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Thread: ESA suspended

  1. #1

    ESA permitted work overdue

    I have been employed from 7/1/13 for 7 hours pw. I was placed in WRAG 23/1/13 and was told of the help available (mainly courses that I was unable to attend because of work). On 11/6/14 I received an incomplete PW7 to complete. I did this and sent it back. On 18/6/14 my ESA had not been paid.
    When I contacted them they said it was to do with my permitted work and that it had ended in Jan 2013. My money had been suspended without any notification and for a reason that wasn't my fault. I had not been told about the permitted work rule as I had already been in employment before I was in WRAG. Still until now I have received no paperwork from them. If I didn't call them I wouldn't have known anything. I called them yesterday and they said that ESA has been closed as I had gone over 52 weeks and that meant I was fit for work again(does 7 hours pw make you fit for work) and could claim JSA. All this time I have been living off 225 monthly wages and can't even afford to collect my next prescription. I am annoyed as I have not been given any options as the PW7 form was sent out 5 months late. Will I be able to appeal their decision as I have had the options taken out of my hands. Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Frankiedx; 16-07-14 at 16:36. Reason: More info

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Keep on at them.
    It sounds like you entitlement to CONTRIBUTION based ESA has run out, it only lasts a year, but you should now be able to claim INCOME based ESA. You shouldnt need to go onto JSA unless your condition has improved.

    I recently had a similar situation with permitted work and a PW7 form.
    It seems that they put your claim 'on suspension' when they send out a PW7 and only reinstate it after they have recieved and approved your reply.

    In my case it had been 52 weeks since I had last done any permitted work, it was clearly stated that this was a one-off job, but still got a PW7 12 months later saying I had to give up work or benefits
    Got advice from the DWPs own phone line about filling in the PW7 and returned it.

    My ESA payments were never stopped; the only way I knew about the claim being 'suspended' was because the DWP sent a letter to my local council saying that my ESA claim had ended, even though it hadn't.
    Of course the council then stopped my housing benefit, and I was threatened with eviction by my landlord.

    Took 2 months and many phone calls to sort out but eventualy got a letter from DWP admitting that my ESA claim had never ended and managed to get the HB backdated to when they had stopped it.
    The DWP admitted on the phone that they had made a mistake telling the council, but they wont put THAT in writing.

    Just for extra fun, I also got a letter from another DWP branch saying that they were no longer able to make deductions from my ESA to pay to Scottish Power because my claim had ended. This one has not been sorted out yet as SP say they are still getting payments even though deductions from my ESA have stopped.
    Anybody suddenly getting deductions paid to Scottish Power for no reason? If so then Thanks.

  3. #3
    When my benefit was changed over, I was entitled to IR ESA and that I had been placed in WRAG.

    After I discovered I had been suspended. I made many calls and was told that I had exceeded 52 wk permitted work rules.

    On one of my call backs I had from DWP, the rude advisor had asked me "what would you have done had you received the PW7 in time" which I had to answer honestly "that I would have had to cease employment as who can live on 28 hours money per month. Which is exactly what is happening now! I have even had to write to them for them to send me the decision in writing as I have only been told all this info verbally. To be honest it is not worth doing permitted work (because if like me they forget to send a PW7 to you in time) as after 52 weeks they seem to think you do not require ESA and can claim JSA.

  4. #4
    Did you get an apology for all the hassle they caused you?...Or did they send you an explanation?

  5. #5
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    There is a strict 52 weeks on 52 weeks off rule for permitted work of up to 16 hours per week paying more than 20 per week unless you are in the Support Group. Those in the Support Group can undertake this level of permitted work indefinitely.

    The timing is strict - once you go over 20 per week earnings, that's the first of the 52 weeks of this type of permitted work you are allowed. You can stop and start this permitted work as many times as you like in the 52 weeks "on". Once you reach the 52nd week, you must have 52 weeks with no permitted work over 20 per week. You can't start the 52 weeks "off" early if you lose your job, though a new "on" period doesn't start until you recommence permitted work of over 20 per week.


    Frankiedx - from what I can understand of your situation, no appeal is possible. You are subject to the permitted work rules even if they were not explained to you. As you have worked for more than 52 weeks earning over 20 per week whilst in the Work-Related Activity Group, your ESA claim is likely to be closed.

    You appear to have four options:
    • try to get sufficient extra hours to claim Working Tax Credit instead of ESA
    • live off your earnings
    • stop work or reduce your work to less than 20/week pay (you must be paid national minimum wage, so this works out at around 3 hours per week) and make a new ESA claim
    • claim JSA (I'm afraid I can't remember the rules about working and claiming JSA)



    However, I am not familiar with your individual circumstances. I would strongly recommend getting help from a local advice provider (such as a local authority welfare rights project if you have one or Citizen's Advice).



    N.B. this reply ignores supported permitted work, which doesn't apply to many people.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the reply Flymo
    This is the information I have been searching for. In all this time not one advisor has been able to give me ALL my options.
    The most frustrating thing is that until they actually give me any piece of correspondence I have to struggle on just my wages. Looks like I will have to sign my prescription, as I have been and hope for the best. It is with regret that I will have to give up work and reclaim. The only problem I have is that I need to receive this letter before Wednesday as I break up from work for 6 weeks and will have to hand in my notice by then.
    I feel that if they are going to continue with permitted work, that DWP should be sending out this letter well before 52 weeks so people have enough time to find all the answers (that JCP can't answer) and then they can make an informed decision.
    It's sad because if anybody asked me about permitted work I would tell them that it's not worth getting involved in, as the people who are meant to advise you are clueless about it. AVOID PERMITTED WORK IN WRAG.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankiedx View Post
    Did you get an apology for all the hassle they caused you?...Or did they send you an explanation?
    I hope you said that with your tounge in cheek.

    Apology from the DWP; I'd roll on the floor laughing but I might put my back out.

    I also have to second your opinion about permitted work and WRAG, not worth the hassle.
    Shame realy as this is what they should be making easier if they want people to get back do doing the work that they can manage.
    Last edited by nukecad; 18-07-14 at 02:06.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Flymo;65004]There is a strict 52 weeks on 52 weeks off rule for permitted work of up to 16 hours per week paying more than 20 per week unless you are in the Support Group. Those in the Support Group can undertake this level of permitted work indefinitely.

    I have just had a conversation with the DWP who deny that those in the support group can undertake this level of work indefinitely. They say that the 52 week limit applies whichever ESA group you are in. I have just received an incomplete PW7 and have a mandatory reconsideration of my reassessment which placed me in the WRAG when previously I was in the Support group, so this is a significant issue for me. Is there anywhere I can see the regulations so I can state my case clearly to the DWP?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by liztherapy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    There is a strict 52 weeks on 52 weeks off rule for permitted work of up to 16 hours per week paying more than 20 per week unless you are in the Support Group. Those in the Support Group can undertake this level of permitted work indefinitely.
    I have just had a conversation with the DWP who deny that those in the support group can undertake this level of work indefinitely. They say that the 52 week limit applies whichever ESA group you are in.
    <sigh>

    Yet again, this is a case of DWP not knowing the law.


    It's Regulation 45(4)(b) of The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/794) (as amended by Regulation 13(23) of The Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 3) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/2536)).

    Someone who is in the Support Group has Limited Capacity for Work-Related Activity.


    N.B. There are other amendments to Regulation 45 - the earnings limit is now 16 times National Minimum Wage.

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