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Old 21-09-2015, 07:36 PM   #1
stumpy
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DWP and Mental Health Discrimination

The DWP have said I'm not disabled, therefore not entitled to a course grant to cover my university fees because I'm on ESA, and to qualify I need to be claiming DLA/PIP, however when I look into the definition of a disability, Depression is listed as a disability, has anyone else encountered discrimination by the DWP?

I'm going to C.A.B tomorrow, but wanted to know if anyone else has attempted to take on the DWP for disability discrimination, under the Mental Health Discrimination Act 2013?

If I'm not disabled surely I wouldn't be on ESA, I thought ESA was considered a disability benefit, as it was brought in to replace incapacity benefit, I was on Income Support with Disability Premium, the words Disability Premium should speak for themselves.

I now feel betrayed, cheated, and a useless failure.





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Old 21-09-2015, 07:45 PM   #2
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Wow, that is really harsh. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. The CAB will be able to help. I've had problems with the DWP (not this, but related) and they can be incredibly snotty and unfair. They made me feel like a benefit cheat when I was extremely unwell. I do know how you feel. Just be prepared for a bit of a battle; that is my experience, anyway.

This is not your fault. This is THEIR problem; not yours. It is wrong and unfair and is IS discrimination. You have every right to be angry. Use that anger as motivation. Find any paperwork relating to your benefits and any letters you might have supporting your claim to bring with you tomorrow. Good luck and please try not to beat yourself up over this. It's not your fault.



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Old 21-09-2015, 07:58 PM   #3
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Thanks, glad I'm not completely alone in this, am very prepared for a fight, and thanks glad you agree :)





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Old 21-09-2015, 08:20 PM   #4
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Without knowing more about the course grant, I wouldn't be able to fully advise on that part, unless it is DSA but that doesn't have a qualifying benefit restriction. However, the DWP aren't saying you aren't disabled (because obviously you are in receipt of ESA, so there must be some element there), but that you aren't in receipt of the qualifying benefit. There is a difference.

Have you previously applied for DLA/PIP? If not, you would probably be better asking CAB about your eligibility for that. CAB advisers are not placed to be advising on trying to take on a government department for a legal challenge under legislation. They would be able to help you get a mandatory reconsideration and then an appeal if your application for PIP/DLA was rejected though.

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Old 21-09-2015, 08:54 PM   #5
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The course grant would be paid by student finance wales, it's a maximum of up to 1,155 and is paid direct to the uni to cover the 900 a year course fees for the part time HEC in Digital Media.

"The DWP stated categorically on the phone that I am Not Disabled", therefore with my ESA being an income based benefit, my ESA would be cut if I was to apply for the course grant (which is considered income according to the DWP - "I believe this to be wrong!").

I was told the only qualifying benefit I can be on to qualify to have my course funded and keep my benefit would be DLA/PIP, however I have mental health difficulties, I have not nor would I ever apply for DLA/PIP as I don't claim to have a physical disability.

I consider someone being allowed the funding to increase future job prospects if they are physically disabled and in receipt of DLA/PIP, no different than someone with mental health trying to improve future job prospects in the very same way but in receipt of ESA, and there fore putting me at a disadvantage to someone with a physical disability, thus making it mental health discrimination.





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Old 21-09-2015, 09:11 PM   #6
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You can claim PIP [or DLA, not that they are taking new claims anymore] for mental health problems just the same as physical health conditions. It is about how the illness affects your daily living tasks. If you are unable to work and qualify for ESA I would seriously look at the criteria for PIP because you may well qualify for some benefit here and this is not income related.

I think [do not quote me] the problem you may be encountering is that if you were to recieve this course grant then DWP would have to deduct whatever the grant pays you, from your ESA and essentually you would then have no money to live off. Even if it is paid directly to the uni, it would still be in your name, and to your benefit; thus DWP states it is an income.

If the above were to be true, the DWP could have been trying to prevent you from making the mistake of having your benefit cut and no money to live on. This has happened to someone I know who got a grant at college then married someone who was on benefits, they then had to declare and had the couple rate slashed to an intolerable amount.



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Old 21-09-2015, 09:13 PM   #7
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The thing is ESA isn't a disability benefit but a sickness benefit. Whilst some people claiming ESA will be on it for the long term others may be on it following an operation or accident.

PIP is a disability benefit and is for any disability including mental health. I claim DLA for my mental health and have no physical disability.




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Old 21-09-2015, 09:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnonymous View Post
You can claim PIP [or DLA, not that they are taking new claims anymore] for mental health problems just the same as physical health conditions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnonymous View Post
I think [do not quote me] the problem you may be encountering is that if you were to recieve this course grant then DWP would have to deduct whatever the grant pays you, from your ESA and essentually you would then have no money to live off. Even if it is paid directly to the uni, it would still be in your name, and to your benefit; thus DWP states it is an income.

If the above were to be true, the DWP could have been trying to prevent you from making the mistake of having your benefit cut and no money to live on.
I am being penalised because I chose not to be greedy, in claiming DLA/PIP, you got it in 1, I consider preventing someone going to uni by expecting them to live on fresh air, discrimination, when clearly I am in receipt of less money than someone claiming DLA/PIP, thus deliberately giving me a disadvantage over others who do claim DLA/PIP.

I also feel that for a Job centre representative to state categorically that I'm not disabled, to be Ignorant and discriminative, I consider this an admission they wish me not to improve my future job prospects, and to remain on benefits, and wish me to feel a burden to society for the foreseeable future.

The system seems extremely backward to me and the stress of actually trying to help myself, has rendered me even more mentally exhausted than when I even began trying to help myself.





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Old 26-09-2015, 01:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnonymous View Post
You can claim PIP for mental health problems just the same as physical health conditions. It is about how the illness affects your daily living tasks. If you are unable to work and qualify for ESA I would seriously look at the criteria for PIP because you may well qualify for some benefit here and this is not income related.
Quote:
Originally Posted by random.swirls View Post
The thing is ESA isn't a disability benefit but a sickness benefit. Whilst some people claiming ESA will be on it for the long term others may be on it following an operation or accident.

PIP is a disability benefit and is for any disability including mental health. I claim DLA for my mental health and have no physical disability.
I went to C.A.B today, and just wanted to let you know that you guys were right, I do qualify for P.I.P, and after a lot of persuasion I did with their guidance put in a claim for P.I.P, so I just wanted to put in a personal thank you here for both C.A.B who helped me today and you guys who did indeed try your hardest to give me the right advice. Things are finally looking a lot better and although I've missed my uni course for this year not having secured the funding, and having missed the first week of the course, I'm now all set for next year, this also gives me time to work on my mental health, and my current mental exhaustion, after what seems like such a difficult time :)

Although I felt penalised, I believe I owe you guys an apology for suggesting I'd chosen not to apply for DLA or PIP as I'd feel greedy, this in no way suggests anyone else is greedy, I guess it's my own family upbringing and misconceptions that led me to feel a lack of self worth and a clouded way of thinking, I hope you guys will accept my apology :)

I still feel that the Job centre representative who stated categorically that I'm not disabled, is Ignorant, but they are just one possibly poorly trained individual, and with any luck I won't have to face such ignorance in future, I'm just glad to finally have managed to smile properly for the first time in months :)





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