I could become a Carer, but will this void my pending ESA appeal ?

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I am awaiting my ESA tribunal. I am getting JSA but  I am hoping to get a sick/fit note from my GP next week so I can ask to go back onto ESA assessment rate.

I have been caring for my mum who had a hip replacement a few months ago. She has been on Attendance Allowance for nearly a year. Last Autumn I was deemed "fit for work" after my WCA but prior to that I was getting ESA WRAG.

My mum has been in more pain recently and found out recently that she has fractured the cement which surrounds part of the hip replacement mechanism. She will most likely need to have another operation.

She is quite happy for me to become her carer.

Bearing in mind my pending ESA tribunal appeal, I am not sure what to do next.

I am thinking about the following 3 options;

1, Should I wait until my tribunal and if I win then I could claim Carers Premium on top of my ESA ?

2, Should I wait until my tribunal and if I lose then I could claim Income Support and Carers Allowance ?

If this happens then I am worried that the DWP might try and stop me by saying that I'm doing so to avoid going back on Jobseekers Allowance. I could argue that they have deemed me fit for work and I will be doing work -  caring for my mum.

3, Should I claim Income Support and Carers Allowance immediately ?

If I did, what would happen about my ESA appeal - would it be cancelled by the DWP ?

If I was allowed to continue with my ESA appeal whilst claiming IS and CA and won the tribunal, would the DWP automatically put me back onto ESA and then I could also claim Carers Premium ?

I would appreciate any advice thanks

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I am a bit confused here, you say you were on ESA, but found to be fit for work, so put onto JSA, but you are hoping for a sick note from the doc to go back onto ESA.... but in the meantime you want to be a carer to your mum.. I suppose what I am asking is that you are obviously 'able' to look after your mum, therefore able to work? You really answered your own question, when you said.......... 'If this happens then I am worried that the DWP might try and stop me by saying that I'm doing so to avoid going back on Jobseekers Allowance. I could argue that they have deemed me fit for work and I will be doing work -  caring for my mum.?                                    So YOU obviously think you are fit enough to work by caring for your mum?

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    • Posted

      I suffer from anxiety/depression/panic/social phobia and I feel as though I am definitely not fit for work. I had previously won an ESA tribunal but I was found fit for work by the DWP after a recent re-assessment. I have sent my appeal and I'm waiting for another tribunal date so I'm getting a sicknote from my GP and will ask the DWP to put me back onto ESA assessment rate until that tribunal.

      I live with my mother and help her out with jobs around the house as she is elderly and cannot walk very well. As she is already receiving attendance allowance, there is the possibility I could become her carer.

      Obviously, being a carer at home would be easier on my mental health without having to endure "normal" working environments which would be extremely difficult with my mental health problems.

      Despite the fact that I am able to help my mum in a home environment, I don't agree that people should assume that I'm able to work in a normal working environment that involves social engagement with unfamilar people which I find extremely difficult.

      If I lose the tribunal then I don't know how I will cope. I've struggled with having to sign on these past few weeks but the DWP don't care.

      I'm just hoping that the tribunal service will want to appear consistent and find me to have limited capability for work again.

      I feel a sense of desperation at the moment as I'm sure many others do who are in a similar situation.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    As you probably already know you can't claim Carers Allowance and ESA together because they're overlapping benefits. You would be claiming the Carers premium of £34ish. Claiming this may or may not go against your ESA Tribunal. As you have already stated you're worried it may go against you. They may think that because you can look after someone for at least 35 hours every week you're capable of doing some work.

    If you claimed Income Support and Carers Allowance it would most likely stop your ESA Appeal. If you were allowed to continue with the ESA Appeal and won no you wouldn't be automatically put back onto ESA.

    I'm sorry but Phyllis is right here you are contracticting yourself by saying you can look after your mum for 35 hours every week BUT you're not capable of doing some type of other work. When being assessed for ESA the DWP and Tribunal look to see if a claimant is capable of doing ANY type of work.

     

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    • Posted

      The caring for my mum would mainly involve housework eg, hoovering, doing the laundry, pot washing and general watching over her and making sure she's okay. I cannot do shopping because that involves me being out in public places and social engagement, other family members will do that.

      I think that you're missing the point about my condition. I have only been claiming ESA for mental conditions, this doesn't mean that I cannot carry out some physical activities within my home environment.

      .

      You wrote " when being assessed for ESA the DWP and Tribunal look to see if a claimant is capable of doing ANY type of work"

      Are you implying that a person should not qualify for ESA if they are mentally ill but still capable of physical housework ?

       

      I don't think that caring for a relative in what I consider to be a safe environment is anything like me being forced to seek and maintain "normal" employment elsewhere in society.

      If I was claiming ESA because I was physically disabled and then intending to do physically demanding caring duties then I could accept your point of view.

       

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    • Posted

      I did not imply anything. I simply stated exactly what DWP and the Tribunal do. ESA is about a claimant doing any type of work. Doesn't have to be outside the safe environment of someone's home, it can be anywhere. This includes in someone's home. People do work from home. I'm simply just stating a fact. I won't go into a debate here, you came for advice and i gave it, I'm sorry if it's not the answer you wanted.

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    • Posted

      "You would be claiming the Carers premium of £34ish. Claiming this may or may not go against your ESA Tribunal. As you have already stated you're worried it may go against you. They may think that because you can look after someone for at least 35 hours every week you're capable of doing some work."

      Can I just make something clear.

      I'm not currently a Carer so this won't be an issue at my Tribunal.

      I was only thinking of becoming a carer.

      As you have said yourself in your initial reply,(plus I've seen it on other benefit websites) - it does appear that it is possible to be on ESA and also receive a Carers Premium.

      So, it is possible to have limited capability for work AND be a Carer.

      Therefore, it is the benefits system that is contradicting itself, not me !!!

       

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    • Posted

      I never said you were a carer, i said you WOULD be claiming. Of course it's possible to claim it but they've already found you fit for work which is why you're taking it to Tribunal. They may see this as being able to do some work. It would be the same if someone was doing permitted work and they have an assessment coming up, it may go against them. Believe it or not i'm actually trying to help you, you asked for advice, if you know the answers then why ask in the first place. I'm done here but good luck with what ever you decide to do smile

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  • Posted

    I totally understand the concerns that denise15811 is raising but I don't think that they are relevant in my case.

    The Tribunal are not aware of my possible intention of becoming a carer.

    They should only be interested in whether or not the DWP were correct in making the decision that I was fit for work following my assessment last year.

    Tribunals only determine whether a decision was correct by taking into account the claimants condition at the time that the fit for work decision was originally made.

    If you win they then recommend a minimum time before the claimant should be reassessed.

    If, for example, my condition improved and I stopped claiming benefits tomorrow, then I would still be able to claim at the Tribunal that I was unfit for work from the date that my ESA was stopped right up until today.

    If I refer back to the 3 options that I wrote in my initial post, then maybe if I were to focus on the financial differences between them then you might be able to better understand my difficulty in deciding what option I should take.

    1, Should I wait until my tribunal and if I win then I could claim Carers Premium on top of my ESA ?

    I don't think that I am fit for "normal" work but what I think is irrelevant - this is decided for me.

    If I win the Tribunal and was placed in the WRAG again then I would receive £102.15. The Government still allows someone on ESA WRAG to be a Carer and I could receive an additional £34+ making a total of £136+.

    Also, I would be exempt form work related activity because I am a carer which would relieve any stresses I would get from that.

    Before my ESA was stopped I could have done this but I wasn't aware of it at that time.

    2, Should I wait until my tribunal and if I lose then I could claim Income Support and Carers Allowance ?

    If I lose then I could claim Income Support at £45.60 plus Carers Allowance at £62.10 making a total of £107.70.

    The timing of this would look bad and I was worried that the DWP might legally be able to prevent me from doing so on the basis that I was avoiding Jobseekers allowance.

    The truth is that I cannot deal with the pressures of jobseeking duties such as Work Programme because of my mental health and social interaction issues.

    3, Should I claim Income Support and Carers Allowance immediately ?

    This would also mean a total of £107.70 but may mean that I automatically void/forfeit my pending ESA and then I'll never know whether or not I would have won my tribunal.

    Obviously this leaves me worse off financially than option 1 but would relieve me of the pressures that the jobcentre are beginning to put on me now.

    If I chose option 3 I was hoping that I could still carry on with my ESA appeal and if I win I hoped to be able to return to ESA and then claim Carers Premium.

    Choosing option 1 means pressure from the Work Programme whilst I'm waiting for that tribunal date which could take several months. I risk benefit sanctions if I don't comply with the Work Programme.

    It would be helpful if someone could tell me for certain whether or not my ESA appeal would be forfeited if I chose option 3.

    I would prefer not to be drawn into a debate as to whether or not a person with limited capacity for work should also be allowed to become a carer.

    It's clear that it happens but everybody's condition and situation is different.

    I hope this clarifies my reasons for asking those questions, sorry it's a bit complicated.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi, perhaps you would get answers on a site I am on, called 'benefits & work', there is a joining fe, but there are lawyers etc that can help.

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