Unexpected letter & Form ESA3. We need to look at your claim. — Scope | Disability forum

Unexpected letter & Form ESA3. We need to look at your claim.

Firstly, my apologies if this is not the place to put this question.

Hello,  my husband has just received a letter entitled ''we need to look at your claim''.  To do with also being eligible for income related ESA from 28 November 2012.  With this letter, was a form to fill out, ESA3. He is currently on ESA contribution based, please, can anyone give me some advice.  He has been told by DWP that the claim will not affect being on Contribution based, and that he will not be forced onto income related ESA,  is this the case, or has he been misinformed?  Also, we have heard that going onto Income Related ESA could lead to being put onto Universal Credit, whereas, we believe that if he stays on Contribution based, he will not be placed on U.C (if what we have heard is correct).  Although this could initially mean some money, are there any repercussions for the future due to this claim?  I would be most grateful for any help offered. 
I hope this makes sense.
Many thanks


  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    What is it about?
    When Incapacity Benefit claimants and some SDA claimants were transferred to ESA the DWP failed to assess whether they should have received an Income Related ESA top-up to the Contribution Based ESA that they were awarded.

    Top-up not replacement
    The first thing you need to be aware of is that this is an ESA(IR) top-up to your existing ESA(CB), it does not replace it, you remain entitled to your ESA(CB).

    Universal Credit
    This is a an amendment to your existing ESA claim, it will not result in a transfer to UC as a new claim is not being made. To emphasise again, whilst the ESA(IR) element will at some time after the end of 2019 be transferred to UC, the ESA(CB) element will remain in payment and unaffected.

    Not a reassessment of your award
    This is not a reassessment of your existing ESA award, only whether you are eligible for the ESA(IR) top-up.

    How to qualify
    There are several reasons you may qualify for the top-up;

    1. you qualify for one or more of the ESA Premiums
    1.1 The Enhanced Disability Premium is paid for being in the Support Group, you are receiving DLA Higher Rate Care or you are Receiving PIP Enhanced Daily Living.
    1.2 The Severe Disability Premium is paid if you receive an enabling benefit such as DLA MRC or HRC or PIP Daily Living, no one receives Carers Allowance against the enabling benefit and you live alone or are considered to be living alone.
    1.3 The Carers Premium because you or a partner are entitled to Carers Allowance.
    2. The couples Personal allowance is payable.

    What stops you being entitled
    The first thing to say is that this ESA3 is looking at your financial situation over the whole period from when you were transferred to ESA up and till today. You may qualify for the whole period, you may have qualified on transfer but not now, now but not then, or just for periods during the whole period.

    There are three reasons why you would not be entitled, any one of the following will prevent payment of ESA(IR);

    1. Your household savings and assets exceed £16,000, or they exceed £6000 and the deduction from your ESA(IR) exceeds the ESA(IR) you would receive.
    2. Your partner works for 24 or more hours a week.
    3. Your household income exceeds the amount of ESA(IR) that you would receive. Note: Even if your pension is disregarded for the purposes of your ESA(CB), it is not for ESA(IR) and will be deducted in full.

    You are not sure that you qualify
    Rates have changed over the years but you can put your information into one of the online benefit calculators, see


    You do not think you qualify
    If you are certain that throughout the period in question you are not eligible for ESA(IR) then you can return the form uncompleted, the DWP for there own records will want a reason for this, you can either tick one of the boxes that they supply or add your own explanation
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • taf
    taf Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you so much for your answer cockneyrebel.  I do not think that I will be entitled to a refund, as both of us are disabled and in receipt of ESA CB.  I am also in receipt of a small pension of £92 pcm and DLA, high mobility and low care components.  My wife is also on PIP both components enhanced.  Does not sound promising does it?
    Again, I very much appreciate your quick response to me.
    taf's husband Edward


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