ESA confusion!

Hi, hope you are all as well as can be. Please help if any of you can. As you all know, on wednesday I got a call from DWP saying I am getting ESA, support group. Well, today I got a letter in the post saying I need to fill in a reassesment form for income related ESA. What does this mean? why do they want to reasses me already, before I even star getting it? Anyone know what this is about? thanks, love Bex xxx

This second assessment is purely financial. It has got nothing to do with actual eligibility for ESA. contribution based ESA is dependent on National Insurance contributions made whilst you were working. If you don’t have those contributions and have a very low income (as part of a partnership) and no savings you would be eligible to get income based ESA. The forms that you have been sent will be asking questions about your bank accounts etc. to assess if you are eligible.

If you are in the work related group contribution based ESA is only paid for 12 months so it is important to see if you can get income related when this ends. It’s a bit different in the support group because contribution based is paid wile ever you are in it - long beyond 12 months if necessary. However if you could get income related ESA it’s worth filling in the forms because it is what is known as a passport benefit. IE if you are on it you might be eligible for other things. I knew that I wouldn’t get income based ESA because I have an occupational pension so I didn’t even bother filling the forms in - they went straight in the bin. I’m in the support group like you, so to not subject to the 12 month rule.


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Oh right, thanks Jane, I will fill them in then, as The only other income i get is DLA. That is really helpful. xxx

I was in WRAG income based now in support group so being sent that form must mean you don’t have enough contributions mines income related so I’m ok, but if you have a partner who works income based means they take into account of your household income.

I have never worked, so I would have thought they would have put me straight onto income based. I don’t have a partner, or savings and my only income is ESA and DLA xxx

Well if you always been on benefits you could still be on contribution based my brother never worked and he’s on contribution based where I have worked before my daughter but I’m ok income related it’s strange but contributions are still paid even if your on benefits I would ring esa Monday and ask them x

I have copied this from benefits at work website, hope it helps. It is very confusing.

What is contribution-based employment and support allowance (ESA)?

There are two types of employment and support allowance (ESA): contribution-based ESA and income-related ESA.
To be entitled to contribution-based ESA you must have paid enough national insurance contributions over a certain period of time.

What about savings or other income, will that make a difference?

Other income or savings will not be taken into account, with the exception of any occupational or personal pension you receive. This may reduce how much contribution-based ESA you are entitled to.

How long does contribution-based ESA last?

Contribution based ESA can be paid for up to 365 days as long as you are accepted as being incapable of work and are placed in the work-related activity group after the assessment period, which should be the first 13 weeks of your claim. If you are placed in the support group there will be no time limit on how long you can receive contribution based ESA.

What if I have not paid enough national insurance contributions?

You may be able claim income-related ESA instead. Any other income either you (and/or your partner if you have one) receive will be taken into account, as will any savings. If you have to much you may not be eligible.
Some people are able to receive both contribution-based and income-related ESA

You can also get income related esa in work related activity group, when I got diagnosed with PPMS I went for support group and asked about contribution based esa phoned me to explain I questioned why income related when I’m on contribution based esa he said no your on income related esa I said I thought you couldn’t get that in WRAG he said yes you can I was so confused as I had worked over 10 years ago but they use the previous year tax to see which one your entitled to hope this makes sense as it still confuses me.