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Thread: Migration from ESA to Universal Credit - the facts.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit - Explained.

    Scroll down or click these links for more info on:


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here's a quick recap of what is happening with ESA and migration to Universal Credit at the moment.

    As of the current time: (30th May 2021).

    The whole country is 'Full Service' Universal Credit for new Income Related benefit claims.
    Any new claim for an Income Related benefit now has to be Universal Credit.

    Nobody is being made to change from Income Related ESA to Universal Credit - yet.
    This is called 'Managed Migration' and will happen, but it's not happening yet.
    The covid pandemic means the Government has now delayed the managed migration pilot scheme until April 2022.

    Contribution Based ESA will not change to Universal Credit. All Contribution Based benefits stay outside of Universal Credit.
    (It is only Income Reated benefits that will migrate).

    It does not matter which ESA group you are in. - The only criteria is Income Related or Contribution Based.

    It is possible to have CB ESA as well as Universal Credit.
    (Just like you can have CB ESA with an IR ESA top-up).

    In the future those who change from IR ESA to Universal Credit by 'Managed Migration' will not get any less money.
    (There will be 'Trasitional Protection' to make sure you don't get any less money than your ESA and other IR benefits as a total).

    BUT

    You can be changed from Income Related ESA to Universal Credit if you have a 'Change of Circumstances'.
    This is called 'Natural Migration'.

    Not all 'Changes of Circumstances' will trigger a migration to Universal Credit.
    (For instance a change of health circumstances that moves you from WRAG to SG, or vice-versa, should not trigger a migration to Universal Credit).

    It will only happen if you need to make a brand new claim for an Income Related benefit.
    (For example if you are claiming HB but move to a house to a different local authority area you will have to claim UC-Housing Element in the new area, a brand new claim).
    (If you move house in the same Local Authority area this does not apply, you can stay on HB. It only applies if you move to a different Local Authority).

    Contribution Based 'New Style' ESA WRAG ending after 365 days is a 'Change of Circumstances' that also counts.
    This is because after 365 days New Style CB ESA WRAG are over you technically have to make a new claim for Income Related benefit. So this would have to be a new UC claim.

    There is no 'Transitional Protection' for 'Natural Migration' by a change of circumstances unless you currently have SDP with a legacy benefit such as ESA or JSA
    You could end up with substantially more, it all depends on your individual circumstances.
    You need to check carefully before considering any house move, particularlarly you housing costs and any Council Tax Relief which may be different at the new house.
    If you have SDP then be especially careful about the Covid Uplift in UC - that may end in September 2021.


    Those are the main points about migration from ESA to Universal credit at the current time.
    Obviously it does not cover all the little wrinkles, that would just get too long and complicated.


    This thread will be kept closed to posts, to keep it clear of distractions, but I will try to keep it up to date.
    Last edited by nukecad; 30-05-21 at 07:56. Reason: Links updated

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Moving House and Universal Credit.

    Will moving house mean that I have to claim Universal Credit instead of ESA?

    If you already claim HB and move within your current Local Authority you can stay on your current benefits.
    If you are already claiming Housing Benefit with them you can keep claiming it even for a different property.
    This DWP memo, A7/2018, issued to Local Authorities in September 2018 explains it.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...al-authorities
    See in particular paragraphs 9 and 10. (my highlighting)
    Change of address within an LA area

    9. If an existing HB claimant moves home within the same LA area, a new HB claim is not required and LAs may continue to award HB based upon the change of circumstances. A claim to UC is not needed if the claimant moves house within the same LA area.

    10. It is only when a claimant moves out of the LA boundary that an HB award ends and a new HB claim would have to be made but is prevented by the UCFS rules. This means that a UC claim must be made for housing costs instead.
    Certain 'Sheltered' or 'Supported' housing can also still claim HB - but check that carefully, not all sheltered/supported housing qualifies there has to be a level of care included.
    'Emergency' accommodation, eg. if you are evicted/homeless, may also be HB rather than UC.

    If you are not already claiming HB then any new claim for help with rent, other than the above, will have to be for Universal Credit Housing Element.

    Making a new claim for UC housing element will mean that any existing IR ESA award (and any other IR benefit) would be 'Naturally' migrated into UC as well.
    ESA would be migrated to UC with a Limited Capability for Work element, or a Limited Capability for Work Related Activity element.

    This should not trigger a new Work Capability Assessment on it's own, but you will still have to have your regular reassessments just like anyone with LCW or LCWRA.

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    Last edited by nukecad; 31-01-21 at 12:56. Reason: SDP Gateway closed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Will I need to have a new Work Capability Assessment if I Migrate to UC?

    You do not need to be reassessed just because you Migrate from ESA to Universal Credit.

    You may need to be reassessed though if your health circumstances have changed, or if you were due for a reassessment anyway.

    It's quite rare for the Jobcentres/UC to get this wrong now, but it may still happen that they say you need to be reassessed just because you migrated.
    (Some of them still don't seem to understand that a 'Prognosis date' is not an 'end of award date').

    THAT IS WRONG.
    The DWP have argued that this is not against the law because the primary legislation says that they can reassess at anytime.
    However UC legislation says that they should not reassess just because someone has been migrated to UC.

    Insisting that you have to be reassessed before they will migrate your ESA Limited Capability element into UC is against the law.

    The Legal bit-
    "The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014" Regulation 19 clearly states that if you are migrating from ESA WRAG or ESA SG to Universal Credit then you should automatically be awarded the UC equivalent (UC-LCW or UC-LCWRA) with no need for a new assessment.

    Transition from old style ESA
    19.
    —(1) This regulation applies where–
    (a) an award of universal credit is made to a claimant who was entitled to old
    style ESA on the date on which the claim for universal credit was made or
    treated as made (“the relevant date”); and
    (b) on or before the relevant date it had been determined that the claimant had limited capability for work or limited capability for work-related activity (within the meaning of Part 1 of the 2007 Act).

    (2) Where, on or before the relevant date, it had been determined that the claimant
    had limited capability for work (within the meaning of Part 1 of the 2007 Act)

    (a) {removed}
    (b) the claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work for the
    purposes of section 21(1)(a) of the Act.


    (3){Removed}

    (4) Where, on or before the relevant date, it had been determined that the claimant
    had limited capability for work-related activity (within the meaning of Part 1 of the 2007 Act) or was treated as having limited capability for work-related activity–

    (a) regulation 27(3) of the Universal Credit Regulations does not apply; and
    (b) the claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work and workrelated
    activity for the purposes of regulation 27(1)(b) of those Regulations
    and section 19(2)(a) of the Act.


    Continues...
    (My higlighting in red).
    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/.../regulation/19
    End of Legal bit.

    If you migrate and they say you must be reassessed before getting a Limited Capability element paid with your UC to you then:
    • Politely tell them that they are wrong, ask to talk to a supervisor, and quote that regulation 19 at them.
    • If they still won't listen then ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration, (they will tell you there is no MR because they have not made a decision, again bullshine), - insist that they have made a decision not to award you a Limited Capability element and you want to challenge that decision.
    • If they grant the MR then again quote that regulation 19 at them, in writing.
    • If they still won't grant an MR then it's time for appeal, and a written complaint to DWP, (and your MP).


    Of course if they send you a UC50 anyway then there is not a lot that you can do other than fill it in and send it back.
    Once the reassessment process has started you can't stop it.

    You should still MR/appeal to get the element added from the start of your UC claim if they haven't added it from then.

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    Last edited by nukecad; 30-05-21 at 07:53. Reason: Wording of legislation was ammended in 2017

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    What happens if I am found Fit-for-Work following Assessment/Reassessment?

    Changes to the law mean that ESA assessment rate should now be paid during during a "Fit-for-Work" Mandatory Reconsideration, as well as during any later appeal.

    If you request MR of a Fit-for-Work decision then you can also ask for your ESA claim to continue at assessment rate.
    Note that this only applies to ESA Fit-for-Work decisions, it does not apply to failure to return the ESA50 or failure to attend the WCA, you will not be paid ESA during an MR for either of those.

    However remember that if you are found FFW your council may be told your ESA has stopped, and so your HB and CTR may stop.
    If that should happen then you will need to tell the council that you have asked for MR and so your ESA is still active and they should reinstate HB/CTR.

    Claiming UC during MR/appeal rather than assessment rate ESA.
    Alternatively if you qualify for Income Related benefit then you could claim UC whilst awaiting tribunal, telling them that you are appealing an ESA FFW decision.
    If you do that then you cannot go back to Income Related ESA, but the tribunals ruling on Limited Capability for Work would be applied both to the ESA before you claimed UC and, backdated, to the start of your UC claim.
    If you are appealing against a FFW decision on Contribution Based ESA then that could be reinstated alongside the UC.

    Why would you want to claim UC, rather than staying on assessment rate ESA?
    • Everybody with IR ESA will be migrated to UC in the coming years anyway, so why not get it over with now while you have the chance?
    • If you tell them when claiming UC that you are waiting for an ESA MR/appeal then they won't make you do any jobsearching, and should not refer you for a new WCA. (There is now a question where they ask about that on the UC application).
    • You can, and should, ask for the start date of your UC claim to be backdated to the date that the FFW decision stopped ESA. (Backdating of a new UC claim is limited to one month maximum).
    • The amount you will get paid with UC Standard Rate is currently higher that you would get with ESA Assessment Rate whilst waiting for MR/appeal.
    • If you win at MR or appeal then that decision will automatically get added to the UC as an LCW/LCWRA element and your money reinstated as it would have been with ESA. It would also be backpaid.
    • Any other Income Related benefit you have (Housing Benefit, etc.) will be migrated to UC when you claim it, so you only have one claim to deal with. (Again this will happen anyway in a couple of years).
    • If there is any question about whether ESA would be paid during appeal, because of a previous fit for work decision, this becomes irrelevant. UC will be paid anyway.
    • If you should lose at MR/appeal then you are already on UC and it would just continue to be paid, as a jobseeker. No need to make a new UC claim.

    The big difference will be that you get paid monthly instead of fortnightly, and that all your IR claims are in one place so you don't need to deal with different departments, and any future changes to your circumstances are much easier to deal with.

    Which you choose to do will depend on your personal circumstances and Finances.
    I suggest that you check carefully how claiming UC would affect you.
    See a benefits adviser, use one of the online benefit checkers, or ask on the forum, we'll need details of what you claim already.
    In particular Council Tax Relief can be a problem with some councils, and you may have to pay more Council Tax if you claim UC. (Unfortunately we can't realy advise about that, you'll need to ask your particular council or a local to you benefits adviser. The online calculators can usually also cope with that).


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    Last edited by nukecad; 30-05-21 at 07:54. Reason: Updated in light of changes to assessments

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Getting an Advance Payment of UC

    Government info. on getting a UC advance payment.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-advances

    That is kept updated if/when things change.

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    Last edited by nukecad; 23-01-19 at 07:41.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Can you get free prescriptions with Universal Credit?

    The quick answer is yes, but only if you have low or no other earnings, a child element, or a Limited Capability element.
    (UC can be paid to wage earners, so free healthcare is not an automatic entitlement for all UC claimants).

    https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-p...iversal-credit
    If you’re getting Universal Credit, your entitlement to free NHS prescriptions depends on your earnings for the most recent assessment period. You’re entitled if your earnings during that period were:

    • £435 or less
    • £935 or less if your Universal Credit includes an element for either:
      • a child
      • limited capability for work


    ‘Most recent assessment period’ means the assessment period that ended immediately before the date you claim free NHS prescriptions. It runs for a calendar month.
    Note that there may be no box on the back of the prescription to tick for Universal Credit:
    The patient declaration on the prescription form does not yet include Universal Credit. You should tick the Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance box and show your Universal Credit award notice as proof that you’re entitled.
    EDIT- A tickbox for UC is now included on the latest forms, but you may still get an older form.

    Here's a link to the NHS Choices page about UC and health costs:
    https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Health...al-credit.aspx

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    Last edited by nukecad; 27-01-21 at 00:36.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    What about Permitted Work?

    There is no concept of Permitted Work with Universal Credit.

    UC is a benefit that can be paid if you are working or not.

    What happens is that any earnings above your 'Work Allowance' are deducted from your UC at 63 pence in the pound.
    (ie. For every pound earned over your Work Allowance, loose 63p of your UC)

    If you have a Limited Cabability element, (either LCW or LCWRA), then your Work Allowance (from April 2021) is:
    • £515 if you don't have a Housing element included with your UC.
    • £293 if you do have a Housing element included with your UC.

    So if you have a Limited Capability element you can work and earn those amounts without it affecting your UC.
    The number of hours worked is no longer important, just what you earn.

    Always remember that any work that you do may have an effect on your next WCA if it contradicts the reasons for your Limited Capability.

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    Last edited by nukecad; 12-04-21 at 13:27. Reason: Allowance updated for 2021

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Will I be worse off on UC than ESA?

    This has now been moved to post #11
    Click Here.
    Last edited by nukecad; 12-04-21 at 13:29.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Spare for future use.
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-01-21 at 17:19.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    What if I have SDP?

    Those who have already been Nautrally Migrated to UC now have a 'Transition Element' paid with their UC to 'compensate' for the loss of SDP.
    However the EDP is still lost and is not compensated for.

    (Between 16th Jan 2019 and 27th Jan 2021 it was not possible to claim UC if you had SDP).

    From 27th Jan 2021 anyone with SDP in ESA, JSA, or IS who is Naturally Migrated to UC will also get this Transitional Element paid.

    Currently a single person will get more with UC than they did with ESA that included SDP.
    However this is due to the Covid uplift in UC and so may change in September 2021.

    The situation for couples is more complicated and you should check and take advice before Migrating to UC.

    GO TO TOP
    Last edited by nukecad; 12-04-21 at 13:30. Reason: Law changes and pending changes.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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