Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Is this normal for ESA Claim.

magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
My Brother has made his first ESA claim.

the application was made over the phone, the jobcenterplus has sent a statement , the statement is not correct as its missing a vital part of his condition (hes Downs Syndrome) and 24 hours later he has two more letters ,one from the local job center asking him to go meet his work coach and the other letter is a letter saying he has capability for work and he has been placed in a work related activity group (and details of how much ESA he will be paid).

it was my understanding that you make an application, then they send you an ESA50 and you have a face to face assessment and from that point they would decide what group he would be in.

so are we just jumping the gun and he will get a ESA50 and an face to face in due course, or have they skipped that part and placed him in the wrong group and effectively reduced the amount of money he should get? 


Replies

  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    That makes no sense at all. It may have changed, but when I made my claim I was sent 2 forms:
    - the one in regards to my personal details for me to check and sign
    - ESA50

    Not everyone will have a face to face if enough information has been provided.

    Has he received any letters in regards to his ESA award?
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    yes he has had two letters one telling him he has been awarded £73 a week and that hes been put in the work activity group and the other one asking him to go meet his work coach next thursday, 

    he hasnt had the ESA50 or any kind of assessment and as i say he really isnt capable of work, as he cant communicate,hes deaf,has a stack of health issues, he has very poor mobility and requires a carer to be with him constantly unless hes asleep.  
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    I'd phone DWP to check what's going on in the morning. But it does sound like you have grounds to appeal for him to be put in the support group.
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    I thought i should come back and update the post , So here is a break down of what happened.
    My mum who is my brothers main carer and his appointee made a phone application for his ESA benefit, She was told this would make the application process faster and would get his benefit claim processed and receiving money quicker.
    She told the person who was at the end of the phone that she had to do the phone application as my brother has Downs couldn't be understood and he wouldn't understand the questions she would ask anyway, she proceeded with the phone application which took quite a while. During the course of the phone call my mum told the operator that my brother attends college part time, the operator didnt ask for any course details or in what capacity he was at college(its a college in name but its a special needs life skills course for disabled people over school age) .
    The ESA claim was processed and fast tracked and my brother was considered fit for work and was called to the job center for a work related interview with a view to supporting him into work. He was awarded the work related activity group level of ESA rather than the Support group level that we were expecting. 
    My wife and Mum took my brother to the job center for his work related interview, needless to say the people in the job center were gobsmacked that someone so clearly Downs and very incapable was sat infront of them and surprise surprise totally unable to do anything to reverse the decision about his ESA claim.

    They did however offer us a leaflet about local food bank charities ...

    Anyway, we called the DWP and were told that we had to write a letter requesting a mandatory review , and that my brother was most likely fast tracked into the work related group because he attends college but they couldn't understand why the fact his Downs was missed or why he had not had a medical assessment or forms for that matter ,so we wrote a letter and we took the liberty of including the 24 page ESA50 medical questionnaire that they had failed to send out, this was an eye opener , he wracked up so many points it looked like a basket ball game score. 


    So now we await the review.

    The really concerning thing that has become obvious out of all this is that had i not been involved i suspect my Mum would have simply accepted the level of ESA or had she not accepted it she would have struggled to try and correct the error on her own and without help would have given up. My Mum is 60 and she is a full time carer , she isnt a support worker or a personal assistant , she is in effect parenting a 20 year old man as though he is a 5 year old child , he can amuse himself but he has to be supervised as you would a young child or even more so as he has no real sense of danger in any environment with maybe the exception of most of the home. 

    This is my first time dealing with the benefits system and from my point of view it seems extremely difficult to have them correct a mistake, not to mention the forms required to be completed are very long and dare i say difficult to follow, particularly when you consider the challenges some of the applicants face.

    Plus in all honesty i cant help think that in my brothers case they have willfully fudged his claim in an attempt to save the DWP some money or to hit a target, it feels as though the welfare system is no longer about looking after the people who most need it and more about penny pinching and box ticking , Now i accept that the government has a problem with very able people making fraudulent claims or that some people who could arguably work if they had some support ,but in my brothers case he will never work(he would love to btw) and there must many thousands of other people like him who will always need care and support and should be placed into a benefit group who effectively just get a free pass until they pass away.  
     
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,258 Disability Gamechanger
    Does your brother claim PIP ?
    Does your mum claim carers allowance for your brother ?

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    yes they claim both, im not privy to what these benefits pay , the difficulty really seems to be that the system is quite insular and almost secretive , its not a case of awarding claimants with what they need,deserve and are entitled to, but more a game of trying to get them to live on as little as they can get away with. 

    dont get me wrong i fully support the government trying to reduce benefit fraud and making it more difficult for people to claim benefits just because they are reluctant to enter the world of work ,but from what i have seen of the ESA process its not fit for purpose.

    once the ESA claim has been corrected i think we will be lodging a formal complaint, i can only see two possible reasons why someone like my brother could be considered fit for work, incompetence or purposefully putting him in the wrong section to make the numbers look better/tick a box/meet a target, either of those require questions to be asked.   

     
  • nshabaninshabani Member Posts: 5 Listener
    You have no idea what is going on with the WCA. I was there this week. Whereas I was expecting to be removed for reapeted WCA, because I have been long time in illnesses with many disabilities, they called me urgently for 5 days to make the assessment. When I went there I saw a Lady who was totally mentally ill. She was talking to herself, very bad wearing clothes. I am worse for myself physically and mentally, but she was outside this world. I felt sorry for her and for myself. I felt so guilty who I could do nothing for her. I could do nothing to help her. I could not sleep at all all the night.

    Now I’m asking myself: “Really is this country so poor to make these assessments who discriminate and destroy people with disabilities which are so obvious? Was that necessary to make an WCA for that lady who everybody could released that she never will be ok mentally? Why they do that?”

     In my opinion they are not interested for us anymore. All they want is to remove people from the ESA to cut the money. They know very well that nobody could offers job to that Lady. They know that nobody can offer me a job, but they still make assessments to put more in stress, anxiety and panicked. Maybe the government is happy to see how we are suffering from these assessments.
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    I just thought i would update you all, As you you may have read we sent a 24 page letter outlining what areas my brother cant do as per the DWP medical questionnaire for a review, it took them a while to respond but eventually they did saying they would get in touch within 14 days, 21 days later we had heard nothing so started chasing them up, we were passed over to an assessor who has decided that my brother should attend a Medical assessment( the very thing that they skipped over in the first place resulting in this mess) so they can confirm what we have claimed in our extensive letter. 

    We totally expected this to be the case, i mean lets face it why would they accept the word of many medical experts,recorded historical knowledge from there own records,education professionals,adult social services,carers ,respite workers,personal assistants and family members .

    I think the worst part about all this is that his case is so cut and dry you could use it as a training example of someone who is without question unable to attend work in capacity, and yet the system is so flawed that even he can be placed into the looking for work group, and even though the error was spotted almost immediately after the claim was made, we are still waiting for a resolution and still maybe weeks away from an actual decision, and even now we are not confident that they will find in his favour and still may have to appeal. 

    like i said i just wanted to add this update and will continue to do so so that anyone else who finds themselves in the same situation can see what others have done.   
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for updating us @magunra2k. As you say it's terrible that you're having to go to such lengths, but I'm glad things at least seem to be moving forwards. Hope the medical assessment goes as well as possible and that you have the outcome you're hoping for!
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    Thankyou @PippaScope , The Irony behind all this is that when the time came to make the claim we joked that "wouldnt it be funny if they said he was able go to work" ,and he would dearly love to work, but as a family we are very aware of his limitations, anyway it turns out its not funny at all. 

    I find that the public service works outside of the real world, many of the things they do and processes they have or use would not pass muster in the real world,they only work because they are in a vacuum,these services are supposed to work for us and to help us and our vulnerable members of society, they dont treat us like customers, they treat people with suspicion and contempt and are very hard to be held accountable when stuff goes wrong.  
  • SethLaaSethLaa Member Posts: 115 Courageous
    Hi @magunra2k, what you have said in your post is so frustrating and upsetting, my heart breaks for what you and that poor lad is going through. I wish you all the success that you deserve and that a happy outcome is soon achieved, good luck and god bless from SethLaa
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    Thankyou @SethLaa , im just glad places like this are here , the internet is an amazing tool , and sites like Scope really are amazing and helpful, but here is the thing that twists my nugget, why does this portion of the Scope site even need to exist? why do we need organisations like Scope and others to devote resources and man hours and the help of volunteers and the public to essentially clean up after the public services that we pay billions of pounds of tax to fund? Why cant they get it right, as i said above my brothers case should have been a simple and obvious case of someone who should be in the support group, To be brutally honest its a huge waste of time and energy and resources in his case (and thousands of others like him) to even require him to "claim" ,he is never going to be able to work, there should be a separate group for people who are totally reliant on others for all there needs, that should never have the hassle of claiming and be a protected group. 
  • SethLaaSethLaa Member Posts: 115 Courageous
    Hi @magunra2k, yes you are correct in saying that we shouldn't need websites such as Scope but by god am I grateful for all the work that Scope does for us, all the best matey
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    Well here we are another month has passed, we still haven't had a letter requesting my brother attends a medical, this situation started in September, so we are about 3 and half months in and it seems no closer to a resolution, my mum has chased up the mandatory review and it seems the case is currently sitting with a "medical decision maker" but she was not given details of how to contact that person or a name of the person dealing with the case and was told she just had to wait for the person to write to her, so the wait continues.

    The one glimmer of hope for my brother is that it may be a case that due to my brothers condition being very well documented with the NHS and Education he may not need to attend a medical and they may just process the claim without needing him to go through the medical process, like i have mentioned previously there really isn't anyone on the planet who could consider him fit for work in any capacity.

    But I am also slightly suspicious, this was really what caused the situation in the first instance, had they followed established procedure and requested he attend a medical this realistically couldn't/shouldn't have happened, i cant help think that if they once again failing to invite him for a medical assessment again it will at some point in the future cause a problem.

    We will have to wait and see.




  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    Can i ask what are you requesting this MR for exaclty, From what you have said, your brother has recieved an appointment for a F2F WCA   it's not clear if he attended or not, as you don't state what the MR is for

     As for maxi farce  they all too readliy will find a person FFW who isn't
    Some cases are determined on paper  paper assessments,  or by a home visit if it isn't possible  to get to the assessment centre  , but you will usually need a GP's or other HCP's letter that supports this request and explains why you can't travel to them
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    edited December 2017
    Its all listed in the above posts @tomm
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    Well a month later and my brother finally has a medical assessment in February! 
    Yes its only taken the best part of 5 months for DWP to decide that he should have a medical despite this being a routine part of the process, Im glad that they have decided on this route as this should establish beyond any doubt that he is not capable of working in any capacity. 
  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    The assessment isn't a medical and shouldn't be confused as being one,
    their methods used are rudimentary at best but they are not treating or diagnosing conditions , just observing things like functional impairment,
    Supporting & clinical evidence can play a big part in what they write in their reports to the dwp
    After reading more detail i see that he was found to have LCW  and not found to have LCWRA =Support group, they in deciding to assess on paper  imo was the correct thing to do, because it imo isn't acceptable they attend a wca,
    Quite how the HCP who did the paper based wca came to the conclusion that they did not meet any schedule 3 regulations i will never understand, DM's tend to blindly accept what the esa85 report says , 
  • magunra2kmagunra2k Member Posts: 43 Connected
    well brother attended his assessment, it was a very quick assessment and the assessor basically told us it was to confirm that my brother was Downs,i think pretty much that Downs is an auto pass if such a thing exists, now we just wait and see if they change the support group ,at this point it seems unlikely they will continue with the crazy path .
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