Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA Cancelled.

redrobinsredrobins Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi,

I suffer with anxiety, intrusive thoughts, depression and really struggle when it comes to meeting people I don't know. I even struggle with my family due to the paranoia associated with my intrusive thoughts.

They've stopped my benefit and won't pay during a mandatory reconsideration so I have no choice but to apply for universal credit. I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment and worried about what this means as I really struggle with the work focused interviews and it's going to push me over the edge.

I'm pretty sure I would pass the mandatory reconsideration as I did 5 years ago when I had my last one as I'm better at explaining the affects my mental health condition have on me in writing as I'm not very great at explaining verbally.

I'm genuinely annoyed that I couldn't be honest at the interview, I have a real issue with others perception of me that I understated the affects of my condition at fear of being judged. 

What would you suggest doing? This is really overwhelming and I don't have any support.

Thanks.

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    If you apply for Universal Credit then you won't be able to go back onto ESA. ESA is never paid while waiting for the MR but if you haven't already applied for UC and can possibly wait for the MR decision then this is the better option. There's at least a 5 week wait for first UC payment also and within this time you could have the decision back for the ESA, even though only 17% of MR decisions change, there's still a chance it could change.

    Any premiums you were claiming on ESA are not paid on UC and claiming UC with a fit/sick doens't automatically excuse you from the UC claimant agreement, it's most likely that you'll still have to attend the JC and don't some job searches etc, it really depends on the work coaches discretion. If you do have to do work searches or attend appointments and you don't do what you should then you'll be sanctioned. UC is very unfair to those with disabilities. If you can hold out i would certainly advise you do this.

    If the MR decision doesn't change then you can go back onto assessment rate of ESA once the Tribunal accept your appeal but if you've claimed UC you can't do this. Hope this helps.
    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.
  • redrobinsredrobins Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks Poppy, that's explained everything I needed to know. Appreciate your time.
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