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TOPIC: How do I apply for New Style ESA?

How do I apply for New Style ESA? 3 weeks 5 days ago #221403

Hi

I'm hoping that someone can give me a bit of advice regarding "New ESA".

I have been struck with chronic conditions that mean I've used up all my SSP at work and now have to apply for ESA.

My area is transitioning to UC, but isn't completely moved over yet.

I've spoken to people on the phone advising from UC and from ESA, they both seem to say to talk to the other.
I've tried ringing my local job centre but are just stuck in a loop when I want to say to apply for benefits which cuts me off as it says I have to apply for UC online - when I'm not looking for UC.

The only thing that I seem to have found is one guy on one of the calls who sent me a form for New ESA which it seems that I have to fill in and make an appointment at the Job Centre to hand in.

That seems like a very strange way of starting a benefit application process and I can't help but think that's incorrect.

My Job Centre isn't in a very accessable location (on a very busy road with no parking nearby) and I am limited in my ability to walk any distance at the moment so getting there is a last and expensive resort, due to having to get a taxi.

Can anyone provide a clearer idea of what I need to do please?

Thanks very much.

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How do I apply for New Style ESA? 3 weeks 5 days ago #221437

  • Gordon
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RosyApple

Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explains where everything is

Welcome to Benefits and Work

Unfortunately, the call centre staff are trained on UC and not NS ESA.

The person who has sent you an ESA1 is correct, you will need to make an appointment at your local JC+ office so that your forms can be scanned ans sent to the correct office.

Gordon
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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

How do I apply for New Style ESA? 3 weeks 21 hours ago #221635

Thank you for the reply Gordon!

It's good to know both that there's a proper route and which it is. It looks like the new ESA has been going for some time now and I find it staggering how difficult it's been to get a confident answer from the DWP and jobcentre phone lines.

Sorry I've not been able to get back to you before, it's been hectic here, but thanks again.

I've managed to get an appointment but it's almost a month away. I wish I'd have know when I called to get my forms, it sounded like making the appointment would be a quick turnaround as they wanted me to fill in the forms before making an appointment.
A part of me wonders if this is a tactic to put people off, but maybe I'm just being cynical.


Do you or anyone else here know how the backdating works? Are you able to backdate from the day you rang to start the claim, the day you made the appointment or the day of the appointment. If it's the day of the appointment I may lose a couple of weeks of ESA thanks to my employer not informing me I'd run out of SSP for weeks.

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How do I apply for New Style ESA? 3 weeks 19 hours ago #221645

  • Gordon
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RosyApple

You can backdate a NS ESA claim by up to three months provided the period is supported by a Fit Note.

Have you tried the following

Telephone: 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2, then option 6)

There's an address to send the form to in Belfast but I can't find the actual address.

If you still need to visit your local JC+ office then call them back, an appointment in a month's time is unacceptable

If you are still hitting a roadblock then involve your MP.

Contacting your MP

Gordon
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How do I apply for New Style ESA? 3 weeks 15 hours ago #221664

Thanks for this Gordon.

The person I spoke to was indeed on that number. According to the conversation I had today there's nothing they can do about the appointment availability.
Apparently they have some areas that are 5 weeks or more wait (though this may have been to make my wait sound more reasonable), perhaps I need to try talking to my JC+ directly.

You're right, almost a month to wait isn't acceptable. It's no wonder so many people give up!

Just to confirm, do you know when that backdate can be applied?
For example,
If I had run out of SSP on the 1st on January.
Heard from my employer only at the end of February that this had run out weeks earlier.
Called several places and got through to someone who sent me the forms, and made a note on my record that I'd called, on the 7th of March.
Had my JC+ appointment on the 15th April.
Would it be that my ESA (if successful) would begin on:
- the 1st Jan (when the SSP ran out)
- 3 months backdated from the 15th April (Mid January)
- some other time
or is in unclear from what you know?

Sorry if I'm asking too many questions, I just feel I need to get it all straight in my mind, especially when there's so much to consider as it is.

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How do I apply for New Style ESA? 3 weeks 1 hour ago #221682

  • Gordon
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RA

The backdating is applied from the date that the claim is accepted as being made, this is usually when the DWP have a completed ESA1/UC1 form. You can backdate up to three months or the day after your SSP ended, whichever is the later.

That's why it is unacceptable that you are having to wait a month to go to the JC+.

Gordon
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