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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Work capability issues and ESA  →  Thread

Claim new-style ESA or wait for WCA in UC?

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Welfare Support Worker - Community Renewal Edinburgh

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Total Posts: 32

Joined: 7 May 2019

My client was advised by JCP to claim UC, despite having made sufficient NI contributions.

I had advised him to claim new-style, but due to his health conditions and poor time keeping skills, we have not been able to get around to it, and his UC claim has progressed to a stage where he has received a UC50, due in late October.

Would a claim for new-style have any impact on the WCA (i.e. would the same WCA just be scheduled for ESA instead), and is there any benefit to claiming it in any event?

Client has numerous issues, and his conditions mean appointments will be few and irregular, so I’m nut sure if this is worth attention. In his current circumstances LCWWRA seems fair.

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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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Total Posts: 173

Joined: 24 November 2017

If the UC is going to be more than the ESA there is no financial gain claiming both. Would get Class 1 NI credits on ESA whereas only Class 3 on UC. This might be useful if he, say returns to work for a bit, but then needs to make a new claim. Also worth having a contribution based benefit if there is likelihood of any change in circumstances which could reduce the UC entitlement to below the ESA entitlement. If none of these matter/apply then for many people I think claiming both is unnecessary effort.
Even if both are claimed only one WCA should be carried out.

If LCWRA is established UC will be worth more than ESA if there is no other income/relevant savings to be taken into account.

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Welfare rights adviser - Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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Joined: 17 June 2010

new-style ESA can be backdated for 3 months and paid fortnightly and has the added security of the claim not being closed just because you didn’t notice there was a box to click to confirm your claimant commitment even if you have been found to have no work related requirements