Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Lorraine0000Lorraine0000 Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hello everyone
I'm new to forum so please excuse me if I'm in the wrong place and for this long post.
I'm needing some advice please. 

On 2nd Sept 2018 my son was murdered. Myself and husband have been unable to work since. Depression, anxiety suicidal thoughts.

As you can imagine our world has fallen apart. We had a family partnership business, father and son which can no longer run for obvious reasons now bankrupt and I myself had recently taken voluntary redundancy 7 months prior to my sons murder and was receiving small amounts of UC to top up household income until my own business could be established. So we were already on the system so to speak.

My local Job Centre was informed of our situation and we were instructed to provide 'fitnotes'. Which we have been doing so since. 20 months of fit notes!
After speaking with CAB in early 2019 I was advised to claim ESA PIP due to my mental capabilities and having been on suicide watch. My husband is now my carer and my appointee. 
My husband contacted our local JC who gave us an appointment for a new claim. They were so unhelpful and stated that ESA was inappropriate for me and didn't quite know what to do.Nevertheless as we had requsted it they asked the questions and  I filled in the forms crying throughout. Even though my husband is my appointee we were told ESA doesnt count and I had to do the paperwork. I signed my declaration which stated that I will look for work. More anxiety. Which they have sent via my journal. Even on Christmas eve...floods of tears.
My UC stopped and Esa assessment payments started soon after. This caused problems. Overpayment of carers, overpayment of UC which they have managed to claw back leaving us with £100 for one month at one time. I asked for help via my journal as rent couldn't be paid. Sorry was their answer. Weve had ESA payments stop. No letter just stopped. After phoning they had no explanation and advised that I now upload fit notes directly to them and not take to job centre. 

 Ive now had a full year of Esa assessment payments and it has come to an end as I was only allowed 365 days.  I asked what would happen after Esa and was told don't worry you will just go onto UC. I'm now back on UC. No face to face assessment or nothing for ESA. Just that one appointment of a new claim.
In March 2020 another Dwp employee spotted that a UC50 had not been issued for me at all so sent one out.
It's been filled in and it's been with the DWP since 9th March 2020 now. 14 weeks.

Sorry after all that I'm wanting to know what to do. Will my ESA still be processed? Will it only be backdated for 13 weeks even though it's been 64? Do I sit and wait? Every letter that drops on the mat makes me feel sick nauseous and I want to curl up and die. I just don't know what to do they have caused so much distress.
Thank you



  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,236 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi I am so sorry to hear of your tragic loss and the consequences this has had on your life.

    I am not a benefits expert and this sounds a bit complex to me, I think you need to get some expert advice from either CAB or welfare rights.

    There are some other members who have more knowledge of benefits system so will tag them to see if they can help

    @Adrian_Scope @chiarieds @Chloe_Scope
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Lorraine0000, I'm so sorry for you and your family. You've been through some awful things and I'm not surprised this has impacted you mentally.

    Thank you for opening up to us and taking the time to write your message. No need to apologise for a long post.

    Have you had any mental health support since the death of your son? Cruise have a website full of resources as well as a helpline. 

    Things must seem very overwhelming. Talking to your GP could allow you to access more support. Also, you can call Samaritians on 116 123 to be in touch with a crisis volunteer.

    SHOUT have a similar service which is mental health support over text. If you text SHOUT to 85258 a crisis volunteer will be in touch.
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  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,785 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Lorraine0000 what a desperately sad story and how brave you are, it must be hell for you and your partner and the DWP seem to have treated you appallingly, you need some serious professional advice about benefits, the sort that often can't be offered online, my suggestion would be to contact either C.A.B or welfare rights, and at the same time involve your local MP.
    i wish you and your husband well, and if there is ever anything we can help with just ask, but please let us know how you get on and remember when needed the samaritans are only a call away.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • Lou67Lou67 Member Posts: 868 Pioneering
    Hi @Lorraine0000 just wanted to say I’m so sorry for your tragic loss, I don’t have any knowledge on what your asking, but just wanted to wish you well and hope you get it sorted take care. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,953

    Scope community team

    Hello @lorraine0000 and a warm welcome to the community. 

    You absolutely found the right section of the forum and I'll do my best to try and help you. I'm sorry it sounds like you've not had much advice and support with your benefits before now.

    As you are (or were) on a dual claim for UC and New Style ESA, UC should have been in charge of your assessment. After 30 days of sending in fit notes to UC with no gaps, you should have been referred for a Work Capability Assessment and sent a UC50 form. 

    They should have sent this to you a long time ago but it sounds as though you now have had the form and returned it in March this year, is that correct? If so, it sounds as though your assessment should be in the works but it would be worth you calling the assessment company to ensure they have received it.

    Without knowing a little more detail about why your claim for UC closed and what elements were on it, it's difficult to accurately advise regarding backdating of ESA and UC if you're awarded LCWRA.

    Prior to claiming ESA, how long were you handing fit notes in to UC for? 
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  • Lorraine0000Lorraine0000 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you for your support all @ Adrian_scope. It sounds to me like my husband and I have taken the right track. Unfortunately phoning ESA is not an option. I/We find it difficult to communicate effectively via phone. It reduces me to tears and a babbling wreck. You have been most helpful I  think we will sit and wait. We have thought of our local mp but having read others posts it seems JC don't take kindly to be complained about. Thank you all so much. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,953

    Scope community team

    That's understandable @Lorraine0000. Please don't feel apprehensive about approaching your MP though. You should be able to find an email or postal address for them. It's good for them to be made aware of failings in the benefit system and the difficulties their constituents are facing. And, depending on your MP, sometimes their involvement can help.
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