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Not being able to work because of mh. What benefits would I be entitled to?

(12 Posts)
VibeLover Fri 26-Feb-16 12:16:16

Had mental health issues to varying degrees all my adult life.
I was fortunate that while my children were young I was able to be a sahm as my exDH earned a good salary.
In 2004 I started my own business and worked very hard despite sometimes being very ill on and off with anxiety and depression. During this time I was taking several types of medication and receiving counselling and cbt.
Divorced in 2009 and now living in rented house.
18 months ago I had to give up work due to my mh, which was at the worst it had ever been. I didn't care about anyone or anything and if it hadn't been for my children I wouldn't be around today. I always had in the back of my mind that I couldn't do that to them.
I haven't been claiming any benefits because I had savings. I haven't even told HMRC that I'm no longer working.

Does anyone know what if anything I will be able to claim if my GP signs me off sick.?

Its me and 2 DC. Because of a low income we already receive partial Housing Benefits and CTC


Marchate Fri 26-Feb-16 12:48:47

I think Employment and Support Allowance. Tell HMRC that you are no longer trading. Do that today!

Depending on how your condition affects you, maybe Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Look on citizen advice website, and

I hope you get the help you need

annandale Fri 26-Feb-16 12:54:18

Get some benefits advice from Mind. Apply for benefits with their help as believe me it is a tough process.

Think about your national insurance contributions. If you get the child benefit you should still have NI. Ring hmrc and find out, as well as telling them your current situation.

None of this is easy or helpful to your recovery but if you get through it you can really pat yourself on the back for staying on top of it.

NanaNina Fri 26-Feb-16 14:07:57

It's an uphill struggle claiming benefits now, especially when you have mental health issues. As Marchgate has said you need to apply for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and there are 2 groups WRAG (work related activity group) where they call you in to do crap stuff like CVs and interview techniques. The other group under ESA is the support group where they leave you alone but I think you have to be dead to qualify for this group!

They will probably make you have a Work Capability Test (WCT) which is carried out by some private company that the govt have paid a massive amount of funding. They are para medics (so could be a nurse, OT or something similar) They ask about what you can do (physically) and score your answer and most of the Qs are about physical health. They don't understand the nature of mental health, that it can fluctuate from day to day or even through the day. Anyway you gave to score 15 to be deemed unfit for work and then put in one of the ESA groups. If you don't score 15 you get put on Jobseekers Allowance (about £70 a week) when they call you in on a daily basis sometimes and you have to provide proof that you are applying for jobs. It's a total nightmare.

Good luck!

Marchate Fri 26-Feb-16 14:30:42

My daughter is in this situation. She applied for ESA early December. Still has not had any payments. She hopes to get PIP but who can tell!

The process is Kafkaesque

VibeLover Fri 26-Feb-16 14:37:20

Thank you all.
Will get in touch with Mind and check out both websites today.
I'm not concerned about whatever 'tests' they want to do on me to decide eligibility as you can see by just looking at me that I'm not fit to work.

Marchate Fri 26-Feb-16 14:39:17

Fantastic! Start today

annandale Fri 26-Feb-16 14:47:35

I'd agree the tests shouldn't be an issue and maybe they are better than they were a few years ago but if you get told you are fit to work when you aren't, don't be devastated and do take Mind advice about appealing. We are a terrific success story in the stats as after dh claimed, was rated completely fit to work, appealed and had benefits reinstated on the morning of the hearing without going to tribunal, he was retarded months in his recovery and I basically told him to pull out of the process when the review letter came after two whole months of peace hmm I believe the process has changed since then but you MUST get support.

cubechair Fri 26-Feb-16 15:22:05

I've been out of work for nine years due to MH issues and I get ESA and PIP. Getting a certain level of PIP also increases your ESA rate. I am in the support group for ESA which is harder to get into but I'm certainly not quite dead yet! Neither are easy to get but if you have medical evidence and professional opinions to support your claims it makes it more likely.

How old is your youngest dc? If they under 5 you could claim Income Support instead which pays about the same as ESA and avoids the hassle of the WCA.

VibeLover Fri 26-Feb-16 18:42:19

The children still at home are 13 and 14
Hugs and best wishes to you all, its a nightmare having such uncertainty on top of mh issues sad

cubechair Fri 26-Feb-16 19:36:16

Ah, they're too old for you to claim IS then. Definitely put in a claim for ESA then. Also a pp mentioned Child Benefit and NI credits (for pension) - it's only paid for Child Benefit for under 12s so it's important to think about that. You get NI credits with ESA so all the more reason to put a claim in.

VibeLover Fri 26-Feb-16 21:15:54

Thank you cubechair

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