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Carers UK Forum • Can I Claim ESA?
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Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:55 am
by worriedjohn
Hello,

I am so totally confused with the benefit situation, I have been a full time carer for my Wife for the past 4 years, the only benefit that I claim in the Carers Allowance, I have no other income, pension or anything else.

My Wife is on High Rate DLA for both components (was lifetime under old system) and she also gets ESA support Group.

Can I claim ESA for myself?

Does the Carers allowance that I have been paid cover my NI contribution?

I have looked at the ESA forms and most of it is irrelevant as I am not looking for work as I am full time carer.

also if I did claim would it flag up my Wife for yet more reviews?

I am so worried about everything, money is tight, but worried about stirring up a hornets nest!

any help on this would be most appreciated,

many thanks

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:46 am
by Scally
Are you disabled yourself? If so, then yes you probably can. If not, the choice is between jobseekers allowance and carers allowance. Do you get help with housing costs and council tax reductions?

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:12 pm
by worriedjohn
thanks for the reply Scally, no I am not disabled and we don't get any housing cost help as we own our own home and thankfully the mortgage has finished.

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:37 pm
by crocus
worriedjohn wrote:Does the Carers allowance that I have been paid cover my NI contribution?
Yes it does.
Have you asked Citizens Advice, or Age UK whether you are eligible for anything else? You could also contact the CarersUK helpline who are very good on benefits.

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:32 pm
by worriedjohn
thank you Crocus, yes I probably do need to speak to someone, the different benefits and rules are very confusing, I know that everyone has different needs and circumstances, but to me it is impossible to get my head around!

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:36 pm
by bowlingbun
John, it's a hopelessly complicated benefits system, even the DWP computer can't work everyone's benefit out properly. This is why Carers UK have their own helpline. It's busy, but you can always email them. They made me £50 per week better off, so I'm happy to sing their praises. Many of us here are happy to share their experiences, in the hope of pointing people in the right direction, and getting the ball rolling, so to speak, but we can only speak from personal experience. The helpline will look at your specific situation, go through everything with you. No need to fear a Hornets nest, it's not connected in any way with the DWP!

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:38 pm
by worriedjohn
thank you bowlingbun, much appreciated!

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:56 pm
by Floyd_1504
Hi Worried
Your wife should be making a joint claim for both of you, as a couple you would be receiving main phase rates for a couple plus enhanced and severe disability premiums and the support group component in the claim. From which the amount you receive in Carers Allowance will be deducted, this is because CA is a means tested benefit. claiming CA entitles you to NI credits and also prevents you from being subjected to the claiments commitment because you are considered to be WORKING 35 hours per week. As you are mortgage free the only council benefits you are entitled to are council tax reductions. Your wifes DLA is not counted as income so does not affect any of your other income and after a recent court ruling CANNOT be taken into account when asking for discretionary housing payments.
Hope this helps
Madfloyd

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:48 pm
by worriedjohn
thank you Floyd, how would we claim as a couple, is there a form to complete? also would doing this put my Wife's benefits up for review again?, always worried about triggering something off!

Re: Can I Claim ESA?

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:26 pm
by Floyd_1504
Hi Worried
your wifes claim for ESA is your household claim. ESA main phase for a couple £113.70 (these are pre 6th april 2015 figures) Support component £35.75 Enhanced disability premium £22.35 for a couple, 1 of you qualifies. this is because one of you is in receipt of DLA at any rate. Because your wife gets DLA care at middle or higher rate she is also entitled to severe disability premium £61.10 and carers premium £34.20, Total £267.10. because you claim carers allowance of £61.35 which is paid directly to you and is classed as income, this is deducted from £267.10 so OH gets £205.75, you get £61.35. These figures only apply to Income Related ESA and not Contribution ESA (CB ESA does not entitle you to the premiums) and FYI to all CB ESA does not entitle you to free prescriptions either only IR ESA. The only benefit to claiming CA is that you are not subjected to seeking work as you are classed as working 35hours already and you receive CA NI contributions though you should claim them via hmrc as i'm not sure it's automatic. As you have been caring for 4 years I will assume your OH was placed directly into the support group and has been in receipt of CB ESA since. ASK for a review and get placement into IR ESA, with regards to being looked at again, everyone is assessed approximately every 2-3 years if the condition warrants support group then its just completing the ESA50 formyour local CAB, DIAL or Carers can help with this.
Hope this hasn't confused to much. lol
Good Luck
Madfloyd