Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA query

My husband applied for ESA back in January. His six months ssp ran out at the end of January . He was in hospital from July - November, diagnosed with pyschosis and is still seen daily from the home mental health team. We applied for ESA C and got the letter saying he had been awarded it. I received his WCA form really quickly after this, I filled it in and sent it off for him the day we received it that was roughly the last week of January. 

My query is to do with the letter we received today. It was from our local JSA informing us about work focused interviews for ESA  however at the bottom it says it has now been established due to my husband's circumstances he does not have to attend these. Does this mean a decision has already been made to place him in the support group? Or is this just a standard letter? 

Also is the 13 week assessment period ever less than 13 weeks, I know it can be a lot longer but doesn't say anywhere if it's ever shorter?

Replies

  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Member Posts: 210 Pioneering
    Hello yoddles hope your hubby gets well soon I'm not able to help with your query but I'm sure someone will point you in the right direction soon . 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    It just means that he doesn't have to attend the appointments. If a decision had been made it would tell him in the letter. Most people have face to face assessments, it's rare to have a paper based assessment.

    The assessment period is always 13 weeks, this means that you can't be paid anymore than £73.10 for those 13 weeks, even if the decision is made before that time.

    Some go over that time by several months, while others are assessed before that time. If you go over that time and eventually placed into the support group then you'll be back dated the extra money to the 14th week of your claim. If you're assessed before those 13 weeks and placed into the support group then your money doesn't increase till week 14.


    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.
  • YoddlesYoddles Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Ahh ok, thanks! 
  • BenistmonkBenistmonk Member Posts: 343 Pioneering
    Doesn't sound like a standard letter, the fact that he does not have to attend the JC means someone must have looked at this case. You get paid the assessment rate £73.10 for first 13 weeks after your claim, if he ends up in the support group, he will get around £37 per week extra which will be backdated to the first day of the claim. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Does it say anywhere in that letter that he either has limited capability for work (LCW) or limited capability for work related activity (LCWRA) and does it say anything about an increase in payments?
    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.
  • YoddlesYoddles Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited February 2019
    No and it's only from local JSA office, not the main ESA address that award letters etc would  come from.  I've attached a photo of it. It seemed like a generic info letter but the underlined bit is why I questioning it as I know it's really early in the claim.  Does anyone have to go the work focused interviews before the 13 week assessment period ends? 

    [image removed by moderator]
  • BenistmonkBenistmonk Member Posts: 343 Pioneering
    That's it then, SG all the way. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    To be honest when claiming ESA i've never known anyone attend these interviews while on assessment phase. My advice is to ring DWP (not your job centre) tomorrow and ask if a decision's been made on his claim 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.
  • YoddlesYoddles Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks for both of your help.

    Getting him on a phone is a nightmare, part of his pyschosis is thinking our phones are bugged. Is it easy enough to become his client rep? As even doing security and passing the phone to me is really hard for him.  I forgot to ask when I initially spoke to them. I work for CSA and we do it by forms is the process the same for ESA or would they need to speak with him first each time?
  • YoddlesYoddles Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Sorry for all the questions. New to all things benefit! 

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    This may apply, if he doesn't have the capacity to look after his own money https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits

    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.
  • YoddlesYoddles Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Got the letter today he has been put in the support group! His rate will change in April. That was quick and with no medical!!

     Can ESA see PIPs assessment reports? As I sent no evidence off with ESA50 so I was wondering if maybe that's how we got such a quick decision?  PIP assessment was done a few weeks ago, no word on it but I know it takes ages. 

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Great news. No, they don't look at PIP assessments/awards.
    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.
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Yoddles, great to meet you!

    Just letting you know we've removed the image of your letter in your post as personal and identifying information was visible. However, really glad to see you've had some guidance from our community members!
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