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Employment and Support Allowance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 253642, tabled on 13 May 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employment and support allowance joint claimant cases there are where both claimants have an underlying entitlement to severe disability premium.

Answered on

21 May 2019

A person would have to satisfy the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) qualifying conditions to be entitled to it.

There are no ‘joint claims’ in income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA(IR)). Where a couple wishes to claim ESA(IR), they will need to decide which of them will be the ‘lead’ claimant, and claim on their partner’s behalf.

Only the lead claimant has entitlement to a SDP. In couple cases, the SDP is not payable if the lead claimant does not meet the qualifying conditions, even if their partner does.

The SDP is payable at the single rate where only the lead claimant meets the qualifying conditions. The couple rate is payable where both members of the couple meet the qualifying conditions – but only the lead claimant is entitled to it.

In November 2018 there were 9,500 live couple cases of ESA(IR) where the lead claimant was in receipt of a SDP at the couple rate.