PIP and ESA — Scope | Disability forum
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PIP and ESA

sm786786
sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
Hi there,

I have just joined ans wanted to get some advise.

I was born with ushers syndrome this is a genetic disorder which leads fo progressive loss of hearing and vision and I get older.

I am 47 and I have been working for 31 years since 1992 and I have also paid 31 years of NI Contributions to date.

I've had a good career in executive management, however my hearing and eyesight have deterioted that I struggle to get around and I can hardly hear people.

If I am out  I will bump onto people, lampposts, trip over steps due to my tunnel vision ans hence engaged in conversations I struggle to hear. My eyesight and hearing have progressively deteriorated more in the last two years  previously the deteriation was slow and I could adapt and maintain my quality of life but now it's become so bad I cant even see in the daylight never mine nighttime. My hearing is so severely affected that I avoid talking to certain people becauae I know I won't hear or understand what they saying (mostly females with quiet voices).

I have been to couple of interviews but struggle to hear questions being asked and end up bumping onto one thing or another due to being in unfamiliar surrounding, so I know that I will always face this struggle now and need to stop working.

My employer asked me to resign because the hearing and eyesight have now started to affect the my work. I refused to resign ao they made me redundant upon mutual agreement.

I know I can no longer work due to difficulties faced with my hearing and eyesight issues, and my redundancy pay will only last me a few months and I am now getting concerned how will I work and earn to survive.

I do not claim any benefits never have, are their any benefits out there that may help and support me? 

I have beem told that PIP and Contributary based ESA are the two that I am entitled to.

I do want to work but ny visual ans hearing problems are now ao severe that its affecting my quality of life as well as my performance at work.

Regards
SM


Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,385 Disability Gamechanger
    It would be New style ESA that you can claim. To be entitled to this you will need to have the correct NI contributions in the previous 2 tax years. As you've working since 1992 then you should be entitled to this.
    Details in link. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance You will need to provide a fit note when you claim. This isn't means tested.

    You should also use a benefits calculator to check entitlement to Universal Credit. If you live with a partner you'll need to claim as a couple because it's a means tested benefit. If you have savings/capital of more than £16,000 you're excluded from claiming. If you claim you should report your health condition and provide a fit note.

    If you claim both of those together the ESA will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement.

    PIP isn't means tested so other income/savings/capital will not affect the amount you maybe entitled to.



    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sm786786
    sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hiya 

    Thanks for the response.

    My GP has already provided a fit note "unfit to work" due to ushers syndrome -progressive  disease.

    He could only provide for maximum period of 3 months and has asked me to come back in three months time for another three months etc he cannot provide a fit note for indefinite period, the maximum period he can provide is three months at a time.

    Since I am no longer able to work my partner has requested separation from me and has asked me to leave the family home  therefore I have moved to my parents for now. I think the fact i need help and cannot work has made her think twice about the relationship. So does that make me a joint claimant?.

    My savings are just a bit over £16k but this will go down in the next month or so. So currently i think not entitled to UC but will be in two months time.

    I will ask for PIP application.



    .




  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,385 Disability Gamechanger
    As you're no longer living with your partner than once your savings go below £16,000 you can then claim it. However, there will be a deduction of £4.35/month for every £250 or part there of over £6,000. As you're living with your parents then you won't be able to claim for help with any rent.

    A 3 month fit note is fine, if a decision hasn't been made on your work capability assessment by then, you will need to send another fit note for the ESA claim. This can be claimed online here. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance#how-to-apply

    The PIP advice is assuming you're not living in Scotland.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 893 Pioneering

    Hi there,

    You are entitled to Contribution-Based ESA.
    Read about GP's supporting medical evidence on the BMA website - I found this:

    • If your patient’s condition has affected their function for some time without a previous fit note being issued, you must enter an estimated date that their function was affected from in the 'this will be the case from' field.

    I hope you can persuade your GP to quickly issue you with a revised Statement of Fitness for Work - 'fit note' - Med 3 Certificate - like the one above for your claim to ESA  
     

  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,199 Disability Gamechanger
    WhatThe said:

    Hi there,

    You are entitled to Contribution-Based ESA.
    They can't claim contribution-based esa because it's not open to new claimants, it would be new style ESA. Which is very similar but not the same and important to know the wording. <3 
  • sm786786
    sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    I've beem asked to attend a claimant commitment interview at the local jobcentre anyone know what that is ? 




  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,385 Disability Gamechanger
    sm786786 said:
    I've beem asked to attend a claimant commitment interview at the local jobcentre anyone know what that is ? 





    When applying for either New style ESA or Universal Credit you need to agree to your claimant commiments before any payments can be made. At the appointment they may ask a little about your health conditions. You will also need to agree to report all changes. You will have no work seach requirements for this. Morew details here. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance

    If you've applied for Universal Credit then what's expected of you will depend on your circumstances and each individual person will be different. You'll be classed as a job seeker until a decision is made on your work capability assessment. It's a work coaches discretion to either turn off or reduce commiments, some do and others don't.

    If you have issues attending appointments in person then you can request a telephone appointment as a reasonable adjustment.


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 893 Pioneering

    Hi there,

    You are entitled to new style Contribution-Based ESA.
    Read about GP's supporting medical evidence on the BMA website - I found this:

    • If your patient’s condition has affected their function for some time without a previous fit note being issued, you must enter an estimated date that their function was affected from in the 'this will be the case from' field.

    I hope you can persuade your GP to quickly issue you with a revised Statement of Fitness for Work - 'fit note' - Med 3 Certificate - like the one above for your claim to ESA  
     

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 893 Pioneering

    Hi again,

    I strongly advise that you put in a claim for new style ESA soon to get that ball rolling 


  • sm786786
    sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi there,

    Thanks. Yes I have applied and my GP has provided unfit to work notes. Now the work coach from the jib centre has booked an interview with me something to do with claimant commitment 
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 893 Pioneering
    edited September 2023

    I'm suggesting an amended fit note as below rather than a 3-month standard one because yours is not a new condition nor is it likely to improve. Until now, you've been 'economically active' and still wish to work so you deserve to be assessed correctly - and properly supported - from your first claim to welfare benefits.

    If your patient’s condition has affected their function for some time without a previous fit note being issued, you must enter an estimated date that their function was affected from in the 'this will be the case from' field.

    GP's can't be expected to keep up with welfare reform (DWP informs the BMA) - the above guidance was updated in 2020 but medical evidence regulations exist primarily to protect patients and services. Your GP won't mind a nudge with this. 


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,385 Disability Gamechanger
    WhatThe said:

    I'm suggesting an amended fit note as below rather than a 3-month standard one because yours is not a new condition nor is it likely to improve. Until now, you've been 'economically active' and still wish to work so you deserve to be assessed correctly - and properly supported - from your first claim to welfare benefits.



    Why do they need an amended fit note? A fit note isn't evidence that you have limited capability for work anyway. For this reason it doesn't matter what it says on that fit note. 

    Fit notes are not 3 months as standard. They can be for any length of time, some are for less than 3 months at a time and some are for longer.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sm786786
    sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello all,

    Just a quick update.

    I have submitted my PIP and ESA forms as well as the work capability assessments forms. I received a call back from the ESA who looked at my work capability assessment form, they asked me a few questions whether I knew braille I said no as my vision deteriorated suddenly in last two years so I never really offered it. They said there was no requirement for me to come in for an assessment and that I will hear the outcome in few weeks. Jot sure what that is about does that mean my ESA claim work capability assessment has been declined or something like that? 
    I did mention that after I had submitted the world capability form I had an appointment with my wye consultant and he has provided me a certificate of severe sight impairment (blind).

    Just getting a bit concerned as to why I would not need to see them as part of work capability assessment.

    I am still waiting to hear back re PIP assessment.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,385 Disability Gamechanger
    In this case you can't be found fit for work without an assessment. Sounds like they are doing a paper based assessment. For this reason it can only be good news. Once the report is written and returned a decision can take anything up to 12 weeks.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sm786786
    sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi there,

    Just wanted to provide an update, Re the ESA, I think they have made a decision on my work accessment, the twice weekly payment has been increased to £259 as per my bank statement yesterday but I haven't received any letter confirming this as yet.

    I also had my PIP telephone consultation yesterday, this went on for 2 hours and I did mention that I am now certified as severely vision impaired (blind) by the consultant and sent them a copy of the certificate which they have.

    Waiting for the PIP outcome and will let you know.

    Not sure what other benefits I am entitled to, if I am definitely in the support group for ESA .Please advise as I am totally new to all this and have never claimed benefits in the past.


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,385 Disability Gamechanger
    sm786786 said:
    Hi there,

    Just wanted to provide an update, Re the ESA, I think they have made a decision on my work accessment, the twice weekly payment has been increased to £259 as per my bank statement yesterday but I haven't received any letter confirming this as yet.



    That's good news. Just to correct this incase other members see it. ESA is a weekly benefit paid fortnightly, not twice weekly.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sm786786
    sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Just wanted to provide a further update.

    So beginning of last week my work capability assessment for new style ESA contributory based  put me in the support group.

    Later on 7 December  last week I had the PIP consultation over the phone and that lasted two hours. 

    This morning today I received the following text message:

    We have awarded you PIP. We have sent you a decision letter explaining the award. Please allow 2 weeks to receive this. You only need to contact us if your circumstances change.

    I am not sure how much PIP I have been awarded - but I assume its probably the standard rates of both the dailying living and mobility since I am severely vision impaired (blind) and provided DWP a  certificate from.the hospital consultant. I guess I have to wait for the letter!

    I am surprised how quickly PIP and ESA was awarded considering that I applied for both benefits around end September.

    I think DWP have set new time frames for new applicants.

    I will update you on the PIP rate awarded, in the meantime what other benefits am I entitled to except UC.



  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,385 Disability Gamechanger
    Great news about both benefits. The only other benefit would be council tax reduction. 

    If you’re claiming UC as well then Support Group will also entitle you to the LCWRA element from the 4th month of your claim.

    If you’re claiming UC with a partner and they care for you for at least 35 hours per week and your PIP includes the daily living part. Then your partner can claim carers element of UC for looking after you. 

    Your ESA will also increase to £129.50/week from the 14th week of your claim.


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sm786786
    sm786786 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Happy Sunday to you all.

    I just wanted to provide an update.

    I have been awarded pip at enhanced rate for both daily living and mobility components, I have also been placed in the support group of the new style contribution based ESA. This is all due my eyesight progressively deteriorating as a result of disease.

    I am not entitled to council tax deduction because modifications needs to be made to the home due to mobility and since I have no modifications made this means no council tax deduction. Have applied for blue badge and bus pass, still awaiting reply.

    My next question is re working, not being able to work is starting to affect my mental health as I had been working non stop for 33 years up until August 2023 when I was made redundant due to eyesight issues.

    If I do find an employer who will employed be considering my sight issues and maybe put me in a role where I can just dictate reports etc would I lose my ESA and PIP ? I would only think of part time paid work. What if I did a voluntary role such as working for CAB etc? I am only doing this to keep my mind active and to avoid getting myself into depression as well as to remain generally active, after all I do not want to lose my PIP and ESA that I have currently been awarded 
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,361 Scope online community team
    Workplaces are required to give reasonable adjustments to help you work, that is covered under the equality act. You would have to be upfront about the adjustments you would need, your employer can use the Access to Work program. It's a program to help employers give adjustments to employees who need them. 

    Also, your PIP is not means-tested, you can work as much as you feel comfortable with and still receive PIP. ESA I believe has a 'permitted work' level of less than 16 hours a week and earning less than £167 a week. Your employer can claim for Access to Work and you can claim from ESA at the same time. Your ESA will remain as long as you work and earn below the 'permitted work' levels.

    I hope that information helps @sm786786, good luck with your job search!
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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