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Thread: ESA confusion

  1. #1

    ESA confusion

    I've been on ESA support and as it was coming to an end I had to fill in a form. Back in early 2019 I had a letter saying that they were going to do a home assessment and will contact soon with details about the date. Fast forward to 2021 I was expecting to have a telephone assessment because of Covid but I've heard nothing just suddenly got a letter informing me due to changes I've been moved out of support and into work related group.
    I don't know what changed there's been and I wonder why they've moved me without an assessment.
    Can anyone enlighten me here? I find it strange how they agreed for a home visit and never did it and suddenly decided I'm able to go to work related group for 1 year.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It sounds that they have done a paper based assessment because they can't do a Home Visit.

    Of course you challenge the decision to change your group.

    Your first step is to ring them and ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration of the decision to change your group.
    At the same time ask for a copy of the "LT54 Decision Makers report", which should say why they have made this decision.

    If nothing changes after Mandatory Consideration and they don't put you back in Support Group then you gave the right to appeal to the tribunal.
    The DWP would need to show the tribunal very strong paperwork to support moving you from SG to WRAG without even a telephone assessment, and an ESA50 from 2 years ago is not very strong paperwork.
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  3. #3
    Thank you so much much for your advice. I've tried continuously ringing them but I just keep getting the dreaded eternal music and being told lines are busy. I've decided to send a letter and keep trying. I am confused why they've taken so long.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It can take time to get through on the phone, especially on a Saturday. (early morning is usually best time to try).

    If you haven't sent a letter yet then there is a form you can download and fill in, but even that tells you that it's best to phone.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...d-pensions-dwp
    It is easier to call

    You can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration over the phone. Your
    claim will be looked at in exactly the same way. It’s much quicker and
    you can explain why you think the decision is wrong over the phone,
    without needing to fill anything in. The phone number to call is at the
    top of your decision letter.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  5. #5
    I still have not managed to get through on the phone - I've been waiting for over an hour when I've tried so planning on sending a form.
    Unfortunately I found out I was wrong about my medical assessment I actually have a PIP one due around the same time (unlucky) and I thought it was the one I had December. The form was sent in end of 2018 so quite outdated. I can't understand they agreed to a home assessment due to agoraphobia and decided I'm ok for work. I'm due a PIP phone assessment as well so my health and stress has got worse.

  6. #6
    Despite my doctors letter along with my form they refused to change the decision. I made myself very ill with stress with all this as it is so I don't feel I can cope to take it further. It's amazing to think a nurse who's only spoken to me me once is more qualified than my own gp. Actually sending evidence went against me, they said sending evidence shows I'm capable.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GummyBear View Post
    Despite my doctors letter along with my form they refused to change the decision.
    ...
    Actually sending evidence went against me, they said sending evidence shows I'm capable.
    Do you know what the doctors letter said?

    Is you ESA based entirely on your agoraphobia or are other disabilties involved?

    The DWP are not saying that you can work, just that you can do some 'Work Related Activities' from home.
    Work Related Activities are things like writing a CV, writing a practice application, looking what jobs are available (but not applying for any).

    If your doctors letter indicated that you can do things like that then I can't see that there is much to challenge.

    They can get away with saying that you can do WRA from home as there is nothing outside the house that they could send you to anyway.
    They are not even doing Work Focused Interview at the moment so you don't need to leave the house for those.

    It's something that I started to notice even before Covid.
    They don't have any courses/training to send you on - so they can say that the Work Related Activites that they may give you can be managed by most people at home.
    And you can't realy argue against that because it's true.
    It's a concerning trend, only happening because just what 'Work Related Activities' are has changed.
    But legally it's correct and so even a tribunal couldn't find against it.
    Last edited by nukecad; 27-02-21 at 13:57.
    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.

  8. #8
    I think my gp's letter just stated the list of health problems I have and said I wasn't well enough to cope. One of the problems I have is I can't cope with changes and it really disrupts my day when I get in a very bad state I can't even eat or drink, they said that I can cope well with it because their assessor said so.
    I'm also concerned as I guess it's for one year then it stops for a means tested ESA which I guess I can't have as my partner works full time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GummyBear View Post
    I'm also concerned as I guess it's for one year then it stops for a means tested ESA which I guess I can't have as my partner works full time.
    Ouch, that is a bummer.

    You can of course appeal to the tribunal, but TBH as I said above if you can do things like look at lists of available jobs from home then as far as Work Realated Activites go you can do some and the tribunal can't realy find otherwise.

    It's an odd situation that is happening.
    The claimants capabilities haven't changed.
    The Law hasn't changed.
    What has changed is the Work Related Activities that they have available to give you or to send you on.

    That change has mainly come about because the Work Programme which was mandatory for those in WRAG has been replaced by the Work and Health Programme which is voluntary for those in WRAG/LCW.

    In effect mandatory 'Work Related Activites' no longer exist, and so arguing about whether you can do them or not has become meaningless.

    It also means that special regulation 35 'risk of harm if made to do WRA's' has also become meaningless except for the case of attending Work Focused Interviews at the jobcentre (which they are not doing since the start of Covid).

    Overall it means that they are not giving those in WRAG/LCW much in the way of activities to do, but also means that they can save money by not giving as many people SG/LCWRA.

    It isn't how ESA was intended to work, there is no longer even any justification that it is meant to 'help disabled people who can work get work'.
    Which means that ESA (and UC-LCW/LCWRA) is now no different from the IS/IB that it replaced, other than the regular reassessments of course.
    Last edited by nukecad; 28-02-21 at 01:00.
    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.

  10. #10
    Thank you very much for your comment and help.

    I'm now even worse as my pip letter arrived awarding me with 0 points and they had already stop my money. Seems phone assessments went really against me since they can't see how I am. The assessor was very impatient with me (sounding angry and annoyed) and has lied.

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