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Hi, my name is nannyknowsbest - ESA/DLA and retirement questions

nannyknowsbestnannyknowsbest Posts: 2Member Connected
Well - actually my name is Paul  :) - my parents weren't that progressive.

I'm disabled after I broke my back, the fusion op failed and I ended up unable to walk, with nerves tangled in scar tissue and ectopic bone growth. I take 31 pills a day to cope with the constant pain. Life's not really a "bowl of cherries" - and it will never get better. I'm officially on palliative care for the rest of my life.

I'm 64 and currently on ESA and DLA (highest rates) but have little idea what happens in a year's time when I "officially" retire. It scares the life out of me to be honest.

I've just been called in for a "fitness to work" assessment - despite letters from my doctor, having been told I'd never be called again and the fact that our local assessment office has no lift, the outside has no disabled access and the reception is on the first floor.

I'm sure that potential employers are falling over themselves to hire a 64 year old person, who sleeps much of the day, is unable to sit up for more than 15 minutes, needs help going to the loo and may not even be able to get there on a "bad day"!! I could always try and get into parliament I suppose - the hours and abilities sound just about right

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,653Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @nannyknowsbest welcome to the community. I have moved your post to the Ask a Benefits adviser category so I hope you can get some support and information soon.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • serena09serena09 Posts: 13Member Listener
    ESA ends when you get your state pension but pip should not be effected, hope this helps 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,677Member Pioneering
    Hello. As serena09 says, ESA ends when you become state pension age, which would be when you are 65, and your PIP continues even after you reach 65, as long as you continue to meet the conditions for it. It is unusual to be called for an assessment at your age, especially when you are in the support group, but you can be called at any time. It may be an idea to write to Maximus (the providers of the assessment service) and ask for a home visit as the assessment centre is not accessible. You can then use this letter as an opportunity to list the limitations and difficulties you have, and it is possible that Maximus will then decide that there is no point in asking you in for an assessment. You are perfectly entitled to ask for a home visit if your disabilities mean you cannot use the assessment centre. 
    Another option you may consider is that at 64 you are officially not of 'working age' as far as means tested benefits are concerned. Even though you are still too young for state pension, you have reached the age when you can claim pension credit instead of ESA, as long as your income is under the threshold for your age and circumstances. It would be a good idea to talk to someone on the Scope Helpline about this: 0808 800 3333. You can also use the benefits calculator on the Scope website to compare your benefits if you stay on ESA or switch to pension credit. It may be an idea to check this out soon - if you decide to switch to pension credit, then you would not have to go through the ESA assessment process but you MUST do a proper comparison before you switch. The pension service helpine is also very good:0800 731 7898.
    Hope this helps!

    Jayne
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • JusticeJustice Posts: 206Member Pioneering
    @nannyknowsbest welcome to the Scope forum, I am sure you will gain a great deal from being here, and have some fun along the way! I love your sense of humour by the way. I can relate to what is happening with you regarding your ESA. My Husband who is profoundly deaf, and has Parkinson's Disease was also called for an assessment for ESA, 13 weeks before his retirement date. How stupid is that. He has been in the support group for four years. After his assessment he scored zero points and was told he is fit for work.

    Even if they just applied some logic it would be clear that four yrs down the line with a degenerative disease, he is not suddenly in a " Better place" The assessors report was full of lies, not only that but he has contradicted himself all the way through the report. A ten yr old could have done a better job. I ran it by a Solicitor, and it could actually be classed as fraudulent, but of course to take it to court would cost vast amounts of money, and I am sure this is how they keep getting away with this.

    We now have the mandatory reconsideration with them, also our MP has telephoned to try to chivvy things along a bit, no idea if this will work but every little helps , as they say. we have also written an official complaint to the company running the assessments, that is ongoing.

    I am writing a book on the plight of the Disabled in the UK with particular reference to the trials they are forced to undergo re all these asessments, but also positive, and funny tales anyone has to tell, it cannot be all doom and gloom.
    If you would like to tell me your Story, nannyknowsbest  then please e mail me and I will tell you more. No real names will be used. I do have the CEO of one of the major Charities who has said he would love to get involved, and that will help, for sure.
    My mail is : [email protected]
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