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Switching from ESA to Pension Credit


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At present I am on ESA Contribution based and have been so for the past month, but I may be better off on Pension Credit as my spouse only works 20 hours a week. I receive DLA as unfortunately I have what is known as a progressive disease.

We had a DWP advisor around for the Pension Credit and she suggested me dropping the ESA. Also if and when I am fit enough for work I can look for jobs at my own pace and will not have to sign on every two weeks. It costs me £5 to travel to sign on as we live in a rural area.

Even if I return back to JSA I only have 4 weeks JSA Contribution based left. Should I look at going onto Pension Credit and if so, how do I go about it without upsetting the apple cart. Also saves the hassle of an ATOS medical if the doctor decides I should postpone going back to work in the near future.

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Surfer01, you do know that the Jobcentre can pay travel expenses? Apparently they're not encouraged to tell you but if you ask you'll be given a form to complete and the money will be in your bank quite quickly thereafter...

Best wishes

Rae

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That's what I think. I was surprised when I found out on my fifth or sixth visit! I live rurally also and it covers the fuel cost nicely - it's done on a mileage rate but I've forgotten what it is!

Best wishes

Rae

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I think that the main advantage of going onto Pension credit is that it is easier to switch on and off than it is to go through the whole process of applying for JSA every time you are laid off working on the basis that at my age I will only probably get agency temporary work from time to time.

There is no financial advantage with JSA or ESA as your weekly benefit is fixed at £202 excluding housing & council tax os if you have JSA or ESa` that is subtracted from the credit pension amount amount less any income your spouse may have.

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I think that the main advantage of going onto Pension credit is that it is easier to switch on and off than it is to go through the whole process of applying for JSA every time you are laid off working on the basis that at my age I will only probably get agency temporary work from time to time.

There is no financial advantage with JSA or ESA as your weekly benefit is fixed at £202 excluding housing & council tax os if you have JSA or ESa` that is subtracted from the credit pension amount amount less any income your spouse may have.

 

Hi not forgetting that DLA/AA is not included in the calculation of available income. Also, when considering DLA/AA, there are additional premiums given on top of the £202.40 for disability. Couple rates go from an additional £53.65 if one is disabled to £107.30 if both are disabled! Also there is the Carers premium of £30.05 - all per week figures.

And savings of up to £10,000 are ignored BUT do count for additional Pension Credit payments.

thanks

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Hi not forgetting that DLA/AA is not included in the calculation of available income. Also, when considering DLA/AA, there are additional premiums given on top of the £202.40 for disability. Couple rates go from an additional £53.65 if one is disabled to £107.30 if both are disabled! Also there is the Carers premium of £30.05 - all per week figures.

And savings of up to £10,000 are ignored BUT do count for additional Pension Credit payments.

thanks

Thanks. Unfortunately we no longer have any savings. My wife has recently inquired about a carer's allowance as she looks after me. Unfortunately again there is a possibility that she may have an ongoing progressive medical problem but is still undergoing tests. At present she only works 4 hours per day or 20 hours per week. Her net income is about £112.

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Still not sure how to go about moving off ESA and asking to go onto Pension credit. It now seems according to our GP that it is highly unlikely I will be able to work again due to my ongoing and some new medical conditions.

Do I just phone up and cancel ESA and ask to go onto Pension credit?

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Still not sure how to go about moving off ESA and asking to go onto Pension credit. It now seems according to our GP that it is highly unlikely I will be able to work again due to my ongoing and some new medical conditions.

Do I just phone up and cancel ESA and ask to go onto Pension credit?

 

Yes you can cancel the ESA and claim Pension Credit. The only trouble with that is that you would be without the ESA whilst PC was sorted out. A drop in your income for a while - you would of course get it backdated but if losing a source of income is your main problem, then claim PC AND ESA as the PC would be reduced by the ESA received. From my own experience it took 20 weeks before PC was put into payment. Once it is up and running you could then cancel the ESA and your PC would go up to match the loss.

To claim - either get the Pension Service to come to your home, make a telephone claim or get a claim form off the web.

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Yes you can cancel the ESA and claim Pension Credit. The only trouble with that is that you would be without the ESA whilst PC was sorted out. A drop in your income for a while - you would of course get it backdated but if losing a source of income is your main problem, then claim PC AND ESA as the PC would be reduced by the ESA received. From my own experience it took 20 weeks before PC was put into payment. Once it is up and running you could then cancel the ESA and your PC would go up to match the loss.

To claim - either get the Pension Service to come to your home, make a telephone claim or get a claim form off the web.

 

Apologies i shoudl have mentioned this earlier. I have already applied for Pension Credit as my wife's income is dropping down to SSP within the next week and they have already visited my home to verify my credentials. When they did, with ESA and my wife's income which included occupational sick pay brought our total to just under the £202 per week which is the minimum the government say you can live on.

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Apologies i shoudl have mentioned this earlier. I have already applied for Pension Credit as my wife's income is dropping down to SSP within the next week and they have already visited my home to verify my credentials. When they did, with ESA and my wife's income which included occupational sick pay brought our total to just under the £202 per week which is the minimum the government say you can live on.

 

Hi ....plus DLA!! and possibly a disability premium to be added to the £202

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Hi ....plus DLA!! and possibly a disability premium to be added to the £202

 

I already get DLA but not sure about disability premium being added to the £202. I think I will leave it until next week, then stop my ESA and move across onto Pension credit as my wife's income will only be SSP less £25 for her pension. It seems highly unlikely I will ever be able to work again due to medical problems.

Unless I get Pension credit almost immdeiately there is no ways we could live on about £55 per week. Our groceries on their own come to almost as much never mind the petrol getting to the store.

We always assume that we spent about £40 on groceries a week until we decided to keep all the slips for everything that we bought. Over a month it averaged out at £65 per week and that was being economical. Gave us a reality check!

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I already get DLA but not sure about disability premium being added to the £202. I think I will leave it until next week, then stop my ESA and move across onto Pension credit as my wife's income will only be SSP less £25 for her pension. It seems highly unlikely I will ever be able to work again due to medical problems.

Unless I get Pension credit almost immdeiately there is no ways we could live on about £55 per week. Our groceries on their own come to almost as much never mind the petrol getting to the store.

We always assume that we spent about £40 on groceries a week until we decided to keep all the slips for everything that we bought. Over a month it averaged out at £65 per week and that was being economical. Gave us a reality check!

 

The following is an extract in respect of the disability premium

 

The additional amounts are as follows.

aaxibul1.gifSevere disability

 

Amount

Single person

£52.85

Couple – one qualifies

£52.85

Couple – both qualify

£105.70

Where a person is single, s/he will qualify for the lower rate of the severe disability additional amount if:

aaxibul1.gifs/he is in receipt of Attendance Allowance, the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the middle or high rate, Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance; and

aaxibul1.gifno one aged eighteen or over is residing with her/him; and

aaxibul1.gifno one is receiving a Carer's Allowance (CA) for looking after her/him.

Where a person has a partner, s/he will qualify for the lower rate of the severe disability addition if:

aaxibul1.gifs/he and partner are both in receipt of Attendance Allowance, the care component of DLA at the middle or higher rate, Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance; or

aaxibul1.gifone partner is in receipt of Attendance Allowance, the care component of DLA at the middle or higher rate, Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance and the other is registered blind; and

aaxibul1.gifno one aged eighteen or over is residing with the couple; and

aaxibul1.gifno one receives a CA for looking after one of the partners in receipt of one of the above benefits.

The higher couple rate of the severe disability addition is payable where:

aaxibul1.gifa person and her/his partner are in receipt of Attendance Allowance, the care component of DLA at the middle or higher rate, Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance; and

aaxibul1.gifno one aged eighteen or over is residing with them; and

aaxibul1.gifno one receives a CA for looking after either partner.

 

The following refers to the carers premium

Carer

 

Amount £29.50

A person will qualify for this additional amount if s/he or her/his partner:

aaxibul1.gifis in receipt of CA; or

aaxibul1.gifis entitled to and would be in receipt of CA but for the fact that s/he is in receipt of a benefit which overlaps with CA.

If a person has a partner who also receives a CA, then the additional carer’s amount is awarded twice.

When a person’s entitlement to CA ends, the carer’s addition will continue for eight weeks.

Hope this helps

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Thanks for the above. My wife cares for me on a daily basis but has not claimed carer's allowance due to her earnings. However due to the recent medical diagnosis she will probablity qualify for DLA lower care and mobility elements.

As her SSP will only be about £55 for the next 18 weeks I am not sure if she can claim carer's allowance but have submitted details to them in the meantime. Again thanks for the input.

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  • 3 years later...
At present I am on ESA Contribution based and have been so for the past month, but I may be better off on Pension Credit as my spouse only works 20 hours a week. I receive DLA as unfortunately I have what is known as a progressive disease.

We had a DWP advisor around for the Pension Credit and she suggested me dropping the ESA. Also if and when I am fit enough for work I can look for jobs at my own pace and will not have to sign on every two weeks. It costs me £5 to travel to sign on as we live in a rural area.

Even if I return back to JSA I only have 4 weeks JSA Contribution based left. Should I look at going onto Pension Credit and if so, how do I go about it without upsetting the apple cart. Also saves the hassle of an ATOS medical if the doctor decides I should postpone going back to work in the near future.

 

The rules have changed now. Beware! Do not sign off JSA or ESA or you could be penalised. Get expert advice.

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