Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.
Receiving too many notifications? Adjust your notification settings.

A bolt from the blue

This is a message I just posted to my UC work coach ...

I had a phone call (number withheld) at 9:39 this morning from a lady claiming to be from Worthing(?) DRT.

(The lady had a strong  foreign accent which was difficult to hear/understand - my interpretation follows)

She said as they were unable to contact my CAB representative, they were calling me directly to inform that they have reversed their decision and are going to reinstate my original claim for ESA WRAG.

She asked if it was ok for them to cancel the tribunal hearing, to which I agreed, but she couldn't advise me about my current UC claim and the new UC50 that is ongoing

Do you have any advice, please?

Forgot to say I believe she mentioned backdated payment, but I'm not sure I should have agreed to cancel the tribunal hearing.

So, not as difficult for some as it is for some others, considering my MR and appeal for tribunal had no supporting evidence from any medical professionals.

Prior to starting this post, I made a call to CAB regarding the lack of communication with my representative - no one was available to take my call so left details for a callback.

CAB just called back, it just happened to be my representative, offering no explanation for being incommunicado but (long-story-short) doesn't have a clue what happens next regarding my current claim for UC credit.

I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. 🤕


Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Replies

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    edited July 2019
    That’s good news about your ESA.

    Can you remind me what stage you’re at with your UC50 on Universal Credit? Are you awaiting assessment or awaiting decision? 

    Also, when did your claim for ESA begin?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    As soon as I was informed of DWPs decision that found me fit for work, I made an immediate claim for UC as I would have had no other means of financial support. I also started providing fit notes which triggered a new WCA for which I am waiting on the decision for the UC50 that was hand delivered on 17/6/2019.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope Actually, is there any difference between ESA50 and UC50 forms? I've only heard reference to UC50.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    Hi @GettinOlde. What I’m trying to establish is when your claim for ESA originally began? It needs to have been in place before April 2017 for there to be any additional money for you on UC. As you are in the LCW/WRA group not LCWRA/Support group there is no premium for this unless your claim began before April 2017. 

    Your ESA decision will transfer over to Universal Credit, however as a new WCA has been triggered you will need to continue with this and any decision they make will supersede the ESA decision. 

    With regards to the forms, they are both work capability assessment forms, just one is for ESA and the other for Universal Credit. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    edited July 2019
    @Adrian_Scope My initial claim for ESA was about 7 years ago I think, I remember the tribunal's decision was that it should not be reviewed for 2 years but it came up for revision at the beginning of this year.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Just called the 0800 328 5644 UC helpline, they didn't have a clue how to advise me and just referred me back to my work coach.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2019
    HI,

    That's great news. For the ESA decision you'll be backdated any money owed from the date you were found fit for work, which will include the extra money for the WRAG because your claim started before April 2017.

    As Adrian has advised, your WCA assessment for UC will continue.
    Community champion and 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.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    edited July 2019
    @Adrian_Scope My initial claim for ESA was about 7 years ago I think, I remember the tribunal's decision was that it should not be reviewed for 2 years but it came up for revision at the beginning of this year.
    That’s good news. As Poppy said it means that you will receive the additional money for the LCW group. As you claimed UC as soon as your ESA ended, any backdated money should come from UC. It will take a while to be put into action though and you will still have to continue with the UC50 WCA. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    edited July 2019

    Could this retraction by DRT be used in support / in evidence for the ongoing process if necessary?

    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Absolutely no reason why it can't be used as evidence for your current WCA.
    Community champion and 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.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Progress at last.

    I called the UC helpline (reference this post) and eventually spoke to someone called Danielle.

    After several "I don't know, let me put you on hold while I speak to a colleague who has access to more of your files than I do.", I was informed that my claim for ESA has now been transferred to my UC account and that I would be put on LCWRA; Danielle even had the UC50 process, triggered by submitting Fit Notes, cancelled. It is now just a matter of playing the waiting game for everything to take effect.

    I feel a little more at ease now.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Progress at last.

    I called the UC helpline (reference this post) and eventually spoke to someone called Danielle.

    After several "I don't know, let me put you on hold while I speak to a colleague who has access to more of your files than I do.", I was informed that my claim for ESA has now been transferred to my UC account and that I would be put on LCWRA; Danielle even had the UC50 process, triggered by submitting Fit Notes, cancelled. It is now just a matter of playing the waiting game for everything to take effect.

    I feel a little more at ease now.
    Are you sure it's LCWRA? This is equivalent to ESA Support Group and i thought you said you were given WRAG for the ESA which is LCW for UC.
    Community champion and 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.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    Hi @GettinOlde, it does sound like some positive progress is being made at last! Have they added any notes to your journal yet? It's great if they have managed to cancel the UC50 and transfer your decision from ESA. 
    Please do check the groupings though, if you were WRAG on ESA it should be LCW on UC, if Support Group, it should be LCWRA. I'd hate for them to place you in the wrong group and down the line ask for the money back. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    I don't know for sure but I recorded the telephone conversation and the advisor mentioned the figure '336' and LCW WRA.

    Here's a 4-minute audio clip of the conversation - the figure '336' and LCW WRA mentioned at around 1 minute.

    (Excuse the West Country accent 😎)




    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    edited July 2019
    You’re right she definitely does say that but sadly it doesn’t mean that she’s not mistaken.

    Do you have your ESA decision letter? Can you confirm what group they put you in? Was it definitely WRAG (where you are expected to undertake work related activities) or was it the Support Group? 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    edited July 2019
    You’re right she definitely does say that but sadly it doesn’t mean that she’s not mistaken.

    Do you have your ESA decision letter? Can you confirm what group they put you in? Was it definitely WRAG (where you are expected to undertake work related activities) or was it the Support Group? 
    The recent ESA decision, 29th March 2019, was that they found me fit for work until DWP heard that it was going to tribual and then the Disputes Resolution Team informed me that my previous claim would be reinstated -  I had been on ESA WRAG, not Support Group, since 2012.

    The terminology gets confusing ...

    1. ESA Work Related Activity Group
    2. ESA Support Group
    3. UC LCW (Limited Capability for Work)
    4. UC LCW WRA (Limited Capability for Work - Work Related Activity)

    Are 1&3 similar and 2&4 similar - or ist it the other way around - 1&4 and 2&3?
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    My only piece of advice is to call them to politely ask for clarification. 
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    @April2018mom This is what I mean, I don't seem to be able to get a straight answer from anyone, UC advisor or work coach, about anything, and the reason why I wanted to speak directly with my Case Manager.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s 1&3 and 2&4.

    I agree the Adrian you need to find out because if they pay you the extra LCWRA element instead of just the LCW and this is an error then you will end up owing DWP money.
    Unfortunately for UC if DWP make an error then this is recoverable, unlike it was with the old legacy benefits. 
    Community champion and 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.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    The terminology is definitely confusing @GettinOlde! It’s because they use the work related activities part to mean opposite things depending on the benefit.

    The Work Related Activities group (WRAG) on ESA is the same as Limited Capacity for Work (LCW) on Universal Credit.

    The Limited Capacity for Work and Work Related Activities (LCWRA) is the same as Support Group on ESA. 

    What was the decision from your ESA offer? And have you had any changes to your Universal Credit statements or journal yet? This should clear up which groupings you’ve been placed in. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    edited July 2019
    What was the decision from your ESA offer? And have you had any changes to your Universal Credit statements or journal yet?
    "ESA offer" - not sure what you mean by that.
    It has been almost 4 months since I first had to claim UC and there have been no updates in my journal regarding ESA/LCW, the only mention of ESA is in my own questions to my work coach who tells me I just have to wait.
    I am now getting absolutely desperate, for the first time ever, my income is less than my outgoings.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    "ESA offer" - not sure what you mean by that.
    It has been almost 4 months since I first had to claim UC and there have been no updates in my journal regarding ESA/LCW, the only mention of ESA is in my own questions to my work coach who tells me I just have to wait.
    I am now getting absolutely desperate, for the first time ever, my income is less than my outgoings.
    Sorry if I’m not being clear. At the start of this thread you mentioned getting contacted by DWP offering you a deal to stop the tribunal (WRAG). Have you received that in writing yet and does the letter state which group you were placed in?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    edited July 2019
    From the letter received from the Disputes Resolution Team ...
    About your Appeal

    We have looked again at the decision of 29/03/2019 about your Employment and Support Allowance.

    We have changed the decision this is because you stated in your Appeal request letter that you are unable to mobilise more than 100 meters on level ground due to severe pain due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Therefore, I have awarded you with further 9 points for the Mobilising descriptor. You have

    You have now scored 15 points from the Work Capability Assessment and consequently my decision is that you remain entitled to Employment and Support Allowance with the work related activity component for 24 months.

    Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) have been notified of this change.

    You will receive a separate letter about your benefit payments.
    I have not received any further communication about this from anyone apart from the telephone conversation with the UC advisor

    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    I just noticed that although I received that letter, there is a spelling mistake in my address at the top of the page - I just hope nothing has gone astray in the post because there is a particular peculiarity with address in my area.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Just had a call from my CAB rep about her conversation with her UC 'contact' regarding my latest UC50. I informed her of my call to UC last Fri and that the UC50 had been cancelled - she was surprised at that. She went on to say that my ESA claim had been transferred to my UC account on July 5th (the letter from the DRT was dated July 4th) and was also surprised that I had heard nothing more about it, claiming that UC must be "passing-the-buck".
    But, she went on to say that it didn't really matter as I wouldn't be receiving any extra benefit for being on LCW. After arguing-the-toss with her, she then remembered that I had previously been on ESA for several years.
    No wonder there have been so many suicides over UC/ESA/PIP.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    Hi @GettinOlde. You should have heard from Universal Credit regarding this by now or something in your journal confirming your ESA has been transferred over to UC. There does seem to be some confusion regarding your grouping (support or WRAG) and the corresponding group on UC but that should stop them transferring the claim. 

    If you are placed in the WRAG equivalent (LCW) this is an additional £126.11 a month. If you are placed in the support group equivalent (LCWRA) this is an additional £336.20 per month. 

    Whether or not your UC50 has been cancelled, this should be backdated by UC to the start of your claim for UC and continue until you are next assessed.

    When making back payments they usually retrospectively alter past 'statements' on a UC account. Have you been able to check any of these to see if they've been altered yet?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    edited July 2019
    Nothing has changed in my journal.
    After paying my rent and spare room tax and the UC advance, I'm left with a few pence over £30pw to live on.

    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    @GettinOlde while you wait for your ESA transition you can ask to defer your advance repayments which will help a bit!!

    Have you made any progress with your PIP application?

    I’d also recommend applying for a DHP to help with the rent shortfall. Do you have some rent free weeks? It looks like there’s a further shortfall than just one extra bedroom. 

    Is CAB helping to speak to UC for you? What have they recommended as your next steps? 
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Hart86 said: while you wait for your ESA transition you can ask to defer your advance repayments which will help a bit!!
    My advance is being paid back over 12 months, I've read elsewhere that payments can only be deferred if the payback is over 6 months.
    Hart86 said: Have you made any progress with your PIP application?
    Nerves are too frayed to start any new processes at the moment.
    Hart86 said: I’d also recommend applying for a DHP to help with the rent shortfall. Do you have some rent free weeks? It looks like there’s a further shortfall than just one extra bedroom
    My landlord allows for four rent-free weeks.
    £98.20pw x 52 / 12 = £425.53pm.
    14% of £98.20 is £13.75pw that I have to pay myself for under-occupying by one bedroom leaving £84.45pw to be paid for by UC.
    Because it is a 53 week year this year, UC only pay me £84.45 x 47 / 12 = £330.77pm.
    I may apply for a DHP - thanks.
    Hart86 said:Is CAB helping to speak to UC for you? What have they recommended as your next steps? 
    See my comment above at 3:12pm.
    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    edited July 2019
    That’s incorrect, advances can be deferred for 3 months even if you’re paying it back over 12 months, very rarely they will agree to defer for 6 months.

     I can understand why you’ve put off applying for PIP, the whole thing is stressful, just thought it may help with both the money and the bedroom tax!!

     Thought it would be rent free weeks but wanted to check as they sometimes mess that up!! Glad they’re giving you the right amount towards housing.

     I read your post about CAB it just wasn’t clear whether they’d suggested what you do next 🤷‍♀️
  • GettinOldeGettinOlde Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Hart86 said:
    That’s incorrect, advances can be deferred for 3 months even if you’re paying it back over 12 months, very rarely they will agree to defer for 6 months.

     I read your post about CAB it just wasn’t clear whether they’d suggested what you do next 🤷‍♀️
    I left this message in my journal ...
    I need to ask if my payments for my UC advance can be deferred until my LCW has been sorted out. I know that the ESA WRAG, that I was on previously, was transferred to my UC account on July 5th 2019 and I now find myself in financial difficulties and will soon find myself unable to pay my rent.
    My CAB rep basically had nothing more to say, can't even remember if she said she'd call back about anything - I did get a little 'agitated' at her insistence that I wouldn't receive any extra benefit on LCW.

    Resident joker - not to be taken too seriously ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Sign in or join us to comment.