Hello am new to the site..have just been awarded ESA contribution based but feel it should be income related please help

For 3 years I cared full time for my husband who was terminally ill, which meant I gave up work in March 2010. For those years I received Carers Allowance and Income Support and hubby was on Incap. Benefit and Disability. My husband passed away December 2012, thats when the nightmare started. I was given Bereavement Allowance of £95 A week but they only pay this for 52 weeks. Because of my own failing health, I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis I recently claimed ESA. I expected this to be income related. I received a letter today saying I will get £71 ESA contribution based but cannot understand why? Is this right?

23 Replies

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  • If i was u id go to citizens advice and ask them they also help with form filling x

  • Thank you crissy

  • I think everyone gets contribution based for 365 days, unless you are in the support group. I have not worked for many years but I am on contribution based benefit. I think they give you this almost as a reminder that it will change to income based after the year and to get your financial affairs in order so to speak. If after the year you have someone working in your household and earning over a certain limit then you will lose this benefit altogether as your are then assessed on your income.

    Apologies if I don't seem to be making much sense, just look at the time, I must go to bed!!

  • Thanks Bluebell I must go to bed too..thank you for your help, yes it made sense

  • Hi Mistyang.

    I am so sorry to hear about your sad loss and the problems that you are now facing. I was wondering if you ever tried to claim DLA (soon to become PIP)? This benefit is not taken into account when claiming other benefits and is paid in three grades of low, middle and high. This is also broken into two sections of mobility and personal care so if you fail to get one you may get the other. It's worth a try as you won't have any money deducted from other benefits.

    All my hopes and dreams for you.

    Ken (the author) x

  • Hi Ken, thank you so much. I claimed DLA in January 2012 and have now reached the stage where I have just received a letter from the tribunal people who say it will be a further 21 to 25 weeks before the case is heard. I have no representative yet to go with me and am worried sick as I walk with a stick as I need knee surgery and my mobility is very poor. Will have to see what happens next. Ang

  • Hi - I think I would try giving them a ring and get clarification on everything. It really is a long time to wait.

    You take care xx

  • I will thank you x

  • Google my benefits claim they will represent you and do all the leg work give em a ring charge 30% but worth it to take all the stress away x

  • Hi I have googled the page and saved it. Do you mean they charge 30% for doing the tribunal for my appeal and if so 30% of what exactly there is not much info on their page. Thank you

  • Hi, these companies help you with anything to do with your claim and will sort out your papers for the appeal / tribunal and will come along on the day of the hearing and represent you.

    They charge from 30% to 50% depending on the company. The charge is based on how much in back dated award is granted. So if at your tribunal you win and they award you £100 in back dated benefit the company will charge you the 30% so they get £300 and you get £700. You will also get 100% of the on going benefit .

    If however you lose the appeal / tribunal the company gets nothing.

    Hope this makes sense

    Sending soft hugs

  • very good sense thank you...gentle hugs back

  • Welcome to the site Mistyang hope you have been given some useful advice the Author has given a good suggestion. Hope we can all help we are all in the same boat as you will find in the coming weeks. Do have a look around especially the fibroaction.org site if you click on the butterfly in the square box you will be offered more variety to answer your questions. Good luck xgins

  • Hi Mistyang My husband got contribution based for the 1st 365 days i think everyone does I have the dreaded fibro but he is waiting for knee replacements and he has had to fight for every penny he has got it makes me mad because my husband has never had a day off sick since he started working and he is 57 now. But they have put him in support group after a tribunal and at least for a while we wont have to worry his 1st op is hopefully Jan 14 and the other one 6 months later they say so then he can go back to work hope you sort your money out ok

  • hi so very sorry for your loss i know it can be so hard i cared for my husband for 3 years he was termanily ill with cancer .there are 3 places that can advice you first is macmillan they help with benafits or turn to us or citizens advice ,macmillan and turn to us will give you advice by phone ,i hope this helps i also have fibromyalgia and osteophorisis ,sending softest hugs if you want to talk i am here for you .

  • Hi, thank you all for your replies, I appreciate it very much. I am 59 now myself and cannot see me doing any kind of work, I have depression which has been severe since my husband passed away, I adored him and the loss of all our future old age plans are gone in smoke, he would be mortified that I have so little to live on now. The house is paid for thankfully so that is one less worry. Three months after losing my husband I lost my Mum suddenly, she had a chest infection for a few days which became pneumonia, she was rushed into hospital early one morning and passed away that afternoon...I was in shock. The two people who were my rocks were taken in a short space of time...

  • Have you phoned the DWP to ask them to clarify. It maybe they have made an error, i'm sure even they make mistakes! Id call them first thing tomorrow if i were you. I know this sounds silly but whatever they say, i would also make another call a shirt while after and ask the same question, i have in the past done this with HMRC and got two different answers, so i may need further investigation.

    By the way, im so sorry to hear that you lost your husband xxx

  • my husband gets ESA we got letter saying he got income based but was also entitled to contribution based as he was previously on IB. we got letter from council last week to say they had made a mistake last june when he was put on it and had worked out our HB and CT on income based but that little bit of contribution based comes first so they say they have over paid us bu 360 and we now should be paying £18 week rent plus £10 off the overpayment until next june when he goes straight over to income based also "250 CT bill!!! we then go onto income based which is £30 per week less but with no rent to pay. wouldnt have minded if they said at the begining we had to pay rent ect but not 5months down the line!!

  • What a nightmare Josie the last thing you need is stress like that.

  • Contribution based benefits take account of your own national insurance contributions and any national insurance credits you have become entitled to. While on carers allowance you got national insurance credits.

  • thank you

  • Mistyang, you won't get income related if you have sufficient NI contributions in the previous two employment years (which are apparently not the same as calendar or tax years!). It's a pain because it essentially penalises people financially for having either worked or gained NI contributions through caring responsibilities. The good news is that if you're still on ESA after a year you'll then be moved onto income related (assuming your income is small enough) and start getting the additional benefits. There are various premiums as well which you might qualify for when you know the outcome of your DLA appeal, see here: gov.uk/disability-premiums-... Best of luck Xx

  • Thank you for all your help the DWP confirmed it is contributory based ESA, really fed up to be honest...£71.70 a week for everything sat here with the heating off just now...it is hard right now on Friday 13th this week it will be a year since I lost my soulmate husband...xx I need a more efficient boiler as mine is so old and have no thermostat on it, I have to switch it on and off manually, there is hardly any insulation in the loft...I was hoping for help...no flipping chance now... I feel like staying in bed, some days I do till 1 o clock,....

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