Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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FACE TO FACE ASSESSMENTS

A brilliant tip when attending Face to Face Assessments
When you get a letter requesting yourself to go for a Face to Face Assessment be well prepared
to get letters from your doctor outlining your medical condition and how your disability affects
your day to day activities
At my last assessment I was asked many questions ,one of which was How do I get on cleaning my home. I said " I cannot do it because of my disability friends and family do it or it doesn't get done "
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON THIS SUBJECT

Replies

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

    I disagree about taking evidence to the assessment with you. They very often refuse to accept evidence on the day of the assessment, it's happened to me twice.

    The whole purpose of the ESA50 form, like PIP, is that you put down on the form exactly how your conditions affect you and send all your relevant evidence when returning the form.
    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.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    My dr sent one when at f2f I asked if she seen dr report she said she Neva got one or may been sent some place else I said here take copy of mine that’s unfair on your case 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    They very rarely contact anyone for any evidence. The onus is on you to make sure it's sent to support your claim.
    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.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    They asked dr for one then I had beg for one for me off dr x
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry I have to disagree at both of my F2Fs I asked if the acessor had a particular document and she said no and asked if she could have a copy made which she had done. On my second acessment I took extra information which the acessor took andgave me a receipt for.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    You had good one 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    A lot of people say the HCP refused to accept the evidence on the day of the assessment, which is why i always make sure it's sent with the form.
    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.
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Hi I have just stared a claim for contribution based ESA. I already get PIP. I was claiming ESA before but was able to go back.to work for a while so stopped the claim . I have just received an email asking me to attend a new style ESA appointment and to bring 3 types of ID with me . This never happened last time I claimed . What is this appointment for not sure what to expect . Getting very anxious . I haven't even  received the forms yet and wanted to get someone to help me fill them in . 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    The old style contributions based ESA has been replaced by New Style ESA because all areas are now a full universal credit area. The appointment is just to confirm your identity and that's it. New style ESA is the same as the old style, just a new name. They do like to confuse people. The rest of the process is the same as before, fit/sick notes will be needed from your GP and a face to face assessment is most likely needed.

    New style ESA is paid for 365 days unless placed into the Support Group and then it's paid for as long as you remain in the group.

    If placed into the WRAG new rules introduced from April 2017 mean that you won't receive any extra money and your money will remain the same (£73.10 per week) Support Group new style is £110.75 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.
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Is it not really just a sneaky wee assesment though . My benefit advisor at McMillan said to be aware that they were assessing everything about your health,movement,ability etc from the minute you get to the door.Even they call it an new style ESA interview and only ask that you to bring in the ID and the  UCESA1 form.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    No, it's not an assessment because you haven't claimed the benefit yet. It's just to confirm your identity, nothing more nothing less. The form is because it's a claim form and you need this because you're claiming the benefit.

    The work capability assessment will come at a later date and before you go to this you'll receive a work capability assessment form to fill in and return. This form, is more like a book and is otherwise known as the ESA50 form.
    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.
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Thanks Poppy. Yes I've looked at the ESA50 form. Wow yes it is like a book. I'm not going to stress about the first appointment then . I will stress enough at the next stange Thanks again  
  • charlie79charlie79 Member Posts: 202 Pioneering
    You can also send any medical evidence via email 
    [email protected] and put FOA which area your from for example I put Wembley London Base. You will receive a confirmation email to confirm you sent it as proof. Also you can download the ESA50 version pdf and type then print if easier (I FOUND A LOT EASIER). If you need confirmation they have received evidence call the number on the back of the appointment letter sent not apts. The number is actually the assessment centres so its direct to them. I did all of these things i have advised and it made them look at my form and evidence. I received confirmation this morning that my ESA has been reviewed and I have passed paper based. The email gave me a chance to send late evidence which helped my case. I would have required a home visit which is different you having to attend, but it will make them look at your form and evidence before your appointment so they are aware. I hope this helps. Also Poppy gave me good advice to.
  • charlie79charlie79 Member Posts: 202 Pioneering
    Also if you download the ESA50 PDF version and print it you don't have to type to fill it out you can write it as well. Its PDF printout has more.  The download version i found was on google CAPABILITY FOR WORK QUESTIONNAIRE.GOV.UK. i scrolled down  and will see ref ESA just click on and print. Sorry but I'm getting used to my laptop, and this is instructions someone sent to me when I was trying to find the form. Also you can print out ESA50 help form to help filling in.   
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Thanks so much Charlie 😁
  • teejays1617teejays1617 Member Posts: 92 Courageous
    At my last face to face assessment ,the assessor asked me if I had any doctors letters on me to support my claim. The assessor was well pleased i was able to hand over 5 letters from doctors. More supporting evidence I think helps give extra support to the claim.I realise doctors letters go with the ESA Limited Work Capability questionaire but I stronglt recommend taking extra copies of the letters to the FACE TO FACE
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I wouldn't advise relying on the HCP accepting any evidence on the day of the assessment. Sending them with the form is a much better option. So many HCPs refuse to accept the evidence on the day of the assessment. It's happened to me twice and all the HCPs i've had have been really nice but they still refused to accept the extra evidence i had.
    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.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    My dr got asked by them to send report when went for assessment they said they may have it in diff office so I said do you want mine she took it foto copies it she put mine in file and I kept mine x
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    Types I poppy can you tell me our benefits are in arrears does that mean they pay you your last payment before leaving you penniless plz thank you  
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, Dotty ESA is paid 2 weeks in arrears.
    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.
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    edited January 2019
    Called DWP today and they  say they may need to discuss medical reasons why I can't work at the first interview. I am reluctant to discuss medical issues with a DWP administration worker with know medical knowledge . Not to mention someone who has not signed up to nhs confidentiality regulations . Am I within my rights to refuse to give any medical info at the initial interview which is supposedly only to confirm my identity ? Feel like this is Nazis Germany . NOT giving any medical info to a person with admin skills and no medical training or knowledge. 😖  
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    True it’s like there calling our doctors liars and sending you to see anyone they haven’t clue and fail you it’s so degrading all this so a dr you’ve seen for yes says you can’t work yet some one you’ve Neva met in your life not till assessment and they no you better than dr 
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    I'm ok just now and can survive ,for a while but  , I'm going to take this the whole way . No admin clerk with  zero medical training or qualification.will  ever get any of my confidential ,human rights protected information from me.just because they work for the DWP. No  Medical qualifications no info Simples 😉
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    Don’t blame you it’s bad they have everyone I’ll stressed upset penniless homeless on there say so it shouldn’t be like this for anyone good luck 👍
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It's most likely because when you claim UC you ave to sign a claimant commitment. Sounds l you'll be meeting your work coach at this appointment as well as confirming your identity.

    Your work coach will be drawing up your job search requirements and this will be used for the claimant commitment. There's no need to tell them everything. Just tell them a little about the reasons why you can't work.

    In order to receive UC it is necessary to meet conditionality requirements, which will be determined by an individual’s capability and circumstances and this is why they need to know just a little about you. You absolutely don't have to go into full details at all and if asked to do so then kindly tell then you'd rather not talk about it in full. The last thing you want to happen is to be placed into the all work requirements group. Once this is done you'll be asked to sign and then this will be your claimant commitment, until you're assessed.

    Once you have your work capability assessment a decision will be made, if you're given limited capability for work, you'll be placed into the work preparation group to prepare for work sometime in the future ( exactly like WRAG for ESA)

    If you're given limited capability for work related activity then you'll be placed into the no work requirements group and you won't have to do anything, they leave you alone in this group (just like Support Group on ESA)

    If you're found fit for work then you'll be placed into the all work requirements group.

    Hope this helps explain it a little more.
    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.
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Really embarrassing to say this but because of treatment I've had my life revolves around never being less than a few metres away from the toilette facilities  on most days.Do the DWP offices have toilette facilities ? Can I request for my interview to be very close to the toiletes?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It will be your local job centre that the appointment will be at so you'll need to check with them what facilities are available.
    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.
  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    I disagree with poppy's first reply.

    I have found if I take evidence with me on the day, it means they have not been able to prepare for it in advance and it sort of knocks them back for six.  e.g. if they checked your form and file before you turn up and are expecting to give 0 points, bringing paperwork with you sort of upsets that for them.

    I dont suggest bringing huge bundles of documents with you tho, perhaps that is what poppy meant, what I usually do is bring a sheet or two of a written statement from my self describing the descriptors I hit and why, whilst they reading I then audibly say the key points so its on the audio recording as well.  I may bring one or two letters as well if I have any from HCP's.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    They asked my dr for report he sent it I got one didn’t tell them during f2f I said my dr sent report you asked him for she said oh it’ll be in diff room so I said here I got one do you want foto copy it so you can keep it she wasn’t happy do what you feel it’s your assessment I’ve been ill with mine good luck 
  • teejays1617teejays1617 Member Posts: 92 Courageous
    Dotty ,
              Great what you did. Armed with extra paperwork and medical professional doctors letters handed in at FTF  reinforces our own health problems and in my last FTF I was thanked a lot for the extra letters by the assessor.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    worried33 said:
    I disagree with poppy's first reply.

    I have found if I take evidence with me on the day, it means they have not been able to prepare for it in advance and it sort of knocks them back for six.  e.g. if they checked your form and file before you turn up and are expecting to give 0 points, bringing paperwork with you sort of upsets that for them.

    I dont suggest bringing huge bundles of documents with you tho, perhaps that is what poppy meant, what I usually do is bring a sheet or two of a written statement from my self describing the descriptors I hit and why, whilst they reading I then audibly say the key points so its on the audio recording as well.  I may bring one or two letters as well if I have any from HCP's.
    I think you may have read my first reply incorrectly.

    I said...
    "I disagree about taking evidence to the assessment with you. They very often refuse to accept evidence on the day of the assessment, it's happened to me twice.

    The whole purpose of the ESA50 form, like PIP, is that you put down on the form exactly how your conditions affect you and send all your relevant evidence when returning the form"

    Which means, taking evidence with you on the day isn't the greatest idea.
    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.
  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    edited February 2019
    Well I would still take it, I have had claims on f2f, that they have never seen evidence that I supply with forms, and any evidence I send with forms seems to be ignored, because if it wasnt ignored the f2f wouldnt be needed in the first place.

    On my last 2 WCA they have received enough evidence with the form to give me SG on a paper assessment but failed to do so.

    On my last WCA in addition they tried to claim I never even asked for a recording, then brought in my ESA50 form and then had to apologise after reading the request was on the form, which made me think did you even read the ESA50 form.

    Evidence I have brought with me has never been refused.  If it was refused you would instantly have grounds for a successful appeal as well, that would be a self inflicting move if they refuse supporting evidence.

    What happens e.g. if you only obtain evidence a week before the f2f?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    All i'm saying is that it has been known plenty of times for a HCP to refuse to accept the evidence from you on the day of the assessment. Which is why you should never rely on them accepting it on the day.

    It's happened to me twice and to my daughter last year during her assessment for PIP. I've never been refused PIP or ESA and all the HCPs i've had have been lovely, honest and truthful but they've still refused to accept the extra evidence. Thankfully, each time i've sent in evidence with my form and what i took was just extra that i had received after returning the form.


    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
    If you receive evidence a week before like I did send it by email to address I advised in previous post. You will receive an acknowledgement email they have received it. Call the number on the back of your appointment letter as it will be the direct number to the assessment centre and not the call centre for appointments they can advise you that they have received it. Make sure you say to them its important they review. I did this myself and just passed, every case is different and take copies with you of all the evidence and not originals, to the appointment.  If they do accept the copies at assessment then you are prepared.
  • charlie79charlie79 Member Posts: 202 Pioneering
    Call them a day or 2 days after email sent so it can show up on there system evidence recieved
  • teejays1617teejays1617 Member Posts: 92 Courageous
    Charlie,
                 I will always take extra evidence letters with me to Face to Face Assessments. They have even asked for extra evidence from doctors and medication lists at the time of the assessment.I cannot agree with POPPY at all on this issue. I have never been refused the extra letters from the doctors to the assessor.As I say again they ask me for more supporting paperwork at the
    Face to Face.
    Poppy I like a lot of your comments but I have to say that supportive paperwork
    helps your case in front of the assessor.
  • charlie79charlie79 Member Posts: 202 Pioneering
    Poppy I think was referring to her own experiences and experiences of other people on scope. I have personally read some posts where they haven't accepted evidence as well  ones that have. That's why I advised her to send via email from my own personal experience, and take copies to assessment.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, i was referring to my own experiences but a claimant shouldn't rely on the HCP accepting the evidence on the day of the assessment.

    Sometimes it's good to agree to disagree :)
    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.
  • sandy69sandy69 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I was on pip sent loads of letter drs letter they reduced me from enhanced to standard rate I can't go out I'm worse off now I have received another letter to fill in for ESA I'm 65 this year got no pension I don't no what to do I have had enough
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    There making us beggars it’s out of hand and they need sort it our benefit offices are a joke and a disgrace 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Once you reach 65 your ESA will stop and you'll be claiming your state pension. DWP should contact to claim this about 4 months before you reach 65.
    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.
  • sandy69sandy69 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I no poppy,I can't get pension till next year has I'm born in 54 I was one of those who got put on hold,I'm not well I have many conditions and mental health I didn't review my I couldn't be bothered,I was insulted at my pip assesment,I don't eat much I can't she said I look has if I'm getting nutrition has I'm overweight,and I spoke ok that day I was up all night preparing myself. Had enough can't wait to be rid xxx
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    You should complain bout her being cheeky she’s not there for that lot peaple got snooty assessors others got some could hardly speak English understood nowt it’s a farce a disgrace how there doing this 
  • sandy69sandy69 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Dotty ,she was horrible I cried,she said I spoke well that day but that's because I was up all night ,I knew when I saw her she was horrible glad when I get pension ,if I win lottery they can go jump  xxxx
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    I’ve lost stone in weight diabetes played up asthma was real bad are they allowed to do this it’s blooming disgrace we’re ill British and getting treat like **** there going out all us off esa and make us grovel it’s disgusting 
  • sandy69sandy69 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I have asthma and diabetes I was in hospital last march coughed blood up,what I don't understand she ask me if I ever went to a special school she didn't have in report anything I told her,
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    They just don’t care there not interested some haven’t clue x
  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    Yeah clearly we have had different experiences, there is certainly no harm in supplying evidence with the the ESA50 as that will maximise the chances of a paper assessment, and emailing it as well, but I just feel its also good to bring evidence with you to a f2f as well, So they not just relying on visual observations.

    I am very surprised to even read that assessors have refused evidence been presented to them, that to me is worth making a formal complaint about.  If it happens to me I would quite likely try to end the assessment.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    That seems easy raise your voice or disagree with one they cancel the meeting say you can work it’s a blooming farce all this disgrace 
  • teejays1617teejays1617 Member Posts: 92 Courageous
    Hi Dotty ,
                  My sister has had awful breast cancer and had to have breast removal
    and very deep and harsh surgery and the radiation caused severe burns and a secondary cancer. Her ESA was stopped after a Face to Face
    She has to go to a tribunal ,Its a disgrace that things have to come to this
    She has worked so hard all her life and she feels so weak after all the surgery
    she has had.
    DWP say its a disease not a disability but the awful cancer has caused
    disabilities.
    As my sister says DWP is using non medical staff to assess at FTF were as it should be medical professionals assessing
    Will let you know how her tribunal goes
    Losing our mother to breast cancer was bad enough let alone all this to cope with
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2019
    @teejays1617 i'm sorry to hear about your sister. The way she's been treated is disgusting. May i ask if she was having treatment for the cancer or recovering from the treatment for it when she had her face to face assessment?
    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.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    It’s a blooming disgrace f2f make your doctor a liar and yet they are the most awful bad mannered peaple to see they say we’re fit well but surely our doctors no us better I hope you win tribunal I thought when you get word from tribunal you get paid again xx
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    It’s like the assessors no more than your dr my dr report says unable to work yet she wasn’t happy with that it’s unjust x
  • teejays1617teejays1617 Member Posts: 92 Courageous
    Hi Poppy,
                    My sister was being treated for the CANCER  even at the time of the FTF . McMillan have said they will go to the tribunal with my sister.
    I went to see my sister at the Queen Elizabeth and I was directed to the BURNS UNIT . What a shock !! My sister had breast removal ,it was very deep and they had to use muscle tissue from he back and shoulder for re-construction.
    She is so weak
    At the FTF they asked her if she could pick up a pen.She picked it up
    Then weeks later she lost all her ESA 
    i'M GLAD SHE IS APPEALING
  • BungalowBungalow Member Posts: 43 Courageous
    When I went for my PIP assessment  I took more evidence in, she logged it and I signed for it. I asked  If I could see what she was writing about me , she wasn't happy with this request as I stated it is in your leaflet and I am entitled to see what you are writing about me. She did show me all the evidence I had sent and looked through the paperwork I had took in as well . I think I was one of the lucky one's .

    It was all recorded in the report . 
  • teejays1617teejays1617 Member Posts: 92 Courageous
    Hi Apollo,
                   Any good news yet or any good news from anyone regarding backdating their housing benefit claim because of claiming SDP
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Just ben in to DWP Job Centre for interview re ESA claim . Seemed to go ok. I gave them my ESA claim form and two sick /fit notes . Had to sign a commitment form . Agreed that I need to let them know if anything changes , give them accurate information and attend any appointments they arrange . The part about job clubs etc says is ticked,  This does not apply to you . Confused what happens next ? It's contribution/ New style ESA I am applying for. She also said my claim for ESA  from last year before I went back to work was still on the system so that would save a lot of paper work. ?? I'm none the wiser  ?     
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    New style ESA is similar to the old ESA but this is purely contributions based and no premiums are paid on top of this. The agreement you signed was just to say if any changes take place you will tell them. You won't have to attend any further appointments, like you would if you were claiming Universal credit. You'll need to continue to send in the fit notes until after you're assessed and a decision is made. Your weekly payments will be £73.10 paid fortnightly in arrears. Savings/capital do not affect this. It also doesn't automatically entitle you to free NHS treatment and for this you'll need to take a look at the NHS low income scheme and fill out a form.

    If you rent your home you won't be able to claim housing benefit to help with this, instead you'll need to claim universal credit.
    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.
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    I'm having to have loads of dental treatment because of my cancer treatment and Biophosphonate  bone treatments . Is there any help with this 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Are you currently going through treatment or recently received treatment for cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy?

    For NHS prescriptions then you'll need to look at the NHS low income scheme. You'll need to fill out a form for this and wait for the decision.  https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-low-income-scheme

    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.
  • Marie123Marie123 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Thanks Poppy I will have a look..
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