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TOPIC: ESA - Not eligable 2018, should be 2019 - what now

ESA - Not eligable 2018, should be 2019 - what now 1 week 2 days ago #223665

Hello

I’m that I can get a bit of ‘what I should do’ now advice please.

I’ve been trying to apply for contribution based new style ESA. I had a meeting with the Job Centre and a lady there said everything should be fine for me to get it.

As it turns out, due to a deficiency in my 16/17 contribution year, I can’t get it (as Gordon pointed out on here weeks ago but I had received conflicting advice from various help-lines and went with the most optimistic).
I got a letter telling me they can’t pay me ESA and received an ESA50 form within 2 days of each other.

I have been told by a council benefits helpline that if I put in a new claim from the start of this year (Jan 19) I will be eligible for it, but there won’t be anything backdated to last year.

In the meantime I’ve also had two letters reminding me that I need to get in touch with the DWP with a new sick note and to finish and send in the ESA50 form.

My question is, is there any ‘best’ way of applying for ESA from January?
Should I be closing the old claim and opening a new claim starting from now?
Do I need to begin a new claim afresh with a new ‘initial appointment’ in the job centre?
Can I ask them to just change the start date of the ESA claim?
Might it just start once I become eligible?
Is there a better way of dealing with this?
They are seemingly so incompetent, I don’t want to risk further problems by making any assumptions, or if they mix the ‘old’ and ‘new’ claims up.

I’ve scanned the letter just in case I’ve misunderstood it – it would be great if you could have a look at it.

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Thank you very much in advance for any advice. I am so sick of having to deal with all this (whilst being off work ill of course) that I just want to give up on it all, I have to keep reminding myself that the process is probably designed that way and right now giving up is not an option.

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ESA - Not eligable 2018, should be 2019 - what now 1 week 2 days ago #223704

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RosyApple

I'm not sure that making a new claim will help.

The Benefit Year star on the first Monday in the calendar year and resets amongst other things the Tax Years that are used for the ESA Contribution Conditions.

So the Tax Years now in force are 2016-17 and 2017-18 but if you have problems with your 16/17 contributions then this will still affect your claim.

Have you checked with HMRC that there is actually a problem? The DWP records can sometimes be incorrect.

Did the Council helpline explain why they thought a claim this year would be successful given the Tax Year you have a problem with?

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

ESA - Not eligable 2018, should be 2019 - what now 1 week 2 days ago #223710

Oops I've made a typo, the year that was the issue was 2015-2016. I'm fine with 2016-2017.

It does seem I am slightly light on the 2015-2016 year - this was due to unoffical caring I was doing for someone who should have been on PIP, and probably ESA but couldn't deal with the stress of assessment etc. so we "managed".

This is why the council helpline thought I should be OK now it's January, as the 2016-17 and 2017-18 years I have my full contribution.

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ESA - Not eligable 2018, should be 2019 - what now 1 week 2 days ago #223723

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RosyApple

Yes, if it was the preceding Tax Year then you will be OK but you will not be able to backdate the claim into last year.

Speak to the DWP about the best way to process the claim, they may be able to replace the current one with one based on a start date of this year but if not then you will have to close the current claim and make a new claim for NS ESA.

Gordon
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ESA - Not eligable 2018, should be 2019 - what now 1 week 1 day ago #223803

Thank you so much for your help and patience Gordon!

Oh my goodness! This is feeling like pulling teeth, and I'm rapidly losing the will to keep going.

I'm also starting to wonder if there is any point. I've just rechecked my tax year 2016-17, it's not full, as I expected and thought I'd been told, I am just a touch short.

This is what the NI checker says:

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I've spoken to the DWP (on the ESA helpline number) who told me to speak with the NI Helpline to ask if I was eligible for contribution based benefits based on the various years. 2015-16 (I know I'm not on this one), 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The woman I spoke to said that I 'am perfectly entitled to cancel the live claim' and potentially make a new claim but she didn’t seem to know how I’d go about this.
She also said, once I know what the NI short-fall(s) is and if it's possible to make it up, I can ask them to send extra information on to the decision maker and they can then advise on whether it will make a difference.
She also said I could go to the CAB for further advice.

What she couldn't seem to do was give me any advise based on my situation. It makes me think she's never seen anyone in my situation before.
One thing that is worrying me is she seemed to indicate I might not get anything at all now. She seemed to say once you’re declared in eligible then ‘that’s it’ you’re not eligible.

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ESA - Not eligable 2018, should be 2019 - what now 1 week 23 hours ago #223817

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RA

I'm afraid you cannot purchase the NI Contributions you need, only make up a shortfall in regard to your State Pension entitlement but check with HMRC.

Gordon
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