I have been told I have to apply for ESA‏

PowerOn Member Posts: 200
Hello, I had this on the Working Matters Forum but it seems a little quiet-no replies, I may also post on Living With as it seems a busy place.

I am a "casual, zero hours employee" signing on for jsa for times I do not work.
The way it works is I am registered for jsa (job seekers allowance) and when I get a few days work I sign a statement of the hours and the pay, if it is over a certain amount the extra is deducted from jsa.

So I went into the benefits office to sign on as usual and did a "Steps to Work" interview.

During the interview I was asked what type of jobs I could do, I said the type of jobs I had been applying for and that I was trying to get more hours in the job I am in now but not a full time action job such as stacking shelves in a supermarket


The interviewer got very official and insisted if I could not do "every" job advertised I had to get a sick note from my GP and apply for esa!

I said there are plenty of jobs I can do including the one I am in but she wasn't having it, she insisted I get a GP appointment and sick note for esa!

So now I have a GPs appointment in 2 weeks time to ask for a sick note to go onto esa.

Is this a formality to assess what jobs I can do and help with problems which make some jobs difficult, such as when tying my fingers hurt so I would get advice on any aids?

Work does not know I have health issues, I want more work. if they find out I am having problems they are just going to not phone me when a worker is needed. Zero hours employees have no protection or workers rights.

So annoyed with interviewer she could have just let me keep on as I am applying for jobs I can do and staying where I am.

She says they will be no break in my money, that I will get esa right away as long as I have a sick note.

Worried, of course this has to happen 6 weeks before a large loan is due to be repaid before the interest free limit ends.

Anyone any experience of esa assessments, do they offer advice and practical help for those who need lighter jobs?

I have telephoned CAB but they say they can offer no advice until I get a sick note.
I also heard that the work a person can do while on esa is extremely limited, the job I do can be varied including light house work.


  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,020
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Power on,

    Apart from CABs there are other welfare rights organisations you can discuss this with if you wish to. If you'd like a general discussion on the phone you might try the Benefits Enquiry line 0800 882200.
    A good website on welfare rights is Turn 2 Us. http://www.turn2us.org.uk/

    For more general information on 'Working with arthritis' we've got a booklet you can see/download from here: http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbytype/Booklets

    If you'd like a chat and some support about how you are feeling with all this, then you are always welcome to get back to us.

    I hope that helps

  • PowerOn
    PowerOn Member Posts: 200
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Guy,

    Thank you for replying.
    Is it rude of me to be honest........the website has many links but none suitable for my query and the "contact us" part only asks more set questions.
    I will look at the fact sheet,
    I know you tried but I do feel honesty is best, maybe others have a different experience with the website.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,020
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Power on,

    Both Turn to us and Benefits Enquiry line do have free phone numbers you can ring, so that may be a better option if you can't easily find your situation on a particular website.

    The other organisations to contact would include http://www.scope.org.uk/dial

    I hope that is helpful

  • PowerOn
    PowerOn Member Posts: 200
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you.