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Income Support as a carer - can I claim for my wife?


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I am a carer for my disabled wife. She receives high DLA for both mobility and care, she also receives ESA in support group. I receive carers allowance(for being her full time carer) and Income Support. My question is simple, would my wife be allowed to cancel her ESA claim,(thereby losing her ESA money) then me contact Income Support and claim this for both of us?(Thereby increasing Income SUpport payment by the same amount she has lost) Would there be any financial loss or gain to do this? Would it be straightforward to do, ie Make phone calls, fill in forms send them back.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.

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I am a carer for my disabled wife. She receives high DLA for both mobility and care, she also receives ESA in support group. I receive carers allowance(for being her full time carer) and Income Support. My question is simple, would my wife be allowed to cancel her ESA claim,(thereby losing her ESA money) then me contact Income Support and claim this for both of us?(Thereby increasing Income SUpport payment by the same amount she has lost) Would there be any financial loss or gain to do this? Would it be straightforward to do, ie Make phone calls, fill in forms send them back.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.

 

I understand what you are saying - is your wife receiving ESA - Income Based. If so how then are you managing to claim IS as well?

 

However if she is claiming Contribution Based ESA, then yes it is possible, although I have heard that the DWP could very well claim 'deprivation of a benefit that you were entitled to but stopped claiming it'. If so and they try that on, you will find that whilst she doesn't get the ESA, the DWP will assume it is still in payment.

 

Are you trying to get her to avoid having regular ESA assessments?

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Hi, yes she is getting contribution based ESA. I am her carer and receive carers allowance which I was told to claim as she receives DLA high, care and mobility. I was under the impression from other questions on the site, that due to me being her carer I was allowed Income Support too. Others have also said that they have told their partner to give up ESA and they will claim for them on Income Support. I was looking for clarification really from someone who has done this as to if there were any problems with the change over. It`s not due to having ESA assessments (although they are stressing when they come along) but to avoid another recent problem we`ve had having both claims being dealt with by the same office but an overpayment being made. My wife would then have her claim dealt with by DLA only, and I would have mine dealt with by DWP Jobcentre Plus only.

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Yes, it's fine to claim income support as a couple.

Thanks Nystagmite, would it be seen, as the other poster said, as failing to claim a benefit one was entitled to, then we`d be questioned because of it. Or even have my Income Support stopped because of doing it this way around. The way I`m looking at it now is, the least offices that deal with claims the less chances there are for things to get mixed up.

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I think you need to go to a CAB or Advice Centre and ask for a better off calculation.

 

If your wife stops her ESA claim and you put her on your claim then you will lose her WRAG or Support Group element which is between £30-£35 per week (depending on the group she is in)

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I think you need to go to a CAB or Advice Centre and ask for a better off calculation.

 

If your wife stops her ESA claim and you put her on your claim then you will lose her WRAG or Support Group element which is between £30-£35 per week (depending on the group she is in)

 

On ESA, there's no £30pw disability premium. If the OP's wife claims DLA *any rate) or is registered blind, they can get this on IS. Actually, I think it's nearer £40pw for a couple.

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Thanks Nystagmite, would it be seen, as the other poster said, as failing to claim a benefit one was entitled to, then we`d be questioned because of it. Or even have my Income Support stopped because of doing it this way around. The way I`m looking at it now is, the least offices that deal with claims the less chances there are for things to get mixed up.

 

It does happen. From personal experience and that is all I can go on about is that I too claim Contribution Based ESA (Support Group) - have done sine 2009 and receive DLA (HRM & MRC). My wife receives the highest rate of Attendance Allowance.

 

We have a joint claim for Pension Credit (Income Support for the older person) from which they deduct the ESA that I receive. Like you I had the idea that it would make things that much simpler to have the income come from one source, close the ESA claim down and have it paid via PC to make up the loss.

 

The Pension Service (DWP) told me that if I did that then they would treat it as a deprivation of my income in that I would not be claiming a benefit that I was entitled to. They would still reduce the Pension Credit by the ESA amount even though I wouldn't be receiving the ESA payments. I didn't want to lose the £106.50 a week so I have to keep the ESA going until I get to when my State Pension is payable.

It was made plain to me that you cannot just close down any contribution based benefit - JSA or ESA and swap it for a means tested benefit. If you are on either of these benefits (contribution only) you will have to continue to prove illness by regular assessments or that you are looking for work by signing on until you reach State Pension age.

 

Likewise I posted a question on here a short while ago about not wanting to bother claiming my State Pension and just carry on getting the Pension Credit. I would be no worse off or better off as what I claim as my State Pension would reduce my Pension Credit payment. Posters on here stated that the Pension Credit would be reduced by what my State Pension would be even if I didn't bother to claim it. Again they would say that I was depriving myself of a benefit that I was entitled to and I would be treated as though I was receiving it, but wasn't - I would stand to lose approx. £170 a week by refusing to claim the State Pension.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?394043-State-Pension-Do-I-claim-it-or-not

Edited by fedupandold
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Two very conflicting messages. Now I`m more confused than ever. As Nystagmite says others have done the claim this way around with no problems. (I thought a person about to claim income support had the choice of claiming for their partner or not) Then as fedupandold says, the choice is taken away from you if your partner is on ESA anyway. I`m thinking it may be different with pension credit, or is it that fedupandold is the person claiming Pension Credit and ESA (due to being sick himself) I don`t claim ESA myself (my wife at the moment does) so I would not be stopping the ESA claim (she would) then I would contact DWP, (once confirmed that the ESA claim had closed) and claim as a couple. After all, don`t people have a choice as to claiming ESA at all, if they decide not to pursue a claim for any benefit is that not their choice?

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On ESA, there's no £30pw disability premium. If the OP's wife claims DLA *any rate) or is registered blind, they can get this on IS. Actually, I think it's nearer £40pw for a couple.

 

I am aware of this but what I was trying to say is that the OP will already have the disability premium on his claim as his |Income Support award takes into account his wife's DLA and ESA.

 

But for ESA she will get an extra amount for the group she is in and if ESA stops then she will lose that so they may actually be worse off.

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Two very conflicting messages. Now I`m more confused than ever. As Nystagmite says others have done the claim this way around with no problems. (I thought a person about to claim income support had the choice of claiming for their partner or not) Then as fedupandold says, the choice is taken away from you if your partner is on ESA anyway. I`m thinking it may be different with pension credit, or is it that fedupandold is the person claiming Pension Credit and ESA (due to being sick himself) I don`t claim ESA myself (my wife at the moment does) so I would not be stopping the ESA claim (she would) then I would contact DWP, (once confirmed that the ESA claim had closed) and claim as a couple. After all, don`t people have a choice as to claiming ESA at all, if they decide not to pursue a claim for any benefit is that not their choice?

 

Which group is your wife in - either Work Related Activity Group or Support Group?

 

I know about the deprivation for Pension Credit but not sure if they care for DWP benefits.

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My wife is in Contribution based ESA Support group, she has been since February 2012 when DWP changed the name from Incapacity benefit to ESA. This caused a problem with my Income Support Payments as my local office apparently didn`t know this was about to happen. I was contacted last week explaining that I should have told them, on the last day of January my wife claimed Incapacity Benefit but on February 1st this changed to ESA. Which is why I`m asking if it would be easier all round to keep the claim to Income Support only.

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Two very conflicting messages. Now I`m more confused than ever. As Nystagmite says others have done the claim this way around with no problems. (I thought a person about to claim income support had the choice of claiming for their partner or not) Then as fedupandold says, the choice is taken away from you if your partner is on ESA anyway. I`m thinking it may be different with pension credit, or is it that fedupandold is the person claiming Pension Credit and ESA (due to being sick himself) I don`t claim ESA myself (my wife at the moment does) so I would not be stopping the ESA claim (she would) then I would contact DWP, (once confirmed that the ESA claim had closed) and claim as a couple. After all, don`t people have a choice as to claiming ESA at all, if they decide not to pursue a claim for any benefit is that not their choice?

 

In my case it is I that claims Contribution Based ESA and that the Pension Credit claim is a joint one. I think what the DWP are getting at is that you cannot shut down a contribution based benefit and claim a means tested benefit in it's place. It doesn't really matter who gets the ESA as the means tested benefit is joint.

 

I presume it is set up this way to stop people picking and choosing as to what benefit to claim depending which one would give them the better result. A one size fits all rule.

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Which group is your wife in - either Work Related Activity Group or Support Group?

 

I know about the deprivation for Pension Credit but not sure if they care for DWP benefits.

 

The Pension Service sent me a letter confirming all of this - they said that it would be deprivation as I would not be taking up a benefit that I was entitled to. Hence my post on here asking if it also applied to not claiming my State Pension and getting everything paid via Pension Credit instead. The answer was no, they would treat my State Pension as being in payment even if I wasn't claiming it - losing approx. £170 a week in the process.

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:PleaseNo:

 

Remember: No intent = no fraud = no prosecution. :biggrin:

 

And from what you've written I can't be certain there's an overpayment either. Cos employment n support is such a :???: benefit, there's at least an evens chance that Jobcentreplus've made an error. I can see at least two potential ones. Easier said than done, but so long as your usual payments are hitting your bank account, I'd wait to see if you or your wife hear from Compliance (which is nothing more than a check to ensure you're being paid the correct rate of benefit). Or get official notification that you've been overpaid.

 

The reason you've received conflicting responses to your latest query is that the interaction between employment n support and what's known as PDCS benefits (Pension, Disability and Carers) is even more :???: :???: :???: than employment n support with a bit of carers/income support thrown in. Whilst some joint claimants have successfully changed from income related employment n support to carers topped up by income support it doesn't work with contribution flavoured employment n support. And there's simply too many variables; your ages, how long your wife was in receipt of incapacity benefit and whether it included an age addition, whether you pay mortgage or rent and who to, whether either of you have any occupational pension income, etcetera, to offer any definitive advice via an internet forum.

 

Whilst I fully understand that you n your wife are unsettled by what's happened and want to get it sorted like yesterday, tis my personal opinion that trying to change your claims at this stage would further complicate the situation. For no good reason, cos your wife can't deprive herself of a contribution flavoured benefit for you to claim an income flavoured one. As you appear to have a reasonable paper trail my suggestion is that you look for some help, from a specialist benefits adviser, to calculate your individual and joint entitlement.

 

Sincerely, Margaret.:panda:

Edited by **Margaret**
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Thank You for clarifying Margaret,

With the messages you and other helpers have posted. We`ve decided to "sit tight" with fingers crossed that it sorts itself out. We`re not going to change anything and risk upsetting stuff further. I had a phone call from DWP about a month ago and the person on the phone said, "I have a form which has to be filled in, I can do it on the phone, it`s 30+ pages long" Then went on to ask me to confirm bank details etc, I politely responded with "Sorry, I don`t know you are and even if you are genuine with what you say. Could you please send me the forms through the post and I will fill them in and send them back." A few days later the forms came. We filled them in, obviously not hiding anything, and triple checked all the information was correct and complete. A week and a half later we had the "standard" type letter from Income Support. Saying your benefit will not change, then second paragraph said your future payments will be £xx. When I phoned them they said I`d failed to tell them my wife was on ESA, I obviously argued saying, you knew she was on Incapacity Benefit, the government changed the name and I thought DWP also knew about it and would change their computer system accordingly. I was told "NO! We didn`t, it was up to you to tell us!" I also contacted our local Council, as I was worried what else had gone wrong, we pay mortgage but do have council tax paid, when I spoke to them to make sure we had the right information on file - they replied with "your DWP office haven`t updated the system since 2008, they are supposed to contact us every 12 months to confirm that your information is correct, they haven`t done it in the last 5 years!" I`m 45 and the wife is 46 years, we have 15 year old twins. Wife has been on Incapacity benefit since she was 17. I claim IS and Carers Allowance. She claims ESA and DLA high rate both care and Mobility. She also has tax credit and family allowance for the kids. and we get some help towards mortgage payments through Income Support, and council tax paid through local council. My income support payments are paid every other Friday, so Friday 28th will be the day payment is supposed to be made. Thanks again for all your help and replies it is VERY much appreciated.

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Update is, today 28th June, payment of Income Support has gone into the bank (at the correct lower rate) Other payments have continued at their proper rates too.

 

Good. With any luck your claim for IS has been built onto to the computer system and you should get your money without any hiccups.

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  • 2 months later...
I understand what you are saying - is your wife receiving ESA - Income Based. If so how then are you managing to claim IS as well?

 

However if she is claiming Contribution Based ESA, then yes it is possible, although I have heard that the DWP could very well claim 'deprivation of a benefit that you were entitled to but stopped claiming it'. If so and they try that on, you will find that whilst she doesn't get the ESA, the DWP will assume it is still in payment.

 

Are you trying to get her to avoid having regular ESA assessments?

 

We were in the exact same situation apart from the fact that my wife was on income support and claiming for me and they were threatening to put her on ESA,,, we took advice and they said that I should be the claimant for is and add my wife to the claim as I claim ca

We did this and it all went smoothly within a day of the interview and not a loss of one penny also the money is exactly the same as before without any loss of premiums

My wife is now excempt of being assessesed to go onto ESA and job centre assure me that they want to see me once every 3 years to ask of any change in circumstances,,,,I would advise anyone in the same position to do likewise.

By the way my wife is claiming dla higher rate care and mobility

Edited by Fontaine
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