Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Questions about yesterday's ESA assessment

RicardoRicardo Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hello, 
I am new here but have a few questions regarding my esa assessment yesterday.
1. I requested a recording to be made and rang the day before to confirm this would be done. They said yes I was booked in for a recorded assessment. When I arrived no recording equipment and was told if I refused to go ahead with it this would be classed as not attending. With my condition of anxiety and depression it had taken a great deal to attend even down to them providing a taxi so I went ahead. 
2. During the assessment she asked me two very strange questions being was I right or left handed? and what was my sisters name as she had come with me. Is this normal? 

Replies

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

    Did you ring the health assessment providers to request the assessment be recorded? It should have been those you ring and not DWP. If you rang DWP they most likely wouldn't pass the request onto the health assessment providers. ESA has nothing to do with DWP until the report has been returned to them.

    They can often ask some very strange questions, and often be unrelated to anything to do with how your conditions affect you. Most likely no one will know the reasons why you were asked those questions.

    A week after the assessment you can ring DWP and ask for a copy of the assessment report, this will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be as they mostly go with the report. 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.
  • RicardoRicardo Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I actually rung the health assessment providers regarding the recording and the confirmation came from their headoffice
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Ricardo,

    It sounds as if you did everything you were supposed to do and they confirmed that they would provide the equipment. I would suggest making a complaint, which you can email to: 

    [email protected]

    If you do complain, focus on the fact that they told you the day before that you were booked for a recorded assessment. You can't unfortunately do much more, as there is no legal right to a recording at the moment. However, it's terrible customer service and it obviously put you at a disadvantage right at the beginning of your assessment.

    As regards the odd questions, there may be reasons behind them (eg checking cognition or consistency). But actually, as Poppy says, I wouldn't get too drawn into why they ask some of those questions. The conduct of the assessments is not particularly rational! You can look at the guidance for health professionals here, but you'll see that assessments do not always follow this rigorously.

    What matters is the outcome. You might want to ask for the assessor's report in any case, as Poppy suggests. 

    You might also consider contacting your MP about how the promise of a recording on request is of little use when it can simply be withdrawn on the day. The Work and Pensions Committee have recommended that all assessments are recorded as routine procedure. In response, the government said that they would introduce recording of PIP assessments as standard (eventually!) but have not committed to doing this for ESA. Their response indicates this is because they believe the current system where you can request this from CHDA is working - but your experience shows that it is not. I think this would be a good point to make to your MP.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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