What benefits am I entitled to?
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Benefits Advice medical discharge armed forces

md2020md2020 Member Posts: 2 Listener
I am requesting clear and simple advice on what benefits I am able to claim regarding universal credit, employment support allowance and anything related, and an estimation of how much each should be.

I am being medically discharged from the armed forces. I am sure that there are answers to my questions elsewhere but I am not able to sift through hundreds of topics. I have tried the calculator here but it did not work accurately mixing the week/month entitlements.

I am currently getting PIP at standard rate daily living and higher rate mobility. This is the only benefit I am currently claiming.

I am unsure whether I should claim universal credit, ESA, what type of disability premium if any etc. This is extremely confusing and I am looking for a clear answer given my circumstance and PIP decision.

I only have a few weeks left to sort this out and do not want to apply for the wrong benefits

Many thanks


  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,187 Disability Gamechanger
    Are you not currently claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction? This is key because receipt of PIP triggers SDP in those benefits and receipt of SDP would prevent you from claiming UC. 

    There’s no reason why you can’t claim new style (contribution based) ESA now but whether or not you top that up with UC or means-tested ESA depends on the SDP issue.
  • md2020md2020 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi Mike thank you for your advice

    I am still employed by the Armed Forces and my address is still in the barracks. In a few weeks I will be unemployed and homeless so I am currently looking for a place to rent so I would need to apply for housing benefit once I find a place to live.

    Can you please tell me what is SDP?

    As it stands in a few weeks I will be unemployed and made homeless by the Armed Forces.

    This leaves me wondering what I should apply for and if I should apply before or after I have found a new place to live and/or out of the Armed Forces

    Many thanks
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,187 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    SDP is Severe Disability Premium. It’s a building block in the calculation of several means-tested benefits. You get it if you get a qualifying benefit, live alone and no-one gets Carers Allowance for caring for you. 

    If you have it included in the calc for HB/CTR then you can’t be forced to claim UC. The reason that’s important is that things like means-tested ESA have an SDP in the calc but UC does not so, depending on your circs, you could be worse off permanently under UC. SDP is worth up to £66.95 pw. 

    In your circs I would seek face to face advice now before you make a costly error. Check out https://advicelocal.uk/ but also https://www.gov.uk/guidance/veterans-uk-contact-us#veterans-uk-helpline if you’ve not already.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,069 Disability Gamechanger
    @md2020 hi, as you haven't yet left the forces isn't there a welfare officer (or simlar) who could give advice? if not maybe at some point you could approach the RBL or the SSAFA ?
    Having served your country I hope you get all the help you need, good luck.
    I will now only offer benefits advice on PIP, and specific benefits advice for other people with Epilepsy. 
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