ESA (CB), PIP. Partner wanting to work.

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Hi, I really need some advice and am getting different answers so I'm quite confused. 

My partner claims ESA Contribution Based, and he is in the support group and my name is on his claim (he is the main claimant). He also gets PIP and IIB. He had an accident at work and lost some fingers and as a result he suffers PTSD, Generalised Anxiety and anger spurts. 

I claim Child Tax Credits for 2 of my children and Child Benefit. I do not claim carer's allowance. 

I am struggling money wise and would love to go back to work even if it's part time. Would my partners ESA (CB) be affected because my name is on his claim. Am I allowed to work so many hours without it affecting us? Is it just a case of taking my name off his claim?

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  • Posted

    The best thing to.do would be to ask the DWP or the Citizens Advice Bureau .
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    • Posted

      Do you think they will talk to me alone? My partner hates confrontation and suffers bad anxeity. He doesn't understand things too well and gets confused and irate really quickly. An aftermath of his accident and ongoing mental health. 
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    • Posted

      You would need a letter from your partner to allow you to act on his behalf to talk about such information. Basically, just a few lines stating that you are dealing with his financial matters, but he must sign it because of the Data Protection Act.

      Regards,

      Les.

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  • Posted

    HI Leayna,

    Please can you enlighten me by what you mean by "PIP and IIB"?

    Is this Incapacity Benefit and PIP?

    Regards,

    Les.

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    • Posted

      PIP is Personal Independant Payment and IIB is Industrial Injuries Benefit with him being 40% disabled. 

      I'm told that IIB is not means tested and he will get that for life and it's not taken into consideration for anything. 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Leayna,

      Thanks for your reply.

      This may seem like a stupid question, but it may affect your claim. Please can you tell me if the accident happened prior to 1995? There is a reason for this, because it can affect how the ESA is taken in to account with Tax Credits. If the accident before July 1995 then his ESA should not be taken in to account. It is an area that you are not told about with Tax Credits, and they will class his ESA as a Taxable income when it is not.

      Sorry, I should of asked you this before.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi Leayna,

      Right, okay that would mean that his ESA would be classed as a Taxable Income with respect to Child Tax Credits, if you were claiming Carers Allowance then this would also be classed as a Taxable Income with Child Tax Credits.

      If your name is on his ESA Claim, then this would indicate that part of the ESA Claim must have an additional premium for you. If this is the case then his ESA would be less, if you started working. It is not a case of just removing your name from the ESA claim, because of the additional premium that would be taken off. 

      You might be better off at the moment by working, but you have to consider that this all changes when Universal Credit comes in to play, this will affect millions of people, on benefits. Even with part-time work from April 2016 National Insurance is being increased, so you will end up worse off.

      There is a lot of facts to consider when changing things in respect of income.

      To be honest, considering your circumstances I would ask your partner to give you consent of working with financial matters and take your details of all benefits to CAB. But you must have your partners permission of consent to deal with matters of this nature.

      They would know more about what benefit changes are done and what you would gain. But when Universal Credit takes over then there are huge changes that the government has introduced.

      I would take pollmadoll64's advice and go to CAB. There are Benefit Calculaters online, I have just asked Alan (Moderator) to add one that I use which is totally anonymous. I cannot send the link in this message but I can PM you the link.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      I never knew that. For a time (3 years) not only did HMRC treat all of my contribution based ESA (Support Group) as income for WTC purposes, but I was paying 20% tax on it as well!!!!

      For the next 2 years (after I stopped claiming WTC) until I was 65, I continued to pay over to HMRC 20% of my ESA !!

      My Indusrial Injury happened on the 9th December 1994. I started to claim IIDB and DLA in 1996 (July) when I realised that I could.

      Both the IIDB (80%) & DLA (High care & mobility) ceased in 2004 as I was deemed by the DWP to have nothing wrong with me. It wasn't until 2011 after I made new claims that they put me back onto IIDB (40%) and DLA (High mobility & Middle care)

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Les,

      It is not a fact the HMRC actually broadcasts, and not many of their own staff know about. You are told about this, or even if you are entitled to pay no tax.

      My accident happened in 1993, way before July 1995, and there have been no breaks between any of the benefits I received and now. But if there is a gap at all, then your ESA does become taxable.

      I only found out when I received from the HMRC a P60 stating how much I had earned during the previous year - I thought this cannot be right, and questioned it why was my Invalidity Benefit being classed as a taxable income. The HMRC had to phone me back twice because I was correct and they were in the wrong.

      Then when it changed again to Incapacity Benefit, they tried again, and again I disputed it.

      When I was put on Contribution-based ESA in the Support Group, the HMRC again tried taxing my ESA, when in fact all they should have taxed was my wifes Carers Allowance (which is a pittance for what she has to do 24/7 for me) £61 a week roughly.

      Last year, I phoned the HMRC because they did the same again, but this time the woman I spoke to, did not understand about the 1995 change, so she put me on hold and got her supervisor, again I got the same response, eventually I managed to speak to the manager of the section and told him that I had been on the sick since 1993, and it was a progressive disorder, therefore there is no gaps between each time the Benefit has changed, but you are taxing my benefit. He said well you are correct we will wipe it off your name. He did say sorry, but not many people ask about Taxable Benefits before 1995.

      It is again a breakdown between departments not knowing what they should know - computers have supposed to make a difference, but as we all know human intervention fails with communication. Then again new employees will not know about Government changes affecting Benefits unless they have been told.

      It is bad what you have been through, not just benefits but your accident as well - it's hard enough without the HMRC breathing down on you as well.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the info. I think the most important part that you mention is that there should be no break between IB/ESA. In my case I didn't realise that I could claim IB in 1994 after the accident happened. It took me close to 2 years to find out that I could claim DLA and IIDB. No one ever mentioned IB/ESA at the time. We lived off our savings, had to find a job that I could do + the DLA/IIDB. It was in 2008 that I had to accept defeat with working and ask what other benefits I could have. That is when I first heard about IB/ESA. Knowing what I know now, I would have not had to work, would still have savings and would have claimed IB in 1995,

      I did ask the question in 2008 as to why I was never told about a sickness benefit and because of that had put myself through purgatory by trying to hold down a job to make sure money was there to pay the bills. All I was told by the DWP was that it was my responsibility to find out.

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    • Posted

      And now I read that it is likely that I will have to send in 4 self assessed tax returns a year!! Because I have 6 private pensions + the state pension + DLA/IIDB, The reason why HMRC are bugging me is that they can't seem to get my code numbers right - they blame me for having too many sources of taxable income!
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    • Posted

      Hi Les,

      I have had many "run-ins" with the DWP, they lie so much it's not worth even the price of the phone call. They state on all their letters at the bottom, "Please keep for future reference", why they actually put that is beyond me, because if you state that you have a letter stating something from them, they will say to you "That sounds like a computer error and should not have been sent out". I put this in a question over the phone, and when they said that, I said "So, you're now saying that all 5 letters you sent me in 2005 were all computer errors?" - There was a long pause before the guy answered, and even then he was lying, this was from one of their higher level staff - but it still made no difference. Basically, any content on headed paper IS NOT classed by them, as proof that they sent you!!

      There is no such thing as a computer error, it is the user that enters the data, nothing more! But the DWP does state there is computer errors and will not ever say the problem was with them. Basically, you're brushed under the carpet and thats that, unless you can prove otherwise.

      In my case, I was disputing a Social Loan that they said I had back in 2005, yet they only contacted me this year to start paying it back. Now, that is a 10 year gap, and as you probably know even a creditor cannot chase a debt off you after 6 years - because they would not be in compliance with the Statute Barred Act. Now, if you look up this Act the Government has conveniently made the DWP EXEMPT from it, and it is the only organization that is!!

      I thought 10 years ago, we don't have bank statements going back that far, so I went to online banking and noticed I could only go back 7 years, which I thought was strange. Anyway, I contacted my bank and spoke to the manager, only because I know him well enough to get straight answers - He said, in practice you cannot print out bank statements which are older than 7 years due to the Data Protection Act. I thought there's no chance of proving that it was paid, but he did say there is nothing stopping you bringing in your Debit Card and one of the staff can open the archive of your account, which goes back to when you first joined our bank. I thought, great now I can find out the truth - bear in mind, the DWP probably already knew this because one guy said consider yourself lucky, some people we are chasing up are around 20 years!!

      Well, from the bank statements on the bank computer it was clear we started paying the loan in 2005, but because my benefit changed to ESA, the payments stopped. The DWP however, were chasing me for £800 with no payments taken - I even asked them to put it on hold, they said we can for 14 days while I done more digging! Even that was a lie, they started taking nearly £20 a week out of my ESA the following week. They would only accept proof if it was clearly shown on headed paper from the bank, course the Data Protection Act prevented this, so I had no choice but to pay them - which I'm still doing now, it will eventually finish in February 2016.

      At one point the guy from the DWP even stated if I could find the original Social Loan documents from 2005

      That is stupid, regarding your pensions and DLA or PIP is not a Taxable Income. And, your not even employed yet you are expected to enter 4 Self-Assessed tax returns a year! These days computers can migrate data, which is simple to do - it is just people don't know how to take in to consideration variations of data.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi Les I used to work for the DWP and I agree with what you say.  The whole system is very complex and continually changing so there is always lots of ongoing training.  I found some of the main problems are - decisions made by managers when they should ask the people who do the job,   lack of cohesion between different departments,  and computers which are not fit for the purpose and which send out nonsensical post.     I will say from my job on the front line that we all did our best and cannot be blamed for decisions made by managers.  You would need to go a lot higher than than to find any answers,  but you can't.  It's just a mess.

      I used to feel so sorry for customers and I heard a lot of awful stories of mismanagement,  errors,  and general crap which they endure.  But it is the system which is wrong and staff can't do anything about it coz they never listened to us. 

      It was hard job on the front line - not only did we have all the above to deal with,  but also with customers who would get angry and frustrated with us and have a go.   I also know I was guilty of giving the wrong information out at times and not advising folk of all the inns and outs.  The trouble is we were very very busy but would get complex emails which  we didn't have time to read.   Then what about when everyone screams - too many pen pushes and admin staff in the Civil Service,  so they cut back and cut back and everyone suffers as a result.   This is happening now which is why people are waiting so long to have their claims processed, and why staff working to a deadline and targets often make mistakes.  We are all human.  x

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the insight into the inner workings of the DWP. Whilst I agree entirely with your comments, it really doesn't help the poor blighters that just happen to be the claimants. Many, like myself have never seen a benefit claim form in their lives, so to expect claimants to seek 'find out' what they are entitled to is like someone who wants to learn to play the piano but will only do so if they will become a concert pianist at the end. If you don't know whether there is anything that you can claim what can you do? The logical answer is to approach the DWP/Jobcentre who must be the experts in that subject who would then direct you to the correct channel. You can't claim if you don't know if it exists.

      Those in the DWP should be made to realise that the people that they are dealing with are generally desperate for money and desperate for information. God help us if the NHS were to operate like the DWP with doctors giving out a wrong diagnosis, Telling a patient that has heart failure that there is a long waiting list of many months before they are likely to see anyone. Or even a doctor telling a patient to go away and find out what is wrong with you and to come back when you know.

      .

       

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    • Posted

      As for PIP, who in there right mind has decided that it will be an excellent idea and way of continually stopping the benefit until a tribunal says otherwise every few years? I'm 67 and hope to make it to 80 at least. With a PIP reassessment every few years I am likely to have to fill in a claim form, attend an assessment and quite possibly argue my case before a Tribunal quite possibly 6 times! 

      Given that it is unlikely that I will qualify for PIP, and certainly could not work, I can't see how a successful PIP claim can be made whilst being able to hold down a job 

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    • Posted

      Hi Les I agree with you.  It's not the DWP though who make these decisions - it is the Govt.  They make the laws ie sanctions,  then pass it down to senior civil servants to implement.   Look at the social mores at the moment - all JSA claimants are lazy and could work but won't.  If you are sick then they have more sympathy, but they think you could probably work too if you really wanted to.   How many times have you heard those on benefits slagged off by the public? And the media?  Do you watch Benefit Street?   They only talk about the vast minority who do abuse the system,  not the genuine claimants who don't. 

      To the Tory mind all benefit claimants are scum - it is part of their ideological war against the poor and the sick isn't it?   I just hope that those who voted for them suffer as well. 

      The JCP are currently overrun and have been ever since everyone,  even the sick,  are directed there.  They didn't provide more staff you know,  they just tightened the targets so if they were spending 10 minutes with you before they are now spending 7.   It only gets worse.  

      My sister was a middle manager there and she told me she often had to act in the role of unpaid social worker too as she felt so sorry for some of them.  She had a young lad who signed on with an older man.  The lad obviously had learning difficulties and she suspected he was being abused.  Anyway she went out of her way to get him classified as a vulnerable person so he got more protection and help.   They all do that there,  but no one ever hears about it. Despite all that she often got verbally abused by members of the public who would call her a b...ch etc.   .

      Most JCP's have security guards now as mental health patients and 'angry' ones cause havoc and will attack staff or  vandalise the office. I saw this a number of times.   It's awful.  x

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    • Posted

      Thanks

      You have me feeling some sympathy for the DWP staff - but only those that are clearly trying to help but can't for one reason or another.Since this new world of benefit claiming opened up to me, I have tried to get information from them to help me understand what I should be doing. When I failed my first ESA assessment with 0 points, I rang the BDC and asked what I should do. It ended up with the woman on the phone taking a straw poll with her colleagues and coming back to me on the basis of a majority opinion that as I was now officially able to work i should be claiming JSA - that was in 2010! I signed on, and at the first meeting with the JC they actually tore up my claim for JSA in front of me saying that I was far too sick to even look for work, never mind actually do some work. She told me to reclaim ESA again. I did but wasn't paid for the first 5 months! No one mentioned anything about appealing I found that out a year later. Ironically, the second ESA assessor said that I had said that I had never suffered from a mental illness - rather strange in that only some months earlier I had been released from a secure mental health unit in hospital under section. I went from 0 points to Support Group for 3 years on my second ESA claim on the strength of that alone. Someone got their facts wrong. 

      I was then told that I should be claiming Pension Credit which I did. That was confusing as I was still claiming Contributory ESA AND Guaranteed Pension Credit as a top up. Only recently I found out that I should have closed the ESA claim but no one told me.

      With my experiences of the DWP and the way I have been treated since early1995, I am seriously considering giving up with these benefits that come with regular reassessments - it just seems to be a one sided fight to just find out what my entitlements are never mind secure our fincial security.

      I have just heard about Attendance Allowance. This replaces DLA/PIP for the care part. I have had a look at the qualification criteria for Attendance Allowance and to get the equivalent of High Care - DLA - Enhanced PIP, you only have to show that you have day and night needs. Why does it look easier to qualify for Attendance Allowance and not DLA/PIP? They are one and the same, same money, just that you have to be over 65 to claim it - that was me two years ago. 

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    • Posted

      You have had bad experiences Les and I am sorry,  I have heard many stories like yours unfortunatly!   And many worse believe it or not.  Not all the DWP care as some of them have been in their job all or most of their working lives and never experienced what most of their customers do. 

      I stopped caring up to a point as it got me upset too.  A couple of times I went out of my way to help someone and they still had a go at me.   

      Also I don't know if you know but the staff are only allowed 7 days off sick in a year on a rolling term.   Those who transgressed them were given formal written notices and after a couple of those a final writen notice.  Staff therefore went in with chest infections,  flu,  and all sorts of illnesses when they should have been home resting.  How can you work properly under these conditions?  Could you and remain patient and helpful with customers? 

      I was under a final written warning following a severe chest infection.  I took ab's and steroids and it finally went only to recur after a couple of weeks.  I knew that 1 more day off and they would sack me so I probably wasn't a happy bunny when dealing with folk.  I was under so much stress and pressure and the DWP didn't care.   I eventually had 1 more day off sick and was dismissed.   I am glad coz I hated it.    They sacked a lot of people there thus losing their experience and knowledge and took on new staff all the time that they had to train up.  They cut down the  time spent in training as well so many didn't have a clue at first what they were doing.   You get someone like that and no wonder they don't tell you a lot - they can't.  x

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    • Posted

      Hi Hypercat (Unusual user name, I guess it has a meaning? Lol ),

      You certainly opened a few people’s eyes with your posts, I have met other ladies on Facebook groups which are closed or secret for the right reasons. Some of the stories I have heard have been unreal, but in the news, media and programmes like Benefit Street are as you stated represent the worst possible streets, hence why they make them – and people like the public are subjected to worst possible side of it all.

      I have never seen on any one of those programmes a case which is genuine, maybe there are some but I tend to avoid the programmes that broadcast this type of information. All newspapers contradict one another, and side with a party. I remember when The Sun was biased towards Labour, and then something was said which they did not like, so they went Tory biased.

      Your working conditions were enough to drive anyone insane, but like they say ‘you cannot win with anything against the government’, which is true, to an extent - even though there are ways around various areas, which I found out.

      When I was having problems with the DWP and a social loan repayment, I asked which department do I need to speak regarding the payment of the loan back in 2005, I was informed that information they did not have access to, which makes a lot of sense.

      I know for a fact payments were made back in 2005, because they were on the banks computers – yet the DWP started taking payments for whole loan, not what was left owing. And all this happened because I changed from Incapacity Benefit to ESA, then they stopped taking payments out. Then started back up this year!!

      I cannot wait for the DWP to send me the PIP Application Form, some people dread it I know. To me I just want to see what exactly happens, whether they will ignore what my Neurologist states, he doesn’t take any messing from anyone and is the British President of Neurology – he is a very well respected guy and known all over the UK. I always remember I had an outpatient’s appointment to see him, so the night before I had a bath as normal. But, I ended up having a grand mal seizure in the bath, my wife had to pull me up, what made it worse was is I swallowed a lot of water. Anyway, the next day I had to have Botulinum Toxin Injections by him in my neck for Cervical Dystonia, in layman’s terms it’s like having muscles that you cannot control, so my head is forever being pulled to the left and in to my shoulder, there are numerous areas which are also affected, my left foot is twisted inwards, my feet, ankles and legs are swollen constantly unless I rest all day. But, then I get chronic depression – and I can’t stay in the same position for too long, because of cramps and spasms.

      And, like Les59996 it was all down to an accident back in 1992, I was only put off work because their insurance would no longer cover me or others, because of the danger I could put myself and them in, so I started claiming Invalidity Benefit, which has changed 3 times over the decades. I have no clue if I ever had an ESA assessment and they said I was fit for work! I have to rely on my wife 24/7, sleep in an hospital bed, have a clos-o-mat, electric Bath seat (it stops me going fully underwater), an electric riser/decliner chair, TeleCare RED Button Emergency Service for hospital emergencies – I have to wear a red button on my wrist, which includes a smoke detector in the hallway (it is only used if I was on my own) which is not very often. Basically, I damaged nerves in my spine at home, not at work which lead to a rare condition back then called Focal Segmental Dystonia, with Torsion Dystonia, but last year I was diagnosed with Generalized Dystonia, basically my whole body is affected by the nerve condition which caused other neurotic problems.

      My life now is 6 Botulinum Toxin injections in hospital every 10 weeks, over 30 tablets a day and on Class ‘A’ tablets. Being on this amount of medication daily is a real nightmare, I am up about 5-7 times a night, even though the medication I am on is supposed to suppress some of the pain, it takes me ages to get the bed in to a comfortable position, the mattress is forever massaging (which at first did help with sleeping, but not anymore) I find the bed is handy with the safety bars and to adjust it, so my legs are higher than me to relieve swelling in the legs, ankles and feet

      My mobility is severely impaired, I have even seen a Neurophysiotherapist, it was not too bad at the start, but as the exercises became more gruelling, then the pains I was getting become worse, until it got to the state that my one calf muscles had a cramp, with me cramps cause further spasms. Mobility is now only by wheelchair which my wife as to push me everywhere. I cannot use my arms, my brains gives muscles the wrong signals - I did try once and scratched our new Motability car!

      I could go rabbling about it all – I wish the accident never occurred, but like so many of us on here we all suffer from pain in one way or another, silent pain (mental) is awful, I have had many breakdowns because I get so frustrated not being able to do anything. I had a good job, working 16 hour shifts and thinking nothing of it. I started buy e-books and one that really stuck out was written by Tom Clark called “Hard Times - The Divisive Toll of the Economic Slump” latest publication was this year, but it brings light on many government areas and what went wrong and who caused it (Doesn't really need a guessing of the names!).

      Well, I think that’s enough for now – it has taken me since this morning until now to even type this!

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi Les I am so sorry as I had no idea you were so ill.  It must be awful and I don't know how you cope.   Do you use a lappy?  I am asking coz I know there is a voice activation on them so you can speak rather than type if it is easier.   A friend of mine broke her wrist so used it instead for a while.  It might be worth looking into.  Take care my friend and hugs.  Bev xx
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