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Thread: Epilepsy and benefits

  1. #1
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    Epilepsy and benefits

    I am writing this post on behalf of my dad who has no idea how to access these kind of websites. My dad has been an epileptic since 1985. He has tonic clonic seizures and absence seizures and unfortunately he has no idea when a seizure is about to occur. Recently he attended an assessment for ESA who then determined him fit for work (he has no qualifications and his neurologist has advised he cannot be unsupervised and cannot be around electronics, and machinery ect) with DWP advising my dad to look for work in admin or factory jobs. He cannot be alone and myself and my mother take it in turns to spend days with him. He is also unable to have baths and showers unaccompanied. For now, ESA has accepted my dad back onto the benefit but have advised that he WILL be sent for again and there is no guarantee he will be allowed to stay on ESA because his condition does not pose a threat to himself or others in the workplace. Please advise.

  2. #2
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    Please give me some advice?

  3. #3
    How often are the seizures? It sounds like they aren't well controlled with medication and if they're at least once a week he should have got 15 points. You say his neurologist has advised that he cannot be unsupervised and cannot be around electronics. Did you have a letter from the neurologist stating this to send with the application form or is this just what your dad has been told during appointments? If evidence wasn't provided this might help with a future claim. Have you asked for a copy of the assessors report? If so, are there any other areas that you think your dad should have received points but didn't? Concentrate on where you could get evidence to support any points that you think should have been awarded. It only costs £10 to get a copy of his GP notes if they are electronic and you might find evidence in there such as letters from the neurologist to the gp.

    How is he after a seizure? If you're thinking he should have qualified based on his condition posing a threat to himself or others in the workplace then it might not only be the time during a seizure but any time that's needed to recover. If he's confused after a seizure he wouldn't be safe working with machinery. Similarly if medication might make him unsafe that should also be mentioned. It there is any way to get his neurologist or gp to confirm this it will make his case much stronger. It might be harder to argue that he couldn't manage an admin role. If he is confused after a seizure has he ever been aggressive? If so this could be classed as a threat to others in the workplace. You'd probably need evidence though - has he ever been taken to A&E and been aggressive to staff when he regained consciousness?

    You say he's been allowed to stay on ESA for now. Do you know what reason was given for that decision? That's another thing to focus on if you can. Once you know the reason he can stay on it now there is no reason that that reason won't apply next time. You will need to get evidence to prove that the reason still applies.

    I've not been through an ESA claim myself so I apologise if this is what you've already done and it hasn't helped. These are just my first thoughts.

  4. #4
    Biscuitgazer
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    Has he provided fit notes from his doctor? Or did he full in an ESA application form?

  5. #5
    Biscuitgazer
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    Actually I know nothing about this, but I've just googled "ESA application epilepsy" and found lots of info. The website epilepsy.org had good information, so you could start there if nobody with better knowledge can advise you. All the best.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuitgazer View Post
    Actually I know nothing about this, but I've just googled "ESA application epilepsy" and found lots of info. The website epilepsy.org had good information, so you could start there if nobody with better knowledge can advise you. All the best.
    thanks.. I need this also.. its helpful link

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    As well as my I.H. I also have epilepsy and so have looked into this in the past.

    If there are no other conditions involved then the ways for those with epilepsy to get awarded ESA are:

    For LCW (WRAG)-

    Descriptor 10: Conciousness during waking moments.
    10 (a) At least once a week, has an involuntary episode of lost or
    altered consciousness resulting in significantly disrupted
    awareness or concentration.
    15 points.

    (15 points is enough to get WRAG awarded)

    Or by means of regulation 29(2)(b); 'Substantial' risk of harm to any person (including the claimant themself) if not found to have LCW.

    So if you get no warning of a fit then you could argue for this, even if your fits are not weekly - but see reg.35 below first.

    For LCWRA (Support Group)

    There is no sepcific schedule 3 descriptor that gives LCWRA for unconciousness.
    So unless the claimant has some other condition which may qualify then:

    The only way for an epileptic to get LCWRA is by means of regulation 35(2)(a)(b); 'Substantial' risk of harm to any person (including the claimant themself) if not found to have LCWRA.

    So if you get no warning you should be arguing for this regulation to apply, in fact you should concentrate on this and only fall back on reg.25 if this one is denied.

    There is a subtle but important difference between the 2 special regs.-
    reg.35 says there is 'risk of harm' if you are made to do any work related activities.
    reg.29 says you are OK to do activities, but there would be a 'risk of harm' if you were made to do any actual work.

    For either of these you will need evidence to back this risk of harm up.
    A letter from your GP, or better still the neurologist, to say he is at 'substantial' risk of harm.
    Has he actually harmed himself during a fit? Any Hospital or A&E notes to this effect would be good proof.

    And of course the DWP don't have the last say, if they refuse then take it all the way to tribunal.

    More information on benefits those with epilepsy may be able to claim:
    https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/benefits

    Specific advice on claiming ESA if you are epileptic:
    https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/ben...-allowance-ESA


    PS.
    Oddly enough although I get ESA WRAG by means of 15 points for Descriptor 10, it is awarded for my I.H. not my epilepsy.
    There again I get my disability bus pass for the epilepsy and not the IH.
    (Benefits work in mysterious ways).
    Last edited by nukecad; 10-13-2016 at 05:39 AM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  8. #8
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    I get my bus pass for my IH

  9. #9
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    Does your DAd receive DLA or PIP?
    And does anyone receive carers allowance for him?

  10. #10
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    I'm epileptic. You going to need an UP TO DATE letter from his meurologist stating his current status re fits. How many in the last year? whether he has warning, how severe etc. what medication?
    Certainly its daft to say he could work with machinery! However, and you can put this to the DWP, even if he found a job he could do, employers (as i have found to my cost) are reluctant to take you when you disclose your medical conditions. Okay, she can collapse with no warning, may hit her head....you can see them think Health and Safety nightmare.!!!
    Be prepared for a struggle. It took a 2nd degree burn from a radiator to convince social services that oh yeah, she probably shouldn't be alone when showering.

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