Anyone else worried about the ESA time limit changes?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Disability Money Matters
136 replies 25.6K views
sweetersongsweetersong Forumite
83 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Disability Money Matters
I really shouldn't get myself worked up just yet, as its a way away, and gettign stressed isn't going to help, but I am just as concerned for others in my situation as I am for me

Due to ME I stopped working in the summer, after gradually detoriating for 12 months (have had it in total for nearly 6 yrs now). I kidded myself for a few months that I could do a less stressful job, but when I realised that just going to the job centre every fortnight was making me worse, I gave in and claimed ESA.

I only had to claim it for 6 weeks at this point, as I am expecting a baby in Feb, and as I was in employment until June, I am eligble for maternity allowance until next August

At that point, if I am still as ill, I will have to claim ESA

It is near-on impossible to get into the support group, if you get any ESA awarded at all (most cases get awarded after a tribunal, but then only to the work related activity group) due to the limited descriptors

However, if I get the work related activity group, I would only get it for 12 months due to the new rules, as my husband works, so I will only be eligble for the contributions based ESA

I am really distressed at the thought that they could leave me with no income, even if I am still too ill to work, due to the silly way their descriptors are given.

Our only other option to give us a livable income is as long as I can get my DLA middle rate care through (currently awaiting a decision, but I know I should be entitled to it, so am happy to take it to tribunal if necessary), is to get my husband to give up his employment and become my carer. With that, the income related benefits we would get would pay out more than just living on my husbands salary, so much for it paying to work!
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Replies

  • With benefits it really doesnt pay to worry too much about the "what ifs",just deal with it as it happens.
  • You need to stop listening to gossip and deal with facts. It is not near on impossible to be placed in the Support Group, nor is it the case that most cases get awarded after tribunal. You do yourself, nor anyone else, any favours by quoting inaccurate information as fact.
    Gone ... or have I?
  • DMG-I apologise, I was talking about for those with ME, but with my brain fog, I didn't make myself clear. I am getting this information by seeing what happens to others in similar situations to myself on support forums for those of us with ME, and yes, this is the situation in the real world for those with ME. Out of around 15 cases that I have seen discussed since I joined mid October, 2 got the ESA awarded after the medical, 1 work related activity, the other support group

    The other 13 all went to tribunals (the medicals were obv a long while ago for these, these are the tribunals that have happened recently) and got placed in the work related activity group

    Where I said, most cases get awarded after tribunals, I mean, out of the cases I have seen, most have to go to tribunal to get awarded, rather than get through on the medical alone

    It may be different for other conditions, bad sadly for ME, this is real life, and not inaccurate information

    The reason it is very hard to get the support group applied for ME is none of the descriptors acurately address the problems that those suffering with ME to this extent have with working.
  • I am in the same position as you, only i have MD. I am due another medical in September, my hope is that i will get the support group. If i don't i really do not know how we will cope, hopefully my husbands situation will have changed by then! But as has been said we will worry about it when it happens. After all we do not know what is around the corner for any of us!
  • Very tree bagqueen, most days I am ok, but some days the anxiety takes over xx
  • According to the points system posted by someone on the benefits section of the forum I think that for most people its going to be next to impossible to be placed in the suport group. See appendix 3 in the following

    http://www.disabilityalliance.org/f33.pdf

    I would think that even at a tribunal (even though they personally may think a claimant is not fit for work long term) they will have to follow the law in appendix 3 in the above so not much chance of being placed in the support group for most people.

    Martin57
  • Plus the descriptors are changing come March next year.

    You can get it without meeting the descriptors if they agree that if they did not assess you as incapable for work related activity, it would seriously cause your health to deterioate, but its how you prove that, which is the issue
  • Be honest I have not looked at ESA. I understand there are two groups? One for "permanent" claimants(no prospect of working) and another where support is given to get off the benefit?

    If the above is right and I have read the PDF link correctly, you need to get 15 points or more to get into the no prospect group? Is that correct? I do not mean to highjack the thread.
  • Indie_KidIndie_Kid Forumite
    23.1K Posts
    Brassedoff wrote: »
    Be honest I have not looked at ESA. I understand there are two groups? One for "permanent" claimants(no prospect of working) and another where support is given to get off the benefit?

    If the above is right and I have read the PDF link correctly, you need to get 15 points or more to get into the no prospect group? Is that correct? I do not mean to highjack the thread.

    You need to get 15 points to get into either group. There are certain descriptors (can't remember them) which get you into the support group. If you meet none of these, you go into the work group - regardless of whether your disability is permanent and there is no treatment for it.
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  • sh1305 wrote: »
    You need to get 15 points to get into either group. There are certain descriptors (can't remember them) which get you into the support group. If you meet none of these, you go into the work group - regardless of whether your disability is permanent and there is no treatment for it.

    Thanks, just did the first page and got 46, so I guess I get in one group then?
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