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Thread: ESA award extension.

  1. #1
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    ESA award extension.

    My ESA Support Group claim was up for reassessment this month so I rang the DWP to find out if I would be receiving an ESA50 any time soon. The bloke disappeared off for a while to check my claim and when he returned he gave me the rather pleasing news that it wouldn't be reviewed until February 2023. I asked him if a paper assessment had been done and he said there was no indication of that but that he'd had other ESA claimants also surprised to find their awards extended by a year or two. It doesn't take a genius to work out this is a response to the WCA Covid backlog. I seem to recall them doing something similar after the meddling of that fool Iain Duncan Smith. My claim was nothing special, a year long award for mental health issues, so for anyone else concerned about when they might be facing a reassessment it might be worth gritting your teeth and giving the DWP a call.

    Of course it would be helpful if the DWP would volunteer this information to help put people's minds at rest but we all know that's never going to happen.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Interesting to hear that, of course it would be better if there was something 'official' in writing.

    They did suspend all reassessments, except changes of circumstances, between 2014 and 2016 and just added 2 years to everyones reassessment dates.
    (I was lucky with the dates and got mine extended twice, so no reassessment between 2013 and 2017).

    It would be nice to see confirmation if they are doing that again for everybody, I'll see if I can find anything.

    PS. ESA awards do not 'end' so don't need an extension - they keep going until you are found fit for work at an assessment, get work, get money, get a working/rich partner, reach State Pension Age, or get thrown off for not following the rukes or fraud.
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-02-21 at 16:29.
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    I also benefited from that 2 year suspension, it was nearly 3 years but eventually I was stupid enough to ring them up and ended up triggering my own reassessment which was somewhat galling.

    Having mooched round Twitter and various sites I'm seeing other people who've been expecting reassessments being told their ESA claims won't be reviewed until 2022/23 so evidently it's not just me.

    To be honest I was expecting a support group/not support group telephone assessment because I've had to appeal being moved out of the support group twice but perhaps they're area specific.

    I just hope this is more widespread than we're aware of and people can enjoy another year or two of peace before the dreaded brown envelope.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Votadini View Post
    To be honest I was expecting a support group/not support group telephone assessment because I've had to appeal being moved out of the support group twice but perhaps they're area specific.
    They were (are?) only supposed to be doing reassessments by telephone for those who they are sure will be staying Support Group.

    So they have to do something about the prognosis date on the computer for any that they are not so sure about to stop them being referred for assessment, and changing that date by a year or two is the easiest to do.

    But we have seen at least one case where someone has been moved from SG to WRAG following a telephone assessment.
    The last statistics show that 4% of telephone assessments resulted in WRAG, but it's not clear if those were moved from SG or if they were WRAG trying for SG on a change of circumstances. (They can't have been new claims, telephone assessments don't assess for WRAG).

    Moving someone from SG to WRAG on a telephone assessment is not against legislation, but it is against the stated intention and 'the spirit' of telephone assessments.
    It should be fairly easy to challenge at tribunal as it's not a full assessment.

    I've not found anything official about deferments yet, it may be un-official but still happening because it's easiest and no one is going to complain about it.
    We may have to wait until the next quarterly WCA statistics are published to see if there is anything in those.
    Last edited by nukecad; 06-02-21 at 06:44.
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    That's good news, I was supposed to get reassessed march 2015 but it didn't happen to May 2017 because I got the 2 year extension I was then supposed to be reassessed May 2018 but my May 2018 reassessment was late so I called them and found out I had got another 2 years extension and my next reassessment was due May 2020 I'm still waiting, like you I only get 12 month awards for mental health so i think I been very lucky since the start of my claim.
    Last edited by Toby123; 06-02-21 at 14:17.

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    Thanks so much for the information.
    Definitely going to call next week.
    I was due last October.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    So they have to do something about the prognosis date on the computer for any that they are not so sure about to stop them being referred for assessment, and changing that date by a year or two is the easiest to do.
    This is my concern, that it may be an ad hoc administrative fix that is being misinterpreted by the DWP call centre staff and as soon as face to face WCA's begin again it will be changed. There's no way of knowing so we'll just have to wait to find out. All I can say for certain is the person I spoke to went to great lengths to assure me that I shouldn't worry and it was a genuine stay of execution, and as the DWP is famous for its competence and honesty I can't imagine them giving out misleading information to claimants.

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    I called and yes my date has also been extended by two years, was due October 2020 now October 2022.

    I am in the process of applying for council housing so that will give me much needed breathing space to focus on that for now.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Votadini View Post
    This is my concern, that it may be an ad hoc administrative fix that is being misinterpreted by the DWP call centre staff and as soon as face to face WCA's begin again it will be changed.
    You have to remember that your ESA prognosis date is only ever a guideline/recommendation.
    It isn't set in stone and it can be changed (shortened or extended) as the DWP see fit.

    There is nothing ad-hoc to 'fix' or 'misinterpret', there is only a guideline date when it is recommended that you have another assessment.
    And that guideline date can be changed, that has always been the case ever since ESA first started.

    So they are just changing the dates on the computer, so that the computer doesn't automatically send out a referral for assessment.

    ESA doesn't suddenly stop being paid just because a date has been reached.

    ESA continues to be paid unless you are found fit for work which can only be done at a face to face assessment, or until you become ineligible by a change of circumstances (you or your partner start working, savings going up, reaching pension age, etc).

    To put it another way, the title of this thread is misleading.
    ESA awards do not need to be extended - All ESA awards are 'ongoing' they do not have an end date - so there is no end date to extend.


    By contrast PIP does have a set end date, and does stop being paid if/when that date is reached.
    So that needed an entire new law passing to enable PIP awards to be extened.

    PS. I haven't seen anything 'official' about ESA assessments being defered, but as said above it doesn't have to be 'official'.
    You would have thought they would have wanted to trumpet it though?
    Last edited by nukecad; 08-02-21 at 12:24.
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  10. #10
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    Me too. My last review was January 2020 and current award was until last month. I am still receiving payments so I suppose that's a good thing, I just haven't got the heart to call them because of my crippling anxiety (pathetic I know).

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