Advice and help finding a job - Reality Check

Hi This is my first post so apologies if its duplicating issues already raised but I wanted to get advice or comments on the realities of finding part time work with no access to benefits. I'm 55 and was DX in 2007 and left my full time job on redundancy in 2013. Because I got a decent severance package I took timeout which with one thing and another flew by until last year when I decided to  look for work and seek advice on what help was available.

That's when I realised my naivety in understanding the system.

My PIP application scored zilch (i think if you can answer the door to the assessor and offer to make a cup of tea for them - you may as well forget t).

OK well I thought ESA may help. Except living for a period on my redundancy and not claiming benefits or working meant that I don't qualify for ESA because I've no recent NI contributions (30+ years of work previously seemingly not counting for anything). The same applies to JSA too.

This experience stopped my job search as I got a bit down but now I'm trying to be positive about looking for  part time work with PD as an uninvited 'addition' to my CV and being aware that for some companies, your application will be considered seemingly fairly (only for you to get 'pipped at the post' but 'thanks for helping with our equal opps stats').

Anyway I'm trying to be positive so any advice or experiences would be welcomed.


Hi Newsreader,

Thanks for joining the forum. I'm one of the Digital team here at Parkinson's UK and am around to help with any questions. I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties finding part time work and getting access to benefits, this sounds really tough.

We have an employment and benefits adviser on our Helpline who would be happy to have a chat through your situation and offer some advice. Please do give us a call on 0808 800 0303 (we're open 9am-7pm weekdays, 10am - 2pm on Saturdays) and we can put you in touch.

I hope this helps - please do let us know how you're getting on.

Best wishes,




I noted on my PiP assessment report that indeed you are correct the assessor does note down how you answer the door and how long it takes you to do so.

There are or were two types of esa contribution based, the part you mention & income based the part where if you don't have enough apparent Nic contributions, either way you do qualify for esa. so someone gave you duff infomation, both pay the same rate pre assessment phase..

the only part that may not is how much redundancy i.e saving's you have effecting  eligibility.


You right sea angler there is contributions esa and income so newsreader i would find your local parkinsons support worker and they will help fill in forms also you could reply for pip

Thanks for the replies all.

On the subject of ESA I did have the help of my local support worker for which I was very grateful, and when the NI contributions issue arose I spoke with the PDUK benefits expert, but there was little I could do. You are right about the two types of ESA but because my wife works full time and has some savings, I did not qualify for income based ESA. My problem was really caused by living off my redundancy and not claiming benefit during that period as I thought my NI contribution history would still qualify for contributions based ESA but it didn't. Buying extra NI credits doesn't help either as they only go towards the state pension. 

So if anyone is reading this who may be stopping work for more than a couple months, then make sure you don't fall into the same trap by keeping your NI contributions current for benefits eligibility in the future,which in the absence of work means claiming a benefit, even if you think you might not need to yet, so your NI will be paid by the state.

I forgot to mention with ESA that in my situation eligibility for pre-assessment was also affected. I would get nothing at all save for my NI contributions being paid during pre-assessment. Because all I would get by continuing with the process was my NI contributions being paid whilst I was on ESA, I decided that going through the stress of a work capability assessment wasn't worth it so I abandoned my application.

it was probably a bit bloody minded of me but at the time I felt so aggrieved that my previous employment paying taxes and NI now counted for nothing,

But as I said in my original post I'm picking myself up now and trying to be positive about things since life go's on and you have to adapt to the world around you.



they use previous years For income based ESA not ness current ones, it is true the dwp gives/pays credits whilst you are receiving esa , Many people don't have enough Ni contributions because they don't work enough hours such is the job market with employers offering 16-27hr type jobs.

​If i were you i would seek fresh advice and put in a claim if you don't feel well enough to work, by that i dont only mean just the whole time it includes some of the time if thats the case, either pip or esa, you can claim pip whether you are working or not,or part time, and there is the ability to work limited hours on esa i believe.

​Giving up is exactly what they want you to do,