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Does anyone else claim benefits for mental ill health?

(11 Posts)
Watchoutdailyfail Tue 10-May-11 23:05:38

I feel like the only person in the world - all the leaflets seem aimed at people who can't walk or who have learning disabilities. I get DLA for mobility and care, but about to see about applying for ESA too.

bittersweetvictory Wed 11-May-11 18:00:52

There has been a couple of threads on here about claiming ESA for mental health, i do remember one which the person who was claiming was also worried about it, in the end they got put in the support group.
The fact that you get DLA will help with your claim, i am helping my autistic son claim, at the moment he is on the assessment stage and i have just recieved the ESA 50 form which i have to fill in before we go through for the medical, i am dreading it, i managed to get his GP to sign him off for 6 months because they keep asking for GP certificate.
If i were you i would claim especially since you get DLA, i would also advise you to take someone with you when you get the medical.

Noop Thu 12-May-11 15:05:05

Yes I am on ESA and lower rate DLA for mobility and care. You have to be quite illl to get ESA though. Thesystem is not at all fair to those with mental health problems. My advise for ESA is to make sure you take someone with you when you go for your medical "for moral support" and answer every question as if you are having a really bad day. Also you only score "points" for quite strictly defined criteria, so find out what those are and fill in your form to fit them! I don't mean lie or make anything up, just choose your words carefully. HTH

Watchoutdailyfail Thu 12-May-11 23:03:14

Do you think it would be helpful to ask my care co-ordinator nurse woman (she's lovely, but I never know what her job title is) if she could come along if I get asked to go to a medical? Or my husband, who is my carer?

I get middle rate care and low mobility, I got temporalily sectioned a couple of months ago, I basically rattle with medication, you'd think that would be enough sad

Noop Sat 14-May-11 15:48:15

It ought to be, but like I said, it is not very fair. You are definitely entitled, but you have to jump through the right hoops to get it, IYKWIM! I'd get your husband to go with you, as he is your carer he can put in his oar about looking after you and how ill you have been. Make sure you hold hands and look at him frequently for support during the interview! Sounds crazy but I have been through two of these medicals. This first time I went on my own and the guy basically accused me of lying. The second time (over a year later) my husband took me and the medical bloke (SAME GUY AS LAST TIME) treated me completely differently and took me seriously! Also you have to be so careful how you answer the questions in the form. You only score points if what you write matches the criteria set by government. If you only write about stuff not covered, you don't score anything. The first time I only got one 6, and was borderline on scoring points in several other sections, so I didn't get it. Then I got worse and reapplied and scored three 6's so I got it.

Incidentally, if for any reason you don't get the benefit it is worth asking for it to be looked at again and if that doesn't work go for the tribunal. All the time that your case is being decided, you get paid the benefit. And if they still find against you, you don't have to pay anything back. And if you are still ill in six months you can make a fresh application and get it again. HTH

Noop Sat 14-May-11 15:51:24

Here is a link to the ESA criteria:
(If you scroll down the page the mental health criteria is at the bottom.)

Watchoutdailyfail Sat 14-May-11 17:33:00

Thanks for that. By my reckoning, I get somewhere between 42 and 75, so I should be ok.

But then I suppose, if I am having a good day, I could end up scoring 0. On a very bad day it would be a bloody miracle if I got to the appointment, never mind giving intelligable answers.

I suppose, in a weird plus, knowing that appointment was coming up would be likely to make me worse.

Watchoutdailyfail Sat 14-May-11 17:36:49

tbh, I was a bit iffy about only getting middle rate care DLA, but I suppose it averages out, and I'd rather get middle rate and have it secure than be worrying constantly about it. (and I would - I have an amazing ability to worry about anything!)

Noop Sat 14-May-11 21:35:12

And here is more information (including the criteria) from the direct gov website:

Noop Sat 14-May-11 21:38:43

Know the feeling about worrying! I invent all kinds of ridiculous scenarios at the drop of a hat smile

Jannie49 Fri 02-Sep-11 13:53:41

Just coming up to having to fill in the form. Ive been fretting for months on hearing about the changes to benefits. Someone I know who offers disability benefits advice said even if severity changes from day to day base it on your WORST day. Good advice. Talk about hitting the vulnerable groups though. Its disgusting. Im a volunteer in mental health and have heard of so many people with worsening mental health issues due to the constant worry these benefit changes have brought. Im ok with the form as have helped others with theirs. I made notes before I received it and its as long as your arm!
The medical sounds almost like a job interview in itself! ("Am I saying the right things?!")
I also heard they now ask a set of questions and have been told not to just give "yes" or "no" answers but to broaden it a bit with as much information as you can. If they bothered to even read the form or listen to the statement from a person's Gp you shouldnt need to do this, (yes, this seems to be happening!)
After searching high and low on internet It seems people migrating from IB to ESA wont take a drop in money, (please let this be true, it was my biggest worry and im sure everyone else's, £67?? when u have health probs, need to run a car for constant trips to hospital/docs and have to buy plenty of healthy fresh food because of the hypoglycemia, theyre having a laugh...I already have to wrap blankets round me in winter cos I cant afford to run the heating all day and thats on my current £90 or so a week.) Bet the moats and duck houses cost quite a bit more than £67.....
Good luck to everyone going through this. xx

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