We've been through a difficult time with redundancy and family illness in the last few years. We have two children 8 and 11. Husband is presently self-employed but only wearing around 4K a year profit at the moment. He has health issues as well. I do too and claim cont based ESA and PIP. the ESA is taken as income in the calculation for tax credits giving us an award based on combined income of 10K. Also disability premium for enhanced rate PIP.
We have a mortgage to pay so at present most of the benefits seems to be taken up with that, council tax, and heating bills etc, in total this is over 1K per month. It is a bit of a struggle, with working tax credits we are not eligible for free school meals which is another 1K at least a year.
Can you think of anything else? Have tried the One stop shop place and they say no to council tax etc/ mortgage.
As you have a low income can't you switch from being on contribution based esa to income based esa? If you can do that then I assume the ESA won't be included as income on your tax credit claim. How long have you been on ESA?
Don't think can swap from CB ESA. Have thought about carer's but too tricky with self-employment,also that will then be also taken as income in tax credits which would reduce. Not sure how long been on ESA was transferred from incapacity benefit a few years ago. If change around might be forced onto new claim for universal credit so maybe best not rock the boat for now.
income-related ESA - usually you get this on its own or on top of contribution-based ESA, if you’re on a low income
Does this not Apply in your case (from gov.uk). If you are on a low income you might be able to get both types of ESA. Your OH can claim carers allowance as long as his self employment income is under the threshold which I think is £110 per week. And yes, carers allowance is taxable so will affect tax credits but the withdrawal rate is 41% so you will effectively get to keep 59% of the carers allowance. 59% of £63 is still worth having.
I think it maybe be just on the limit for carer's. If on one year to the next his income does improve cont based can be better as it isn;t means tested I think. It seems to be swings and roundabouts. it will probably all change soon due to universal credit anyway
- Council Tax Reduction / Council Tax Support - are you sure you're not entitled to this? Could you check with Citizens Advice? You would need to apply to your local council so you could always ask them or just apply and see if you get it.
- Some water companies offer special discounted tariffs for people on benefits / low incomes. Check whether yours does.
Thanks, Yes we get child and working tax credits and a premium due to the PIP. DH tried the council place but they now have a new system for council tax support and they didn't seem to accept the self employment income being low, they have some new guidance I think. Thanks for the thought though, we did get a new boiler a few years ago with the water scheme and a discount i think.