Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Can DWP just terminate payments leaving a person with no income whatsoever?

Pzkpfwv1dPzkpfwv1d Member Posts: 10 Listener
I have been in receipt of ESA WRA since September 2013 and recently I had to go for a reassessment medical.  The appointment was at Lincoln centre for 09:00 in the morning, as I do not drive because of various medical conditions I contacted the assessment centre and requested either a new appointment of help getting to the stated appointment.  When discussing the journey I found out some useful information, if the journey each way is more than 90 minutes by public transport the provider must provide transport to the assessment.  

I attended the assessment and gave full details including the fact that I had four episodes in the previous 2 weeks since the arrival of the letter giving the appointment 

On 18th February I received a letter stating that my ESA had been stopped completely as of 14th February because of insufficient points, looking through the letter I noticed that the examiner had scored 0 on several points where the evidence given would have indicated far higher scores.  I therefore contacted DWP on the number provided in the letter and eventually got through to an advisor, who stated that they would send through for mandatory reconsideration, they tried 3 times and stated that I could not be put through and I would be contacted in 1 to 3 working days.  I contacted them again this morning and was told that the particular department dealing with mandatory reassessments were having telephone problems and that I would be contacted between 09:00 and 18:00 today and tomorrow (Wednesday) and 09:00 and 14:00 on Thursday.

Can DWP just terminate payments leaving a person with no income whatsoever and are there any people who can help, I contacted Citizen's Advice Bureau and was basically told that there is nothing they can do any more.  

I have various long term ailments which resulted in my employers terminating my employment for reasons of ill health in July 2012 and I took nearly 15 months for my original claim to be processed 

Regards Panzer 

Replies

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Pzkpfwv1d   Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.  Sorry what has happened.
    I know there are many members who can identify what you are going through.  They will be in touch as will be a member of our team.

    Who will be able to give some answers to your questions.

    I am one of the team of community champions. Who advise and help new members who join.

    All I can say is have a look at our information on ESA on our website. If that gives you some reassurance.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Pzkpfwv1dPzkpfwv1d Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I already found some useful information regarding housing benefit in another section. 
  • Tarpuk4Tarpuk4 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    I think they can stop your money just like that, I don't know if this is actually lawful to do because as you say it leaves you with no income.
    I went to an ESA tribunal at the Wolverhampton courts and they didn't even list
  • Tarpuk4Tarpuk4 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    They didn't even listen to me, never took anything into consideration. Needless to say I didn't win and my money was stopped.
    I was placed in the WRAG . Eventually i found work but my health has deteriated quite significantly.
    Last week I received a letter from work terminating my employment on the grounds of ill health.
    I di hope someone on here can give you some more helpful advice xx
  • Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Hi @Pzkpfwv1d thank you for sharing this with us. I am sorry to hear what you have been going through. Hopefully more of our  members will be able to answer your question.

    I am happy to see you have found some useful information in another section, please keep us updated.
  • Pzkpfwv1dPzkpfwv1d Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I rang them again today after the expiry of the 3 days time period and was told that they had tried to contact me 3 times without success, however, as I have specified that my mobile telephone is the preferred contact number and they again had to update there system with this information I very much doubt if they have actually tried to contact me whatsoever.  I was on hold waiting for an agent to deal with my telephone call for 45 minutes and then he was actually able to put me through to the right department without any problem which also gives me the impression that they do not want to deal with valid claims.  After I had explained the 5 separate descriptors where the assessing officer had either not carried out the assessment or stated false and misleading answers compared to the actual answers given, the agent dealing with my claim tried to fob me off in to claiming other benefits and then stated that the reconsideration can take up to 4 weeks and the appeal can take years.

    My medical history actually goes back more than 30 years and the assessing officer had access to those details as she was able to give me information that I was unaware of as I thought the treatment that I was having in the early 1980's was for something entirely different 
  • Pzkpfwv1dPzkpfwv1d Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I have just used the benefits at work website and put in the same answers as I gave at the assessment and score a total of 78 points 

    You assessed yourself as scoring a total of 78 points for the following:
    2 (c) Cannot, for the majority of the time, remain at a work station, either: (i) standing unassisted by another person (even if free to move around) or; (ii) sitting (even in an adjustable chair) for more than an hour before needing to move away in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion. 6.

    4 (c) Cannot transfer a light but bulky object such as an empty cardboard box. 6

    6 (c) Has some difficulty conveying a simple message to strangers. 6

    7 (c) Has some difficulty understanding a simple message from a stranger due to sensory impairment. 6

    9 (b) At risk of loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing, if not able to reach a toilet quickly. 6

    10 (a) At least once a week, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or concentration. 15

    13 (c) Frequently cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 personal actions. 6

    14 (c) Cannot cope with minor unplanned change (such as the timing of an appointment on the day it is due to occur), to the extent that overall, day to day life is made significantly more difficult. 6

    15 (c) Is unable to get to a specified place with which the claimant is unfamiliar without being accompanied by another person. 6

    16 (c) Engagement in social contact with someone unfamiliar to the claimant is not possible for the majority of the time due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the individual. 6

    17 (c) Occasionally has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace. 9
  • BenistmonkBenistmonk Member Posts: 343 Pioneering
    edited February 2019
    I could tell you the exact same story, WCA on 2nd Sept 2018. ESA stopped 10th Dec 2018, letter informing me of this arrived 14th Dec 2018. 

    Lots of incorrect assumptions or lies if you prefer, made up about my health, apparently I had done various physical tests, I was actually asked to do 1 physical test. The HCP, a physiotherapist gave 0 points. Left with no money to live on. 

    Is it legal? probably not. Can you do anything about it? probably not, because the people who made the rules are also the same people who deal with complaints about this, so it is most likely they will even listen to you.

    What can you do about it personally? Since the gov stopped legal aid and and bought off the CAB, they have not left us with any options other than to fight cases for ourselves. 

    I see you already know about asking for a MR, which you have done. All you can hope for now is the decision will be revised in your favour, a situation that is most unlikely. 

    You will receive 2 copies of the MR, one for you to keep for your records, the other is to be included with the SSCS1 appeal form. Once the tribunal court receives your appeal, they will acknowledge it in writing. 

    Once you have the tribunal letter, ring the DWP again and give them the ref No from it. The DWP will pay you ESA at assessment rate until your appeal is heard at tribunal. 

    If your rent is paid by the council, you will have to explain to the council why you have nil income to keep HB running.

    See CAB about food parcels if you need food.



  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Pzkpfwv1d How are you ?  I am reading what you have written over the last few days.

    Please can I suggest it might be worth finding some support for the health conditions you have.  In that often many organisations who represent the illness or condition you have.  Have support on line and can also advise the next steps to take.

    Many do have welfare support and benefit advisors.

    Something to consider. If you wish for me to help you with anything only too glad to.

    Understand with my mental health issues got help and support through mental health charity.  I know my own health needs and do continue to look for additional help and support. Information and advice to guide me.

    Which accessed me to a floating support worker in turn a lot of useful advice and information came to my attention.  Especially the minefield of benefits.

    I got a lot of support plus the floating support attending benefit assessments plus jobcentre interviews. Intervened with DWP my own personal circumstances.

    I know from reading with your health all of us feel we can cope and get on with dealing with our issues. 

    Is it not time to think maybe I could do with some guidance here.  I can manage but there are always some one who is out there to just be a helping hand.

    When I got the help and support plus additional signposting.  It was the best thing ever.  Always learning and remain committed to find ways to cope.

    I hope you keep in touch. Please ask if I can help.

    Happy to do so.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Pzkpfwv1dPzkpfwv1d Member Posts: 10 Listener
    There are not any people who actually deal with the underlying problem which is aggravated by other health problems and conditions, not as far as I am aware and I have been looking for decades, if you know anyone who helps with the following, I would appreciate knowing 

    Chronic migraine clusters and thyroid problems aggravated by stress, depression and anxiety plus asthma 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Pzkpfwv1d Thank you for sharing with me.  You mentioned the anxiety and depression.

    Please can I suggest maybe looking on line the charity that helped me.

    I am also disabled as well having a addiction history.  Got a genetic disorder. So when in my own personal circumstances the doors closed because I was focusing too much on my disability.

    Thinking mental health charities will not accept me because I disabled with a mental health issues, addiction history.

    Instead not realising the mental health was effecting the disability and the addiction.

    I used this one.  Because I thought would not accept me then found out a lot of the people who joined have associated problems related to mental health.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    Hope that helps you.  

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • mossycowmossycow Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Hi @Pzkpfwv1d

    Firstly so so sorry to hear how hard this has been recently. 

    Sound alike you need some urgent help and I agree with Spiceman that looking at charities related to your conditions is a great idea. I'd also add looking at charities in your local arra. 

    I think what you do is prioritise, call in favours and charity, hold your head high knowing you are doing the right things and take all help offered... Then ask for more help. 

    Food, fuel, housing,medication .. 

    Get in touch with Citezens Advice? Or local community centre, food banks etc. 

    I'm so sorry as that seems super scary. We've done it a couple of times and had help. And it's kept us going till things have become more fair. 

    Have you used the Scope helpline and talked about benefits with a professional advisor? 


    "I'm trying to live like a random poem I read that ended 'to bloom where we are planted"

  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 949 Pioneering
    Please make a complaint about the assessor!
  • Pzkpfwv1dPzkpfwv1d Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Currently I have now reached the appeal stage after the mandatory reconsideration was turned down.  Received the DWP reply to HM courts and Tribunals Service case yesterday.  The examiners name at the assessment was stated in the paperwork and claimed as a Registered Nurse.  If one checks online, one will be directed to Nursing and Midwifery Council website which holds a register of all the nurses licenses to practice in the United Kingdom.  Lo and behold, the examiner is not licensed to practice in the United Kingdom, therefore, the assessment data is null and void and from this I think that I should be able to get the DWP decision quashed as the assessment was not carried out by a competent person and might not have even been carried out by a medical practitioner 
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    If you suceed with getting the decision quashed ( which I think is unlikely ) you will then have to have another assessment. If you decide to try going this route I suggest that you get trained help from a local advice agency.

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • anneisasmileranneisasmiler Member Posts: 2 Listener
    i was in same situation.
    contact local mp. because once your benefits stop you need get help with rent. i wrote mandatory reconsideration and explained what my doctor told me. then write to  complaints team, about situation. you will be paid  half the payment of what you usually get  usually get, which i did, after your have mandatory letter to say your  put back, you get that money back dated to you. e.s.a consist of two groups. limited capability for work related activity, which i was on , and support group is for  long term ill health with walking frame.. be precise with your conditions, give local mp of your area all your evidence, visit him or her, they are very supportive with all this.  . good luck
  • BenistmonkBenistmonk Member Posts: 343 Pioneering
    the examiner is not licensed to practice in the United Kingdom,


    That is proof we are dealing with criminals who will do anything to refuse paying benefits. 

  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    @Benistmonk, proving criminal action when it is sanctioned by the Government is hardly likely and, due to Brexit, people will no longer be able to appeal to the EU court processes either.

    @Pzkpfwv1d, I'm guessing they can stop whatever they want to but there are some safeguards in place for those with no income at all. You would either need to contact a local help service like the CAB or a related charity that offers assistance and advice (such as MIND) for details but I also believe that when one benefit is removed they have to move you to another (even if it's entirely inappropriate). Most of this is done to cause people to rely on other sources of income or family assistance which then gives them an excuse to not reinstate the benefit.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • BenistmonkBenistmonk Member Posts: 343 Pioneering
    @Topkitten Not licenced to practice in the UK is all the proof you need. When anyone can check online to verify applicants qualifications, you have to ask why this was not done in this case when it should be the first priority before employing someone who claims to be a nurse.


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