If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

ESA and Mental Health

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supportneeded
supportneeded Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some advice / reassurance. I didn't know i was entitled to claim ESA until recently for my mental health. 
I have a few mental health problems one being Agoraphobia so i am mostly stuck at home and can't go anywhere even with help it is almost impossible. 
I want to apply for the ESA but I'm worried I'd be made to go to the job centres or to face to face assessments, when i can't. Do they take the health conditions into account if you cant go to the centres?
Also has anyone else claimed for the same thing? What was your experience?
I am worried because i dont anticipate to be better for a long time will i have to go to the work groups and meetings when i phycially can't due to my mental illness? 

Thank you i really hope you can give me some advice i am so lost

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,215 Disability Gamechanger
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    To be entitled to New style ESA you wi have needed to have worked and paid the correct amount of NI contributions in tax years April 2019 to March 2021.
    Yes you will need to attend your local job centre for your first appointment. 
    If you haven’t worked in those tax years you can look at claiming Universal Credit. It’s a means tested benefit so entitlement will depend on your circumstances. If you live with a partner you’ll need to claim as a couple and your joint circumstances will be taken into consideration. You can use a benefits calculator to check entitlement. 
    If you claim UC you will be classed as a job seeker until a decision is made on your work capability assessment. It’s a work coaches discretion to turn off or reduce work commitments.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there @supportneeded and well done for reaching out today, I hope we can help support you :) 

    As mentioned above, you may well need to attend the job centre for your first appointment, and you can bring someone with you for support if that's helpful.

    It's important to remember that the job centre has a duty under the equality act to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people, as Citizens Advice explains on their website

    This means they may have to change the way they do things or provide you with extra help and assistance - for example, to use a computer or do a job application. If they know about your disability and they don’t comply with their duty, it’s unlawful discrimination.

    Mencap also has a PDF document which has some examples of the changes the job centre can make to provide appropriate reasonable adjustments, which I hope will help answer your queries and reassure you.

    If you feel like talking through how you're feeling with someone on the phone or by email you're welcome to contact the Scope Helpline, who can also offer advice and support.

    Let us know if anything isn't making sense, and we'll do what we can to help.

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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