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Old 31-07-2014, 02:41 PM   #1
sherlock holmes
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ESA and living with a partner

I can never seem to find the correct information on the government benefits website!

I'd like to know what would happen to my benefits if I moved in with my boyfriend. I currently receive ESA (assessment phase, still) and DLA (low rate care and mobility) and I live at home with my mum who has a very low income.

My boyfriend has a decent salary but it wouldn't be enough to support me on if my benefits were stopped, and I can't work right now due to mental health.

Does anyone know what would happen if I moved in? We aren't married or even engaged, no children and it's his name on the lease of his flat not mine.

Thanks.



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Old 31-07-2014, 04:38 PM   #2
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It's both simple and complicated at the same time! The original legislation was devised and written in the Seventies, and times have changed since then.

Your DLA would remain the same either way.

However, I assume you receive income-related ESA? If your boyfriend works more than 24 hours/week you would no longer be entitled to ESA.

The only way around the DWP (and it's by no means guaranteed!) is to basically live together like flat sharers, with different sleeping accommodation, different storage cupboards, different cutlery, etc.

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Old 31-07-2014, 08:02 PM   #3
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That's what I suspected! Yes I am on income related ESA.

I've been freaking out about it really. I've applied for some jobs. I don't feel anywhere near ready but my boyfriend thinks I am capable if I just stopped listening to my anxious thoughts. So who knows. He also said to trust him, and if I lost a job he wouldn't kick me out!

But I know I couldn't move in with him until I had a job, because I would feel trapped reliant on his money and it wouldn't be fair on him as he works incredibly hard.

Until then I visit him a couple of times a week at his flat :)



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Old 31-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #4
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Have you thought about voluntary work to ease into things? It might help the anxiety as if you can't make it in one day there is less worry about it.

The DWP are vague on how many days/nights you can spend together before being classed as a couple, but two will be fine, and three you can get away with.

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Old 31-07-2014, 09:40 PM   #5
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I often consider voluntary work, though often I don't find anything that suits me. I have applied for a few things in the past and either heard nothing back or told I was living in the wrong area!

It sounds really awful but if I know I'm not being paid then it's hard to get motivated about getting ready to go out and do some work because the anxiety is still huge. At least knowing at the end of the day I'd have some money to show for it would be easier.

I will have another look though and see if anything jumps out at me.



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Old 01-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
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I'm in the same position. I only get DLA as my partner works. I think the new system is unfair to put it nicely! But I can empathise.



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Old 01-08-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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I think it sucks! On paper then people would say that my boyfriend earns enough for both of us, but in reality it doesn't work like that. With the current property market he cant afford a deposit on a house and so he's saving up, it will take years as it is, and if he had to support me then he couldn't save at all and he would never be able to stop renting.

Plus because we're not even engaged I feel like I can't really ask him to support me. If we were married it would be a bit different, but even then I'd feel kind of uncomfortable not having any of my own money.

I think the DWP seriously need to sort the benefits system out and realise that the cost of living is a lot higher then the apparent law says we need to live on!



Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…

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Old 01-08-2014, 11:16 PM   #8
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I'm not saying it's not unfair, but have you considered how much extra it would cost your partner if you moved in? Because unless you rented somewhere bigger, he's going to have the same rent and the same bills. It'd likely just be food that would be extra. Also remember that ESA isn't the only low income benefit available. Housing benefit and tax credits are likely available and they are not allowed to include your DLA in the assessment of your finances.





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Old 02-08-2014, 02:26 AM   #9
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My parents are in a similar boat; my mum had a brain injury a few years ago, and although my dad works, he doesn't earn a lot, and it isn't really enough. My mum isn't really entitled to very much (I think she claimed ESA for a year though, but then it was stopped) and it seems pretty unfair, given that it's not her fault or choice not to work.

I would say, looking into working is great if you can do it, and a lot of people find work helpful, but don't beat yourself up if you can't cope with it either.



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Old 02-08-2014, 12:34 PM   #10
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Heidi I did one of those benefit calculators on the government website. If I moved in with my partner then I'd not be eligible for anything except DLA which I already receive up until 2017. I know that if I did get a job I could get working tax credits on the basis of my disability. Other than that, there's nothing else. I dont think I could get housing benefit as my partner is not eligible, plus where we rent wont accept HB and neither will any of the places we've been considering moving to. We wouldnt be eligible for any other low income benefits because of his earnings.

He told me that it would okay to move in as he thinks he could cover the bills for both of us, and my DLA would be my money for things like clothes, travel, etc. So that's made me feel a bit better.

I have applied for a few jobs, though I'm not sure really if working would be a great idea right now, but I'm going to work hard on my anxiety so hopefully by the end of they year I'll be more ready.

Sorry to hear about your mum Sophia.



Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…

you once called your brain a hard drive, well say hello to the virus.


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Old 02-08-2014, 01:00 PM   #11
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If your a couple the amount of money you need to earn to be eligible would increase so he may be eligible.

I agree with Heidi in that I wonder how much the bills etc would increase if you moved in?




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Old 02-08-2014, 02:19 PM   #12
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Hey lovely,

I hope you work something out and can cover things okay.

Don't push yourself into work before you're ready; I've done that many times and it's never ended well.

x x x



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Old 02-08-2014, 08:11 PM   #13
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I do think I over panicked about it!

I don't think his bills would increase much. The water would slightly but I don't think the electricity would much. It's just the food would probably more than double because I eat a lot more than he does!

But he said he thinks he could cover the bills and my DLA could cover my expenses.

I have found a lovely little part time job near him so if I get it then I'd be thrilled. It's only 5 hours a week and I am confident I'd be able to do it so fingers crossed!



Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…

you once called your brain a hard drive, well say hello to the virus.


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Old 03-08-2014, 12:45 AM   #14
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Do you think you could talk to someone and find out what you would be entitled to, as a couple? CAB might be useful. In regards to housing benefit; that's to stop people who live solely on benefits living there - if he works, the landlord wouldn't need to know that part of your income was made up of housing benefit (if you were eligible).



It doesn't matter where you come from; it matters where you go.
No-one gets remembered for the things they didn't do.
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