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So confused

I am completely in the dark about what to do next, our lives have suddenly  become more complicated than I can deal with, all because of the power DWP has over us. My husband has just been awarded standard care PIP but we are waiting to find out if the DWP are going to appeal against it.   I have lots of things on my mind but I am going into hospital next week and can't sort anything out as I'm having an ankle fusion and have been told to expect a few weeks being completely non weight bearing.  At present I am on ESA and my husband is on my claim.  We both get the severe disability payment. I am due to get my State pension on 6th March next year and I am trying to find out if that means we will lose the severe disability payments.  I attended a work related interview last month and was told I can stay on ESA and defer my State Pension but the young man who interviewed my had no idea why I was there and not in the Support group and kept asking me to apply for a re-assessment.  I have no idea what to do.  If I could still get some help with disability payments and claim my Pension I would rather do that.  Can anyone help I would be really grateful.  Thanks for reading my moans, I am usually a cheerful person but we have had so much worry financially over the last year its had a bad effect on me.  I will get back to what is normal for me eventually but the power that organisations have over our quality of life really depresses me just now.

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Disability Gamechanger Posts: 13,333Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Pension alone wouldn't qualify you for Severe disability premium but if you were claiming pension credit topup this would qualify you.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Pioneering Posts: 2,677Member Pioneering
    Hi LynneR,

    By "severe disability payments" I am guessing you mean that you get the "severe disability premium" as part of your income-related ESA claim?
    Once you have reached state pension age you can apply for Pension Credit, which is the means-tested top-up for pensioners (similar to ESA IR only in the way that ESA is a means-tested benefit for working age people who cannot work due to ill health). Whether you get Pension Credit or not will depend on your joint income, which will include any private or occupational pensions you may receive but the Pension Credit calculation will include the severe disability premiums as part of its means-tested assessment of your needs. Your PIP will continue after State Pension age as long as you continue to satisfy the criteria. 
    If you defer your State Pension you will still be treated as receiving it even if you are not for means-tested benefits like IR ESA and Pension Credit as it is income that is available or you on application that you are choosing not to take. The DWP see is it as though you can't expect to receive help from the state if you are choosing not to take an income that is available to you.
    As far as the work-related interviews go, you have these because you are in the work-related activity group. Unless these interviews are causing you a lot of stress there isn't much point in asking for a reassessment for the support group in my opinion because by the time they've asked you to attend a medical and got around to making a decision you'll be getting your State Pension anyway. It may be worth it financially for an extra approximately £30 a week but not for the purposes of getting in the support group solely to avoid these interviews.
    Once you reach State Pension age it's always better to come off ESA and go onto Pension Credit instead. There is no benefit, financially or otherwise of trying to stay on ESA.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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