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Employment and Support Allowance

(8 Posts)
bigbluebus Fri 14-Jan-11 14:51:56

My DD 16 DX with rare chromosone disorder at birth. Been on HR DLA since 3 mths. Friend said could claim ESA from 16th BD even though still at SN school. DWP website - not clear on eligibility. Rang up - they didn't know either! Told me to apply anyway. Sent forms off. Was granted interim ESA from 16th b/day & sent further medical forms to complete for 'Work Capability Assessment'. Just been told she has been awarded higher rate of ESA.No need to go for medical assessment due to severity of disabilities. However, has been granted ESA in Youth and not income related ESA. This means doesn't qualify for other benefits such as cold weather pymts, free school meals and cap on water bill- which she would if on 'income related'. Friends daughter on income related and does get extras. Anyone shed light on who should be on which type? DWP give different and conflicting advice each time I ring!!!

WetAugust Fri 14-Jan-11 17:30:52

ESA in Youth replaced Incapacity Benefit in Youth. The difference with the 'in youth' bit means that it's been awarded even though the young person hasn't paid sufficient NI to normally be eligible for it.

Don't know about ESA but under the old IB the 'in youth' were awarded a higher than normal rate after a certain period as the condition was seen to be long-standing.

As for the old IB it doesn't automatically mean you claim free NHS prescriptions etc - as you have done if they'd been awarded Income Support.

However - you can have a top -up of ESA with Income Supprort if necessary - the person's needs would have to exceed ESA such as living away from home independantly. Once you get the IS top up you become eligible for lots of additional IS-gateway stuff as you're now claiming an income-related benefit (which ESA is not).

Thanks how I read it although I admit it's extremely complex.

You can't pick to claim Income Support instead of ESA - the DWP lay down the criteria. Look into getting the NI 'stamp' paid if she's on ESA.

bigbluebus Fri 14-Jan-11 19:01:47

When I applied for ESA in Youth the ESA office said the decision was taking slightly longer as it had to go to DLA office cos it was 'In Youth' claim. They then told me that if DD didn't get ESA in Youth then they would give her income related ESA anyway! The 'In Youth' benefit is classed as contribution based even though she has never paid any contributions (this is because she hasn't had opportunity to pay any NI as she's wasn't old enough). Another parent suggested to me that maybe she can't get the income related benefit as she's still in Yr 11 (the other YP I know who are on it are now in YR 12). I'm at a loss to understand why she gets any ESA at all when she hasn't reached school leaving age yet - but I'm sure the DWP wouldn't have granted it if she wasn't entitled to it!

donkeyderby Fri 14-Jan-11 19:10:51

This is all very interesting stuff for me as we charge towards DS's adulthood.

Is there a website with - easy to understand - advice specifically about benefits for children and adults with disabilities?

bigbluebus Fri 14-Jan-11 19:26:57

Haven't come across anything that's easy to understand I'm afraid - that's why Govt are trying to simplify benefits system. Our LA have a welfare & benefits dept who I am told are very helpful, so I will be contacting them - possibly your LA has one too. I will say that applying for ESA at 16 is not right for every family - depends on other family circumstances ie. what tax credits/benefits parents are getting. If YP gets ESA they are no longer classed as child so you lose Child Benefit & child tax credit - but in our case ESA was more than those put together. Also depends what type of educational establishment YP is at & whether course is specialised because of disability - I think!! Suggest you look at DWP website, follow link to ESA then ring helpline(jobcentre plus) & ask.

donkeyderby Fri 14-Jan-11 21:26:19

cheers. Perhaps our transition worker will help too - if she appears

bigbluebus Sat 15-Jan-11 10:44:05

Donkeyderby - Don't hold your breath . I met my DD's transition worker at 14+ review and at each review since. He is very nice but didn't tell me anything about this - in fact was told by a Connexions worker that DD wouldn't qualify for ESA - lucky I ignored their advice! Good luck!

WetAugust Sat 15-Jan-11 14:06:13

It is extremely complicated.

You do lose the Child benefit if the child claims ESA.

You either have to be a course that supports your disabilities or on any part-time course.

The rules are well explained in the Child Poverty Action CPAG guide to benefits.

That's how I found out about it.

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