Credits only ESA claim to IB ESA claim
I have a client who wants to change a credits only ESA claim to an income based ESA claim. Although the DWP initially asked her to submit an ESA3 form, they have now said that it is a change of circumstances that triggers a UC claim. Is this correct?
There is no such thing as a credits only ESA claim. Your client has an award of credits for having LCW which is distinct from an ESA award.
Back in the days before UC, old style ESA and LCW credits were dealt with under the same system so, administratively, you could just switch between the two on an ESA3. There was a short while where you could get away with sending in ESA3s in full service, but it won’t work anymore.
I have a similar case where an ESA3 was sent by the DWP - took them 2 months to reject the claim. In the meantime, client had not claimed UC so she has lost out because she was waiting for a decision on ESA3.
I am still waiting for UC decision on the claim but once they have agreed it I will be asking for compensation for their poor advice ie just fill in an ESA3.
So even if I can get an sdp in place - likely since she will be discharged imminently into homeless accommodation i.e. paid by hb - then she will still need to apply for IB ESA rather than complete an ESA 3