Contribution Based ESA

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Breeze

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Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 09:41AM
Hello,

I'm sure this has been covered many, many times so please feel free to direct me to a link if that would be better.  I had such helpful advice when i last asked a question on here i wondered if anyone could help again please?

I was put into the Support Group when transferred from Incapacity Benefit which i've been on for quite a number of years now.  I was put on Contribution based ESA and although knowing there is Contribution based and Income based, i didn't really think anymore of it.  However, having seen a post on here about help with winter fuel payments, i rang my fuel supplier to see if i could get any help.  I was told only if i was on Income based ESA, which would allow me to get £130 off my winter bills and that Contribution based doesn't qualify me for anything. I'm not sure what the rules are as which one you are put on?

I also get help with free prescriptions but am wondering - will this now change since my transfer?  It seems housing benefit is still the same so far at least, but wondering if there will be a change in that also?  Rather concerned what changes i may encounter since this transfer?

Thanks in advance.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 11:19AM
Hi Breeze - when you were receiving Incapacity Benefit (IB), did you also get an Income Support (IS) top-up with that?  Income-based ESA is now the equivalent of IS for people unfit for work - it can be paid on its own, for those who've not met the National Insurance conditions for the contribution-based benefit (ESA-C), or it can be paid as well as ESA-C.  Obviously I don't know enough about your individual circumstances to say if you might be entitled to the latter kind - it depends on various factors like; do you live alone or not, how much do you have in savings, is your partner (if you have one) employed or not, what rates of DLA (if any) are in payment.  And so on and so forth!

Free prescriptions and Housing Benefit, however, are still available if you have a low income (in your case, I am assuming that your sole income is ESA -C).  Can you remember if you filled in a form called an ESA3?  That's the one used by the decision maker to assess whether you are entitled to an income-based addition....

Sofie

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 11:20AM
Why do you get help with free prescriptions? Is it income or due to your condition?

You can't choose what E.S.A you're put on. If you're in the support group and E.S.A. is your only income, you may get the enhance disability premium. This is income based and will entitle you to the cold weather payments, the fuel thing, etc.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 11:27AM
Sofie, I think we posted at the same time - I have already explained about the free prescriptions, this might be granted according to the NHS Low Income Scheme.



KizzyKazaer

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 11:32AM
Also, the Enhanced Disability Premium applies only if the claimant (or partner, or child) is receiving DLA care component at the highest rate - it's not related to ESA groups.

Sofie

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 12:13PM
From http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/f31.htm#Enhanced

Enhanced disability premium

You or your partner must satisfy one of the following:

    be in the support group
    be under the qualifying age for pension credit and receiving the high rate care component of disability living allowance

If you have a partner you will be paid the couple rate of this premium. 

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 12:22PM
It would seem we are both looking in different places for our information, so either the DWP themselves or Disability Rights UK have incorrect info on their websites - my apologies for any confusion regarding the Enhanced Disability Premium, Breeze!  Will try and find out which is right for you  >thumbsup<

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 01:13PM
...OK, first off - thank you for bringing the EDP subject up, Sofie, because it warranted some further research.... and no matter where I was looking on the DWP's own web pages, there was no mention of the Support Group being an EDP 'qualifier' in its own right.  So I decided to get it from the horse's mouth  >biggrin<

I phoned the DWP's Benefit Enquiry Line (0800 882 200) which provides benefit information for disabled people and carers, and I can confirm that Sofie's link is indeed correct - if someone is in the Support Group, they are automatically entitled to EDP (for the purposes of an income-based ESA assessment) without having to meet the DLA higher rate care condition.  This applies to ESA only.  So I will just wipe some egg off my face now  ;-) and leave some feedback on the DirectGov site to point out this glaring omission on the DWP's part....

ESA - the benefit that the DWP make up as they go along  >biggrin<

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 03:50PM
Quote
However, having seen a post on here about help with winter fuel payments, i rang my fuel supplier to see if i could get any help.  I was told only if i was on Income based ESA, which would allow me to get £130 off my winter bills and that Contribution based doesn't qualify me for anything. I'm not sure what the rules are as which one you are put on?

Breeze,

Kizzy alreadymentioned there are several factors invovled in whether you get income based ESA or contribution based ESA or a combination of the two.

If you take another look at the letter sent to you that told you that you had been put in the Support Group and see if it has any £ amount next to the line that says Income Based. On mine there is no £ amount and so I figured I am not been assessed as entitled to income based benefit. It was easy for me to see this was correct because my partner earns works more than 24 hours week,

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/esa1-print.pdf

Page 2

Quote
6,000lFor example–earnings from part-time work–other social security benefits–if you have a partner who is working less than24 hours a week and has earnings–personal or occupational pensions.You will not be entitled to income-relatedEmployment and Support Allowance if yourpartner is working more than 24 hours a week orthey have savings in excess of £16,000.

My situation is straight forward wheras other people might have income from a pension or a partner who wors fewer than 24 hours. In wheich case i would say ring up and ask for a claim form for Income based ESA.

Your next question was abut free prescriptions. If you receive any income based ESA I think you are entitled to free prescriptions but if like me you are only on Contributions based then you will not be unless you meet certain criteria,

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/Prescriptioncosts.aspx

click on Exemption for People with a Specified medical condition.

eg diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism

There is a low income scheme http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1130.aspx

Also a working Tax Credit Scheme http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/HealthCosts/Tax_Credits_flowchart.pdf which has a earnings limit.

You mention Housing benefit at the end of you post and this suggests to me that you income is low enough to get Income based ESA because Housing benefit has earning limits too.



Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 04:07PM
If Breeze is entitled to Income Based ESA it means they are already entitled to things like free prescriptions, Housing Benefit and also help from energy eg gas and electricity suppliers. This makes the entitlement to Enhanced Disability Premium a mote point. As far as I can tell people have to already be on either Income Support or Income Based ESA before they are awarded Enhanced Disability Premium.

Breeze,

You are already in the Support group and so you are getting some income Based ESA it is worth asking the DWP about the Enhanced Disability Premium because from what Sofie and Kizzy posted you will be entitled to that too.
eg
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/FinancialSupport/OtherBenefitsAndSupport/DG_068683

Quote

If you are disabled and receive Income Support, you may qualify for a premium on top of the basic personal allowance.

Breeze

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 06:07PM
Goodness me, i'm so glad i asked this question!  It was only the thread on here about help with fuel bills that got me thinking!!  It's all very confusing isn't it?  I shall read all the links in this thread in more detail as i've not long come home after an appointment today. I certainly think i need to ring and ask about the Income Based ESA as i don't have a partner and don't have much in savings at all.  It does say in the letter that i can ask about Income Based ESA so i will!  I just accepted what the letter said without question...

Kizzy, i didn't get any Income Support top up on my Disability Benefit, but i do get DLA at the lowest rate for both care and mobility.

Thank you all so very much for your help and advice - i didn't even know about EDP, i hadn't heard of it   >doh<

I think it would be worth me ringing them up to ask about this and i will let you know what information i get back.

Thank you all so very much for taking the time and the trouble to find out as much as you can for me - i very much appreciate your help!  Thank you all and i will let you know what the powers that be say when i've phoned them.

Thank you again for your kindness and help   >star<

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 06:35PM
Hi Breeze - pleased we could all help, even if it was via 'the long way round'   >biggrin<  I will admit I am still learning myself about ESA.  I was previously employed by the DWP ("gamekeeper turned poacher", you might say  >whistle<) as an Income Support processor, so perhaps I need to take my 'IS head' off sometimes  ;-)

If all you've got coming into your household is your ESA(C) and capital below £6000 (if it was between £6000 and £16000 you'd lose a £1 for every £250) then it's definitely worth you claiming income-based ESA for that EDP.  It's currently worth £14.80 per week in 'hard cash', plus it will 'passport' you to automatic free prescriptions, eye tests, dental treatment etc.  And also - at the moment - full Council Tax benefit and full Housing Benefit for the rent the Council deems is 'eligible'.

(and yes, you're spot on, it can get very confusing  >doh<!  Will be interested to hear the next instalment  >thumbsup<

devine63

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 07:26PM
Hi Breeze

you've had some excellent advice here, but you know, it's rarely a bad idea to check in with your local Citizen's Advice Bureau and get them to give you (and your partner if you have one) a benefits check, to see if there is anything else you might be entitled to claim.
regards, Deb

Breeze

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 08:04PM
What i can't understand is why i was put on Contrbution Based ESA.  I get the same amount now as i did when i was on Incapacity Benefit. I was transferred right into the Support Group.  I pay some rent and council tax but get a rebate on both and my prescription charges i don't pay for as i have an HC2 which i applied for when i was still on Incapacity Benefit, it's not due to be renewed until about next March i think.  As i said, i don't have a partner and i get the low rate on both mobility and care of DLA.  I was wondering - are there any down sides to being on Income Based ESA as opposed to Contribution based?

I will call them tomorrow anyway.

Deb i do have a support worker so i can ask her about all of this to see what she can find out too - thanks for the advice though, much appreciated.

Monic1511

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Re: Contribution Based ESA

  • on: 20 Sep 2012 08:55PM
are there any down sides to being on Income Based ESA as opposed to Contribution based?
only if your capital is £6001 or more then you lose £1.00 from your income related ESA

Income based ESA should passport you to full housing benefit, the only proviso is if your rent is higher than the local housing rate then you would still have to make up the shortfall.  Income based ESA is like income support so you could apply for community care grants etc after 26 weeks - if you need stuff but since its the middle of the tac year these are starting to be refused more often than not.
Monic