Depression/Fatigue/Severe Headaches/Frustration/Ag... - Headway

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Depression/Fatigue/Severe Headaches/Frustration/Agitation - But He Looks OK - No Benefits For Him! Any Ideas/Suggestion Greatly Appreciated.

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I Went to meet a 55yr old BI client morning. His entitlement to contribution-based ESA is coming to an end in February. The total earnings coming into the household amounts to £11060 per annum - his partner works 20hours a week on minimum wage, and she has a pension of £276.92 per month (£3323 per annum) - this means that he will not qualify for the income based ESA.

He is in receipt of lower rate of DLA £21 per week - (this is included in the £11060 per annum), and he fears he may lose this as well. He is, of course, one of the walking wounded, however, he struggles with severe headaches, severe fatigue and struggles with concentration and attention. He is now struggling with depression and anxiety - I mentioned that he may be able to get support from Mental Health but he is concerned about the stigma attached with that, (strongly adverse actually). He was on the local Head Injury Service books but was discharged from their services a couple of years ago, and feels that they cannot do anymore for him. The sad thing is that he wants to work, however, he cannot see any job where his current condition would allow him to work - he has fleeting bouts of energy, however he does state that if he was to do any work in that time, especially physical, his fatigue and recovery time would be even worse.

Anybody any suggestions out there as to how we can help this individual?


12 Replies

Do not do what i did. in a panic at the thought of having my benifit stopped because of means testing i took on self employed work as a take-away delivery driver that was doomed to failure. as it was self employed i loose all rights to ever recieving non means tested esa again even in the support group unless i can find employment for two years that pays class one national insurance stamps. Dammed if you do and dammed if you dont. needless to say i wasnt told this before taking up employment and as i have receptive aphasia i would have been unable to make the decision to return to work on a reasoned basis any way


In short, fight the system. As I relayed on here over the course of a year, I had to fight the decision to remove me from the 'Support Group' component of ESA. I had to appeal and ultimately ended up in my local court fighting through the tribunal process.

Gather ALL evidence. Get letters of support from every doctor and specialist who has ever treated the individual. I had a letter rom my GP, from the rehab unit who treasted me immediately following my brain injury, from the neurologist who treats my epilepsy and whose care I am under to this day. Essentially anyone medical who had crossed my path.

Do NOT give up the fight, that is precisely what thery are relying on. If you need any help, feel free to get in touch and I'll be more than happy to help in any way I can.


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I was in a very similar situation a year ago. I have scrapped by over the last year and I'm now selling my house.

All I can suggest is Access To Work. They will go out of their way to support people back to work. One of the few government organisations that works.


The stress over benefits will obviously not be helping your client.

Has he been classified in one of the ESA categories ? If he has been put in the "Support" group then his ESA doesn't end..

If not depending on where he lives he will either transfer to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or onto Personal Independent Payments (PIP) which is a whole new ball game.

The other thing have your clients applied for Income support. Even if they are over the threshold they may get the nominal payment of 10p which allows exemption for things like Council Tax and housing benefit.

Depending on his DLA award if it is a "lifetime" award it shouldn't change unless he is reassessed under PIP.

If his wife provides and element of care he/she may be eligible to get Carers allowance.

Send a PM if you want some more information


I too will be in exactly the same boat come next month, as having been pushed off IB onto a failed ESA, then a tribunal which awarded me the arbitrary 15 points, backdated my ESA (CB) which runs out next month.

So as I get a Service invaliding pension I will no longer qualify for any benefit or state help for the 18 years of service to Queen and Country.

I have no idea where or who to approach for assistance, to be honest I am glad that I no longer have to suffer the constant threats and intimidation from the DWP and JCP staff, and the annual benefit 'fraud' claims they always sent me.

Back to rice and beans.....


My husband can only work part-time for the same reasons of fatigue and his job leaves him totally exhausted as the concentration it needs adds to the fatigue. You should be eligible for working tax credits based on that income, we only found this out by chance and nobody ever suggested it to us - it is definitely work applying.


I was also in the same boat. I didn't get anymore money after my contribution ESA finished, my other half had more than the £7.000 ? Per year limit so I got nothing.

I was at a total loss and floundering and getting progressively more scared depressed and frustrated. I was being seen by the disability man in the job centre who helped me try to think of what I'd like to do. I had no idea as I can't think forward I just couldn't 'see' where I wanted to go.

I volunteered at a local primary school doing reading with young children needing extra support. It was just a few hour long sessions in a week and I was getting no money but I was doing something constructive. I was lucky as it led to an hour a day paid employment which I gradually increased. I am on a temporary contract that runs for one term and is renewed on a need basis. There is no holiday pay or sick pay, it is part time, I get paid for the hours I work. If I am too tired or ill they don't lose money and someone else picks up the hours. It is a bit better than a zero hour contract .

It's scary but I'm tryin to get through each day, week and month at a time.

I had to still do medicals to be told I don't qualify even after I started work, just like an extra kick in the teeth when you're down. My last one I got no points. And on top of this, the government is paying shaw trust a bonus for me getting a job and still being there 12 months later.... It was help of job centre that got me volunteering, it was with his help I did application forms, he helped me prepare for interview, when I go the job he passed me on to shaw trust who passed me onto Euan from some other company to be my support worker. So a faceless middleman who I never spoke to or had contact with is earning bonus payments, how mental is that?


I'm currently going through exactly the same thing, my Money stops in February, I've requested a 'mandatory reconsideration', this asks the DWP to look at the information again, It's also very important that any Doctors notes are listing symptoms as just one may effect your income, they also said something about a focus group, (sadly this I can't remember due to my TBI), but if I was to get onto it, I wouldn't have to supply Doctor's notes and I'd get the money indefinitely.

In fact I had a letter this morning telling me my money has already stopped due to me not scoring enough points. In fact I scored 0 out of 15, I have absence seizures, short term memory loss, depression, fatigue and blackouts. I've been told I can claim JSA, as I've been classed fit for work. The whole system is a joke. I hope the person get's it sorted as I plan to fight it as long as I can.


Thank you very much to everyone who responded to my post - the upshot is that I am advising the individual to be re-assessed for ESA and for him to be placed into the Support Group of ESA.......we will see what happens. I am going to assist in the completions of the forms, and will also provide every scrap of evidence.....


It might be worth joining the Benefits and Work group for extra advice/tips on re-applying. I hope you get results

in reply to Blinkyfish

thats good i couldnt do mine an wealfir rights 2 busy 2 help cab did in end my sister is very educated clever 2 she nos nothing on benifits i gave her my form she spotted a ? at 1s id haveticked no 1 box she said its rong its clever worded 2 trick anyone theres web site on here benifit and work dont no if you seen it its got ll esa forms pip on it 2 trail run you ive just looked im useless hard eough righting here before tbi and stroke mind could done form but not now id forgot id rote in min


yes apply for a higher rate, i had same problems with my son, he had a traumatic head injury and made a rather quick recovery was home in 12 days, i was not told any after affects and didnt expect any until i watch all the changes myself, and experienced the different person he,d become, just because he looks ok doesnt mean he is, the answers on the forms and the extra parts you can write in when filling in are important and im new to this forum so dont know how to direct message you but i will be more than willing to advice if you tell me how to direct message you on here


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