Pain Concern
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Refused ESA

Hi everyone, some of you might remember my posts , a wee rundown, been off sick from May, treated for sciatica , now been diagnosed with a tumour at the bottom of my spine. Have been having SSP which is due to finish soon, made a claim for ESA which was turned down on the grounds that the 2 years they are basing the claim on I don't have enough National Insurance contributions. I am so sad, angry and so many other emotions, I have been nursing for 34 years , worked for 2 years in a garage before starting nursing . Unfortunately the years 2012/13 are the years they have chosen to base my claim on and the tax year 2011/12 my mum was very ill and I cared for her from February of 2011 until December of 2011 when she passed away. I am so sad and hurt to think that someone behind a desk gets to decide that I can't get any money because I was unfit to work due to my mum, they of course don't know these circumstances , they don't care either. I don't know where to turn next , has anyone else been in this situation, I feel as if all I do is moan these days , I am so desperate to get back to my job, I don't like not working , what worries me is that I was at hospital seeing the neurosurgeon yesterday , he wants to operate sooner rather than later so I am going in at the beginning of December , ironically on my mums anniversary, which comforts me a little bit. So I don't know what is going to happen after that , if I'm even going to be fit to go back to my previous job which was12 hour nightshifts. . And if a can what do I do about money. So sorry that this is so long everyone, but any help would be appreciated , thank you , Morag xx

17 Replies

Hello Mogi52

Yes remember well and a litte confused how you have gone straight into the contributions based ESA WRAG?

Firstly when you apply you fill in a Work Capability Assessment form. In that you list all your conditions, how they affect you and back it all up with medical evidence.

Based on this DW{ decide whether you are fit to retuen to work at some point and place you in the SA WRAG or not fit for work and place you in the Support group.

Not sure if I have explained this very well as there is no 'check what I've written' button' here.

Pat x

1 like

I'm in the Support Group for ESA, after a fight with each assessment. Ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration, this doesn't sound right, because even if you were off sick, your NI contributions would still have been paid. Ring your local HMRC and ask for a statement of your contributions. Don't give up without a fight!


Hi JayneP , thank you for replying . I've already asked for a Mandatory Reconsiderarion , this was when I was given am appntmnt for last Friday to go to my local job centre so they cld scan my P60's and send them to DWP, they did this Jayne , my appntmnt was for 12.30 and they callede at 1.30 telling me I was not entitle to anything .

To let you understand I workd in the hospital for 31 years , the last 9 of those were on the nurse bank so I worked 2 shifts a week which suits with the kids , then mum took ill so I cared for her , she took I'll feb 2011 and passed away in dec 2011 so from the Deb I was unable to do any bank shifts as mum needed 14 hour care and I was there for her , then when she passed away I atartew s work in a care home in the March 2012 and still working there. So it's this year 2011 woth my mum that's causing problems , I have asked why they cannot look at all the other years I have paid nat Ina and they say it doesn't matter the tax years 2012-13 are the years they are focusing on. Sorry this is so long and I hope you could bear with me and read to the end , thanks you , morag xx


I was told that I had not paid enough also. But I was in full time employment the whole time? i had to get the HMRC to investigate and I am afraid it took a bit to get it done by someone that cared! But they did and I then was in appeal at the same time but won and I am on support ESA.

However if you have not paid enough you should claim on the income related ESA which is means tested and takes your partners money into it. You may be able to claim hardship payments but that would only be 50% of the last claim amount and what ever money they do grant you once it gets sorted is paid back and I think only last 6 months!

I think that you have not backed up your original claim with enough medical evidence. It is best to see AgeUK or a CAB advisor as the way they are filled in is critical. But you need to challenge them as you are not fit for work.

I hope you get it sorted soon!

Be Well


You can reaply for esa on the income based grounds not contribution based . You may get it then .hope every thing goes well with your opp xx


Hi u should reapply.i am on halfpay,and be leaving work anytime now due to osteoarthritis on my knees,so i get this,and only work part time,good luck


Hi bankiegirl, I did reapply , I had to submit my p60's to the job centre and they sent them to be reassessed and I got a phone call the same afternoon telling me I wasn't due anything, I have paid national insurance since I started work 36 years ago, one of the years in question 2011/12 because my mum was ill and I was caring for her until she passed away in December , so I didn't work. So I'm not eligible beacause I have no NI contributions for that year. I'm so mixed up and don't know where to turn, as this means I have no money coming in altogether , my husband earns a good wage so we don't need to worry to much about the bills and mortgage etc, but it worries me. I am going in for major surgery on my back in December to remove a tumour and don't know what they are going to find and this is just adding to all my stress, I'm sorry to be such a moan , thank you for your reply x


Hi morag , sounds like you've been through a hell of a lot in such a short time. I think you should contact citizens advice and see if they could at least point you in the right direction.

Good luck and please let us know how your doing



Hi Chawnervthankbyou, I've been to CAB but they can't help . Thank you for replying and I will keep in touch x


Hi as Chawner has pointed out, if you do not have enough NI contributions for a particular tax year, you could make up the difference by paying what I think is called class 3 NI as you were not working , but caring for your mum. I had to do this for one year when I had been abroad for part of the year.

I looked it up and found this:-

"You may get gaps in your record if you don’t pay National Insurance or don’t get National Insurance credits, eg you’re unemployed and don’t get any benefits.

You may be able to pay voluntary Class 2 or Class 3 contributions. "

it goes on to the next page which is :-

On this page it says you need to pay :-

"Unemployed and not claiming benefits - Class 3: £13.90 a week"

I note that you have said you are going into hospital on 2nd Dec so hopefully you will see this when you get home

I have always found HMRC very helpful and on this page it tells you how to pay the contributions :-

Best wishes



I would just like to say that i think it is disgusting that British people that have paid into the system there whole life are being refused over a certain year they was off when they have paid tax and NI for decades. Some thing has got to be changed because this just is not right at all. Poohbear'


What if you paid the national insurance money for the year you were missing . It may be cheaper in the long run . I'm grasping at straws.


I am not sure mate its got to be worth a try to give it a go. If you have not all ready you could go down Citizens Advice they are excellent down there. They really no there stuff and are really helpful and polite. Hope it goes OK for you i will have my fingers crossed for you and Good Luck mate. Poohbear'


I had the same response from DWP in the first instance. I had been off work for 6 months and my SSP stopped. When DWP turned me down, I spoke to the Tax Office as I had been working for over 27 years. The Tax Office said that I had paid enough. When I told the DWP about this conversation, they said it had been an error on their part and paid up. Do see advice from the CAB though. Good luck.


Hi Morag, It is absolutely disgusting the way they treat people these days.

If I were you I would seek help from the C.A.B or a solicitor that deals with benefit cases. They cannot expect you to live on nothing when your SSP runs out.

You do have the right to appeal against their decision.

Have you spoken to your GP about this, they can give you or write a letter to the DWP to go along with an appeal.

I know it's a hassle but these days you have to fight for what you are due too.

Good luck love and don't let them bring you down x.


Thanks Linda I just don't know where to turn honestly, it's wearong me out on top of everything else . I'm going into hospital on the 2nd December for surgery to remove the tumour and then see what happens after that , thinking about no money coming in isn't helping me at all , thanks for your kind words , boosts you a wee bit when someone says something nice , xxx


Any time hun,any time and good luck with the op, I hope it all goes well for you.x


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