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'New Style' NI Credits to UC

Someone will have a ‘New-Style’ ‘Credits Only’ claim for LCW if:

  • They were getting New Style Contributory ESA which ended due to the 365-day limit, or
  • They made a claim for ESA after the UC digital service came to their area to receive a ‘credits-only’ claim for LCW.

And they have not been found fit or treated as fit for work.


New Style Contributory ESA which ended due to the 365-day limit 

If someone who makes a new claim for UC has ‘credits only’ for LCW claim because they had been getting New Style ESA, but it has stopped after 365 days, any LCW status should be transferred to a UC claim.

This is because Regulation 39 of the UC Regs 2013 says that where the claimant has been found to have a limited capability for work through a New Style ESA work capability assessment, they have a LCW for UC purposes.


Made a claim for ESA after the UC digital service came to their area to receive a ‘credits-only’ claim for LCW 

If someone who would not satisfy the national insurance conditions to be entitled to New Style ESA and would not be entitled to any Universal Credit either has made a 'credits only' ESA claim to protect their NI record, and they then have a change in circumstances and need to claim UC, their LCW or LCWRA status from their 'Credits Only' ESA assessment should be recognised in UC. (Regulation 39 or 40 of the UC Regs 2013).

If they were found to have LCWRA through their ‘credits only’ WCA, they will not get the LCWRA Element from the start though! There is nothing in Reg 28 to exempt them from the 3 month relevant period.



Example:

Sanjay and Laila are a couple. 

Sanjay works full time on a good wage.

Laila has health problems. She made a claim for New Style ESA, but is not entitled as she does not meet the NI requirements.

They are not entitled to Universal Credit due to Sanjay’s income.

Laila asks the ESA dept to refer her for a work capability assessment – so she can get NI credits.

She is assessed and found to have LCWRA.

Several months later, Sanjay loses his job and they claim UC. 

They should be entitled to have the LCWRA Element included from the fourth monthly assessment period (after the relevant period).


More on 'Credits-Only' for LCW claims
National Insurance Credits for Limited Capability for Work can help to build up entitlement to the State Pension (they can help with qualifying for other contributory benefits in the future too). 

If someone is entitled to benefit they automatically get NI credits; if on ESA they get class 1 NI credits for LCW and if on UC they get class 3 credits (whether they have LCW or not). 

If someone is not entitled to receive ESA or UC – they sometimes apply for/are given a ‘NI credits only’ for LCW claim to protect their NI record.

When someone applies for / is getting NI Credits for LCW, this is often referred to as an ‘ESA Credits Only claim’. In fact, it is not a claim for ESA – but the way to apply for NI Credits for LCW is by making a claim for ESA.

The claimant will undergo the same Work Capability Assessment that an ESA (or UC) claimant would. If they are found to have a LCW or LCWRA they can have NI credits for each week when that is the case.

Usually, those who are getting NI Credits Only for LCW are:


  •  Those who were on Old Style Contributory ESA only, this has run out (there is a maximum of 365 days’ entitlement for periods when the claimant is not in the Support Group) and when their C-ESA ended, they were not entitled to Income Related ESA.

  •  Those whose New Style Contributory ESA has run out (there is a maximum of 365 days’ entitlement for periods when the claimant is not in the Support Group) and when their C-ESA ended, they were not entitled to Universal Credit.

  •  Those who did not satisfy the NI contribution conditions for entitlement to Old Style Contributory ESA when they claimed, they were entitled to Income Related ESA – but a change in their circumstances (eg. partner starting work, increase in savings) caused it to end.

  •  Those who did not satisfy the NI contribution conditions for entitlement to Old Style Contributory ESA when they claimed, and they were not entitled to any Income Related ESA either (eg. due to having a partner who is working, or savings are too high etc).

  •  Those who do not satisfy the NI contribution conditions for entitlement to New Style Contributory ESA and they are not entitled to any Universal Credit either.







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