ESA went aboard/coronavirus and return back ESA suspended — Scope | Disability forum
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ESA went aboard/coronavirus and return back ESA suspended

AFB
AFB Member Posts: 64 Courageous
Hi

I wanted to query that my mum is claiming ESA and she went aboard at start of march for 4 weeks and I had notified ESA that she will be going aboard and they sent me form to fill to tell them which dates she had gone and I sent it back to ESA but due to the coronavirus she got stuck aboard as the country she visited had gone into lockdown and then her return ticket was cancelled due to lockdown. Which then I notified ESA that she was stranded aboard and they said just tell us when she returns and we will carry on paying her. Once my mum return back to the UK on the special arranged flights by the UK to help british nationals return to UK as that was the only way she could return and she was classed as vulnerable so they prioritize her return. I then rang ESA again and told them that she had return on special UK flight and they ask the date she return which was at end of april which meant she was aboard for a total of 8 weeks but unfortunately the situation cannot be her fault as she couldnt return due to the coronavirus and borders being closed. Then 2 weeks later in may my mum had not received her usual ESA payment so I rang up ESA and they told me that they had suspended her ESA due to being aboard of the 4 weeks that your allowed and the are requesting her passport and they did not notify or write to me to say that they were going to suspend her payments and they want her passport as if I had not phoned I wouldnt not known about they suspending her benefit. Can anyone given any advice and information on what I can do and not allow the ESA to close her claim due to something which was way beyond our control and we cannot be blamed for this.
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Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,759 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi has your mum spoken to them it is after all her claim not yours? These are unusual circumstances in extreme times, but I'm afraid only the DWP can answer the question. In normal times you are allowed to go abroad for a holiday for 28 days and payment should remain in place.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    @AFB Did you sort this out? What happened? I'm in a similar situation, but have just gotten back...
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,330 Disability Gamechanger
    Waylay said:
    @AFB Did you sort this out? What happened? I'm in a similar situation, but have just gotten back...

    HI,
    May i ask how long you were abroad for? and what benefits exactly do you claim?
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    Hi @poppy123456 !

    I was on ESA IR SG, PIP standard/standard, Housing Benefit, EDP and SDP. 

    I had to go suddenly in March because my Mum's cancer prognosis changed from years to months. :/ She died in April. By then flights had stopped. 

    My airline began flying again in July, but refused to give me a ticket back to the UK, despite having cancelled my original flight. Argued with them a bunch, but they've done this to a lot of people. I didn't have the money to buy a new ticket, so I kept fighting with them. 

    In August we put my Mum's house on the market, and I was told I'd get half the value of the house when the buyer took ownership, so I figured I'd buy a new ticket then and keep fighting the airline in the meantime. I also figured that I'd lose ESA and HB then anyway, so since it was just a couple of months, it wasn't the end of the world.

    Our first buyers dropped out, so the house actually changed hands Oct 30. Unfortunately, it turns out the executor did some really shady things, and the estate is now locked until a third-party executor can sort it all out (4-18 months!) I only found this out on the 26th (25th?). 

    I eventually managed to borrow the price of a ticket from family friends, but lockdown, flight cancellations, etc.... Finally got back Nov 17th.

    Now have no income, thousands in debt, no money coming for a long time. Eek.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,330 Disability Gamechanger
    @Waylay thank you for that information. I'm sorry to hear about your mum!

    Did all of your benefits stop while you were out of the country? Or just your ESA? Sorry for the extra questions but hopefully i'll be able to help you further once those have been answered.
  • AFB
    AFB Member Posts: 64 Courageous
    Hi @Waylay
    The outcome was that ESA did make a decision to disregard the time that was overspent aboard due the covid-19 and they only counted the orignal booked  holidays. 


  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    @poppy123456

    Thank you @poppy123456 It's been really hard. Now that I'm back home I keep thinking, "I should Skype Mum! Oh..." I miss her so much.

    I got a random payment today with only numbers as the identifier. Spent ages on the phone today. Waited almost an hour, talked to a random DWP call centre person who had no idea, got transferred to a "specialist", waited 40 minutes, finally got hung up on. Will call again tomorrow. 

    I know my HB was stopped, and the paperwork from that says that my PIP was stopped (terminated? Suspended? Who knows). I assume the new payment must be ESA, but it was £47.52, which is... Not a number associated w/ ESA. 

    I'll let you know when I've talked to DWP. 

    Thank you. 
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 7,487 Scope online community team
    Sorry for your loss @Waylay.
    Online Community Coordinator

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  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    @Ross_Scope
    Thank you. Cancer is a terrible disease. :/
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    edited December 2020
    Hey all, apparently my IR ESA was suspended, not terminated, so that's back in payment now. PIP and HB, as well as SDP and EDP, were stopped.
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,330 Disability Gamechanger
    Waylay said:
    @poppy123456 See above

    For what? I liked your previous comment but i don't see any other comments, with any questions.

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