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ESA questions

tanzytanzy Posts: 16Member Listener
Hello all, I have a few questions about ESA which I hope someone can explain for me. I have been accepted for ESA WRAG.  But have a couple of questions. Firstly, As I am over 25, why would I only recieve £50 and some pence, per week? Secondly, what can I expect  from being in the work related group. Especially as I am 63 and a half years old and due state pension in November. The nearest jobcentre is 15 miles away and I live in hamlet with no public transport, currently no car,  due to no money coming in and MOT due which repair is needed for, and having knee replacement surgery next week. It is 2.5 miles into the closest town with a bus service, up a steep hill all the way. All of this is really worrying me;

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hi tanzy,

    The most likely reason for only receiving £50 something per week is that you have some other income, perhaps an occupational or personal pension? It also depends on whether you are receiving contribution-based ESA, or income-related ESA (the latter is affected by more different types of income). 

    As for what you can expect in the WRAG, well that varies enormously from area to area, but if your work-related activity was not accessible to you for transport reasons then I think you would have good reason to not comply with it - for example, because of lack of public transport and having no car. Any requirement to do work-related activity must be reasonable, and the geography and transport factors you have might make it unreasonable - so in the unlikely event you are asked to do something you can't get to, make sure you explain why to the DWP, and keep a record of your explanation and how and when you send it to them.

    You also mention your knee replacement surgery: that too would be a good reason not to take part in work-related activity & it would be a good idea to tell the DWP if you are going to be in hospital for a while in case you miss any post (there are also rules about ESA in hospital, but you'd have to be in for a long time for your benefit to be affected). 

    Finally, the good news is that once you are of pension age, your ESA will stop, and you'll get your state pension instead, so you won't have this worry much longer. It's worth checking if you can claim PIP before you're 65 (after 65, you can't get PIP, and this is relevant if you have problems moving around as the benefits system won't allow you to get help with mobility problems if you claim later, though obviously I hope the knee surgery will be successful). Also, once you're of pension age, I'd recommend getting an all round benefits check for other benefits including pension credit, and, if you pay rent, housing benefit - you could start this on the Age UK site nearer the time.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • tanzytanzy Posts: 16Member Listener
    Hi Thank you very much for all of your advice. I found out today why it is only £50; my son pays towards the rent. Although I do not see it, it is counting as part of my income, but I have querried it  in response to the print out they sent to me. We recieve something like £12 a week housing benefit so my son pays the bulk of rent and it goes straight to landlord although my name on lease. So hopefully that may get sorted out...They are aware of my knee surgery coming up. And good to hear that perhaps I wont have to go into work related. I would prefer to continue what I was doing ie self employment, if I am well enough before I get the pension. Too true ie looking forward to getting it, when I wont have to deal with paperwork and worry! When they changed pension age, I missed retiring last year by only two months, and then with the last pension change, I missed it again by a couple of months so have to wait til 64.and nine months, and in all of that time from two years before the initial retirement date of 60, I was struggling hoping I would last out, but the goal post kept changing. I even miss the pension credit date by only ten days!! ( Wish my mother had got her skates on way back when! (lol) Hoping I survive til November  and reckon so far the gov. owes me about £15,000 becuase of these changes which I had no notice off, bar a few months. All scaled in far too rapidly IMO.
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