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Ataxia UK
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ESA rejected

Hi, I have FA and am a wheelchair user. Since my MSc I haven't worked instead I've been a full-time mother whilst my husband works full-time. I recently contacted yougov to enquire about ESA but was told I wasn't eligible for any help. Surely this can't be right as my disability severely limits the work I can do. I also use an electric wheelchair and I no longer drive so getting to any place of employment would be difficult. Can anyone offer any advice? Thanks

7 Replies

Dear explosion

Thank you for your post. As ESA is means-tested you may have been told you are not eligible based on financial criteria. However, like you, I am sure you are eligible based on your disability. You can also apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which is a non means tested benefit. You may find the following link helpful-


Best wishes



Hi explosion, you can also look at this site - gov.uk/employment-support-a... - it is the official government site for ESA and has a calculator to use to find out if you are eligible, but you should still apply.

My advice would be to get help when completing the forms as, in my experience, you can explain your symptoms to an experienced 'third-party' who can word your answers succinctly using the correct wording.




Conspiracy theory suggests ESA (DWP) want to wash their hands of us. JSA are only interested in fit workers. Wheelchairs scare them. By not getting ESA, their statistics look good. Positive result for DWP, but not for claimant.

Back in reality, your partner and savings might negate ESA award, but do apply anyway. Make DWP earn their wages. Bear in mind, DWP are not here to help you. No one is, despite what they say. Try every thing. Fill in all forms. Apply for everything.

Have you got a Blue Badge?

With PIP can get car road tax free or 50%


Hi I got my ESA renewed recently so it does get awarded but does go on household income. Also the way it worded is very important, a very good friend helped complete mine as I can no longer hold a pen plus she is a solicitor so knew how to worded it all. You can ask why you got refused but if it’s to do with income there is not too much you can do am afraid. But apply for PIP x


Hi You can also go to this site to see some more explanation and practice the questions you would be asked at an ESA assessment. esa-assessment.support/#mai... Remember that you need to tell them about your mobility difficulties on a 'bad' day not a good one! If you run into difficulties during the application process please call the Ataxia UK Helpline 0845 644 0606. Sue


I had my ESA stopped because my husband gets carers allowance and a small pension and I have to pay back £7000 !!!

We’re not entitled to anything!!!!


Hi, here's a useful source to help with making applications for ESA and PIP. I followed their advice and got my ESA - the full award, placed in the support group - with back payment to boot! At the time of applying it was thought by my neurologist that I had ataxia but more investigation revealed it to be cervical myelopathy. Anyway, after about 3 months I received a letter stating my award is for 3 years. It's worth applying as ESA gives me an extra £50 per week on top of income-related JSA. I also applied for PIP but did the self-test on the site below and came out with 6 points - not enough for PIP. When I did the actual PIP interview I was given 6 points so I figure the self-test on the website is a pretty accurate guide.

Good luck with your ESA application - and remember you get it backdated! And it will be backdated to date of original claim.



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