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I’m confused please help if you have any knowledge

Floydiee1995Floydiee1995 Member Posts: 12 Listener
Hi all,

So I’m Amy and I am 25 years old. I am getting extremely depressed and having huge amounts of anxiety over my current position with my Arthritis. So I will explain my story and hopefully someone can shed some light for me. 

So for the last 10 years I have had problems with my legs and ankles (I was 15 when this started) I had multiple scans, MRI etc and was always told too loose weight. I was extremely active during my school years always captain of the sports teams.. I alway ate and drank properly and couldn’t shed the weight as much as I physically tried. 

So in 2015 I had an accident where I fell down a flight of stairs and had identical fractures in both my ankles too which I was immobile for 4 months. 2 weeks after the accident seeing my consultant I was told I had severe and lots of arthritis (osteo) showing you in my X-Rays. Probably explained the pain years ago but was shrugged off I’m guessing as I don’t understand how 2 weeks after a fracture how it would produce that quickly. 

So for the last 5 years following the accident I have had multiple surgeries. 1st one was objections directly into my ankles (this did really help in my left foot but unfortunately not my right foot). I then had my OS Triganom removes in my right foot to help reduce swelling. (Basically it’s an extra bone that we all have so removed it as it has no purpose). 

This is where it gets interesting. So in November of 2019 I started to suffer with what I can only describe as chronic pain in my right foot and I was unable to fully flex my foot properly and when I did the pain became excruciating. I have been a carer for 7 years and had learnt to just get on with it but this is where I couldn’t take anymore. 

So I went to the doctors who sent me for emergency scans at the hospital the same day. Was put on naproxen (never really helped) and within a week I was sat with my consultant. He told me I had multiple osteophytes and this was extremely complex and I needed them removed as an emergency. Was supposed to go for surgery on Christmas Eve but got cancelled last minute and was cancelled again at the beginning of January and then again in the middle of January. They then had a slot that came up
on the 29th January this year and I have since had them removed. It was also discussed that the this was just to get rid of the pain I was suffering at the time and wouldn’t cure the pain from ever coming back. My consultant also stated (and was put in writting to my GP) that I would not be able to have surgeries like this in the future for removal as they will continuously come back and I will need to undergo full ankle replacement surgery once this has healed. 

So I was out of work for a total of 6 months. I have since gone back to work in a smaller residential home to the one I was working in working 12-18hrs per week. This is soon to change as 18hrs is just too much and the job itself is a pretty
mobile one although I will say that my working team are amazing and understand when I’m in pain I need to have that time and elevate when possible,
and to the point if I only do a few hours and I cannot tolerate more then I can go home which is great on the companies part 😀 

So I applied for PIP (NOV 19) UC, April 2020, and ESA (April 2020). 

UC I am no longer entitled too as I am just over there cap. 
ESA I aim still receiving but had a telephone assessment this morning so awaiting that. 
PIP I had assessment 3 weeks ago and found out 2 weeks ago that they scored me 0 for everything! Simply because I stated I work in a care home they “assume” I stand for long periods of time (as written on my letter). But have no mention of the mental complications this can have when I am in pain. 

I am getting extremely depressed and having anxiety about what the next stage for me is. I’m having to live off my wages and only get £627  but that’s now going to change as I can not tolerate the hours I’m doing and may even have to look too different job as the pain is getting worse and worse again. 

The only reason I am currently still working is because I’m scared to have no income whatsoever. I am tired of the financial side of things and I don’t know where or what to do and it’s really playing on my mental health now too. 

Please if you have any support or guidance for me it would be much my appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read. 

Amy x

Replies

  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 950 Pioneering
    Hi Amy how are you Pip is non means tested so  you can work and claim it as far as I know not sure bout Esa . Have you had your final decision from pip or just the report . My disabilities are mental Illnesses no physical ones . I my self over the last 5 years since becoming ill had forced my self to work even tho I could barely function to the point where I was just not able to work at at all . Because of my partners income Im only allowed to claim pip which Im still waiting to hear from them so I can imagine what your going threw . 

    I was asked when I last worked and what I did and when was the next time I took ill ect . She also asked well how do you survive I said exactly my amazing partner who pays all our bills . Im sorry this happened I think you should have them reconsider  MR . And fight for what your entitled too. Im not very good at practical advice I dont know much bout benefit but I just wanted to show you my support I hear you and I understand x 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

    Scope community team

    Hi @Floydiee1995 and thank you for sharing your story.  It sounds like you have been through a tough time and I'm not surprised you are feeling anxious with it all.

    Whilst one of our benefit savvy members get back to you, have you thought about asking for a mandatory reconsideration for your PIP? https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/mandatory-reconsideration/  This is where you can challenge the original decision because you think it is wrong.  

    Also, are you getting any support with your mental health?  and if not, do you think it might help? 
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    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,137 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community glad you have joined us here

    It is advisable that you do not resign from work as this could affect any benefits you may be entitled to, if you are unable tot carry on working then you need to discuss with your employer about dismissal on grounds of capability eg due to ill health. They should have a policy for this and will need to take into account any reasonable adjustments that could be mace to keep you working

    May I ask are you entitled to any sick pay from work ?

    Obviously if you are not working then you may be eligible for benefits I suggest you use a benefit calculator to see what you would be entitled to

    As for PIP you can put in for a MR to start to appeal the decision, look at the report and see where you think you should have scored more points and explain this in your MR giving real examples of what happens if you try and complete the task

    Ive given you a few things to think about so get back if you want any further help
  • Floydiee1995Floydiee1995 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    cupcake88 said:
    Hi Amy how are you Pip is non means tested so  you can work and claim it as far as I know not sure bout Esa . Have you had your final decision from pip or just the report . My disabilities are mental Illnesses no physical ones . I my self over the last 5 years since becoming ill had forced my self to work even tho I could barely function to the point where I was just not able to work at at all . Because of my partners income Im only allowed to claim pip which Im still waiting to hear from them so I can imagine what your going threw . 

    I was asked when I last worked and what I did and when was the next time I took ill ect . She also asked well how do you survive I said exactly my amazing partner who pays all our bills . Im sorry this happened I think you should have them reconsider  MR . And fight for what your entitled too. Im not very good at practical advice I dont know much bout benefit but I just wanted to show you my support I hear you and I understand x 
    Hi, 

    I didn’t even receive the report it was just the final decision letter with a straight up no for any award. Oh no so similar situation then. 

    It sucks really because just because I can do limited work (that I am soon to have to give up) doesn’t mean I’m not affected by my condition and that’s the reason why I’m going to go ahead with the MR.

    im assuming because I am working now that my ESA will be stopped but I know that there is a cap of £140 you can earn a month... but confused with the ESA side of it to be honest. 

    Thanks for the reply 😊 x
  • Floydiee1995Floydiee1995 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi @Floydiee1995 and thank you for sharing your story.  It sounds like you have been through a tough time and I'm not surprised you are feeling anxious with it all.

    Whilst one of our benefit savvy members get back to you, have you thought about asking for a mandatory reconsideration for your PIP? https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/mandatory-reconsideration/  This is where you can challenge the original decision because you think it is wrong.  

    Also, are you getting any support with your mental health?  and if not, do you think it might help? 
    Yes I am looking at doing a MR as we speak I’m currently going through the form. 

    It’s been extremely tough the last few months and years really. But the last 2 months in particular I have struggled with my mental health and had a mental breakdown. Got to wait 2 weeks for my appointment with the GP though. I mean I have my partner who is great and supports me every step of the way but he doesn’t really understand what’s going on if that makes sense x
  • Floydiee1995Floydiee1995 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    Hi and welcome to the community glad you have joined us here

    It is advisable that you do not resign from work as this could affect any benefits you may be entitled to, if you are unable tot carry on working then you need to discuss with your employer about dismissal on grounds of capability eg due to ill health. They should have a policy for this and will need to take into account any reasonable adjustments that could be mace to keep you working

    May I ask are you entitled to any sick pay from work ?

    Obviously if you are not working then you may be eligible for benefits I suggest you use a benefit calculator to see what you would be entitled to

    As for PIP you can put in for a MR to start to appeal the decision, look at the report and see where you think you should have scored more points and explain this in your MR giving real examples of what happens if you try and complete the task

    Ive given you a few things to think about so get back if you want any further help
    Hi Janer,

    thanks for the welcome 😊 

    I have since left my old employer back in June the care home was too big and I wasn’t able to get a different role where I would not be walking around so much. But as of July I have started working in a very small residential home which allows me to sit down and when it gets really bad for me to be sent home as they are very understanding. 

    I am working part time hours (18 per week) but my monthly salary just foes over for me to continue getting UC. 

    ESA assessment was this morning and I am currently in the contribution based group but I don’t really know what happens with that either. I think if I am working I will also loose that too. But the mental stress of working is meaning I may have to give up this job which absolutely sucks. But for my physical and mental well being it seems to be the best thing. 

    I was told I am entitled to all of these benefits and now I’m not. I have worked out that I would get a lot more money by not going to work!!  Which is absolutely crazy but I do want to work and I will work but just not in the health sector any more. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    Hi @Floydiee1995 and a very warm welcome to the community! Thank you for taking the time to share this with us, it certainly sounds like you've had to fight for answers. I am glad your employer is understanding at the moment, although I imagine the financial worry is a lot to carry.

    Have you appealed your PIP decision? It would be good to look at the PIP descriptors and see what points you believe you would score on. Please be mindful that this wouldn't necessarily be the same points that the assessor gives you.

    I really hope you hear from ESA soon. :)

    Have you spoken to your GP about struggling with your mental health? You don't need to do this alone. You can see what support is in your area, some of with you should be able to self-refer. 

    Please let us know how you get on and if there is anything we can do to help. :)

    Edit: The page has refreshed and I've seen the other responses. Sorry for repeating some of the info!
    Scope

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome @Floydiee1995

    I notice that you're claiming ESA and working 18 hours per week, is that correct? If so does DWP know you're working these hours?

    You can do permitted work and claim ESA at the same time but you must tell them you're working and you must work less than 16 hours per week and earn no more than £140 per week after tax/National insurance deductions. See link.

    If you're working more than 16 hours and earning more than the maximum £140 per week then you won't be entitled to any ESA for the weeks you earned more than the amount allowed.

    Is it definitely ESA that you're claiming and not Universal Credit?


    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.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,989

    Scope community team

    Hey @Floydiee1995! I just wanted to check in to see how you were getting on? Have you managed to have a look at the links that Chloe and Poppy sent? Let us know if there's anything else we can help with :)
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  • Floydiee1995Floydiee1995 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    HI and welcome @Floydiee1995

    I notice that you're claiming ESA and working 18 hours per week, is that correct? If so does DWP know you're working these hours?

    You can do permitted work and claim ESA at the same time but you must tell them you're working and you must work less than 16 hours per week and earn no more than £140 per week after tax/National insurance deductions. See link.

    If you're working more than 16 hours and earning more than the maximum £140 per week then you won't be entitled to any ESA for the weeks you earned more than the amount allowed.

    Is it definitely ESA that you're claiming and not Universal Credit?


    Hi,

    yes it is ESA I am receiving. I have had a conversation with my employer and I am now working 12hrs per week as mental health, financial side and my mobility with my condition isn’t great. They are aware I am sure I looked into it and you can earn £140 per week even if over 16 hours. This is what I mean by I am confused by the whole situation and don’t really know where i stand. 

    My anxiety is through the roof with it all and I’m certainly Don’t want to be doing something wrong with DWP. I am seeing the GP next Monday (only slot I could get) regarding mental health. I have ADHD but don’t grew out of it when I was 22 and took myself off medication. So hopefully I can get some answers with that.

    from where I stand I basically see it as work loads of hours and be in constant agony and pain making my mental health worse or I give up my current role and try get something that’s more sat down based. 

    Thank you for all of your support at this difficult time xx
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome @Floydiee1995

    I notice that you're claiming ESA and working 18 hours per week, is that correct? If so does DWP know you're working these hours?

    You can do permitted work and claim ESA at the same time but you must tell them you're working and you must work less than 16 hours per week and earn no more than £140 per week after tax/National insurance deductions. See link.

    If you're working more than 16 hours and earning more than the maximum £140 per week then you won't be entitled to any ESA for the weeks you earned more than the amount allowed.

    Is it definitely ESA that you're claiming and not Universal Credit?


    Hi,

    yes it is ESA I am receiving. I have had a conversation with my employer and I am now working 12hrs per week as mental health, financial side and my mobility with my condition isn’t great. They are aware I am sure I looked into it and you can earn £140 per week even if over 16 hours. This is what I mean by I am confused by the whole situation and don’t really know where i stand. 

    That is not correct for permitted work. You must not work more than 16 hours per week. Please see the link i posted above regarding permitted work.
    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.
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