ESA for Anxiety and Depression

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For the last few years I have been suffering from anxiety and depression to an extent that I didn't even realise how much It has been affecting me until now.

Three years ago i lost my father very quickly due to cancer. He only found out a month before then he was gone. This was a shock to all my family and although I was heart broken I managed to pull myself together and be there to comfort others.

Since this day and some time before I have felt like I wasn't good enough and I would never be able to get out of life what would make me happy all the while not even knowing what this was.

I have tried all sorts of methods of dealing with my situation which I believed were starting to work until my grandfather passed away 6 months ago who was also like a father.

Once this happened I began to spiral down and I cannot seem to get out of this tangle.

I have extreme anxiety which seems to be more of a health concern as I feel all sorts of aches and pains that I never thought I could and I have had two hospital visits due to this to be told it's only anxiety.

This for me is so hard to believe. I have had what it feels like sleepless months, not eating, a tonne or crying and so scared to go out into I'm public as I'm scared something is going to happen to me.

I feel incredibly low and feel like no one fully understands me which means they cannot help me and that makes me so so scared. Panic attacks happen daily and I also feel like each day I have a tight band around my ribs not enabling me to breathe.

I hate leaving the house especially alone as I feel like everyone's judging me and I feel ashamed.

I also feel so down that all i keep thinking is, is this actually worth it.. for the rest of my life am I going to feel and suffer like this as I can't seem to see a brighter side..

I am on 20mg of citalopram which I have been taking for around 1 month now and I have no clue if these seem to be working.

I am living with my mum at the moment who has advised me to try esa... I am really unsure about this as I don't know if this is a a medical condition they will accept?

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lilly, I'm not going to advise you regarding benefits but hopefully I can pass on some information that could possibly help with your health anxiety and try to get you back on track to enable you to enjoy life again, would you prefer me to PM you regarding this

  • Posted

    HI Lilly,

    I'm sorry you're going through all of this. Have you tried speaking to your GP who could possibly refer you to someone who can help with your anxiety?

    ESA/Universal credit whichever is in your area is for those who have a limited capability for work so yes this is an option for you. Claiming a benefit like this isn't about a diagnosis, its how those conditions affect you everyday.

    First though i need to ask if you're working at all at the moment? i know you said you live with your mum. Do you have a partner living with you, or is it just yourself (single person) There's lots of options for you but i'll need some more info before i can advice you further.

    I'm happy to advice you and help you all i can, if you can answer those few questions then it's easier to advice.

    There's also a disability benefit called PIP that's replaced DLA. You can google PIP self test and complete the online self test, this will give you some idea what you could possibly score. For a PIP award it's how those conditions affect you daily and not about a diagnosis. Evidence will be needed to be able to claim this and can be anything from letters from your GP/Consultants, Social workers, Someone that knows you well, diary written by yourself, prescription print out of all current medication. You can also google PIP and it will tell you all about it. It's not a benefit that can be claimed over night and can take many months to be successful. It really does depend how your conditions affect you and the help you have or need daily. I'm afraid links can't be posted here otherwise i'd add some for you.

    Hopefully you'll return and read this and i'll help you more.


  • Posted

    I am on ESA for Anxiety and Depression.. From what I understand you have to have worked to claim ESA - not 100% sure of this

    All I can say is good luck as Mental Health is not taken seriously by the Goverment.  I was on PIP as well but this was stripped from me and I lost the appeal.  I can only leave the home if I take tranquilisers like Diazapam as I get in such a its easier to avoid the outside world in my case,

    If you receive ESA you will be asked to attend an interview but i'm not sure if that will be straight away or sometime down the road. 

    All I can advise is do not be ashamed of this illness, you are not alone.  Should they ask you to attend an interview I would suggest a family member who understands your illness goes with you.  Make sure you highlight how this illneess effects your everyday life, as if they can find the slightest reason not to pay you they will do so,

    Good luck

    • Posted

      HI Sarah,

      There's 2 types of ESA, Contribution based and Income Related. For CB ESA a person must have paid enough National Insurance contributions in the previous 2 tax years to be able to claim this one.

      To be able to claim Income Related a person didn't have to work previously but to be able to claim this one depends on a persons circumstances. If they have a partner that works then they most likely won't be able to claim it because it's based on household Income. If a person has a partner that doesn't work, or they are single and have savings/capital of £16000 or less then yes they would be able to claim ESA regardless of whether they worked previously or not.

      If a person lives in a full Universal Credit area then they won't be able to claim Income Related ESA, it would then be Universal credit as i mentioned in my above post.

      It's not just mental health that they don't take seriously, it's other conditions too unfortunately. When attending an assessment for ESA/UC it's the work you can do that they look at and not the work you can't do.

      For your PIP, you can re-apply at anytime. When you say you lost your appeal do you mean you took it to Tribunal and lost? or did you just get as far as a Mandatory Reconsideration?


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