Navigating the pitfalls of claiming New-style Employment and Support Allowance

One of the working-age benefits most missed by claimants and their support is New-style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This is a vital benefit that would be a help to many people, but it is left unclaimed due to lack of awareness. This is mostly down to poor promotion of it by the DWP. It has replaced (for new claimants) the older Contributions-related ESA. It is claimed online through the Gov.uk website.

New-style ESA is a new benefit, brought in alongside Universal Credit, that is crucially not means tested. It can be claimed by anyone who meets the requirements, no matter their capital and savings and regardless of their partner’s income. It can be claimed if you are sick or disabled and unable to work. This is decided through the identical work related activity test in the more commonly claimed Income-related ESA or Universal Credit. 

The other crucial element in making a claim is a time reliant one, and this is the part that is often missed and cannot be rectified later. You need to make a claim within a short period of the incident that causes you to qualify. For life-long disabilities, this may well be becoming an adult. For others, this is likely a personal injury. In order to qualify you must have a full National Insurance record in the tax year prior to making the claim. This is the full April to April period, so if you are injured in January the DWP will look back to April and go back to the previous April to see if you meet the requirements. If you are unable to work you are unable to meet the requirements so you must make the claim soon after stopping work, between one and two years depending on when during the year you stopped work.

Many people are pushed towards Universal Credit when they are unable to work, and for many this will be the key benefit for them. However, New-style ESA is payable alongside Universal Credit (UC) and will not be at risk if your savings go over the limit to claim UC. I would always recommend someone makes a claim for it even if they are not going to be better off right away. People suddenly unable to work should be receiving New-style ESA with Universal Credit on top if they have further needs.

If you need more advice on how to claim or whether someone you are working with is eligible, please contact me on dan@paladinadvice.com and I’d be happy to help.

Ian MacKendrick

Ian MacKendrick

Fellow & SOLLA Accredited Chartered Financial Planner, Expert Witness and Dementia Friend.

Related Articles

Maximizing Welfare Benefits

Maximising Welfare Benefits

Introduction For vulnerable individuals and their families, welfare benefits play a critical role in ensuring that they have access to the necessary support and resources.

Read More »

Increased Benefit Rates

One of the big impacts of the inflation crisis happening right now, is that benefits have, finally, gone up significantly.  After a decade or more

Read More »

Cost of Living

The United Kingdom cost of living crisis is an ongoing event starting in 2021, in which prices for many essential goods in the United Kingdom began increasing faster than household

Read More »

Join our Mailing List

Follow Us

What our clients say

  • “Jane was Amazing! I am due to get my first benefits payment shortly. Completing the forms with Jane’s help was much better than trying to do alone as she is so on the ball and just made the whole process much easier and less stressful”

    LM

    Paladin Client

  • “Steve Farnfield is a great financial adviser in the world of Court of Protection investments. Not only is he a safe pair of hands technically speaking, he take the time to understand their needs, and demonstrates a genuine empathy towards those he is helping. He comes highly recommended.”

    Testimonial about Stephen Farnfield

    COP Partner at Large law firm

  • “I have worked with Steve for a number of years. I have found him approachable and quick to respond, with a wide range of knowledge which is always made readily available. He is able to connect with Deputyship and Trust clients and tailor his approach to their level of understanding, which means that they can be confident in his abilities and their security. I have found Steve easy to work with and he is always responsive and able to discuss and resolve any queries that arise, often ensuring he goes above and beyond to make sure the interests of vulnerable people are protected.”

    Testimonial about Stephen Farnfield

    COP Partner at Large law firm

  • “I have worked with Steve for over 10 years. He is approachable, knowledgeable and inspires confidence, especially in family members of those lacking capacity concerned about ensuring funds can last for their loved one’s needs for life. Whilst good advice should be a ‘given’ from any professional, the personable way he engages with people and puts them at ease, and his willingness to discuss matters of interest and importance to the client makes them feel at ease and provides great support and insight as a professional deputy.”

    Testimonial about Stephen Farnfield

    Partner of law firm

  • When we were awarded a substantial compensation payment, our first action was to find a financial advisor to help make some big decisions. It wasn’t difficult to find well qualified and eager advisors. Stephen Farnfield had an extra quality however. He seemed to understand what this money meant to us as a family.

    Stephen is an excellent communicator. He knows his business and we trust his judgement. I have no hesitation in recommending Stephen Farnfield and Paladin.

    RM, September 2023

ALL REVIEWS
Customer Reviews
Close