Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA help after mandatory consideration!

Hello, 

I am new here. I am so stressed and really don't know what to do, hoping someone can offer some advice.

For years, I was in the support group for depression when out of the blue last year I got a form to send back to possibly be sent for an assessment. Since nothing had changed and my health had got worse as I was diagnosed with a few new conditions, I didn't really think it would be a huge problem, so so wrong! I was sent for the assessment and the assessor was all very polite but as soon as he got to that computer he went into robot mode, fixed expression! He twisted things I had said, He had ignored my depression and also a serious condition. My mum who was with me had to point this out to which he replied he had asked!

Then he made me walk to the middle of the room, asked me to touch my toes, I said I can't, he said as far as you can, then to crouch down. Then to use one step up to a couch. He did all the pushing pulling hand things, legs etc. Not once did he say if you cannot do this, or it will cause you any pain then don't try. I'm not one to make a show of myself by shouting out that it hurt. I did the best I could with the obvious grimaces that I was in pain, which he obviously chose to ignore.

After 40 minutes it was over, he went back into person mode, smiled shook our hands and we left. The worst happened when I got the letter back saying they had found me fit to work, I was gobsmacked, they had been given diagnosis letters. There was no question that I would fight the decision, I got in touch with the DWP and asked for Mandatory consideration, sent everything with a letter from my consultant and a detailed letter from myself pointing out each part that was wrong and what he had missed etc. I didn't hear a thing so I got back in touch, they hadn't received anything, so I had to do it all again. I had no money coming in and had to rely on my mum. It's now been 8 months. I got the letter to say I didn't score enough points but I can be seen to have limited capability to work regulation 29 etc.

Long story short I am now in the WRAG. Still no money, I am awaiting another letter and back pay at the lower rate! I am not letting this go either. I am trying desperately to write a letter and I am going to appeal to a tribunal. Will I be able to use the back pay or if I accept that I cannot go to tribunal, I don't know how it works. 

Any help will be much appreciated

Thank you 

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited May 2018
    Hi WGgAL,

    Mandatory reconsiderations generally only take 8-12 weeks for a decision so I am surprised that it has taken 8 months for you to get yours.
    You are able to use the backpay as the DWP now accept that you are in unfit for work and that is current entitlement. 
    If you appeal it is because you think you should be put in the support group, which is a much more difficult test. To get in the support group you need to satisfy one of the following descriptors which can be seen here:

    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-glossary/1353-support-group-descriptors

    If you don't satisfy one of these the only way you can get into the support group is the application of regulation 35:

    Regulation 35- support group exception

    Regulation 35 sets out a similar test which governs access to the support group for those to whom none of the descriptors in Schedule 3 of the Regulations apply: such claimants are to be treated as having “limited capability for work related activity” if a failure to treat them in this way would mean there was a substantial risk to the claimants mental or physical health of any person.

    Lee


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • WGgALWGgAL Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello Lee,

    Thank you for answering. 

    So I can definitely have the money and still appeal? Sorry just have to check to save me any more hassles. I will be appealing and Reg 35 do apply in my case.

    Thank you so much 

    x


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    WGgAL said:
    Hello Lee,

    Thank you for answering. 

    So I can definitely have the money and still appeal? Sorry just have to check to save me any more hassles. I will be appealing and Reg 35 do apply in my case.

    Thank you so much 

    x


    Yes, you'll still be paid WRAG amount while waiting for the Tribunal. Do bear in mind that you could lose what you already have. Good luck.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • WGgALWGgAL Member Posts: 8 Listener
    @poppy123456 Thank you, I think it is so unfair when there are people that honestly cannot work and could lose out totally. x
  • WGgALWGgAL Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Can I ask about sending my evidence for the appeal, I'm not sure if I will get further letters from my consultants in 3 weeks, what happens about this? Can I send them on later? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes send them later. As long as they arrive at least 10 days before the hearing it will be fine. It will take many months to get a hearing date, so there's no rush.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • WGgALWGgAL Member Posts: 8 Listener
  • WGgALWGgAL Member Posts: 8 Listener
    So it's 6 months later and I have still not had a penny even though they had written to me and said I will get WRAG rate, I am still awaiting a tribunal date too, I sent everything into them Sept 14th and not a word since.

    I have now not had any money for 14 months. I am desperate, I cannot buy anything I need or pay bills, another Christmas not being able to do things and make it nice. 

    I filled in an online form to get emergency help, money from the council... I told them my situation and that I am on the DWP list as getting benefits. They said they couldn't help me as I am not claiming benefits, do they even bother to read what people say and try to explain to them??? 

    My mother is helping me, but I rarely ask as it's not fair and she is now struggling with her bills and I cannot help her.

    What are we meant to do in this situation??

    I have been diagnosed with Major depressive disorder to add to the long list of my conditions. I am at breaking point. 

    I don't know what to do anymore. x
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If the MR decision was changed to WRAG, why haven't you been receiving any money? Have you rang DWP to ask, if so what have they told you?

    Have you requested the Tribunal by filling out the SSCS1 form and sending the MR decision letter with it to HMCTS?

    Do you claiming housing benefit? Do you live with a partner? If so does your partner work?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • WGgALWGgAL Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello Poppy.

    I requested the tribunal and sent off medical evidence as well as the MR decision letter. They accepted it and now just waiting for a date. 

    The DWP sent me a letter in May telling me I now have been placed in the WRAG. I don't agree so thats why I'm going to tribunal. They also said that back pay would be adjusted and I would receive a letter explaining. And would be paid lower rate ESA. I have been onto them and they say they will chase it up. They never do. Its got the point I cant pick up the phone. I really am as low as can be now. 

    X
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    @WGgAL i do not understand why they're not paying you WRAG rate and you didn't answer any of my previous questions.

    Do you live with a partner that works? Were you claiming Contributions based ESA and your 365 days were up so payments stopped? IF you've been told they're "chasing it up" and they haven't, have you rang again and requested a call back from a case manager? I realise you say you can't pick up the phone but it needs to be sorted, Tribunal waiting times are huge and you could be waiting a year from when you requested the Tribunal.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • WGgALWGgAL Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello Poppy.
    Sorry this is the state of my mind right now. I dont live with partner. I am living with my mother. I was in the ESA support group for 6 years until the capability fot work assessment. I may get my partner to call on my behalf. I know it needs to be sorted but when in my frame of mind I am finding everything so hard. I will make contact with them this week x
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