The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Working part time and disability in UK

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Arise, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Arise

    Arise

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    Does anyone have experience of working part time and receiving any benefits in the U.K. It seems to me that if you work part time it really goes against your entitlement to disability benefits.

    Looking at this example from a document by the age.org.uk website. it seems unlikely that I would be able to receive PIP whilst working part time as my functioning Is a bit higher than the example below


    "Rachel has chronic fatigue syndrome and has learnt to manage her condition by pacing herself and her activities, making sure she doesn’t overdo things. She has on average three good days to each bad one, when she rests for the day and does not get dressed or go out.


    She likes to cook, but finds standing to prepare food tiring, so she sits on a stool to do so. She can wash herself without assistance but she finds standing in the shower very tiring, so she uses a seat. She does relaxation exercises every day. On a good day she can walk to the post office half a mile away, as long as she takes her time, or can drive to the supermarket. She has no problems planning a journey and hopes to visit a friend in France next year.


    Rachel will not qualify for PIP."


    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/E...rsonal_independence_payment_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true

    The last part really seems to go against her however she clearly cannot work full time in certain jobs, so really should be entitled to some benefit. I get the impression that if they find you can work part time, they assume why not full time.

    Just like other peoples thoughts/experiences with this.
     
  2. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    That doesn't sound like someone who could work much places besides possibly out of her home. The UK must have some high standards for certain benefits programs as is the same here in the U.S. These laws and governments have some pretty absurd qualifications and procedures for this kind of stuff, there are many loop holes people try to get through as well. It feels they do everything they can to avoid people have aid.

    I am having the same issue. With SSI insurance in the United States you need full disability or most times they will not cover you. If you try to work part time you lose the benefits. There may be other programs out there but this has been the case with me and my own state of California.
     
  3. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

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    I understand that PIP mobility is largely to do with distance walked. So she can walk further than the 20m allowed in one go. She can walk half a mile (or a mile both ways) on her good days which are 3 out of every 4. So she's well over that distance on average.

    The caring part is only for people who need assistance with personal care. She can cook and can wash herself so doesn't get that. I don't either.

    I am currently on DLA higher rate mobility - the criteria was 50m walking, now lowered for PIP.
    I don't ever walk that distance all at once as I can only walk about 250m a day on a regular basis. So to walk 50m all at once is a waste of steps. I use a scooter outside the house.

    Not sure how it will go with the 20m category for me in the future. I "can" walk 20m, but I sure couldn't repeat it. As I say I use a scooter to get about.

    PS I don't work. Lost my teaching job to this illness.
     
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  4. Esther12

    Esther12

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    Yeah, the recent benefit reforms have made it really difficult for people with fluctuating conditions that might allow some part-time work, and a lot of people are now being found too fit for disability benefits, but too ill to have any prospect of finding employment. Working part-time is likely to make it harder for you to get any disability benefits, even though it shouldn't.

    It's a ridiculous system built upon the biopsychosocial model that has done so much harm with CFS, and it's failing badly. I'm not sure if things are likely to improve any time soon though.
     
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  5. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    Have you thought about joining the excellent Benefits and Work website - they have excellent guides for members on how to apply for various disability benefits. They helped me to get DLA, but unfortunately I lost my work related group group ESA after the year limit. of course I am still moderately to severely ill 6 years later, so really should have fought to go in the support group, but don't know if I can still do that now... all I receive is that my national insurance stamps are still paid and I get Higher DLA for mobility but lost my care component as I can more or less look after myself in the house, but need help to do anything outside the home e g drs appts
     
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  6. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    My understanding is you can always reapply for ESA. Even if your claim was rejected, you could reapply after six months, as things might have changed. I'm sure you could claim that after six years things were worse. I find the MEA guides to applying to benefits v. useful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
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  7. Arise

    Arise

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    I've been skim reading through this document https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...ile/315970/pip-assessment-guide-mw-020614.pdf

    Looking at the examples starting on page 92, the criteria does seem strict.

    Keela Too said
    "2.6.9. Many conditions fluctuate with time. Symptoms and their disabling effects may vary over minutes, days, weeks, months or years. The HP should record details of fluctuating conditions, indicating how frequent the fluctuations are, how long exacerbations last and, on balance, how many "good" days or weeks and how many "bad" ones the claimant experiences over time."

    The PIP assessment guides gives mixed ideas. Lots of buzz words used to make the assessment sound fair and dandy. But like most government produced documents there is a subtext or complicated jargon meaning something else.
     
  8. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    I fear that, like ESA, PIP will be a disaster for the first few years, before going on to being merely grotesquely unfair thereafter. It will not be pretty. I speak as someone who's had DLA for a long time.
     
  9. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Have you thought about joining the excellent Benefits and Work website - they have excellent guides for members on how to apply for various disability benefits. They helped me to get DLA, but unfortunately I lost my work related group group ESA after the year limit. of course I am still moderately to severely ill 6 years later, so really should have fought to go in the support group, but don't know if I can still do that now... all I receive is that my national insurance stamps are still paid and I get Higher DLA for mobility but lost my care component as I can more or less look after myself in the house, but need help to do anything outside the home e g drs appts
    Justy - it sounds as if you ARE still in the ESA work related group if you are still getting paid your NI credits. Only technically in the group of course as you are not receiving money, but they do reassess you still even if you are on credits only.

    This means that you could in theory still apply for a Supersession, which is what you do if your condition has worsened. They could review you to go into the Support Group, and assuming you have kept your ESA up to date (which it sounds as if you have) you could still get the money paid if they put you in that group (ie still based on your contributions). If you are sure that your NI credits are being paid then I assume it's via ESA and you are not paying them yourself?

    Not easy, but it has been done. Of course there is a big backlog and you would need plenty of evidence too (Dr Myhill would provide for a fee!!).
     
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  10. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

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    Our support group had someone speak about all this. He said they are likely to press you for good days vs bad days. Which he says is a nonsense, unless you also very clearly define your good days (which they may not ask for ;) ). So they will assume your good days are like their own good days unless you specify exactly how your "good" day is. My good days still mean I can do very little - so really are not "good" days by any normal description!
     
  11. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    I think I have heard it said that you should not call them 'good' days, but call them 'better' days. And of course define them clearly as Keela Too has said.

    Also, (though I am doing this off the top of my head and from memory) - I believe the % of days is important. ie if you have 'worse' or 'bad' days under 50% of the time then I think that is likely to be considered less important than if it was over 50% of the time.

    Best to try and define that if possible, and perhaps keep a diary so you can be clear on the worse times, and details.
     
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  12. Arise

    Arise

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    2.8.9
    "For a scoring descriptor to apply, the claimant’s health condition or impairment must affect their ability to complete the activity on more than 50 per cent of days in the 12 month period. Where one single descriptor in an activity is likely to not be satisfied on more than 50 per cent of days, but a number of different scoring descriptors in that activity together are likely to be satisfied on more than 50 per cent of days, the descriptor likely to be satisfied for the highest proportion of the time should be selected."

    Not entirely sure what the above quote means about the different descriptors.
     
  13. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    If you can't do it repeatedly within a reasonable time frame (and clearly you can't), you should qualify. I highly recommend the Benefits & Works site that justy recommended - they have material that makes all this stuff clear (of course it should be made clear on the PIP form but it certainly wasn't on the old DLA forms).

    I can walk outside my home sometimes but there's no distance I can walk when I choose, repeatedly, or without ill effect. That has qualified me for the highest rate of the mobility component on the DLA and perhaps it would for you, too.
     
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  14. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

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    I'm on high rate mobility for DLA - and it has just been re-newed - so for now I'm fine. Eventually PIP will come in here too, although it hasn't actually been rolled out yet for N.Ireland. We are always a bit behind on these sorts of changes. Which in this case is a good thing. ;)
     
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  15. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    Hi @mermaid - yes I am technically still on ESA and have considered asking for a supersession - last year I initiated proceedings to get reassessed and hoped to get into the SG group, but in the end my health became so much worse that I couldn't deal with the stress of it.

    Funnily enough though they did say they would reassess me and over a year later they still haven't! I think they have given up doing assessments where I live.

    I haven't consulted with Dr M in some time and would have to pay to talk to her on the phone again (which I don't really need to do) just so that I can pay her to write me some reports. On the other hand it may be worth it in the end...

    I also have a report from KDM with an exercise report - I don't understand the results, but he said I had the exercise capacity of an 84 year old!! You have made me wonder though - I am now completely reliant on my wheelchair to go outside, other than very short walks and am much sicker than I was a year ago. - I haven't done even the smallest bit of gardening this year - I am bed bound for more days as well.
     
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  16. Leopardtail

    Leopardtail Senior Member

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    Keela,

    the DWP assessments are what you can do "reliably=most of the time", "consistently=as needed" and "without harm=no PEM, no disproportionate rest afterwards"
    That was a disability solicitor's advice.
    If you cannot walk a distance in one burst and most of th time, and without impact, then you can't walk it for benefits purposes.

    I have another run in with the "Bar Stewards" at the moment having had to lawyer up once before.
     
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  17. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

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    Thanks Leopardtail - It should be a while before I need to fill more forms again, but it was easier to state when the distance was quite simply more than I walk in one go. Harder to argue when the distance is lowered to one I can achieve, but not reliably or repeatedly. It's a tough call for ME folk I think.
     
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  18. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    It's a sadly ironic situation where you are so sick that you cannot summon the energy to get the supersession sorted out. So very sorry to hear that you are sicker too this year, though it certainly would put you into the ESA Support Group category if fairness was part of the system.

    Actually you probably wouldn't need to have another consultation with Dr M for her to write you an evidence letter. She will charge for it (I think it was around £30 when I had it, can't be sure and it was a few years back), but I am certain that it was over 2 yrs since I had had much contact and was based on all the tests etc I had done. Of course if you were much better at that point than you are now, then that would not be so helpful.

    Having that evidence from KDM would be the icing on the cake!

    I think you could certainly plead for the first Support Group descriptor (which is about mobility) from the sound of things, and then there is the Reg 29 and 35 fallback which is what I got it on.

    Talking of such things.... I qualified for my State Pension on Saturday (whoo hoo!), but while the ends are tied up I had THE most ridiculous letter from the DWP re my ESA that I have ever had. It was 4 pages of nonsense, telling me all my ESA history listing all the awards going back to 2010 and giving the amounts in the future tense rather than the past tense.

    Also tells me that they cannot pay me from 28 Aug, and then a couple more paras on how I am eligible for the Support Group and the Christmas Bonus of £10, and then says they cannot pay me after 6 Sept.

    Finally on page 2 they mention that I must now apply for my State Pension.....3 more pages of drivel about how I will get my ESA money, and finishing on the last page on the amounts applicable £65.45 which applies from 29 July 2010 to 20 Oct 2010. I am seriously thinking of sending it off to my MP on how not to write a letter to a claimant.
     
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  19. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    I said that l usually push myself and can walk that distance once in a day but suffer afterwards from the adrenal rush and could not repeat it in the same day or the following day as l cannot go out two days running . l got higher mobility.
     
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