Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Is it usual to have an ESA assessment form again so soon?

Carolyn_WestwoodCarolyn_Westwood Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi. I'm needing a bit of advice as the mum and appointee of our son who has M.E. (also dyslexia & dyspraxia). Our son is currently getting ESA (Support group) awarded last year. The change from DLA (which he was also getting) to PIP was turned down (after appeal and tribunal). It was only a year ago that the ESA was awarded. We have just received another Capability for Work questionnaire. Is it usual for them to be requested annually? It seems very quick, and very coincidental with the PIP refusal (the tribunal was last month) and a request that we made for refunding of dental costs. It's only very recently that I realised that he is entitled to free prescriptions dental and optician care. We have been paying these costs for years. Is it usual to have an ESA assessment form again so soon? Any comments appreciated. Thank you.


  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,837

    Scope community team

    Hi @Carolyn_Westwood

    Welcome to Scope's community! It's great to have you here.  Just to get you started we have a How To Guide here, you can see all the latest posts here, jump in and get involved and don't worry we are a friendly bunch!  Here is some information about ESA.
    If you need anything, just let us know. 

    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

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  • Carolyn_WestwoodCarolyn_Westwood Member Posts: 3 Listener
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,594 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, sadly it’s not unusual. ESA award lengths are based on recommendations either in the HCP report or from a tribunal. They are just recommendations though and can be completely disregarded. As ME isn’t always life long it’s also to be expected that they would review pretty regularly. The thing to remember is to keep copies of each completed ESA 50 and use that as the basis for the next one. Small changes in wording between forms can make a significant difference so consistency between forms as far as possible is really helpful.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Carolyn_Westwood and a warm welcome to the community! Sorry to hear that you are having to fill it out again! If you need any support with this then please do let us know :)

  • Carolyn_WestwoodCarolyn_Westwood Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you. I've made an appointment with CAB. It's lovely to know that I can ask questions of you. I've retired from the NHS and in my health visiting years I helped many people to complete their forms, but when it comes to my own family I'm feeling overwhelmed. The experience we had at the PIP tribunal was awful - my son, husband and myself felt bullied by the judge (and the CAB rep we had with us said that they were a particularly unhelpful panel. I think they were rattled by the presence of a guy from the DWP, and by running very behind time. It's knocked my confidence (and my son was literally feeling suicidal afterwards - I'm not exaggerating). Thank you again for your support Chloe, Mike and Richard.
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    This is all too common unfortunately. Whatever you get is basically based on the information in your assessment report. Bear in mind that these are only recommendations and can be ignored. I recommend making additional copies of any form and use it just in case. Small changes of wording between forms can also make a significant difference so consistency on forms as much as possible can be a good thing. Best of luck. Keep us updated on your appointment. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. No question is banned here. Do you have a copy of the report that came in the mail or not? 
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