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Thread: Another ESA - Benefits stopped and nowhere to turn.

  1. #1
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    Another ESA - Benefits stopped and nowhere to turn.

    I am writing looking for help to figure out a way forward for our family.

    My wife was a healthy hard working sales person up until a few months after our youngest child was born and something changed to the point where she couldn't cope mentally with much on a day to day basis.

    I earn an average wage and work fulltime, my wife is still getting help from her psychiatrist and GP for Bipolar disorder and I am feeling the pressure trying to cope with a lot while holding down my job.

    But it's not about me & part of my wife's illness means she does not cope ith change and tends to ignore things that are happening including the benefit changes that the government introduced this week. Now we find there is no more ESA coming in and after a fretful week, I need to help trying to figure out the way to turn.

    My wife was on the Work related activity group, but thinking about it now and after reading more about it - my wife should have been on the Support Group option. I checked the online Work Capability Assessment and it agrees with me.

    My question is more specific.....My wife's ESA has now stopped so how can I apply for it again with a view to getting my wife onto the Support Group? New rules suggest my wife cannot reapply now because her contributions for the past two years are not enough for her to apply again for 104weeks. My salary does not allow us to apply for the Income Related option.

    Thanks for your advice, I'm at my wits end trying to cope with reducing our household income of circa £400 per month!

    J

  2. #2
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    There are other benefits you might be able to claim, depending on your own income. And as you are working it would probably be quicker for you to phone the Benefits Helpline on Tuesday, than try to find an advisor and then maybe wait for an appointment. The Benefits lines are mostly open until 8 pm.
    Ask about Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit (if you don't already receive it) and Council Tax Benefit. If you have a mortgage ask about SMI - Support for Mortgage Interest payments, or if you are renting you might qualify for some Housing Benefit.
    When any of those claims are underway it would be worth taking advice from CAB or similar on a DLA claim for your wife. DLA does take much longer to process and obviously isn't automatic. Most people find they need help with the forms, but it does sound as though it is worth a try.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for this - I know my currently salary does not give us an option for some of these benefits. Current child tax credit is small and is being removed due to reduction in threshold.

    I think the CAB is a good option for now to see what options we have - this whole ESA thing stinks to high heavens and I wonder if the press actually realise the impact this is having rather than just deal with the rhetoric coming out of no10!

    J

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    Benefits is a nightmare. There are so many you might be able to claim, but very few you can. It is finding out what you can. I would always seek independent help & advice as half the time people as Benefits have no idea themselves.

    Do not give up, do not feel disrepair. I know what it is like to feel at a loss. You may not get back the same amount of money you had before, you may end up with more. It is worth fighting back.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Stephen

  5. #5
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    Thanks Stephen! W seem to just get by just now after cutting our cloth accordingly! Now this, I do get angry thinking about it!

    Thanks again folk - CAB on tuesday!

    J

  6. #6
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    I know, I know, I have been there. I had to do one of the worse things possible to survive when I was refused DLA. While I waited for the appeal I had to use my credit cards to buy food.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Stephen

  7. #7
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    Hi, i was wondering how i join the Support Group as my ESA was stopped (like everyone's at the end of April 2012) I'm disabled due to severe Osteo Arthritis, it started in my hips and has now spread to my back, shoulders, knees and most of my joints, i have had one hip replaced and i am currently waiting for the other one to be done, i've recently had a medical assessment for ESA review but i'm not sure wether i'm still entitled, CAB have been useless and now i'm not sure where to turn. My wife works part time but has slowly had to reduce her working hours to care for me, we're recieving little money or help and were recently told we had to join the ESA Support Group in order to claim, what does this mean ? how can i join the group ?

  8. #8
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    Help !!

    Hi, i was wondering how i join the Support Group as my ESA was stopped (like everyone's at the end of April 2012) I'm disabled due to severe Osteo Arthritis, it started in my hips and has now spread to my back, shoulders, knees and most of my joints, i have had one hip replaced and i am currently waiting for the other one to be done, i've recently had a medical assessment for ESA review but i'm not sure wether i'm still entitled, CAB have been useless and now i'm not sure where to turn. My wife works part time but has slowly had to reduce her working hours to care for me, we're recieving little money or help and were recently told we had to join the ESA Support Group in order to claim, what does this mean ? how can i join the group ?

  9. #9
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    Andrew, I've got to the stage where my wife had been given a ESA50 form to complete and send back for the 5th June. I am in the middle of completing it - the way I see it is that we need to submit this, wait for the results (appeal if we do not get into the Support Group), then wait until the medical is scheduled.

    My issue now is - where to turn in the meantime? Although the money has stopped, I believe the ESA is still retained - it's just that they are giving you no money! I am terrified my wife will be making the wrong decision if she decides to move onto JSA because she is clearly not in a position to be considered for work (heck, she would find it difficult getting to the JSA interview in the first instance due to her lack of social "abilities" just now!).

    It is not right, nor fair but it's the fight you need to consider - i've just joined benefitsandwork.co.uk to get help with their guide on applying for both ESA (completing the ESA50) and DLA - some have said it helps them but it's £19-odds.

    J

  10. #10
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    There's a special offer on at the moment for BenefitsandWork.co.uk membership

    £3.50 OFF AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION - ENDS MIDNIGHT THURSDAY
    If you’re not already a member, join the Benefits and Work community (open access) before midnight on Thursday and you can get £3.50 off the cost of your annual subscription. Just type the following code into the coupon box when you pay via PayPal:

    84254

    to get an annual subscription for £15.95, down from £19.45

    http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/joi...012+newsletter
    Hope that helps.
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