Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Work and benefits--how do I determine what I can work without losing out on needed support?

sarahincossarahincos Member Posts: 11
My husband has CP and requires someone to be at home with him 24/7. He receives all the usual benefits, and I'd love to be able to make some extra money for us. I can only work part-time, but I don't want to do anything that would affect our current financial situation seeing as I am also his full-time carer. I am unable to receive any public funds due to my immigration status, so this also puts a strain on us. Has anyone else had this struggle? What do I do?


  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Sarahincos,

    Welcome to the Scope online community.
    The issues that you have raised are a bit complex and in order to give you some advice I need some more information from you about the benefits that your husband is currently receiving. If your husband is receiving an income related benefit then your earnings would be taken into consideration and could potentially reduce the amount of benefit he is paid.
    You can find a benefits calculator on the website www.turn2us.org.uk which could help you work out the financial impact of working and whether you would be financially better off.
    I'm happy to talk about this in more depth with you if you would like. If you would prefer some privacy please feel free to contact me at the helpline.

    Kind regards
  • sarahincossarahincos Member Posts: 11
    Hi Debbie! I've used the turn2us but it's a bit of a guesstimate at best. My husband receives DLA (mid rate, and higher rate Motability), and ESA. It totals something like £700 a month, so any change in our financial situation greatly affects us! Clearly, the greater part of his benefits comes from ESA and unfortunately if I start working that's exactly what will be affected, like you said. Seeing as I'm quite limited in distance from home and how long I can be away, I'm having trouble narrowing down what would be best for us.
  • sarahincossarahincos Member Posts: 11
    Also, the turn2us immediately redirects me to seek professional advice due to my immigration status (Spouse visa-2.5 year Leave to Remain, no public funds, approved right to work). The only way I can complete it is by ignoring that question which skews the results as well because it brings into account all the benefits that we can't claim anyway.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Is your husband's ESA income related or contributions based? Also what is the living arrangement. Does your husband rent or own the property you both live in and is he getting any help with the housing costs? Prior to becoming your husband's sole carer was he receiving a package of care from the local authority? I see that you have posted on another section about the difficulties you are having accessing services. Is this all contributing to your financial difficulties?
  • sarahincossarahincos Member Posts: 11
    Hi Debbie, my husband's ESA is income related based on his disability and inability to work. We are currently living in a 2 up/2 down mid-terrace home with his parents. We pay them a set portion to help cover living expenses, but the home itself is not well-suited to Tom (impossible to use a wheelchair inside) and he is basically stuck in his room day in and out (which makes his CP worse). We have applied for housing assistance through the council and have been given "medium priority based on medical need". Basically, we are on a waiting list as far as that goes. Prior to arriving, Tom had district nurses that came twice a day. The system was changed when I arrived as I am a nurse, and they are short staffed and unable to continue the schedule as it was anyway. The nurses were coming due to a completely different medical reason than the CP, just as a note. The downside of this change is that we frequently run out of dressings and supplies which we have to end up paying for out of pocket in order to make up the difference.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Sarah,

    Apologies for the delay in responding. The helpline has been very busy this afternoon!
    Has a Community Care Assessment been carried out?
    It might be a good idea if we talk about this in more depth over the phone. Would this be ok and if so could you send me an email with your contact number and the best time to contact you? [email protected]
    Best wishes
  • carol50carol50 Member Posts: 7 Connected
    help how to fill in a supported self assessment form?
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Carol50,

    Please see my replies on your other posts.
    Many thanks
  • carol50carol50 Member Posts: 7 Connected
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