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ESA stopped?

Skyblue
Skyblue Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hello. I am hoping someone can help me? I have been on ESA Support group for 2 years. Recent WCA decided I scored no points & ended my ESA immediately. Previous WCA awarded 30+ points & nothing has changed except I have got worse. I have asked for a mandatory reconsideration. I also have been awarded PIP last year until 2020. This is now all I have to live on and I am terrified they will take that off me as well. Can anyone advise me please, this is so stressful its making me even more unwell.
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Comments

  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    See other thread

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    SkyblueSkyblue,
    You've done the right thing in asking for a mandatory reconsideration (MR). If you haven't already, use the ESA self-test to get as clear as you can about what points you should have been given, and what evidence you have to show that you have those difficulties. 

    If the MR isn't successful, don't hesitate to appeal and remember, most people are successful at appeal stage. In terms of what you can apply for in the meantime, depending on where you are in the country, it could be Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit. I'd avoid claiming Universal Credit if you possibly can because you could end up worse off (though it depends on all your circumstances). Both benefits would require you to look for work until you get a different outcome from the work capability assessment, but you might be able to get your work search requirement suspended via a sick note. You don't HAVE to claim Jobseeker's or UC if you don't want to & you'd rather manage as you are.

    If you want to check whether it would be UC or Jobseeker's, you can put your postcode in this tool here. But to repeat, I would strongly advise avoiding UC at this point. 

    If you normally get housing benefit and/or council tax reduction, get in touch with your local council as soon as you can to let them know what has happened and ask for these benefits to be worked out on the basis of nil income (your PIP won't be counted). This is to make sure that housing benefit and CTR do not stop.

    Once you get your MR notice, if you do have to appeal, & as long as you haven't claimed UC in the meantime, you can get your ESA back (at 'assessment phase' rate) until your appeal is heard.

    As far as PIP is concerned, I'd bear two things in mind. One is that it has a different test, so not getting ESA doesn't mean you are not entitled to PIP. Secondly, the test is carried out by a different company (ATOS or Capita depending on where you live). With an award until 2020, although the DWP technically could call you for a review at any time, they don't have any reason to do so just because there's been an ESA change.

    I know that won't relieve all of your stress, so please consider going to your MP about this as well, so that they understand how much the flawed assessments are affecting disabled people and making their health worse.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Skyblue
    Skyblue Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank you for your prompt reply. I luckily managed to get an emergency appt for Monday with my CAB. I will contact my MP as suggested. I am still in shock that they can do this to anyone.
  • suensyd
    suensyd Member Posts: 4 Listener
    ive also had my esa stopped,i never scored any points either and my illness is worsening,i was advised to aply for uc while I await my appeal as my MR was also refused, don't know where to start for my appeal as I feel my head is like spaggetti junction,any help welcome.
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @suensyd, and welcome to the community!

    So sorry to hear this. We have some guidance on appealing DWP decisions which may be a good place to start, and please do come back to us with any questions.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi suensyd,

    If you follow Will's advice that will put you on the right track. If you feel you cannot do this by yourself you should contact your Local Authority to see if it has a Welfare Rights service or contact your local CAB as both can offer practical assistance with your letters and maybe that can take a bit of pressure from you. It is important to submit any medical evidence if you have any with your mandatory reconsideration to try to get the decision changed. All the best.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
    my esa was stopped can't recommend the CAB highley enough they will really help!
  • suensyd
    suensyd Member Posts: 4 Listener
  • susan48
    susan48 Member Posts: 2,222 Disability Gamechanger
    Citizens Advise Bureu
  • Danielle_S84
    Danielle_S84 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    edited March 2018
    Hi in October of last year i had my pip stopped, but fortunately after mandatory reconsideration AND a tribunal i got it reinstated this month
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community, @Danielle_S84, glad to hear that you got things sorted!
  • Danielle_S84
    Danielle_S84 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    @PippaScope but my ESA has now been stopped & i was wondering if its likely to be reinstated as my pip was? Or doesn't it work like this  :/
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    ESA and PIP are separate benefits
    Have you challenge the ESA decision ?

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    @CockneyRebel, they may well be separate but they do swap/share information and in my experience have access to all information between the departments as and when they choose to use it..

    @Danielle_S84, ring ESA and ask to speak to the decision maker to find out why it has been stopped and if they are aware of your recent pip tribunal decision.  Mostly by the time you get post from them it is already outdated and another confusing computer generated letter will arrive days later to contradict what they said!
  • susan48
    susan48 Member Posts: 2,222 Disability Gamechanger
    Sleepy1,
    I think they  do swap/share info.
    in my bundle, for tribunal, it said at the back pages, interested parties, ESA, Council -council tax benefit, so why else would the people I get benefits from be interested in my PIP!
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    Although they undoubtedly have access the criteria are different and they are looking at different things

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Skyblue
    Skyblue Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I requested a MR with a letter from CAB. I also informed them in writing ( I cannot hear on the phone) that I would be submitting further information. The deadline was 28th March . Today I have received the MR notice, they have done it already without waiting for my new info, which was a Doctors letter and copy xray reports, posted yesterday 1st class recorded. Obviously they havent changed the decision, I didnt really expect them to, but they say "In assessing your ability to perform the functions of the Work Capability Assessment, the activities do not have to be performed pain free" I have osteo & rheumatoid arthritis & fibromyalgia. The stress of having my money stopped has caused me to have a serious fibro flare and I havent been off my bed for a week. I will now start the appeals process, can anyone help me with what to put on the forms as there isnt much room to detail my conditions etc.? 
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    To start the appeal you only need basic reasons for your appeal on the SSCS1
    You will then receive an acceptance from the tribunal followed by the bundle that the DWP used to make the decision
    Once you receive this you should check that all your evidence has been included  then you use this to make your own submission

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi Danielle_S84,

    Your ESA will have stopped because of the conclusions of the report completed by the healthcare professional who saw you. All you can do at this stage is ask for a mandatory reconsideration and provide any medical evidence you can. It would also help if you could go through the descriptors and tell them which ones you think you should have scored the relevant points on. In the meantime, your only option is to claim JSA, until your appeal is lodged (the next stage after the mandatory reconsideration) when you can ask to be reinstated onto ESA pending the outcome of the appeal. It does depend where you live though, JSA won't be available if you live in a full service Universal Credit, and if you go onto UC you won't be able to go back onto ESA whatever the outcome of the appeal is. Good luck.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi Skyblue, 

    As CR says, don't get too bogged down which what you need to put on the SSCS1. It's important to complete it as soon as possible as there is a long wait for appeals and you can do a detailed submission later. If you send in further evidence the decision maker or the appeals officer can look at the decision again at any time so I wouldn't worry that the MR has been decided before you have had time to send information in.

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

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