I claim ESA. I've had a change in circumstances, and been told to claim UC. Will I be worse off? — Scope | Disability forum

I claim ESA. I've had a change in circumstances, and been told to claim UC. Will I be worse off?

markie Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited September 2021 in Universal Credit (UC)
Hi I am new here and I am wondering if anyone can help me. 
I currently claim esa and entitled to both contribution based and income 
This has been an ongoing claim for many many years.
And back in June I was moved into the support group for 2 years. 
I have now recently had a change in circumstances with my 13 year old daughter coming to live with me. 
And been told I have to claim universal credit to obtain the child tax credits. (Which I haven’t yet done) 

Going forward what will this mean, my esa is currently 131 a week, will I lose a lot of this? 
Will I have to have another assessment ?
if so will my money drop to the assessment rate?
I currently do not claim pip but have been told I should definitely try for that. 
I have also been told I won’t get transitional protection as this is a change in circumstances. 

I do claim housing benefit and council tax benefits. 
And now have applied for the child benefit. 

I have heard so many horror stories about universal credit and I’m so concerned about my esa award and if I will be worse off. 

Any help would be fantastic. Thank you. 



  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,477 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2021

    Any part of your ESA that;s contributions based will continue (£114.10 per week) but will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement.  The income related part will end. You do have a 2 week run on of the ESA though and the same for your housing benefit. After those 2 weeks it will transfer to UC.
    Your ESA Support Group award will be honoured in UC and you will receive the LCWRA element in with your maximum entitlement. Although it may take them a while to add the LCWRA element onto your claim. 
    Your UC will look something like this.
    Standard element single person (over 25) £324.84
    LCWRA £343.63
    Child element for 1st child born before April 2017 £282.50
    housing element?  for 2 bedrooms because you have your daughter living with you but you will need to check how much this is.
    There will be a deduction of £494 for your ESA.
    So you will receive your ESA every 2 weeks as normal (£114.10 per week) then your UC will be paid monthly. UC will be £456.97 + the housing element, which you'll need to check what you'll be entitled to. Your first UC payment will be abolut 5 weeks after you claim.
    Council tax reduction isn't part of UC so you will continue to claim that through your local Authority.
    You will also receive your child benefit as a separate payment.
    I realise it's very complicated but i hope this helps.
    You won't receive any transitional protection because a change of circumstances has prompted a move accross but LCWRA for UC actually pays more then ESA Support Group.

  • markie
    markie Member Posts: 2 Listener
    This is extremely helpful thank you so much @poppy123456 for your time. 
    I didn’t know my esa would continue as fortnightly payments at a reduced rate as I could never understand what income related and contribution based at the same time actually means. 


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