Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Could we claim ESA without being made to look for a job?

SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
hi just wanted to say hi 

Replies

  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    And 'hi' back to you, @SkyMary7 :smile: and a warm welcome to the community. When you're ready, do you think you could tell us a little more about yourself? And if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them.
    Warmest best wishes,
    Richard
    @JennysDad
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    hi yeah i was diagnosed last year with a rare brain condition called chari malformation type 1. We adopted a little girl 17 months ago aged5 she's now 7 and due to her complex emotional issues and past abuse and trauma, im currently off work on the sick with compassion fatigue and depression. Ive applied for DLA for myself and have a Face to face interview at my home Thursday 17th May. Im wanting to give work up as it is all to much and making me ill. However im not sure if we can claim ESA without being made to look for a job. 
  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Hello @SkyMary7 and thank you for getting back to me. Well! I had to look that one up, didn't I? Chiari Malformation is definitely a new one on me, but a good deal of information about it on the web.
    You might like to try the online benefits calculator here and see if it gives you some kind of answer and, in the meantime, I'm going to refer your post to our specialists so that they will be aware of the conversation and can join in when it's most helpful.
    Lovely to hear from you,
    Warmest best wishes,
    Richard
    @JennysDad
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    thank you. Yeah I had never heard of it till i ended up in hospital last May and it was found accidentally when I had an MRI due to headaches and numbness in my left arm. I have been offered decompression surgery and have to decide what i want to do. x
  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Hello again Mary and thank you for getting back to me. You've probably seen it already but if you haven't it might we worth having a look at the NHS web pages on the subject. I think it suggests that the surgery can make a difference, but the choice, of course, will be up to you.
    Warmest best wishes to you,
    Richard
    @JennysDad
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    hi yeah thanks my nureoligist and nureosurgeon said that the operation carries risks, which seem pretty scary to what im suffering with. With me having a daughter i don't really want to put her through the whole process of me being so ill and possibly having a stroke or anything. xxx I have a review on 22nd May to discuss how im getting on with pain management etc. 
  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Understood perfectly, @SkyMary7. Very sensible. Bear with us whilst I try to get an answer to your question.
    Very best to you,
    Richard
    @JennysDad
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    It wouldn't have been DLA you applied for, for yourself, it would have been PIP. DLA doesn't exist anymore for those age 16 and over. PIP replaced it in 2013.

    To be able to claim ESA will depend on your circumstances. Do you have a partner that works? if so and you've paid enough National Insurance contribtuions in the previous 2 tax years then you could claim Contribution based ESA. If not then  you need to have a look to see if your area is a full Universal Credit area. If it is then it will be this you'll have to apply for and not ESA. To check, pop your details into this link.
    http://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate

    If your area isn't a full Universal Credit area and you don't have a partner that works then you could claim ESA yes. For this you'll need fit notes from your GP and you won't be made to look for work.



    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    hi i do have a partner and he doesn't work. He is classed as a carer for my daughter. x
  • RipplesRipples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    Are you in receipt of SSP?  You can apply for ESA  3 months before the end of your SSP this will be contribution based if you have paid 26  NI contributions in the last 2 years You won't get  the ESA until your SSP ends If you are in a full UC area you will have to apply for the 'new'  ESA replacement 
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    im still working but off sick and my salary is going to be reduced June to half pay.? 
  • RipplesRipples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    @SkyMary7 I can't say how your  contract covers sickness but nationally  you are entitled to 28 weeks of SSP once that ends you can claim ESA  There are other benefits which can make your income up but it depends on what you are receiving  at the moment in total. As to your original query if you are placed in the support group then you aren't expected to seek employment. However even in the WRAG you hae some say in what you can e expected to do or apply for.
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    i received a letter saying that my salary will be reduced due to my full sick entitlement running out June. x
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Mary,
    You should never be asked to look for work on ESA, as it is a sickness benefit. You may be asked to do 'work preparation' that is considered suitable (attending meetings, drafting CVs etc) and generally this is not optional.
    Another route to consider is if either you receive the daily living element of PIP, or if your adoptive daughter is in receipt of the middle or high rate care of DLA (I'm not sure she is disabled, but you mention your husband is carer for her) then you or your husband could claim Carer's Allowance and Income Support instead of ESA. There are is no conditionality attached to that.
    Hope that helps!
    Kind regards
    Mary
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    hi my partner claims carers allowance for my daughter and we get the middle rate daily living allowance for my daughter. thanks 
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    i thought that there were two parts of ESA one where you are fit to do some work? 
  • RipplesRipples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    @SkyMary7 the two groups are Support and Work Related Activity . Neither demand that you seek work but  in WRAG  you can be asked to go to a work-focused interview where they discuss your options going forward with a long term view of you  entering the work place at a point in the future.
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    so I have applied for universal credit nd we have a meeting tomorrow. But im confused as I we have another meeting straight after which says it is to sign our work search agreement. I rang up and said i don't need to look for a job as I have one. I m claiming ESA, but they said i will have to tell them tomorrow that I want to claim ESA. Im worried now that they will want me to claim job seekers not ESA. Any advice would be appreciated xxx
  • RipplesRipples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    @SkyMary7 It's jargon I think they said the same thing about work search to my sister who is on SSP from work due to having cancer. They will run through your options when you see them just state that you are unfit for work.
  • SkyMary7SkyMary7 Member Posts: 59 Connected
    thanks the lady on the phone said when the online account is set up. Its set up as one size fits all. So to just tell them in the meeting like you say. x
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