Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Tribunal pending, but DWP has sent me another ESA50 form!

I'm sure this isn't an unusual thing, but I hope someone can advise me.

I was in the Support group for ESA until March 2017, at which point I was sent an ESA50 form and asked to undergo a reassessment of my condition. After taking part in a face-to-face medical in October, I was subsequently placed in the WRAG group, and I opted to appeal this decision with the hope of being placed back in Support.

I undertook the pointless Mandatory Reconsideration, which I lost (to no one's surprise), and which has caused a very, very lengthy delay. I've just received word that my tribunal hearing is in mid-August, which is fair enough.

However, I've also received another ESA50 form, which I'm expected to fill in before the end of July, thereby starting yet another reassessment!

My question is this: If I win the tribunal in August and am placed in the Support group, will that nullify the new ESA50 assessment, or will that be treated entirely separately? Surely the DWP wouldn't be so stupid as place me in the WRAG group again, regardless of my win at the tribunal? To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me at all, but I thought I'd put my experience out there, to ask anyone else about their own dealings in this area.

Many thanks in advance.

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're right, it's not unusual to be sent another form, while waiting for Tribunal.

    If the Tribunal place you in Support Group DWP can decide to place you back into the WRAG yes. No it won't nullify the ESA50 reassessment either because the form they sent is a review. The Tribunal is for the previous review.

    Good luck with both.
    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.
  • LibretioLibretio Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Many thanks for your response, very much appreciated.

    It's difficult to reach any other conclusion than this is an entirely deliberate policy, designed to prevent people from getting into the Support group. Given how long it takes for the machinery to mobilise, this could be a never-ending process of assessment, reconsideration and appeal, with new assessments launched just prior to the resolution of every single one.

    My god, I am literally stunned by this news. I cannot believe this is the system they have engineered. It means that no matter the outcome of my Tribunal, I'll only be taking one step forward before being dragged all the way back again. Unbelievable.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately, with ESA they can reassess you at anytime. It's not unusual to be reassessed at 6 months or even 1 year, which ever group you're in.

    As Tribunal backlogs are huge, with some waiting 1 year for their hearing this problem can happen yes.

    Have you taken a look at the Support Group descriptors to see which one applies to you? There's reg 35 too, which is based mostly on mental health. Do you also know the reason why you were placed into the group previously? If your condition hasn't improved then it will be good to know why you were there.

    If your assessment does put you in the Support Group then you can of course cancel the hearing for 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.
  • LibretioLibretio Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I hadn't had a face-to-face medical assessment for about ten years prior to the one I had last October - all my previous assessments had simply placed me in the Support group without the need for further enquiry. But with the rules being constantly tightened, it seems the one I attended last year was intended to find any reason - however small - to place me in WRAG.

    I'll have to go through all the paperwork from previous assessments to find out why I was placed in Support back then, and see how it fits with the reasons for taking me out of it last October. I should have fit squarely into one of the descriptors you mentioned, but the goalposts have been moved in ways specifically designed to trip you up at every hurdle prior to the Tribunal.

    I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that this new assessment will put me back in Support. Given that this is the way they're behaving, I think they're deliberately trying to thwart any such attempt, and the system allows them to do this. It is a sneaky, duplicitous system.

    I may write to my MP, and see what he has to say on this issue, for what it may be worth.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You'll need to send evidence to support your claim. As you most likely know, they rarely contact anyone for this.

    I'm not sure what good your MP will be in this situation, but i wish you 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.
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