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I don't know whether I should apply for ESA or JSA

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I've been on ESA in the past but for no more than a few months. I have severe OCD, eating disorder, panic attacks and depression and I have been in and out of help for years for it and I am currently in therapy with NHS for it after getting an urgent referral from my GP.

At the moment, I am living off of my partner's student loan which is about £600 a month which isn't a lot when you have a house to keep, bills to pay, a car to run etc.

I know I am ill and I am entitled to ESA but I feel cheeky going and asking for a sick note from my doctor. My GP is fully aware of my conditions but I still don't feel right asking for a sick note. I was once told by one doctor that it was 'unethical to give me a sick note for anxiety' and ever since then I have been too scared to go back for one. This was back when I was housebound from panics. I applied for jobseekers and I couldn't make it in for an appointment one day due to my panic attacks and my benefit got terminated and now I don't know whether to apply for that again or go on ESA.

I'm just looking for some advice as its really stressing me out and I don't really know much about benefits

Comments

  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
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    Apply for ESA. It's called a fit note...not a sick note. It describes what work you can do. ESA will probably put you on the work related activity group and if you aren't eligible for that they'll put you on JSA.

    Any income your partner gets will reduce your payment but you will at least get National Insurance credits.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • 1234catlady
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    Ah ok sorry, was sure they were called a sick note or sick line. Thanks for your advice
  • Darksparkle
    Darksparkle Posts: 5,465 Forumite
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    Ah ok sorry, was sure they were called a sick note or sick line. Thanks for your advice

    It was called that before but they changed it to a fit note a few years ago.

    Think it was so they could focus on what you can do rather than what you can't do.
  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,052 Forumite
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    It might help us to help you if you could give a few more details.

    You say you were on ESA previously - when was this and did you have a work capability assessment? Or did you start working before you had the assessment? If you started working what happened to that job?

    Really need to know your history as regards ESA/JSA/work as it may make a difference to which benefit you would be eligible for.
  • 1234catlady
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    I was on ESA about a year ago and only for 1/2 months so I never got my assessment. After that, I haven't been on benefits since or worked. I have been living off of my partner's student loan. Before that time on ESA, I was on JSA over the summer holidays after I left college.
  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,052 Forumite
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    Only you can decide whether ESA or JSA is the right option for you. Perhaps the first thing to do is discuss this with your doctor or other medical professional.

    Why did you come off ESA? Am asking this because I am wondering if the stress of the process including the assessment itself felt too much for you.

    If your doctor will give you a fit note then I suggest that you go to CAB or a welfare advisor to help you complete the ESA application form and gather together the medical evidence you will need. This will then give you some support and reduce some of the stress involved.

    Did you know that you can apply for housing benefit and council tax support because you are on a low income? You do not have to be claiming JSA/ESA to get HB and CT support. Some of your partner's grant and any joint savings above £6000 will affect the amount of benefits that you receive. This might be the first step to take.

    Living on £600 a month and paying all your bills and rent cannot be easy so you do need to make some decisions or if this is too stressful could your partner make the applications?
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,595 Forumite
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    If your doctor will provide you with the certificate to say that you are unfit for work, you can claim ESA. If he won't you can't. (Strictly speaking you can claim but you won't get anything - just to keep the pedants at bay). From your background it seems unlikely you will qualify for Contributions based benefit, and some elements of your partner's Student Loan will be taken into account, reducing the amount you will receive.
    Your first step will be to discuss your health situation with your GP and take things from there.
  • 1234catlady
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    pmlindyloo wrote: »
    Only you can decide whether ESA or JSA is the right option for you. Perhaps the first thing to do is discuss this with your doctor or other medical professional.

    Why did you come off ESA? Am asking this because I am wondering if the stress of the process including the assessment itself felt too much for you.

    If your doctor will give you a fit note then I suggest that you go to CAB or a welfare advisor to help you complete the ESA application form and gather together the medical evidence you will need. This will then give you some support and reduce some of the stress involved.

    Did you know that you can apply for housing benefit and council tax support because you are on a low income? You do not have to be claiming JSA/ESA to get HB and CT support. Some of your partner's grant and any joint savings above £6000 will affect the amount of benefits that you receive. This might be the first step to take.

    Living on £600 a month and paying all your bills and rent cannot be easy so you do need to make some decisions or if this is too stressful could your partner make the applications?

    Hi sorry for the late reply, I came off ESA after that other GP said it was unethical to give me a fit note for my problems and I never went back to the doctors for one since so my claim got shut down. I already get HB. I have to pay a pound a week for rent but that is ok and I don't think I get any council tax reduction as I am not on benefits but my bf gets his student exception. Neither of us have any savings.
  • Caz3121
    Caz3121 Posts: 15,562 Forumite
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    I don't think I get any council tax reduction as I am not on benefits but my bf gets his student exception.

    without claiming any assistance with council tax, you will end up being billed for 75% of the total as the student exemption would cover 25%. Have you a bill that you can check there is a benefit applied based on your lack of income? It was maybe dealt with with your housing benefit claim but it is worth checking
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