Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA Assessment decision waiting time

megleighmegleigh Member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi,
I hope someone can help me or advise me on my situation. 
I was on a joint esa claim with my fiancé from march 2017- June 2017. I was unable to attend both esa health assessments due to my anxiety. I was then cut off from ESA as I hadn't attended the health assessments. When I called DWP I was told I couldn't claim for 3 months. I then reclaimed in August 2017. I received a letter from ESA saying until I attend a ESA health assessment I won't be paid. I didn't get an appointment through till 17th November 17 after lots of complaint and cancelled appointments by The Health Assessment center themselves. As you can see from June - November I've had no payments which ofcourse has caused a lot of trouble for myself which I won't go into. I called up a month after my Assessment in December 17 and was told they haven't got a decision yet and can expect a decision in the next 2 weeks. 
Still to this date 18th January 2018 I still have no decision given by ESA... 
ive been told I can't complain verbally it has to be in writing which I've done so and has no reply from so obviously was just chucked to the side. 
Can anyone advise me on what more I can do as I'm really struggling!!

Thanks :(

Replies

  • Sue52Sue52 Member Posts: 78 Courageous
    [email protected]
    I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. My advice would be to put the complaint in writing, but also send a email to your local MP. 
    If you have a local community hub, maybe pop in there for some advice. They cannot advise you in a legal capacity but are quicker to speak to than the CAB. They could also get you a appointment much quicker
    I hope this helps and you get the resolve you need very soon 
    Take care 
    Sue 

  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    So your current ESA claim started in March 2017- June 2017. ended because you failed to attend the WCA (F2F) ? 
    then during a phone call to the DWP you where told that you couldn't claim for 3 mths?  Do you have the name of the person who told you this? as well as the date and time of day you made this call?

    So 2 months later you made a new claim,  for a significant worsening or a new condition? The reason I'm asking these questions is that should you find you have been awarded  LWCRA element (Support group) you will be owed arrears calculated from  the 94th day after you first claimed March 17,  likewise if you only get a WRAG award

    if they treat it as a new claim from August  you won't get any extra arrears if put in the wra group  as from April 17  the wrag component is no longer payable for new claims made after that date  and any SG element will start from then (possibly ) As for the time it takes them to  process and make a decision and notify you  there isn't any time limit on that as far as i know,  My last WCA  the HCP sent their report to the DWP the next day, it then took the DWP around 6 weeks  to tell me so 4 to 8 weeks seems to be within the normal expected range( i have had several other WCA's prior to this BTW)

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @megleigh, and welcome!

    Sorry to hear that this has been such a long and difficult process for you. I've moved this post into our ask a benefits advisor category, where somebody will hopefully be able to advise you further. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello megleigh

    I hope you have had some news about your ESA since your last post.

    I have put  a link to the DWP complaints procedure
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/complaints-procedure#what-happens-next

    You will see by looking at this link that:
    a) you can make a complaint over the phone
    b) that it should take 15 working days to tell you the outcome or when you can expect a response, (if this has not happened lodge a further complaint)

    There are several things that you can complain about:
    1. The length of time to make a decision given that you have no income
    2. That you were told to wait for 3 months before making a further ESA claim. (You did not need to wait as advised.)
    3. That you were told that your complaint had to be in writing
     
    The DWP may have recorded your telephone calls to ESA. You can request recordings of telephone calls, which you can then use as evidence to support your complaint. There is a specific form to make such a request, please see below link, which is about how you can request personal data.

    ttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/personal-information-charter

    As detailed in tomm's post if this is  a new claim then the rules changed on 3 April 2017 so that people in certain groups of ESA receive less money. As such the date you claimed ESA is crucial. 

    You are still in time to request a Mandatory Reconsideration of the decision that you did not have good cause to attend the assessment back in March 2017. That is there is an absolute time limit of 13 months from the date of the decision, but the longer the delay in lodging a Mandatory reconsideration the more persuasive the reason for the delay must be.  Please post again if you need help with lodging a Mandatory Reconsideration. 

    Maria

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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