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Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

9 REPLIES 9
chicita
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

ESA is either means tested or based on NI contributions.
I was awarded ESA when I was DX and had to give up work back in November and should have been put on the extra "Support" allowance after 13 weeks (which I didn't know anything about). The benefits advisory at my hospital phoned me today to ask if I'd received the extra benefit and when I didn't know what she was talking about she told me to phone the benefits agency. It seems that the BA has "lost" my initial forms which is why the extra benefit hasn't been paid. The guy at the BA was very helpful and I'm now just waiting for someone to phone me back to check details. If all goes well I should get £105 a week instead of £71 which will be such a big help with petrol and travel costs, parking fees etc.
X Yvonne
jackster50
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

I was given ESA (contribution based) for a year. I finished active treatment March and payments stop July 😞
eileen101
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

Hi there just to let you know that ESA is means tested
kerij
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

i got esa after 13weeks of being off work i never needed chemo just radiotherapy and i was put in the support group where i didnt have to look for work thankfully im back at work i find the whole esa thing very confusing xx
Cressida
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

Nicky - there are 2 bits to ESA. One is means tested and the other is contribition based. So if you have paid NI (I think for the last 2 years before the claim - but I am not sure - you need to check) then you can claim regardless of your savings or a partner's income. You just need to be not recieving sick pay (or any pay) and provide sick notes. I used Macmillan to help me - they have benefits advisors who know all the rules. I found it very easy indeed and they also got me DLA, which I had not expected. Definitly ring Macmillan as I am not an expert so I may be wrong about the 2 years
http://www.macmillan.org.uk
wintersocks
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

Hi Nicky
I am on ESA and have been since dx (Feb 12). Unfortunately, I had to resign from work.
The benefit is actually means tested. It took me a very long time to sort it out. I think you can only get this one if you have been employed.

A I understand it ESA keeps going until you are approached by them, to start looking for a job.
There are 2 'support' groups that you may be put into: I understand they will not approach you whilst you are on chemotherapy (but it has to be IV - I was told!) - So u r deemed not fit.
However, once on radiotherapy: you are put in the next group 'active' where you may be contacted about looking for work.

Having said that I have not been approached as yet. I am actively loooking for a job now, although in a few weeks I have to go into hospital for an op - So I don't know what will happen then.
The CAB have been an excellent source of info. They will do a benefits check and and advise you to what you may be able to get. They did it all online for me.
But it has been hard work to access it for me, just admin stuff on their behalf. PM me if you want to know more.
WS
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nicky08
Community Champion

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

Hi, I've not claimed ESA before but am interested in this new classification of cancer patients. As I've not read up about it can someone tell me if it is means tested or available to all like DLA?
Nicky

mandyj
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

I was in the process of claiming ESA due to my Multiple Sclerosis when I was diagnosed with BC in May last year. I contacted them and they said I would automatically go into the support group due to my cancer treatment and just had to get a letter from my GP stating what treatment I was having. I then found out that I had been put into this group for my MS but either way they were very helpful and did not ask for any more information from me. If I was not in it for my MS I wonder how long they would pay ESA for cancer Treatment, as they did not say?
mandyj
Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

Hi Alison

Thanks for the update, hopefully lots of users will benefit and I will also send the information to the relevant teams at BCC to ensure we are all updated!

Kind regards

Lucy

alisonm
Member

Changes to rules about Employment and Support Allowance

Hello ladies

I haven't been on the forums for months and months, but I came across this information today, which I thought others would be interested to know about.

At the end of January new regulations came into force regarding Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), whereby (so it reads) all people with cancer are eligible for the Support Group of ESA, whereas before some people were eligible for the Support Group, but others were put into the Work Related Activity Group.

However, the press release is a bit ambiguous, as in one place it refers to people 'awaiting, receiving or recovering from any form of chemotherapy or radiotherapy', but elsewhere it says 'all types of cancer treatment are seen as having the potential to be equally as debilitating' (ie not just chemo or radiotherapy).

It looks as though the ESA form will be amended so that people with cancer won't have to complete the whole form and their applications will be processed more sensitively than in the past, and more importantly, they will be placed in the Support Group rather than the Work Related Activity Group.

For anyone who's interested, here's the link to the press release from DWP:
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2013/jan-2013/dwp014-13.shtml

Best wishes,
Alison