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Recent ESA award cancelled after mandatory reconsideration

AndyW
AndyW Member Posts: 21 Connected
ESA not granted. Hi - I recently claimed ESA and was assessed in April - consequently it was stopped. I do not believe that the assessment or the feedback was either for or accurate. I then asked for a mandatory reconsideration and received exactly the same reply - I don't believe they even read the information I sent. I have now decided to go to Tribunal but not sure who can help me do this as I am at the end of my tether and need to be able to see things objectively rather than rattling on in a rant which ends up being nothing to do with what I need to say.
Thanks in anticipation
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,623 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Most MR decisions remain the same, so taking it Tribunal would always be highly likely.

    Did you send evidence to support your claim? They very rarely contact anyone for evidence, the onus is on you to make sure it's sent.

    For the Tribunal request you'll need 1 of the MR decision letters and you'll also need to fill out a SSCS1 form and send them both the the Tribunal.

    ESA is all about your ability to do any type of work and this is what you're assessed. It is also about the work you can do rather than the work you can't do.

    You need to take a look at the WRAG and Support Group descriptors to see which group you think you should be placed into.

    WRAG, you'll need to score at least 15 points and the descriptors are here.

    For Support Group it's not about points. You have to satisfy at least one of the descriptors, which are here.

    There's also reg 29 for WRAG and 35 for Support Group, which are special circumstances, If you're a danger to either yourself or others then it's possible to be placed into one of the group through this. Mainly based on mental health.

    You have 28 days to request the Tribunal. Any evidence you sent to the DWP will be sent to the Tribunal by them, this will include your original claim form.

    Tribunal hearing dates have huge backlogs and you could be waiting several months or more for a date. Appearing in person will give you your best chance of a decision going in your favour.

    Once your Tribunal has been accepted and you receive your pack, with your reference number on it you can then go back onto assessment rate for ESA, while you wait for your Tribunal date.

    If you don't understand any of this then you can contact your local CAB or the likes and ask for an appointment for their help. Be aware though, there maybe a wait for an appointment. Most local CABS are very busy.

    Good luck.



  • JennysDad
    JennysDad Member Posts: 2,299 Disability Gamechanger
    A very warm welcome to you @AndyW , though so sorry to hear you're having a tough time. You're certainly not on your own, if that helps at all.
    I hope the excellent response from @Poppy123456, has been of help to you, but don't forget that the community is here for you and that if there's anything else you want to tell us or to ask us we're here and listening.
    Warmest best wishes,
    @JennysDad
  • nattie48
    nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    Hi my name is Natalie and in March I had an assessment done for ESA, they phoned me the following week saying that I was fit for work and I had to sign on for jobseekers the next day. Bearing in mind that I have been suffering from chronic lower back pain, this pain is severe, so severe that I do not leave my house unless it's to my gp. I walk with a stick so I can get around my house, on the day of the assessment i had to walk quite a way so by the time I went in for it I was shaking because of the amount of I was in. The assessor said to me that she won't ask me to do any exercises as she could see I was in tremendous amount of pain. When I had the decision to how I failed the assessment, it said that I declined to do any exercises.!!! I had no option but to go to the job centre the next day to sign on. When I sat down in the job centre she near enough said that I could not work in the state I was in and advised me to get a fit note from my gp to give in to cover the job seekers allowance but I could only claim it for 13 weeks. I filled in the forms to contest the decision about my ESA claim, I put on there that I don't leave my house, that I do not do any housework, the amount of pain I was in and my condition was getting worse and sent them off. In April I had a PIP assessment done, I was granted the both rates of PIP and has the enhanced rate for mobility. In May I received  the reply from the DWP regarding my claim for ESA and it told me the DWP decided I was still fit for work!!!!! So I have sent the forms now to a tribunal appeal with proof that I have been granted full PIP and letters saying I was claiming the disability rate of jobseekers. I am now again worrying myself sick about what the tribunal will decide. I have put another claim in for ESA as I spoke to citizens advice and they told me to start a new claim. Surely now I'm claiming PIP I should be able to claim ESA?? I have a wheelchair being delivered on Monday to help me go out once in a while, that's how severe my condition is. Sorry about the long rant.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,623 Disability Gamechanger
    nattie48 said:
    Hi my name is Natalie and in March I had an assessment done for ESA, they phoned me the following week saying that I was fit for work and I had to sign on for jobseekers the next day. Bearing in mind that I have been suffering from chronic lower back pain, this pain is severe, so severe that I do not leave my house unless it's to my gp. I walk with a stick so I can get around my house, on the day of the assessment i had to walk quite a way so by the time I went in for it I was shaking because of the amount of I was in. The assessor said to me that she won't ask me to do any exercises as she could see I was in tremendous amount of pain. When I had the decision to how I failed the assessment, it said that I declined to do any exercises.!!! I had no option but to go to the job centre the next day to sign on. When I sat down in the job centre she near enough said that I could not work in the state I was in and advised me to get a fit note from my gp to give in to cover the job seekers allowance but I could only claim it for 13 weeks. I filled in the forms to contest the decision about my ESA claim, I put on there that I don't leave my house, that I do not do any housework, the amount of pain I was in and my condition was getting worse and sent them off. In April I had a PIP assessment done, I was granted the both rates of PIP and has the enhanced rate for mobility. In May I received  the reply from the DWP regarding my claim for ESA and it told me the DWP decided I was still fit for work!!!!! So I have sent the forms now to a tribunal appeal with proof that I have been granted full PIP and letters saying I was claiming the disability rate of jobseekers. I am now again worrying myself sick about what the tribunal will decide. I have put another claim in for ESA as I spoke to citizens advice and they told me to start a new claim. Surely now I'm claiming PIP I should be able to claim ESA?? I have a wheelchair being delivered on Monday to help me go out once in a while, that's how severe my condition is. Sorry about the long rant.
    Hi,

    ESA and PIP are totally different benefits and your PIP claim will not help your ESA claim. Not being able to do housework will also not help your ESA claim. What you should focus on is the distance in which you can or can't walk without pain. PIP isn't about working, people claim PIP and work

    You will need to send evidence to the Tribunal that is relevant to the reasons you're unable to do any type of work. Sending proof of your disability rates of JSA to the Tribunal are not classed as evidence. You are totally misunderstanding what ESA is all about. With ESA you're assessed on the work you can do and not the work you can't do.

     Did you send evidence to DWP to support your claim? I don't mean your PIP award or the JSA disability rates either.

    The wheelchair won't help you either because wheelchair users work. Did you buy the wheelchair yourself or did an Occupational therapist order that for you?

    I'm not sure why you were advised to start a new ESA claim when you have requested the Tribunal. You won't be able to start a new claim for ESA unless it's a either for a worsening of an existing condition or for a new condition, one that wasn't mentioned in the previous ESA claim. Once the Tribunal have accepted your appeal and you have your reference number you can then go back onto assessment rate for ESA. I do not advice you to start another ESA claim. If you did this then any decision that is made would over rule a Tribunal decision for your previous claim. This means that if the Tribunal placed you into a group and then DWP found you fit for work then the DWP decision will over rule the Tribunal one, because it would be for a different claim. Keep with this current claim and try to stay focused on what ESA is all about rather than sending evidence that's not relevant because that won't help your case.

    Are you planning on appearing in person? This will give you the best chance of a decision going in your favour. 70% of those who appear in person have a decision in their favour. It's much less for paper based hearings.

    I would advise you to get some advice from either your local CAB or the likes otherwise you could possibly lose your Tribunal because lack of understanding of what ESA is all about. Good luck.



  • nattie48
    nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    I had advise from cab and they told me to start a new claim of ESA, my condition has changed drastically since my ESA claim went in.What sort of proof could I send in? I was not going to go to the tribunal because i struggle to walk, i have to use a stick to get around and I've got steep steps to walk down, but now my wheelchair which I've had through my gp is being delivered I will go. My life has changed drastically as a result of my condition, I don't go unless it's to see my gp and then I can't wait to get back home and sit with my legs elevated. I'm taking MST for the pain which only make the pain bearable. I've got a 16 year old daughter that I have to support as well. The pain is that bad that I sleep downstairs on my chair because I have spasms in my bag which wake me up in my bed and I can't climb the stairs either. 

    Natalie
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,623 Disability Gamechanger
    nattie48 said:
    I had advise from cab and they told me to start a new claim of ESA, my condition has changed drastically since my ESA claim went in.What sort of proof could I send in? I was not going to go to the tribunal because i struggle to walk, i have to use a stick to get around and I've got steep steps to walk down, but now my wheelchair which I've had through my gp is being delivered I will go. My life has changed drastically as a result of my condition, I don't go unless it's to see my gp and then I can't wait to get back home and sit with my legs elevated. I'm taking MST for the pain which only make the pain bearable. I've got a 16 year old daughter that I have to support as well. The pain is that bad that I sleep downstairs on my chair because I have spasms in my bag which wake me up in my bed and I can't climb the stairs either. 

    Natalie
    That really wasn't the greatest advice to start a claim again, especially as you have just requested the Tribunal. Also if your area is a full Universal credit area then you won't be able to claim ESA again, it would be UC. Check here.
    https://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate My advice is to wait for your Tribunal for this claim and go back onto assessment rate for ESA once you have your reference number.

    As for evidence, do you mean you didn't send any to support your claim? Evidence should be based on how your condition affects you and your ability to do any type of work, so GP letters, Occupational Therapist letters, MRI scans, Letters from Consultants from past hospital appointments, a diary written by yourself, a letter from someone that knows you well. If you send the diary and letter then you should back those up with medical evidence. The Tribunal will only be able to take into consideration what you were like at the time of the assessment. The evidence should be sent to the Tribunal to arrive at least 10 days before the hearing. You have plenty of time to gather this evidence because the Tribunal hearing date could be several months away.
  • nattie48
    nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    I have put a new claim in for ESA because my condition has got worse and I have fibromyalgia as my gp put on my new fit note, she also put on there that I use a wheelchair. The fibromyalgia and the wheelchair are new and that is why I put a new claim in as advised by cab. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,623 Disability Gamechanger
    I wish you good luck because putting in a new claim was most likely the wrong thing to do here. If for example you're placed into the WRAG you will only receive the assessment rate of £73.10, there is no extra money for those in the WRAG if they apply for ESA after April 2017.

    Using a wheelchair will not make you unfit for work, people in wheelchairs work all the time. I think you have got the whole ESA idea and what it's all about completely wrong. I wish you good luck.
  • nattie48
    nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    I have not been placed in anything, after my jobseekers stopped on Monday, other than my PIP I have not got any money coming and I won't have money for my rent or council tax. Like I said I have a fit note which says that my condition has worsened and that I have fibromyalgia which is new. According to what I read online, I cannot say at the tribunal that my condition has worsened I have to make a new claim so that is what I have done.
    When I had my ESA assessment I found they based on my mental health and not about how much pain I am in, or that I cannot walk far or stand for long, they never looked at the only reason why I survive day to day is to take strong analgesia otherwise I would be crying out in pain, they didn't look how I live from day to day, they didn't look at I cannot go out on my own because of the 20 steps that I have to walk down and the fact that I am in too much pain to eat properly or think properly, they haven't looked at the reason why I don't leave my house, why I cannot drive or that I'm disabled at the age of 48.
    If the ESA and the DWP think I can work they should come and visit me in my home. 
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I very much worry about all these PIP answers which state "send additional evidence". For myself I have been ill for 12 years and I have been under many consultants and departments. However, without exception all of them now say there is nothing more they can do and it is up to the GP to handle ongoing pain control. After which I have been discharged.

    The problem is that GP guidelines state that beyond certain levels they are not supposed to go. Consequently I get referred back to the pain clinic and then the referral is refused. How can I or others provide additional evidence under such circumstances? It is easy enough to get such during the first 5 years of illness but beyond that no one wants to know. Even GP's will only supply information guardedly and usually at a cost, after all they are not experts and do not have the time to research through files that, in my case, are inches thick with reports.

    Sorry if this sounds negative but most answers I have seen do not apply once you have been ill for a long time.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • AndyW
    AndyW Member Posts: 21 Connected
    Hi
    Thanks for your comments. I am running out of time to apply for tribunal and was in two minds whether to do it or not. I have now decided that as I have nothing then I have nothing to lose. I did not know though that once you apply to tribunal they have to give you standard rate ESA until the hearing. Things have not changed much other than that I have new appointments to see the orthopaedic surgeon AGAIN who is so far refusing to give me a new hip and knee and keeps changing the goal post. I have also not got a referral to urology which is still to confirm appointment.
    I did try to get an appt at CAB but this was impossible as I have difficulty walking and standing and they wanted me to go to the drop in sessions after I had specifically said I needed an appointment to discuss Tribunal.
    I still feel that the health professional did not listen to anything I said at all and don't believe for one second that the MR was read by anyone!!! It just seems to be so ad hoc who gets ESA and who doesn't regardless of what is wrong. I believe that it is not supposed to be about the label of your illness but how this affects you day to day so the decision makes no sense!
    Another thing I'd like to know is........if I apply for my NHS pension (nurse) then will this mean I will also lose my PIP? or will I stil be able to get this. It is important for me to find this out before I apply for either Tribunal or my pension on grounds of ill health which my GP agrees with.
    Here's hoping someone knows the answer to this question.
    Thanks
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,623 Disability Gamechanger
    You have 13 months to request the Tribunal, although you need good reason if it's outside the 28 days. They don't usually refuse you.

    Once they have accepted your request and you have the reference number you can go back onto assessment rate of ESA but you will need to continue to send in those fit/sick notes. If you're claiming Contribution Based ESA then this is time limited to 365 days, unless you're placed into the Support Group and then it's paid for as long as you remain in that group.

    For your pension, your PIP isn't taken into consideration because PIP isn't means tested. If your ESA is Contribution based and pension up to £85 per week isn't counted. For anything over £85 per week, for every £1 over this amount your ESA will be reduced by 50p per week. Any lump sum you take for your pension will not be affected IF you claim Contribution based ESA.

    If you claim Income Related ESA then any pension you claim weekly will affect your ESA £1 for £1. So if your pension is £50 per week, your ESA will be reduced by this amount. Any lump sum you take from your pension anything under £6000 and it won't affect means tested benefit like ESA. Anything over £6000 and your ESA is affected £1 for every £250 over and anything £16000 + will stop your ESA and any other means tested benefits completely.
  • AndyW
    AndyW Member Posts: 21 Connected
    Thanks so much for this information. Very helpful. What happens if I wasn't getting contribution based as I think I had a notification that this had run out so went onto the other claim rate - income related? 
    Also, when they initial rang me after the assessment/before MR, they said that the fit note that I had which was for 6/12 would be sent to the job centre - will they get it back or will I have to chase it up???
    Thanks in anticipation
    Andy
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,623 Disability Gamechanger
    If it's Income Related you're claiming then paragraph 4 in my above comment will apply. If the lump sum you have is more than £6000 then you will need to ring DWP as soon as it goes into your bank. If you claim Council tax reduction and housing benefit, you'll also need to ring them because these will also be affected.

    Once you have the reference number from the Tribunal you can go back onto ESA, you'll need to ring them once you have this. When you ring them, ask about the fit note, if they don't have it then your GP will be able to give you a copy of this.
  • AndyW
    AndyW Member Posts: 21 Connected
    Many Thanks again
    Andy
  • nattie48
    nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    Hi, I had the letters to say I have been granted the disability component of ESA from my new claim, at last I can relax and know that I will have help with my rent and my council tax. I just hope they don't say I'm fit for work when I have my assessment. Do they do home visits? 

    Natalie
  • AndyW
    AndyW Member Posts: 21 Connected
    Hi. In answer to your question regarding home visits. Yea they will do an assessment at home if you request one so when he date for assessment comes you'll need to ring and change Ito one. Good luck. At least now youvey got money coming in again it's ok getting PIP but it don't pay the rent. I was refused C tax reduction regardless of the fact that I'd given all bank statements to prove no other income than PIP I requested it again and got it which to me seems like further evidence of those who decide our lives don't bloody read the information you give them!!!!!!!
  • nattie48
    nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    I know what you mean Andy, the help people who are scroungers and to lazy to get off their backside to work, but when it comes to people who are genuinely ill they punish them. I've got an ESA assessment on the 21st of August and it's not far from where I live. I'm really suffering with my knees so I'll have to see how I am closer to the date and let them know I need a home visit. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,623 Disability Gamechanger
    If a home assessment is needed then you'll need a letter from your GP stating the reasons why you can't go to them. You can also only cancel an appointment once. Good luck for your assessment.
  • nattie48
    nattie48 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    I'm off to my gp tomorrow to have my MST increased, the last couple of weeks the pain has been getting worse, I'll ask her if she will write a letter if needed. 

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