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Thread: More questions about ESA

  1. #1
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    More questions about ESA

    Just have a few more questions about my ESA claim:
    If approved, do you get the basic rate before you have any assessments?
    Someone on my other posts informed me that you don't have to have worked to get it, but on the form I filled in it asked for a p45 which I obviously don't have, so does that mean I won't get it?
    So confused.

  2. #2
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    There are two forms of ESA and you are assessed for both when you apply.

    Contributions Based ESA depends on your National Insurance contributions over the past few years. It is not means tested and generally speaking there are no deductions, though certain pension payments do affect Contributions Based ESA. Contributions Based ESA is a personal benefit. It can only be paid for a year unless you are placed in the Support Group.

    Income Related ESA is a means tested benefit, available to those with low income and capital. There are deductions for other income (including certain other benefits) and for capital over a threshold. Income Related ESA is assessed jointly with any partner. There are no time limits.


    If your Income Related ESA entitlement exceeds your Contributions Based ESA, you are paid Contributions Based ESA with an Income Related top up.


    If you meet the non-disability conditions for either form ESA, you are awarded ESA at the assessment rate pending assessment. This is paid at the same amount as main phase ESA but does not include the Work Related Activity Component or Support Component. If you are not found Fit for Work after assessment, the relevant component is backdated to 92nd day of the claim (the beginning of the 13th week).

  3. #3
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    I'm not quite sure I understand, sounds a bit technical for me.
    I've never worked and I chose to apply for contribution based ESA on the claim form, so does that mean I won't get it?
    My partner works about 28 hours a week.

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    Great, I've been turned down for PIP and no doubt my reconsideration letter won't make any difference, and my ESA claim will be turned down so just expected to receive no money the rest of my life and have to rely on my partners low income and struggle constantly.

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    As everest says, you will not be entitled to Contributions Based ESA as you have never worked. Even at minimum wage, your partner is almost certain to earn more than your entitlement to Income Related ESA, so you will not get Income Related ESA either.

    There used to be an alternative route to Contributions Based ESA for those who fell ill too young to have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions, but that closed to new claims in 2012. Sadly, in your case, the system proceeds on the basis that you have more money coming in as a couple from your partner's employment than the minimum the law says you need to live on, so no entitlement to Income Related ESA, and you are not entitled to the non-means tested Contributions Based ESA because you haven't paid in to that system.

    You can proceed with your ESA claim, but seem likely only to qualify for National Insurance credits. These will not give you any money, but will allow you to gain qualifying years towards a state Retirement Pension.

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    We are struggling with just my partners wage and I don't want to have to rely on her for the rest of my life.

  7. #7
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    Sadly, means tested help is assessed jointly for couples, and your partner's income means you are almost certain not to qualify for any Income Related ESA.


    If your partner is aged 25 to 59, she might be entitled to Working Tax Credit if she worked two more hours per week (the minimum is 30 hours per week unless she is disabled or you have a child).

    There is the possibility of you getting PIP, though I know your efforts so far have not succeeded.

    You might qualify for some Council Tax help and/or Housing Benefit, even if you don't qualify for other means tested help.

  8. #8
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    i dont know anything much about the benefits system. If your partners wages supporting you both, maybe she needs to look into any entitlements to top up income. I would keep fighting for the pip if i were you. So sorry about your situation. if your partner is part time employment, are you not entitled to assistance with rent, council tax, and jobseekers allowance? i dont know for definite but my friend works 24 hours in a care home. Her long term live in partner is unemployed and he signs on and gets jobseekers, plus they get help with the rent through housing benefit. But he definitely has a benefit paid to him, either JSA or income support, im not sure, and she has wages. They have no children. Maybe their scamming, i really dont know i havent been in a relationship since i was working so dont know about couples benefits.

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    She gets working tax credit but its not much, and the housing benefit hardly helps since its like 10 pound a week off the rent, and the council tax is worse, they gave us less than a pound a week off it.
    She's got 2 loans to pay off and 2 credit cards which have been maxed out obviously because of me getting nothing so she had no choice but to use them and get loans, so she has hardly anything left every month after paying everything, and is having to do loads of overtime.
    I'm having CBT therapy as we wanted to start a family so I'd need to have fertility treatment but I was told I can't have the treatment yet because of the way I am so they made me refer myself for the therapy, even though I doubt we will be able to save for the treatment without me getting anything.
    I don't think I'd want to do jobseekers because I know they now make you go on courses and things like that so with my mental health problems I don't think I'd be able to do that.
    I've only been able to buy her a few cheap things for christmas and had to use her money so it doesn't really feel like they are off me, and it's making us argue, the money situation.
    Sorry for moaning, just don't know what to do, feel so worthless

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyp196 View Post
    If your partners wages supporting you both, maybe she needs to look into any entitlements to top up income.
    Hence my suggestion to look at Working Tax Credit (assuming tinkerjess's partner can find two more hours a week or those two hours are not needed because the partner is disabled or the couple have children).


    Quote Originally Posted by sandyp196 View Post
    I would keep fighting for the pip if i were you. So sorry about your situation.
    I agree - it's worth taking all reasonable measures to get PIP, as PIP is not means tested and does not depend on NI contributions.

    I join you in lamenting that this sort of situation occurs. The system used to be a little more generous to people in tinkerjess's situation, but that changed with the closure of SDA to new claims in 1997.


    Quote Originally Posted by sandyp196 View Post
    if your partner is part time employment, are you not entitled to assistance with rent, council tax, and jobseekers allowance? i dont know for definite but my friend works 24 hours in a care home. Her long term live in partner is unemployed and he signs on and gets jobseekers, plus they get help with the rent through housing benefit. But he definitely has a benefit paid to him, either JSA or income support, im not sure, and she has wages. They have no children. Maybe their scamming, i really dont know i havent been in a relationship since i was working so dont know about couples benefits.
    Contributions Based benefits would be available irrespective of a partner's income, but tinkerjess has never worked so cannot be entitled to these benefits. The system that used to allowed some young people who had never worked to get Contributions Based ESA closed to new claims in 2012.

    tinkerjess's partner's income is an insuperable hurdle to an Income Related benefit claim, as income is assessed jointly with a partner and the partner's income even at minimum wage is likely to be way over the underlying benefit entitlement.


    If your friend's partner has not declared he is living with someone or has not declared your friend's wages in order to qualify for benefit he is not otherwise entitled to, he may well be committing fraud. You can't hide your partner or their wages just because you don't believe those things should count against you.



    One of the court cases open elsewhere on my computer desktop concerns a married couple who divorced. The husband was the sole tenant named on the lease on the flat they had lived in for their twelve years of marriage. In the divorce, he agreed within 14 days of the decree absolute to take all steps necessary to assign the tenancy to his ex-wife as he was moving out. Both the ex partners believed that this clause in their decree absolute was sufficient to assign the tenancy.

    For a further five years, the wife kept paying the rent and spent a lot of money on the flat believing she had a protected tenancy. She experienced no problems until it was pointed out in connection with Housing Benefit that she wasn't named as the tenant on the paperwork. She wrote to the agents asking for the tenancy to be transferred to her, which alerted the landlord that the ex-husband was no longer resident and had given up all interest in the tenancy by moving out. This gave grounds for the landlord to issue notice to quit and ultimately to obtain possession of the flat in the County Court.

    The ex-wife, believing this was unjust, took her case to the Court of Appeal. With regret, the Court of Appeal noted that there was nothing they could do to help, as the law requires all assignments of a legal lease to be by deed. The language in the decree absolute was a direction to the ex-husband to take those steps needed to effect the assignment, but did not make the assignment happen.


    The irony is that if the divorcing couple had understood a deed of assignment was required, it would have been trivial for a solicitor to draw up a deed and ensure it was correctly executed (it is possible for anyone to draw up a deed, but there are some specific requirements that must be met - get it wrong and you have a signed document that is not a deed, so it is always wise to seek legal advice over deeds). Had the ex-wife taken legal advice before writing to the managing agents, the deed of assignment could have been sorted out before she wrote off to the managing agents with a copy of the deed to get the paperwork reissued in her name.

    Indeed, the situation could have been remedied by a deed of assignment executed after the notice to quit had been issued but before the deadline to quit had been reached. Once the deadline to quit passed without a deed being executed, there was nothing the ex-wife could do to get hold of the tenancy.


    The point of my story is that the law operates by what the rules say, not by what feels right. If the law says someone must work 30 hours to get Working Tax Credits or a partner's income is relevant for means tested benefits, that is how the law operates however unjust the result might be.

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