Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: I think I'm getting paid too much ESA (but it's not my fault).

  1. #1

    I think I'm getting paid too much ESA (but it's not my fault).

    Well, my partner gets ESA. Income related in the support group.
    I'm self employed, she moved in with me and we told the DWP literally the day she moved in about it, and said I was self employed. We did all the correct forms, including sending my accounts with my income and everything was fine. A year later, they ask for an update on savings + my income so we send it off again no problem. We get a letter saying her ESA has been increased due to a change in savings so I presume they got this paperwork.

    However I just noticed the other day, they've never actually took my income off her ESA during the entire time she's lived with me. On the breakdown it says "income £0". So, I'm not really sure what to do. Between ESA and carers allowance I've sent the DWP my income around 5 times and have done all the paper work they've ever requested. I've done everything by the books.

    I've looked into it, including reading all the relevant Decision Maker Guides, and for the most part, it looks like they've messed up. But since it's not my fault, it would suggest I won't need to pay anything back if they ever do contact me about it.
    HOWEVER, I don't even wanna ring up and enquire about it at this point because, as far as I was concerned everything was sorted and done on their behalf correctly. I only really know all this stuff cos I nerded out and looked into how they work out self employed income in regards to ESA. In most circumstances I doubt anyone would even know they've messed up.

    So I guess my question is, what should I do? And are there any circumstances (beyond them not counting the first £20 of income a week) in which they would disregard my income?
    As it is I feel like I should just play ignorant or presume I'm missing something and not worry about it until they contact me about it.
    Last edited by TwentyPence; 16-05-21 at 14:12.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Posts
    9,822
    Does sound odd.

    Are you included as a partner on the ESA?
    How many hours a week do you work?
    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
    I am included as a partner in the ESA as we got the couples rate when she moved in.
    In regards to hours worked, it's not a set amount. Although when doing an average over a year it comes to 6 hours a week.

    I know there are permitted work levels, but that's only for the claimant and not the partner. As far as I can tell my income, regardless of how much (well, other than £20 per week), should be deducted from ESA.
    Last edited by TwentyPence; 16-05-21 at 15:05.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Posts
    9,822
    It's all going to depend on how they average out your earnings over the year.
    From memory, with a self employed partner, I think it's done differently than averaging hours or averaging 'employed' income

    They may have decided that after allowable business expenses and averaging your weekly income is less than £20?

    There again they could simply be making an error.
    In which case the longer you leave it the more they may try to claim back. (Until you challenge it as their error).
    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
    In terms of allowable business expenses. I've noticed in the in one of the Decision Maker books. It says "rent, council tax, water charges and insurance premiums on the business
    premises" are listed in the allowable business expenses.

    Despite not specifically including my council tax in my business accounts. The council tax was included in the initial joint claim, as well ground rent/service charges I believe. Do you think it's possible since I work from home that they are deducting the council tax + other bills from my property as an allowable business expense? Despite me not specifically listing it as a business expense in my accounts. That would make sense and would likely put my income as £0. (look at V5206 on https://assets.publishing.service.go...0648/admv5.pdf)

    The thing about the DWP is, you can't just ring up and enquire about this kind of stuff cos it usually ends badly. I remember before my partner moved in we rang up asking a hypothetical question of what would happen if she moved in with me and they stopped her ESA for 2 months some reason and then said it was "an error" and then we got a ton of money all at once. They probably took the hypothetical as it actually happening. So that's why I'm not really keen to ring up asking questions. Especially as it might be fine anyway and I could end up messing something up when it needn't be. But I suppose I really should. The rules for ESA in regards to selfemployment is a rocket science
    Last edited by TwentyPence; 16-05-21 at 17:15.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Posts
    9,822
    Ah, (or if you've spent a lot of time reading it maybe that should be Argh!), your link is the wrong guidance for IR ESA.

    You are looking at the ADM (Advice for Decision Makers) which is for Universal Credit and 'New Style' Contributions Based ESA/JSA.
    Which in the case of a partners earnings means Universal Credit because a partners earnings doesn't affect the others.
    (UC is a New Style benefit although it's not often referred to as such because there was no Old Style UC so there is no need for a distinction).

    You can forget what the ADM says, it doesn't apply to IR ESA.

    What you should be looking at is the DMG (Decision Makers Guidance) which is for Legacy Benefits, both CB and IR. (Such as 'Old Style' ESA).
    As your partners ESA is Income Related then it's 'Old Style' and the DMG applies.

    Ther rules for many things, like self employment, are different between 'Old Style' benefits and 'New Style' benefits; which is why there are two different sets of guidance.

    The DMG volumes/chapters for Old Style ESA can be found here:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ce-staff-guide

    You'll want Volume 9, Ch48 'General rules on Income', and Ch50 'Self Employed Earners'.

    As you know these guides are a lot to wade through, from a quick look at Ch50:
    50001 to 50026 give the generalities of if S/E applies.
    Calculation of normal weekly earnings starts at 50100.
    Business expenses start at 50190.
    I'd also do a general seach for 'partner', of course that will also find rules on business partners as well as the 'life' partner of the claimant.
    It's also often useful to search for 'Example' to see if there is one that is similar to your circumstances.

    Have fun reading.

    PS. I made a similar mistake myself when I first started doing this, but that was with the legislation itself rather than with the DM guides.
    I was looking at the 'New Style' (2013) ESA regs rather than the 'Old Style' (2008) ESA regs, a very knowledgable member who no longer posts put me right.
    Last edited by nukecad; 17-05-21 at 10:00.
    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.

  7. #7
    I actually did read those prior. I guess I got the wrong book when you mentioned allowable expenses and I quickly looked into that.
    Still. They have my financial information and since they are considering my savings correctly when determining the ESA payment. There's no reason to not include my earnings in that too since they are sent together.
    Because of that I'm just gonna presume for whatever reason I am not making enough money for it to cover any possible deductions. I am making a low amount of money so it's not unreasonable to think that is the case.

    So I'm gonna trust the ol' DWP that they're doing it correctly and not lose sleep over it.
    Thanks for all the help

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Posts
    9,822
    Probably for the best,

    You are telling them everything they are asking you for so what more can you reasonably be expected to do?
    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.

Similar Threads

  1. It's Not Your Fault
    By StarBright in forum News and general discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-07-20, 13:34
  2. Confused over phone call to CAB, but am I right to think I could be getting EDP/SDP??
    By Patron in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 01-07-16, 18:59
  3. Working is getting too much for me now need advice pls?
    By Minnirodg in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-05-15, 22:09
  4. Is there too much choice and too much new technology?
    By seriouslyfedup in forum News and general discussion
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 09-10-13, 15:30
  5. Confused about migrating from Income Support to ESA Too Much To TaKe In . HELP!!!
    By Middleaged in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 24-01-13, 01:31

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •