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ESA and possible official error due to being kept on assessment rate for 3 years?

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BlueGreen23
BlueGreen23 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi, I am wondering if anyone could help me with any advice.

I claimed ESA after my SSP ran out in 2012 after being signed off sick from work, and it was the first time in my life that I claimed ESA (it was ESA income-related).

I had a Work Capability Assessment arranged in 2012 (I think it was by Atos) and I attended, however I never heard anything back from Atos nor from the DWP, and I remained on ESA (income related) still being paid the assessment rate until I made a return to work in 2015 (at which point my ESA and Housing Benefit stopped).

The return to work didn't last long (I pushed myself to return to work and it was too early and it did more harm than good), and approximately 3 months later in 2015 after making this return to work, I unfortunately had to be signed off sick again due to my deteriorating health.

After my SSP ended that time (2015), I made another claim for ESA using form SSP1 the same way as I did in 2012 to claim ESA (income related), and I was called for and attended a Work Capability Assesment, but this time I got an outcome for this WCA (unlike in 2012), the result of which was that I was put into the Support Group.

My question is, even though I have not been able to find anything online that describes the situation where a claimant attends a WCA and then the DWP simply don't take any action as a result of this, and keep paying the assessment rate ESA, seemingly without a decision/outcome from the WCA, and also without asking the claimant to attend a new WCA, and also without stopping the ESA.

It would seem to me that this should be an official error by the DWP, but any opinions or knowledge on such an odd set of circumstances are welcome, as I can't see how the DWP would simply let a claimant stay on the assessment rate ESA for years without first requiring them to attend an assessment, and then getting the result of that assessment to make a decision based on it.

As surely they would close the ESA claim if they thought that the claimant had not attended a WCA without a good reason (or at least kept trying to arrange for a new WCA appointment date and time, until they get an assessment done to make their decision)?

But, then what happened to the outcome of the WCA?

It would seem to me that what happened between 2012 and 2015 whilst I was on ESA income-related assessment rate payment, that this should simply not have been possible if the DWP did not make a procedural error (or official error) in the process.

Would this potentially allow me to appeal for arrears of benefit (without time limit due to official error), for arrears of income related ESA for at the very least the WRAG component/element or perhaps even the Support Group component/element for that time period of 2012 to 2015?

Any comments or help is greatly appreciated.
Sorry for the rather lengthy post I've written here, I just wanted to be as detailed as possible to avoid confusion.

Comments

  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
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    I don't know if any of our experts have seen this. Lets see.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,981 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hopefully, someone will see this post soon! I wouldn't want to provide inaccurate advice.

    In the meantime, we are all here to listen to you @BlueGreen23. You don't have to face this, or anything else, alone if you don't want to  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @BlueGreen23

    Hope you are keeping well? Have you had any progress since posting your thread? 

    After reading through your post and doing some research, I am unable to find anything at this time as I believe with it being on the old-style ESA under what Universal Credit is now, a lot of the information has changed. 

    My suggestion would be to reach out to your local job center and relay your query to them. If there is any opportunity to appeal, they'd be the best people to direct you.
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there 

    I would suggest welfare rights or cab for advice 

    The job centre is not the best place for advice they often give wring information as they are benefit administrators not benefit advisors 
  • BlueGreen23
    BlueGreen23 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    Hello @BlueGreen23

    Hope you are keeping well? Have you had any progress since posting your thread? 

    After reading through your post and doing some research, I am unable to find anything at this time as I believe with it being on the old-style ESA under what Universal Credit is now, a lot of the information has changed. 

    My suggestion would be to reach out to your local job center and relay your query to them. If there is any opportunity to appeal, they'd be the best people to direct you.

    Hi, sorry for the very delayed reply, I have had quite the year, being made homeless and trying to navigate that whole mess of a system and all.

    I did phone CAB and the advisor essentially said that it has been too many years and I would have needed to question it much sooner.
    I did mention the whole "official error" revision having no time limit, but he didn't seem to take much interest in that.

    I have on a couple of occasions been able to actually go with my own researched advice using guidance manuals (for other matters, such as Housing Benefit in one case), where I checked with CAB, who did not agree, and then it turned out I was right in the end, and I just pushed ahead with what I thought was correct and I turned out to be right as the council agreed, even though CAB disagreed when I ran it past them before I wrote the email to the council.

    I think CAB are generally on the ball, and are great, but maybe it's my high-functioning Autism (used to be known as "Asperger's"), but I have found that they can miss very obscure or technical details that may not be commonly known).
    That Housing Benefit adviser said to me: "yes, you're correct, but may I ask how did you find this information?" lol

    I thought to myself "you cheeky..... I bet they won't be correcting anybody else's claims of a similar nature unless they also notice it and inform the council".
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