Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder nks22 Novitiate

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    Default ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Up until last July I was self-employed but not earning much so I received working tax credit. In July I stopped work and registered for ESA. I've since had various assessments and have been placed in the work-related category.

    My tax credits included a disability element and I was (initially) pleased to discover the payments would continue for the first 28 weeks of sickness. It's currently worth 100.97/week.

    My new income-based ESA entitlement is 89.80/week but because of the WTC I receive nothing. However I do receive 89.90/week as contributionicon-based ESA.

    I have put in a claim for mortgageicon interesticon - worth 560/month. I just rang up about that and was told I wouldn't be eligible as I received contributionicon-based rather than income-based ESA (not confirmed - someone is supposed to ring back about that).

    Also, because of the WTCs I don't qualify for Council Tax Benefit (which would be worth about 20/week).

    On this basis it looks like my Working Tax Credits are costing me far more than they're worth. Can this be right? If so, can I unilaterally cancel my tax credit claim and so restore my eligibility for the mortgageicon and council tax relief?

    (And without WTC would I receive both income-based and contribution-based ESA or would the former simply replace the latter?)

    I find the whole thing really confusing (including their explanatory letters) so would be very grateful for any advice.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by nks22 View Post
    I have put in a claim for mortgageicon interesticon - worth 560/month. I just rang up about that and was told I wouldn't be eligible as I received contributionicon-based rather than income-based ESA (not confirmed - someone is supposed to ring back about that).
    This isn't true as you can get both income and contributionicon based.

    When your mortgageicon costs are added after 13 weeks, this will bring you into entitlement to the income based top-up.

    And your tax credits should end 4 weeks after stopping work, not 28.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder nks22 Novitiate

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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    This isn't true as you can get both income and contributionicon based.
    So what would I be receiving if I didn't get WTCs? Not both at the same time, surely - i.e. 2 x 89.90?

    When your mortgageicon costs are added after 13 weeks, this will bring you into entitlement to the income based top-up.
    That seems logical. Even so I still seem to be worse off from receiving WTC with Council Tax.

    And your tax credits should end 4 weeks after stopping work, not 28.
    It's 28 weeks if you stop work because of sickness. (See HM Revenue & Customs: Tax credits when you can't work due to illness )

    Thanks.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    contributionicon based ESA payment rates
    During the initial 13 week assessment phase people over the age of 25 will be paid 64.30 per week, people under the age of 25 will receive 50.95 per week.


    Once the assessment phase has been completed you will receive a basic allowance of 64.30 per week plus either a support component of 30.85 per week for those who are placed in the support group or a work related activity component of 25.50 per week for those placed in the work related activity group.
    If you are on a low income, you may be able claim income-related ESA as well to increase your allowances. If you meet both the criteria for contributionicon based and income related Employment and Support Allowance then you will receive whichever is the greater between the ESA (Cont) personal rate and your ESA IR applicable amount

    Basically this states that you are receiving the correct money at present
    64.30 and the Disabilty Premium of 25.50
    You are getting it as contribution based ESA as you have paid enough stamps, but if you hadnt paid enough it could be topped up to this amount by Income Based ESA
    But it would never go over your applicable amount, the amount the law says you to live on of 89.90.
    You could in theory get both but never more then the above amount

    If your contributions run out then you would go over to IB ESA and still get 89.90

    With regards to your tax credits if you are self employed and go on the sick eg ESA then you can claim them for 28 weeks, At the moment they are doing you no harm you are ok becauce you are claiming CB ESA but if you were to go on IB ESA eg your stamp ran out, then they would be classed as an Income and would close your claim so it would be best to cancel them then. But check to see if this is ok because as WTC would be classed as a possible income and you would be claiming a
    an Income Based benefit.

    WTC is stopping you getting CTB but thats no problem as its a lesser amount, Only time to cancel them maybe is when your ESA changes over but they may have run out by then.

    You will be entitled to help with your mortgageicon after thirteen weeks

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  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder nks22 Novitiate

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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Thanks, that all makes sense. I've just passed the 13-weeks so should now be eligible for the mortgageicon relief (and my lender has completed and returned the form to the DSS). I believe they can be a bit slow to process claims, though.


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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    They have a backlog, your local process centre mortgageicon team deal with JSA and I.S claim as well so it is just a bit busy at the moment but give them a ring if you dont hear by a few weeks


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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by nks22 View Post
    So what would I be receiving if I didn't get WTCs? Not both at the same time, surely - i.e. 2 x 89.90?
    No because the cb-ESA counts as income, so the ib-ESA just tops up the difference.

    If your housing costs are 560 a month then you will still get a small ib-ESA top up, from 190 income to 219 a week (89.8 + 129 housing costs). Once you get any ib-ESA you are guaranteed full council tax benefit.

    (And thanks for the tax credits info, I'll store that in the knowledge bank.)


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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEY DABODEE View Post

    If your contributions run out then you would go over to IB ESA and still get 89.90
    Just one comment about your advice, which is good (as always). Unlike JSA, with ESA your contributions don't "run out" after 6 months. If you qualify for cont-based ESA, you will continue to be paid that until you are no longer entitled to the benefit.


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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    thanks Antone, must be like IB
    ESA sure is one complicted benefit






  10. #10
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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Thanks for all your contributions.


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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEY DABODEE View Post
    thanks Antone, must be like IB
    ESA sure is one complicted benefit
    Yeah, ESA is a sort of hybrid of JSA and IB. We get some of the rules from both, plus some new ones unique to ESA. It can be confusing.

    Edit to add: The general idea is that if one qualifies for ESA(C) that will last until the end of the claim. I think that's fair enough: if someone is accepted as being unfit to work, it's not reasonable to expect them to pay NI conts, and credits can't be used to satisfy the FCC.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Well I've just rung up again about my benefit, not having received the promised call-back about my mortgageicon interesticon payment. The person I spoke to read out from my records something like "not eligible as excess income due to tax credits". She said she'd again request a call-back so someone can discuss it with me but it leaves me wondering about my tax credits.

    My initial 13 weeks was up on 18 October since when I expected to be receiving 130/week for mortgageicon interest. Instead I've been getting 101/week tax credits (which also costs me 18/week in council tax benefit). So it seems that my WTC is losing me 48/week, which surely can't be right, can it?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: ESA and tax credits advice needed

    Had an exciting update on my benefit. The DSS (or whatever they're now called) are paying my mortgageicon interesticon from 21 October. I'll receive 163.28/week (based on their flat rate interest allowance of, I believe, 6.1%) plus my 89.80/week ESA. However from that they'll deduct my WTC income of 95.06/week - leaving a net 158.02/week - give me 10p and send the rest direct to the mortgageicon company. And I'll now qualify for Council Tax benefit.

    (I'm not really complaining as I'm a beneficiary of the policy but it does seem a bit odd for the government to pay mortgage interest at a flat rate rather than at the rate an individual is actually paying. My own rate is currently 4.84% and there must be others with much lower rates while a few may be out of pocket and so falling into arrears.)



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