09 Mar 2015

A question about : Denied Cont ESA because of insufficient NI?

Hi all
My wife's SSP has finished so we applied for Contribution based ESA (I work full time, so no income based ESA).
Got a letter from the job centre on Sat to say due to insufficient NI in 12-13 & 13-14 tax years, she's not getting any ESA.
How do we check if this is correct? What is 'sufficient'?
Not got her P60's, but from her first ever tax return 13-14, her earnings from her job were Ј4272, previous year would be similar, however, a large portion of that would have been SMP (from July or Aug that year).
Is the SMP the problem you think? Does it not count towards NI contributions?
If it is, can we re-apply next month so they use 13-14 & 14-15 tax years instead?
Annoyed that because of this she is entitled to absolutely nothing at all



Best answers:

  • I'm not certain but on those figures I don't think she would be paying any NI contributions at all. If she was self employed and paid her own stamp that might be a different thing. I'm sure somebody with more knowledge will post soon.
  • The lower earnings limit (the amount to be earned before paying NI) for the 13/14 tax year was Ј109 per week.
    That over the 52 week year equates to Ј5668, which would be the amount required to earn before qualifying for benefit.
    They would not look at the later 2 tax years until 2016 as the benefit year is different to the tax year.
  • Thanks for that, looks like a lost cause then, somehow we have to survive with her getting nothing, I see a large amount of debt looming. Think i'll quit my job, go on JSA, then she'll get income ESA and we can rake in loads of child tax credits that we currently get zero of, we'll be better off, have time to pop out a few more kids then too. Ho hum.
    Don't suppose it's possible to make voluntary contributions to make up the shortfall? Of course it won't be, but worth an ask.
  • Oh, one other thing. If she's not entitled to any payment, can we just forget the whole thing and throw away the medical forms etc and not send them the sick notes, or do we have to go through the whole process, forms, sick notes, medical, placed in a group, work focused interviews, blah blah blah, just so her NI stamp is kept up to date?
  • She gets NI conts if receiving child benefit. If you aren't claiming because of income you can inform them and they will credit her.
  • Could be worth applying for CTC on your new income.
  • he would need a minimum award of middle rate care for your wife to be able to claim carers allowance.
    DLA is increasingly difficult to get any award at all
  • As I understand it National insurance credits are available for SMP but they have to be applied for.
    From https://www.gov.uk/national-insuranc...ts/eligibility
    "You're on Statutory Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Pay, or Additional Statutory Paternity Pay, and you don't earn enough to make a qualifying year Apply for Class 1 credits. Write to: HMRC, National Insurance Contributions and Employers Office, Benton Park View, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE98 1ZZ. Include your National Insurance number and say when the credits are for and why you're eligible"
    Don't know if you did this or not; but might be worth looking into if not, to see if it can be done now.
  • If she qualifies for NI credits with her smp it's still doesn't look likely that it will be enough for ESA, but it will help towards her pension in the future..
  • If you have children why is your wife not getting NI credits through child benefit?
  • [QUOTE=sheramber;67799134]If you have children why is your wife not getting NI credits through child benefit?[/QUOTE
    If she is eligible for CB she will only be getting Class 3 ni contact.....Class1 & 2 are Needed for ESA.
  • I am not sure that topping up your NI Contributions will ensure you can claim ESA. Just reading this article - http://www.money.co.uk/article/10065...tributions.htm and it states " However, only your state pension allowance and entitlement to bereavement benefits are impacted when you top up; your entitlement to other benefits won't change."
    Before you spend a lot topping them up, I would just double check this would allow you access to ESA as I think it will only count towards pension and the CB NI Credits should cover this (provided it is in wife's name and not yours) x
    **edit** Just noticed she was on MA so above might not be relevant to you! will leave it in though in case it helps someone else x