ESA Assessment & Housing Benefit — Scope | Disability forum
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ESA Assessment & Housing Benefit

Hello Everyone :)

Long Post Warning!!

I need a little bit of advice from anybody who might know from experience what I may need to do next. I was last on here seeking advice just before Xmas as I was due to have a PIP assessment and it was a lifesaver. As I was too ill to attend my assessment in the centre due to mental health issues I had to re arrange and then actually ring a few days before and say I wasn't able to attend as I was too ill. Somebody on here gave great advice & told me to ring DWP & ask to speak to a decision manager and explain my issues which I did and despite all the really bad horror stories you hear she was really nice & understanding and said I would be given another date and would have plenty of time to prepare.
3 weeks ago I was telephoned by a specialist mental health nurse on behalf of DWP again lovely and told it wasn't fair to expect me to go to centre or have someone in my home as she had all sufficient medical evidence to do a paper based review and just needed to check some things with me. Immense relief as the worry all over Xmas has made me very very ill so I was grateful to the DWP to show some compassion & I was very grateful. 

2 Weeks ago after being relieved I got a letter from Health Assessment Advisory Service that I would now need to have a home assessment in relation to my ESA Support Group claim!! I cancelled the appointment and re arranged for this Thursday 13th Feb. I am very grateful that I didn't need to request a home assessment but even with that the anxiety and self harm in these days leading up to Thursday is really taking over. I know I can't re arrange again so I know I will have to deal with it and face it. My only worry is if I lose my entitlement my rent is going to stop, I live in a Universal Credit area but don't want to claim it under any circumstances as I am able to live off my PIP as long as I am very strict with my heating & outgoings.

My main question is how do I continue to receive housing benefit & council tax help if I am not claiming ESA whilst asking for a mandatory consideration? I know it can take many weeks for a decision so I'm really scared I will be evicted if my rent goes into arrears. I have heard about a nil income form but can't find out much about it, I telephoned my council and the guy I spoke to said he had never heard of it and I would need to make a claim for Universal Credit. Also I have read online that if you receive PIP with the Severe Disability Element you can receive housing benefit? I truly am terrified of losing my home due to rent as I am unable to leave my home very often and the alternative would be for me to end my life. If anybody could take the time to give some advice I would be so thankful & grateful.

Thank You In Advance
Mark <3


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,186 Disability Gamechanger

    Firstly the rules you read about the severe disability premium mean that if you're claiming this because you live alone and no one claims carers allowance for looking after you then you will be unable to claim Universal Credit within 1 month of of receiving this disability premium. What you read doesn't apply here because you're already receiving it.

    Regarding your housing benefit if you're found fit for work. Yes, it's possible for you to receive this through nil income. What you need to do if the worst happens is contact your local council and tell them that you need your housing benefit to continue when you wait for the MR decision on your ESA claim.

    In the meantime, i know these assessments are extremely worrying and very very stressful for everyone that goes through them. I know exactly how it feels because i've been through a few myself.

    What i'd advise you to do is try very hard not to think of what may happen and only think about the assessment process itself. Thinking of the worst isn't going to help your anxiety levels at all, it will only make you feel worse. Get the assessment over with first and once the decision is made, if it's the worst then post back here and i'm sure someone will advise you.

    Hopefully, you'll be kept in the Support Group and you'll have nothing at all to worry about.

    Do you have someone to attend the assessment with you? Maybe a friend or a family member?

    I hope this helps. Good luck.
  • Mark81
    Mark81 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi poppy123456,

    Thank you for such a quick response. 

    Yes my mum will be with me at the assessment so I have her support to count on. I read that I can ask for a nil income form from my council so thank you for confirming that. I have just sorted out PIP and can’t believe straight after I am being called up for a ESA assessment, just wish I had a few more weeks to mentally prepare and recover from stress over PIP. I will try to stay positive and will come back if as expected I lose my ESA. 
    Thank You. 


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