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  • FIRST POST
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 2nd Oct 16, 1:39 AM
    • 42Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Not Me
    Never rains but it pours. ESA stopped.
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 16, 1:39 AM
    Never rains but it pours. ESA stopped. 2nd Oct 16 at 1:39 AM
    What are they trying to do to me? Normally i am the person that looks on the bright side of everything until Thursday.

    I received a phone call late Thursday to say they are stopping my ESA immediately. Phoned from a withheld number and would not talk about why it had been stopped but said a letter would be sent out.

    He asked if i would be appealing and i said yes, he then said do i have any other income and i said no. So he put me through to the job centre side to arrange a date to sign on. Utterly stupid.

    I have had a google over the last few days and most of the stuff seems to be from around 2012 so unsure how upto date that is?

    Seems i should have asked for a mandatory reconsideration, but i didnt know that at the time and the caller refused to give any information.

    Seems there will also be conflict when going to the job centre where i must agree and sign that i am fit for work and will be actively looking for work. As long as that work doesnt involve sitting for long or standing for long or walking any distance and no carrying and i am very close to the toilet and can have extended toilet breaks with extremely flexible hours due to that also.

    Stupid thing is i seem to be stuck in the system where the doctors only offer more tablets. Had spinal injectors where the last one went bad and i couldnt walk for several days.

    Been like this for some years, previously on incapacity benefit. Early this year i finally qualified for PIP (low rate care) and my partner has only very very recently received carers allowance for me.

    Inbetween the PIP notice and carers allowance award i get the ESA appointment and now thats stopped.
    All the guy said is my money stopped as of Thursday the day of the call and that it will affect my rent and council tax.

    Will my PIP also stop?

    Thanks.
    Desperate and worried.
Page 2
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 3rd Oct 16, 2:30 PM
    • 2,654 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    You need to put all the information above into the letter for the Mandatory Recon along with any other supporting evidence you can obtain from you GP.
    Do remember though that ESA is about what you can do, not what you can't do, so the criteria can be tough to achieve. From what you say though it would seem that there is potentially rather more than that to this case.
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 3rd Oct 16, 6:54 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Not Me
    Yeah i know its about what you can do. i remember seeing something about a paralympic medal winner in a wheelchair said they may lose their benefits because they can move more than 200 metres in the chair.

    So basically i need to get a wheelchair and wear a nappy, although the affect of wheeling a chair myself would be rather painful for my prolapsed disc and sciatica.
    And i need to find employment with wheelchair access and the correct toilet facilities or where my partner can join me to help me?
    If i have to leave the wheelchair at the employment how to i get to and from the employment without a chair?

    I really would like to work again, its the erratic nature of my illness though. I can be halfway out the door and have to come back and spend hours on the loo.
    I get quite constipated and little feeling of when i am finished or not. I wont go into that more in case your eating.

    So they are telling me i am fit and should be looking for a job, but do these jobs exist?

    Thanks.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 3rd Oct 16, 7:00 PM
    • 2,654 Posts
    • 2,565 Thanks
    TELLIT01

    So they are telling me i am fit and should be looking for a job, but do these jobs exist?

    Thanks.
    Originally posted by Not Me
    You've spotted the flaw in the ESA system! If we had full employment then those with incapacities may stand a realistic chance of gaining employment. In the current marketplace I believe the opportunities might be rather more limited (to put it mildly).
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 3rd Oct 16, 7:09 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    Don't be despondent about the 0 points score. It's more a indication that the WCA wasn't conducted properly.

    Re the mobilising criteria. The use of a manual wheelchair is considered.
    But could you reliably and repeatedly self propel a manual wheelchair by use of your upper body?

    If not - then the use of a manual wheelchair is not realistic. State this in your MR.
    Then consider how far you can reliably and repeatedly walk before needing to stop due to severe discomfort. If you can't walk 200m before having to rest and recover this should score 6 points (less than 100m 9 points).

    The picking up and moving by use of the upper body and arms criteria may well apply.
    6 points is moving a light but bulky object (think about the actions required from a supermarket checkout operater). Is that something you could do reliably and repeatedly? (Not just once or twice).

    Re Sitting and standing. The key to this is whether you would need to move away from the work station - perhaps to releive pain / cramps etc. If you need to alternatively stand and sit this would not trigger any points. Do you need to lie down to releive pain? If you couldn't remain at a work station for more than 60 mins (either sitting and standing) this should have scored 6 points.

    Are there any mental health descriptors that could apply due to anxiety / depression?
    Social engagement?

    The inconitence descriptors should apply if there is a risk of evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, which is sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing, if not able to reach a toilet quickly. This scoes 6 points.

    I linked to a MR proforma in an earlier post. Keep a copy and get proof of posting.
    If you have any supporting medical evidence to hand, then include this.

    But, the DWP very rarely change the decision at MR stage. So don't expect a positive result from the DWP MRN. The next stage - appeal to the Tribunal Service is where you will get the DWP decision properly scrutinised. But you need the MR decision from the DWP to appeal to the TS.
    The important action at this stage is to get the MR in to the DWP in good time.

    The advicenow PIP appeal guide I linked to in the earlier post is a very helpful guide to the appeal process.

    This may also be of use: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535065/wca-handbook-july-2016.pdf

    pages 74 on deals with the activities.
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 3rd Oct 16, 9:12 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Not Me
    Can you use a manual wheelchair without putting pressure on the lower back? L4/L5 discs and at the very base of my bottom, i have to sit slowly because a pain shoots up from my bottom also.

    Less than 100m before its painful, i think they put i walked 30M slowly.
    But scored 0 points.

    I carried a loaf of bread and a packet of (6) brains faggots 75m and it was surprising at how much that small amount of weight affected me.
    That was about 4 years ago and the wife doesnt let me carry anything now.

    They also mentioned using steps in the assessment, but there were no steps involved.

    I couldnt stand or sit at a checkout unless i was free to move very often. Standing still and the sciatica starts to tingle and then burn. I need to move and bend to stretch it off. If i was there for an hour then the pain would be extreme and i wouldnt be able to function without a lot of morphine.
    There is also the issue of my toilet habits and actually get to work on time.
    I have morphine tablets 20mg twice daily and use oramorph.


    Seems like i have a lot to read.

    Thanks.

    PS. whats the best approach here do i pick a section and ask you guys the answers or am i best try the CAB?
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 3rd Oct 16, 9:39 PM
    • 6,737 Posts
    • 9,237 Thanks
    KxMx
    I think the CAB would be your best bet
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 3rd Oct 16, 10:04 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    I wouldn't think a manual wheelchair would be possible, due to the fact that you would need to bend forward with the arm action to propel yourself. Is there somewhere where you could try a manual wheelchair and check if the pain you experience rules this option out?
    In an earlier post you seemed to indicate a difiiculty with your arms / hands - would this be a factor?

    If wheelchair use is ruled out due to pain - then walking less than 100m before needing to stop, due to severe discomfort should score 9 points. (Bear in mind the rest needs to be longer than a few seconds).

    Not being able to sir or stand at a workstation for more than 1 hr - 6 points.

    That gives the necessary 15 points. (If this applies to your condition).

    Then we have activity 9 -
    Absence or loss of control whilst conscious leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or bladder, other than enuresis (bed-wetting), despite the wearing or use of any aids or adaptations which are normally, or could reasonably be, worn or used.
    9 (a) At least once a month experiences (i) loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder; or (ii) substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device; sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing. 15 points.
    9 (b) The majority of the time is at risk of loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing, if not able to reach a toilet quickly. 6 points.
    9 (c) None of the above apply. 0 points.

    (But note the "despite the wearing or use of any aids or adaptations which are normally, or could reasonably be, worn or used" qualification). (They don't make it easy!!!!)

    I would certaintly contact the CAB. You may be lucky and have a benefits caseworker available to you. But, you are likely to find there may be a wait for an initial appointment, as most CAB's have huge demands on their service.
    So, my advice, (and others may disagree) is to get the MR completed and posted to the DWP asap. The DWP won't award ESa on MR - it is just a delaying tactic.
    The real work will be the appeal to the Tribunal - and once you have made the initial CAB contact - this is where you will benefit from their help and guidence.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 4th Oct 16, 7:58 AM
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    • 2,565 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    So, my advice, (and others may disagree) is to get the MR completed and posted to the DWP asap. The DWP won't award ESa on MR - it is just a delaying tactic.
    The real work will be the appeal to the Tribunal - and once you have made the initial CAB contact - this is where you will benefit from their help and guidence.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    It's not true to say that DWP won't award ESA at the MR stage, but it is not common for it to happen. When I worked on ESA we would get a few where the DM did overturn the original decision.
    It is true to say that the majority will go to appeal and that isn't a quick process.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Oct 16, 3:34 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    NeilCr
    It's not true to say that DWP won't award ESA at the MR stage, but it is not common for it to happen. When I worked on ESA we would get a few where the DM did overturn the original decision.
    It is true to say that the majority will go to appeal and that isn't a quick process.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    I'd agree with Alice. While it may be so that some MRs overturn the original decision in my experience it is rare - especially where there is a score of 0 points

    Out of interest TELLIT01 how long ago was it that you were working on ESA? It's my impression - and I underline impression - that overturning decisions has become less prevalent as time has rolled on
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 4th Oct 16, 4:13 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Not Me
    The issue with my hands is more of a nerve issue, the first time i spotted it was when the wife was cooking and she asked me to open a tin of peas or similar. When going to pour in the tin my hand shook like it was hitting a nerve. This is why its not safe for me to handle hot pans, i cannot pour something without the risk of getting the shakes. It started happening when drinking tea also so i use a lidded cup.

    I have no idea if a manual chair would affect that, but the lower back pain would likely be more of an issue.
    I cannot sit or stand for an hour at a time, and having incontinence pads or a nappy wont help when ive got severe constipation and have to sit on the toilet for extended periods, this can happen with little or no warning. The last one was saturday night, i was on the phone to my mum when a sharp stabbing pain went through my stomach, i had to drop the phone and goto the toilet. Not even time for a sorry or bye.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Not Me; 04-10-2016 at 4:20 PM.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 4th Oct 16, 5:57 PM
    • 2,654 Posts
    • 2,565 Thanks
    TELLIT01

    Out of interest TELLIT01 how long ago was it that you were working on ESA? It's my impression - and I underline impression - that overturning decisions has become less prevalent as time has rolled on
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    It's about 2 years since I moved off ESA but conversations with people who have been working in ESA more recently do suggest that DMs will still occasionally change things at the MR stage. I do agree that it's not common, I just didn't want people having the impression that it simply wouldn't happen.
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 14th Oct 16, 12:55 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Not Me
    Nightmare, took until today to get an appointment for the CAB, i went there and they looked at my paperwork and said you don't live in Solihull, i said no i live just the other side of the sign which is classed as Birmingham, but the CAB office is 5 minutes away and far closer than any other address they have.

    Sorry we are only funded for Solihull residents, They gave me the address for one in the City which i cannot goto, far too much walking from the nearest parking spot. And parking is so expensive also.

    Short on time now so had to try the local residents association, who may not be the experts but i think if i pester you guys some more and then get their views i think i should be OK.

    Many Thanks for the help so far. And a little grovel for a bit more help in the future.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 14th Oct 16, 7:40 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    Where are you in the appeals process?

    What is the date on the ESa decision letter refusing you the benefit?

    Have you written the MR request?
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 14th Oct 16, 7:45 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Have you tried contacting the City CAB? They may have some sort of outreach and/or know of another organisation that could help
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 17th Oct 16, 3:18 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Not Me
    The phone call was on the 28th September, told verbally it stopped there and then. Letter arrived a few days later.

    I have not written the MR request yet, i was hoping to get advice form the CAB before sending it off. Rather annoyed they didnt mention i was not in their area, even though i have used them before.

    I tried the residents office who helped me with the PIP form, but it seems i am no longer that persons client and i need to goto the drop in centre and wait. Last time they gave me an interview. Is this a sign of budgets being stretched beyond limits?

    I thought the CAB maybe better than the residents but time is of an essence now.

    Thanks

    PS will post some figures below from my ESA and just received JSA letter.
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 17th Oct 16, 3:32 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Not Me
    ESA...
    Living Expenses.......................£114.85
    Extra Money partner is carer......£34.60
    Extra Money WRAG...................£29.05

    Total.....................................£178.50

    Minus carers allowance.............£62.10

    Entitled to..............................£116.40

    __________________________________________________
    JSA

    Weekly by Law............£195.40
    Living Expenses...........£114.85
    Extra Money Disabled....£45.95
    Extra Money Carer........£34.60

    Takeaway...................£62.10 (carers allowance)

    Entitled to..................£133.30

    Anyone know if these figures are correct?

    Is my PIP included in these figures?

    We only received the carers allowance for less than 6 weeks
    before its all gone wrong again.

    Thanks for your help.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 17th Oct 16, 4:50 PM
    • 463 Posts
    • 301 Thanks
    poppy12345
    ESA...
    Living Expenses.......................£114.85
    Extra Money partner is carer......£34.60
    Extra Money WRAG...................£29.05

    Total.....................................£178.50

    Minus carers allowance.............£62.10

    Entitled to..............................£116.40

    __________________________________________________
    JSA

    Weekly by Law............£195.40
    Living Expenses...........£114.85
    Extra Money Disabled....£45.95
    Extra Money Carer........£34.60

    Takeaway...................£62.10 (carers allowance)

    Entitled to..................£133.30

    Anyone know if these figures are correct?

    Is my PIP included in these figures?

    We only received the carers allowance for less than 6 weeks
    before its all gone wrong again.

    Thanks for your help.
    Originally posted by Not Me
    PIP isn't included in these figures becuase it's a disability benefit and is paid seperately. I'm sorry i can't help with anything else.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 17th Oct 16, 4:56 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    NeilCr
    The phone call was on the 28th September, told verbally it stopped there and then. Letter arrived a few days later.

    I have not written the MR request yet, i was hoping to get advice form the CAB before sending it off. Rather annoyed they didnt mention i was not in their area, even though i have used them before.

    I tried the residents office who helped me with the PIP form, but it seems i am no longer that persons client and i need to goto the drop in centre and wait. Last time they gave me an interview. Is this a sign of budgets being stretched beyond limits?

    I thought the CAB maybe better than the residents but time is of an essence now.

    Thanks

    PS will post some figures below from my ESA and just received JSA letter.
    Originally posted by Not Me
    Okay. You've got four weeks from the date of the letter so you may have ten days to a fortnight to get the MR in. Have you tried ringing the City CAB as I suggested to see if they have any thoughts/ideas.

    If you can't get any help do get the MR in, on time, anyway. Then you can sort out someone to help with the appeal if that becomes necessary.
    • Not Me
    • By Not Me 19th Oct 16, 10:37 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Not Me
    Getting nowhere here. Cannot get through to the CAB phone number it just cycles recorded messages. It asks for a landline number in my area and then says no advisers and plays the messages, none of which mention ESA or appeals.

    Tried the local association, but even though i was there almost 30 minutes before they open, they are only going to see 5 people and i was number 6.

    List of CAB offices only shows Birmingham city centre, which i cannot get to, and my local one which wont help me because im on the wrong postcode even though they are only 3 miles away. How do i find the little places that used to exist?

    The website doesnt seem to list them?

    Thanks.

    PS just found one that used to be fairly local and thought i was in luck, until i went on the main site account and they no longer have drop in sessions at that location.
    Last edited by Not Me; 19-10-2016 at 10:41 AM.
    • dktreesea
    • By dktreesea 19th Oct 16, 12:06 PM
    • 5,315 Posts
    • 8,028 Thanks
    dktreesea
    I find the CAB works better if you have an appointment. Could you not find an office which can give you an appointment fairly quickly?
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