Ataxia UK
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Giving up work

Hi, I last posted about a month ago and asked the question "when is the right time to give up work". Since asking the question, I have had my diagnosis changed to MSA from a hoped for Gluten Ataxia and that decision has been made for me. I have applied for PIP (minefield) and ill health retirement. Now waiting to hear if I am entitled to either. I also believe I can apply for ESA and also help with the interest element of the mortgage?

1 Reply

Hi Coxy,

Really sorry to hear this : (

The benefits system is an absolute mindblower ( and farce ! ) - just what you need to be dealing with after the shock of having to give up your job and bad health news. If you are feeling brave you can calculate your possible entitlement :

Regarding ESA, I have a non dependent son living at home who works full time. Although his income cannot be included when they calculate for income based ESA, as it is only based on my own/partner's income, they put down his financial contribution to the bills he gives to me, as my 'income' ( ? ! ) I tried to argue the point that my bills would not be elevated if not for a third person living with me : the money he pays covers his share of extra expenses - to no avail : beware ! Thus we are deemed over the income threshold and do not qualify. His income IS taken into account for council tax reduction and housing benefit purposes so scuppers that one, bar a token CTR amount. I can't get contribution based ESA because I reduced hours after original neurological attack left me with some disability, so have not earned enough to pay NI in the recent time period they require. A recent relapse has forced me to leave my job altogether ( ataxia is a part of my symptoms - I am awaiting investigation for MS ) I am currently applying for PIP -at least it is non means tested ! Citizens Advice Bureaux is what most people recommend to help with benefits explanation - really wish I'd gone this route before answering the 'does your son contribute ?' question innocently over the phone ! !

Sending all good wishes,

Angela x


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