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Thread: Partner advised no longer able to get ESA

  1. #1

    Partner advised no longer able to get ESA

    Hi
    I’ve just joined this forum and there’s a wealth of information here so many thanks to everyone for the useful info, however it’s a bit of a minefield for me and I keep having to google all the acronyms! I’ve been digging through paperwork to get the full background and I’m struggling a bit with what I have to hand. Anyway, I’d be grateful for any assistance with the following situation.

    Background:
    My partner worked full time for over 20 years until around 15 years ago, when he was diagnosed with a condition which left him unable to work, and he went onto incapacity benefit.
    That (I understand) morphed into ESA. He was receiving the following (this is taken from a letter from job centre plus):

    Your living expenses: £74.35
    Extra money because in Work related activity group: £29.55
    Total income related amount: £103.90

    Then there is a comment that he has no other income so nothing is deducted.

    So far so good.

    He has just started taking a private pension (although is below state pension age) and took a lump sum to pay off debts, and now receives a monthly payment of just over what he was receiving in ESA payments. As required, he contacted jobcentreplus to advise them of a change of circumstances and received a letter stating that he is no longer entitled to ESA because his income is more that the minimum he needs to live on.

    So my question is, is that correct? Is there anything else he can do or is he entitled to anything else (he has a blue badge due to his disability but has never gone down the pip route). I’m not sure what the support group is - should he have been in that? Can he go into it now?
    Sorry for all the questions amd thanks in advance for your help

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Generally that would be correct, but something seems a bit odd in what you have told us.

    Before we get into what may be odd:
    Income is deducted £ for £ from Income Related ESA, so if he now has pension income of more than his ESA payments ESA will stop being paid.
    Technically he still has an entitlement to ESA, but not an entitlement to a payment. He's not being paid any IR ESA because his income from the pension is higher.

    If he can get re-assessed into the Support Group then, as he was a transfer from IB, Contributions Based ESA would become payable.
    That would still be affected by any private pension over £85. Half of a private pension over £85 is deducted from the CB ESA.
    eg. if the pension is £100 then that's £15 over £85, so half of that £15 is £7.50 which would be deducted from the CB ESA payment.

    To try and get into Support Group he would have to ask for a re-assessment on the grounds that his abilities to work (due to his conditions) have worsened.

    A claim for PIP seems to be in order, especially as he already has a Blue Badge, if PIP is awarded then that is not affected by income or savings.

    Now to what seems odd:
    You say "My partner".
    As a partner, ie. living together, you would normally be included on his Income Related ESA award, but you haven't mentioned that at all and it's not showing in the payments you mention.
    (That £74.35 would be £116.80 for a couple).
    Is there some reason why you are not included as a partner on his ESA claim?
    Are you not living together?
    If you are together then: Do you get benefits in your own right?, Are you working?

    PS. It does take time to get used to the acronyms. Even when you've been doing it years you still have to look some up, and the DWP keep coming up with new ones.
    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.

  3. #3
    Many thanks for the response Nukecad - apologies for not being clear on our living situation, it all seemed to happen at the same time!

    I’ve just moved in with him and he started drawing his private pension in the days before. (I’m working and don’t qualify for any benefits). He declared the change of circumstances for his pension thinking that he would ‘lose’ some of his esa due to the pension but that my income would not make any difference to his esa (reading between the lines I think he thought that he was in the contribution based esa group or possibly support group and therefore my income wouldn’t affect anything.

    So his choices are:

    he can leave it as is and as you mentioned on another thread he is ‘in receipt of benefits’ but doesnt get paid anything due to an income from elsewhere so therefore can continue to get free prescriptions/dental treatment etc

    Or

    Can try to get reassessed into the support group

    And we will look at a pip claim anyway.

    Hopefully I’ve got that all correct - and thank you!

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You actually have a bigger change of circumstances than the pension, and the pension a red-herring.

    Have you informed the DWP that he now has a partner who is working?

    If you work more than 24hrs/week then he is not entitled to IR ESA at all, so not entitled to free healthcare either.

    You said that he "received a letter stating that he is no longer entitled to ESA because his income is more that the minimum he needs to live on." you'll note that that doesn't mention anything about the pension.
    But you hadn't said that you were working and so I didn't know that there was other income they could be talking about.

    Now that I know you are working then I'd say that the letter he got is correct that he is no longer entitled to ESA at all, but that's because of your income and not because of the pension.
    As a couple your income counts jointly as his income for IR benefits.

    As he no longer has ESA at all then I'm not sure that he can even get reassessed to try and get into Support Group.
    The only way I can see to get reassesed in this situation is to make a new claim for 'New Style' CB ESA - Normally you have to have paid NI from working in the past 2-3 years to do that.
    But being a transfer from IB may give a waiver on that NI requirement though, I know that it can be waived in certain circumstances and earlier years considered (even going back to when he last worked). I'll see if I can find a similar case.


    You may also want to consult a professional advisor to get their opinion on if that NI requirement can be waived, if you do make sure to tell them the full story and especially that he was a transfer from IB to ESA.
    You will probably need an advisor help if you are relying on a special NI requirement waiver (if one can be applied) to make a NS ESA claim.
    You can find local advisors by putting your postcode in here: https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser
    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.

  5. #5
    Thanks nukecad - much appreciated!

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