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Gutting to hear Mr P. I really had no idea at all.


It looks like I could be in trouble with that. I declared myself on nil income with housing benefit back in April/May, which as mentioned worked out as £50 short of what the government says I need to live on per week. So I gathered that unless I earned more than what the law says I need to live on, theres nothing to mention.


At 1 point, I was wondering about becoming self employed with the earnings. I spoke to someone at citizens advice who said the earnings are nowhere near enough to be self employed.


So I carried on until recently reading up that survey earnings are taxable income.


Im guessing now that if I dont say anything to the ESA team when I phone to claim, I will be in trouble if they find out. Whereas if I do say I earn £20 a week maximum to them, I will be in trouble for not declaring it to the housing benefit team.

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I know all about the troubles of problem and pathological gambling and its complex causes so am not judging. Personally I found GA to be far too simplistic in their approach.


I a glad that you have treating the anxiety that you suffer from but it I may suggest, sometimes confiding in a GP can help although I believe that Gambling is a problem that is not recognised by the state largely because, in my opinion, it provided too much revenue and employment


I can not give advice on the ESA part I am afraid. I am curious as to why you think that now you 'should' have a certain amount of money

Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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Thanks flecth, first.... I should have a certain amount? As in why I should be entitled? (Sorry if I read it wrong) I lose my home eventually otherwise. I was on carers allowance until mum died in February as I cared for her. They carried on paying this for 8 weeks after the death of mum (government rules). After, both CA and HB were stopped. As I was in a bad place I claimed HB on a "nil income" basis. When the inheritance came through, I declared it to the HB team who calculated I am entitled to full HB still as when they calculated my income (£1 for every £250 over £6000) it was £25 a week income, but in the letter they showed the law says I need £75 to live on per week. Since capital made it under that figure, HB was paid in full.


My intentions were to claim ESA right away at a reduced rate by being signed off by my GP. I didn't get round to it though as I struggled with the death of mum, all paperwork I had to do, gambling slips and I was taken to hospital after trying to end my life.


In theory, I was entitled to ESA many years ago as the chronic anxiety has been a long term illness. Yet GP's in the area I lived didn't understand mental health too well and didn't sign me off or give me the help I badly needed. If I was given the help back then and been signed off, I would have gone through the help, hopefully been at some point where I am fit to work and then got a job while caring for mum voluntarily. So I struggled for the last 5 years alone with no medical intervention.


Quite recently I plucked up the courage to see a GP in this new area I live. It took a hell of a lot for me to go because of the anxiety and depression. I finally went last week, they saw me, offered me a lot of help and had insisted signing me off in 1 go for 3 months.


So thats where i'm at now. My overall capital is under £6000. According to the GP, I can be expected to be signed off long term. He said to me "There is no way you are fit to work now or for quite some time". So I could either carry on supporting myself out of my inheritance, which wont last that long at all, (Bills alone are almost £300 a month... Gas, water, electric, phone, internet, pet insurance, council tax, mobile phone) or claim ESA.


My ESA claim should be straightforward as I can prove the gambling addiction, but there are problems with survey earnings.


It's due to there being so many conflicting views on earnings from surveys. With the advice I had been given until now mostly being it isn't enough to declare myself as self employed so unless I earned over a certain amount, I wouldn't need to do anything.


However more recently I found out that I should have been declaring that amount (even though the average earnings are barely £7 a week, with a maximum of £20).



Yeah like take my recent slip up....


I had self excluded at that casino previously a few years ago, but they were still sending me promo material in the post, via email and by phoning me up. Recently I was at a low point at home and saw a promo email from them which threw me over the edge with temptation, so I started gambling there and lost a lot of money.


The next day, when the damage had been done I had an email off them telling me my account had been terminated as I had previously self excluded. They said in the email that had I won, my winnings and deposits would have been forfeited anyway. So little did I know that regardless if I had won or lost, I would have lost.


I did mention addiction to a different GP ages ago, but they only gave me leaflets for GA and Gamcare

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Been up all night worrying... Just to also ask, on the ESA form it says about sending my last P45?


I haven't been in a job since 2012. But 1 of the questions on the forms says I would need to send them my P45

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