Do DWP decision makers over rule assessors reports a lot? — Scope | Disability forum
New to the community? Remember to read our community guidelines and our community house rules.
Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Find out how to let us know.

Do DWP decision makers over rule assessors reports a lot?

Hi there my first post here I'm James. 

I've been in the ESA support group since November 2016 and had the dreaded reassessment on December 27th 2017, I plucked up the courage to ring the DWP to find out if I was getting paid on Tuesday and the lady was really helpful and lovely, she said the decision was still to be decided with the decision maker but the assessment report was received on January 2nd and she said it was a positive report and advised I continue in the support group, she also said the dwp decision maker could disagree so don't get hopes up fully yet. 

Two questions, is it unusual for a report to be said on the phone that seems positive. 

And should I be worried still, will the dwp decision maker over rule it and even if they did that positive assessor report would work in my favour worst case appeals etc?

Sorry for the essay just incredibly anxious, I had two attempts on my life last year was in crisis team for a week in a and e, I am just starting to improve my mental state ever so slowly, if they cut me off I don't know if I could stomach the fight really anxious. 


Comments

  • debkenzo
    debkenzo Member Posts: 110 Pioneering
    Hello Spibes.
    My name is Debbie and quite new to the site.  I completely understand how you must be feeling anxious about this uncertain journey that you are experiencing.  I am also on a similar journey.  The person on the phone to you should not be giving out their opinions about your medical assessment report.  On the one hand they said your report was positive and then tell you not to get your hopes up!! In my opinion, this is totally unacceptable and unfair.   If the first Decision Maker stops your benefit then you have the option to request a Mandatory Reconsideration.  This is where a second Decision Maker will decide whether to reinstate your benefit.  If the second Decision Maker refuses, then you have the right to Appeal to a Tribunal Hearing.  It is so very important that you take all these opportunities to fight for what you are justifiably entitled to.  I truly do hope that the first Decision Maker will do what is Right and allow you to continue with you receiving your benefit.  I wish you all the very best and keep strong.  Do Not Allow this corrupt system to make you feel any worse.  Fight for what is Right.
    Debbie :)
  • tomm
    tomm Member Posts: 236 Pioneering
    Well,  in my experience if the HCP from maxifarce says you are ffw then they never disagree, they will almost aways take the advice  given by the HCP , providing  they haven't made some obvious mistake , but it's rare for the DWP decision maker to disagree, because they are not clinically trained  they rely on what the HCP says and the other available evidence such as the ESA50 and medical evidence from specialists ect
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    So seeing as the assessor report advises to continue support group and is positive according to the lady on the phone, I should be in the clear? 

    It would be odd for the decision maker to disagree. Can I ask for a copy of that report?
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Spibes

    Yes you can ask for a copy of the report. The DWP rarely send out ESA  assessment reports prior to the decision being made

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Thanks buddy. 

    I probably am worrying too much, if the assessment is positive as the person on the phone suggested I am probably in for a good chance of a award but even if decision maker was callas and disagreed I have a strong case of appeal after Mandatory reconsideration?
  • kevin888
    kevin888 Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    In my experience from assessment  to Tribunal for PIP, the DM at DWP has no medical qualifications so they mainly agree with HCP report. My decision letter was more or less what was written on the HP report. If you disagree with the outcome contact CAB they were great help to me. Good luck. 
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Thanks I will be optimistic then in that case fingers crossed. 

    Sorry for the anxiety. 
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    It is always a worrying time waiting for the decision letter, until then it doesn't really sink in even if you knoe the result. Either way a copt of the report is usefull for your records

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • tomm
    tomm Member Posts: 236 Pioneering
    Talking of the LT54  decision makers report and ESA55 HCP's report, i asked for mine following my SG award of 18mths ,they sent me only 4 of the 6 pages of the LT54 /ESA56 (07/17) report, and an old ESA85 report from a wca i had in 2013
    When i realised  i rang them again  and because i had a home visit wca, they didn't have it on their system to print off, and they would have to request it for me, still waiting lol
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Ringing DWP to clarify what they told me yesterday, had nothing but bad luck last year so seems to good to be true fingers crossed. 
  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 208 Courageous
    Hi Spibes

    Do let us know what the outcome is. As debkenzo, tomm, cockneyrebel and kevin888 say, this is an anxious time, but it's good to stay positive, especially as it sounds pretty hopeful. Do contact us at the Helpline if you get an unfavourable decision, we'd be able to offer some ideas about how to challenge it. You won't be alone with this!

    Gill
    Scope Helpline
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Thank you, I rung today and the advisor had no information on screen so unsure why the previous advisor had that info worried now a little. 

    Still no decision yet but advisor said ring back Friday 
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Update rung again today, no decision but advisor was lovely and said on screen assessment advises continue in support group. 

    So even though decision maker hasn't made decision yet I should be in clear or is it common for decision makers to overrule a support group recommendation and degrade the award to no award or WRAG? 
  • debkenzo
    debkenzo Member Posts: 110 Pioneering
    Hello Spibes
    In my own personal experience, the advisors on the phone are usually lovely etc but it is the Decision Maker who are not so lovely and have the power to overrule whatever they choose.  I wish you the rightful justification for your benefit that you truly deserve.  
    Debbie
  • magunra2k
    magunra2k Member Posts: 46 Connected
    Spibes 
    Its not possible for anyone here to tell you what usually happens, each case is decided on its own merit, the decision maker will rule how they see it, using the info gathered for them. nothing anyone here says will alter that, best just to relax , stop phoning them and let them contact you in due course, ringing them excessively could negatively impact your claim as they may become suspicious of your situation.  
  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 208 Courageous
    Hi Spibes

    Really really pleased to hear this, though I saw this  bit late in the day!  Well done for keeping your cool. It is made so hard for people to do just that.

    Gill
    (Scope Helpline)


  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 66 Courageous
    Personally. . What  I find  strange is getting  a nurse   to carry out an assessment.  A nurse  is a nurse.
    Where does h/ she   getting  specialist  knowledge   on  all   different medical  problems which leave  people with  disabilities?
    Don't    tell  me they  are trained up as it  takes  years to train  up as a  consultant. 
    I   do not  consider them  specialists . 
      Your  thoughts 
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    A nurse?  My PIP assessor was a paramedic!  Yes, it's a fiasco that non-doctors are assessing how complex disabilities affect people.  They haven't got a clue. No wonder so many reports are works of fiction: the spawn of incompetence.  And that's when they're not telling downright lies.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Henry

    Unfortunately assessments are not medicals, maybe they should be, but at present they are just functionality tests and as such could be carried out by a trained monkey
    The HCP's do undertake a short course in functionality assessment
    There are some conditions that do require assessment by a specialist, these are usually flagged up and the necessary arrangements should be made

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    can you send in evidence after you have had your medical assessment,because i have further evidence,will the decision maker take this into account ?
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    how long does the esa decision take,if it is bad news,i won't be able to go to sign on if they put me on jsa,don't want jsa,but have no other money plus bills all over the place,can't  leave the house,esa medical assessor was'nt very nice and looked from the start that she wanted to find me fit for work.my medical was on the 12 september 18.today is 14 october,worrying constantly about the decision,can't take being found fit for work,i think they want to find me fit for work,so they can take the extra money off the wrag group i'm in,then make me reapply,then giving me esa again,but at jsa rate.please help anyone thank you.i also think i should be in the support group,because wrag group interviews are very hard for me to do.also can the decision maker over rule the medical assessor with further/new evidence,because i have this awful feeling she has found me fit for work,i think they have been told to fail certain people.any help would be grateful thank you
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    The assessment provider can't find you fit for work, only a decision maker can do that. The assessment provider write a report with recommendations and the decision maker looks at that, the evidence and makes a decision. Mostly they go with the report, it's rare to go against it.

    As you've already had your assessment then it's most likely too late to send more evidence because it probably wouldn't arrive in time. If you're found fit for work you would need to ask for the Mandatory reconsideration and not re-apply for ESA. You can't re-apply for ESA after being found fit for work unless it's for a worsening condition or a completely new condition.

    You can ring DWP and ask them to send you a copy of the assessment report, this will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be as they mostly go with this. It's also handy to have if you're found fit for work and have to ask for the MR.

    Hopefully it won't be much longer. Good luck.


  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    hi poppy,thanks for your feedback,when i've had assesssments before on the  copy report it said PROGNOSIS;: EXPECTED CHANGE; FUNCTIONAL PROBLEMS:I ADVISE THAT WORK COULD BE CONSIDERED WITHIN 12 MONTHS.REASONS FOR THE OPINION GIVEN:THE AVAILABLE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS REVIEW IN THE MEDIUM TERM,HAD THIS TWICE BEFORE,THIS TIME IT SAYS ,AS ABOVE BUT WHEN IT COMES TO FUNCTIONAL PRIBLEMS IT SAYS :NOT APPLICABLE,I'M SURE THIS MEANS FIT FOR WORK.ANY IDEAS?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2018
    As doesn't state a recommendation for either of the groups then yes fit for work, of course i could be wrong. You'll have to wait for the decision.

    Please can you turn caps off because it's very difficult to read and is classed as shouting in text type, thank you.
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    sorry about the caps,something wrong with my screen,what will happen now,mandtory reconsideration,will they automatically put me on jsa,i have sent them evidence yesterday from a doctor and the nhs,hopes it gets there on time,i will fight this,how long does it take to go tribunal,i knew this nurse would be difficult just had this feeling about her,what i read on the medical report,was a load of tripe,everything against me,the obvious was'nt stated at all,if the dwp always believe the nurses,this one women,is going to send my life down the plughole,i also get pip benefit,if i'm on jsa,and looking for work the pip will be stopped,my small overdraft at my bank will be stopped as well i reckon.i feel there is real hardship to come,what an early xmas present.
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    will the esa dept have a copy of my pip report,on the esa50 they said don't bring us evidence of any other benefits,so i did'nt,last time at the assessment i did show it to them,little tricks? but surely they must have a copy of this,this nurse will cost me 550 pound a month,i've been in debt for years as it is,down to to 73 pound a week,i can't believe this,this is the worst news ever,she asked me at the medical do i feel suicidal,i said no,i tell you what i do now.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    If the decision is fit for work then MR first followed by Tribunal if that fails and only 17% of MR decisions change.

    No, they won't automatically put you on JSA.  If your area is a full Universal Credit area you won't be able to claim JSA, it will have to be UC. If you claim UC then you won't be able to go back onto ESA while you wait for the Tribunal. Check what's in your area by putting your postcode into this link. http://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate

    If you're found fit for work your PIP won't stop because they're 2 completely different benefits. People claim PIP and work.

    Do you claim any of the disability premiums on your ESA? If so and you claim UC you will lose those premiums because they're not paid on UC.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    london75 said:
    hi poppy,thanks for your feedback,when i've had assesssments before on the  copy report it said PROGNOSIS;: EXPECTED CHANGE; FUNCTIONAL PROBLEMS:I ADVISE THAT WORK COULD BE CONSIDERED WITHIN 12 MONTHS.REASONS FOR THE OPINION GIVEN:THE AVAILABLE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS REVIEW IN THE MEDIUM TERM,HAD THIS TWICE BEFORE,THIS TIME IT SAYS ,AS ABOVE BUT WHEN IT COMES TO FUNCTIONAL PRIBLEMS IT SAYS :NOT APPLICABLE,I'M SURE THIS MEANS FIT FOR WORK.ANY IDEAS?
    Just read this again, are you sure there's no where in that report that says anything about a limited capability for work? or even reg 29 for WRAG?
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    hi again poppy, it just says           prognosis  below it    expected change  28 below that                                                                     functional problems:        below this                                                                                    not applicable            on page 21 of 26
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    no 29 on my report,previous reports there were ,reasons for the opinon given,then below it saidthe available evidence suggests review in the medium term,it sounds to me they have made up their mind already,the only place it mentions fit for work or wrag is reg25 ,where it says i would'nt be no harm to anyone or myself if found fit for work or wrag group.thats the only place i see it
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    london75 said:
    hi again poppy, it just says           prognosis  below it    expected change  28 below that                                                                     functional problems:        below this                                                                                    not applicable            on page 21 of 26
    I have no idea what this mean, sorry. You should wait for the decision which you have to do anyway because you can't do anything until then. Sending that extra evidence yesterday is probably too late now and it may not help you, it can take 7 days or more for DWP to receive it and for it to be put onto the computer. DWP mail sorting process is slow for incoming and out going mail.
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    it says prognosis=no answer,expected change = no answer,functional problems = not applicable,on page 21 of 26
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,682 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @london75

    If you are having thoughts of suicide, it is important that you discuss them with someone who is qualified to help. Please call the Samaritans on 116 123 (free) or email them at [email protected]

    You might also benefit from reading MIND’s information on how you can help yourself: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/how-can-i-help-myself/

    If you feel that you may be an immediate danger to yourself, please call 999 or go to your local hospital right away.

    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    hi sam,i called the samaritans and had a chat, had a chat with my mum as well.i'm ok,but this is getting me down ,to realise what might happen,any ideas on my sitution ? would be so grateful,about the previous posts,and the likelyhood of being found fit for work,and prognisis:functional problems: not applicable,what does it mean?




  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    london75 said:
    prognisis:functional problems: not applicable,what does it mean?

    It means no functional problems were found. Whether that's a recommendation of being found fit for work i do not know. If it's WRAG recommendation then for ESA it's either reg29 or at least 15 points are needed to be scored from the current WRAG descriptors.
  • london75
    london75 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    they have stopped my esa,now im worried i might lose my pip,what do i do sign on?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    You now have 28 days to request a Mandatory reconsideration. You should put this in writing stating what you disagree with, which group you think you should be placed into and your reasons why. I'd advise you to get further help and advice with this. If you didn't send in evidence to support your claim then you'll need to send it with the MR request letter. Only 17% of MR decisions change and most people have to take it to Tribunal. If the MR decision stays the same and you have to take it to Tribunal once they accept your appeal you can go back onto assessment rate of ESA with a fit/sick note from your GP.

    What to do now..... if your area is a full universal credit area you won't be able to claim ESA. If you claim UC then you won't be able to go back onto ESA while you wait for the Tribunal. If you claim UC then you won't receive any money for at least 5 weeks. Check your area here. http://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate



  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Just responding to this as the original poster. 

    I had a ESA50 form arrive last month due for November 16th, so time to be anxious again, I hate going through this but I have more proof of my disability now including my diagnosis of autism in August. 

    Just so incredibly nervous getting help to do the form tomorrow will it arrive in time for the 16th or have I left it too late?

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    The actual diagnosis won't help a claim BUT the autism assessment report will help. Of course it depends how your autism affects you, as we're all different but fingers crossed for you, good luck.
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Thank you really appreciate that I'll make sure to photo copy it and send it off too when it arrives. 

    Appreciate the swift response. 
  • najdi
    najdi Member Posts: 9 Connected
    I don’t understand why we have to do this every 3 years or so

    it should only be one time and then every 10 or 15 years 

    it’s costing money time and most importantly depressed to us  
    Oh ! god please help us 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    ESA can re-assess you anytime from 3 months regardless of the award guide they tell you.
  • Spibes
    Spibes Member Posts: 58 Courageous
    Yep that's correct twice I've been given a year award but both times it's varied once for 13 months and this award barely 10 before reassessment. 

    Just gotta get on with it but the stress almost killed me last time, positive vibes this time I wont let them get to me. 
  • atd1984
    atd1984 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi I had my Pip  assessment on the 21/12/18 I’ve got the report but in the mobility side of things they said I walk aided with  crutches and can walk up to 200m this is not true I can’t even walk past 50m so I’m scared that I’m not going to be awarded the mobility side of it but I scored 10 points in the report for care witch I feel should be more can the  decision maker see the assessment is wrong on the mobility side and change it to I can olnly walk 50m aided as that’s what I put in writing and in writing ot dose say as such in the report regards any help much  appreciated thank you 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,884 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    It's very rare for them to go against to report, usually they go with it and award what's recommended. You will of course need to wait for the decision. If you're not happy then you can request the MR followed by Tribunal if that fails and most do. Do be aware that when asking for the MR then they will look at the whole decision again and not just part of it.
  • atd1984
    atd1984 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you for your reply I’m aware it can go that way and they do look at the whole claim again I sopose I’ll just have to wait and see I hope it’s good news as I did only score 4 points on the mobility side of the assessment regards 

Brightness

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.

Fancy a chat in our virtual coffee lounge?

Put the kettle on and have a chat in our coffee lounge with other members. We talk about hobbies, games and anything else you can think of!

Cerebral Palsy (CP) Online Cafe

Here's a new opportunity for people with CP or a similar disability (aged 20+) to get together and chat. The sessions are in partnership with CP Sport so you can find out more and meet people from both organisations.

Are you struggling?

Read our 'Coping with stress, low mood and isolation' support thread for a run-down of ideas on how to banish those blues and feel happier.

What do you think about the community?

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community a better space for you.

Information about COVID-19

If you have questions about the virus, please read our information and support which includes guidance on benefits, getting food and essentials and Cerebral Palsy.

Back to school this September?

Read tips on how to settle back in and handle any worries you or your children might be having this new term.

Online employment support

Support to Work is an online and telephone support programme for disabled people who are looking for work.