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  • FIRST POST
    • Craftyali1512
    • By Craftyali1512 13th Nov 17, 1:16 PM
    • 7Posts
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    Craftyali1512
    ESA help
    • #1
    • 13th Nov 17, 1:16 PM
    ESA help 13th Nov 17 at 1:16 PM
    Hi
    I hope someone can help. My sister has been on benefits ( Incap then Esa and DLA ) for years. She has MS and is registered blind (partially sighted due to optic neuritis from the MS. She has lots of other problems but won't bore you with the details. I filled in her renewal Esa 50 in May this year and she got her decision letter dated 25 Oct stating they were putting her in the support group again. Last week she received another letter stating she needs to attend a medical assessment at the end of Nov. We rang Esa to query this. They were as confused as us and put us through to medical services who didn't know why either. The note on the system just said
    Discrepancy on report/assessment and they didn't know what it meant as they hadn't seen that before. We got a phone call back after they looked into it and was told it was something to do with the blind category and braille??
    She doesn't do braille and couldn't anyway as Ms causes numbness and tingling in her fingers/hands. This was all they could say and advised just to attend the medical.
    Has anyone else come across this? Medical after decision?
    Thanks for taking the time to look
Page 1
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 13th Nov 17, 3:49 PM
    • 12,228 Posts
    • 18,161 Thanks
    nannytone
    • #2
    • 13th Nov 17, 3:49 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Nov 17, 3:49 PM
    one of the support group descriptors refers to the ability to read braille.
    7 ii says ... unable to read 16 point print and unable to read braille.

    is this descriptor the one used for her to gain entry into the support group of does she meet others as well?

    i was re awarded ESA support group for 3 years at the beginning of july, but received another ESA50 at the start of august.
    when i phoned they said it was a known glitch affecting recent 3 year support group awards.
    • Craftyali1512
    • By Craftyali1512 13th Nov 17, 6:18 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Craftyali1512
    • #3
    • 13th Nov 17, 6:18 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Nov 17, 6:18 PM
    There were a couple of categories that gave her full points. She has never had a medical assessment and has been on IB then ESA support group for 20+ years.
    I wondered if it was to do with what is on the MS (esa section) website about new rules that have come into force sept 2017 that the government have announced they will no longer reassess you for ESA if your condition meets certain criteria.

    We have since spoken to CAB who are also at a loss so advised us to ask again when we ring the appointments line to change, the way to early, 9am appt they gave her. We have been advised that she should attend the medical unless told otherwise.
    Thank you
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 13th Nov 17, 6:32 PM
    • 1,779 Posts
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    poppy12345
    • #4
    • 13th Nov 17, 6:32 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Nov 17, 6:32 PM
    There were a couple of categories that gave her full points. She has never had a medical assessment and has been on IB then ESA support group for 20+ years.
    I wondered if it was to do with what is on the MS (esa section) website about new rules that have come into force sept 2017 that the government have announced they will no longer reassess you for ESA if your condition meets certain criteria.

    We have since spoken to CAB who are also at a loss so advised us to ask again when we ring the appointments line to change, the way to early, 9am appt they gave her. We have been advised that she should attend the medical unless told otherwise.
    Thank you
    Originally posted by Craftyali1512
    Being place in the Support group isn't about scoring points. It's about meeting at least of the Support Group descriptors.
    • epitome
    • By epitome 13th Nov 17, 7:57 PM
    • 3,027 Posts
    • 1,837 Thanks
    epitome
    • #5
    • 13th Nov 17, 7:57 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Nov 17, 7:57 PM
    Hi
    I hope someone can help. My sister has been on benefits ( Incap then Esa and DLA ) for years. She has MS and is registered blind (partially sighted due to optic neuritis from the MS. She has lots of other problems but won't bore you with the details. I filled in her renewal Esa 50 in May this year and she got her decision letter dated 25 Oct stating they were putting her in the support group again. Last week she received another letter stating she needs to attend a medical assessment at the end of Nov. We rang Esa to query this. They were as confused as us and put us through to medical services
    Originally posted by Craftyali1512
    This should not have happened, they should not have answered the question or got someone from DWP ESA to call you back to answer it.
    who didn't know why either. The note on the system just said
    Discrepancy on report/assessment and they didn't know what it meant as they hadn't seen that before. We got a phone call back after they looked into it and was told it was something to do with the blind category and braille??
    She doesn't do braille and couldn't anyway as Ms causes numbness and tingling in her fingers/hands. This was all they could say and advised just to attend the medical.
    Has anyone else come across this? Medical after decision?
    Thanks for taking the time to look
    This is what you need to do.

    Phone ESA enquiry line, (do not mention the new WCA appointment, you don't want to discuss this with them you need to get it sorted, and they cannot sort it, so you don't explain anything to them, it will make your call quicker and less stressful for both parties) ask them to look in the notes for a recent Support Group decision on 25/10/2017, if they can't find it ask them to look in the Decision Makers Records (ut is called D.M.A.C.R) for the same..

    If they find the recent decision dated 25/10/2017 good...
    Ask them for a verbal explanation phone call back to yourselves (which will be within 24 hours)

    If they don't find it ask for a phone call back from Maintenance>WCA department, (will be within 24 hours).

    If you don't get a call, phone back after 24 hours and ask for an escalation within 1 hour.

    * If you speak to the Decision Maker, first make sure they are the decision maker and then ask ...why she has been referred back for another medical.

    * If you speak to Maintenance>WCA first of all make sure you are speaking to the WCA department, and then ask why she has been referred back for another medical.


    Report back here when you have done this.

    Please do not end the ESA call without having a call back booked as described.
    Last edited by epitome; 13-11-2017 at 8:01 PM.
    • Craftyali1512
    • By Craftyali1512 14th Nov 17, 4:22 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Craftyali1512
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 17, 4:22 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 17, 4:22 PM
    Thank you for your reply. I didn't make myself clear. It was the DWP who called her back. Her call had been passed from Esa to medical services and back again.

    My thoughts are that someone there must know something!

    I will ring them tomorrow on her behalf and see what happens. I will let you know.
    Many Thanks
    • Craftyali1512
    • By Craftyali1512 15th Nov 17, 5:15 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Craftyali1512
    • #7
    • 15th Nov 17, 5:15 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Nov 17, 5:15 PM
    Rang Esa - asked for the verbal explanation phone call - this was at 10.10am. Return phone call received 11.30am and it was a Decision maker. Told that my sister has been put in the support group on the vision category. He says that medical services asked for the file back after DWP had made the decision. He said the decision had been made in scrutiny and they had not requested an assessment. He said it was unusual for a file to be returned nd he didn't know why they had requested it other than the note about a discrepancy. I explained that it wasn't the only category she would have made the support group. Advised to ring medical services to change her appointment time and the lady I spoke to said she is not medically qualified so couldn't comment and the medical services had requested to see her face to face to see how she was getting on and how her conditions affect her daily life. She said she can change the appointment once and when I asked if she was poorly that day (which is quite likely) what would happen she said she would have to ring and they would look at it ??? So really no further forward but thank you for your help anyway
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 15th Nov 17, 6:15 PM
    • 12,228 Posts
    • 18,161 Thanks
    nannytone
    • #8
    • 15th Nov 17, 6:15 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Nov 17, 6:15 PM
    the DWP can over ride this.

    phone DWP and ask them how long her award was granted for.
    i presume it is 3 years ( because she has a condition that cannot improve)

    then ask them why she has been sent an appointment for another assessment.

    i did this and they said to ignore it and they marked my claim as 'no suspension of benefit'
    • epitome
    • By epitome 15th Nov 17, 8:36 PM
    • 3,027 Posts
    • 1,837 Thanks
    epitome
    • #9
    • 15th Nov 17, 8:36 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Nov 17, 8:36 PM
    Phone back DWP,

    And ask how long was the prognosis given for the Support Group? It would usually be a year or 2 or 3 years.

    Whether they can tell you or not........... Do the same again, and ask for a verbal explanation from the decision maker again...
    Ask him how long had he awarded the Support Group for.
    Ask him if she is now in the Support Group or not?
    Ask if he has withdrawn his decision of 25/10/2017?
    And on what grounds has it been withdrawn....and that you want a written statement of reasons for the withdrawal of the decision.
    Ask who is in charge of the assessment process the DWP or Medical Services...(it is the DWP) then why is Medical Services being allowed to dictate that she is assessed again?

    None of this makes any sense. If he has awarded Support Group for a year or 2 or 3 on scrutiny, she should NOT be having to go back for a face to face assessment.

    I can barely understand that Medical Services wants the file back, to look at it again, but they can look at it again without her having to be assessed again. I don't see why Medical Services wants it back anyway, they wrote the original report on scrutiny, they shouldn't care about the case now that it has been agreed to by DWP.


    I would also phone Medical Services and ask to speak to a manager, this is highly unusual, and you deserve a satisfactory explanation.



    If she cancels one appointment that's one thing...but they will just give her another appointment to attend,, possibly sooner than the one that is cancelled, possibly a week later that the one that is cancelled.

    If I were you I would not cancel on the day of the appointment...I would cancel the day before the appointment.

    But anyway, before all this happened she was presumably prepared to have to attend a medical assessment? So that should not have changed now.
    But also if she does not want to have to attend and rather be assessed in her home, she should VERY QUICKLY phone medical Services and ask what their fax number is for a doctors letter to be sent in requesting a home visit. Then ask her doctor for a letter that explains why she cannot go to the assessment centre, and why it is necessary for her to be assessed at home (in considering this you should think ...does she have any problems going to a Doctors surgery? Or to a hospital appointment..or any other external appointment?). When you have the letter


    I am also confusing this thread with another, in this thread,,,is there actually a Medical Appointment that has already been booked? what date is it booked for?

    And ok...I guess that Medical Services did a report on scrutiny, sent the report to DWP.
    Then Medical Services decided they may have made a mistake, and asked DWP for the report back.
    But before their request was actioned...DWP had already made the decision.

    Interesting legal situation we have here.
    Last edited by epitome; 15-11-2017 at 8:47 PM.
    • Craftyali1512
    • By Craftyali1512 16th Nov 17, 7:34 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Craftyali1512
    Thank you so much for your input on this.
    I will make the calls you suggest and see what they say.
    We were prepared for the possibility of having to attend an assessment but I thought that highly unlikely due to her conditions.
    Yes the appointment letter came 2 weeks after the decision letter and was for 9am on 29th nov. They changed it yesterday to 3.15pm on 6th dec as I told them it takes her a while to pull herself round in a morning and 9am was too way too early for her.
    I wondered if it's because she has never had a face to face in all these years?
    Anyway I will update you with our progress, if any!
    Thanks again
    • Craftyali1512
    • By Craftyali1512 24th Nov 17, 10:10 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Craftyali1512
    Result
    Just to update you - to cut a long story short. I rang medical services twice and on the 2nd call i was advised to email a complaint to their customer relations with all the details, which I did on Tues. I got a phone call back the following day saying they were looking into it but it looked like evidence from GP had come in and someone had set up a new referral instead of passing it through as a query. I was told they had set up a call with the GP the next day (yesterday) and they would ring me.

    They have just rang to say the assessment has been cancelled as the GP had clarified things and they have contacted DWP to say the advice was correct.
    I must admit i was a bit concerned about them speaking to the GP as my sister has never seen her. Our GP practice has been a bit of a disaster as our original doctors left and we had locums for quite a while before we got the permanent GP's we have now. So they don't actually know her very well. Obviously the GP read her notes thoroughly so it is relief all round.

    Thank you for the advice given - it helped me greatly - especially for what to say on the phone.
    • Craftyali1512
    • By Craftyali1512 29th Nov 17, 11:43 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Craftyali1512
    Another update
    Following on from the above, we got a phone call today from the Decision Maker at ESA. He rang to apologise for any distressed caused. He explained that the form that came from the GP did not state that my sister was registered blind and that was where some of the confusion started. I had actually sent them a copy of her visual impairment certificate with her ESA 50!
    He then went onto say that she had been put into the serious conditions category and would not be reassessed for ESA.

    This Is on the MS Society Website

    "Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit paid if your ability to work is limited by ill health or disability.

    Recent updates to ESA: From September 2017, the government has announced that it will no longer reassess you for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if your condition is found to meet the following criteria:

    It will always meet the support group criteria
    It is lifelong once diagnosed
    it is un-ambiguous (they have confirmed a diagnosis)
    It has no realistic prospect of recovery (there aren't any treatments that are likely to improve your condition)"

    Thank you again for the help given and I am glad we didn't give up and perservered to get a good result.
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