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ESA contribution based stopped

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Hi. 
Please can somebody help me or advise me as I'm at the end of my tether. I was in the support group of ESA from 2015 till March 2019 upon the results off a face too face I was then put in wrag, ending on March 20th 2020 due to being on contribution based. I put a change of circumstances in as my conditions worsened and was diagnosed with something else in late Jan 2020. Received forms to fill out 4 weeks later. I filled them out then covid came. I sent my forms back too assessment services and evidence, in march as me and my family were all poorly and in isolation with suspected covid. My money stopped on the 20th March well I think I had a part payment the week after. I have had nothing since. I have not mithered them. I left it till may. I'm struggling with only pip. The assessment place has said that I need face too face and who knows when that will be because they are cancelled. So can't do anything. I have called ESA and they say no time limit on it so it's tough basically. Theybalso said I wont get back pay should of if I get an assessment which could be months down the line. I am already 19 weeks without money I'm thinking this is really unfair as it's not my fault the pandemic is here and no fault of mine that the assessments have been cancelled and I have no chance of being put in support group without assessment. I am at my wits end. My mental health is horrendous and I don't know what else too do now. I thought the government said that nobody should be adversely affected by covid as it's not their fault and when I have said this they say that it was before covid that my benefits had stopped. Please can anyone advice me. If I can't do anything then at least I know but just trying to check I'd there is anything else I can possibly do. 
Thank you 

Sue 

Replies

  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    The reason why your ESA ended is because Contributions based is only paid for 1 year if in the WRAG.
    Do you live with a working partner? or maybe you have a pension that stops you from being entitled to any income related ESA. If you can answer those questions then we can advise you further.
  • susieqboo75susieqboo75 Forumite
    2 posts
    First Post
    Hi. Yes I dont qualify for income related as I have a partner. I get that once I was placed in the wrag it was 365 day limit. But me putting choc in in January I would have thought or more heard that those on benefits would incur no changes due too covid. The assessments were stopped on March 16th. So I thought perhaps my benefits should of carried on until such time that I could go for an assessment. Since they are cancelled I cant. But I'm stuck in limbo with no money. Not much help from my partner and was wondering if this was right. I also asked after reading on here if I could apply for another year of contribution based as I have had 18 ish week break. They said that I hadnt worked so no. Although I read somewhere on here it was a possibility. I just dont know. The lovely guy at assessment centre said they had been briefed that no claimant should of had any decision made in regards too their benefit made during pandemic. Due to not being able too complete assessments. 🤷‍♀️ all i know is I'm struggling mentally physically and feel at a loss with it all. I don't want too bother them too much because i know its hard for everyone. 
    Thanks 
  • sammyjammysammyjammy Forumite
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    You haven't had an 18 week break though, just because you are not receiving any money it doesn't mean your claim is closed.  They cannot pay you until an assessment is done as currently no payment is due, they cannot forsee the result of the assessment.  If you were to remain in the WRAG then no money is due and anything they had given you would have to be repaid.  Perhaps you can discuss it fruther with your partner if you aren't getting much help or hop over to the Debt free wannabee board, they can help look at your outgings and see what savings you can make, you don't have to have debts.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    The Government did not state that no one should be adversely affected. What they did state was that they won't be able to help everyone.
    It's not the Governments fault that Covid19 happened either. Your ESA payments stopped because you were no longer entitled to them.
    Unfortunately, backlogs cause delays and there's nothing you can do about that.
    Face to face assessments are suspended but they are still doing telephone assessments. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do but wait. Once the decision's been made, if you're placed into the Support Group then your money will be backdated.
    Thankfully you have a partner that's working and they are meant to support you.
  • MuttleythefrogMuttleythefrog Forumite
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    Agree with the above advice. A waiting game until you can get the face to face WCA. But I think you should prepare for no success in case that is the reality. I think you need to talk to your partner... and consider your PIP into that equation to do some domestic budgeting. In the end you're a partnership... and hopefully your partner's income along with PIP sufficient for your household needs. Sadly government rhetoric on 'nobody should be worse off for doing the right thing' was in keeping with nature of this administration.. based on hope not fact....a deception.. false promise.. and many have been totally abandoned in the pandemic and some even briefed against maliciously. In your case understandably though if a F2F is necessary then not a lot can be done until they resume.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
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