DLA and ESA | Lupus Forums at The Lupus Site
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  1. Does anyone know SLE if sufferers can claim DLA or ESA if one can't continue working? What do we do for money? Would my private works pension automatically be paid if I have to finish work through Ill health?
  2. debatat

    debatat Moderator

    You would need to contact the CAB for advice. DLA is paid if you have disabilities that prevent you from working. ESA, I am unsure about. Some organisations such as D.I.A.Lcan also help.
  3. Thanks Claire. X
  4. nicky123

    nicky123 Registered

    I get ESA (I am in the work related group but am going to asked to be moved to support group), I also get higher rate DLA with the lower rate care component. i have also know people who get DLA who also work full time. DLA does not mean you are unable to work, ESA is a whole different matter and takes a long while to sort out, although I think that new claimants are better off than people who are being migrated from Incapacity Benefit onto it. My husband has just had the medical assessment and he is a complete wreck after it, it is not an easy process.
  5. cally

    cally Registered

    Yes, you can get DLA even if you can work. It is not about your ability to work but your need for support for mobility during the day and night. It is quite a long application and I recommend that you get help from a disability rights officer to fill it in, you need to describe your disability in a certain way (obviously correctly) but using the correct terminology I have found in order to be in for a better chance of being accepted.

    I can't help you about the ESA.

    I hope you can find some links for a local advice centre to help, they can normally do a full benefits check for you and see what if anything you can claim.

    Cally x
  6. TracyJN

    TracyJN Registered


    I am not sure about your private pension but yes to DLA and ESA. As the others have said, you can claim DLA whilst you are working and in a lot of cases it has enabled claimants to carry on working.

    ESA is a whole different story! If you are still employed and are off on long term sick you'll probably get SSP (Statutory Sick Pay)...after so many months (I think it's 6 months/26 weeks) this will automatically turn to ESA and will be paid directly by DWP (Department for Work and Pensions). You will be sent a questionnaire from a company called ATOS which you must fill in and return to them and after it has been processed you may be called to your local benefit office for a medical. After the medical (if you have to have one) you will be either declared fit for work or put into one of two groups: the work related activity group or the support group. If you are in the work related group (which most people are) you will have to attend the Job Centre periodically for them to try and find out what sort of work you might be able to do. If you are in the support group they basically leave you alone. It appears, at the moment, you have to go through the whole questionnaire/medical process annually, and I won't lie to you, it's an incredibly stressful process and it actually made my feel more ill and caused me to flare.

    Good luck!!
  7. Thanks everyone. I aplied for DLA previously and was refused and even again upon appeal. Upon speaking to people who claim it for reasons other than Lupus, they advised I was possibly refused as I am trying to hold out a full time job which I am finding difficult at the moment. I need to keep working for as long as long as possible - fighting the Lupus but I know one day it will beat me to a degree that I must reduce my hours. Thanks again. Take care all. xx
  8. cally

    cally Registered

    DLA really isn't based upon what condition you have but on what impact that condition has on your life.

    How you walk...How much help you need during they day, how far you can walk without help, if you need help overnight, what medications you require. They also take into account what your GP or specialist says.

    My main condition is Lupus but the impact it has on my life means that I need a lot of additional support. You need to remember when filling in the forms that it is not necessarily the help you ARE getting, but the help you NEED that you write about.

    However, if you can live independently and need no help overnight, can get to the shops etc, walk, cook, dress yourself and look after yourself without difficulty then you will be turned down. I think a lot of it comes down to how you have phrased things in your answers so getting help from a disability rights officer is key.

  9. wheeliefab

    wheeliefab Registered

    Re the pension I got retired due to ill health and got an occupational pension because I could not continue working due to Lupus.
    First I had to be off sick and have occupational health involvement. Then work had to look to see if there was any way they could still employ me taking my Lupus into account. Then I applied for ill-health retirement with occ health and my managers backing, but initially I got refused the ill-health retirement, so I had to appeal (whilst waiting for that appeal I was dismissed from my post on grounds of not being capable of doing my job)

    I have tried a few times to get DLA but have never been successful as I do just about manage to care for myself and my mobility is not considered severe enough to get the mobility component

    I do get ESA (support group) and had help from local council social services welfare officer to get this (had originally been on incapacity benefit from when my SSP (sick pay) ran out at work/ when I got dismissed/retired)

    My pension money is taken into account when they work out how much ESA money they pay me. - they take off a certain amount from what I would get if I had no pension. Also if you get put in ESA WRAG then they only give you this for a year if you are getting "contribution based ESA" - for this year you are allowed a certain amount of your pension to not be counted towards income that they take off, but after that they calculated "income based" ESA WRAG and all your pension would count as income. No such year rule applies if you are in support group
  10. Thanks Again.
    Question for you Wheeliefab if you dont mind....Was your employer right in dismissing you due to your health as I understood Lupus is classed as a disability? or was it part and parcel of you being retired due to ill health. I am scared to death as probably all working suffers are of being off sick due to flares etc then the employer eventually terminating your employment because of time off etc. I find I am literally dragging myself to work on a daily basis even though I am suffering a lot, going off to the loo to cry because of the pain. I was taking 10mg pred on a reducing dose monthly which i have got down to 8 now (Rheumy says I need to get to 5). Being on 8 is a daily struggle but I have to try and be positive. I expect from past experience when I tried to reduce, that when I get to 7 it may become unbearable again. Do I then up me meds to help the flare or continue in pain etc, not being able to go to work and end up being fnished. If one shouldnt stay on pred indefinitely, I dont feel I have a choice in some ways, I am allergic to anti inflammatories and plaquenil so they are out. Does the employee apply for Ill Health retirement through Occupational Health or the employer after you have been off a while? I was off about 3.5 months earlier this year having had surgery so I wouldnt get my full salary sick pay if I was off again. Thanks,
  11. wheeliefab

    wheeliefab Registered

    [email protected]@n Yes my employer was within rights to dismiss me - they followed a personnell dept capability policy proceedure and dismissed me as I was not capable of still doing my job

    - I was off sick permenantly from May and dismissed in the December. I had had a lot of sick leave in the couple of years previous but at those times it was usually taking a week or a couple of weeks off with exhaustion and then I had managed to get back to work. In the final phase off sick leave I never managed to get back to work - I did try going back on 3 seperate times on special "rehabilitation" / "reasonable adustment" plans - by doing reduced hours, gradually increasing my hours and trying a role with less responsibility etc, but none of that helped me - I was just too ill to work (mainly fatigue in my case and going back to work made me flare up).

    The whole process was initiated by my employer (I think they do not look favourably on the employee trying to go for ill-health pension money in case people try to "play the system" ) In my case the capability proceedure was done via my immediate manager, Occ health and the personnel dept. I also had a union rep with me in the various meetings to ensure everything was above board.

    Lupus can be classed as a disability under DDA as the act defines disability as:
    'A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities.' .

    The DDA means my employer had to look at making "reasonable" accomodation of my disabilities before I could be either dismissed or retired (eg they looked at reducing my hours, could I work in a different role etc) however in my case I was not well enough to work at all, so there was had no other options than to look at dismissal/retirement

    I think the dismissal was part and parcel of the ill health retirement (and I think being dismissed did help my retirement appeal) but officially I could have been dismissed and not have got ill-health retirement (I had to appeal to get the ill-health retirement granted - in appeal I had to "prove" how permenantly I would not be able to work & this ment I needed Drs to back up that it was unlikely that I would ever be able to work again)

    It may be worth you speaking to your GP, employer, occupational health and a union rep about the problems that you are facing. In my case ill-health retirement did actually end up the best option for my health ( It did not feel like it at he time as I loved my career and did not want to have to give up my job). However I now can sleep as much as I need and I do not get as many flares as I can pace myself much better than when I was trying to work.
    Good luck
  12. Jill d

    Jill d jill d

    Hi there I know its a little late to respond,but have been scanning the pages as Im desperately trying to get back to work,just keep flaring. I was told that my condition uctd, is considered to be a disability and therefore any time off related to this chronic condition is not to be counted against me. Go to your occu health doctor,they are usually very supportive.
    Does anyone know if the gov considers this disease to be a handicap? I have filled in a DLA form and was advised to consider my very worst bad day , even though I sometimes have ok days.
    Although trying to return to work I am finding it exhausting and causing flares. What are we supposed to do financial as if i dont work Im better?

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