getting income based ESA, living alone, get the Daily Living part of PIP and nobody claims Carer's Allowance or the carer element of UC for looking after you then you are entitled to have a Severe Disability Premium included in the calculation.

    Do you have an award letter you could look at and tell us what it says?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Caranora
    Caranora Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I get 50% of my income over £85 deducted.... I get the daily living part of pip and 1st part of mobility, I had to take them to court for that... I'm also due to reapply soon and I'm dreading it... Esa in a year... Although it took 18 months to get an esa home assessment last time, and I went a year without any money. I was married at the time, so hoping this time I'll be able to do it over the phone, I wouldn't be able to manage for a year without it. 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,419 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 15
    So you clearly have contribution based ESA or new style ESA. Still important to know which in order to know whether there is any possibility of an income based top up. 

    When did you start claiming? Do you have an award letter you could look at and tell us what it says?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,839 Disability Gamechanger
    Caranora said:
    I get 50% of my income over £85 deducted....
    Based on this ^^ even if you were claiming the old Contirbutions based ESA your pension would reduce the income related top up to zero because pension reduces it £1 for £1. With the Enhanced disability premium of £17.20 and the Severe disability premium £67.30 per week (if you live alone) totalling £84.50 per week. Your pension income would reduce it to zero.
    The same if you claimed Universal Credit, your ESA and Pension would be deducted in full from your UC entitlement so it's likely to reduce that to zero too. As you don't need to claim any help with the rent.
    It's not always the best idea to take any pension early because it does affect entitlement to means tested benefits.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,419 Disability Gamechanger
    poppy123456 said:..With the Enhanced disability premium of £17.20 and the Severe disability premium £67.30 per week (if you live alone) totalling £84.50 per week. Your pension income would reduce it to zero. 
    Thanks, poppy. I hadn’t done the maths on that.

    So the answer to the question that is the title of the thread is No.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Caranora
    Caranora Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I got an NHS Ill health pension which was topped up, I wasn't given a choice really about applying for it... I do struggle on my own and can't afford to employ any help. When people say what would you buy if you won the lottery, I say a person lol 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,839 Disability Gamechanger
    You could be slightly worse off if you didn't have the pensions so it's not all bad.
    You can refer yourself for a needs assessment from your local council, from this it will determine if there's any help available to you. Although this is means tested so you may have to pay a contribution towards any help you may be able to get. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/help-from-social-services-and-charities/getting-a-needs-assessment/

  • Caranora
    Caranora Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you, that's really helpful 🤗

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