ESA Mandatory Reconsideration and Appeal

I was placed in the WRAG instead of the support group. For Rheumatoid Arthritis, anxiety and depression. 

I’ve called today to ask for my assessors report, and reasons for the decision. I haven’t asked for a MR yet. 

I have also been told that someone will call me to explain the reasons in around 48 hours. 

During my ESA telephone assessment I was asked questions on my Mental health but not my RA, after 25 mins the HCA said we’d now come to the end.  I asked to talk about my RA and GI side effects and the HCP said I’d already reached the threshold so we can’t go on. 
I said “for the support group?” She said Yes, that’s what I’m going to recommend. 
She said I didn’t need to talk  further and I could relax. 
I was actually expecting to be placed in support group for GI side effects (bowel incontinence) but we didn’t get into that despite me asking to talk about it. I have no idea what I said during my assessment for the assessor to say she was recommending support group mental health wise. 

So obviously a bit surprised to receive a letter saying I’d receive  WRAG rate for a year (contribution based) 
When I called DWP today I stated that I didn’t want to start MR today as wanted to read reports first.  She said after they’ve gone though it with you on the phone you probably won’t ask for an MR when you realise why. 

I can only think she is referring to them fact that I was in receipt of Carers Allowance for my son (who is Disabled but my help is mainly prompting and supervision) but this was paused or reduced by DWP when I applied for ESA. 

What’s more I called DWP in July (when I first considered claiming ESA) to ask about stopping Carers Allowance (In case my caring role conflicted with my own health)  but was advised against it because they said should keep  “underlying entitlement”?  Or something along those lines.
 Could I ask DWP for a copy of that call?  

Do you have any advice or anything I should say when I’m called in the next 48 hours? 
Is there anything else I should be doing to prepare? 

Thank you

Replies

  • edited 16 February 2021 at 4:37PM
    poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    edited 16 February 2021 at 4:37PM
    When the HCP told you that they would recommend Support Group, they shouldn't have actually said anything to you because it's not their job to do that. Have you actually taken a look at the Support Group descriptors to see if any of them apply to you? You need to just meet one of them the majority of the time. See them here. https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-glossary/1353-support-group-descriptors
    I'm not sure why you would want a copy of the phone call you had from DWP in July. This isn't going to get you a Support Group award. They are not advisors for this sort of this. They basically read from a screen and that's about it.
    What you need to do for the MR is state why you think you should have been placed into the Support Group and your reasons why. Pointing out which of the descriptors you think applies to you.
    Before requesting the MR i'd advise you to get some further advice to see if you do qualify for Support Group because if you don't then it's pointless requesting the MR and Tribunal. This link will tell you what's local to you for further expert advice.
    Do be aware also that your New style ESA is only paid for 1 year when in the WRAG.



  • edited 14 April 2021 at 10:50AM
    David2710David2710 Forumite
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    edited 14 April 2021 at 10:50AM
    When the HCP told you that they would recommend Support Group, they shouldn't have actually said anything to you because it's not their job to do that. Have you actually taken a look at the Support Group descriptors to see if any of them apply to you? You need to just meet one of them the majority of the time. See them here. https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-glossary/1353-support-group-descriptors
    I'm not sure why you would want a copy of the phone call you had from DWP in July. This isn't going to get you a Support Group award. They are not advisors for this sort of this. They basically read from a screen and that's about it.
    What you need to do for the MR is state why you think you should have been placed into the Support Group and your reasons why. Pointing out which of the descriptors you think applies to you.
    Before requesting the MR i'd advise you to get some further advice to see if you do qualify for Support Group because if you don't then it's pointless requesting the MR and Tribunal. This link will tell you what's local to you for further expert advice.
    Do be aware also that your New style ESA is only paid for 1 year when in the WRAG.



    I can't stress this enough, always, ALWAYS, request the Work Capability Assessment is recorded so that a hard copy can be presented at tribunal. That way there's no confusion and the health 'professional' knows if they're found being economical with the truth there's a good chance the tribunal will find in the claimants  favour.

    I can't for the life of me understand how they're called health professionals when many are former estate agents, debt collectors and Job Centre hit squad employees. All it takes apparently is a couple of months training and it's their word against yours. And when the claim is sent to the decision maker they nearly always side with the health professional, despite the real professional (the claimants GP) rules in favour of the patient. That's why in more cases than not it ends up at tribunal.     
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    David2710 said:
    When the HCP told you that they would recommend Support Group, they shouldn't have actually said anything to you because it's not their job to do that. Have you actually taken a look at the Support Group descriptors to see if any of them apply to you? You need to just meet one of them the majority of the time. See them here. https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-glossary/1353-support-group-descriptors
    I'm not sure why you would want a copy of the phone call you had from DWP in July. This isn't going to get you a Support Group award. They are not advisors for this sort of this. They basically read from a screen and that's about it.
    What you need to do for the MR is state why you think you should have been placed into the Support Group and your reasons why. Pointing out which of the descriptors you think applies to you.
    Before requesting the MR i'd advise you to get some further advice to see if you do qualify for Support Group because if you don't then it's pointless requesting the MR and Tribunal. This link will tell you what's local to you for further expert advice.
    Do be aware also that your New style ESA is only paid for 1 year when in the WRAG.



    I can't stress this enough, always, ALWAYS, request the Work Capability Assessment is recorded so that a hard copy can be presented at tribunal. That way there's no confusion and the health 'professional' knows if they're found being economical with the truth there's a good chance the tribunal will find in the claimants  favour.

    I can't for the life of me understand how they're called health professionals when many are former estate agents, debt collectors and Job Centre hit squad employees. All it takes apparently is a couple of months training and it's their word against yours. And when the claim is sent to the decision maker they nearly always side with the health professional, despite the real professional (the claimants GP) rules in favour of the patient. That's why in more cases than not it ends up at tribunal.     
    I disagree about the recording. I've always found it so much better to contrate on filling out the forms with as much relevant information as possible. When going to Tribunal they are not interested in what happened or what was said during any assessment. At that point the assessment is in the past, it's gone and should be forgotten about. What matters is how your conditions affect your ability to do any type of work, which is what the WCA is all about.

    In all honesty a GP knows nothing about a persons health conditions and how they are affected by them, they will only ever know the basics. Evidence from a GP is never the best to send either and i would never ask my GP for anything to support any benefits claim because they just don't know anything about my conditions and how i'm affected.

    The majority of people claim successfully without any problems at all we just don't often hear the good stories.

  • edited 14 April 2021 at 5:07PM
    Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    edited 14 April 2021 at 5:07PM
    The recording may be useful if you want to make a complaint to the assessment company.  It's not going to get anyone a correct benefit award though - if it goes to tribunal, the panel are only interested in the facts of the case - i.e. the claimant' health - not the initial assessment.

    My WCA was not recorded even though I phoned twice to make sure it would be ... I was so unwell though and the assessor had read all my form so told me I shouldn't have had to be there, I was in and out in 5, maybe 10mins and got the right decision straight away.
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