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    • Jack'sMum
    • By Jack'sMum 21st Feb 17, 1:43 PM
    • 25Posts
    • 15Thanks
    ESA - Help please - Full time student but need a sick note for claim?
    • #1
    • 21st Feb 17, 1:43 PM
    ESA - Help please - Full time student but need a sick note for claim? 21st Feb 17 at 1:43 PM
    Hi there,

    I'm hoping someone will be able to advise me regarding an ESA claim (income related) I have recently made on behalf of my 21 year old disabled son (I'm his DWP appointee).

    He's a full time visually impaired student in advanced education and is struggling financially. He receives DLA at the moment (currently being transferred to PIP) at the lower rate for care and for mobility. When phoning the ESA helpline they said he was in a group (full time student + DLA) that is eligible to claim ESA and so I went ahead and made the claim.

    During the claim call I was told to get and send a sick note (or words to that effect) from his GP to send to them so after the call I phoned the surgery to be told you can't be signed off from work if you don't work and that as my son is a full time student and not working he wouldn't be issued with a sick note.

    I've just phoned the ESA helpline back to explain this to them but they say they cannot process an initial claim for a sickness benefit without a sicknote. I asked if there was an alternative benefit that he could claim due to his low income (student loan) but apparantly there is not because being a full time student means he is not available for work so can't claim Jobseekers and because he is in 'advanced' education he is not eligible to claim Income Support as a student. I'm at a loss as to what to do, can anyone help me with this please?

    Many thanks,

Page 1
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 21st Feb 17, 1:54 PM
    • 25,371 Posts
    • 14,967 Thanks
    • #2
    • 21st Feb 17, 1:54 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Feb 17, 1:54 PM

    Any help here?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 21st Feb 17, 2:14 PM
    • 11,478 Posts
    • 13,371 Thanks
    • #3
    • 21st Feb 17, 2:14 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Feb 17, 2:14 PM
    Students receiving DLA are treated as automatically having limited capability for work and should not require a fit note.

    Speak to the helpline to confirm and then telephone the DWP again quoting the legislation that the helpline will hopefully give you.

    They will still be assessed to determine whether they are put into the WRAG or Support group.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 21st Feb 17, 5:26 PM
    • 4,887 Posts
    • 5,220 Thanks
    • #4
    • 21st Feb 17, 5:26 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Feb 17, 5:26 PM
    pmlindyloo, are you sure about the automatic qualification when only in receipt of lower level care on DLA. It's a while since I worked on ESA, but generally middle rate care was required for most things to kick into payment.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 21st Feb 17, 5:42 PM
    • 2,022 Posts
    • 2,340 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #5
    • 21st Feb 17, 5:42 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Feb 17, 5:42 PM
    From the Disability Rights site:

    "As a full-time student (whether your course is advanced or non-advanced), you can only get income-related ESA if you are also getting disability living allowance (DLA), personal independence payment (PIP) or armed forces independence payment (AFIP).

    If you are a part-time student, you can claim income-related ESA if you are on a low income; you do not also have to be getting DLA, PIP or AFIP.

    For further information on the above and the support that is available for disabled students, contact the Disabled Students Helpline: tel: 0800 328 5050 or email:"

    From CPAG:
    "For income-related ESA, the starting point is that full-time students cannot claim, with one exception - for full-time students on disability living allowance - either component, any rate. Reg 18 ESA Regs"

    "Circumstances in which the condition that the claimant is not receiving education does not
    18. Paragraph 6(1)(g) of Schedule 1 to the Act does not apply where the claimant is entitled to a disability living allowance."

    Last edited by Alice Holt; 21-02-2017 at 5:53 PM.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 21st Feb 17, 10:12 PM
    • 4,887 Posts
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    • #6
    • 21st Feb 17, 10:12 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Feb 17, 10:12 PM
    Thanks for the clarification Alice. It's not a situation we saw very often.
    • By 21st Feb 17, 10:36 PM
    • 11 Posts
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    • #7
    • 21st Feb 17, 10:36 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Feb 17, 10:36 PM
    Student loan will be taken off the amount of esa, he might get nothing or very little
    • Jack'sMum
    • By Jack'sMum 22nd Feb 17, 8:44 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    • #8
    • 22nd Feb 17, 8:44 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Feb 17, 8:44 PM
    Thank you all so very much for your help, I am grateful for your knowledge with a very complicated system!

    I have looked at the links you posted and will phone the Disability Helpline tomorrow as it says they are open between 11am -1pm. The 'regulations' link is very useful, Hopefully I've interpreted it correctly, it so it sounds as though the ESA claim line were wrong to 'demand' a sick note which probably explains why the GP wouldn't provide one. I will explain this to the disability helpline tomorrow.

    I can't tell you how pleased I am that you have all taken the time to help me, I'm an appointee for my son & the DWP cause a lot of stress & run circles around me! For the first time ever I feel like I have someone in my corner!

    Re: Student loan, yes he does get one. Earlier I tried to use the benefit calculator on Martin's main page to see if he'd be likely to entitled to any ESA benefit but apparently it isn't suitable for calculating students entitlements. Would anyone be able to estimate if he's likely to get anything please, even a small amount of money would help him. His circumstances are:

    21 years old, single, lives alone, registered partially sighted, full time student, in advanced education
    Receives 174.40 every 4 weeks in DLA
    and 4110 per year Maintenance Loan (from Student Finance).

    Thanks again for all your responses, I think I'll sleep better tonight!
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 22nd Feb 17, 11:08 PM
    • 2,022 Posts
    • 2,340 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #9
    • 22nd Feb 17, 11:08 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Feb 17, 11:08 PM
    "Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    As a full-time student you can only claim income-related ESA if you also receive DLA or PIP. You!!!8217;ll be treated as having a limited capability for work without having to pass the work capability assessment. You may still have to complete an ESA50 form and attend a face to face assessment but this should be only to determine whether you meet the criteria for the work related activity group or the support group.

    If you!!!8217;re entitled to a maintenance loan (even if you don!!!8217;t take it out) part of it will be considered as income and the amount of income-related ESA will be substantially reduced. The loan has a maintenance element and a special support element. The special support element of the maintenance loan will be ignored as income when calculating your ESA award.

    Housing Benefit
    You can!!!8217;t usually claim housing benefit if you!!!8217;re a full-time student. However there are some exceptions. For example you may be able to claim if you receive any part of DLA or PIP or you!!!8217;ve had limited capability for work acknowledged for the last 28 weeks (you don!!!8217;t have to be receiving ESA to qualify). You may also be able to claim Housing Benefit if you!!!8217;re registered blind.
    Housing Benefit can be paid towards the cost of living in halls provided by your university or college, as well as if you live in private rented accommodation. You may also be entitled to help towards the cost of an extra bedroom if you need an overnight carer. Contact your local authority for details."

    The WRAG group of ESA is c.102 pw (5,300pa), so your son should receive this less the maintenance element of the loan.
    It looks as if HB may be a possibility. Worth asking the helpline / uni welfare dept / local authority about.

    As you son is transferring from DLA to PIP, I would strongly advise getting help with the PIP form from local CAB / advice centre. They can also help with an appeal if necessary.
    Some useful sites here:

    For an award of Daily Living PIP 8 points are needed in total
    You will see that many of the activities score 2 points if an aid is required.
    If you son needs an aid to cook & prepare a simple meal, to eat or drink (taking nutrition), and to dress to an acceptable standard, to wash and bath reliably, to read written info - then he will be at the required 8 point level. Mixing with other people may be a difficulty if your son can't see facial expressions / body language or is anxious around other people; maybe assistance to manage a household budget?

    For the mobility component would this apply?
    Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid - 10 points.

    The PIP assessment guide shows you what the HCP / DWP decision maker should be considering: (pages 97-135). For instance this is what it says about requiring social support to engage socially - "Social support means support from a person trained or experienced in
    assisting people to engage in social situations, or someone directly
    experienced in supporting the claimant themselves (for example a
    family member), who can compensate for limited ability to understand
    and respond to body language, other social cues and assist social

    The Benefits & Work guide is very good on listing potential aids, for instance:
    "If you need to use an aid or appliance to be able to eat or drink, then tick Yes and give details in the
    !!!8216;Extra information!!!8217; box on the next page. You should get 2 points for needing to use aids or
    appliances, unless a higher scoring descriptor also applies to you.
    The kinds of things that might be relevant include:
    !!!61623; suction, scooper and two handled bowls
    !!!61623; partitioned dishes
    !!!61623; plate surrounds
    !!!61623; bibs and clothing protectors
    !!!61623; easy grip cutlery
    !!!61623; two-handled cups
    !!!61623; easy hold beakers
    !!!61623; straws
    !!!61623; cups with lids"

    Remember that difficulties with:
    "reading labels, instructions and recipes;
    !!!61623; peeling and chopping vegetables;
    !!!61623; opening tins;
    !!!61623; putting pans on and getting them off the hob;
    !!!61623; adding seasoning;
    !!!61623; stirring and pouring;
    !!!61623; telling if water is boiling or simmering;
    !!!61623; telling if fat or oil is the right temperature;
    !!!61623; draining vegetables;
    !!!61623; cutting up meat and vegetables ready to serve;
    !!!61623; transferring food from pans to the plate"
    All relate to the preparing and cooking a simple meal activity.

    It's possible a standard rate award of DL PIP might entitle your son to disability premiums added onto an ESA award. So, the PIP form and the PIP medical assessment requires very careful thought.
    Medical evidence / OT list of aids/adaptions are very helpful, so do attach these to the form.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 22-02-2017 at 11:29 PM.
    • Jack'sMum
    • By Jack'sMum 24th Feb 17, 6:08 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Thank you Alice for your helpful, detailed and very informative advice.

    I have done exactly as you have advised, the disability helpline you suggested were lovely! I phoned them yesterday and they confirmed everything you said and send me emails with information about benefit laws that I can use in the case of the DWP insisting on fit notes to assess his claim.

    Re: the Special Support Grant you mentioned, yes we have applied for that, and the disability helpline confirm what you said, that the DWP should treat it as income to disregard.

    Re: Housing Benefit, I can't tell you how grateful I am for that information as his student halls rent = almost all of his student finance income (eeek!) so I've phoned the local council and asked for a claim from.

    Re: DLA to PIP, I have already submitted the claim form and am waiting to hear but I did use the RNIB's PIP guide so hopefully I made a better job of it than I did with his DLA claim! It ended up going to appeal because my form filling was 'inefficient' to say the least! If his PIP claim is rejected I will seek help from the CAB and not attempt to take it further myself.
    Just to let you know I did send them an itemised invoice of all his specialist equipment and a list of all his gadgets he uses (and how he uses them) with the claim form so that should help.
    I also sent them his 'orienteering sessions' report from the Kent Association of the Blind, which shows he needs orienteering lessons from them in order to familiarise himself with a route. I also sent his his local authority travel needs assessment letter which says he needs assistance when using public transport.

    A million thank yous for your help Alice! I hope you have a lovely weekend,
    Jack'sMum xx
    • benidorm59
    • By benidorm59 24th Feb 17, 10:44 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    He still needs a sick note for his claim though before it can be processed, he can claim because he is classed as a disabled student, until he is assessed though would just get 73.10, no EDP because he doesn't have DLA higher care. The student loan has a disregard for books and travel then taken into account pound for pound with a further 10 disregard each week. he can self certificate for the first seven days.
    Last edited by benidorm59; 24-02-2017 at 10:48 PM.
    • Jack'sMum
    • By Jack'sMum 26th Feb 17, 3:01 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Thank you Benidorm, that's a good idea to self certificate to begin with to get the claim underway. I'll get on with that first thing in the morning. That's good to know they make allowances for books & equipment as some of the books we'll have to special order in extra large print will be very expensive no doubt (!) so that will help. Thanks for your helpful response.

    There's so many helpful & knowledgeable people on here, and I'm very grateful for that as being an appointee is feeling like an uphill battle where the DWP are concerned when all I'm trying to do is get my son some support.

    Kindest regards,

    Last edited by Jack'sMum; 26-02-2017 at 3:06 PM.
    • Jack'sMum
    • By Jack'sMum 6th Mar 17, 9:08 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Small amount of ESA awarded, very happy with that, it'll help with a little bit of food shopping :-)

    Thanks to all of you for helping me with the fit note information, the DWP confirm he has been assessed as having a limited capability for work because of the regulations you told me about & said that fit notes won't be necessary. I was told I will have to fill in a questionnaire if they send one out.

    Will have to keep everything crossed that his transfer from DLA to PIP is successful or he won't qualify for ESA without it. If the PIP claim is turned down I will prepare for a mandatory reconsideration (and appeal if necessary). Does anyone know if the ESA would stop or continue during the MR & appeal process please?

    With thanks,
    • Jack'sMum
    • By Jack'sMum 17th Jul 17, 11:18 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Quick update on my son's ESA award

    Filled in the ESA 50 form some time ago (using the posted website links to recommended guides) & send plenty of up to date medical evidence as advised. Have received a letter to say that a face to face medical was not necessary and he has been placed in a support group.

    His weekly payment has gone up quite considerably which is fantastic because he was previously only receiving a few pounds a week. They have also said he is due a backdated payment. This is brilliant news as he will now have enough money to live on and be able to update and replace some of his visual equipment! We have planned a trip to the next London Sight Village!

    I am so very grateful to you all who gave me invaluable advice with his ESA claim. Many thanks to you all xx

    Jack's Mum xx
    • By CHRISSYG 18th Jul 17, 8:06 AM
    • 5,674 Posts
    • 16,248 Thanks
    You may also be able to get a council tax reduction . [SMI] We applied because my daughter will never be able to live on her own due to her medical conditions . It has reduced our council tax by 50% .
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 18th Jul 17, 12:16 PM
    • 1,771 Posts
    • 1,049 Thanks
    Does he get disabled student alllwenxe to help him with his uni studies
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