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pinkprincessangel

No ESA but still being requested medical

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Hi all,

 

I'm a bit confused with the whole thing. I was in a bus accident and my gp has signed me off (2 x 2 weeks notes, and 1 x 4 week note.) til the end of this month, possibly longer. I'm £1.30 off the minimum cutoff for SSP so I cant get that and I apparently earn too much for ESA cos I get WTC. So I was told to send my Sick notes in to get my NI covered while I'm off which is fine, but I dont understand why I'm being requested for a medical when they state I'm not entitled due to earnings. I've read a lot of awful stories about people with disabilities failing and quite frankly I have every intention of returning to my job as soon as my GP says I can as I'm losing nearly £100 a week cos of the incompetence of a bus driver. Why am I being requested for a medical and can I refuse as I'm not in the receipt of the benefit money anyway?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Hello there, sorry to hear about your problems. I hope someone with more knowledge will come along with more information for you, but I wanted to say I'm a bit confused too. I know that ESA can be contribution-based or not and this just could be what the DWP were thinking of. Have you paid NI contributions for the last 2 years or more? I think that's the time limit.

 

Our guru types normally turn up after work, so you may need to wait until a bit later.

 

On a separate matter, and not for this forum, have you taken legal advice on the accident if the bus company have caused you to lost money?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi HB,

 

Yes I have consulted a solicitor regarding the accident. As for NI, I was on IS until May when I went back to work part time, I believe being on IS covered my NI contributions, and now I'm working I pay myself.

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If you are employed, the employer should by law be paying you Statutory Sick Pay whether or not you are employed part time. If you are off sick for longer than 28 weeks then only do you claim ESA. In the meantime because your income has dropped you can apply for housing and council tax benefits.

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Hi Surfer, thanks for your reply. The minimum amount you have to earn to be entitled to SSP is £97, I get £95.70 a week so I miss it by £1.30 and they take your earnings from the previous 6 weeks and I had time off for my daughter being ill so I really didnt hit the target amount. I already get partial HB and CTB where I pay so much and the rest gets paid by the benefit. I'm not in receipt of any sort of benefit for income, but I do get everything else I'm entitled to.

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Although you receive no monetary benefit from the claim, you are receiving ESA; it's not income related ESA or contribution based ESA, but "credits only" ESA - which is basically the DWP paying your NI stamp to keep it up to date, which will not currently be being paid because though in employment, you are not earning thus not paying NI. In order to continue to be entitled to the credits, you need to attend the assessment and gain the sufficient number of points from it.

 

You can refuse if you wish - this will end the ESA claim and NI will no longer be credited for you. It's entirely a choice of your own however you may want to explore the potential implications of NI not being paid before you make the decision, that way you can make an informed decision.

 

Breifly, NI being paid protects your state pension; it is also ensures you for certain benefits. For example, at the moment you cannot get income related ESA because your income exceeds the threshold. If you haven't paid sufficient NI in the qualifying years, you cannot get contributory based ESA either, which leaves you with credits only. Both income related benefit and contributory related benefits result in a monetary payment of benefit. Credits only claims do not.

 

If, in the future, you find yourself unable to work again for whatever reason - illness/redundancy for example - you might be eligible for contribution based ESA or JSA if your NI record is up to date for the qualifying years. But if there is a break in payments for the qualifying years, you won't be able to receive contributory based benefits. In effect, not having NI up to date you would be in the same position you are in now. If NI conts are up to date for the qualifying years, then you would be able to receive payment for the benefit.

  • Confused 1

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Thanks Erika,

 

I've had previous years with gaps in my NI and they just asked for a payment to fill in the missing amount for the year or if unpaid the amount will reduce my overall pension when I retire. I've been reading some disaster posts on different forums about severely disabled people failing to get the correct amount of points and being told they're fit for work. I'm struggling to get my head round the fact my GP says I'm unfit for work at the moment, why dont they accept that? And if thats the case why bother going to a GP for things like this if you have to have a medical to prove it again. From what I gather, the "medical" isnt a medical at all, its a person sitting in front of a computer asking the same questions from the ESA50 questionnaire you sent in. No physical exam takes place so how can it be classed as a medical? I find it all very frustrating because I want to be better and back at my job to get my wages again but based on a medical practitioners (GP) verdict I'm unable to do that until I fully recover.

I think it'll be easier to just refuse the assessment and pay the NI when they request it rather than stress about it, make things worse when they dont need to be.

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