Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA Help

ellentonyellentony Member Posts: 4 Listener
 Good morning all you wonderful people out there  I am a carer for Ellen she suffers from osteo arthritis  rheumatoid arthritis   Severe back problem with fourth and fifth vertebrae is collapsing  candida   And TZ material present  recently went for an assessment in Southend-on-Sea got a taxi there I helped her in with a walking aid proceeded to have the assessment the assessor at to help her on the bed and off the bed  she tried to stand up because the severe pain in her back she could only stand for a maximum of 30 seconds  proceeded with the standard tests and the outcome is Department of works and pensions  have deemed her 100% fit for work  she has on more painkillers and different medications I've never seen so much in all my life   We telephoned the Department of works and pensions to request a mandatory reconsideration on three occasions  by telephone   Only to find out a week ago they had no request recorded at all she has no money to survive what do you kind of people think about this dire situation  and I was wondering if scope would be able to support  Ellen in anyway  would appreciate feedback on this one and many thanks in advance Tony 

Replies

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,372 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @ellentony and welcome to the community.

    A couple of quick questions, when did you receive the letter informing you of the decision, and are they now performing a mandatory review?

    Have you had a copy of the assessment report?

    I would strongly recommend you call the Scope helpline on Monday morning, 0808 800 3333 Even though Ellen may not be getting ESA there are other benefits she would be entitled to, for example JSA. I appreciate that this is not the right benefit for her, but requesting to be referred to a disability advisor the expectations should not be so high while you both try and sort this out, and will at least get some money coming in.

    If Ellen is a tenant, unless the rules have changed, she should also make an application for rent and council tax benefits.

    I cannot say what I really think of the situation, as it would get the post deleted and my wrist slapped by the staff.

    However the Conservatives dress it up, these tests are about one thing, getting as many people off disability benefits as possible, and the DWP has already admitted there are high targets in place to initially refuse applications. Mandatory reviews were brought in because of the high success rates at appeal, this has reduced the number of applicants who go on to appeal, where the success rate is still high.

    We have been sold a huge lie, the need to tighten our belts and reduce our national debt. Not only has it grown, but so has the gap between the wealthy and poor with both heading in different directions. We are told that we need to reduce the benefit bill to make it viable and to support those who need it most, yet by far the biggest part of the welfare bill, and the one which will grow significantly is triple locked. In the mean time we continue to hear about those who need the support are being kicked off the benefits they need by a corrupt system built on dogma from the Victorian ages and beyond.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ellentony.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your current problems !!

    Yes phoning the Scope Helpline tomorrow morning is a must !!!

    In to the mean time are you able to access the "online community"

    please please let let me know if I can help you further ???
  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @ellentony,

    Welcome to Scope's online community!

    As @Geoark and @steve51 mention, Scope does have a helpline service, where one of our advisors can offer further advice and support. We also have more information about ESA and appealing a DWP benefits decision on our website, which you may find useful.

    I've moved this post into our Ask a Benefits Advisor category, where @BenefitsTrainingCo may be able to advise further.

    I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please do get in touch!
    Liam
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi ellentony,

    Some advice!

    Put a mandatory reconsideration request in writing. Explain what points you think she should have got and/or say that work would be a substantial risk to her health (with examples of why, if you can - point to medical evidence if you have got it). You can go through the test for ESA first which may help. Keep a copy of the request.

    Put in a complaint about the failure to take your MR request on board earlier. Emphasise the stress that has caused. I'd suggest that you say they need to respond to the MR within a time limit (7 days perhaps) otherwise you will take the complaint to the next stage.

    Get a copy of the assessor's report- complain if that is wrong/inaccurate/misleading or anything else not up to standard! (That complaint is to the assessment company, Maximus).

    Final point - she needs money now. She may be able to claim JSA but that will depend on the area. Put the MR request in BEFORE she claims anything else. Don't claim universal credit without getting advice. If Ellen does claim JSA, then she can ask for restrictions on her availability for work - explain that she won't be able to do any job that requires standing, and anything else which is ruled out (this may be most jobs!)

    See if you can get emergency welfare support from the council (not all have a scheme, but some do).

    Check to see if she can get any other benefits using the calculator.

    The decision CAN be changed Tony, it may take time, so you will need to get her some other source of income in the meantime.

    Will

    PS as Geoark says this is a political issue so do consider getting your MP to help too.
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • ellentonyellentony Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Many thanks for all your suggestions and help we have contacted the MP and asked for that mandatory reconsideration fingers crossed many thanks once again
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