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Can't work due to illness, not sure what to do about benefits


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Hi all,

 

I have sleep apnoea (diagnosed a few weeks ago as a severe case) and am frequently so tired that I cannot work, or cannot work effectively (e.g. fall asleep in meetings, feel like a zombie all day so i can't perform up to the standard that an employer would require of me)

 

I have lost 3 jobs over the last 5 years due to this, although at the time I was unaware of why I felt so awful.

 

My current position is as follows:

 

- I am unemployed.

- I would like to be working and lead a normal life.

- I have begun treatment for my condition but it is not working yet and it's unlikely to resolve within the next few months.

- I don't feel like I can apply for jobs because, in my current state, my performance will be so variable that an employer won't tolerate it, therefore i will be dismissed again.

 

Has anyone any idea what I can do about benefits?

As I see it

- jobseekers allowance is not possible because I'm not looking for a job

- sick pay is not possible because I am unemployed

- some sort of disability allowance maybe?

 

I'm unsure if I could qualify for the personal independence payment. I checked using the calculator on the benefits and work website and I score enough points to qualify. The problem there for me is that my day to day activities aren't affected every day, only on the bad days which occur on average about 2-4 days per week so would that disqualify me?

 

If anyone can help me with this, I'd be very grateful. It's causing me massive stress!

 

Thanks,

Oliver

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ESA is for people who can't work and PIP is for people who have a health condition which means they have care and /or mobility needs. You need to score at least 15 points to stay on ESA.

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Thanks for that. I had no idea what ESA was until now.

 

I've completed the questionnaire about ESA and scored 21 points. It says I would be placed in the work related activity group.

 

I don't think I'd qualify for contribution based ESA and my wife works full-time so I'm not sure about income-related and I can't find the earnings limit anywhere.

Also, I still would like to know if PIP is a possibility with my impairment being sporadic.

 

Thanks again for your help so far,

Oliver

 

edit: I've completed a calculator for ESA on the entitled to website and it says I'm not entitled to anything so I guess my only possibility is PIP. Does anyone know if I'm disqualified from that too, given what I've posted above?

Edited by ojones
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The fact that your wife works will not disqualify you from PIP if you meet the conditions/score sufficient points. PIP is not means tested and is available to anyone who qualifies whether or not the claimant (or their partner) works. It's also not dependent on your receiving any other benefit - that is, you could be entitled to PIP, ESA, both or neither.

 

Regarding ESA, if your wife works more than 24 hours (or exactly 24 hours) per week you would not be entitled. If she works less than 24 hours, your entitlement would be worked out based on her weekly net earnings and the applicable amount of ESA for a couple. It would go something like this, with numbers approximate:

 

Couples ESA weekly amount, assessment rate: £115

Wife's earnings disregarded: £10 per week

and the remainder of her earnings would be fully taken into account (that is, deducted) from your weekly ESA payment.

 

As an example, if your wife earned £100 per week after tax and NI, £90 of that would be deducted from your ESA leaving you with £25 per week payable. If she earned more than £135 per week you would not be entitled to ESA. Again, I stress that my figures here are approximate, and there are other factors that could affect your weekly amount such as any savings you have, entitlements to other benefits and so on. Any PIP you were entitled to would be disregarded when your ESA entitlement is calculated.

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Antone - there's a £20 disregard if you're disabled. Would that apply instead of the £10?

 

To claim PIP, you need to have the care and /or mobility needs for at least 3 months and expect them to last for another 9 months.

 

If on income based ESA - you have up to £6000 before ESA is affected. For every £250 (or part of) £1 per week is deducted. If you have savings of £16k or more, you're not entitled to any income based benefits. Income based ESA entitles you to full housing and council tax support.

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Antone - there's a £20 disregard if you're disabled. Would that apply instead of the £10?

 

 

Yes, it would apply if the claimant or partner is in receipt of PIP (care) or DLA (middle/higher rate care).

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Hi Oliver,

 

Just a quick message - well done on the diagnosis. Keep to the treatment. I have had the same symptoms in the past - I was diagnosed 2 years ago, and have responded successfully to CPAP treatment. Keep at it. It is uncomfortable to begin with having a mask on all night..

 

I am now able to sleep solid for 7-8 hours per night and be fully able to work for the whole day - the energy levels are a vast improvement, I am an accountant so I need to concentrate :-)

 

Remember if you drive, it is a requirement that you maintain treatment as the doctors have duty of care to inform DVLA of any medical conditions that can force a revocation of license. Ongoing and responsive treatment is a requirement.

 

Good Luck, if you find the mask / air uncomfortable, change the mask and request a humidifier attachment - this prevents the dry throat / red skin. A heated tube also prevents the humidified water condensing back and sounding like a hubba pipe when inhaling ;-)

 

Chris

 

Would it not be worth applying for JSA - you do want a job and what about the stamp contributions ?

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Would it not be worth applying for JSA - you do want a job and what about the stamp contributions ?

 

Stamp contributions are paid to those on ESA as well, including those who are unable to receive any actual payments because of household income, partner's earnings and so on. Whether the stamp is in itself worth the hassle of signing on or claiming ESA is dependent on a person's circumstances - age, contributions already made and so on.

 

When it comes to JSA, a claimant must declare that they are available for, fit for and actively seeking employment. Merely wanting a job in principle is not sufficient if the claimant would be unable to actually do a job. Of course, I am not attempting to persuade the OP one way or another, and some allowances can be made for those whose health conditions restrict the sort of work they can do. In the end, though, I'd certainly be cautious about claiming JSA if I were in the OP's position.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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