Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA; Won First-tier Tribunal, now what?

SlayerXSlayerX Member Posts: 7 Listener
Hi all,

OK. Last year I was moved from the Support group into the work related activity group.

I appealed against their decision to put me on WRAG. It was rejected out of hand.

Under much deliberation I appealed via First Tier Tribunal. Because of my social issues I chose not to attend (Even though it would've enhanced my case if I did attend in person) so I chose to let them make their decision entirely "on the papers". Well, I must've made a compelling case on the letter that I sent them that I enclosed with the appeal note, because they have recommended to the Department that they shouldn't reassess me for within 24 months from today's date (10/05).

Could someone tell me what happens now? I know that I'll be required to wait, but what are the chances of the DWP changing their minds and altering their decision? 

Thank you.

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello SlayerX

    Did the tribunal award the support or the WRAG element?

    If the support group was awarded and ESA do not intend to challenge the tribunal decision then they have to follow the tribunals decision and award ESA with the support group and pay any benefit  arrears owed to you.  It takes around 4-6 weeks for arrears to be awarded.  

    The DWP can challenge the tribunal decision, This is a rare occurrence.  If they were to challenge the decision then they would need to request the full written reasons for the tribunal decision within 1 month of the decision date.  You will be notified that ESA have made a request for the reasons and then you and ESA will  receive (some time  later) a copy of the reasons. But remember it is rare for ESA to take this action.  Please post again however if this does occur. 

    If the WRAG was awarded it is unlikely that the DWP would change their minds and place you in the support group. 

    It is great that that the tribunal have mentioned that you should not be re-assessed for 24 months.  This is  a recommendation by the tribunal, and unfortunately ESA do not have to legally follow a recommendation by a tribunal.

    Good luck

    Maria
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • SlayerXSlayerX Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hello Maria,

    To be honest, I have no idea. Here is the exact wording:

    "No descriptors from Schedule 3 of the ESA Regulations 2008 was satisfied but Regulation 35 of the ESA Regulations 2008 applies

    Mr X does not satisfy any Schedule 3 descriptors. However, if he was found capable of work related activities this would result in a substantial risk of deterioration to his mental health.

    The Tribunal recommends that the Department does not reassess Mr X within 24 months from today's date." 
  • nattie48nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    Hi
    I've just sent my forms off to a tribunal, I got kicked off ESA in March after having an assessment. In April I had an assessment done for PIP which was granted to me, I have the both rates and for mobility I had the enhanced award. I have sent my letter regarding the PIP and also as I had to sign on for jobseekers, but because I feel I'm not able to work I give the job Center a fit note off my gp, I was claiming the disability rate of jobseekers and I sent that letter to the tribunal as well. Would I be entitled to ESA because I'm having PIP? Will the tribunal go in my favour? 

    Cheers
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited June 2018
    Hi SlayerX,

    Sorry for the late reply. Your tribunal decision means that the panel has put you in the support group. It means you did not meet any of the activities that puts you in the support group, but they have applied the regulation which allows you to be put in the support group if they think doing work-related activities could lead to a substantial risk of a deterioration to your physical and/or mental health.

    Thanks,
    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi nattie48,

    It's impossible to say whether the tribunal will go in your favour without us discussing your health problems and how they affect you on a daily basis, but if you've been awarded PIP then clearly the PIP assessor did something that the ESA assessor didn't do, and that's understand your health issues and how they affect you.
    You have done the right thing in sending the PIP decision, it may help you but it certainly won't harm your case, although the criteria for the two benefits are different.
    You can't get ESA just because you get PIP, but if you've received a letter from the tribunals service saying your appeal has been received, then you can call ESA and ask to be put back onto ESA pending the outcome of the appeal if this is the first time you've been found fit for work.
    The only thing is you may get less money if you go back onto ESA pending appeal as there is no disability premium within ESA.

    Thanks,
    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • SlayerXSlayerX Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi SlayerX,

    Sorry for the late reply. Your tribunal decision means that the panel has put you in the support group. It means you did not meet any of the activities that puts you in the support group, but they have applied the regulation which allows you to be put in the support group if they think doing work-related activities could lead to a substantial risk of a deterioration to your physical and/or mental health.

    Thanks,
    Lee
    Hello Lee, 


    I still haven't received confirmation that they have indeed changed my status to the support group.

    Usually the support group lasts 24 months, do you think when/if my status changes then it'll changed to 24 months?

    Thanks.
  • nattie48nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    Hi Lee
    Thanks for your reply, I'm claiming pip because of my back. I've got chronic lower back pain, it affects my walking and I have to use a stick to get around, I don't go out unless it's to the gp, I'm having a wheelchair delivered on Monday for me to go out occasionally. I've got 20 steps out my front and 9 out my back and i really struggle to use them. I am taking MST for the pain which only seem to work when I'm sat down with my legs elevated and then they make the pain more bearable. I'm sleeping downstairs because when I'm sleeping in my bed my back goes into spasm which is really painful. My life has changed drastically since last October, I'm housebound and spend my days sitting with my legs elevated. I've also got fibromyalgia to add to my pain, I don't drive anymore because of the pain, November last year I stopped. I spoke to cab last week because my jobseekers finished on Monday and they told me to put a new claim in, which I have and I'm waiting for the forms. 

    Many thanks 
    Natalie 
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