Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.
Have your say about your online community! Complete our annual survey.

Contribution ESA and OU Study

Hi there. I am receiving support group ESA contribution based. I am looking to start study with the OU part time at 60 credits per year starting in October. Mostly as I need to keep my mind occupied. I am housebound. My ESA assessment was based on inability to walk far, incontinence and other issues including social anxiety and fear of going out alone. I also receive PIP enhanced on both components. I am just starting PIP and have been receiving ESA since November last year. I would love to work but my condition fluctuates everyday and some days I physically cannot get out of bed. The good thing about the OU is that they provide help with things even from bed. Like audio books and bed tables. 

I want to know if I need to make DWP aware of this as it shouldn't effect my benefit. My tuition loan goes straight to fees and I will likely receive maintenance loan but I'm already on contribution based anyway. I would ideally like to not to have to ring them as I have just been awarded pip after tribunal from March 2018, that's how long that process was. I dont want to have to go through re assessment because of this. As my illness is still just as bad as it was when assessed. 

Thank you. 

Replies

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

    Yes, you will need to ring them to tell them that you're starting OU. All changes do need to be reported, even though you're claiming CB ESA and it won't affect the amount you receive. Do be aware that it could go against you the next time you're assessed, if your course contradicts the reasons you're claiming ESA.

    If you receive housing benefit then you will also need to report the changes to your local council because the student loan is classed as income for this.

    Good luck with the course.
    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.
  • HayleyGeekHayleyGeek Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I don't claim housing. This confuses me as I thought the making them aware of changes is specific to changes that would affect the amount I receive or if my condition has changed. None of those things have happened. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @HayleyGeek, you will need to ring then but as long as it doesn't go against why you claimed the benefit in the first place then it shouldn't affect the amount you are receiving. What course have you decided to study? I hope you really enjoy it :) 
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • HayleyGeekHayleyGeek Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thank you. I'm doing a natural sciences degree. My reasona for claiming ESA are purely physical reasons. Am.i able to get a copy of my ESA 50 form? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't claim housing. This confuses me as I thought the making them aware of changes is specific to changes that would affect the amount I receive or if my condition has changed. None of those things have happened. 
    It's still change of circumstances because you're starting a college course. It's not the ESA50 form you need to ask for, it's the ESA85 which is the assessment report.
    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.
  • HayleyGeekHayleyGeek Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Perfect. I have double checked with the open university and the welfare adviser their says that you do not need to tell.them as long as the study will not suggest your benefit in terms of financial income. It wont as I am on contribution based. Also with it being part time study of 16 hours per week it isnt a requirement to tell.them 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry but i totally disagree, you do need to tell DWP that you're attending college, even though your money isn't affected.

    It's a change of circumstances and on all letters it does state that all changes must be reported.
    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
    There's some nasty people out there and someone could report you for attending college, which is the most important reason why you need to tell DWP. By telling them then you're covering yourself.
    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.
  • HayleyGeekHayleyGeek Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I've told dwp on the phone briefly whilst requesting my ESA documentation. She says it wint affect it as I'm contribution based. But to send in confirmations to them once it's all confirmed with the UNi, I will send a cover letter also explaining why I'm undertaking a degree and how the universory are flexible around my needs and go into detail as my illness fluctuates everyday. Some days better than others but in pain always. Therefore OU lets me study from bed and it's all online so no affect on my social anxieties 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm glad you rang them, it puts your mind at rest if nothing else. Good luck with the course! :)
    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.
  • HayleyGeekHayleyGeek Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thank you for your help 
Sign in or join us to comment.