esa and dla

My employment and support allowance runs out end of this month. I had to appeal against decision last year because i scored zero points. According to them im capable of work,i lost my job because i was not capable of working. If only David Cameron was me for week !!!. Im waitng to here for dla for the third time.

it is shocking,who there commputer thinks is fit for work,i know someone 14 years with MS had to do same as us forced out of work,and ggot 0 points at there,ESA medical,the person is only reading questions from computer,and maybe putting down wot u say,,get the apeal in ,you will get all money owed back


Is your ESA running out because you have had 12 months of contribution based ESA that is now coming to an end?

It does not mean that you are fit to work only that you will no longer get ESA based on your NI contributions.

There are a couple of ways forward:

  1. You can apply for income based ESA. You do not have to prove your eligibility again just the income coming into the household. Basically if you have a working partner, savings or a pension you will most likely not be eligible.
  2. You can try to get into the support group in ESA where the time limits do not apply. If your condition has worsened and you think that you now meet the criteria for getting into the support group you can ask for your claim to be looked at again. The downside is that thousands of people will be doing this over the next few months and the backlog will be huge so don’t expect a quick resolution.

Have you come across the Benefits ad Work website? It’s £20.00 a year and worth every penny as there are very good guides for ESA and DLA.


Hello Jane,

"Benefits ad Work website? It’s £20.00 a year",

Can I have the web address for that please.  Recently I had to stop work as a free lance computer contractor because MS became too chronic.  I'm now in receipt of ESA, not heard anything from HMG so I want to know where I stand and what else is available,



I don't know where to go with this one, years ago my MS nurse offered to help me claim DLA but as I was working at the time I felt I didn't really qualifiy.  I'm now in the unenivable position of having being off sick for 6 months, down to half pay and not really sure if I will ever be fit to go back to my job.  I really need some advice about what is available.  Outwardly I appear fine, but the fatigue is crippling, not able to manage the school run without almost falling down with exhaustion when i get home, can't do things that most people take for granted (making all the beds in the house takes me all day, I run out of steam half way around the supermarket).

Hi Patric

it’s Theres lots of free advice but you need to join to get at the meat and potatoes.


The first thing to apply for is DLA because that is not dependent on you working or not. The form is a monster and you really need help filling it in. Help from someone like CAB or Welfare rights or self help from the website I mentioned to Patrick (

As you have had full sick pay for 6 months I will surmise that you also have a pension scheme. Retiring early due to ill health is something that you can look into as you feel that you will not return to work. Every scheme is different and I can’t advice you on that but your HR department should be able to help. My pension was pro rata for years served but some lucky people are able to retire early on what they would have got if they worked till 65.

If you have mortgage protection insurance you might be able to get something from them. Again it depends on the scheme – they might make your payments for 2 years or pay the mortgage off altogether.

Once you have left work (if you get half pay for 6 months don’t be in a rush to leave. Half pay might be better than pension plus benefit. Work it out first. Work might want to terminate you before the year is up though, mine didn’t) you need to apply for Employment Support Allowance. I could type for 6 weeks and still not have told you everything about this benefit but you can find out all you need to know at Benefits and work.

When you come to work out your finances there are a couple of important things that you should know.

  • An occupational pension has an effect on ESA. The first £85 p/w is ignored after that your ESA is reduced by half the excess. So, if your pension is, for example ,£100 p/w your ESA will be reduced by 7.50
  • ESA based on your NI contributions is only paid for 12 months. If you have a working partners you would not be eligible for payments after that.

Please let me know if you are a single parent because I can point you to other things.


Hello Jane,

Many thanks, I will investigate this week.


Thanks Jane, the mortgage is all in my OH's name so we get nothing for that.  We have had lots of issues with getting tax credits etc.  My occ health doctor basically told me to coast on half pay until the pension issue was sorted and until the Tysabri effects might make themselves known (as while we don't know how its going to work then the pension scheme probably wont pay out).  We have 3 children at home, from 10 to 1, I'm currently hiding from the Cubs leaders as subs are due for the term and I don't know how we are going to pay it.  My OH accrued lots of debt whilst he was out of work for over 12 months (and not eligible for JSA as he had been self employed) and he was still living on his own (I gave up my house to live with him), we have just hit the point of having debt collectors ringing etc.  He made an agreement with the bank to stop interest accruing and to have a payment holiday but this has run out, his pay is next to nothing and not a regular salaried job (doesn't get paid if doensn't work) so we are barely surviving (had to sell my soul on ebay so the kids had something at christmas).  And when he does work the hours are not regular (didn't come in til nearly 10 last night, had left the house at 9) so I'm left doing everything and working myself into a further state of exhaustion.

Hi ggmarch,

Not much help really, but re the cubs subs, I collect subs for our scouts/cubs/beavers pack, I’m not a leader or anything, I just landed the job, lucky me , lol.

Although I do chase for unpaid subs, if a parent said they couldn’t afford to pay (with a good explanation like you have given) I would be prepared to write off that child’s subs. I wouldn’t make a fuss or tell anyone else but I would be happy for the child to attend without paying subs or even be happy to come to an agreement about late payment/reduced payment…

I don’t know about your pack but speak to the leader, they may be the same as me.


Thankyou Cheryl, the last pack they belonged to were lovely and I knew the leaders really well, and I know they would have done something similar.  This one neither akela or baloo are particularly approachable. 

At last i have good news, i have been put in the support group of esa. I did not appeal against the decision of not being in the support group of esa because in fear of losing esa altogether. It's great to read recent posts of people getting dla. As Spike Milligan famously wrote on his grave " I TOLD YOU I WAS ILL "