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ESA - Support Group, PIP and a longer holiday

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4 years 7 months ago #241202 by Kiwi
Hi

Thank you for all the advice in your documents so far. I've used it to good effect and my friend, who has a brain injury, is in receipt of PIP (both enhanced) and ESA in the support group. The former is not due for review for about another year and we don't know for the latter, but they've been getting it under 6 months.

My understanding is that with PIP one can leave the country for a maximum of 12 weeks without losing it (?). I am not clear what is possible with ESA, but I have seen as little as 28 days reported. They have the opportunity to go abroad (outside the EU) for an extended trip, which I believe will be a great benefit to them.

Before making plans and ringing DWP, I'd like to get a better handle on the likely effects. For example:
- Is the 12 week limit right for PIP?
- Might ESA be cancelled if absent for over 28 days? (or some other period)
- If it were cancelled, would the NI contributions made while in receipt of it count towards qualifying again? Does the prior SSP provide qualifying NI contributions?
- What happens if the plan is for 25 days and plans change to 35 days e.g. if an opportunity to do something of great interest arises?
- Might ESA simply be suspended and if so how long might be OK?
- What questions should I be asking?

Many thanks, K

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4 years 7 months ago #241211 by Gordon
Kiwi

It is 13 weeks for PIP and 4 weeks for ESA. The day they leave and the day they return should not be counted. See

www.gov.uk/claim-benefits-abroad/disability-benefits

If the claimant is only receiving Contribution Based ESA then the claim is usually suspended if the claimant exceeds the limits, if they are only receiving Income Related ESA then the claim will be closed and as a new claim would be required, this may require a claim for Universal Credit.

The law on this is black and white on this subject, so if their absence extends to more than 28 days even if it was originally planned for less then their ESA stops.

Gordon

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kiwi

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4 years 7 months ago #241213 by Kiwi
Thank you, Gordon. I did some searching and couldn't get clear on it.

The award letter said it was based on NI contributions. If it is suspended, is there a danger that their contribution level would no longer qualify them for ESA-C? If so, maybe keeping any trip safely under 28 days would essential.

Or would their contributions be effectively up to date when they leave, because of SSP and ESA?

Incidentally, I do acknowledge that this is a nice problem for them to have at this stage, compared to the position many others find themselves in.

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4 years 7 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #241215 by Gordon
Kiwi

If the ESA is suspended then their Contributions are not an issue as they will still have an open claim.

if the ESA is stopped then I would expect them to have to re-qualify so they will need at least 26 weeks of Class 1 or Class 2 NI Contributions in either of the Tax Year 2016-17 and 2017-18 and a minimum of 50 weeks of Class 1 or Class 2 NI Contributions and/or NI Credits in both these Tax Years.

Both ESA and SSP pay qualifying NI Credits, the ones for SSP usually have to be claimed.

The Tax Years will move forward a year if the re-claim occurs on or after 6 January 2020.

Gordon

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Gordon.
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4 years 7 months ago #241218 by Kiwi
That feels very clear now and they can plan accordingly. Thank you so much!

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