Benefit payments — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Benefit payments

Hi can anyone help me with this query? I claimed ESA in nov2018 because my health condition has worsened since my last ESA claim was turned down 2 years ago. I have sent medical notes in to ESA confirming this and have attended a ESA assessment in Jan 2019. ESA are refusing to pay me any benefit until outcome of assessment. And have informed me that if assessment decision go against me, they will not be paying me any benefit for Nov, Dec, and Jan. They said I should have claimed U.C while my ESA claim was being assessed. But Im not allowed to claim U.C while claiming ESA and my citizens advice worker had to close down my U.C claim in Nov 2018 to enable me to claim ESA. I have not had any benefit since Oct 2018. Help!
«1

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    This sounds like a decision maker has decided that your condition hasn't changed and if this is decided then you won't be paid during the assessment period. This is because once you've been found fit for work, you can only re-apply for the same condition unless you've got considerably worse or for a completely new condition that wasn't mentioned in the precious claim. It's down to a decision maker to decide whether or not they pay you.
  • dazlee
    dazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    How can a decision be made before the outcome of my ESA assessment? Also I have provided medical evidence showing that my condition has worsened! Surely it must be wrong not to pay me a basic benefit for 3 months!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    They must have given you a reason why you wont' receive any money until a decisions been made on your assessment? As i advised, it's up to a decision maker to decide whether they pay you or not. Did you get advice before re-claiming?

    See this link and take particular notice of the "note" further down the link.

    Basically it means that the DM has decided that your conditions haven't worsened and that an assessment is needed before allowing you to reclaim.

  • dazlee
    dazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Yes I was advised by citizens advice that I would have to show med evidence that my condition has worsened since my last ESA claim 3 years ago. Which I have done! ESA said I should have claimed U.C while my ESA claim being processed. But this is not allowed by U.C so effectively, I have been left penniless for the past 3 months & if my ESA assessment is declined I have no option for benefit payment for past 3 months. How can this be right? It seems ridiculously unfair to me! And has left me destitute!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    It's because they changed the rules in 2015 so that people can't re-claim as easily after being found fit for work. If you'd have claimed UC and sent in sick notes then you would have been paid.

    I agree, it doesn't seem fair but it seems like a decision maker made their decision that your condition hadn't got worse. They should have sent a letter explaining their reasons.
  • dazlee
    dazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    So why are ESA claimants being discriminated against? Surely this is wrong in equality law and should be subject to judicial review! How can it be that a U.C claimant can send in sick notes & get paid, but a ESA claimant sending sick notes can't even get a basic benefit payment? It's outrageous! & discriminatory! Can anything be done legally? Has anyone tested this in the courts?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    You'll need to get face to face advice regarding this. I can only tell you the current rules, which apply to everyone re-claiming ESA after being found fit for work.
  • dazlee
    dazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    OK thanks for your input anyway! Am still awaiting decision from ESA assessment!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    No problem. You can ring DWP to ask for a copy of the assessment report to be sent to you. This will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be as they mostly go with the report.
  • charlie79
    charlie79 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
    I would talk to CAB by law you can claim a hardship payment which is £59  week. This is a legal entitlement. I got help with Initial benefits from Centre 70 in West Norwood who deal with from everyday claimants from homeless to everything. Centre 70 would be best to contact.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    A hardship payment may not be possible under these circumstances, if it is then it will be about £43 per week.

  • dazlee
    dazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Yeah you right! I tried to get hardship payments and was told by DWP that its not possible! If I had dependents then it would be possible. But I am a single person. I just find it incredulous that ESA claimants can be denied a basic benefit allowance even though they've handed in 'not fit for work' notes to ESA. Its shocking! 
  • clarkjohnson
    clarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    I agree. As you were previously found fit for work the rules are different for you i'm afraid. At the moment there's nothing you can do until a decision's been made. Once you have the decision if you disagree then request the MR followed by Tribunal if that fails. Only problem will be is that you'll be without money through the whole process, if you're found fit for work again.

    If this happens you may have no option but to claim UC.

    I really hope that this doesn't happen and i wish you good luck!
  • dazlee
    dazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Yeah, I know the process. But at least once they give me a decision I can then claim U.C while awaiting M.R & appeal tribunal. If any lawyers out there can advise me if this is challengeable under discrimination, equality laws. It would be helpful as it seems absurd how a U.C claimant can hand in sick notes and get a basic benefit payment, yet a ESA claimant doing exactly the same cannot!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    ESA and UC are different benefits. It's not that a person can't hand in a sick note and claim ESA, it's because you were previously found fit for work and you can't make a new claim for ESA unless it's under certain circumstances.

     A decision maker has looked at your claim and decided that your condition hasn't changed, therefore you won't be paid the ESA assessment rate until you've had a face to face assessment.

    Please be aware that if you claim UC then you won't be able to go back onto ESA.
  • clarkjohnson
    clarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Yes I agree good luck 
  • dazlee
    dazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    I switched from U.C to ESA in November. If the assessment decision is against me then it would be pointless staying on ESA whilst I await M.R & tribunal as I wouldn't get any benefit. If the tribunal rules in my favour then I would be able to return to ESA. It doesn't matter that ESA is a different system to U.C - the principle still holds! Nobody in this country handing in sick notes should be denied a basic benefit payment! And it needs to be challenged through legal action, because it is plainly wrong, discriminatory and unfair!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,121 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2019
    How did you change from UC to ESA because it's not possible to do this, unless you claimed contributions based ESA or New style ESA.

    Once you claim UC then you can't go back onto Income related ESA. See link and scroll down to full service areas.

    I don't make the rules, i just give the advice and links to prove.

  • clarkjohnson
    clarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Totally agree my friend it seems rather pointless seeing a doctor doesn't it . 

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.