Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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new style esa - eligibility based on Carer's NI Credits.

I made a post before on this topic but I was probably a slightly vague in my terms of reference, so I have researched further and wish to seek opinion again.

I would appreciate some advice on my eligibility for new-style esa. I can straight away state I cannot claim Income-related (or UC as it is now), due to Husband's Pension income.  
I was in receipt of Carer's Allowance and the linked Carer's NI Credits for Tax Years 15-16, 16-17 and a few months of tax year 17-18 until I ended my claim for Carer's Allowance. I do not work and have not done so for a long time but I did work for several years for a major employer in a full time job in the 1980s and must have paid NI contributions when doing so.  

I specifically wish to ask about eligibility having been in receipt of Carer's Credits as there is so much conflicting information on other sites regarding: esa Regulation 8 and the Relaxation of the first contribution condition because I was claiming Carer's Allowance.  I wish to claim new-style esa and would be able to get a Sick Note backdated to December as I saw my GP regarding my mental health then. I assume this means the relevant Tax Years for Contributions would be 15-16 and 16-17 (as these are the two complete tax years preceding the Benefit Year in which the Limited Capability for work started) where I have a full set of NI credits for both tax years.

However, I have also read a vague statement that you need to have actually paid 1 year of National Insurance through working at some point as well. Is this true? If so, I assume my working in the 1980s would cover this. 

Another vague statement that I need to clarify is that you need to have been entitled to Carer's Allowance during the most recent complete tax year.  (I presume they mean 17-18) It did not state a specific time period e.g. 50 weeks, that means you needed to be in receipt for that tax year. I was entitled for a few months of 17-18 tax year, so I wanted to know if that would be sufficient, if this statement is indeed actually true.

Finally, another statement was that you only need to have been entitled for one week of each tax year, so would I need to bother with backdating the sick note when I go to see my GP or would it be fine to just start now from this benefits year where the relevant tax years would be 16-17, and 17-18 -  and I only have a partial record of contributions for 17-18 tax year.


Apologies for the length of this but there is little guidance elsewhere on eligibility for this based on Carer's Allowance NI credit and the relaxation of the first contribution. I ultimately want to know any responses to the vague statements I discussed and if there is any truth in them, and, based on my information, would I be entitled to make a claim new style esa? Thank you.

Replies

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,266 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello hello and welcome, I am not an expert but I don’t think you can claim the new style ESA unless you where previously claiming ESA. As you posteded you where claiming careers allowance/ credits why have you stoped claiming CA? Was is your husband claiming any benefits?
  • yellow2018yellow2018 Member Posts: 22 Listener
    In response to wilko, you are incorrect with regards to being a claimant of new-style esa. You do not have to be a pre-existing claimant. One is able to start a claim new.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    wilko said:
    Hello hello and welcome, I am not an expert but I don’t think you can claim the new style ESA unless you where previously claiming ESA. As you posteded you where claiming careers allowance/ credits why have you stoped claiming CA? Was is your husband claiming any benefits?
    That's incorrect i'm afraid. New style ESA is contributions based and claiming carers allowance will allow you to claim this if you've worked and paid at least 1 year of NI contributions at some point during your life because of the relaxed conditions.

    @yellow2018 I haven't answered your question because to be honest i really don't know the answer. I've certainly tried google but nothings come up. I'd advise getting some face to face advice from either welfare rights or a law centre near you. Good luck.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • yellow2018yellow2018 Member Posts: 22 Listener
    poppy123456, I appreciate your endeavours. You are entirely correct that Google is sparsely littered wth minor bits of information, but most of it is nonsensical to the lay person.  Firstly, I will call the DWP to try and nail down an answer and if this proves to be insufficient, I shall follow your advice and seek the assistance of a Welfare Rights Organisation.
  • yellow2018yellow2018 Member Posts: 22 Listener
    In the meantime, if anyone else has further input on the subject, please feel free to unfetter the confusion I am experiencing. Regards.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2019
    DWP are not the most reliable people to ask to be honest and i really wouldn't advise that you trust their advice. 95% of the time they're simply just reading from a screen and you and i most probably are more knowledgeable than they are.

    I'd recommend you seek advice from welfare rights rather than DWP. I can't tell you the amount of stories i've read where people have been incorrectly advised in the past.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • yellow2018yellow2018 Member Posts: 22 Listener
    poppy123456, that is a very apt point!
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