ESA reassessment after filling in PW1

I am currently in the ESA Support Group but I have recently been offered 15 hours work a week that is flexible and that takes into account my condition. I filled in and returned the PW1 form which the DWP have responded to by sending me an ESA50 requiring me to have a new assessment.

Since I first made the claim my condition has worsened. This should be obvious from the information I am giving on the new form but I'm also including my latest hospital update to emphasise the point.

My concern is the DWP seem to be treating this as a fresh assessment. Rather than comparing where I am now to where I was when first awarded ESA, I am worried that they will use the reassessment to overturn the original decision and reduce or cancel my ESA, or move me into the WRAG.

Does anyone else have any similar experience?

Replies

  • allison445allison445 Forumite
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    No similar experience but are you sure it is not just a coincidence and a reassessment was due ?
  • cloudydayscloudydays Forumite
    160 Posts
    I'd say it's just a coincidence. My husband has just had the form for reassessment. In a similar situation to the OP, in the support group but has a worsening condition. I am hoping they will keep him in the support group.
  • quietly_myselfquietly_myself Forumite
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    Yes it could be coincidence. My original claim was over 2 years ago so a reassessment was possible at any time. It just seemed that - having spoken to them to make sure that I would be OK to do permitted work, and having sent in the PW1 twice (they lost the original) - the timing was awfully suspicious. Especially as they've still not confirmed they've processed the PW1.

    Added to that, what I'm reading on this board and others seems to indicate that people are being re-assessed with no consideration given to their original assessment, meaning that some who were placed in the support group 2-3 years ago are suddenly being told they're 'fit to work' and having their ESA cancelled.

    Obviously this leaves me with the worry that, despite a declining medical condition, under the current rules I may suddenly find I no longer qualify and have my benefits removed. And then I wonder if it was because I was daft enough to play by the rules!
  • baza52baza52 Forumite
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    as long as you still meet the descriptors you will be fine.
  • HB58HB58 Forumite
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    The assessor will have no prior knowledge of you or your current ESA status. You should treat the reassessment as if it were your first claim, fill in the form in detail and send as much supporting evidence as you can.
  • quietly_myselfquietly_myself Forumite
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    I'm well over the points limit on the form and I'll have a medical report to back it up. What concerns me is that (from what I've read) there seems to be no consistency between different assessors. So where I was deemed to be in the SG last time, I could be put in the WRAG and have a lower award this time despite my condition being worse.
  • quietly_myselfquietly_myself Forumite
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    Thought you might all like an update. I've finally had a reply and my ESA has been stopped - but not for the reasons I had worried about.

    Apparently the £115.50 pw I earn is "above the maximum amount allowed" of £109.50 pw.

    So I phoned them and pointed out that the maximum amount had gone up to £115.50 pw in April (otherwise it would have been below minimum wage) and that this was the amount published on their website.

    "Oh yeah, that's a bit of a mistake. You'll have to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration."

    Great. So whilst I'm waiting for that I get no ESA 🙁
  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    Copy of MR format here: Send it to the office that sent you the decision.

    https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/178163/mandatory-reconsideration-request.pdf

    Also you may wish to consider:
    A complant - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/complaints-procedure

    Involving your MP

    Financial compensation - (insignificant amount but makes a point about poor service)
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/compensation-for-poor-service-a-guide-for-dwp-staff

    "Oh yeah, that's a bit of a mistake. You'll have to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration." Is appalling.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • quietly_myselfquietly_myself Forumite
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    So, I phoned up a fortnight ago to see how my MR was progressing - they confirmed receipt on the 2nd Sept and informed me they had to respond by the 16th. Rang up yesterday to find out why I hadn't heard anything, to be told that they hadn't looked at it yet.

    Had a call back a couple of hours later. During the conversation I was quizzed about the job I was doing, what days I was working etc. - all the things they never bothered to check with me before. After a five minute conversation they confirmed they'd made a mistake and would be reinstating my ESA.

    Now why didn't they just do that to start with?
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