Advised to apply for wrong benefit

Both Income Support and ESA have a requirement that to qualify for the benefits which hinge on Right to Reside. For the sake of brevity we shall not go in to an explanation of what the test’s involve but would recommend that you contact a solicitor if you fail the test’s.

If you are advised you do not have the above and were initially advised to apply for IS / ESA by the Jobcentre then we would strongly ask you to seek advice on lodging a complaint against the Jobcentre.

Steps to take

  1. Write down all the details you recall and write a small time-line. This will help you get all the facts in front of you and always useful.
  2. Draft a complaint letter to the Local JCP Manager advising them of what’s happened and ask them to investigate.
  3. Send the same letter to the Head Office in Glasgow / Belfast (dependant on your catchment area).
  4. Forward the same to Housing Benefit.

What should happen

Your complaint will be investigating and passed on to the compensation team. They should dependent on the circumstances grant a backdated JSA claim and a small compensation to cover the distress.

Housing Benefit should then backdate any payments outstanding also.

WARNING!!!! – This is unlikely to work for Income Based ESA as you will not be able to fulfil JSA Job search criteria if you are unwell. However you may be able to get Contribution Based ESA if you have paid sufficient contribution but not passed Right to Reside test. We recommend you seek advice if you wish to peruse a complaint re ESA as opposed to IS.


See attached a simple complaint letter that we have had success in using for Income Support complaints

.Letter to Jobcentre – Wrong Benefit


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