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Soon to apply for ESA 1 month 2 days ago #252399

I have recently retired early on ill health grounds as a nurse in the NHS and have been awarded Tier Two from NHS Pensions (the higher tier) due to my ongoing chronic illness and not being able to continue in my role.Tier Two is awarded when on the balance of probabilities I will continue to be unable to undertake my role up to my retirement age. This was fully supported by my GP who wrote to confirm this. I was paid for 12 weeks which ends in November. My pension will commence in December. I will be claiming Contribution Based new style ESA after my last payment date at the end of November. I am obviously concerned that I may not automatically go into the support group but given that I have had to finish a career I love and that I could not remain at work in the capacity I was employed and that redeployment was not an option due to my illness I do not want to be placed in the work related category. At my meeting my manager said “if I was fit enough to work I would have remained in my post and that it was my inability to maintain a consistent attendance (due to my illness) not my ability to do my job”. I loved my job but had got to the stage where I could not carry on as I was having regular flare ups of an ongoing chronic illness despite medication. My point is if I was fit enough to stay in work I would have continued in my professional role and not chosen to go on benefits for the first time in my life. I am 59 and although I didn’t want to retire I have found that although I still get flare ups of my condition I recover quicker because I’m not having to drag myself into work when unwell. My condition is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory system and is therefore not always obvious. I was awarded Pip earlier this year due to my illness. Please can anyone advise sorry for the essay!! Karen.

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Soon to apply for ESA 1 month 2 days ago #252435

Karen

ESA has very specific criteria that a claimant will need to make for an award to be made, I'm afraid your ill health retirement will be of little if any help in showing that you meet this.

Have a look at our ESA/UC Claim guide for details of the criteria and how to explain your problems with each of the ESA activities.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/esa1

As you have a PIP award it would also be worth you having a look at our comparison of the two benefits, there are only limited areas of overlap but your PIP award may help you show that you meet the ESA criteria.

If you have more questions then please reply to this post and we will do our best to help.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Soon to apply for ESA 1 month 2 days ago #252447

Thank you for your reply Gordon would exceptional circumstances apply? as my GP would be able to verify that I still have regular flare ups requiring additional medications even though I’ve finished work, and that my flare ups can be so debilitating they stop me being able to do everyday activities for periods of time. This means I would be unable to sustain attendance at work whatever the job. Hence why I retired early from a job I loved. Also not being at work for a period of time has shown that trying to carry on working had been detrimental to my health. Thanks Karen

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Soon to apply for ESA 1 month 1 day ago #252485

Karen

Relying on the Exceptional Circumstances rules should only be a last resort as they are only considered if the claimant has failed to score sufficiently to be placed in the WRAG or has not met any of the SG Descriptors.

The ESA definition of work is very broad and is best described as any work, so this includes working from home with only basic targets being set. Also, they will consider whether appropriate medication or adjustments in the workplace would allow you to work.

Our ESA Claim guide includes a list of what is called Work Related Activity, this will give you an idea of what you would need to be unable to do for the SG.

Gordon

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Soon to apply for ESA 3 weeks 4 days ago #252745

Thanks Gordon my GP has written me a letter to send with my application stating that due to the frequency of my flare ups and the effect it has on my ability to work in any role he has said I am not fit enough for any kind of work as I would not be able to maintain attendance. Do you think this will help?

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Soon to apply for ESA 3 weeks 4 days ago #252755

Karen

I'm afraid I have to say no!

I realise that this is counter-intuitive but ESA does not assess whether you are fit for work or not it looks at whether you would be able to complete a set of what the DWP call work related activities if you are unable to then they will declare you unfit.

The letter makes no reference to these activities and your ability to carry them out and as I mentioned before, attending at a workplace is not a requirement and so the DWP will simply dismiss your GPs diagnosis that you are unfit for work.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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