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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Covid-19: Welfare benefit issues  →  Thread

UC and claim for n/s ESA if on tax credits

Pernish
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Welwyn Hatfield CAB - Adviser

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Will someone currently receiving tax credits who now makes a claim for n/s ESA be forced to move to UC? I should know this but my brain is frazzled: it is c/b not i/r so my instinct is no. But is it a change of circs to declare which will stop credits? I don’t think so but would really appreciate confirmation.

Daphne
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It’s fine - claiming new-style ESA won’t affect anything. So long as he retains entitlement to WTC. It’s only if he lost entitlement to tax credits and had to claim a different means-tested benefit that he wasn’t already in receipt of that it could mean UC

Pernish
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Welwyn Hatfield CAB - Adviser

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Thank you so much! I found the CPAG WB h/b pretty impenetrable on this and believed it to say that someone would be under UC (which seems wrong) top of p.23

Daphne
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I think that’s just trying to clarify that if you come under the UC system (which virtually everyone does now - the only exception is SDP claimants) then the only ESA you can claim is new-style ESA - but it doesn’t mean you also have to claim UC - does that make any more sense??

Tom Messere
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Hi, yes you have to read CPAG with a care to make it out . I can see the point:as they as they draw the distinction between claiming under “old system” and claiming under the “UC system” ,  but this doesn’t quite fit well with Ns-ESA And to add to the complexity they do -quite correctly - refer to Ns-ESA as C-ESA 😊  the result is that Ns-ESA becomes C-ESA under the “UC system” which is a tad unhelpful

The distinction of what is a DWP rather than legal term, is that Ns-ESA has broken the link with and closes off Ir-ESA, but that’s it.  This is also why people getting an SDP are banned from Ns-ESA as well as UC. But say a worker getting WTC and an SDP within HB can start a claim for old style C-ESA and Ir-ESA, if needs be.

Ns-ESA is particularly useful in recent weeks for the self e-employed as a way of some extra support while awaiting SEISS without losing WTC and HB in favour of UC that work so badly for the self employed. The DWP are now saying they are warning people that jut making a UC claim is bad for their tax credits and they are even pondering a way of reversing it - I expect a row is coming up 😊