Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Benefits and Job help please.

JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
Hello
I signed up to this forum after a google search, read a post about ESA, and thought I'd ask for help here.

I have been employed for 8 years, was diagnosed a year ago with RA. My issues originaly started in my knees but is now everywhere in my body, my hands, wrists and fingers are particularly affected.
Had been off sick between September 2018 to January 2019 and I returned to work on reduced hours. I was struggling to manage my job, I am a commis chef, and I spoke with my line manager about my issues. We had a meeting with HR and I ended up walking out of the meeting in tears and I told my boss that I would be going back on sick leave as they would not help me.

My employer have been useless, the only reasonable adjustment they would make was to reduced hours. I have contacted ACAS and DLS, both have told me conflicting advice and I can not for love or money get the right help.

I have currently been off sick since 3rd May 2019, I had full pay for 6 months and half pay for 6 months, I have about 2 months of half pay left and my SSP runs out at the end of November. I have been getting a small top up from UC and I recently put in a claim for ESA, I also get PIP.

I do not know whether to just hand in my notice. Like the post I read before I signed up, my employer is quite a large company, they refered me to OH and OH said I needed to be redeployed in a sedentry role as I could not continue in my current role. OH also gave what adjustments could be made in their reports but my boss didn't read them. I have had a meeting with the bigger boss and HR and when I said about the equality act and that they should do everything they can to help me stay employed, he just replied Not neccessarily. I also said that if they could not assist me in reasonable adjustments to stay in my current role, that I should automatically be put into a role that is suitable without having to go through an interview. I was told they don't do that, I would have to be interviewed like everyone else and at that moment they didn't have vacancies but they did and have had since this meeting. I feel like I'm just hitting a brick wall with my employer. I haven;t had any contact with them since the end of may, although I do send in my sick notes and I have emailed the boss to let him know my hospital appointments keep changing.

I have all letters and copies of emails I have sent during this time. I'm sorry for the long post but hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

Thank you.

Replies

  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    welcome to the forum, sorry i can't answer your questions for you, but just popped in to say your not alone and will be answered here asap
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hi @JellyBaby88 and a warm welcome to the community. I'm sorry to hear your employer hasn't been very understanding. From an employment point of view, are you part of a union? They might be able to offer more support.

    You might find Local Law Society to be helpful. 

    I am tagging @Joanne_Scope who might be able to offer more benefit advice.
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi @JellyBaby88 and a warm welcome to the community. I'm sorry to hear your employer hasn't been very understanding. From an employment point of view, are you part of a union? They might be able to offer more support.

    You might find Local Law Society to be helpful. 

    I am tagging @Joanne_Scope who might be able to offer more benefit advice.
    Hi Chloe

    Thank you for replying.

    I am not in the union at work and if I was to join they wouldn't help with my current situation.

    I also emailed the local law society and as of yet I haven't had a reply.

    The benefit advice would be most welcome as I am really struggling with that at the moment.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    I see you're already claiming UC, which is being reduced by 63% because of your SSP. Are you sending in fit note for the UC claim? Once your SSP ends and you stop receiving any pay during an assessment period then you'll receive the standard allowance of £317.82 per month single person.

    What other elements of UC you maybe entitled to will depend on your circumstances. If you're claiming for help with your rent then you'll receive that on top of the standard allowance.

    Once your SSP ends and your New style ESA starts then the ESA will be deducted £1 for £1 from your UC amount. There's no financial gain to claiming New style ESA and UC together. The only good thing about claiming both is that New style ESA isn't means tested and UC is. The ESA will be paid fortnightly at £73.10 per week assessment rate. This will reduce your UC by £317 per month.

    Once you've been assessed for limited capability for work then it's possible you could receive extra money per month if you're given LCWRA.


    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.
  • JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I've not had much help with this, I guess I posted in the wrong part of the forum. 

    But....

    As of yesterday I am now unemployed. I haven't had much dealings with my employers since I've been off, I have emailed them to notify of change in hospital appointments but got no reply. 

    The email said they have done as much as they can with regards to reasonable adjustments and supporting me, they haven't done anything, but as my condition is unlikely to improve they are dismissing me due to capability. 

    I also had my ESA assessment this morning, the 'nurse' was really nice but she didn't ask much so I'm guessing that that will be a no.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You haven't posted on the wrong part of the forum and i'm sorry i didn't answer your question about your employer being difficult and handing in your notice. You shouldn't hand in your notice without first getting some advice from ACAS, link here.

    Do be aware that if you do hand in your notice then any money you receive from your employer during your assessment period  will affect the amount of UC you can receive that month.

    For the work capability assessment not being asked many questions doesn't mean anything really. I've had work capability assessments and not many questions have been asked and it's never gone against me.

    Wait a week and ring DWP to request a copy of the report to be sent to you, this will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be because they mostly go with the report. You'll still need to wait for the decision though. If you need help with understanding the recommendations in the report then please do ask. The work capability assessment report isn't the easiest to understand.

    Hopefully a decision won't be too long but just so you're aware, there's no timescales. Good luck.

    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.
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Member - under moderation Posts: 216 Pioneering
    My suggestion is to speak with Citizens advice or local DIAL
    https://www.dialuk.info/ And formally request that you are redeployed in writing.

    Trust me on this if you can work in a limited capacity your better off as in MY opinion the DWP make employers from hell look like good option.
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @JellyBaby88,

    It certainly sounds like you are going through a tough time!

    You said in your latest post that your employer has emailed you to say that they are dismissing you on the grounds of capability.

    How long have you worked for your employer?

    Have they given you a notice period or are you now officially unemployed?


    Joanne 
    Scope
  • JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi 
    I have worked for my employer for 8 years. I recollect from a previous meeting they said I would be entitled to 8 weeks pay. I am assuming this would be pilon. 

    The email said that they would dismiss without a meeting as I find them very stressful. So I assume I am now unemployed.
  • JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I give up. I came here to ask for help, I've not only tried here but CAB, ACAS, DLS and seems like it's a lost cause. Thanks to those that did reply.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry no one was able to support you with this. I can't imagine how frustrating this must be!
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,947 Scope community team
    Hi @JellyBaby88. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things with regards to benefits. Is there anything specific regarding them you're wanting further advice on?

    With regards to your employer, have you had any further communication from them? Have they given you an official notice period or date your employment is terminated from? 

    Can I also ask, have you made Universal Credit aware of your health situation?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    My suggestion is to speak with Citizens advice or local DIAL
    https://www.dialuk.info/ And formally request that you are redeployed in writing.

    Trust me on this if you can work in a limited capacity your better off as in MY opinion the DWP make employers from hell look like good option.
    Several written requests for redeployment have been give and ignored or they have said they don't have those jobs vacant when they did have vacancies. 
  • JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi @JellyBaby88. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things with regards to benefits. Is there anything specific regarding them you're wanting further advice on?

    With regards to your employer, have you had any further communication from them? Have they given you an official notice period or date your employment is terminated from? 

    Can I also ask, have you made Universal Credit aware of your health situation?
    @Adrian_Scope with regards to benefits am I getting the right ones. I keep seeing a disability element mentioned and have read up about it and I'm eligable for it but I don't get it.

    I have had nothing back from my employer. I have returned my keys and swipe cards.

    Universal credit are aware of my health condition, I put it on my application form and when I saw an adviser recently, I made him aware and he said the universal credit set up is useless and even they don't know what they should be doing.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    @JellyBaby88 The disability premiums are not payable on Universal credit unfortunately. They are only payable on the old legacy benefits such as Income Related ESA/JSA and Income support.

    Are you sending in fit notes to claim for limited capability for work? If so then you should have been referred for a work capability assessment. Once this happens you'll be sent a work capability assessment form to fill in and return with all your evidence to support your claim.

    A face to face assessment is most likely needed with the health assessment providers. Once this is done a report will be returned to DWP and a decision maker will make a decision on your claim. If that decision is LCWRA then you'll receive an extra £336 per month from the 4th month of your claim from when you sent your first fit note.

    If the decision is LCW then you won't receive any extra money each month and the same if the decision is fit for work.

    If you disagree with the decision then you'll have 1 month from that date to request the Mandatory reconsideration. Hope this helps.
    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.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,947 Scope community team
    Hi @JellyBaby88. I hope Poppy has cleared up the disability premium query for you. Is there anything else we can advise you on?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • JellyBaby88JellyBaby88 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    @Adrian_Scope No, I do have a question with regards to disability discrimination but will find the right place to post that query, Thanks for the help.
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