contributory ESA

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deebeeb

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contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 12:09PM
hello, I've been a lurker on here since day one, and am a previous BBc ouch lurker.  I aren't keen on posting as I don't feel I have the knowledge to be very helpful - but I am now asking for your help/advice.

I have been on contribution based ESA for almost 2 years.  I had the medical, the workbased interviews and thankfully was put in the WRAG with out the need for appeal etc.  I recieved a letter over the christmas period informing me that my claim would stop once the government pushed through their 1/2 year time limit.   And that I could apply for income based ESA.   I intend to do this as my illness is incurable, progressive and very painful.  I am really worried about what happens though;  will I be left with no income in the interim period?  Will I just recieve the basic ESA for 13 weeks?  At the moment I recieve about £147 a week including premiums (am also in receipt of middle rate care DLA and high rate mobility). 

Another concern I have is that I am going on holiday the first week in April as I was lucky enough to come into a few hundred pounds - will this go against me?  Even though my specialist thinks it is a good idea to get away in the warmth and sunshine for a bit?  I can just see it - my letter/medical/etc being when I am away!

Any advice would be very welcome  :-)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 01:02PM
Hi Deebeeb - first and foremost, you say:

I aren't keen on posting as I don't feel I have the knowledge to be very helpful - but I am now asking for your help/advice.

Don't feel you should only post if it's 'helpful' - just post about anything and everything!  We welcome all thoughts and opinions (as long as they're expressed within our rules, of course - you know, politely and all that  ;-) )  Come in to the Cafe for some light relief as well; being disabled doesn't have to be all doom and gloom  >biggrin<

About the ESA - it's a very new situation for all of us regarding the time limits on the contributory benefit and any subsequent transfer to income-based, so I can't say 'yay or nay' about whether you will be placed on a standard rate of ESA or not while you're claiming income-based.  I think your best bet is to phone the DWP themselves to check if payments will continue at the same rate during that process.  As for the holiday, a week isn't going to affect anything ... and no, it won't go 'against you' if you are unavailable for that short period of time, and you may not even need to have a medical anyway.

(I say 'may' because currently the DWP are being rather unpredictable on in how they are choosing to re-assess, so best to be prepared for anything   >erm< )

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 02:13PM
deebeeb,

The change from contribution based ESA to income based ESA is an administrative one that takes place once the time limit is up eg one year. It does not mean you will have to have another medical and go through assessment process again, so you benefit about as such should not be reduced because of that. Kizzy is right it would be a good idea to give the DWP and find out how your claim is going to be be moved from contribution based to income based.

People are allowed savings of up to £6000 and still get income based benefits so dont worry go and have a lovely holiday.

Monic1511

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 08:08PM
Deebeeb

A few questions about your situation - are you part of a couple?  The reason I ask is that if you are then when you move to income based ESA the DWp will consider your partner's income and if its more than they say you need to live off then you'll lose money.  If you live alone and have no other income at all and your sayings are less than £6000 then your money won't stop, you may get a letter from DWP to confirm that you have no other income coming into the house hold but other than that you shouldn't notice.

Problems arise is you have other income for example an occupational pension, with con based ESA the first £85 of your occ pen is ignored - under income based ESA none of the pension is ignored >angry<.
DLA is ignored and as long as the money for your holiday as long as its below £6K the DWP won't even consider it.

Let me know if that helps
 >hugs<
Monic

hossylass

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 08:30PM
I have a question... are all these people, whose ESA stops on April 1st, being sent means forms to fill out for irESA?

Are they being advised that they can and should be applying (re-applying) for HB, CTB, IS etc?

And if everyone is getting the right forms, or directed to the right advice, surely the system will grind to a miserable halt with the overwhelming onslaught of means tested benefit applications?

deebeeb

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 08:40PM
hi everyone, thank you for your replies.  I live alone with my 13 year old son.  Not much in savings - under a grand.  The letter I got over christmas time said I could apply for income based ESA and that I may/may not need to have another medical.  But I understood it as meaning that my current claim would become null and void and I would have to start from scratch so to speak.  I am also really worried (as are a lot of others) about the transition to PIP - but that worry can wait for another time :-)

hossylass

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 09:30PM
deebeeb,
can you remember how long your ESA award was for? if it was a three year award then you switch to irESA without the need for a medical. If your award ends the first week of April...  Can you find the award letter?

I would ring the JC+ to check how they are handling the change-over.

Meanwhile I will check to see if I can find anything...

hossylass

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 09:44PM
From here;

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/adviser/updates/proposed-changes-to-contribution/

Changes to contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance

The Welfare Reform Bill proposes two changes to contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA):

    to limit the amount of time that people in the Work Related Activity Group can receive contribution-based ESA to 365 days; and
    prevent any new claims for ESA on grounds of youth.

The 104 week linking rule is also being abolished.

We expect these changes to take effect on the 30 April 2012.

People in the Support Group and those solely claiming income-related ESA are not affected by these changes.



Claimants whose entitlement to contribution-based ESA ends after 365 days will be able to get income-related Employment and Support Allowance subject to satisfying the normal eligibility criteria.

Claimants can ask to be considered for income-related ESA at any time by contacting Jobcentre Plus and completing a form called an ESA3.
What are you doing for Claimants immediately affected by Time Limiting?

From the 29 February 2012, we will be contacting (by phone in the first instance) people in receipt of contribution-based ESA who have not been assessed for income-related ESA and whose benefit will end between 30 April and 3 June to give them early notification of the expected change to their benefit and to ask if they wish to be considered for income-related ESA.

In addition, all claimants whose benefit is expected to end by the 3 June 2012 inclusive will be sent a notification on 9 April 2012 informing them of the date their benefit will end and whether they have an entitlement to income-related ESA registered. Depending on the date the claimant’s entitlement is due to end, a reminder notification will be issued if no contact is made with the Department.

Claimants whose benefit will end after 3 June will receive 8 weeks’ notice before their contribution-based benefit ends.
« Last Edit: 03 Mar 2012 09:48PM by hossylass »

hossylass

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 09:50PM
So its not the 1st of April, its the 30th of April - phew!

If you switch to irESA you may still have to re-apply for HB, CTb etc.

deebeeb

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 10:06PM
thanks ever so much Hossylass :-)

The 'award' is open ended.  But it does state on one line 'client is aware she has an incurable progressive illness'.  then the next line 'I anticipate client will be fit for work in 2 years' !!!  They obviously are expecting a miracle to occur >doh<

So I assumed I would be reassessed after 2 years? This was in end of April 2010

The nurse practitioner who carried out my medical made out to me I would be in the support group, but no.  When I went for first work based interview thing, the woman was shocked I was there, and carried out the rest of these interviews over the telephone; then went on to say she would help me to appeal if I was placed in the WRAG again.   So confusing and unnecessary  >blush<

hossylass

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 03 Mar 2012 10:26PM
Hmmm, so you would be reassessed at the end of April, but could well be a paper assessment, as you have the award letter that states you have an incurable progressive illness.

They anticipate that you will, through a series of mandatory NLP courses and positive thinking, combined with a shiney cv and having adapted to the fact you are physically screwed, have adjusted your expectations and be prepared to die for your country - only joking (they are all sound bites from MP's) - hence the expectation of work readiness in two years.

Its a farce, as the remainder of the system doesn't work.
They assume that you will have accessible transport, adequate care, aids and adaptations, a support network, blah, blah, none of which have appeared in the last two years (I assume).

Being shocked at the work based interviews is a common thing, the people who run these are horrified by the lack of functionality of the people who are sent to them, so tend to send them home.

Anyhow, the onus appears to be on the DWP and JC+ to ensure that you get the right paperwork. The ESA50 may arrive during your holidays though, so it may be worth having someone you can trust to open your mail while you are away, and ring you if you need to get it back before you return from holiday, as that could be a problem.

deebeeb

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 04 Mar 2012 08:53AM
Hossylass, yep, thats just what I was thinking!  My sister is going to open any dodgy brown envelopes for me.  And hopefully any forms won't need filling in and sending back within a week.  I don't know how much time you are allowed to fill these things in?

hossylass

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 04 Mar 2012 10:15AM
It was 4 weeks, but the swines are thinking of changing it to two.

I dont know if this happens now, and if not when it comes in, but it was only suggested recently.

Sofie

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 04 Mar 2012 01:56PM
So its not the 1st of April, its the 30th of April - phew!

If you switch to irESA you may still have to re-apply for HB, CTb etc.

irESA entitles you to full council tax benefit and full housing benefit for your circumstances. Whereas I don't think cESA does.

hossylass

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Re: contributory ESA

  • on: 04 Mar 2012 02:04PM
Its the income, not the name.

So the income from both may be the same, and thus entitle you to  means tested benefits.
However it also may not be the same amount, so there's the caveat.
There are lots of reasons why the ESA (or IB) is not the same for everyone, from add-ons such as age related, to deductions, such as pensions.

Also, you will probably have to reapply for the other means tested benefits, because if I am any judge, the computers wont like it >lol<