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TOPIC: ESA and going to Recovery College

ESA and going to Recovery College 4 days 15 hours ago #226012

Hi

My primary wellness tool to better manage my mental health issues is to attend recovery courses at my local recovery college. I am in the support group for ESA. My question is: does attending courses at my recovery college fall into the definition of 'work' as used within the Permitted Work rules? I need to know whether the 16 hour rule applies to seeking to improve my mental health through attendance at my recovery college.

Thank you.

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ESA and going to Recovery College 4 days 15 hours ago #226018

Charlie

Work requires payment so no, these won't be classed as this.

Just be careful that your attending or the result of your attending is not seen as an improvement in your conditions because if it is then you need to notify the DWP which will almost certainly result in your award being reassessed.

Gordon

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

ESA and going to Recovery College 2 days 20 hours ago #226176

Hi Gordon

I appreciate your response.Can I seek further clarification?

I am in receipt of the ESA50 'questionnaire' as we speak and working upon my submission. That was the origin for my initial enquiry re what constitutes work. Your response has raised a further enquiry. My mental health is in freefall and has been for the last 4 months. It is therefore arguable that attendance at college has not helped me manage my mental health issues over that period. Your answer re the consequences of an improvement in health through taking up recovery courses has left me in a quandary about disclosure as I have been a student at college for 2 years. In the real world, there have been both improvements and setbacks over that extended period. I don't know what is the best course of action in the circumstances. I appreciate that it would be inappropriate to directly advise on this point.

That, gets me to the critical question of timescales used by the DWP/Maximus for the assessment of the effect of mental health upon capabilities. If it's anything less than 4 months, then there isn't a problem. If it's more than 4 months, I will have to have to take into account mood swings over an extended period.

Apologies for the lengthy discourse. I am understandably worried and clarification of the timescale question would help me provide an accurate representation of the effects of my mental health.

Thank you in advance.

Charlie

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ESA and going to Recovery College 2 days 16 hours ago #226192

Charlie

Do you know how you qualified for ESA the last time you were assessed?

The issue will be whether your attending college contradicts the reasons that you have an award.

However, that said as you now have an ESA50 I would not worry about whether you have compromised your claim and concentrate on completing the form based on how you are now. Please use our ESA Claim guides to help you, they have the latest DWP guidance.

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

There are considerable delays in the ESA assessment process at the moment, some members have reported waiting nine months or more, if your conditions continue to deteriorate then you can update the information you have supplied up to and including the day of any face to face you might have.

Gordon

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

ESA and going to Recovery College 2 days 1 hour ago #226227

Gordon

That is such a helpful response. All being well, I can now get past my 'writer's block' and recommence working on completion of my ESA50.

Before I got the dreaded questionnaire, I was already struggling with bipolar disorder (rapid cycling) and EUPD traits. As a direct consequence of receipt of the assessment form, my anxiety is now running wild. The three conditions are ganging up on me. This is hell on earth. I'm gobsmacked that the DWP can assert that the ESA50 does not have a serious deleterious effect upon people living with mental health conditions. I am in bits, the worst I've been in decades.

Be assured that I have support out there to help me through a extremely difficult time.

Thank you so very much.

Charlie
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