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Payments stopped - can I get any support?

verona Member Posts: 1
Hi had my esa assment it did not go in my favour, I'm on walking sticks and have a lot of thigs going on my conditions are getting worse as the years go by , they have stopped all payments, I have nothing really coming in apart from pip ,I have appealed so waiting on result. I'm married and my husband works can I not get any support or what is the next step if it still does not go in my favour


  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi Verona,

    You've done the right thing by appealing. Did you ask for a mandatory reconsideration first? That is essential in order to appeal; it means asking the DWP to look at the decision again before you can appeal to an independent tribunal. 

    Hopefully you will get some ESA on appeal, but as your husband works, it may be that you can only get the contributory form of ESA (based on your national insurance record). That lasts for a year (52 weeks), unless you are in the support group for ESA; that's the group for people who aren't expected to do any work-related activity.

    If the decision you got on your ESA is that you don't have limited capability for work at all, then you can get ESA during the appeal stage, at the rate of £73.10 a week. This only applies once you've had the mandatory reconsideration notice, and you are appealing. It's not a new claim for ESA, just your existing claim being paid at this 'assessment' rate whilst you're appealing. 

    It's a bit more complicated if the decision is that you do have limited capability for work, but you are not in the support group, and so your contributory ESA has ended after 52 weeks. It's still worth appealing but you can't get any money whilst you are waiting for the appeal decision.

    You mention that you use walking sticks, but the trouble is that ESA looks at how far you can 'mobilise' with your walking stick, if that's what you normally use, so you might not get any points for that in itself. On the other hand if it causes you a lot of pain and/or fatigue to walk only a short distance, you should score points. And of course there are points for other activities in the assessment. To get into the support group, it's not about points as such but just meeting statements - such as not being able to transfer between seated positions without help. 

    You can look at how points are scored, and the support group test, here (the information is in the appendices at the bottom of the page). This may help you to challenge the decision, and of course, if you can supply any medical evidence or other evidence from professionals who work with you, that always helps. 

    You can also have limited capability for work if it would be a risk to your health or other people's if you were found capable of work - so if you know your health would get worse if you had to work, explain this to the DWP and/or tribunal. Similarly, if you know that any sort of work-related activity (having to go to courses or update your CV for example) would make your health worse, it's worth saying so.

    If you do get to an appeal tribunal, it is always worth choosing a hearing which you attend yourself (the venues should be accessible).  You have a higher chance of success if you go to the tribunal, and even higher if you can get a representative, such as someone from the Citizens Advice Bureau

    Even though your husband works, it is worth checking whether you can get any housing benefit or help with the council tax. Both calculations take into account the fact that you get PIP, which can help you qualify. You can ask your local authority about these benefits. If you do get housing benefit or council tax reduction, remember to let the council know if your ESA appeal is successful. I really hope it is!

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland


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