ESA interview

Hi back again. I have had a few good weeks and the depression I had has appeared to have gone and I feel more positive. I am on ESA and get £99 a week but in jan they are dropping me down to £25 a week not sure how I'm going to manage. I am 61 and been offered to chance to get pension credit but that will only be £35 a week. Anyway the main reason I am blogging is because I took the test as seen on the tv programme. The doctor was understanding and I thought because I was on a off day I was sure to fail. But I go a letter yesterday saying I must attend an interview on the 4th sept at 9 o'clock to help me to cope with my condition and get me back to work. As I have said before I have worked all my life since I was 16, and willing to work, but who would employ me at my age and condition and I feel it's time to take it easy and let someone else work who haven't had a job at all. I will let you know how I get on after the interview, has anyone else had one yet.

14 Replies

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  • I feel for you Beeper, I have mine on 22 August. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be able to return to work and earn my own money. I hate being reliant on the state, but can't see there's any employer who will be willing to employ me on the basis I would need to make allowances for my RA and associated problems.

    To make matters worse, my hubby's career has taken a nosedive over the past few years due to him needing to be at home to look after me and the kids so he doesn't earn a fortune and we really rely on the money I get.

    I'm worried sick but what can we do?

  • Isn't it shocking that both of you are going through all this when the Olympics are on and a feeling of well being is meant to be dominating the nation. The opening ceremony celebrated our first ever welfare state and here you both are - absolutely needing and deserving the money that I know no tax payer would begrudge either of you. Perhaps you both need to go and see your MPs and tell them what is going on in no uncertain terms? Sorry to get on political high horse - I don't usually but it's just making me froth - somehow it's so un Olympian and mealy mouthed in spirit? Tilda xx

  • Well said Tilda.

  • I agree Tilda,as if we all don't have enough to worry about . I dread when it comes to my turn. Beepr,you must appeal aginst the decision. I hope everyone who has the decision go against them all should appaeal,this way they will be overwhelmed by appeals like they have never had before. That way they will then get a system that works for people like us who are so unwell we can't work,even though we would jump at the chance to be able to work.

    Sylvi.xx

  • I feel for you I worked all my life to and have had ra for over 13 last year I finally had to give in and I am now waiting a knee replacement at my esa interview. He looked at me as if to say u look ok and he asked me a lot of trick questions and I still have,t heard from them,I think they need to get the young lazy ones to.work and leave us alone we suffer enough on a daily basis with worrying. About money and work,cyper and gentle hugs to you hope you get what you deserve money!!! And to be listened to.x

  • Hi, I agree with Tida. You could write to your MP and tell them your situation and ask them for advice.

    You can get their details online. You can even send them an e mail online, like i have done with my MP Nick Clegg.

    We have to shout together loudly about all this cruelty. If we don't make a fuss nothing will change.

    Has anyone else written to their MP? Mr Clegg even sent my letter to that awful Maria Miller who is at the heart of all this "get the sick back to work" business. As if anyone could/would employ us!!! It drives me mad! ... Rant over! Feel better for it.

  • I got my local MP, Andrew Gwynne (just happens to be the Shadow Health Minister) involved a couple of months ago regarding a few matters since losing my job due to RA.

    He was amazing, helped me no end. Every time I emailed him he replied the same day with a response. From experience I would always recommend involving a local MP immediately if having problems with any benefit's, at the end of the day its their job to help us.

  • I can't answer for Beeper but I did appeal against the decision and asked them to look again at it. They acknowledged the letter but I still have to go for the interview at the Job Centre. I don't think though they can make me do anything else at the moment. It's so hard though isn't it. From what I gathered from the TV programmes the other night, they merely look at the symptoms and not the effect on the person as a whole. But as we all know with RA it's not just the physical symptoms (painful joints, flares etc), it's the psychological efects and the sheer exhaustion we all feel on a daily basis.

    On a brighter note, I too have been hooked on the olympics. I was a keen gymnast and horserider when I was young before RA meant I had to stop. No way would I ever in a milion years have been as good as these guys but I've loved watching every minute of it. For the first time in a long time I have actually been proud to be British regardless of everything else.

  • Morning Beeper/everyone. You and all of us with RA must appeal. Tilda is right if things do not work out correctly, cos lets face it none of us are able to work,if we could believe me we would first in the queu! We have all had to stop our jobs and most of us would be in a far better financial place than we are now( and pain free-Hallayluyah whats that?), we would not choose to struggle, no-one would . We must all challenge the system that is unfair and damn right cruel to the likes of us. We all want fair play but this system is not it. Please take it further and definately go to your local MP that's what they are there for. Let us all send a message to the government that they have really got this one wrong in every which way!!!!!!!! Please do it, no doubt my interview will be soon, and I am not going without a fight/appeal- how dare they do this! This is the 21st century not the 11th!!!!!!!!! take care Beeper, and hope the weather brightens up for us all. Asa's mum xx

  • Sadly this system is very unfair and many people have committed suicide as a result of being taken off sickness benefit. But on the other hand there are many people who can work (even with chronic conditions) but refuse as they're better off on benefits.

    Contributions based ESA is only paid for a year, so it's possible that's the reason for the drop in January, you can claim income related ESA depending on home circumstances. You can also appeal being placed in the WRAG if you feel you should have been put in the support group where there are no time limits of benefit entitlement.

    I left work about 18mth ago and had to claim ESA, luckily I had savings which helped me through the assessment phase and after the medical I was placed in the WRAG for 8mth, having to attend 6 work focused interviews. I was then reassessed and put into the support group without the need for a medical much to my relief.

    I don't understand how your benefit will drop to £25 I've not heard of this before and suggest you make an appointment at your local CAB for a benefit assessment. I'm also confused at the rate of pension credit my friends husband claimed this when he was made redundant and he gets over £100.

    I really advise you to go along to your local CAB for a benefit assessment, help/support claiming benefits and filling in ESA forms or appeal the decision to place you in the WRAG . I've also added a link to a benefit calculator to check your entitlement, I've found on speaking to DWP call centres many staff don't fully understand the system and give wrong advice to people enquiring about benefit entitlement.

    direct.gov.uk/en/Diol1/DoIt...

    Good luck

    Beth x

  • Thanks for every ones advice. I will go to cab and see what they can do. Trouble is they take in my wife's part time wage and she refuses to give me any. I can't kick her out I just haven't the heart. I need her help sometimes to get dressed or for meals.

  • Beeper I have to agree with the others comments . I had my interview on Friday at my local Job centre. I was exshausted by the time I got there, having to catch two buses & a long walk. To be fair the guy who interviewed me was really nice. Most of the staff think whats happening is crazy but they have a job to do. He told me he would interview me over the phone in the future as he could see what an effort it took for me to get there. By the the time I got home I was wiped out & I had to go to bed. I wish I could work its taken me a long time to accept I can't. Which I do find depressing. So this all adds to the stress!!!! Good luck with everything.

  • I have a mental disabiity following severe depression and then a complete breakdown. My Gp has been quite supportive and keeps signing me off three months at a time as I am unable to work mentally or drive. I am 43 been on ESA since Dec 2011 and since have had my employment terminated (they didn't contribute a thing anyway). i only get £64 per week and that just about keeos us ticking over, what wil i do as this is a massive help to me and my young family. I'm still waiting for CBT and i'm going for an assessment this afternoon. I use a walking stick and asthma pump and have a low DLA allowance, are they likel y to stop everything??

  • by the way this all was diagnosed in April 2011

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