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Waiting for a LCWRA assessment

Sweetp Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi everyone

I'd really appreciate some advice if possible please. I have tried to look online and have been told to contact citizens advice but I live in a small town and our citizens advice has been shut down and I can't get to any others.

I have been recently diagnosed with ME/CFS and have been signed off of work for a year exactly.

I already claimed Universal credit and received a small amount of 'top up' for my wages but since being signed off I have been making a full claim which I have been receiving for 10 months (1 month knocked off as I was self employed and another month waiting for the payment as I was signed off at the beginning of an assessment period) I have provided sick notes for this time until the job centre shut down due to coronavirus and I was told I wouldn't need to provide them.

I had a telephone assessment for LCWRA and was told by the person on the phone I need help and should obviously be awarded the highest rate of help (pretty much her exact words) I am pretty much housebound due to the physical disability and often struggle to just sit up.

This made me so happy as although I am claiming full UC they take deductions from my benifits every month, sometimes up to 1/3 of my total amount. It's such a struggle to survive like this and because of my disability I have lots of added costs like paying someone to shop for me, having to use taxis to go out etc. But a week later I received a letter saying they did not have enough information and I would need a face to face assessment but these have been cancelled due to coronavirus. I have asked for a copy of the report but have not had any response about this. It would be extremely difficult for me to get to a face to face assessment but of course I will have to if that's what I need to do.

My question is, is there anyway that I can speed up this process as it has already taken a year? I understand that things are up in the air with coronavirus but is there no way my phone assessment with medical evidence from my health care team could be used for example to speed it up? I'm struggling so much day to day with the stress of this financial position and waiting for an assessment. 

Thank you 


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,873 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    HI and welcome,

    Face to face assessments have obviously been suspended and i've not heard anything regarding them starting back up again. Sometimes it's not always possible for them to get the information they need through a telephone assessment alone. Unfortunatelty, there's nothing you can do to speed up this process.

    Having said all that, the HCP that did your assesment over the phone should not have said what they did to you because it's not the decision to made, they only make recommendations.

    You say you're having deductings from your UC may i ask what these are for? Are you still being paid by your employer? SSP maybe?

    May i also ask if you're claiming either PIP or DLA? If not then have a look at this link https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/

    It's not awarded based on a diagnosis, it's how those conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activity based on the PIP descriptors. A successful claim can take several months maybe longer.

  • Sweetp
    Sweetp Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks for your reply ... yes it just seems as if it is a waiting game and I will just have to sit it out. I've read I should be backdated to the 4th month after being signed off if it is awarded and this is what keeps me going everyday ...

    The deductions are for an advance payment, rent arrears and an overpayment of tax credits from several years ago. At the moment they are about £100 a month but the amount changes every month. I have asked to reduce them and been told only my rent arrears can be reduced but I have an agreement with my landlord for that amount so I can't actually reduce them. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,873 Disability Gamechanger
    You will only receive backdated money and extra money going forward if the decision is LCWRA. If it's just LCW then you won't receive any extra money because your claim started after April 2017.

    Please do look into PIP, i edited my reply above to include some extra information regarding that. You may not have see that.
  • Sweetp
    Sweetp Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Yes I think I should recieve LCWRA,  it's just a matter of getting assessed and hoping that it goes smoothly.

    Thank you I will look into PIP, I haven't made a claim for it 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,873 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. Fingers crossed it's not too much longer. If you're not happy with the decision then you can also request the Mandatory Reconsideration. Good luck.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,596 Scope online community team
    Hello @Sweetp. They should be able to reduce the overpayment of tax credits so it's worth calling back and seeing what they say. The advance can't be reduced but there is the option of deferring it for up to 6 months. You can usually only do this once and if you do defer your advance repayment it's really important you also get in touch with debt management to explain the situation otherwise they've been known to then take more for the overpayment / any arrears which doesn't help at all. 
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  • Sweetp
    Sweetp Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you I will ring them back and see what they say 


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