Will change of address affect partner's ESA?

My girlfriend is on Enhanced Daily Living PIP / standard mobility and income-related ESA support group. I receive Carer’s Allowance for looking after her. We have both been living with her mother up until now but we are moving in to our own privately-rented house in a couple of weeks. I know you can no longer make new claims for Housing Benefit unless you are of pension age or on a severe disability premium, which means we would have to apply for Universal Credit, but my girlfriend is so terrified of going on to Universal Credit (she would lose ESA support group) that we are considering not applying for UC and just paying the rent out of what we both receive currently. The other concern she has is that if we change our address from her mother’s to our new place, will this affect her benefits, since we obviously have to inform the DWP of our change of address?

If anyone can offer some helpful advice this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Hi D.

Housing Benefit ?

Housing Benefit: Eligibility - GOV.UK

Full sp complete with calculator.

Must be a pretty low cost area if you can afford to pay rent … presumably as a b.t.l. tenant … out of the benefits so stated ?

Change of address ?

Best to report said change to both the ESA and Carers units at the DWP … can be done online.

Universal Credit ?

If not already rolled out on your manor , any of the following will trigger inclusion in the future :

If you already get benefits

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

Child Tax Credit
Housing Benefit
Income Support
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Working Tax Credit

If you currently receive any of these benefits, you cannot claim Universal Credit at the same time.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK. You do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances.

Severe disability premium

You cannot claim Universal Credit if you either:

get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it
got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you’re still eligible for it

If you have a change of circumstances that affects the severe disability premium or your other benefits, report it and you’ll be told what to do next.

I would strongly recommend crunching some numbers through an online benefit calculator before you develope your plans any further.

Turn2us Benefits Calculator

Unless I have missed something , no way could you afford to take on a b.t.l. tenancy without housing benefit ???

Hi Chris, thanks for your reply. We have called the council and they have told us they do not accept new claims for Housing Benefit any more (save for a couple of exceptions for which we don’t meet the criteria). The main thing we want to know is: if we just keep things as they are (i.e. not choose to go on to UC) will just the change of address affect her current benefits in any way? Will they eventually force everyone to go on to UC regardless?

In regards to our new tenancy, the rent will be manageable for us as it isn’t too much more than we are currently paying now.

The main thing we want to know is: if we just keep things as they are (i.e. not choose to go on to UC) will just the change of address affect her current benefits in any way?

Will they eventually force everyone to go on to UC regardless?

No and … most probably … if the qualifying benefit criteria were expanded.

What conclusion have you reached when crunching those numbers ?
( Just a reminder … many b.t.l. landlords do not accept benefit claimants as tenants. Plenty on the main HOUSING thread on that aspect : https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and-campaigns/latest-caring-news/housing-social-tenants-btl-hb-problems-shortages-grenfell-tower-fallout-30866?hilit=housing )

I think it worked out where we would be around £300 worse off going on to UC than just staying as we are now. Ridiculous really, and quite complicated with all these overlapping benefit rules etc. My girlfriend currently receives over £1000 a month, I receive CA and do part-time work. UC seems to be designed to benefit only the DWP.

I am aware of this. We have already signed the agreement. This is not a problem.


When my son moved home a few years ago, a new address meant a whole new claim for IS that too ages to sort out. Fortunately, I’d saved a little “nest egg” for him, so he could survive by using this. Can you afford a long time without any money?

Hi mate, we are not eligible to apply for Income Support. But yes anyway, we do have some savings between us. I think we have decided to just leave things as they are currently.


I think you’ve missed the point of my message.
You may not have any choice, a move may trigger a benefit review, as it did for my son.

Sorry, of course. I suppose if it happens, it happens.

I’ve just done a Google search, came across a website called “Entitled To”. I suggest you have a look and work out which best describes your personal situation.