Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Mandatory Reconsideration

Hello all, 
I have been in receipt of ESA support group for about 2yrs.
I have Bipolar 1 disorder.
Recently I received an appointment for a WCA, however I have Osteo Arhritis very badly in my knees, particularly  the R one.
which has deteriorated so much that I am housebound due to very restricted & painful mobility.
I was on DLA, when that changed to PIP I lost my enhanced rate personal care, but awarded enhanced rate for mobility.
I had previously been awarded enhanced rate for personal care under DLA.
Anyway, to get back to this WCA, I rang them when I got the letter telling them that I could not attend due to being housebound, and having no one to accompany/take me there.
I requested a home visit and they said that couldn't be guaranteed.
Then I received a letter telling me that my reason was not good enough and they stopped my benefit forthwith, declaring me fit for work & enclosing my P45.

I have submitted a mandatory reconsideration which my doctor is going to support, however meanwhile I am left with £58 per week.

My question is, if the mandatory reconsideration goes in my favour will my ESA contribution based support group benefit be reinstated as you were so to speak. ?

Thank you so much for any advice.




Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    No, it won't be because you failed to attend and were found fit for work. If they accept your reasons for not attending then you'll still need an assessment before a decision is made and you won't be paid any ESA until that's been done and a decision has been made.

    If the DWP don't accept your reasons then the next step for you is Tribunal. The Tribunal will be for failing to attend the WCA and you won't be paid assessment rate while waiting for the hearing. The Tribunal process will be because you failed to attend, like the MR was. If the Tribunal decision goes in your favour, you can then go back onto assessment rate for ESA while you wait for the assessment. Once a decision's been made if it's Support Group then you'll be paid all of the back dated money they owe 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.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Thanks. But I was blindsided, live totally alone, no-one to help in any way at all. PIP visited me for their assessment and actually saw my extreme difficulty mobility wise & awarded me full mobility rate.
    My mobility can't suddenly improve to meet ESA WCA attendance.
    This is wrong.
    My solicitor told me it was very unfair and to fight it.

  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    I had no time to get to my senses to try and look into advocacy.
    Doesn't this sound cruel ?
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    I don't think it will be worth pursuing if I lose the mandatory reconsideration 🤥
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Do you go out for Drs /hospital appointments? This is what they consider sometimes  when asking for a home assessment. You would have also needed a letter from your GP stating the reasons why you couldn't attend one of the centres, did you do that?

    You have to remember that only 20% of MRs are successful. It's always worth taking it to Tribunal because there's more of a chance of a decision going in your favour.

    How many times did you cancel an assessment? Did you just receive 1 letter for an assessment and then you rang saying you couldn't attend and would need a home assessment? Or did you previously cancel 1 assessment before this?
    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.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Only once, I spoke to them the day I received the letter explaining to them why could not attend and requested a home visit.
    Was told this wasn't guaranteed but I would need a docs letter.
    I said I cannot get the doctors to pick up a letter but could ring my doc requesting one. I did that, my doc was undisposed and no idea when she's back.
    So after explaining all to receptionist she said a Dr Grey would ring me the following day - surprise surprise no phone call.
    Meanwhile I received a letter saying because I didn't attend my benefit will stop forthwith deemed fit to work and p45 issued.
    I have been considered unable to work for many years for severe & enduring mental illness.
    So we are up to now where I am awaiting decision on mandatory reconsideration.

    I have been in touch with the docs again only to find that she did try to ring 3 times, and I subsequently found that I hadn't put my receiver down properly hence she couldn't get an answer.
    And discussed it all with another doc who fully supports & backs me and is doing a letter to that effect.

    Once I get that I will get in touch with a church or something to get the photocopy of it and send it off recorded delivery for me.
    I now know that there are organisations who will help with appeals/advocacy  etc .... to seek help from too.

     

  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    No, I can't get out at all, need someone with me anyway and only way I could get there is to getting an advocate to go with me by car or taxi, but of course too late now as I was ignorant to all the charities out there.
    A Disabled Advice Bureau will help me go to appeal if the m. Consid. goes against me.
    I only had a weeks notice to attend that WAC appt, it was during that horrendous heatwave that wiped me out anyway.
    What are your thoughts ? 

    Thank you very much 
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Have you heard that from Sept 2017 people in the support group would not be called for reassessment, and I fit all the critera that is required.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Office is 12 miles away in Ipswich. 
  • RipplesRipples Member Posts: 189 Pioneering
    @Smedley Whilst it is true that some people with certain conditions will not be asked to attend another assessment you have to attend an assessment first for them to recommend this. Although it is easy in hindsight  you should have asked to rearrange the original appointment so that you could arrange  a doctor's  letter.   Poppy is right take it to a tribunal if necessary.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Thanks so much for all your help, both of you.
    Yes indeed, I should, but I was blindsided and I didn't have time to process it.
    It is all governed by rules rules rules, dead lines dead lines deadlines.
    Anyway, I'll await the letter & hope to be one of the 20% !! 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I think because you said you couldn't attend and would need a home assessment and when they hadnt heard from you or your GP with a letter requesting why a home assessment was needed, they returned your file for failing to attend. It does sound very harsh but ESA rules are very strict when it comes to assessments.

    If you claim housing benefit then this will also stop because ESA will contact them. You will need to speak to your local council and ask them to send you a nil income form. Once this is filled in and returned your housing benefit will continue to be paid. You'll also need to speak to your local council about your council tax reduction because that may also stop. All of this could take a while to sort out and you should contact your landlord to tell them what's happening. 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.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Thank you.
    I don't get housing benefit as my house is in a Trust.
    I rang the DWP and asked if they could wait for me to submit a doctor's letter detailing & supporting my reasons for being unable to attend 
    They have agreed to wait and the doc has done the letter, hand delivered it to me.
    I am going to get a local friend to send it off for me recorded delivery (having taken a copy of it first)
    So can't do anymore cept wait !!
    Thanks so much for your posts & support 😘
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