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ESA denied after appeal - early pension rights

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I am not sure if this is the correct place on this site for queries about the State Pension

but could see no mention of pensions anywhere so someone might point me to another section.


This is a little complicated but here goes.



I was on ESA back in 2010, got put in support group for 6 months (letter appeared 2 weeks before my appeal hearing)

but then 4 months later I had to start the process again with another E50 (?) form to fill in and new ATOS medical.



Of course I failed the medical and lodged an appeal immediately in I think June of 2011

- it took some time to get the ATOS appoinment.



My appeal took even longer, although then you still received the basic ESA of around £70 per week while awaiting appeal.

I believe now this is not the case and you have to go on JSA until the appeal is heard, something I could not cope with.


I finally got the appeal hearing in October 2012 which I failed and my benefit was immediately stopped.



Due to my health issues (mental health) I find it impossible to face going into the Job Centre to register for JSA.

I had to give up my flat and stay with various friends around the country.



In 2013 I managed with some difficulty to find work, through an agency which was very irregular,

only 4 shifts in two months, while I was staying with a friend.



I then found a permanent position but only lasted 8 weeks as it was more than I could cope with.


Faced with the prospect of not having any income until my state pension in 2020

(I am one of the unlucky ones who has to wait until I am 66)



I took my modest savings (under the limit for claiming benefits) and came to live in Turkey,

where I can manage on just £30 per week for everything!



However I am not sure my savings are going to last another 6 years, even here prices go up.




what are the criteria for receiving the state pension early (although technically not early as all my working life

I thought I would be claiming it this week when I turn 60!) on health grounds?



I know if you are terminally ill you can get it sooner but how do they class terminal illness?



My condition is permanent and although I have repeatedly tried to work during the past

it does not last long before I am again unable to do so.



I cannot cope with going into the Job Centre to answer their questions and fill in their forms.

I am not comfortable around people which is why I cannot last long in jobs.



I know this sounds like a feeble excuse but I can assure you it is a very real problem.

Receiving my pension early would relieve all the stress of having to come back to the UK

and try to sign on for JSA or try (and fail again) to claim ESA and then try to find a flat and live on £71 per week,

which as everyone knows is incredibly difficult.


Is there anyone on here that can point me in the direction of who to contact for answers to this question?


Many thanks for reading.

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It is going to be very difficult. You would have to return to the last UK council area where you were resident. You would need to get a UK Doctors assessment of your condition and apply for ESA. The council where you were last resident would be responsible for assessing a housing benefit claim and they will have to offer temporary accommodation until something permanent is sorted out. If you needed money before your ESA payment was provided you may have to apply for hardship funds from Job Centre Plus (DWP).


You will not be signed off as unfit for work forever and will be expected to obtain relevant treatment for your condition. There will be a work capability assessment made and you may have to attend a work related activity group, where they try to help.


As has been said, I don't think will get any pension until you reach 66 and will be expected to work or pursue work until you reach 66.


If you want to find out more, you should perhaps think about writing to your last member of parliament when you had a permanent residence in the UK. Explain your situation to them and ask for information that will help you move back to the UK, where you will need some assistance.

We could do with some help from you.



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Thanks for the reply but I was in the UK earlier this year to try to work again but ended up in hospital. On discharge I could not find accommodation and the local council where I had been staying with a friend informed me that I was not entitled to emergency housing, having been out of the country. Which is why I had to leave again against medical advice. I may have enough savings to last 6 years but had heard of people receiving their state pensions early in certain circumstances and was seeking further information on this, should it be necessary to try to claim it. I was in contact with my MP in 2010 about my ESA and considered contacting him again now, but as I am not resident in the UK would he be able to help with information? That is why I posted here, to find out more information. Thanks anyway. My current condition is manageable if I do not have to mix with large numbers of people, something I would have to do to apply for JSA - the job centre experience is far too daunting! As I have already had an appeal against losing ESA turned down I would not want to go through that whole process again. As I said, waiting for an appeal now means switching to JSA, which I cannot do. I will just have to stretch my savings as far as possible and hope they last 6 more years!

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Hello again.


I can't find anything online about early State pensions, you could try contacting the DWP in Newcastle. They also have a separate section for people who are retiring abroad.


If you're unable to work, can you claim benefits where you live now?



Illegitimi non carborundum




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HB thanks, I don't know where I saw that terminally ill people can get an early state pension. I also cannot find it online but I know of people that have done it. And no, not even locals can claim benefits here! I should be OK but as there is a petition circulating at the moment about reversing the increase in pension age back to what it was for people who started work believing they could retire at 60, I thought it might be worth enquiring about exceptions in unusual circumstances.


I know with people living longer the pension age had to rise but that should have applied to people now joining the workforce and not people that had already worked 40 plus years and are now expected to work another 6.

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Thanks Lilly that's what I was beginning to think too. People tend to talk rubbish - don't know why they tell people they got an early state pension if they didn't!


I know, its tough as it is.

Put my date of birth into the calculator for state pension 2023 (if I live that long) and the posts have not moved again by then.

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My mother belongs to a self help group, several of whom have retired early from work because of poor health. None of whom, so far as we know, have claimed state retirement pension before they have reached state pension age. Any chance you are confusing state retirement pension with pension credit? In some circumstances men can claim earnings related pension credit, instead of employment and support allowance, if they are over the current state pension age for a woman.


Department for Work and Pensions defines terminal illness as 'suffering from a progressive disease, and death in consequence of that disease can reasonably be expected within six months'. A DS1500 medical report can accelerate a claim under the special rules for employment and support allowance or personal independence payment, but not state retirement pension.


You may be able to get some help from the following links:







To check for residency issues.



Who have a free helpline.




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Thanks Lilly that's what I was beginning to think too. People tend to talk rubbish - don't know why they tell people they got an early state pension if they didn't!


I do seem to remember some groups of people getting government help earlier, but these I believe were ex miners and ex armed forces who were too ill to ever work again. There were specific arrangements set up for them and not really to do with the standard state pension scheme.


I think once you leave the UK, the UK government almost stops being interested. Until you present yourself as destitute and in need of help, you won't receive any. Even then the current government are more than likely to put you in touch with charity organisations.


I would suggest that you contact the MP you last contacted and see whether they can provide information. The British embassy in Turkey may be able to assist as well, as I should imagine they have previous UK citizens contact them, who find that they need to leave Turkey to seek help in the UK.

We could do with some help from you.



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