Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Am I allowed to learn to drive?

Hi all, I'm new here - hope you can help!

I have been receiving ESA for a year and was in the Work Related Activity Group. I recently got moved to the Support Group after completing another questionnaire (I'm hoping that means no face-to-face assessment?)

I am unable to work due to severe anxiety and depression. I get physical reactions that make it close to impossible to get through normal day-to-day life. As I have problems in social situations or need to get home quickly if I do venture out I was thinking of learning how to drive. It will be challenging because some days I know I won't have the energy and driving has its own stressful things but in the long run I think it would be really beneficial. I was even thinking of converting a little van so that if I get too overwhelmed I will always have somewhere I can retreat to!

But I don't know if DWP would be told by DVLA? I get really stressed about my benefits and always fear that if I do or say something 'wrong' they will be cut off... I don't know what I'd do if they did. Getting worried just thinking about it!

Does anyone know if learning to drive would affect ESA? And if I need to tell DWP or will they be notified? 

Replies

  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi kittenmittens and welcome

    learning to drive could be a positive thing for you to do. It has nothing to do with the DWP what so ever. Nobody needs to inform them at all, unless, somehow the actions of driving contradict the reasons that you claim ESA.

    I would suggest that you talk to your GP first as your anxiety could become worse
    Here is the link to the Gov site

      https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving

    Good luck if you try

    CR

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I understand where you are coming from as I would love to be able to drive for the same reasons. I know that I see a car as an extension of my home, like a safe place. This helps me with agoraphobia and anxiety.  That may not make sense to some people but I know what works for me as you do too. Right now I can’t afford it and it’s a shame because I have the time the motivation and the need. Good luck
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • kittenmittenskittenmittens Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you so much for the advice @CockneyRebel - I'll definitely talk to my Dr and therapist about it because it could be too challenging at the moment. I had no idea the DVLA had such an extensive list of medical conditions you had to tell them about.

    And so nice to hear your thoughts @debbiedo49 I felt so misunderstood trying to explain it to other people and you completely get it! It's good to not feel like the only one who would like (or even need) a little mobile sanctuary :)
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    I understand where you are coming from as I would love to be able to drive for the same reasons. I know that I see a car as an extension of my home, like a safe place. This helps me with agoraphobia and anxiety.  That may not make sense to some people but I know what works for me as you do too. Right now I can’t afford it and it’s a shame because I have the time the motivation and the need. Good luck
    I get it, on some occasions when I do go out my car is my safe place, it is like a piece of my home that moves with me. Trouble is that I have had times when I still can't leave my moving home so end up going back again without completing my errand. So frustrating when things are near enough to touch but still a mile away

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
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