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Can I move from IR ESA to CB & thus retain some income if partner moves in?

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One Girl and her Big Dog:

Thank you for your reply Monic

I knew i'd lose SDP immediately, as you say, I wouldn't be the only adult.   I've been on ESA since migrating from IB so I do get the LCWRA addition.

I realised that partner moving in - a change of circumstances triggering UC, end of HB & CTS etc, and the long term implications of that should he ever move out again.

UC amounts are far, far lower than my current ESA.  All very off putting.

Also, I thought that might be the case with the class of NI contributions, HOWEVER...

The DWP website
New Style ESAYour situation
You’re ill and unable to work.
You’ve paid and/or been credited with (my emphasis) NI contributions in the last 2 to 3 years (employed or self–employed).
Your partner works.

You can claim New Style ESA, as your partner’s work does not affect it.

So, if i'd be able to claim 'new style ESA'  does it not stand to reason that I could retain the CB ESA I already get??   :xfingers:   (possibly not as a - logic and the DWP don't mix & b -New Style ESA would be less due to the removal of the LCWRA component). 

Obviously if we needed help with Housing Costs or Council Tax Support i'd have to claim UC (with all the implications you've pointed out), but my thought is that bf wage is enough to cover rent and CT, (I have council accommodation).   

My need to retain an income of my own is almost as much to do with my need to retain some control psychologically as it is to have the extra income, if that makes sense. 

Unfortunately there is no welfare advice centre anywhere near me, local CAB seem to know less than I do, and the DWP told me there was no such thing as CB ESA with IR top up, so not much help there either.

Have I completely misunderstood the New Style ESA and/or CB ESA rules?

Thanks in advance


New style ESA will focus on your NI contributions, have you paid class 1 contributions in the past 2 tax years, if you’re getting con based ESA right now then you should just stay on that.  The issue would then be doing the sums regarding partners wages and and potential housing element.

Sorry I’m not good regarding NI contributions.

Contact ESA and ask for a proof of award letter and start date to check exactly what your getting, if the income part is only the SDP then that means that you keep the main part even if your partner earns thousands

Best wishes

Sunny Clouds:
On the NI credit aspect when moving from benefit to benefit...

I claimed ESA as someone transferring from IB & IS.  I paid NI until I went on IB, then got credits, which continued when I went on ESA.  But I got income-related ESA because that was higher than contributions-based.

When I inherited and lost my income-related benefit, I kept contributions-based, so my NI credits obviously carried on over the years whilst I was on income-related.

That being said, I'm in support group, and I've no idea whatsoever what relevance that has to the amount paid as opposed to being able to say what's happened NI credit-wise.

Incidentally, I haven't done it for a couple of years, but it used to be pretty simple to get a letter from HMRC showing what NI contributions and credits you've got.  I think I found the address to write to amongst stuff about pensions, so if you can't get info elsewhere, that may be somewhere to look.

If you're not sure about your NI record you can just phone them and they will send it to you. You don't need to write  to them anymore.
I have to buy back past years as the only benefit I'm entitled to is PIP. In my last job I worked part time and didn't work enough hours to pay NI contributions. Stupidly I didn't think to make Voluntary Contributions so now I need to buy back those years otherwise I won't have paid enough before I reach retirement age to get a full pension.

A very helpful woman on the NI phone line helped me work out how many years I needed to buy back and whether or not it was worth it.

In the meantime, I have set up a Direct Debit to pay monthly contributions to keep my current record up to date whilst we save up to buy the previous years. I pay about £61.00 a month so having NI Credits paid if you are on a qualifying benefit is definitely worth it.

One Girl and her Big Dog:
Thank you Monic, I'll contact them and ask for that.  The letters I do have say that my ESA is based on my NI contributions and any other money the law says I need to live on.  (Which suggests CB to me - but who knows). 

Thank you Sunny & Ditchdwellers - There's now an even simpler way to get you NI record , online via the Government Gateway.

Thanks Again 1G


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