ESA and PIP what’s the difference? — Scope | Disability forum
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ESA and PIP what’s the difference?

alibabi67 Member Posts: 22 Connected
Hi everyone. 

I was on income based ESA for about 3 years due to my bipolar disorder and I was placed in the Support group. However my husband started working full time so I was no longer entitled to it, which seems bizarre because I still have bipolar and still can’t work because of it. Am I right in thinking that I now have to apply for PIP? which I have done, but as I’m sure you can appreciate it doesn’t really fit the problem of not being able to work because of my bipolar, it’s seems to be based on the care I need. Is this right? 

Many thanks 



  • debsidoo
    debsidoo Member Posts: 325 Pioneering
    Hi @alibabi67
    you are correct in your thinking.Pip is not about what diagnosis you have but how it affects your daily life.
    if you look on the benefits and work site you can take the self test to see if you think you will qualify for pip.Good luck.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,322 Disability Gamechanger
    The reason your ESA stopped was most likely because you were claiming Income Related as couple. Income Related will depend on household income and as your partner started work, if he worked for more than 24 hours per week then you wouldn't have been entitled to ESA.

    PIP isn't a means tested benefits and your partner working won't affect any possible claim. Evidence will be needed to support your PIP claim, as they rarely contact anyone for this.
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,457 Disability Gamechanger
    poppy123456, is always correct in her postings and as she states PIP isn't means tested. Saying that you have to give supping evidence as to why you need to claim PIP. Have you tried or done a self PIP test to see how you would fair in pairing your abilities to match the PIP descriptors and how many points you could be awarded. Rememywhat ever you submit in your applecation form will have to be justified at your face to face acessment.
  • alibabi67
    alibabi67 Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Hi, thanks for the replies. I have done a self assessment and it shows that I ‘should’ qualify for PIP (I also have osteoarthritis in my knee and have to use a crutch and knee brace to walk, have raised toilet seats and a bath lift to wash, which I can’t use alone, a trolley to move things from one place to another) the only evidence I had to send was a quick note from my doctor confirming my conditions as the doctor said they send out a 4 page questionnaire to the doctor to find out more information. I am dreading the face to face interview because if it comes at a low point then I know I will be rude and obnoxious (my better qualities on a down) plus, let’s face it the assessors don’t have a good rep and I already have very negative feelings towards them! but I took a photograph of my form which I will take with me.
    With regard to evidence I’m not sure what else I could submit as my consultant never wrote to me with my condition just talked about it and how he won’t do anything because I’m too heavy (but also won’t help me lose the 6 stone I have put on since bipolar medication nor take into account I knackered my knee exercising trying to lose said weight in the first place) With my prescriptions I live in a small village and you don’t get the slips with your medication on you have to call for your medication and some of mine isn’t on repeat because it is things like sleeping tablets. I guess it just seems strange that I can’t claim JSA because I am not fit to work, I can’t claim ESA because my husband works but if I didn’t need any help with anything, if I just couldn’t work because I don’t know who I will wake up as from one day to the next I couldn’t claim anything. Lastly can you record the interview? Due to my meds for various things my memory is useless and I would like to have a record of the actual interview so when it comes to a mandatory assessment I know exactly what I said and what they said? 
    Many thanks 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,322 Disability Gamechanger
    Your GP telling you that they contact them is not exactly true. They very rarely contact anyone for evidence. Your GP should have copies of letters from past Consultant/hospital appointments because usually they will write to your GP after you've been to the appointment. You can ask to see your medical records and have digital copies of everything you need, for free. You will then have to arrange to have what you need printed yourself. You can also ask your GP to print you evidence that states your current medication, it doesn't have to be on repeat prescription to do this. The PIP self test you completed is just a guide so please be aware of that.

    You can record your PIP assessment but you must ring the assessment providers and get permission to do this. You can only use CD or tape recorders and phones, laptops etc are not allowed. You must produce 2 identical copies of the recording (so you will need to buy 2 of everything) and hand 1 copy in at the end of the assessment. If you record the assessment without permission and they catch you doing this, the assessment will be stopped, your file returned to DWP and you could be refused the benefit.

    Unfortunately, you wouldn't be able to claim JSA either, even if you were fit to work. As previously advised the reason your ESA stopped is because your partner works. This means you won't be entitled to any JSA or ESA Income Related.

    Good luck with your assessment.

  • alibabi67
    alibabi67 Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Thank you, typical that they make recording the assessment so difficult! What if they say no? Lastly do I need to send them the extra evidence or can I take it to the interview? I will contact my GP for access to my medical records.
    Thanks again
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,322 Disability Gamechanger
    You can certainly try to take more evidence with you to the assessment but don't be too surprised if they refuse to accept it on the day. This happened to me and so many others. Sending it to DWP now will most likely be too late as your form has already been sent but there's no harm in trying that too. If you do send anything extra don't forget to put your NI number on everything.


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