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Been told I can’t claim ESA with seizures

(48 Posts)
Chocywockydodahhhhhh Wed 21-Feb-18 14:38:20

Been to get some advice from citizens advice today about claiming ESA. I have given up work as i am having 15 plus seizures a week. The effects last hours and I lose my memory and can go back to thinking I am a lot younger then I am.
The women said I won’t be able to claim ESA on seizures alone and would have to claim job seekers
Does anyone have experience of this, I am currently having up to 3 seizures a day

UpstartCrow Wed 21-Feb-18 14:41:47

Thats ridiculous, I cant imagine its true. If you have a hospital consultant get them involved, ask them for a letter detailing the effects of your condition. Make copies of it and use it for your claims.

You may be entitled to PIP.

Chocywockydodahhhhhh Wed 21-Feb-18 14:42:43

I am currently applying for pip and have a gps letter and a specialists letter that says I have up to 20 seizures a week

SmashedMug Wed 21-Feb-18 14:46:01

If your seizures affect your ability to work, you can apply for ESA. You've got medical evidence too. I would disregard what she said and apply for it.

PinkBuffalo Wed 21-Feb-18 15:57:19

I would apply for it anyway and disregard too. Does this woman work for atos?? Sounds like you should be claiming so go for it.
flowers to you though, you must be absolutely exhausted amongst everything else

Onprozacandmyhighhorse Wed 21-Feb-18 16:01:09

If your GP gives you a med cert saying you are unfit for work you claim ESA. You can't claim JSA if you've not fit to work.

tealady Wed 21-Feb-18 16:06:14

Have a read here. It sounds like ESA would be the right option but difficult to be sure without all the relevant info....

dangermouseisace Wed 21-Feb-18 16:08:57

If seizures mean you can’t work for more than 50% of the time then esa sounds feasible. Do you have a diagnosis/take medication?

PerkingFaintly Wed 21-Feb-18 16:11:58

Definitely worth putting in a claim for ESA.

Citizen's Advice Bureaux seem really variable in the quality of advice, so I'd never take what they say as gospel.

WunWegWunDarWun Wed 21-Feb-18 16:18:47

I'm presuming they meant seizures without a diagnosis of what's causing them?

DGRossetti Wed 21-Feb-18 16:19:24

The women said I won’t be able to claim ESA on seizures alone and would have to claim job seekers

Personally I'd put a claim in, and see what the DWP say. Random strangers handing out advice is no basis for a system of welfare ...

PencilsInSpace Wed 21-Feb-18 16:19:41

You've been poorly advised. This number of seizures should score you 15 points on its own, which is what you need to qualify for ESA. Also, if you lose control of bowels or bladder at least once a week during seizures you should be placed in the 'support group' which is a higher rate and they leave you alone - they don't make you do 'work related activities'.

Sometimes charities related to specific conditions have good guides for claiming ESA and PIP.

hellswelshy Wed 21-Feb-18 16:20:10

That's untrue (I work in benefits). As a pp said, if you have current medical evidence or can obtain this from your gp, you can apply. Obviously without knowing the rest of your circumstances I wouldn't be able to tell you if you would qualify (there are two elements of ESA, contributions based and Income based), but you definitely need to apply. Funnily enough a friend recently was told by a Macmillan representative that she shouldn't apply for ESA as she had more than 16k savings - not mentioning or realising that the contributory element wouldn't take that into account! ! Best advice? Always apply for it, the worst you will get is a no after all.

DGRossetti Wed 21-Feb-18 16:20:23

Link to the form, if you want to do it online ...

DGRossetti Wed 21-Feb-18 16:20:34

posted too soon

PencilsInSpace Wed 21-Feb-18 16:28:22

There's a full list of descriptors and points if you scroll down to Appendix 1 and 2 at the bottom of this page.

Bombardier25966 Wed 21-Feb-18 16:32:09

I'm presuming they meant seizures without a diagnosis of what's causing them?

A diagnosis is not vital to an award, especially where expert medical evidence is available.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 21-Feb-18 16:36:10

I think you've been the wrong advice there.
Supposing for example you're a HGV Driver and you were to have a seizure. Imagine the carnage and catastrophe.

PencilsInSpace Wed 21-Feb-18 16:37:31

Epilepsy society has some useful tips here for completing benefit forms. These will be relevant whether or not you have a diagnosis of epilepsy, it's all about how your condition affects you, rather than having a specific diagnosis.

Good luck, and if you're not successful don't be afraid to challenge the decision. Also maybe feed back to the CAB - they'll probably want to know if someone there is giving out the wrong advice.

StormTreader Wed 21-Feb-18 16:43:45


Graphista Wed 21-Feb-18 16:45:48

I am NOT a fan of cab especially in this area.

Without knowing the full circumstances nobody here can say definitively - but neither could she.

My advice is to get an application form but DO NOT complete it yourself. The forms are designed in such a way that it really requires people with good experience of the system to complete them.

I always use my local welfare rights office at the council, we also have a very good welfare rights charity near us that offer the service but they're so good they're very popular so it can be quite a while until you get an appointment. Charities specific to conditions can also be very well up on how to complete the forms.

Aside from the experience with the system/paperwork I've found having someone objective to do it for you they also remind you of things you dismiss/wouldn't include but would make a huge difference to the claim.

backaftera2yearbreak Wed 21-Feb-18 16:49:06

You have been badly advised. Please do apply. Someone above has posted the correct guidelines. I’m a welfare rights advisor in a LOcal authority. Based on what your saying, with evidence, you may be placed straight into the support group. And then write to the CAB and complain.

Becca19962014 Wed 21-Feb-18 16:50:08

It's difficult to claim for seizures but NOT impossible.

You can no longer get support group for having seizures so you'll be in work group and need to attend work focused interviews, perhaps that was what CAB were thinking about.

You'll need letters and those letters must detail your meds, why they aren't working, those you have tried, treatments tried and all side effects and how they effect your day to day life and you'll be expected to confirm with hospital attendence that you have so many (this can be difficult as patients can be advised not to attend everytime - I've been advised this).

Youll need to go into a lot of detail on the form e.g. Things like being incontience during a seizure (assuming you are) and difficulties doing things because of the risk of a seizure.

It's very likely you'll be refused and need to appeal - it's becoming harder and harder to get ESA for seizures alone.

I don't know if your area has transferred so you'll need to claim universal credit instead (which has slightly different questions and criteria) but the esa50 (medical questionnaire) is online here and that gives you an idea of what needs you'll need to have.

There's an online tool for claiming as well which is here and I suggest you have a look at that as well.

Becca19962014 Wed 21-Feb-18 16:53:56

Another thing to mention is injuries you've had from seizures.

PerkingFaintly Wed 21-Feb-18 17:30:48

What they said. ^

I'm not in a position to say ESA will definitely be awarded (others seem to know more), but you're well into the territory where it's worth claiming and being assessed.

As others have said, it's important to include all the effects the seizures and medication have, like incontinence and cognitive issues.

General advice for filling in the forms.
1) Don't be afraid to repeat yourself. Use the text boxes to add extra information and spell out that your health condition is the cause each time: "because of my epilepsy, X happens; because of my epilepsy, I have to do Y."

2) If the answer to a Q isn't a straight Y or N, then don't write your answer in the form "Yes, but..." Instead answer, "No, unless..."

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