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Thread: DWP staff advising ESA MR - is this normal?

  1. #1
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    DWP staff advising ESA MR - is this normal?

    I posted a few weeks ago about my friend who has severe epilepsy and was due to attend an ESA assessment. She has poor short term memory and gets easily confused due to her condition and the medication she takes, and has at least 1 or 2 fits a week. She said last week she'd had a letter to go to the Jobcentre but didn't understand what it was about (a prime example of her confusion), and it turned out it was for a WFI. I took her today and after a couple of minutes alone with the adviser, the DWP woman suggested I sit in with them as she could see straight away that my friend was confused and would likely forget what they had discussed. She told us that she was surprised that my friend had ever been put in WRAG and felt that she should be in SG. I told her the kind of things the assessor had asked - does she go out on her own, does she do her own housework, shopping, cooking etc, and that we had told him she did a bit of housework when she felt able, she only uses the microwave and not the cooker and that she manages to go shopping on the bus to a place she knows well, but if she has to go anywhere else she cannot go alone and needs someone to go with her. I said that I wondered if the assessor and/or DM looking at the assessment had interpreted this to mean she can cook, clean and get around independently without taking into account the major restrictions she has despite us explaining this at the assessment. My friend actually told the DWP woman that she couldn't remember what happened at the assessment and that she can't remember who helped her fill in the forms or whether she's been to a WFI before.

    The DWP adviser has suggested that she request an MR and should that be unsuccessful, to take it to an appeal. She even wrote down what needs to go in the letter, asked if I could help her to write it (which I said I would) and gave her pre-paid envelope to send it to the right place, then gave her the contact details of a local organisation who could help should she need to appeal. I was really surprised that she actually told my friend she shouldn't be going to WFIs and that getting ready to find a job just wasn't practical or advisable. I haven't seen the ESA report so I don't know what's in it, and I'm sure if I ask her if I can have a look before we draft the letter, she won't know what I'm talking about. I couldn't believe one of their own staff would be prepared to give such advice, though I do agree that WFI's in her case would be a complete waste of time - at least it shows there are some decent DWP staff around who are capable of using some common sense!

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Yes there are some decent Jobcentre staff around, and they are getting fed up with being told to do what they know is wrong.

    You seem to have come across one of the good ones.

    Although an MR should be done within a month of the decision it can be done later in certain circumstances.

    As yourself and the JC advisor know more than we do about the circumstances here I would follow her advice.

    If you want to see the reports from the original decision, then the assessors report is called an ESA85, and the Decision Makers report is a LT54.
    Your friend can request copies of these, just ask for them by those numbers.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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