Mental Health Support


I am panicking - I've just received a letter saying that my contribution based ESA has ended and I will now be getting income based which is based on what the law thinks I can live on. This amount is £21.56 a week! I cannot live on that and don't know how they got to this amount.

There offices are not open as it is Saturday so I have the whole weekend to worry about it :-(.

Does anyone know how they got to the above amount and if it is a mistake? Has this happened to anyone else?

8 Replies

I think it is a mistake; it should be the same amount or if it doesn't come to the same amount they may be topping it up with income support or something. Normally there's just a straight switch from one to the other. Try not to panic. Benefits can get us down but no you will not be expected to live on £21.56 a week.That sounds more to me like the "applicable amount" which they then add other things to. Check the letter again incase you've misread it but if it does say what you think then it is a mistake in my opinion.

gemma x


I am not getting any income support or any other income apart from I had a medical last week for PIP but I doubt they have even made a decision yet.

I will have to wait until morning but it is really bugging me.


Try not to panic; it will get sorted; normally income based is around the same as contribution based and they just swap it. I know its not easy when its the weekend but you can get it looked at on Monday.



Hi do you live with a partner? Do you have any other income coming in? Do you have savings over £6,000?

Contribution based benefit is usually paid for up to 6 months and is based on paying enough National Insurance contribution in work over the last 2/3 tax years. When this finishes it becomes Income Based benefit. This one takes into account all income coming into the household ie if you have a working partner, any other income or whether your savings (joint ones) are over £6,000 a year (not sure if it is £6,000 jointly or singley). This might be the reason why they have reduced your benefit so much.

Look on site which will give you all the information you need. x


It all depends on how old you are so I wouldn't think its a mistake there is set amounts and with it been income based I would think that also goes off your national insurance number but it's always best to double check and see for your self because they could have missed something or you can always go to cab and they will sort stuff for you also good look Gemma all the best Ian


I phoned them this morning and their systems are down so got to phone back in a few hours.

I have no other income, no savings, I don't own property, and I live on my own in private rented accommodation. Hopefully, the mystery will be solved this afternoon.

Thanks guys and girls :-)


After their systems down all day Monday I got through this morning. Turns out that my total weekly amount never changed. This letter is just worded wrong and should say that the £21.56 is on top of the £70 ish a week.

Once I am better I think I will apply for the job of writing these letters so no one else needs to go through 3 days of agonising over nothing.


if you're on facebook look out for 4up, welfare news, fightback, jobseekers pages they will be able to help too.


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