Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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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!

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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.
  • dazleedazlee 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!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.

    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.
  • dazleedazlee 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!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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.
  • dazleedazlee 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?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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.
  • dazleedazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    OK thanks for your input anyway! Am still awaiting decision from ESA assessment!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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.
  • charlie79charlie79 Member Posts: 202 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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    A hardship payment may not be possible under these circumstances, if it is then it will be about £43 per week.

    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.
  • dazleedazlee 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! 
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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!
    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.
  • dazleedazlee 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!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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
    Yes I agree good luck 
  • dazleedazlee 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!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.

    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
    Totally agree my friend it seems rather pointless seeing a doctor doesn't it . 
  • dazleedazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Because I was on U.C handing in sick notes for over a year. U.C didn't become a live service until 05 Nov 2018. So citizens advice advised me there was a window of opportunity to close down my U.C claim and claim ESA on 02 Nov 2018, which I did as I was having major problems with U.C due to the punitive sanction regime.
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Hello daslee yes I've heard many cases of that problem myself 
  • dazleedazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Hello! Clark, yes, it is very confusing for people. If u switch from u.c to ESA any previous ESA decisions that went against you ( even if it was many years ago) are counted as viable in your current claim, and allows ESA not to pay you any benefit. If u switch from ESA to U. C you are opened up to the Sanction regime! It stinks!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The same rules apply for anyone that's been found fit for work and not just those that claimed UC. You can't just reclaim, unfortunately.
    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
    It certainly does stink daz I smell a rat 
  • dazleedazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    I was found fit for work 3 years ago! The decision was wrong! I appealed it at the time but I couldn't make the tribunal due to a death in my family. I asked for the ruling. to be set aside, but they refused! So I was forced to claim U.C. I was still signed off not fit for work by my G.P & continued handing in doc notes. Imagine if these crass rules applied to other benefits! Imagine if you've been refused housing benefit years ago and because of that, any future claim for housing benefit is disallowed based upon a past ruling! Its pathetic! Its unfair, and it discriminates against claimants! Plus they told a pack of lies & proper stitched me up on my last assessment 3 years ago! No system should exist that allows people signed off sick by their G.P to be refused a basic benefit payment! Its disgusting and plain WRONG! ENOUGH SAID!
  • dazleedazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    The rules need challenging in a court of law or under E.C.H.R 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Using capital letters is classed as shouting in text speak and i'm not sure why you're doing that. You came and asked a question and i answered it. As i said before, i don't make the rules so please don't shout. After all, i was just advising you.

    I've answered your questions and therefore i won't be adding any further comments here. I do however wish you good luck with the ESA and hope you have a decision in your favour soon.
    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
    Hear hear mate your feelings have not gone unnoticed by many I'm sure good night to you 
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    I can't hear anyone shouting 
  • dazleedazlee Member Posts: 18 Listener
    No! I wasn't shouting! I was just emphasising my point using capital letters! The system is totally unfair & unjust! And rather than just stating what their rules are we should be fighting against them and challenging the unjust nature of them at every opportunity! 
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