Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Esa and anxiety

Hi can anyone help me. I have lived with anxiety for years . It all started when my mum died unexpectedly from something she shouldn’t of died from and was very young. Seeing her body triggered some huge mess up in me and hasn’t ever healed and if anything anxieties have got worse in some areas or not improved. I try to work but mess up as I’m a wreck and feel like a little mouse and heart pounds and I’m quite mute at work. I started a new job last year to try to work for my kids and I was so scared I crashed my car on the way home.  I want to try for esa but worried anxiety is overlooked to get it or how I can prove I have it andquite badly as I am embarrassed about it , as I don’t know how to answer the questions when it comes without it making it seem nothing is wrong as I think I try and hide it or make it seem better than it is as I am really embarrassed feeling this way. Can anyone advise if anxiety is overlooked for esa xx 

Replies

  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,229

    Scope community team

    Hello @anxietyworries

    Welcome to the community, I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your mum, it seems to have impacted you quite a bit and clearly you had to go through even more distressing experiences that not many people do.

    It's quite normal for such an event to have a lasting impact on your well being, but if you feel as though you might still be going through grief that is disrupting your daily living, you might wish to seek support for your grief.

    Just to clarify, are you still in work at all? You mentioned starting a new job last year. 

    There is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about as regards to your anxiety, it's a very common thing to experience and there's no shame in it. Mental health and anxiety won't be overlooked for ESA, as long as you can show that your condition impacts your ability to work. 

    Are you receiving support from your GP or other professionals to manage your anxiety and mental health? Here are some self-care tips from Mind for managing anxiety, in case they are of any use to you.
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  • anxietyworriesanxietyworries Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I don’t work as since I got in such a state and crashed I didn’t go back. Find I have social anxiety too so find being around people uncomfortable and I just couldn’t concentrate or remember anything and was a state so crashed into someone on the way home. The traumatic way mum died seems to of stayed with me as she was 46 and only went In for a broken ankle and she wasn’t looked after well and got a pe. I have found the last year a bit of a safety blanket as couldn’t go out and now lockdown easing im getting scared of going to work as I know how I feel. Sounds silly but the feeling of working and being in some situations make me feel like the feeling you would get going into a graveyard at night alone. That sort of fear and unease. The doctors at my surgery have known I have had anxiety many many years and they and try deal either me the best way they can each time.but obviously haven’t seen me in lockdown as had less issues etc for being home.  I am just worried that they will not consider my anxiety or deem me not bad enough as it’s something they can’t see 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,240 Pioneering
    To be clear, ESA is a contribution based benefit. If you are on a low income with savings below £16,000 you are probably better off applying for Universal Credit unless you are already receiving other benefits.

    Try this https://dwp-benefits-checker.shorthandstories.com/step-1/index.html?_sm_au_=iVV2PjrWnNMrHH65W2MN0K7K1WVjq&utm_source=https%3a%2f%2fnews.dwp.gov.uk%2fdwplz%2f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Touchbase+-+19+March+2021&utm_term=Touchbase+-+19+March+2021&utm_content=82071
    and use a calculator https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • anxietyworriesanxietyworries Member Posts: 6 Listener
    But uc they force you into work. I’m on uc now x
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,229

    Scope community team

    But uc they force you into work. I’m on uc now x
    You don't need to look for work if you receive the LCWRA element, more information about that here. Income related ESA was one of the benefits replaced by Universal Credit and therefore if you receive LCWRA then you won't be required to seek employment. 

    It might be worth speaking with your GP about how you feel at the minute regarding the easing of restrictions and going back out into society, they might have suggestions to heolp you manage the transition and slowly get used to being out and about. 

    I'm sorry again to read about the details of your mum's passing.
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  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,249 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    You are probably not eligible for new style esa as you won't have required ni contributions 

    On uc you need to report your medical condition and provide fit notes this will start the work capability process,  where you will be assessed regarding your fitness to work 

    If you are deemed to have lcwra you won't be required to look for work 

    As suggested read up about it from the link provided 
  • anxietyworriesanxietyworries Member Posts: 6 Listener
    my ni says I have only missed one year. Which was in 1998.  Spoke to the drs this morning who said he can see my anxiety has been going on for years so is doing a letter so I  can send if needed. 
  • anxietyworriesanxietyworries Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Will look into the other option mentioned then if won’t get esa as may not of paid enough ni 
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