Disability Component on JSA if you receive PIP (low/high rat

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Disability Component on JSA if you receive PIP (low/high rat

Postby annamariehope » Mon May 30, 2016 10:22 am

Hi all,

Just making you aware of a benefit I never knew existed, in case it's helpful for others! I had already been awarded PIP lower rate, but when my health took a turn for the worse and I couldn't work at all, I got a sick note from my GP and was put on ESA for 3 months whilst waiting for full diagnosis.

My GP was useless at the time and though I gave her a list of my symptoms had put only 'knee pain' on my sick note. I thought I had some kind of auto immune disease at first since I also became suddenly intolerant to gluten and dairy but my blood tests revealed nothing so it was a long journey to FM.

I was asked to attend an ESA assesment and they concluded despite me being on an elbow crutch stick and in severe pain whilst in their waiting room for 3 hrs, that I was no longer entitled and didnt qualify for ESA. They said since I could attend on my own, since I could open my bag and take out my meds without assistance I was also capable of work. Even though I explained I had pain in both hands and fingers they said it didn't stop me from opening my bag. So cheeky!!

Anyway, when my sick note ran out, ESA chucked me off their books since 'knee pain' didn't seem significant enough reason for me to stay on and they said I didn't score enough points to remain, even if I was already on PIP.

During this 3 month period, I kept researching and one day heard that a female relative had FM. NOW all my symptoms made sense and i KNEW it was likely FM i was dealing with. So I went back to my GP to insist on a rheumatologist appointment, but by now it was already too late since ESA had made their assessment and I had only just been referred to see a rheumatologist.

I was forced to go onto JSA immediately. I put in my mandatory consideration for ESA, saying that my GP and I now suspected FM was cause of knee pain and other symptoms. Meanwhile I waited for an appointment to see both the disability officer at the job centre and my rheumatologist appointment.

I am still waiting now for outcome of ESA - but in the meantime my Disability officer was amazing and helped me to find out that if you are already being awarded low rate PIP and are now on JSA awaiting mandatory consideration for ESA - you are ALSO entitled to a disability component of an extra £32 a week.

I'd never heard of this and she was stunned I wasn't already getting it! So she put in a request for an investigation into why I wasn't and they sent me a letter back suddenly awarding me the extra component last week!

This means if you are forced off ESA onto JSA whilst awaiting a decision. You should get an additional £32 per week on top of standard £78 JSA a week, because you have already been awarded PIP disability status!

And I wondered how many people had no clue about this component?

Anyway, just before bank holiday i received a back payment of this disability component for every week I've been on JSA and what a blessing it was to be able to pay off so many bills I'd fallen behind on during the 3-4 week change over from ESA to JSA!! And my officer told me when she worked it out that financially I'd be better off putting up with coming to JSA every 2 weeks and getting the extra £32 than if it was to win my claim and go back onto ESA as I'd be awarded less than I currently now receive. How ridiculous is that??

So have no idea what I will do. It's been a struggle these last few weeks getting to my JSA appointments with officer but at least she tries to help by placing my times with her in late afternoon.

But I just wanted to let others know that this extra thing existed even though obviously DWP doesn't make many of us aware of it!!

* Update: I finally saw the rheumatologist three weeks ago and FM was confirmed, so was able to add that into my mandatory consideration form before it got sent off. They have now accepted the appeal and so waiting to see where it all leads.

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annamariehope
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