Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Re-assessment confusion

nsaeonnsaeon Member Posts: 7 Listener
Hello everybody.

I've been on ESA for several years (in the support group) but received the dreaded re-assessment letter in May. After sending the form back, I finally received a letter on 16 September that I was being moved to the WRAG.

This morning, I called the DWP to clarify this and to let them know I would requesting a mandatory reconsideration. I'd even prepared a letter to send them, as well as an additional sick note from my doctor confirming my conditions. But the woman I spoke to said that I was still in the support group. Unfortunately, she wasn't very helpful. She put me on hold twice, and did nothing to clarify what was happening. She's passed the case on to the benefits centre, who will be contacting me in the next few days.

Has this happened to anyone else? If it has, what was the outcome? And which was right: the letter I received, or the DWP woman?

This whole process is so stressful. I can take disappointments; it's the not knowing that's the worst.

Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • nsaeonnsaeon Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Sorry for the duplicate. It said it hadn't been posted the first time, so I tried again. Apparently both had been posted. Apologies!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,138 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Have you attended a face to face assessment? If you haven't then you can't be moved from Support Group to WRAG with a paper based assessment.

    If you have had a face to face assessment and the decision is WRAG then you have 1 month to request the MR. Your sick note will not be accepted as evidence. As you're already in a group this won't be needed. You will need to send other evidence to support your claim. Good luck.
    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.
  • nsaeonnsaeon Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I've had no face-to-face assessment. See, I thought that you couldn't be moved without a F2F, but during my research over the weekend, I saw somewhere that you can; you just can't be declared fit for work without a F2F.

    Can you categorically confirm that I can't be moved to WRAG without a F2F? Also, thank you for your prompt reply.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,138 Disability Gamechanger
    I've tried looking for a link that specifically states this but i'm afraid i can't find anything. I can only tell you based on my own knowledge. If they are planning on moving you from Support Group to WRAG you must be offered a face to face assessment, as this didn't happen then you shouldn't have been moved. If this decision is correct and it was me then i'd be speaking to a case manager and asking why you've been moved without a face to face assessment.

    Having said all the are you sure the letter said WRAG (limited capability for work)? and not limited capability for work related activity?
    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.
  • nsaeonnsaeon Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Quote from the letter:

    "You have moved from the Support Group to the Work Related Activity Group". My rate of pay went down as well, so the letter definitely indicates a change of status.

    Just a quick question about the sick note. I saw you said that it wouldn't be helpful in terms of evidence. However, for my mandatory reconsideration, I was going to argue that I more-than qualify for descriptor 13, and what my doctor wrote on my sick note supports this. Are you sure that wouldn't be useful?

    In any case, hopefully I won't need to do that. Should I call the DWP back and ask to speak to case manager? Or should I just wait?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,138 Disability Gamechanger
    The sick note will definitely not be accepted as evidence because you haven't been found fit for work, you're still in a group. You will need to send other evidence instead of that.

    Yes, i would definitely ring to ask to speak to a case manager and tell them that you didn't have a face to face assessment. Do come back and let us know the outcome.
    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.
  • nsaeonnsaeon Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Firstly, thank you so much for your help.

    This time, I got through to a much friendlier and more helpful gentleman, who actually took the time to look over everything.

    In short, he confirmed that the letter I received was sent in error.

    The decision made was to keep me on the support group and to keep everything as it is. He made a phone call on my behalf to another department (I assume), and they confirmed it was an error. He's going to send a new letter to me to confirm that I'm going to remain in the SG, and hopefully my payment on Friday won't be affected. Even if it is, he told me just to call them back on Friday and they'd rectify it for me.

    All-in-all, a great result. I wouldn't have made the second, much more useful phone call without your help poppy123456, so thank you once again!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,138 Disability Gamechanger
    That's great news, i'm so happy to hear you got it sorted. Happy to help :)
    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 Posts: 8,065

    Scope community team

    Hello @nsaeon and welcome to the community. :) I'm really glad Poppy was able to help and that this has been resolved.
    Community Manager
    Scope

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