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Fit for work but not really...

nickgrimes Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hello everyone I'm new here. I was on ESA benefit but it looks like I'm about to lose it. I have a slipped disc and the pain is such that I cannot stand for long and even sitting is not a good experience. I am very slightly better than I was, but I don't consider myself fit for work yet. Prior to this I never had a day off. I have had an MRI scan which shows a slipped disc is pushing against a nerve. I am taking a host of medications to relieve the pain, and another MRI is being considered and possibly surgery. I had an assessment in Halifax (I had to fully recline the passenger seat of my friend's car all the way there and back to get some relief from the pain) Following this interview by the DWP I have received a phone call telling me that I failed the assessment, and I should go and apply for job seekers allowance. I am going to appeal, but this can take several months or so i have read. If I apply for job seekers allowance will that affect my appeal? No one is likely to set me on unless it's a forced labour camp. Would love to hear any advice, thanks.


  • Ails
    Ails Community member Posts: 2,256 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @nickgrimes and welcome to the Community.  It is nice to meet you and thank you for sharing with us.  I'm really sorry to hear of your present situation and the fact that you are in so much pain.  With regards to your DWP enquiry, I am going to tag in on of our other members, who is excellent when it comes to DWP enquiries and she will be best to advise you.

    Hi @poppy123456, could you please advise this member on his above enquiry?  Many thanks, @Ails:smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,131 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Ails for the tag.

    Hi and welcome @nickgrimes

    May i ask which ESA you were claiming? Was it Income Related or New style ESA? If it was Income related then you won't be able to claim JSA unless you were/are receiving a severe disability premium in with another benefit. All areas are now a full Universal Credit area so it will be this you will need to claim.

    If it was New style ESA which was based on your NI Contributions then New style JSA maybe possible but it will depend on your NI Contributions in the previous 2 tax years from working.

    If you claim UC then you won't be able to go back onto ESA anytime in the future.

    For the ESA fit for work decision then you have 1 month from the date of the decision to request the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) you should put this in writing stating which group you think you should be placed into and your reasons why. Send relevant evidence with the letter to support your claim because they rarely contact anyone for this.

    If you were previously in a group then it will help to know the reasons why you were in that group and if they still apply then you can based the MR letter on this.

    You won't receive any ESA while you wait for the MR decision and this can be anything from 2-10 weeks, sometimes longer. Most MR decisions remain the same so you'll likely have to take it to Tribunal. Once the Tribunal accept your appeal then you'll be able to go back onto assessment rate for ESA with a fit note from your GP BUT if you claim UC then you won't be able to do this. You will still be able to request the MR then Tribunal if you do claim UC. Of course claiming UC will depend on your circumstances because it's a means tested benefit. If you live with a partner then you will need to claim as a couple.

    Some face to face advice from an agency near you will be very useful because it's very complicated. It's very difficult to advise without knowing your circumstances.

    Hope this helps a little at least. Good luck.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • nickgrimes
    nickgrimes Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi thank you for your help, It's the new style ESA which I had been claiming for around 3 months

    Thank you for your help and advice, very much appreciated :)

  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,581 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @nickgrimes, looks like you have had lots of great advice here. Just wanted to say welcome to the community. :)

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