Ill health retirement and benefits

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi folks,

My husband had to take ill health early retirement 7 yrs ago. He gets an occupational pension.

He also gets Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

He is not entitled to the state pension for another 12 years. The Gov website states he will be short for his state pension but can buy credits.

He will not be able to work in the future.

I have been looking at the New Style ESA which talks about having to have been working for the past two years or earning national insurance or credits.

I spoke with the tax office today and they explained they only add credits on the back of qualifying benefits.

I have checked the on-line calculators to see if he is entitled to any ESA benefits and it states he is not. It seems he does not qualify for New Style ESA as he has not worked in the past two years and therefore not earned any national insurance credits or qualifying credits...

I understand they do not take into account any savings but am sure they must take into account his pension as "income."

Am I right in saying that because he gets his pension he would not be able to claim any benefits other than PIP and therefore would not be eligible for any national insurance credits towards his pension? The website shows he has 30 qualifying years.

Any thoughts?

kind regards

0 likes, 4 replies

4 Replies

  • Posted

    Not absolutely sure about esa but Denise will be able too help on that one, have you looked at pension credit, that's a doorway to other benefits like free dental, glasses, rent rebate, council tax relief

  • Posted


    Buying NI credits won't help a claim for New Style ESA. You need to have worked and paid NI contributions in the years March 2016 to April 2018.

    When he did finish work all those years ago then he should have claimed Contributions based ESA at that time. An Occupational pension that's under £85 per week and savings/capital wouldn't have affected the amount he could have claimed at that time. It's a shame neither of you didn't get some expert advice at the time. Unfortunately, it's too late for that now.

    Universal Credit is an option but because it's a means tested benefit then you would need to claim this as a couple. His Occupational pension will be counted as income £1 for £1 and reduce his benefits by that amount. Whether or not you'll be entitled to claim it will depend on both of your circumstances. He will also need fit notes from his GP to claim limited capability for work. You could put both your details into a benefits calculator to see what it says.

    It maybe possible to claim New style ESA for national insurance credits only but he wouldn't receive any payments. The process for claiming this will be the same as if he were receiving the money and fit/sick notes will be needed from his GP. He will also eventually need to be assessed and a face to face assessment would be needed. This process could take several months. Once a decision is made, if he's placed into the Support Group then the NI credits would continue to be paid for as long as he remains in the group. If he's placed into the work related group then they will only be paid for 1 year and then stop. To claim this then you need to make sure it's New style ESA that's claimed and not the old Contributions based ESA.

    Pension credit is not an option because he's under state pension age and you can't claim this until you reach this age. Also with the new pension credit rules since May 2019 both couples have to be state pension age before they can claim it. Pension credit wouldn't pay any NI credits either.

    You could also both get some face to face advice from an advice agency near you, if you don't understand what you need to do. Good luck.

    • Posted

      It may also be possible to pay voluntary class 3 NI contributions for the missing years but you'll need to get face to face advice regarding this because it's not always possible to pay them.

  • Posted

    Thank you for replying to me and that has given me plenty of information. I really appreciate it.

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