Severe disability premium (ESA)

Hi all, I wonder if anyone can offer some advice? Exactly a year ago, my partner and I split - my MS finally became too much of a burden for the relationship and she moved out. She was getting Carers Allowance for me, which naturally stopped at that point. I was unaware of Severe Disability Premium, but I’ve since been told I should have been moved onto it when she stopped getting CA for me. I never got any form to fill in, so I just assumed I wasn’t entitled, and struggled on funding any care costs on credit cards, and through loans, etc. 4 weeks ago, a friend asked why I wasn’t getting SDP, so I called went to the Job Centre, and they confirmed I am entitled to it. I was given an ESA3 form to fill in and return, also being told it would be back dated to the point my ex stopped claiming Carers, as I was already eligible. I called the DWP as well, and they confirmed it again on the phone, telling me I didn’t need to send the form, that they’d do it on the phone, and it would take about 3 weeks. Cut to today, and I called DWP again, only to be told I DID need to submit the form, but I could do it at the Job Centre. Fortunately I still had it, so went down and put it in. I get a call a few hours later, and was told my claim is approved. So far, so good…however, they are refusing to backdate more than a month, against what I’d been told by the DWP themselves. Should I appeal? Can I appeal? Has anyone been successful in a similar position? I’ve racked up debt having to pay for care costs and the back payment would have taken care of at least some of that. As it is I’m now completely stressed out and it’s not doing my health any good. Sorry for rambling!

I can’t off any advice but I do wish you luck. Let us know know how it goes. Anne x

A visit to welfare rights at your council wil put your mind at rest they will see that you are getting what you are entightled to backdated etc Hillubilly

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Thanks folks - I’m heading up to the CAB today see if they can offer any advice. Really disheartened by this news, no sleep, and my depression is appalling.

This is due to the incompetence of a government department and your MP is the best person to deal with that.

My sister had this with the inland revenue when she was sent a tax bill for £7000+. As she had always been a low paid factory worker on paye she thought it would be easy to refute the bill. Oh no, they bounced her from one department to another and the bill kept changing and eventually she was given a deadline to pay. She asked me to help and I could only suggest she goes to her MP. We went together and he was excellent.

The bouncing her around stopped and she received a written apology with the tax bill revoked.



I just had a look at the DWP guidance on SDP. Have a look at

They are basically saying that you qualify for SDP if you receive PIP for Daily Living or DLA at the middle or higher rate for care. And you live alone and no one gets Carers Allowance for you. As both of these applied when your partner was living with you, you didn’t qualify at that time.

Once your ex partner moved out and simultaneously stopped getting Carers Allowance for you, you should have been awarded the SDP and thus more money. I would assume that you notified the DWP of the change in your circumstance.

What the DWP say is that:

‘You do not have to claim disability premium. If you’re eligible, it’s automatically added to your … Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)’

So it seems to me that once you told the DWP that you’d had a change in circumstance, ie that your partner no longer lived with you (and either you or she told them, or they should have checked, that she no longer received Carers Allowance), they should automatically have awarded the premium to your claim.

Therefore, in my opinion, they should have retrospectively applied the SDP to your claim from the date she moved out or last received Carers Allowance, whichever is the later date.

(Just my opinion, I’m not an expert, you could check this out with the CAB or other welfare rights adviser.)