Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Support Group award in double-quick time

Hi,

 New to the forum after a bit of lurking so hello to all.

 I just wanted to quickly highlight my story ref ESA which seems to have progressed so smoothly that I still have to pinch myself to believe it. I'm not trying to brag but merely trying to show a positive story against all the negative ones and maybe give hope to anyone who reads this and hasn't gone through the process.

 I read a few forums before applying for ESA and was dubious about even doing so as I couldn't be bothered with the anticipated hassle and belief that I would be turned down. Anyway, I did apply, sent in the fit notes and received my ESA50 with a return date of Thr 13th Dec. So, I had 4 weeks from receipt of form to fill it in and return but as usual with me I put it on my "to do" list and went about doing my Christmas shopping on Amazon and watching funny pet videos on YouTube.

 Then one night the wife says "have you returned that form yet" and my animated reply was not fit for public consumption. I now had 3 days to get the form filled in and sent back. My initial thought was "even if I get this filled in it will never get through the Christmas post in time so why bother" but somehow after a large mug of coffee and a mince pie I found the resolve to put down honestly on the form how my health was affecting me. If that was enough to get me awarded ESA then so be it...if not then there wasn't much more I could say to change anyone's opinion. I duly completed the form during the night and posted it next day willing it on it's way to the Sorting Centre with Postman Pat before the Thr 13th deadline. So, I then sat back in my comfy armchair and steeled myself for the rocky ESA adventure months down the line.

 Then, to my very great surprise I received 2 letters on Wed 19th Dec (dated Mon 17th Dec so 2 working days after receiving the ESA50 back).

 The 1st letter I opened requested me to not send anymore medical certificates as I had passed the Work Capability Assessment (so no face to face) and the 2nd was to confirm that I would be in the Support Group. I honestly couldn't believe how quickly the decision had been made. I still even now sit in a state of shock and keep waiting for some Jeremy Beadle character to jump out from behind the curtains to bring my world crashing down.

 Anyway, thanks for reading and it just goes to show that sometimes they do care.

  

Replies

  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Ain't Jeremy Beadle dead 
  • justg72justg72 Member Posts: 173 Pioneering
    Hi haveacigar
    Great news, I wish mine had been dealt with like yours.
    How did you manage to get it back so quickly? I completed my form and it had to be back for the 4th of December, it was sent back on the 2nd by a rep who helped complete it. I phoned DWP to ask if they had got it, they informed me that they had not received it. I phoned another 2 times still no form. I was now worried so I phoned the rep up and asked when the form was sent as DWP hadn't got it he stated that they had and it was received on the 12th of December and had been uploaded on the system. Another phone call to DWP and yes there it was, however they did apologise for the worry they had caused me. Yeah its nice to hear positive stories. I think I must be cursed nothing ever goes right it must be me. I am still waiting to hear.   
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Great news. I would also like to know how they made that decision so quickly. It can take 7 days for post to arrive with DWP, then the file needs to be sent to the health assessment providers. They then either write a paper based assessment based on the evidence and form sent, or send an appointment for a face to face assessment. The assessment report is then returned to DWP where a decision maker makes a decision. I must admit your time scales do seem rather quick.
    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.
  • haveacigarhaveacigar Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    justg72 said:
    Hi haveacigar
    Great news, I wish mine had been dealt with like yours.
    How did you manage to get it back so quickly? I completed my form and it had to be back for the 4th of December, it was sent back on the 2nd by a rep who helped complete it. I phoned DWP to ask if they had got it, they informed me that they had not received it. I phoned another 2 times still no form. I was now worried so I phoned the rep up and asked when the form was sent as DWP hadn't got it he stated that they had and it was received on the 12th of December and had been uploaded on the system. Another phone call to DWP and yes there it was, however they did apologise for the worry they had caused me. Yeah its nice to hear positive stories. I think I must be cursed nothing ever goes right it must be me. I am still waiting to hear.   
    Thanks justg72. As I say I was astounded by the speed at the end.
     I really hope they get back to you asap but please believe me when I say I understand how you feel cursed because it is a regular feeling of mine on most things. I particularly have the power of invisibilty at times in all sorts of social and previous work life.
  • haveacigarhaveacigar Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Hi,

    Great news. I would also like to know how they made that decision so quickly. It can take 7 days for post to arrive with DWP, then the file needs to be sent to the health assessment providers. They then either write a paper based assessment based on the evidence and form sent, or send an appointment for a face to face assessment. The assessment report is then returned to DWP where a decision maker makes a decision. I must admit your time scales do seem rather quick.
    Thanks poppy123456.
     I wonder if my location here in Northern Ireland has anything to do with it but even if I were to live in some perceived less busy area I have no clue as to how an ESA50 is received at the Medical Support Services on a Thr and results in a decision given on the following Mon. Hence why I am both happy and perplexed.
    When I get some time later I will post my whole diary of events that I can recall from my 1st phone call to ESA till receipt of the decision letter.
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    It's all very confusing isn't it what's this you can't do the work you can't do but you can do the work you can do what a joke 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It's all very confusing isn't it what's this you can't do the work you can't do but you can do the work you can do what a joke 
    Do you mean it's not the work you can't do but the work you can do? This is what they assess you on.
    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.
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Hello well if someone can't dig an hole but they can hold a spade where does that leave them 
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello well if someone can't dig an hole but they can hold a spade where does that leave them 
    working for the council :)
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello well if someone can't dig an hole but they can hold a spade where does that leave them 
    working for the council :)
    love it :D
    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.
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Got a job at the council bin watcher 😃
  • haveacigarhaveacigar Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Hi,

    Great news. I would also like to know how they made that decision so quickly. It can take 7 days for post to arrive with DWP, then the file needs to be sent to the health assessment providers. They then either write a paper based assessment based on the evidence and form sent, or send an appointment for a face to face assessment. The assessment report is then returned to DWP where a decision maker makes a decision. I must admit your time scales do seem rather quick.
    Thanks poppy123456.
     I wonder if my location here in Northern Ireland has anything to do with it but even if I were to live in some perceived less busy area I have no clue as to how an ESA50 is received at the Medical Support Services on a Thr and results in a decision given on the following Mon. Hence why I am both happy and perplexed.
    When I get some time later I will post my whole diary of events that I can recall from my 1st phone call to ESA till receipt of the decision letter.
    Looked through all my paperwork so this is the timeline:
    21/9 - resigned from my job due to ill health
    03/10 - went and spoke to GP who agreed with decision to leave work and suggested CAB for advice on benefits - no fit note issued at this point
    10/10 - meeting with CAB who advised ESA 1st and PIP 2nd 
    11/10 - phoned the ESA claim line and started my claim from 11/10
    16/10 - rang GP and fit note issued for 4 weeks from 16/10
    29/10 - letter received requesting P45 and personal pension details
    12/11 - received ESA50 - to be returned for 13/12
    14/11 - fit note sent in up to 21/12
    14/11 - letter received requesting med cert for 22/9 to 28/9 (no idea why as these were waiting days)
    19/11 - letter received stating no payment for ESA from 29/9 to 15/10 as no medical evidence (rang to request they change the start date of claim to 16/10 as couldn't be arsed chasing GP for back dated fit notes)
    4/12 - letter received to remind me to return ESA50 before 13/12
    11/12 - sent off completed ESA50 for the 13/12 deadline
    14/12 - letter received requesting more medical evidence from 22/12
    17/12 - letter received stating no more medical certs needed as I had passed the WCA
    17/12 - letter received stating they would now be paying ESA from 29/9 to 15/10 (I didn't send them any fit notes for that period and they did pay as I couldn't understand what the extra money in my account was).
    17/12 - letter received stating I was in Support Group payable from 29/12

     Just seems really strange to me how quickly it was decided.

  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Congratulations nice to hear some good news enjoy 👍
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    What i don't understand is you claimed ESA on 11/10 and you've had a letter saying Support Group is payable from 29/12. Assessment rate is for 13 weeks, even if you were assessed and a decision is made within that time. It's not payable until the 14th week of your claim. Looking at the dates this will take you to 17th January.

    If you're receiving treatment for cancer then this would be the reason why the decision was made so quickly because this would mean you would automatically be placed into the Support Group. Assessment rate is still payable for 13 weeks.


    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.
  • haveacigarhaveacigar Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    What i don't understand is you claimed ESA on 11/10 and you've had a letter saying Support Group is payable from 29/12. Assessment rate is for 13 weeks, even if you were assessed and a decision is made within that time. It's not payable until the 14th week of your claim. Looking at the dates this will take you to 17th January.

    If you're receiving treatment for cancer then this would be the reason why the decision was made so quickly because this would mean you would automatically be placed into the Support Group. Assessment rate is still payable for 13 weeks.


    Sorry @poppy123456 I got the original claim date wrong. Although I did phone the help line on 11/10 I remember the lady asking me what date I wanted to claim from and I said from the 1st day after I left work which would have been the 22/9. I think she said they could back date up to 3 months. So with 7 waiting days the claim would be payable from 29/9 as long as there was supporting fit notes from the GP and the 14th week would begin 29/12.

     However, as I said previously I never submitted any fit notes for the period from 29/9 to 15/10 and I did actually ask them to reset the date to 16/10 as I wouldn't be sending any in. They paid me £177.53 on 17/12 for 29/9 to 15/10

     Fortunately I do not have cancer. My health is affected by coronary heart disease (had a triple heart bypass 5 years ago) and rheumatoid arthritis among others.

     The mystery deepens and I thank you for your interest in helping me to solve it. I certainly won't be ringing them to stir a hornet's nest.
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Don't blame yer I'm a cancer survivor awaiting next appointment for ultra scan supposed to be searching for work of 10 hours a week in the meantime don't no who would want to employ a 63 year old nacker tc mate 
  • poorsoulpoorsoul Member Posts: 38 Courageous
    Great to hear a bit of good news for a change glad everything worked out well for you without any problems.
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