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Changing from ESA to Income Support – Can We do this?


Paige12
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Hello,

 

I’m hoping someone might be able to advise me on this.

 

I am currently in receipt of ESA and have the dreaded medical coming up. I have heard some horror stories and am pretty sure they will turn me down as my illness is mental health related. I was recently awarded DLA and I am also scared they would contact them (again have heard terrible stories) and that would be cut too.

 

My query is the following:

 

I get ESA along with DLA – medium care rate, low mobility rate. My husband looks after me and I claim ESA couple rate for the two of us. I am the main claimant for ESA.

 

Can we move to Income Support? My husband would be the main claimant as he is my career and I receive DLA medium care rate. So I think he should be entitled to claim because of this?

 

We get our mortgage SMI paid by ESA at the moment. If we move to Income Support would there be a linking rule that allows us to continue getting SMI without having to go thought the 13 week waiting period?

 

The complication here is that we would be moving from a benefit (ESA) where I was the main claimant to a benefit (IS) where my husband would be the main claimant.

 

We have rang IS a couple of times and got completely conflicting information. One lady said we could change over and not have to wait the 13 weeks for SMI payments whereas another lady said we couldn’t.

 

We have also rang disability and career helplines. Again completely different answers. One said there was a loophole that meant we would not be allowed to change from ESA to IS whereas another said there would be no problem as I am in receipt of medium care rate which entitles my husband to claim IS for both of us, but she wasn’t sure about the 13 week waiting period for SMI.

 

Any help with this would be very much appreciated as we don’t really know who or what to believe and we don’t want to make the wrong decision.

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Hi Paige2

You cant claim I.S for yourself and partner as things stand now

BUT and there is a but.

 

Because you have DLA middle Care your partner can claim Carers Allowance for you.

 

If he were to phone and make the claim to Carers Allowance then that would give him the condition of entitlement to claim I.S for you both.

 

He would be able to make that claim as soon as the claim to Carers is made.

 

You would not then have to attend any medicals and your claim to I.S would continue as long as CA is awarded and in payment to him

 

You would get couple rate I.S, the couple rate DP and when CA is awarded the Carers Premium, Carers Allowance would then be taken off that amount

 

I dont know how much ESA you are getting but you may be slightly better off.

 

You would get help with your mortgage straight away as you have served the waiting period.

I cant advice you to claim IS its your choice but it is an option available to you,

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Thankyou very much Mikey.

 

I'm so sorry, I'm just not thinking today at all. I forgot to put in the original post that my husband is already claiming CA for me. He applied and got this a couple of months ago when my DLA changed to medium care.Before that I was only awarded low mobility.

 

I've already been to hell and back with ESA since first started claiming it, nd that's without even having gone through the medical yet,so it would be a relief to come off it. I couldn't even begin to list the catalogue of mistakes and disasters with them.

 

I think that's why I'm so worried about changing over, that someone somewhere down the line will say we aren't entitiled to do that or have our SMI payments stopped.

 

What made me worried was the advisor from Disability Alliance who said there was a 'loophole' in the system that prevented us from switching over.

I did explain to her that it would be my husband would be main claimant on IS, not me, but she said it didn't matter and they would refuse the IS application because I was coming off ESA voluntarily.

 

I thought this couldn't be right as surely it is up to people to decide which benefit they want to claim so long as they are entitled to it.

 

The other worry was someone in IS said she thought we'd have to wait for the 13 week qualifying period for SMI as we were changing main claimant from myself to hubby to a different benefit. We'd be in a bad way if we had to wait for 13 weeks as we couldn't afford payments for that long.

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Thankyou very much Mikey.

 

I'm so sorry, I'm just not thinking today at all. I forgot to put in the original post that my husband is already claiming CA for me. He applied and got this a couple of months ago when my DLA changed to medium care.Before that I was only awarded low mobility.

 

I've already been to hell and back with ESA since first started claiming it, nd that's without even having gone through the medical yet,so it would be a relief to come off it. I couldn't even begin to list the catalogue of mistakes and disasters with them.

 

I think that's why I'm so worried about changing over, that someone somewhere down the line will say we aren't entitiled to do that or have our SMI payments stopped.

 

What made me worried was the advisor from Disability Alliance who said there was a 'loophole' in the system that prevented us from switching over.

I did explain to her that it would be my husband would be main claimant on IS, not me, but she said it didn't matter and they would refuse the IS application because I was coming off ESA voluntarily.

 

I thought this couldn't be right as surely it is up to people to decide which benefit they want to claim so long as they are entitled to it.

 

The other worry was someone in IS said she thought we'd have to wait for the 13 week qualifying period for SMI as we were changing main claimant from myself to hubby to a different benefit. We'd be in a bad way if we had to wait for 13 weeks as we couldn't afford payments for that long.

 

 

I have never heard of this loophole, I have processed IS claims and changes for many years.

He has the grouds to claim I.S because of the Carers Allowance, and the right to claim I.S in his name.

most people in this situation usually make the claim to I.S, I.S receive the claim tell ESA that the customer or partner has now claimed I.S.

You would declare the mortgage when you make the claim, and when the claim is processed then new claims would pass the claim to mortgages who would see you have a linking claim and process it.

The mortgage team at each BDC process all the benefits ESA IS JSA and IB so they would know you case :)

YOU HAVE A LINKING CLAIM BECAUSE YOU WERE BOTH ON THE ESA CLAIM :)

 

Its not easy to make the decision to swap but it can be done, and you will not lose your benefit.

It depends what ESA you have :)

 

If your ESA is contribution based, this means its based on the national insurance contributions you have pad when you were working, he can still make the claim to I.S and have your ESA put onto the claim as an Income, If you then fail the medical for it and your ESA stops it will be removed and he will get full Income Support

 

If your ESA is inocme based you can shut it as soon as the claim is up and running, you cant have both this type of ESA and IS, as both are means tested

 

The only thing that i can think they mean this loophole is that if your ESA is contributon based then you are entitled to claim that money, and IS is means tested so if you give it up then they may assume it as notional income, so just keep the ESA claim open and have it on his IS, if as I say you fail the medical then it will be taken of his claim, so then you will be ok

 

So basically he can claim I.S, include your ESA as Income if its ESA Cont or you can cancel it if its ESA IB

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE
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Thanks very much indeed for that Mikey. That all makes sense and I'm a lot less anxious than I was this morning when the letter arrived. :)

 

We are on income based ESA. I think I'll get hubby to ring IS and start the ball rolling with the claim.

 

Someone in IS did tell us a couple of months back that if were to claim IS then we would need to come off ESA first.

In other words ring ESA and tell them we no longer wish to claim and then ring IS immediately and start that claim with them.

 

They said IS would be back-dated to the date we first rang and requested the forms.

 

However you were saying that ESA continued to be paid until IS process the IS claim?

 

The only worry now I have is that my ESA medical is next week so not sure what to do about that. I'm thinking I shoud ring the medical assessment crowd and tell them my husband has started a claim for IS and therefore I won't need the medical?

 

However, if ESA is paid until the IS claim is processed would the ESA payments for this period then stop?

 

I should explain that I have already had to cancel the medical several times as they sent three appointments all within weeks of one another. First one when my Dad was very ill, second at the time he died and they sent another appointment again just days later just after his funeral:(.

So the three appointments were all cancelled. I don't think they will let me cancel again without stopping the benefit.

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Being IB ESA its a different ball game, you can cancel the claim anytime after you have made that call to I.S, you then will not have to attend the medical.

The date you make the call to IS is the date from which you should be paid when the claim is processed, its called the TAM date.

 

So phone the call centre get the claim started then either cancel your ESA claim or dont attend and they will close it for you.

As long as you phone I.S as soon as possible you will have no gap in benefit.

I take it you have capital under 16k.

It could take a few weeks before the claim is sorted, but you have you DLA and your CA.

The mortgage will be paid again when the I.S is processed.

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Thanks very much Mikey. Okay hubby will ring IS on Monday morning and get the claim started. We have an ESA payment due on Wednesday so will wait until I get that and then ring ESA and cancel the esa benefit (including the medical).

 

I suppose it might be worth our while ringing the mortgage company just in case there is a missed payment while waiting for the IS claim to be processed.

 

I will update here to let you know how I get on, just in case there is anyone else in the same situation it might be of help to them. ;)

 

Thanks again Mikey. We had had so much differing advice we didn't know where to turn so we are both very grateful to you.

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Just to make things smooth, if you're due an ESA payment on Wednesday, make sure that hubby specifies that he'd like to claim IS starting Thursday. Similarly, you would want to tell ESA that you'd like to close your claim effective Thursday.

 

There are technical processing reasons why this is a good idea - it avoids a situation where ESA and IS have to figure out what benefit you would be due for the days any claims overlap. I could explain in more detail if you like (I used to process ESA) but it's rather boring - I won't go into it unless you really want me to.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Ah I see Antone. Yes that makes sense.

I know when my husband got CA it took months to sort out the backdate of what was owed for what days between ESA and CA. We didn't think they were ever going to get it sorted but thankfully we got there in the end. Just as well as it will make the change-over to IS a bit easier hopefully.

 

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll make sure Hubby starts his IS claim from Thursday onwards and I will cancel ESA on Thursday as well so hopefully that will rule out any potential complications between the two regarding payments.

 

Thanks again Antone. The advice is very much appreciated. ;)

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Good advice from Antone ;) you will not have any problem with your husbands carers allowance with the I.S clam

.

The only thing differenc you may notice between the claims is that your new payday may be differents as this depends on the last two digits in his national insurance number, and remember I.S is paid two weeks in arrears.

 

I would ring the mortgage company there may be a small break while the claim is changing over but you will be paid for this.

 

In our office IS and ESA work close together and one will always pay the day after the other one is shut, if its IB based,

good luck :)

and remeber chase the claim if it drags on

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Thanks again Mikey and Antone.

 

I terminated the ESA claim yesterday. Hubby also rang IS yesterday to start the claim and the forms came today.

 

We rang the Medical Support Service and cancelled the ESA medical yesterday morning and they said that was fine. However, whoever we spoke with mustn't have notified the Dr and she landed out this afternoon (it was a home visit).

 

Hubby explained the situation re terminating ESA and that the medical had been cancelled but she was still insisting on the medical going ahead and that it would be 'very quick'. :confused:

Obviously that didn't happen but it's all been a bit stressful here this afternoon.

 

Anyway, will fill in the IS forms this evening and get them in the post in the morning.

 

Will keep this updated as things go along. ;)

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Thanks again Mikey and Antone.

 

I terminated the ESA claim yesterday. Hubby also rang IS yesterday to start the claim and the forms came today.

 

We rang the Medical Support Service and cancelled the ESA medical yesterday morning and they said that was fine. However, whoever we spoke with mustn't have notified the Dr and she landed out this afternoon (it was a home visit).

 

Hubby explained the situation re terminating ESA and that the medical had been cancelled but she was still insisting on the medical going ahead and that it would be 'very quick'. :confused:

Obviously that didn't happen but it's all been a bit stressful here this afternoon.

 

Anyway, will fill in the IS forms this evening and get them in the post in the morning.

 

Will keep this updated as things go along. ;)

 

 

Glad the forms came so quickly. Get them completed and returned give about a week then ring to see how things are going, it should be processed quickly a nice straightforward case for someone :)

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Yes, fingers crossed it all goes smoothly now Mikey.

 

The forms are all ready to go so will get them off by recorded delivery in the morning. I think I'll be a bit easier once they are away. I've felt in limbo today especially with the Doc calling to the house when I wasn't expecting her so will be better once IS have got the forms.

 

Will let you know how I get on. :)

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Oh, there's one more thing I'm not too sure about before I send the forms off.

 

They have sent a form for applying for smi mortage interest payments.

 

We have filled it in and have it ready to send off to our mortgage company for them to fill in their bit all about the mortgage.

 

However my husband has just said he thinks we might not need to send this as no information has changed since we first started getting these payments through being on ESA and also the fact that there will be no 13 week waiting period and the mortage payments will keep going automatically.

 

Do you think we should send this on to the mortgage company anyway (seeing as it is for a different benefit) or should be hold off and take it for granted that they have all the info re our mortgage already?

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I do not work on the mortgage section but I think you need to complete and give them to your mortgage company.

Then if I.S do need them they are there. They will have all the details from your ESA claim but best be sure.

I know that you will not need to serve the thirteen weeks but when you closed your ESA claim that in effect stops the mortgage payments untill your I.S is up and running. So I would give your mortgage company a ring and tell them there will be a break in payments untill I.S is sorted but there will be no gap and your mortgage company will get all monies due.

 

You will need to inform your LA as well as they will get notified by ESA your claim is closed but then you explain you are going on I.S so you should get full help with your council tax.

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Thanks Mikey, that's great. Both forms went off recorded delivery this morning. They weren't as bad as I thought they'd be. Having struggled to complete the ESA and dreaded DLA ones before, these were a doodle. :)

 

Yes, will indeed contact the mortgage etc next week and let them know, just to be on the safe side.

 

Got three different letters from ESA this morning all about the benefit being terminated and the mortgage interest payments stopping.

 

So, it's all systems go now. ;)

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Greg,

 

Sorry about that, I should have updated this at the time and thanked the members who helped.

 

The change-over from esa to income support all went very smoothly with no problems at all. It was such a relief to get away from esa as they were a complete and utter nightmare. Found Income support completely different - no hassle from them and very efficent. :-)

 

Don't hesitate in changing over Greg. It's very simple to do and despite the conflicting information I had gotten from different organisations beforehand about whether it was possible, in the end it was changed over very quickly with no missed payments.

 

Hope that's helped and thanks to the members that gave me advice at the time about this.

 

:-)

 

we are in a similar situation, wondered if paige would provide an update how things proceeded or at least if they went smoothly or not.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I should've updated this at the time (will do next time) as I wouldn't have had the confidence to do it without your advice on here Mikey, so thank you very much indeed. You saved us from the clutches of the dreaded ESA (:fear:) so am very grateful :clap2:

 

Glad it all went well for you Paige 12 :)
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No problem, and with regard to your other thread, if you moved the building society would have to agree it first,

 

if the mortgage could be ported to another property then I.S would still pay it, because in effect its the same mortgage be it on a different property

the only problem you may have if you down size your property and if you have a surplus of capital after the sale then you would need to spend this on essential repairs etc to keep you with in the capital rules for I.S purposes

 

this would be up to a DM..

 

you are entitled to claim I.S so again am glad it went ok

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We are still in the same house Mikey. It turned out that the mortgage definitely wasn't portable so we had to stay put. Since the SMI changes kicked in we now have to pay over £200 per month out of the benefits as there is a shortfall between what they pay and what our monthly mortgage payment is (we have an interest-only mortgage).

 

We are just about clinging on by the skin of our teeth and the house would now be in negative equity. I think the changes coming in Jan 2013 will mean that we will have to sell the house and rent as I believe they are planning on bringing the capital amount they will pay SMI on back down to £100,000 instead of the £200,000 that applies at the minute.

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depends what date you first climed benefits

 

www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/On_a_low_income/DG_180321

 

a lot of people would disagree with me but I dont think you should be penalised if you have a mortgage.....

HB is paid if entitled...... You have to live somewhere and if you have chosen to buy a house then you should get the same support

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I know they are talking about putting a 'charge' on properties where you would get the smi if you are entitled, but if you ever sold the house then you would have to pay the money you got from the smi back to the dwp out of the sale of the property. Tbh I wouldn't have a problem with that.

 

The main worry is that if they bring the capital amount down to £100,000 in Jan 2013 then we couldn't afford the extra shortfall. At the moment its a major struggle to pay the shortfall of £210 per week which we use our DLA money to pay, meaning we are living on very little.

 

I had thought that whatever they decided to do in Jan 2013 with regards to smi would apply to everyone - new claimants as well as those already claiming smi.

 

Do you think that if they do what they are planning (and bring the capital amount back down to £100,000) that this will only apply to new claimants and that if we already started claiming at the time when the £200,000 limit was in place then they would continue to pay as normal for exisitng claimants. In other words the change would only affect new claimants?

 

Thanks in advance. :-)

 

 

depends what date you first climed benefits

 

www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/On_a_low_income/DG_180321

 

a lot of people would disagree with me but I dont think you should be penalised if you have a mortgage.....

HB is paid if entitled...... You have to live somewhere and if you have chosen to buy a house then you should get the same support

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I think if there are new rules introduced again from Jan 2013 eg capital limit 100k etc, then they would be for new claimants to SMI..

Old claimants would have protected rights I would imagine.

 

but if the benefit cap comes in then this could effect future mortgage payments for some.....

 

here is a list of the changes they are thinking about

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/support-for-mortgage-interest-call-for-evidence-ia.pdf

 

looks like SMI is being streamlined ready for the introduction of Universal Credit.

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