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Employment and Support Allowance?

Discussion in 'Social Security / Disability Benefits' started by sme, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. sme

    sme Registered

    Hi, I'm not sure if this question is in the right place (sorry if it isn't!), but I wanted to ask if anyone has experience of claiming Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), and also advice re job applications.

    I have been paid ESA since September 2009. Since then, I have been seen regularly by my GP who issued me with medical certificates up to end of April 2010. I started taking Plaquenil in October 2009 and it has only recently kicked in. In January 2010, I was sent for a medical assessment and as a result of that, my ESA has been ceased from February 2010. I tried appealing, but this has been rejected and I now have the option of going to a tribunal. Half of me wants to throw in the towel because I just don't have the energy to fight it, but the other half wants to stand up for my argument that the assessment used is not suitable for conditions such as SLE. Because I can walk up stairs, am not incontinent or suffer from mental disabilities, I am deemed fit for work. The assessor was not interested in what my symptoms are and how they affect me, so I failed the assessment. The fact that my GP deemed me unfit for work is not even taken into consideration and I will now have to pay back approx 10 weeks of ESA (ouch!).

    Fortunately, my meds have kicked in now and things have improved slightly so I am keen to try and get some sort of part-time work if I can. However, how do I explain why I haven't been working since August 2009? (had to give up my job when I couldn't cope anymore). If you tell employers you've been unwell, they'll run a mile, yet if you don't give them a reason, they'll think you're hiding something! I was even going to temp at my old place of work, just for a few hours a week, but my ex-boss (who initially agreed to the idea) suddenly got cold feet and starting saying I'd need a full health assessment, blah, blah, blah.

    Any advice from those who've been through similar experiences would be much appreciated because I feel like I'm bashing my head against a brick wall at the moment!

    Sue
     
  2. Katharine

    Katharine Registered

    Hi Sue,

    I have just moved your post to a thread of its own. I think it's a separate issue to where you posted so hopefully you'll get more replies this way.

    Katharine
     
  3. debatat

    debatat Moderator

    Hi, I have no experience of this, but do understand your dilemma. Could you not ask your gp for his support in appealing or try the CAB?
     
  4. TracyJN

    TracyJN Registered

    I had my last application for DLA turned down about 4yrs ago despite my meds being increased and my health being worse not better. I wrote to my local MP with all the details and suddenly my application was accepted and I now get DLA indefinitely so don't have to keep re-applying. They never actually said it was due to the involvement of the MP but it was quite a coincidence.

    You could try your MP aswell as your GP, as Deb suggested.

    Good luck :)
     

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