Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Claimed Income related ESA using form ES3. Reply letter says must claim Universal credit. Why?

My welfare rights advisors have told me under no circumstances to apply for universal credit and that the DWP AND my local council offices will tell me I must claim it and can't claim Employment and Support Allowance. I had felt some reassurance and had been spreading the word to others about this outrageous situation. Very stressed as have today received letter from Job Centre Plus post handling site B saying in second paragraph and onwards;

The area you live in is a Universal Credit Full Service area. This means that you can not claim Employment and Support Allowance and must make a claim for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is a monthly payment for people who are on low income or are out of work. It's being rolled out in stages across the UK and is replacing other benefits. How much you'll get depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have.

You now need to make a claim for Universal Credit.
If you have any questions ( telephone numbers and times).'


This letter ignores the fact that I am already on ESA and am claiming for the higher rate because my income has changed, due to breakup of relationship so that I now live alone. I can speak to welfare rights people locally - they are good and helped me fill in my form but over the weekend I am feeling bad so is there anything I can do? Can anyone advise? 

I am recovering from cancer and have CPTSD.


Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    When you lived with your partner were you claiming Contributions based ESA or were you claiming ESA as a couple?
    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.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you notified them of a change in circumstance ?
    Do you claim SDP ?
    Do you claim PIP ?

    At the moment a change in circumstance can trigger a change to UC. The current exception is if you are claiming SDP then you cannot make a claim for UC and will have to wait for managed migration to start
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    poppy12345 I was claiming Contributions based ESA for myself alone. My partner worked at first but then retired. I claimed this other income based one when he left in November. 


  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Can I ask what Brian Blessed means on both your posts? Confused as to whether you are the same person!
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Brian Blessed tag is given by Scope to members that respond frequently to questions. It is a bit confusing
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Not used to how to see answers- keep getting logged out
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    I kind of wish they wouldn't! 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2019
    Lilegg said:
    Can I ask what Brian Blessed means on both your posts? Confused as to whether you are the same person!
    That's just based on the number of posts we've made. If you look closer that's not our forum name, my name is Poppy123456. We are not the same people. The other person's name is CockneyRebel.

    To answer your question. As you already have a claim for ESA then there should be no reason why you can't claim the income related top up, it's just filling out the ESA3 form.
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
     My original post was long so sum it up I can say that I want to stay on ESA but need to qualify for a higher rate than I have been on because my partner has gone and so I have less coming in. I have been told by 3 different bodies concerned with welfare rights, Macmillan CAB, BUCFP in Brighton and the FED that I should not apply for UC. Despite this legally sound advice the ESA office has replied to my application for ESA (Income based) by saying I need to claim UC as it is being rolled out in our area.

    This is an official government letter.  This sort of letter makes claimants vulnerable and in my view is a way to deflect us from benefits we are entitled to.

    There is no way back onto ESA once one has been taken off, even if one can prove it was caused by incorrect advice from the benefits agency. 

    All of us need to protect ourselves against this and work together to change it. Any ideas what to do next Poppy or Cockney?

  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Oh and CR  - apologies, I don' know what SDP is.... I am claiming PIP and am entitled to ESA too. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    SDP (severe disability premium) is paid on top of Income related ESA to those that live alone, or classed as living alone, no one must be claiming carers allowance for you. You must also be claiming daily living PIP. Of course you need to be claiming income related to claim this as it's not paid on contributions based.

    As i advised, as you already have an ESA claim then there's no reason why you can't claim the income related top up. I can't find anything online that says otherwise. If i find something, i'll post a link. In the meantime i'd advise contacting your local MP and explain your situation, maybe they can help you.
    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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    One thing that comes to my mind. Are you claim old style contributions based ESA or new style ESA? The answer to this could change things completely.

    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Oh Poppy this is great. My Mp is very good and already helped me when I had my PIP taken away. I got it back thanks to working full time on it with a temp PA and various welfare rights groups where I live. (Can give more detail of them and what they said if needed but trying to keep to the point). I am receiving PIP but not the higher mobility rate which I am awaiting a tribunal for. I wonder if there was no mention or discussion of SDP  because I don't fit the criteria? I have good physical mobility ( can walk, exercise etc) but can be immobilised for other reasons - i.e. the activation of the trauma elements of severe ( complex) PTSD. Its hard to explain but terrifying flashbacks are the one most people understand.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Please answer my question above. Are you claiming old style Contributions based ESA or new style ESA? If you're not sure then  how long have you been claiming ESA for?
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Hi poppy , I didn't see this at first but I am currently receiving contributions based ESA but need and have applied for using ES3 form, the income related one. Is that's the new style one you refer to? I am so sorry I didn't see this for ages Poppy. ESA since 2015/16. My records need organising at moment but a long time. Does this answer you ok?
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    edited February 2019
    I was diagnosed with Breast cancer in Sept 2015 and didn't claim for a month or two as I was too ill and too shocked. I have all the award letters on file. I can look later for precise date if it helps? - but end of 2015. I think I should go and get some sun and come back in  a while as I need the outdoors.  Hoping other kind bloggers can also enjoy the sun if you have it where you are. I will be back very soon though so please do post any replies. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Lilegg said:
    Hi poppy , I didn't see this at first but I am currently receiving contributions based ESA but need and have applied for using ES3 form, the income related one. Is that's the new style one you refer to? I am so sorry I didn't see this for ages Poppy. ESA since 2015/16. My records need organising at moment but a long time. Does this answer you ok?
    No problem at all, it's easily missed. My guess is because you claimed back in 2015 then it will be the old style contributions based ESA. This means that my advice above is correct, there should be no problems with you claiming the income related top up. Definitely contact your local MP regarding this. Good luck and please come back and let us know the outcome.

    If no one claims carers allowance for looking after you and you're claiming the daily living award of PIP then you should be claiming the Severe disability premium on top of your contributions based ESA. This premium and the Enhanced disability premium will give you an extra £80.70 per week.
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Thanks Poppy. My daughter claimed carer's allowance for a while but then stopped as she couldn't care for me due to her work. I wonder if that is what they have seen other record going back? I answered truthfully that nobody claims Carer's allowance for me and they don't but someone did a long time ago. 
    An extra £80.70 would be great. 
    I will definitely keep you all up to speed. I feel this is a very good forum. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The reason you can't claim the SDP now is because your claim is contributions based. You need to be claiming the income related top up before you can apply for the SDP.
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Ah yes, I understood that as you explained clearly. It' snot t issue though. I applied for income based before Christmas and my post here is about being refused it today. In the letter I received today it says;   The area you live in is a universal credit service area. This means that you cannot claim employment and support allowance and must make a claim for universal credit.
    Once again I have been warned so many times not to fall for this and have been told that I'm fully entitled by law, to claim as I currently am doing, employment and support allowance. I have had a payment of this, albeit at the lower rate that I am currently on into my bank account this week. Because my partner has left I should be entitled to more ESA and I've applied using form ES3 but this letter of reply from job centre plus says I cannot claim Income related and puts pressure on me to apply for a benefit which would give me much less support, the notorious Universal Credit.  I don't want to claim SDP, just income related ESA ( IR ESA). Maybe I will need to claim SDP too later on but for now just IR ESA is what I seek.
    Universal credit cannot be left once you are on it so I feel like a cat on hot tin roof here. Thanks everyone. We'll get to the bottom of this. I hope that we can get as many people as we can their proper entitlement.
    Yes my Mp will be very keen to take this up. She's a good sort.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I totally understand what you're saying. As i advised and the advice you've had from advice agencies that there shouldn't be any issues in you claiming the income related top up on your contributions based ESA, even though all areas are now a full UC area.

    The SDP i advised you about is part of the income related top up, which you're entitled to because you live alone as i advised.
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Poppy you are good!  You are helping me to know I can do this thing. At last gottit!

  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    I receive the basic mobility component of PIP and perhaps there is a conflict in their minds between this entitlement and SDP? No reason why there should be though. I will hope to speak to the organisation here that helped me - BUCFP welfare rights, as soon as I can and I know that's what my MPs office always recommend I do. Meanwhile I will send an email to my MP with my last award letter for ESA and this latest letter of telling me I don't qualify and must now claim Universal credit. 
    It is the weekend and the sun is out here and maybe is shining where you are so this is just an update to let you know my latest thoughts. There's no pressure from me to reply to this part unless you want to and if so, you're welcome to reply tomorrow. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If it's just the mobility part of PIP you receive then unfortunately this won't entitle you to claim the SDP with your ESA. To claim this you must be claiming the daily living part.

    No sun here today, sadly. Hopefully the sun will return tomorrow :)
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    edited February 2019
    Hi Poppy I claim both so I am not sure what extra amount I should get now. I am already receiving single persons council tax discount thankfully.

    Ok I will send sun to you - happy to share it!  :)
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    edited February 2019
    Hi Poppy, I've remembered that  I had to resend my form as I missed some answers. My claim was in November and I was sent a photocopy of my original form to fill out early this month after chasing up progress of said form. Perhaps they are treating it as a fresh claim? I think they should not but if I can't stop them deciding this I will be put on UC.
    I have sent all my info off now to BUCFP and my Mp.  - apart from  a copy of my form and I need to get help to do that.  :)
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Are you saying that you started your ESA claim in November 2018? I thought you said that you started your ESA claim in 2015? or are you talking about the ESA3 form?
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    edited February 2019
    my claim began in 2015 or early 16 . This latest one was the ESA3 form in Nov 2018, yes. I then had to fill in missing areas when they sent it back to me. I had left some areas blank accidentally having received telephone assistance to fill the form in.  That was on the 6th. My cognition is impaired when I am very stressed. 
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Let's make that clearer. Sept 2015 breast cancer diagnosed but worked for a couple of months until too sick then claimed ESA end of 15 start of 16.
    In November 2018 I have parted with my partner and so I need to claim a top up of my ESA which is contributions based. I was advised I now needed Income related so applied by sending a completed form ESA3 on 18th Dec 2018.
    I followed up with a call in late January this year because I had expected a quicker response and needed my money. This, together with my MP writing to them speeded things up so that I received a form to fill in and I sent it off promptly on 6th Feb this year. The issue was that I had not filled it in properly - a lot of answers were missing. I had filled it in with telephone help and have learned the hard way that this doesn't work for me when I am getting activated with symptoms.
    So, as soon as the form came back I sent it away and the letter quoted from at the head of this thread has been the result.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm starting to think that it's New style ESA that you claimed back at the very start of your claim. If i am correct then it won't be possible to claim any income related top up on this ESA because it's contributions based.

    If you have claimed the old Contributions based ESA then claiming an Income related top up would have possible.

    It's very confusing between Contributions based (old style) and New style.

    I'd advise you to ring DWP and ask them is it New style ESA that you're claiming. Or have a look at a recent letter of your award for ESA and check the phone number at the top. If it's New style ESA then the number will be different.


    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    edited February 2019
    Hi Poppy, The number on my letter is for contributions based and income related. So the number is 0800 1690310. This may be better news for me.

    Any thoughts? I am inclined to get in touch with a W Rights person and also call my Mp before calling the ESA people. It will feel good to have you and them ready in the background if things get awkward. I feel they should not and can't transfer me to UC.  :)

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, that's the old contributions based ESA.

    Please be aware of using names on the forum because scope don't allow that.

    All you can do really is what i advised. Hopefully you'll get some answers from them. 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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Ok will edit now. Thanks! I will follow your advice and have already emailed the relevant people so can go for it immediately tomorrow.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Ok i knew i'd read something a few months ago and been trying to find where i'd read it so i could put the link up for you. I found it, took me forever lol.

    Taken from that link. Take note of the last sentence in bold. What you need to do is ask for a supersession. This is when you ask DWP to look at the original decision again and to change it. Extremely complicated to explain on a forum thought but doing this you'll be able to claim the income related top up.

    When does natural migration occur?

    Migration to UC is complete in any case where a claimant makes a new ‘claim’ for UC.1 (‘Claim’ is not defined, and arguably someone who withdraws the claim before it is decided, or whose claim is defective, has not made a claim, but this point is yet to be tested.) A claimant who makes a new claim for jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) or ESA may well feel obliged to claim UC, having found that her/ his income-related ESA has been abolished – see below.

    But other scenarios are possible. For example, a claimant who relocates to a UC full service area is unable to make a new housing benefit claim and is likely to feel obliged to claim UC instead. An ESA claimant in a full service area who has a first child will not be able to make a new claim for tax credits, and again may well claim UC instead. In both cases the result is that all legacy benefits, including income-related ESA, are abolished. But a claimant getting old-style contributory ESA can still top this up with income-related ESA, rather than UC: the addition of income-related ESA would be by way of a supersession rather than a new claim for ESA.



    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Poppy this is brilliant. I feel well prepared now to do this and I am so grateful for your compassion, doing all this at the weekend for me. Wishing you opportunities to enjoy the spring sunshine very soon.  <3
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're very welcome! Please speak to welfare rights about the supersession and they will help you do that.
    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Thank you Poppy. I can speak to Welfare Rights when they open tomorrow.

     I am trying to move home to somewhere with much better environment ( less mouldy and noisy) and with lower upkeep, possibly not too far from where I now live. I hope being on UC, if I do get put onto it, would not effect that process adversely. There is some protection of money from selling one's home under ESA but things may be less reliable under UC. Does anyone know?  Asking this question to help me to stop worrying and put me on the right track with any research I need to do. also to help me assess how hard I need to fight as energy must be directed to being well not battles wherever possible. Oh yes, I will need to start a new question for this matter but if helps me to write it first here so I beg indulgence.

     Get my supersession advice first.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Hi Poppy and anyone else. My supersession might be tomorrow. That is, I have a meeting with Welfare Rights at which they will make a call and perhaps the supersession will happen then? I will take my latest letters but don't have complete tabs on all the other letters going back because something happened to some it. I should be able to recover most but not all by tomorrow. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    You won't have the decision tomorrow. With a supersession you need to request it first and then a decision maker looks at your claim to see if the original decision can be changed because you're claiming contributions based and you want to claim the income related top up. As all areas are not a full UC area then this will be the only way to claim the premiums but it can take at least a few weeks.




    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.
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    That gives me time to get more of my papers nailed down and in order which I need to do anyway. I can get my thoughts together likewise. I will sleep easier tonight. Thank you again Poppy!
  • LileggLilegg Member Posts: 39 Connected
    On my recent scary letter ( 20th feb 19) it does say that I live in a full UC service area but I think this was not the case when I originally claimed and as I've said, they returned my original form to me to fill in the omissions I made so I hope that will make it an application which will be ruled as from the days before we were fully UC area. Again will read the link tomorrow. Thanks again!
  • alldredalldred Member Posts: 3 Listener
    SDP (severe disability premium) is paid on top of Income related ESA to those that live alone, or classed as living alone, no one must be claiming carers allowance for you. You must also be claiming daily living PIP. Of course you need to be claiming income related to claim this as it's not paid on contributions based.

    As i advised, as you already have an ESA claim then there's no reason why you can't claim the income related top up. I can't find anything online that says otherwise. If i find something, i'll post a link. In the meantime i'd advise contacting your local MP and explain your situation, maybe they can help you.

  • alldredalldred Member Posts: 3 Listener
    hi poppy do you know what happens with a change of circumstances house move when there is a joint claim for income related esa and both people are severely disabled ? I receive carers for my husband as well and also have a daughter at home on high rate pip ? x
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    alldred said:
    hi poppy do you know what happens with a change of circumstances house move when there is a joint claim for income related esa and both people are severely disabled ? I receive carers for my husband as well and also have a daughter at home on high rate pip ? x
    Hi,

    Your husband and your daughter claim PIP yes? what about yourself, do you claim daily living PIP or mid/high rate care DLA?
    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.
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