Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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I had my WC assessment. I've had no further payments or a letter, will I be put in support group?

elle80elle80 Member Posts: 10 Listener
Hi, I was receiving new style esa from early January 2020 and heard no more until I got a letter for the telephone work capability assessment, which took place on the 8th December.

Prior to this I had sent a letter from my doctor explaining my issues and that I wasn't fit for work, I also sent a letter regarding therapy that I'm having for my mental health, these weren't present or noted at the time of the assessment, so weren't taken into account when making the report.

I then received a letter on christmas eve to say I was being put in the wrag group, but my claim would end on the 7th January 2021 as I would have had the 365 days of new style esa.

A couple of days after Christmas I wrote a letter for a mandatory reconsideration, and resent copies of the medical information that I had previously sent. I knew I wouldn't have much time to get it there as I had one month from the date on the letter, which was dated 16th December, I didn't receive it till the 24th December and the offices wouldn't be back open until after the Christmas period, I sent it recorded delivery so I know it had been delivered on the 4th January, 3 days before my claim was due to end.
I received a letter dated 7th January, letting me know that my contribution based esa has ended on the 7th January 2021, obviously overlapping my mandatory reconsideration. 

On the 18th January I received a text message to say the following: We've received your Statement of Fitness for Work (Fit Note) and details of your Work Capability Assessment. Your ESA payment will continue. Please don't send us any more statements (Fit Notes). You don't need to contact us. 

But i've had no further payments and no letter to confirm anything as yet, can anyone tell me if this means I am being put into the support group and if so should I have had a payment yet or does it take longer because my contribution based payments stopped on the 7th? I'd rather not have to ring if at all possible as I find it really difficult on the phone and get anxious. I know I'll probably have to at some point if I don't hear from them, but i just wondered if anyone could enlighten me with regards the text message. 

Sorry this is so long winded, any opinions/advice would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,801 Disability Gamechanger
    hi @elle80 it does sound like you have been put in the support group which doesn't end after 12 months, although from the dates you give I would have expected to see you had been paid, having said that I'm afraid the only way you can find out for certain is to phone them.
    If as you say you find telephoning difficult could I suggest that you write down before you call all the questions you want answered, that might make it a little easier.
    Let us know how you get on?
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 8,065 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @elle80 - & welcome to the community. I agree with woodbine's advice. As you will know ESA stops after 365 days if you're placed in the 'Work related activity' group, so now getting a text to say your ESA will continue does sound like you've now been placed in the 'Support' group. I'm sorry, it does sound like you'll need to ring them to find out about your payments. Could someone ring up for you so long as you were there if needed? I hope you get things quickly resolved. :)
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,229

    Scope community team

    Hello @elle80

    Welcome to the community, I hope you're well. 

    I won't reiterate the excellent replies from above, I hope they have been helpful for you. I hope to see you hanging around on here. 
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  • elle80elle80 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    @woodbine @chiarieds @Ross_Scope
    Thanks so much for your replies.. much appreciated. Ye you're right, If I've  not received a letter or a payment in the next couple of days, I'll have to build up the courage and just give them a call. I do usually make notes if I ever have to call anywhere, so I don't trip over my words or say the wrong things if I'm anxious. 

    Also if it is the case of being put in support group, am I right in thinking they backdate it? some things I've read say they backdate it after 13 weeks from the start of your claim, but I read something else that says it can be backdated for 3 months, so I'm not sure which is the case, its a bit of a minefield, anyway that was just something I was curious about, but mainly its just wanting confirmation of what's happening etc. Anyway thanks again for all your help and advice. Hopefully I'll find out soon one way or the other.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,801 Disability Gamechanger
    @elle80 do let us know how you get on.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hi @elle80. The text message you receive would be a normal part of the process for someone being placed in WRAG too and sadly I don't think you can read much into it.
    A lot of the messages are automatically generated. For example, if you'd had your assessment back in August and were placed in WRAG, you would receive this text message to inform you that you no longer need to send fit-notes and your ESA will continue to be paid. Unfortunately it sounds to me as though this in reference to the initial decision (WRAG) and was just sent a few weeks after the decision was made which has caused confusion.

    It would be quite uncommon for a decision to have been made on your MR already. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • elle80elle80 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Hi @Adrian_Scope, thanks for your reply, I had initially thought that, but it was because the last fit note I sent was from 13th January and my claim ended on the 7th for the 365 days so I wouldn't be entitled to anymore after that unless in the support group. So I thought the text message would be in reference to that last fit note which would mean my payments wouldn't continue, even if in the wrag group because the claim had already ended.

    Now I don't know what to think. I'm going to have to call them I think, even though I really don't want to, but its not doing any good for my mental health stressing about it. Thanks again. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    I know it isn't easy for you to do but it does sound like calling them would help take away some of the stress as you'd at least know where you stand and a way forward. 
    Please let us know how you get on when you call @elle80
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • elle80elle80 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Hi @Adrian_Scope, thankyou, ye I'm going to try and get my notes together  and ring them today. I guess I'm just apprehensive about it making me feel more down if its not the case, then I'll just have to deal with that I suppose. Anyway thanks again to all of you for your replies, they're very much appreciated and I'll let you know how I get on 
  • elle80elle80 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Just a quick update, well I finally rang up the dwp, and the man who I spoke to seemed as baffled about the text message as me, he did say however that my mandatory reconsideration letter hasn't actually been looked at yet, but that it should have been as they usually look through them within 14 days and mines been sat there since 4th of Jan, so he said he would flag it up with that dept and ask them to put a rush on it and that I should hear back by the end of the week. So no further forward in terms of whether I'll still be getting esa, but I guess at least now I know what's going on and I should know one way or the other by the end of the week. 
  • tomcar80tomcar80 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi Elle from my experience with contribution based ESA you have to keep sending sick notes to receive NI credits, wheni calledI was told by a very helpful advisor that if you are put in support group you will receive a back payment of the support group payment and any payments that haven’t been paid while waiting for the decision, good luck
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hi @elle80, I'm sorry you still don't have any answers but well done for calling them. It can take a fair while longer than 14 days for a MR to be looked at and a decision made, but hopefully you won't be kept waiting too long. Does this mean you're now without an income?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • elle80elle80 Member Posts: 10 Listener
    @Adrian_Scope thankyou, it took an hour of waiting to get through, so was a bit anxious waiting but I knew it would probably take a while anyway. Ye I thought that with the MR, especially with the current state of things but he seemed to think it should have been looked at by now, but obviously even if they look at it, it doesn't necessarily mean they make a decision that quick. I'm just tired of it now and I think I've done all I can, so whatever will be will be I suppose. Thats right, I have no income now, but I think my partner earns too much for me to get anything else. So if not i'll have nothing of my own. 
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