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Thread: How to do a change of circumstances for ESA?

  1. #1
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    How to do a change of circumstances for ESA?

    I am hoping you can help?

    My brother, who I help care for, is on ESA in the support group. He has (after a long struggle!) managed to get an offer at University for a course to start in September/October. We were not sure if he would get accepted, but today found out that the University have made an unconditional offer and, also, that he got offered his Disabled Student Allowance award and will get enough special needs support to help him do the course.

    I have done some research and it looks like he will not qualify for ESA once he starts his course, as he qualifies for a student loan. So, we need to inform the benefits office of a change of circumstances.

    At what point shall we inform the benefits office of a change of circumstances? What do we tell them? How will the transition from ESA to being a student work? Will he still get paid ESA up until his course starts?

  2. #2
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    Bump!

    Quote Originally Posted by Logflume View Post
    I am hoping you can help?

    My brother, who I help care for, is on ESA in the support group. He has (after a long struggle!) managed to get an offer at University for a course to start in September/October. We were not sure if he would get accepted, but today found out that the University have made an unconditional offer and, also, that he got offered his Disabled Student Allowance award and will get enough special needs support to help him do the course.

    I have done some research and it looks like he will not qualify for ESA once he starts his course, as he qualifies for a student loan. So, we need to inform the benefits office of a change of circumstances.

    At what point shall we inform the benefits office of a change of circumstances? What do we tell them? How will the transition from ESA to being a student work? Will he still get paid ESA up until his course starts?
    Bumping up the list as there are no replies yet (but 47 views) and we would really like some help please. Thank you!

  3. #3
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    Congratulations to your brother on his university place. Just for interest, what is he intending to study?

    DSA is a wonderful thing and, fortunately, has not yet been wrecked - though there are unfortunately moves to reform it in the future. This post comes to you courtesy of my DSA funded equipment.


    Your brother's situation depends on four things:

    • what level of course he is taking (access course, foundation degree (FD), honours degree (BSc, BA, LLB etc.), taught masters(MSci, MEng etc.))
    • whether he will be studying full or part time
    • what benefits he receives other than ESA - the benefits that are particularly relevant here are DLA, PIP and armed forces disability benefits (WDisP and AFIP)
    • whether he currently receives income related ESA, contributions based ESA or both (if you're not sure, look at a recent ESA letter)



    If you can post that information, I'll try to help.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for that.

    1) He will be doing an undergraduate BEd (Hons) in Education. Obviously disabled accessibility was an issue we considered when applying, but we did research and found a lot of primary schools are disabled access friendly. The government are trying to get disabled people into teaching, so we gave it a go to try and fulfil his dreams!

    2) It will be full time

    3) He has ESA plus DLA

    4) He gets income related ESA

    Does that help?

  5. #5
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    I forgot to add...

    I forgot to add that it is not definite that my brother will start the course just yet as we still have a couple of months to go. He is going to have a review with his Consultant to check if it is OK, and we will just see how he does over the summer in terms of his health. He really wants to study and he loves education.

  6. #6
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    Normally, all ESA is lost whilst a full-time student. However, those who receive certain disability benefits, including DLA, can stay on Income Related ESA whilst a student.

    The full entitlement to student loan and grant support, less two fixed sums which are allowed for travel costs and books in acknowledgement that not all grant and loan money is paid for living expenses, is deducted from the ESA paid during term time. This typically reduces the ESA entitlement to very little or even nothing. During some holidays, full ESA is paid.


    I wouldn't declare the change of circumstances too early, not least in case he decides not to go ahead with his course. 2-3 weeks before he starts, he should write to the office dealing with his ESA claim (contact details are at the top of a recent letter), stating he is starting a full-time degree course on the start date, pointing out that he is on DLA, and asking them to recalculate his ESA entitlement.

  7. #7
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    Thank you Flymo, you have been really helpful.

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