Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Just what is going on with ESA these days?

LeeA380LeeA380 Member Posts: 53 Connected
I have been claiming ESA due to an accident at work since mid july 2020. 
Of course, next month is the "end" of my claim.

I am awaiting a telephone assessment to see if this can be extended or whatever (I phoned them today and the guy told me a call was planned from around August 2020, yet no-one has bothered to ring me).

I also learned that rather than ESA continuing into the next 12 month period until assessment, it actually gets suspended immediately.

How is this my fault? I know I am not the only one in this predicament!
Covid or no covid is not hard to arrange a telephone interview! I am now thinking that DWP are using the pandemic as an excuse.

So what can I do next? Apply for UC? What if I don't get it? Live on the streets?

Replies

  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,686 Disability Gamechanger
    If you are eligible apply for UC. You can receive UC at the same time as ESA anyway (depending on your financial circumstances). Obviously you may not be due any payment, particularly if you have a working partner. You can use a benefits calculator to check.

    Government have been lobbied to extend the 12 month limit on ESA for those waiting for assessments but all such lobbying has fallen on deaf ears.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • LeeA380LeeA380 Member Posts: 53 Connected
    calcotti said:
    If you are eligible apply for UC. You can receive UC at the same time as ESA anyway (depending on your financial circumstances). Obviously you may not be due any payment, particularly if you have a working partner. You can use a benefits calculator to check.

    Government have been lobbied to extend the 12 month limit on ESA for those waiting for assessments but all such lobbying has fallen on deaf ears.
    Hi Calcotti.

    I used a benefits calculator and it told me I could get £411 per month but minus £323 unearned income (i,e. ESA benefits that I am on?), which would leave me with around £80 per month?

    Surely I am not expected to live on £3 per day?
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,686 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 16
    LeeA380 said:
    calcotti said:
    If you are eligible apply for UC. You can receive UC at the same time as ESA anyway (depending on your financial circumstances). Obviously you may not be due any payment, particularly if you have a working partner. You can use a benefits calculator to check.

    Government have been lobbied to extend the 12 month limit on ESA for those waiting for assessments but all such lobbying has fallen on deaf ears.
    Hi Calcotti.

    I used a benefits calculator and it told me I could get £411 per month but minus £323 unearned income (i,e. ESA benefits that I am on?), which would leave me with around £80 per month?

    Surely I am not expected to live on £3 per day?
    You wouldn't be because you'd be getting the ESA too. If the ESA has stopped you'd be getting the full UC of £411.
    UC is, of course, set to fall by £87/month in October when the COVID uplift is removed.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,686 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 16
    It's ludicrous isn't it. 
    Back in january 
    https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/dwp-has-no-plans-to-extend-time-limit-for-payment-of-contributory-esa-where-claimants-have-reached-365-day-limit-but-not-had-work-capability-assessment
    And the underlying reason is obvious - Fewer than 40,000 ESA WCAs were completed in the quarter to September 2020, down from 170,000 a year earlier, according to DWP statistics.
    I hate the way official response to a question/challenge is to say we are doing xyz when xyz doesn't directly address the problem raised. 

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • LeeA380LeeA380 Member Posts: 53 Connected
    Surely if I click submit on my online UC claim, then my existing benefits will be stopped (apart from 2 weeks grace)? So I wouldn't be getting any benefits at all if my claim failed with UC.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,108 Disability Gamechanger
    With you all the way on that @calcotti
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,686 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 16
    LeeA380 said:
    Surely if I click submit on my online UC claim, then my existing benefits will be stopped (apart from 2 weeks grace)? So I wouldn't be getting any benefits at all if my claim failed with UC.
    That is broadly correct which is why it is important for people to check their UC entitlement by using a calculator before claiming. However the benefits that stop are only income based benefits such as Tax Credits, Income support, income based JSA or income based ESA and Housing benefit. New style ESA which you are claiming is not means tested and is not affected if you claim UC (but, as explained, the ESA you receive does reduce the UC payable).
    Are you claiming any benefits besides new style ESA?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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