Journey to Work Part 4 - I'm finally off ESA!

3/12/2014 09:14:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 5 Comments

After more hours on hold to various DWP departments than I care to think about and several discussions with concerned, expert DWP advisors about whether it would be better for me to do permitted work than full on employment....

I've managed to sign off ESA! Quite why it is such a difficult process is beyond me, the automated systems the DWP are using reduced me to tears, but all the staff I actually spoke to were excellent. This doesn't bode well for the 'digital by default' futureproof benefits planning the DWP are hanging everything on currently.

So having decided I can only face dealing with one benefit department per day, today's task is to try and sort out housing and council tax benefits.

And to try and squash the panic triggered by yesterday's DWP advisor asking me if moving into work was a change of circumstances for DLA. I don't see why it should be given I'm working part time from home in my pyjamas*. But, if that question does trigger the system as a change of circumstances it will also trigger an application for PIP.

There's simply no way I can remain in employment without DLA. There's also no way I can manage to juggle coming off several benefits, applying for several different benefits, deal with the social care implications, actually do my job AND apply for PIP.

So, should this be treated as a change of circumstances and the PIP forms arrive I'll have no choice but go to straight back onto ESA and stop working.

I'd really like to congratulate the government on having spent obscene sums of money on 'welfare reform', terrified disabled people and somehow managed to make it MORE difficult to move into work. As achievements go...that's quite an impressive one..

*frequently smelling of sick, so it's a good job I'm avoiding face to face meetings! 


Ben S said...

Hey bendygirl,

Two things:

First up - congratulations on the job! That is brilliant news, well done - I hope it all works out for you once you are past this 'transition' nightmare...

Secondly - starting work should *not* trigger a PIP claim; the CPAG PIP book states 'If you report a change in your health or disability the DWP will invite you to claim PIP... If you contact DWP to report another change in circumstances, such as change of address, this is *not* treated as a claim for PIP' - CPAG PIP p122). So you should be fine as long as no-one in the Dept decides to be an arse (hmmm as I've typed that I've realised it's not as reassuring as I'd hoped...)

So good luck with it all, keep on fighting the good fight - onwards and upwards!


cogidubnus said...

Hi Bendygirl

I can only re-iterate the congratulations offered above, (by the by I'd love to see a picture of you you working away in your pyjamas!)...sorry I'm at that pervy sort of age!

Seriously though, I'm grateful to have been born relatively able bodied, (aside from a familial propensity for angina!), and both admire and respect the campaign you've been spearheading, since those early days so many years ago...every good wish for the future

All the best


Thanks Ben - it's been quite the journey through blogging all these years, its so nice to see you & Cogidubnus are still reading, I think you two were among my first ever readers Xx

Unknown said...

Delighted that you've managed to get one department off your back :)
You won't have to go onto PIP until they call you in for it, so you'll still get your DLA for a good few years yet.
Hope you are enjoying your work!

Spoonydoc said...

This work and DLA thing comes up quite often.
It is only a change of circumstances if it is linked to an improvement in your condition.

Work isn't supposed to trigger anything. Now, *sometimes* it does. This is when the work you do is incompatible with the information you gave in your DLA form.

So if you had just started work as a builder for instance, then you could probably expect a new DLA/PIP assessment. ;)
As it is, you should be fine.