Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA reassessment

Hi, I am a bit confused about The timing of reassessment for ESA.
My husband had a reassessment f2f for ESA last July after long time in support group. He is still in support group but he received an invitation for f2f assessment in Aug. Is it normal to have an reassessment so soon? It's only about a year ago he had reassessment...
He had PIP reassessment this year. First of all, he lost daily activity component (he was awarded enhanced before) and he got only standard mobility. He had MR and he has been awarded standard rate of both components. (We have requested tribunal and waiting for hearing now) I am wondering PIP decision might have been affected to ESA and that is the reason the reassessment is happening. 
I am happy if you could advice as his f2f in 2 weeks time.

Replies

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    ESA and PIP are not connected. ESA is an open ended benefit but they can and do reassess any time. Usually it is a 3 year time frame but must be at least 3 months since last one. It is unusual at the moment as many reassessments are being defered due to back log. Just unlucky I guess
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 50 Courageous
    I just read a change wil occur on ESA support group at the end of this year or next year. The article says they will stop doing unnessesury reassessment for people in support group and at the moment they are working on the system.
    I might be wrong, but they might be inviting support group people  with especially mental condition to,f2f to try to move them to WRG before the new rule starts. Or am I too paranoid? 

    The article I read about change is in House of Commons library No.07820 19/June207
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello pinemartine

    I am sorry to read that your husband has been called so quickly for an ESA re-assessment.  They have been slowing down the re-assessment rate in recent years ut you seem to have been very unfortunate.

    The government did announce back in October that it is to abolish 'pointless' employment and support allowance (ESA) reassessments for those with lifelong, severe health conditions with no prospect of improvement. They went on to say that;

    'This change will apply to people who have already been placed in the ESA support group or universal credit limited capability for work and work related activity categories following a work capability assessment and who have the most severe health conditions and disabilities (defined as claimants with severe, lifelong, often progressive and incurable conditions, with minimally fluctuating care needs, who are unlikely to ever be able to move closer to the labour market and into work).'

    I have not noticed an increase in the number of people in the support group being re-assessed, so lets hope that your prediction does not come to fruition.

    DLA and ESA did histrionically exchange copies of medical reports prompting unscheduled reviews of benefit but this practice seems to have ended. Probably as a previous post has stated they are completely different tests with very different rules. 

    We wish your husband good luck with his appeals, and please post if you need any assistance.

    Maria Solomon



    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 50 Courageous
    Thank you for the comments, every one. I am getting very nervous about f2f after the traumatic experience of PIP f2f assessment. (We are waiting for tribunal hearing for PIP). 
    Yes, I heard there is a massive delay for ESA reassessment, and it makes me more suspicious and nervous as my husband got invited to f2f so soon. Also, it was another surprise that the appointment letter for f2f arrived  very fast, only 10 days after we sent ESA50 from. 
    I am now reading " Work Capability Assessor's handbook" on line. It says they call people for reassessment when there is expectations of improvement of condition and they will request f2f if there is not enough medical evidence to prove to convince the person is not capable to work.
    There is a comment of the assessor in the last year's assessment report "evedences suggests review in medium  term". Maybe they thought his condition might get improve after a while,
    We submitted a lot of evidences include GP and his consultant's letters which says the treatment he recently had didn't improve his condition much and he still needs help for almost all the daily activities.
    Unfortunately the letters were originally written for  PIP MR dated this May, because we couldn't have get new letters in time for ESA from GP or consultant as they are super busy and difficult to get hold of.
    We thought this letter could be used as an evidence, because the information is not old. 
    We submitted these GP's letter, his insomnia clinic doctor's letter,  medical report from his psychiatrists (from last year), medical report from pain clinic (treatment still on going), details of trigger of his PTSD. He also have memory and concentration problem which are mentioned in GP's letter and waiting for memory test by specialist (there is no written document for this yet.).
    We thought we submitted enough evidences and we cannot think any more information to show. 
    Sorry to going on like this but I will appreciate any advice or help.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    pinemartine,

    I can't really add to the advice Maria has given you. If you don't have any more evidence, then simply say so, and explain that you are unable to obtain anything else.

    You're right to point out that the government committed to stop reassessing people with conditions which can't improve, and in fact, this was originally supposed to happen much earlier. I'd suggest complaining to the DWP about the reassessment (but still going along with it, because you don't want benefit to stop - the complaint is separate).

    Why not go to see your MP too? The paper you read is House of Commons Briefing Paper 07820, 19th June 2017, but you'll notice in that paper there are statements the government made much earlier, saying they would ensure people weren't reassessed unnecessarily. It's clear that this isn't happening, and your MP may be able to support you and your husband with this case.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 50 Courageous
    Thank you, Will. I read the house of Commons paper again. They haven't made clear yet who are exempt from reassessment in the paper. They say not all the people in support group are exempt from reassessment. So my husband might still need to be reassessed after this change happens... There is a comment in his consultant's letter which says the treatment didn't show much improvement and he still needs lot of care for daily activities. Maybe this is the only thing I can use to complain DWP for unnecessary reassessment at the moment. Do you think it is still worth to write MP?
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi @pinemartine,

    Will's not on today as we take it in turns, but I'm sure he would still recommend going to see if your MP can help you.

    MP's have contacts in the DWP that us mere mortals can only dream of, so they're always worth a try!

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 50 Courageous
    Thank you, Mary and Will. I sent a email to our MP anyway. His f2f is on 14th of Aug, so we might not hear from MP before the assessment though...  But there is nothing to lose and I hope it's worth it. Fingers crossed. 
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