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ESA question

(16 Posts)
Askastupidquestion Thu 13-Aug-20 09:10:10

I applied online for esa a few weeks ago and started getting payments pretty much straight away. Last week I had a telephone interview and I've received a letter saying they need more information and I have to have a face to face interview. My question is, if they decide I'm not entitled, will I have to pay back what I've had so far? They're not doing face to faces atm so it could be months and they've said payments will continue.

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Askastupidquestion Thu 13-Aug-20 11:56:34

Bumping

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Sierramike Thu 13-Aug-20 12:29:03

You'd be receiving same as JSA rate at the moment wouldn't you? So I doubt they would ask you to pay any back if they evaluate you're not entitled to ESA.

Moonfig Thu 13-Aug-20 12:34:05

No, thats the assessment rate

Askastupidquestion Thu 13-Aug-20 14:16:30

I believe the amount I'm receiving is the full amount I'd get. Not sure about JSA but I'm not entitled to that anyway. I'm not entitled to anything other than CB and (maybe) ESA.

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Dancerinthemoonlight Thu 13-Aug-20 14:42:53

When I was on ESA the amount you get at the beginning is the assessment rate. Once you have had your assessment the rate will change. If they find that you don't fit the criteria then the money will stop but you don't need to pay any back. If they place you into the group's then you will receive a letter telling you what your rate now is and roughly how long the award is for.

Askastupidquestion Thu 13-Aug-20 14:49:25

@Dancerinthemoonlight thank you. I do think it's the full amount though, possibly due to covid and a backlog of applicants. Good to know I won't owe it back.

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Butterer Thu 13-Aug-20 14:51:44

Different ESA rates are listed here - check it against how much you're currently receiving.
www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-and-pension-rates-2020-to-2021/benefit-and-pension-rates-2020-to-2021#employment-and-support-allowance-esa

Askastupidquestion Thu 13-Aug-20 15:26:14

Thanks @Butterer, yes it's the full amount. I'm on hold to them now. If there's going to be months before a decision, and I'd have to pay it back then I will cancel the claim now. I've seen too many people turned down and paying it all back would be a massive struggle.

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Butterer Thu 13-Aug-20 16:10:04

Don't cancel your claim! If you're worried about having to pay back anything over the assessment phase rate, just put the difference to one side every time you receive a payment- that way it can be paid back in full if it's asked for.

Butterer Thu 13-Aug-20 16:17:35

What I mean by that is if you would only usually get (and I'm plucking figures for a single claimant over 25) £74 a week in the assessment phase, and you're receiving eg £110 a week (I'd guess this extra may be because they've added a support component, and/or disability premium), then use £74 and put £36 aside each week.

hellswelshy Thu 13-Aug-20 17:39:57

You won't need to pay anything back if they have paid you the wrong amount due to an assessment.

hellswelshy Thu 13-Aug-20 17:41:06

Or if you don't meet the conditions after a health assessment iyswim.

Askastupidquestion Thu 13-Aug-20 18:12:39

Thank you. I spoke to them (after an hour on hold) and they confirmed I won't have to pay anything back, no matter how long it takes. I appreciate the help.

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Butterer Thu 13-Aug-20 18:20:11

Oh that is good news!

Best of luck with your face to face assessment - you don't have to, but you are allowed to take somebody with you if you want (and you can ask for it to be recorded as well - because of the differences between what I have said and what they report I said in the past, I feel a lot safer having it recorded.
As someone once said to me, it helps keep them honest...

I have found them to be quite emotionally gruelling/distressing - before, during and after - so I'd suggest it's a good idea if you can.

Askastupidquestion Thu 13-Aug-20 18:23:29

Thank you so much. I'm hoping it takes a while tbh, if the face 2 face was tomorrow I'm not sure I'd be up for it. I left a job I loved in June as my colitis and shitty mental health meant I couldn't face it.

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