Can anyone help ? my husband of 26yrs is coming back to live with me to be my carer I am currently on incapacity benefit soon to change to ESA ( JUST WAITING TO HEAR FROM THE POWERS THAT BE ) he is also on incapacity benefit with stamps paid waiting to hear ESA decision, does anyone know if we will claim as a couple or, claim seperately, If you are in this position or know anyone that is n if we will be financially better or worse off. My MS is getting worse and need more help around the house. I have always been with my husband although we have lived apart, He means well but he cannot cope with his wife having this dreadful disease, kids have grown up n gone n we need to do whats best for us now. Thank you all x

Sorry cannot help but this should bump you back to the front page.

You certainly need some good advice before making any changes to your home life. Benefits and Work website is probably the best. is another. Also, CAB.

Lots of folk on here will know how to cope with this situation.

This has guides on all allowances/benefits that will give you info before seeing CAB

Don’t forget your husband could be eligible for Carers Allowance; about £53 PW if he looks after you more than 35 hours PW. Write to:


Disability and Carers Service

Carers Allowance Unit

Palatine House

Lancaster Road

Preston PR1 1HB

Thank you all so much for your good advice much appreciated x

Income related ESA -Only one person from a couple is allowed to claim a means tested benefit. The other piggy backs on the claim as a dependant. Either one can be the principal claimant.

If you claim Housing benefit it becomes complex to calculate the “better off” If you get less than maximum Housing/Council Tax Benefit you might be better-off if the individual who does not claim out-of-work benefit enters the claim for Housing/Council Benefit.

Contribution Based ESA – I think you continue with independent individual claims but I’m not sure. There isn’t a “couple” rate so this would seem to be the case.

Your husband can apply for carer’s allowance but he will not receive any money. If you are claiming another higher benefit CA is not payable. It is worth putting in the claim however and being awarded it “in principle” because you get premiums on HB.

As the situation is complex it is important to get advice from somewhere like CAB or welfare rights.