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Thread: Change of Circumstances? ESA and DLA

  1. #1

    Unhappy Change of Circumstances? ESA and DLA

    I have been on income-related Employment & Support Allowance and the lowest care rate of DLA since 2011. I'm 21 years old.
    The reason for this is severe Depression and Anxiety disorders dating back to when I was 11 years old. I've been seeking treatment for all of this since I was 16 but only thought to apply for benefits to help me out when I was 19 and had just lost my job & failed college due to it.

    When I/we first filled out my forms, we wrote that I very rarely leave the house, regularly cancel doctors appointments and never make it out of the house without my mother's assistance driving me places and supervising me.

    Well, just lately my mother and I have not been getting along very well - I say "just lately" but I mean for several months now - and she has recently withdrawn her help. Meaning, I currently have no way of getting anywhere, at all. I missed my last psychiatric appointment at my clinic this month and have been given another one for March 2014 - not a lot of help to me now but at least I haven't been thrown off the list altogether.

    I'm on SSRI's and need regular prescriptions from my GP, once every 2 months, I can't just.. stop going. So I've decided that if I take the anti-anxiety medication I've been given for my panic attacks, I can possibly make it so I'm able to phone a taxi and get to my appointments that way.

    But doesn't this now go against what I've got down on my forms? This is a change of circumstances, right? I need to report it?

    I've also had a boyfriend for the past 9 months. When we go out, he drives right up to my door, picks me up, takes me out, and then drops me off at my front door. I take all of my medications with me, and I'm still a nervous wreck when I'm in stressful places - crowds, restaurants, etc. - but with him there to support me, I manage.
    My mother hates him for reasons unknown to us, and he lives 300 miles away so these visits to me are very rare - 3 times a year, for a couple of days at a time. But my mum says what I'm doing is committing fraud, going out without her, and she's said a few times that she might report me and have me prosecuted.

    I'm just really scared and feel more trapped than ever. I already don't leave the house for - literally - months at a time. I basically pop out to see my GP and come immediately home. I don't go shopping, I don't go to the cinema, I don't have friends, nothing.
    And now she's withdrawn her help in taking me out, and is threatening to report me for seeing my boyfriend every 4-5 months.

    Are these both things I need to report to DWP? Are these actual serious changes of circumstances that I can get in trouble for? I'm terrified that she's going to report me and I'm going to be charged with fraud.

    Help?
    Thanks so much in advance

  2. #2
    no its not, your still needing assistance to go out and its irrelevant whether its your mother or not who takes you, its the fact that you need someone that counts.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by slipmaster View Post
    no its not, your still needing assistance to go out and its irrelevant whether its your mother or not who takes you, its the fact that you need someone that counts.
    *sigh* Thank you! I mean it, thank you so much. I'm prone to worrying too much about things (read, everything) so the anxiety about this has been making me feel sick. I tried phoning the CAB this afternoon but they're too busy, no one will answer.
    Just, thank you for the reassurance.

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