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Moving to new style ESA

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hannahleo
hannahleo Community member Posts: 7 Listener
Hi :) I currently receive PIP and ESA (I believe it's the income based support group one) and housing benefit. I am currently privately renting.
I am hoping to move in with my boyfriend in the next few months. He works full time so I'm aware that I wouldn't be able to get the income based ESA anymore or the housing benefit but I've read online that there is a new style ESA that doesn't take your partner's income into account. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice or knew whether it's possible to move from one type of ESA to another or not? I know it says you have to have national insurance contributions for the last few years but I think I have been credited them.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm feeling quite anxious about this and don't know who to turn to for advice!

Comments

  • Libby_Alumni
    Libby_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,251 Pioneering
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    Hi @hannahleo

    Welcome to the community and thank you for your post :)

    How are you today?

    I'm not too sure about your concerns as I'm not too familiar with the New Style ESA process. However, some of our community members might be able to help with your query and share their experiences too. The resource below might also be helpful for you as it outlines some essential information about New Style Employment and Support Allowance:
    I hope the above helps and if you have any other questions, please just let us know.

    Libby
    Online Community Information Coordinator
    Scope

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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,935 Disability Gamechanger
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    No, you won't be able to claim New style ESA because claiming this will totally depend on your NI contributions from working in the previous 2 tax years as you're claim ESA then it's unlikely you would have worked.
    Is any part of your current ESA contributions based? If it is then your partner working won't affect this (currently £114.10 per week) If you're unsure then you can ring ESA to ask what exactly your claim is made up of.
    If it's all Income Related then you can use a benefits calculator to check entitlement to Universal Credit. You will need to claim as a couple so add your partners details to the calculation. If you claim UC whilst still claiming ESA then you will be entitled to the LCWRA element from the start of your claim. If your PIP includes the daily living part then your partner can claim the Carers element for looking after you.
    Or you can speak to an advice agency near you for a full benefits check.
    PIP won't be affected.

    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    hannahleo said:
    ..ESA (I believe it's the income based support group one) ..
    As poppy advises, you need to check whether it is entirely income based or whether some of it is contribution based. if it isn't clear from your award letters you will need to ring ESA to find out.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • hannahleo
    hannahleo Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Hi both, thank you for the reply. I have checked my national insurance records and I have full year national insurance contributions (below). I have looked at my award letter and it is income based and not contributions based that I am on
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,935 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2022
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    Those are likely to be NI credits from claiming your ESA which doesn't entitle you to claim New style ESA as advised. If you ring DWP they will tell you exactly what your current ESA is made up of, if you're not sure, letters regarding ESA are never 100% clear.
    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.
  • hannahleo
    hannahleo Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Ah OK, thank you for your advice. I was hoping there was a glimmer of hope when I read there was a new style ESA. In that case I will have to stay living alone. Thank you for your help.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,935 Disability Gamechanger
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    Have you used a benefits calculator to check entitlement to UC? Just because a partner works, this doesn't mean you won't be entitled to some help and you won't know for certain until you check. You will also have your PIP, which isn't affected.
    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2022
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    Do as Poppy suggests and use a benefits calculator. Your UC entitled would include the couple allowance, the housing element (if you are still renting) and the LCWRA element (equivalent to ESA Support Group). If your PIP includes the Daily Living part then your partner can get the carer element added too. Because you have LCWRA a Work Allowance would be applied to the claim which means that some of your partner’s earnings would be ignored,
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • hannahleo
    hannahleo Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Thank you. I will have another look at the calculator. I just rang the DWP ESA application line and the woman on the phone told me that my class 1 NI contributions still count for new style ESA even if they didn’t come from employment. Can I ask where you saw that it doesn’t count so I can look into this further?
    Thanks,
    Hannah 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,935 Disability Gamechanger
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    The person you spoke to on the phone is incorrect. This is the problem when people ring DWP for advice they are very often advised incorrectly. When you ring DWP you are ringing a call centre, not DWP itself. They are not trained to give benefits advice, they read from a screen.
    As advised, your NI credits alone from claim ESA do not count for new Style ESA.

    Eligibility

    To get New Style ESA you usually need to have been working within the last 2 to 3 years, and have made (or been credited with) Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance contributions.

    This can be through employment or self–employment.

    If you’re not sure how much National Insurance you’ve paid, you can check your National Insurance record online.


    Therefore, NI credits alone do not qualify you.
    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2022
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    hannahleo said:
    I just rang the DWP ESA application line and the woman on the phone told me that my class 1 NI contributions still count for new style ESA even if they didn’t come from employment. 
    They are Class 1 Credits you have been receiving, not contributions. You need to be employed to earn contributions.

    It is correct that the credits count for new style ESA but they are not sufficient to meet both qualifying conditions. The conditions are that you have two complete years of credits or contributions (which you would meet) and also that on one of the years you have at least 26 weeks of contributions (which you would fail).

    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/employment-and-support-allowance-contribution-based
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • hannahleo
    hannahleo Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    OK thank you. I checked an online benefits calculator and I wouldn’t be entitled to anything else if I moved in with my partner so it looks like it won’t be an option for me
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,935 Disability Gamechanger
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    Are you sure your ESA is all Income Related? The letters they send are extremely difficult to read, even for myself who has a good understanding of the benefits system. If you ring ESA they will be able to confirm what exactly your ESA is made up of.
    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.
  • hannahleo
    hannahleo Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    I called up to check again and I was told that I’m actually on the combined (Income related and contribution based) The woman told me I can fill out a change of circumstances form and that I would loose my income related but keep the contribution based which is the same amount as the new style. Hopefully this is correct and if so is a huge relief! Thanks for your help
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2022
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    That is correct. You should continue to receive £114.10/week.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • hannahleo
    hannahleo Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Thank you both so much, you’ve been a great help 😊
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,935 Disability Gamechanger
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    This just proves how difficult it is to read those ESA letters. Glad it's now sorted :)
    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.
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