Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA: First Tier Tribunal Win

This is my first post although been lurking for a while. 

Thought I would share my own experience of the whole shabby and dysfunctional ESA process, which I have assisted a relative with for over a year now

It is not a new story and if you have read the House of Commons Work and Pension Committee Report on PIP and ESA Assessments and on Claimant Experiences it will seem depressingly familiar.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2017/pip-esa-full-report-17-19/

Cut short, after all the phone contact and paper filling came a very long delay: 19 weeks before and ESA Assessment took place. To say it was a pointless farce would be generous.

Inevitably someone suffering from a long standing and complex mental illness was being "assessed" by a physiotherapist who had very obviously not read any of the papers in advance, sat with face buried in a screen and barked questions over the top whilst furiously hammering the keyboard and was, not to put too fine a point on it, stupid and ignorant.
 
17 minutes, start to finish obviously in a hurry to leave. Eventually a lengthy "Report" arrived stuffed with obvious errors, omissions and a number of "facts" that had nothing to do with the claimant.. And absolutely no mention of the extensive clinical history. 

0 points. As in none.

Requested a Mandatory Reconsideration, setting out in very great details every one of the egregious errors, missed facts and misleading statements.

There is a school of thought that says "Mandatory Reconsideration" should properly be retitled "Mandatory Rejection" And so it was, a pathetic, semi literate cut and paste effort that ignored every single point raised. The MR request letter had at best been skimmed, perhaps never read as it simply repeated all of the previous nonsense, complete with basic spelling errors.

Throughout this depressing process must say the Job Centre staff were very helpful. They knew that this was all DWP idiocy and exercised their discretion it terms of not requiring an obviously very ill person to jump through all the JSA hoops.

And finally, after this extended and wholly pointless struggle, the First Tier Tribunal hearing.  

Did the DWP send a representative? Well supposedly were going to but nobody actually appeared on the day.

Outcome? That 0 points became 42. All that remains is to see what kind of further delays are imposed

Moral of all this is just keep plugging away. Ask for help if you need it, don't be afraid of process and set your case out clearly 

The dull evil of unthinking bureaucracy run by incompetents is only defeated when sufficiently intelligent forms of life becomes involved.

The sad fact is that process now patently defaults, and very expensively so, to the First Tier Tribunals. 
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