Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Capability for work questionnaire

Hi. Just got the capability for work questionnaire and I’m wondering what this is? 
Does it mean they will stop my money? I am receiving pip aswell due to mental health and severe anxiety. This is making me very anxious! friend has told me that they won’t stop my money it will either stay the same go up or come down. What is this? Will my money stop or will they take me off esa? 

Replies

  • missy12345missy12345 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Also I’m in the support group and I got a letter few weeks ago to tell me my esa money is going up and now I get this to fill out. Really confused and worried they will stop my benefit. 
  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    It means your ESA award is due for re-assessment. There will be no change in your payments until the assessment is concluded. Have you had renewal assessments before?

    Do you know by what criteria you have been placed in the SG?
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-glossary/1353-support-group-descriptors

    Can you get help to complete the form. Make sure you fully explain the difficulties you have.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/help-with-your-esa-claim/fill-in-form/
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-claims
    https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/rights-restrictions/money-benefits-and-employment/employment-and-support-allowance/

    Any relevant medical evidence you could include with the form?
    Any carers / family / friends who can confirm your difficulties with the relevant ESA activities and descriptors?
  • missy12345missy12345 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thanks for your reply.
    yes I am in the support group and iv been on ESA for about 3 years without any reassessment so I’m very anxious I will fail the interview and won’t get money. I currently get PIP aswell so will that go in my favour or not matter? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    Whist PIP and the work capability assessment are different benefits, with different criteria, it won't hurt to send a copy of your PIP award and the assessment report as evidence with the completed work capability assessment form. They will either use it as evidence or they won't.
    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.
  • missy12345missy12345 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah I will send the pip report along with my prescription of my medication. I’m just worried they will stop my benefit. My friend told me they won’t because I receive PIP she also said my money will either stay the same go down or go up. But I’m so unsure and very anxious now. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Claiming PIP doesn't automatically mean you have a limited capability for work, so i disagree with your friend here.

    If you have more evidence other than your list of prescriptions then i'd also send other evidence to. Please have another read of Alice's advice above and have a read of the links that were also posted by Alice.

    Your money will continue until a decision's been made on your work capability assessment.
    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.
  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    Do you know why you were been placed in the SG, and which SG criteria applies?
    Was it risk to health?
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/2955-regulation-35-2-b-is-now-the-main-route-into-esa-support-group

    Can you get help to complete the form?
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/contact-us/
  • missy12345missy12345 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Yeah I think it was 
    13. Coping with social engagement due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder and awareness of everyday hazards. I have severe mental health and anxiety 
  • popipopi Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Anyone worried about benefits should read this.  Please try to keep calm and informed, as stress will have an adverse effect on your mental health and resilience to be able to recover, IF, you fall ill with anything.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses
    .
    https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/prepareyourhealth/CreateCommunity.htm

    listen to any deep sleep relaxation music the delta waves help boost immunity, sleep, etc

    I have a very rare genetic disease, immuno deficient, recovering from 4th open surgery in November 2019 since 2016, shingles and acute respiratory infection and on antibiotics! Hence the advice! Already following self isolation advice and husband in isolation with me as he has CP.

  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    edited March 2020
    And I guess 14.- Coping with change, would be difficult for you due to anxiety.
    Plus 15. - Getting about, in addition  to the social engagement one (16) you have referred to.

    There isn't a box on the firm for substantial risk to health, so it's important to include it on the other info page.
    Explain the impact on your mental health if you:
    a) Had to work; &
    b) Had to attend work focused interviews at the jobcentre 

    This includes the after-effects, so if meeting other people you don't know to talk about work preparation would cause you severe anxiety and leave you unable to function - put this on the form. Give any examples you can.

    Also if severe anxiety stops you from going out - so you wouldn't be able to reliably attend a job or at the jobcentre at appointed times explain this on the form. Again give examples if you can.

    The box spaces are quite small - so you may wish to write / type on a separate sheet of paper about how activities 14, 15, 16 and very possibly 13 & 12 apply to you (plus any more that apply). Why they apply, how you feel doing this activities, what help you get, how you feel afterwards (and the following days), any examples, etc etc.
    Then have a long paragraph explaining the risk to your health - and refer back to what you have written around 12, 13, 14, 15, & 16  and why a job /  work focused activities would substantially worsen your mental health.  

    Doing a separate sheet(s) enables you to revise, edit, and gives you the space to fully explain things - so you can get to a consistent final version which conveys the difficulties you face better to the people who need to read your form.

    Google ESA regulations 29 and 35  for more info on substantial risk.

    Do you have a copy of your previous form?

    If you have your PIP award letter, and you scored 4 points (or more) for social engagement, and 8 (or more) points on Planning a journey, then I would suggest you attach a copy of the letter which shows the PIP points. 


    Poppy is right - a PIP award won't automatically mean you stay in the SG. They are different benefits for different purposes, with differing tests.  


    Have you checked if a local advice agency can help you?
    Do you have a support worker?
     


  • Tammyjane33Tammyjane33 Member Posts: 670 Pioneering
    @popi I have a rare genetic disease too, would be nice to talk if you don't mind x
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