ESA

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I had a letter today from ESA saying i wasn't entitled to it because i hadn't paid, or been credited with enough National Insurance Contributions. They used tax years ending 5 April 2015-5 April 2016. During this time i was in receipt of ESA so obviously my NIC were paid by them. I was told to ring the HMRC to find out if there were any gaps in paying NIC. They said there were no gaps whatsoever all the way from 1994 (aged 16) to present. They said they don't understand why ESA are saying i haven't paid enough contributions during April 2015-16 because my NIC during that time was paid by ESA! They said that they would send confirmation of this to me via post, so i can send it on to ESA. Any explanation or advice would be gratefully appreciated

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Tim,  There will never be any explanations because the DWP does not know what time of day it is.  From experience I know that you have to do the job yourself & not rely on them.  Make sure you keep a note of any money owed to you.  When I eventually got back payment, the amount I received was wrong so I contacted them & told them what I was due.  I had dates & amounts.  I got what was owed in the end.  Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I rang a DWP a few times today & each time they have given me a different explanation. One of them was very rude. I don't understand how they say that i haven't paid enough NIC during 2015/16 i was in receipt of ESA during that period. They said according to there system HMRC says i'm not entitled to ESA. However HMRC tell me that there's no gaps in my NIC & they're not sure what the ESA are talking about. The HMRC said they will send me confirmation of this to pass on to the ESA.

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    • Posted

      I'm afraid DWP are correct. Being in receipt of ESA and having your NIC paid will not qualify you for Contribution Based benefits.

      If you were claiming ESA what was the reasons it stopped? was it because you've been claiming for 1 year and you weren't placed into the Support Group within that time?

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    • Posted

      No, i was in the support group at the time. However i decided to try to go back to work. I managed 6 months but was subsequently signed off long term sick again. The HMRC said that all A1 class NIC from 1994-present & they don't understand why ESA are saying that i haven't paid enough contributions.

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    • Posted

      DWP are still correct.

      In order to qualify for ESA(C) a person must satisfy both of the following National Insurance conditions.

      First condition – Prior to 1 November 2010, a person must have paid Class 1 contributions (paid by employed earners and their employers) on earnings of 25 times the lower earnings limit, or 25 Class 2 contributions (paid by self-employed earners), or a mixture of the two, for one out of the last threecomplete tax years before the beginning of the relevant benefit year. The tax years run from April to April and the benefit year from January to December.

      From 1 November 2010, the first condition is that a person:

      must have paid Class 1 contributions (paid by employed earners and their employers) on earnings of 26 times the lower earnings limit, or 26 Class 2 contributions (paid by self-employed earners), or a mixture of the two, for one out of the last two (as opposed to three) complete tax years before the beginning of the relevant benefit year (the tax years run from April to April and the benefit year from January to December); and must also have worked for a minimum of 26 weeks during one of the last two complete tax years. The 26 weeks need not be consecutive but must fall in a single tax year. A person cannot reach the earnings limit by working for less than 26 weeks in one of the tax years to satisfy this condition. These contribution rules will be the same for JSA(C).

      The first condition is relaxed so that sufficient contributions paid in any one year are enough if the person was:

      entitled to Carer’s Allowance in the last complete tax year before the relevant benefit year;

      working for more than two years before the first day of the period of limited capability for work and was entitled to a disability or severe disability element of WTC during that period;

      entitled to credited contributions because s/he had been in prison or detention and a conviction was subsequently quashed.

      Second condition – the person claiming must have paid or been credited with Class 1 or 2 contributions on earnings of 50 times the lower earnings limit in each of the two complete tax years before the start of the relevant benefit year.

      In addition, different periods of limited capability for work may be joined or linked to form a continuous period. This means a person is treated as having had a limited capability for work throughout the linking period. Different periods are linked where they are not more than twelve weeks apart.

      In certain circumstances, the linking period can be up to 104 weeks, for example where a person is a Welfare to Work beneficiary or was in full time paid work and getting the disability element of WTC and was paid either WTC or CTC at above the family element for the day before stopping work. The new period of disability must begin straight after finishing work.

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    • Posted

      Unfortunately you don't qualify for the rapid reclaim either because this has to be done within 12 weeks and you worked for 26 weeks. This is where permitted work often works well. It allows the claimant to try working and to see how they cope. Unfortunately it's too late for that now too. I'm guessing you have a partner that works so therefore don't qualify for Income related benefits?

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise, yes my Wife works 32 hours a week. I worked for 6 months & got a further 6 months of ssp. Prior to this i worked from 1994-2012, before claiming esa then i was put in to the support group until before trying to go back work in September 2016. HMRC said that i have no gaps in my NIC & that i am class 1 from 94-present.

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    • Posted

      Tim please have another read of that long post about NI contributions above. Working from 1994-2012 does not qualify you for  Contribution based ESA now. The reason is because you were claiming ESA BEFORE you went back to work and this is what has stopped you qualifying now. You qualified for it when you were claiming it before you went back to work. 2 tax years count and not just the one. You have to qualify by the TWO condtions above and you don't. It doesn't matter whether you have no gaps it's the ESA that's stopped you.

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    • Posted

      When i called ESA they said the reason i wasn't being paid was because of gaps in my NIC. They told me to contact HMRC to find out where these gaps were. Condition 1

      i seem to qualify in that i worked for 26 weeks & was in receipt of ssp for a further 26 weeks. Condition 2 seems to be the issue although i was also in receipt of the disability element of WTC.

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