If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Needing advice please. Do I have to tell ESA I'm pregnant? Will I get changed over to UC?

Options
shanh1
shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
I currently receive esa - support group & PIP, I’m currently 22 weeks pregnant from a short relationship. Not ideal but these things happen.
my question is do I have to tell esa I am pregnant or when I have my baby? If I do what happens?
do I also get changed over to universal credit? Because I live in Scotland I will have to apply for cb and Scottish child payment any help or advice would be great Thankyou 
Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    You don’t need to tell ESA about your pregnancy - it’s doesn’t affect your ESA entitlement.

    You will not ‘be changed’ to UC. You will only change from UC if you apply for it However if you claim for UC you will get extra money for having a child.

    Do you get a Severe Disability Premium in your ESA?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • shanh1
    shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Options
    Thanks for your reply, so I don’t have to tell them once I give birth? Just claim child benefit? I’m not sure about the disability premium, I get £250 every 2 weeks along with pip and have done for several years thank you 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    You don’t need to tell ESA at all. If your PIP includes daily living part and you currently live alone. No one claims carers allowance or carers element of UC for looking after you then you should be claiming Severe disability premium in with your ESA. 
    If you live other adults such as parents etc then they must also be claiming a qualifying disability benefit such as PIP daily living/DLA mid/high rate care or AA. 
    The SDP is an extra £69.70/week in your ESA. If you qualify then you need to ring ESA to apply for it.
    Once the baby is born to claim money for them then you will need to claim UC. As you’re in the Support Group then you’ll be entitled to the LCWRA element from the start of your claim. It will also include the child element and housing element (if you rent your home)
    Child benefit and Scottish child payment can also be claimed once the baby is born.
    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.
  • shanh1
    shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Options
    Thanks poppy! As I was googling and looking at other forums it was never a straight answer so I think that’s cleared it up, I do live on my own and rent my house, Il phone tomorrow about the premium and see what they say! Thankyou 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    When you ring ESA ask to claim the SDP and to fill out the form over the phone. It should be backdated to the date you became entitled to it. It’s a very straight forward claim. 
    Once the baby is born you will also be entitled to extra help with your rent. (Not sure on the rules for Scotland)
    Do not claim UC until the baby is born. When you do claim if your ESA includes the SDP you will be entitled to the SDP transitional protection in with your maximum UC entitlement.
    Good luck with the baby! 
    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.
  • shanh1
    shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Options
    That’s great poppy il sleep better tonight knowing some better info, thanks again :)
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Welcome to the community @shanh1 :) 

    I can see that calcotti and poppy123456 have already given you some advice on your questions, which is great to see. If there's anything you're unsure about, please just ask! 

    Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope it all goes well with the baby! How are you feeling at the moment?

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 485 Pioneering
    Options
    Good morning @shanh1
    Congratulations ! Just to add to what poppy has said you will also be entitled to apply for Best Start Food payments and a Best Start Grant. This link from Turn2Us gives information about what grants are available in Scotland when expecting a child.
    Hope all goes well with the baby !
     


    Online Community Adviser

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
  • shanh1
    shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Options
    Thanks @Sue_Scope I’m feeling really good been an easy pregnancy so far Thankyou, hope you’re well. I phoned this morning and they filled out the form over the phone it took 2 minutes said I would hear back in 10 working days so just a case of waiting to see, just another question, I get esa pip and housing benefit, had the same claim for few years and nothing will change apart from the fact I’ve had a baby, could I just claim child b and Scottish child payment instead of going into universal credit? Thanks for everyone’s help really appreciate it and glad I found this forum  
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    You can remain on your existing benefits but you will miss out on extra money for the baby, which will be £244.58/month. If you claim the SDP now then when claiming UC if you're still entitled to the SDP you will have the transitional protection added to your UC.
    As you're in the support group then you'll be entitled to the LCWRA element from the start of your claim. If any part of your ESA is contributions based, this will continue and be deducted in full from any UC entitlement. You will at some point up until end of 2024 (that's the expected date) be invited to apply for UC anyway.
    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
    Options
    You can remain on your existing benefits but you will miss out on extra money for the baby, which will be £244.58/month. 
    Although taht would be partly offset by the fact taht the SDP transitional protection doesn't fully compensate for the loss of the SDP.

    OP, you may want to use a benefits calculator (such as https://www.entitledto.co.uk) and put in your circumstances with a child and compare the old benefits with UC so you can see exactly what you would lose if you don't switch to UC.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • shanh1
    shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Options
    Thanks I was just doing some googling. And from what I’ve read if they owe me more than £5000 this is disregarded for 52 weeks, does that mean if I’m awarded more than £5000 owed my esa will change after the 52 weeks and they will want to know what I spent it on or I should be using it to save for when the 52 weeks are up, and esa payments stop and I have to use that in replace of that? Hope that makes sense, I would phone dwp but you guys are explaining it a bit better 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Any money they owe you will be disregarded from savings for 1 year. If after that 1 year your total savings are more than £6,000 then there's a £1 deduction for every £250 or part there of over that amount. For savings of more than £16,000 then entitlement to all means tested benefits will end.
    After the 1 year they will not want to know what you spent it on.

    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.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    calcotti said:
    You can remain on your existing benefits but you will miss out on extra money for the baby, which will be £244.58/month. 
    Although taht would be partly offset by the fact taht the SDP transitional protection doesn't fully compensate for the loss of the SDP.

    That is true but OP should still be better off when the child element is included, providing they leave claiming UC until the baby is born.
    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.
  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 485 Pioneering
    Options
    Hello
    If this is your first child you will not be able to get any money for the baby unless you claim UC in which event a child element will be included in your claim.  Until the baby is born you will be better off on ESA with the SDP.  You will lose your SDP entitlement once you claim UC and although you will get some transitional protection to compensate for the loss of this, this will not fully cover the loss of the SDP.  I'm not even sure that your ESA claim will continue after your baby is born as I understand that the birth of a first child is a change of circumstance which automatically triggers a claim for UC and you will be asked to claim UC.  If you do decide to move to UC I would suggest you do it before your baby is born while you are still in receipt of income related ESA.  This way you will "retain" your LCRWA assessment and this element will be added to your UC without the waiting period.  

    I have just read your most recent post and have just seen that poppy has also replied.  Anything under £6000 is disregarded completely. Any back payment is disregarded for 52 weeks so only capital above £6000 will be taken into account after this period.   If you have capital over £16000 you will be illegible to claim UC.  
    Online Community Adviser

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2022
    Options
    Sue_Scope said:
    I'm not even sure that your ESA claim will continue after your baby is born as I understand that the birth of a first child is a change of circumstance which automatically triggers a claim for UC and you will be asked to claim UC. 

    That is not correct, there's no rules what so ever that a claimant has to claim UC when a child is born. If shanh doesn't want to claim the extra money for the child they do not have to and their ESA will just continue as normal, as advised previously.
    Sue_Scope said:
     If you do decide to move to UC I would suggest you do it before your baby is born while you are still in receipt of income related ESA.  This way you will "retain" your LCRWA assessment and this element will be added to your UC without the waiting period.  


    I disagree. If they claim UC before the child is born this would mean the TP for the SDP will completely erode when the child element is added, which would then leave them even more financially worse off. As advised, if they do decide to claim UC the best time to do this is after the baby is born.

    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.
  • shanh1
    shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Options
    I’ve read everyone’s replies so Thankyou il take it all into account, my only worry is now that if I get over 10k in back payments will they ask what I spend this on? And say I transition to universal credit once baby is here and there is none of that money in my bank account after 1 year, they couldn’t turn round and ask me where it went and want to see what it was spent on and everything would be disregarded and back to normal, my worry is now that I’ve applied to get it backdated, it’s going to come to a head in a years time, I do appreciate all your comments 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    shanh1 said:
    I’ve read everyone’s replies so Thankyou il take it all into account, my only worry is now that if I get over 10k in back payments will they ask what I spend this on?
    That is not going to happen because it's disregarded for 1 year so you can spend it on anything you want to. It's money you're owed so it's only right that it's disregarded.

    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.
  • shanh1
    shanh1 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Options
    Thanks @poppy123456 I was just wondering as I done some Googling and it said something along the lines of because you have to “apply” for it and it’s not a dwp error , that if I had some left after the 52 weeks. But I think it’s just the best case of if I’m awarded it just taking it out of my account and using it that way maybe, thanks so much for your help it’s been really useful like I say the other forums and even dwp website never explains things enough 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    What you read was regarding DWP offical errors, where a claimant is owed money because of an error that DWP made. This would mean if the money they are owed is more than £5,000 it would be disregarded for the life of the ESA claim. I don't think this would apply to you because it's not an offical error as such. but as advised it's disregarded for 1 year.
    If after 1 year your total savings are more than £6,000 then you would need to contact ESA and housing benefit, this would include all savings in banks, ISA's and savings at home.
    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.
Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.