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wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
Hi Everyone, I am my son's appointee. We adopted him as a toddler after he'd been physically abused by his Mother. He was quiet and withdrawn as a child and as he got older it became apparent he had problems with learning and mental health. We suspected Fetal alcohol syndrome and possible Autism/Asberges but he's never been tested or diagnosed with these. For 10/15 years in his teens/early 20's his behaviour was uncontrollable with outbursts of aggression and he ended up with a police record. The last incident was 7 years ago when he was living on his own. He was targeted by a crowd of youths and his reaction was to buy a Samari Sword and head for nearby woods to try it out on tree branches. He was again arrested and got off with a caution. He is stable ATM but only because his Dad goes over every day and helps him with everything or encourages him to do things for himself, basic things like washing, changing his clothes, even eating. He is very depressed and has no life just spends hours on his own. He will not engage with mental health services but tests in 2011 through the job centre resulted in an LD diagnosis. We lack evidence but despite this he was reviewed recently for PIP and has the enhanced rate for daily living and standard rate for mobility. 
      He's been in the Support group for ESA since 2015 but has just had a review and his report is very accurate but recommends he be in the WRAG despite the assessor stating a number of things that should put him into the support group category. I suspect he's been caught up in the Gov's ruling about not assessing Support group people too often so they may be trying to get as many moved out of there as possible to save money. Review recommendation was Medium term. Am I right that's anything from 3 months to 3 years? We haven't had the decision letter yet but expect it will go with the assessor's recommendation. 
     My dilemma now is whether to accept this and see how he get's on or do an MR to try and get him back in the support group bearing in mind he has no life and goes into a deep depression when not motivated . Money wise he'll lose a lot but getting money for nothing is not good for him. Questions I have are would too much pressure be put on him to do things he's not capable of doing in the WRAG? How often would he have to go to see someone at the job centre and would he be expected to do a CV, apply for jobs etc. 


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,350 Disability Gamechanger

    I'm so sorry to hear all of that!

    It's very difficult to give advice on an internet forum but to me it does sound like reg 35 should have applied here but for this to apply it would need to be the majority of the time. If he's a danger to himself and others the majority of the time then yes, he most certainly should be in the Support Group.

    Being placed in the WRAG doesn't mean they will expect him to look for work. It means he will be expected to prepare to work sometime in the future. This could be writing CV, attending work focused interviews and attending training programs BUT it does depend on the work coach. I've heard of people in the WRAG that just have telephone appointments because of their condition. You would need to speak to his work coach regarding this.

    If he was my son and i was his appointee and the decision was to place him in the WRAG then i'd 100% request the MR but you would need evidence to prove how his conditions affect him. Doesn't matter if it's previously been sent before, send it. Bare in mind that only 18% of MR decisions change, so you'll most likely have to take it to Tribunal.

    Once the decision is made and they mostly go with the report i'd recommend you get expert face to face advice. This way you'll be able to tell the adviser exactly how his conditions affect him and they'll be able to advise you correctly.

    Hope this helps, good luck!
  • miracle
    miracle Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Hi Wildlife,
    This is a tricky one. Because i gather that this disability is learning and mental health issues only (not physically disabled). The problem with this, is that those at the DWP, have not got the specialist knowledge, to understand how your son:s condition, affects his everyday life. Even if he was put in the workplace, how would he cope, especially if someone wound him up, and he reacted to that. My sister-in-law, has been put in WRAG from the Support Group. She has the mental capacity of a 6 year old. She has been like this from birth. And yet, the kind people at the DWP, have deemed that, because she has no physical disabilities, she is capable of doing some sort of work. How could anyone function in the workplace, with a mental capacity of a 6 year old? I am not saying that your son is like this, but am drawing an analogy of someone who is going through the same problems. It is all about the DWP trying to save money. They dont give a monkeys hoot, as long as they get results, and get people off the Support Group, and into WRAG. The kind people at the DWP, do not have to go through, what you and your son, are going through. Has your son been seeing a specialist at the hospital? Sometimes, if the DWP, ask for a hospital report, that report, might not have enough, in-depth information. It might be worth you and your son, trying to see a consultant at the hospital, so that they can see how your son is, and can write a report to support his case. Hope things work out for you.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited March 2019
    Thank-you both. He's not physically disabled but his real age is nothing like his functional age. He stopped developing mentally about age 13/14 I would say. The assessor said his speech was: Spoke in monosyllables, rate: slow, Volume: very quiet and then Content: NORMAL. That looks to me like an attempt to get him in a higher group. Also Insight: Poor. Awareness of Danger: Adequate. Adequate for what? Work? no way. Yes if someone wound him up he would flip and doesn't have any awareness of other people's reaction to his behaviour. He has very poor communication, fully accepted on his report, no eye contact which she acknowledged by say "downcast gaze". You really are helping, thanks. The system of helping mental health is very poor in the UK, unless the person wants help or does something seriously bad they get dumped on a scrap heap. He's had the odd appt. with psychiatrists in the past but we've moved around and so nothing has lasted long enough to help. Or he stops going or walks out. He can't accept he has any mental health problems. We've worked with him in family businesses and he would need constant supervision and any work redone properly by someone else. But it's about what is best for him now, a short term spell of having to do something or back to doing nothing. I know you can't advise but it's just how the WRAG is working I wanted advice about.    
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wildlife Sorry to hear what is happening.  I know the issues are around you sons support and well being in a employment capacity.

    One of the problems I encountered was the staff at the employment services trying to put every one like your son into a tick box which they did not fit.

    I had this myself with many doors closing. Due to the long term mental health issues I had. Plus one training company refusing to acknowledge me as they did take members of our community. Not me.

    Needed six months to a year getting ready , preparing for work.

    The difficulties and dealing with the employment staff is a priority in my opinion because they have no idea how to deal with many members of our community.

    Sorry to share this but it is true.

    You mentioned lack of mental health support. Please can I add do you think he would benefit from some one with different approach. 

    I got involved with this charity if this helps you.

    They have a many different avenues and signposting.  One which benefited myself was the attendance of a support worker to a job centre.

    Did have ten members of staff to sign on with in six months and me with my memory forgetting everything.

    Do not wish to cause you distress but that might happen.

    Also this charity have employment advisors can probably use some guidance here. From them.

    Might be useful to contact see what they can help and assist with helped with lots of my benefits, attendance and things like that.

    Hope that helps you. Just wish I could advise more.

    Please take care.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    Thank-you @thespiceman, I have just read your post to my husband and we will contact Richmondfellowship to see if they can help. Trouble is Michael doesn't trust anyone only his Dad. i don't see him often because he stressed me out so much in the past and still does I'm afraid. But I would be a lot better if someone else was helping Michael and not just his Dad as he is 71 now and needs a break. Also I worry about the future when he can't care for him any longer. I think I'll try and get him into the support group where he should be but at the same time find outside help that wouldn't involve sanctions if he failed to meet someone. Thank-you for your help it is  much apppreciated.  

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wildlife   Thank you for replying to me. I do understand this situation with your son and his mental health.

    I did not wish to or want to cause alarm that was my big concern.  My own personal history dealing with employment services.

    I agree with you that your son should be in the support group.

    Being in WRAG  my self for a considerable length of time my dealings with employment service left to my support workers intervention.

    I was trapped in a system where no one was listening all boxes, forms and very much next . A conveyor system . When your in that your helpless and the whims of the staff.

    Also every time not being helpful. I just add now in the support group because of my own issues.

    This is what I hoping. For you and your son.  If he signs up can self refer.

    There will be some one there to assist and support your son see what they  can do.

    I know trust issues are difficult to over come but do know small steps all the time.

    I wish you well and please if I can be of any help or just a listening ear . Happy to do so.

    Take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    Thank-you again and don't worry you haven't shocked me at all. Our dog is very poorly so other things going on at the same time. He's 14 and going downhill so we may have a heart wrenching decision to make soon. My other son is helping so it's a family thing. About Michael I will prepare an MR for when the Decision letter arrives and let you know @spiceman how I get on. I'm not worried about statistics of how many get changed if I put my mind to something I can move mountains as I've done so often in the past. Ha ha. Take care you sound like a really nice person and you've been very helpful...  


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