ESA Advice and Work

Good morning to you all,

Just to ask for some advice really as I don't know where to turn for this type of advice

I am currently awaiting to see hand specialists and rheumatology regarding joint and arthritic problems which has been undiagnosed for the past year.

I have had my assessment for ESA over a month ago and think to be honest they will take me off it, my question is should I apply for jobs as I will have no income, although I am not fit enough to do what i used to do as i worked as a chef for 20 years but a chef who cant use his hands or stay on his feet for long periods is about as useless as a footballer with broken toes, its getting me pretty stressed i have seen jobs i can apply for but i will get found out as soon as i start working I cant work like i used to and am constantly dropping knives etc, and was told I was too slow in my last two positions, I says to them I was having joint trouble but they were not interested in acommodating me, i dont want to go through the same again, any advice would be much appreciated

many thanks and best wishes


10 Replies

  • Hello Jimmy and sorry to hear your story

    You said you had your ESA assessment and they are likely to take you off it. Were you receiving ESA before the assessment? And if you were did you get support group?

    My advice is hang on til the results come through.

    I am not certain as DWP change their rules too often used to be allowed to work a certain number of hours and still retain your ESA

    You can google the gov UK site which is up to date or join Benefits and excellent informative site.

    Pat x

  • Hello banana,

    thanks for your reply , i have been getting income based ESA, for the past 5 months.

    Yes i think you are right i will hang in until i get the results, all a bit of a nightmare to be honest cheers for the website i will have a look at that,

    Cheers James

  • Absolutely, invaluable site . Appeal, appeal, appeal. That is the advice given to me by my G.P. He also added that when you reach the last appeal that'll be when a proper doctor will look at the case!!!!!!!!!!

  • Found this if it helps....

    Work you can do while getting ESA. You can do certain paid or unpaid work while you're getting ESA and it won't affect your benefit. This is called 'permitted work'. ... work less than 16 hours a week, and earn up to £120.00 a week for up to 52 weeks (there's no time limit of 52 weeks if you're in the support group)


  • I'm a civil servant and work for DWP and the issue with appeals is that they can be stop from going that far. They can prevent a reconsideration if needed. See it every single day happening to people. Awful what is being done.

  • There is a great site called Benefits and Work that gives lots of guides about the whole benefit system including guides to filling out ESA/DLA/PIP forms, guides to assessments and guides to appealing (including mandatory reconsiderations). For some guides you have to join the site but it is worth every penny ( between £15-£20 depending on offers). It helped me move fairly successfully from DLA to PIP (I only lost 10% of my income, I could have lost 75%!!!) and stay in the ESA support category.

    Are you in the ESA support category?

    Technically speaking because of the disability discrimination act employers are obligated to make reasonable adjustments enabling you to work. The reality is that they just don't hire you and you can't prove it was because of your disability even if they are stupid enough to ask you questions that they don't ask every candidate! I have had some jaw dropping questions before now. But there are some great supportive employers out there.

    I am also wondering is there any type of job you would like to do that is more achievable and wouldn't make your life just about work and pain.

    Take Care


  • Hi modmaster13, think you'll have to sit tight on this one as the rules are fairly strict,all aspects will be looked into, say for example would you be a danger to colleagues in work, or endanger yourself, whilst you might have the problems with your hands, it's not beyond the realms that you could be able to start another sort of training that's not constantly using your hands,it's so mind blowing having a trade /skills and knowing that you're unlikely to go back to this job, and that in itself is depressing enough, I'm sure if you've got medical proof that should automatically stand you in a better light, but hey this is the DWP we're talking about, and anything can happen, so if you feel things haven't gone the way you want, get the appeal in motion, and there's various agencies that can help you along the way, good luck for the future, and hopefully you'll get a positive response

  • I do know that, on income support ESA,the number of hours you're allowed to work is calculated on the tax year, so if you work, say, 20 hour weeks for two months and nothing for the next there and so on, as long as the total hours for the tax year are under the limit, you're ok.

    If money isn't the current problem, you can perhaps volunteer at a food kitchen as chef. The pressure will be way less there. If money is an issue, why not look for a post where you work in the same environment, but a different role or look for a restaurant or tearoom that operates on a slower scale?

  • Hi I think you are being unduly pessimistic. If you can't use you hands then you can't work and that's that. I agree to appeal as more than half of decisions are overturned. Also if the decision goes against you the DWP can also overturn it if they want to.

    Wait and see what happens. Your benefits should carry on until your appeal is heard but check this out on the Gov.Uk site. x

  • Also try the site Patient.Uk. There is a benefits site on there with lots of knowledgeable people on it. I tried to put the link in but it wouldn't work but if you google that and go into the top one you will find the forums. x

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