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Moving on

chotna69 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi, im new here and not quite sure if I'm in the right place - I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, the latter causes me so much pain in my ankles, thus inflaming my fibromyalgia:-(
I am currently on the lower rate of PIP but, although I'm working, I'm struggling a lot; how would I see about either increasing my PIP and/or claiming ESA? I havent a clue what to do as the DWP say im fit for work
Rona x


  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Community member Posts: 5,209 Disability Gamechanger
    For your PIP you can notify a change in circumstance which will trigger a new assessment. Check very carefully that you fulfill the criteria for the extra points before doing so
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,665 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @chotna69 there is a PIP self test you can do to see how you could potentially score.
    Senior online community officer
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Community member Posts: 2,621 Pioneering

    Hi Rona,

    For PIP I agree with Cockney Rebel. You can report a change of circumstances, but before you do that, have a look at the points system - you'd need to score at least 12 points to get the enhanced rate of PIP daily living, or mobility. 

    You're likely to be called for an assessment so I'd be cautious about requesting this unless it's clear you should now get enough points. In particular, think about whether you have medical evidence for your increased difficulties - that can make all the difference.

    For ESA, you can't get it if you are working 16 hours a week or more. If you're working under 16 hours, the work can be considered what's called 'permitted work'. You also need to be a bit careful with ESA nowadays. If you've been paying national insurance contributions, you may be entitled to contributory ESA. But if you haven't (because your earnings are low, for example), then you may need to claim either income-related ESA, or Universal Credit, depending on where you live. But if you remain employed, you'd normally claim Statutory Sick Pay before claiming ESA/UC.

    If you have to claim Universal Credit, that will stop any tax credits or housing benefit you currently get. 

    If you're already on PIP as you say, then if you are working 16 hours or more, you could claim Working Tax Credit, but this does depend on income, and in certain areas of the country, you may be told to claim Universal Credit instead.

    So the first step would be deciding whether you need to, or can, reduce your hours, or whether you feel you have to stop work entirely. The other problem is not knowing whether you would get ESA. You can be treated as having limited capability for work for the first 13 weeks, or longer, whilst you are waiting for an assessment, as long as you are signed off work by a medical certificate. BUT if you are still employed, you'd be expected to claim statutory sick pay first, and to get this, you need to be incapable of doing the work you would normally do under your contract.

    You can't get contributory ESA if you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

    Statutory sick pay depends on whether you have been earning enough - at least £113 a week at the moment - and you only need the medical certificate, there is no assessment. But as you probably know, it only lasts for 28 weeks, and only whilst you are employed.

    I'm sorry it's so complicated! The other thing I would be concerned about is that you say the DWP consider you to be fit for work. Does that mean you've claimed ESA in the past? What happened, and was there a decision that you don't have limited capability for work? You would need to show your condition had significantly worsened in order to be treated as having limited capability for work (and so get any ESA) whilst waiting for your assessment.

    If you weren't entitled to contributory ESA and you live in an area where disabled people have to claim UC, the situation could be even worse - you can't be treated as having limited capability for work before your assessment. The DWP might try to sanction you (not pay you any money) if you leave work, but it will help if you can show that you tried to sort things out by asking for reduced hours, or any other adjustments you think are reasonable.

    You'll probably have more questions after reading this, so do get back to us, if possible with more information (eg, details of whether you claimed ESA in the past, what happened, how many hours you are working now, whether you get Working Tax Credit, and what component(s) of PIP you currently receive).

    Finally - if you are successful in getting the enhanced rate daily living component of PIP, it is worth telling HMRC as this could increase your Working Tax Credit - or, if you are not claiming tax credits, it makes it more likely that you might be entitled. But check first if you are in a Universal Credit area where disabled people have to claim (because a claim for tax credits can trigger UC).

    The Benefits Training Co:

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