Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Worried - my disabled mum has been cut off by DWP for travelling , need your advice

Worrieddaughter21Worrieddaughter21 Member Posts: 1 Listener
I have no idea if these forums work but I am so desperate I will try anything. 
My mother has physical and mental disabilities. I live and work in France. 
She had 2 nervous breakdowns during covid time and I was unable to see her regularly, she had no one to care for her, so we organised for her to come to stay with me for a month in France. It was such a trek to get her over here and on day 3 she had a fall and broke her leg. 
She was only supposed to be away from the UK for 4 weeks but ended up away much longer because she physically couldn't move. 
I dutifully contacted DWP to let them know and they cut mum off all of her ESA and rent rebate. They told her she would have to reapply. 
We want to fight this legally. I don't understand how a vulnerable disabled person is cut off from their benefits for having an accident??
Does anyone have any advice?
I have been in touch with the CAB, Mind.. no one can help. 



  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,132 Pioneering
    edited July 20
    This is not the answer you want but the law only allows ESA and HB to be paid for four weeks while abroad unless the reason for going is to obtain medical treatment.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,393 Disability Gamechanger
    @Worrieddaughter21 good afternoon and welcome to scope, this is a great forum to get advice, I'll try and help but others will I'm sure chip in as well so keep checking back.
    I'm afraid what you might not want to hear is that they are perfectly correct that she was only allowed to go abroad for a maximum of 28 days before benefits would be lost, had she been travelling for medical treatment that would have been 26 weeks, but that wasn't the reason here.
    I'm not sure where the legal challenge might be of any use the laws/rules are as they are, if as you say you live and work in France i'm not sure why you would think that legal aid might be avaliable?
    others might have different ideas on this so as I said keep checking.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,393 Disability Gamechanger
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,536 Disability Gamechanger
    There has been some sympathy and good outcomes around people trapped abroad because of Covid-19.

    See https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/16653 for a detailed example.

    In this instance I have mixed feelings. I think DWP and the LA would argue that it was reasonably forseeable that this would be the outcome and sympathy may be limited at that point. However, you have nothing to lose by trying as per the Rightsnet thread. 
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