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  • FIRST POST
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 11th Apr 18, 8:24 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    ESA claim for my son
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 18, 8:24 PM
    ESA claim for my son 11th Apr 18 at 8:24 PM
    So, the time has finally arrived. My son is twenty years old next week, and child benefits stop, so I've claimed ESA today on his behalf. I'm his appointee as he has a severe learning disability and numerous other conditions.

    It took about five minutes on hold before I was able to speak to a call handler, then around thirty minutes giving details. The time scale for dealing with his claim is fairly quick for the initial part of the process. I'm aware that the actual assessment may take longer than the stated thirteen weeks, but that doesn't worry me.

    I did find it a bit emotional towards the end of the call. Even though my son has been disabled since birth, and will never be cured, it seemed so final to claim a benefit for him being unable to work. We all have hopes and aspirations for our children. Mine for my son are a little different to the hopes that I have for my other two children. For the time being, I'd like him to continue enjoying his SEN course at college, and maybe one day learn to recognise all of our current coins without mistakes. I'd like him to continue to enjoy travelling on his special needs bus with his friends, and for us to find a social activity that is suitable for him. I'd like him to carry on enjoying life, and eventually to be able to attend a good day provision after his college course ends.

    In the short term, I'm hoping that my son's ESA is awarded without any problems. I'm fairly confident that it will be. People tend to post more about difficulties in claiming than successes.
Page 2
    • w06
    • By w06 14th Apr 18, 12:05 PM
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    w06
    The GP may just do it, I recall having a sick note as an undergrad (many years ago) but there is a clause that means technically not entitled to one.

    When I applied for ESA I just filled in any space on the form that mentioned a sick note with 'I am a full time student on PIP' seemed to do the job
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 20th Apr 18, 9:36 AM
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    kingfisherblue
    Well I have some news already

    My son will receive the standard payment of 74.30 (paid fortnightly from 7 May). I still have to fill in his ESA50, which I haven't yet received, and he may still have to attend a face to face. The first hurdle is over though, and quite quickly.

    I thought that he would only receive 57.90 a week to start with, as he is single and under 25, but when I queried it, she said that it is the rate paid to him because he is over 20 years old. Everything that I can find online says the assessment rate increases at age 25, and even then, the amount appears to be 73.10. I'm not quite sure why the amount payable to my son is higher, and she could only say that it was because my son is over twenty. She also said that he has been accepted as a disabled student.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 20th Apr 18, 12:39 PM
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    Ames
    It will be because of his PIP or DLA (I can't remember which he's on). It means he gets a premium which is payable during the assessment period.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 20th Apr 18, 1:10 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    Thanks Ames - he's still on DLA. I didn't realise that premiums were paid during the assessment period. That's really helpful.

    ETA: There is an Enhanced Disability Premium of 16.40, which is the extra amount, so presumably it's this.
    Last edited by kingfisherblue; 20-04-2018 at 1:14 PM.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 20th Apr 18, 1:23 PM
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    pmlindyloo
    Well I have some news already

    My son will receive the standard payment of 74.30 (paid fortnightly from 7 May). I still have to fill in his ESA50, which I haven't yet received, and he may still have to attend a face to face. The first hurdle is over though, and quite quickly.

    I thought that he would only receive 57.90 a week to start with, as he is single and under 25, but when I queried it, she said that it is the rate paid to him because he is over 20 years old. Everything that I can find online says the assessment rate increases at age 25, and even then, the amount appears to be 73.10. I'm not quite sure why the amount payable to my son is higher, and she could only say that it was because my son is over twenty. She also said that he has been accepted as a disabled student.
    Originally posted by kingfisherblue
    Your son is not in the assessment phase. As he is a student with DLA he is automatically placed into the WRAG. He will now be assessed to see if he can be placed in the Support Group.

    The WRAG rate is 73.10 per week. It looks like he has been awarded the Enhanced Disability premium because he is receiving high rate care DLA - is that correct?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 20th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
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    pmlindyloo
    The DWP member of staff was incorrect. The assessment rate for under 25s is 57.90 a week.

    https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/what-youll-get

    But as said, he has been placed in the WRAG where there is no age limits.

    https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/what-youll-get
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 20th Apr 18, 4:36 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    Thank you pmlindlyloo. Yes, he receives the high rate of DLA for both care and mobility. In the initial phone call, I was asked about his course. He is no longer in a special school, as the age limit where we live is 19, but his college course is Foundation Learning, where he is working towards Level 1 in maths and English, and has other classes suitable for someone with severe learning disabilities. The DWP lady did say that they accept that he is a student when she was on the phone.

    Obviously this is all new to me, and despite reading quite a bit about it, I'm learning more each time I post. I thought that you had to fill in ESA50 before being put into WRAG or Support. The lady from the DWP did say that they are sending out the form (which I've looked at online). She told me about the likelihood of a Face to Face - which I was aware of - then a decision would be made about which group to put him in. I may have misunderstood her, but I did have the impression that my son is in the assessment phase, especially as when I queried the higher payment, she said that it was because he is over twenty. I'm quite happy that he has been put into the WRAG group to start with though, and to take him to any work related activities. I doubt if that will happen, but I'm prepared, just in case.
    • w06
    • By w06 20th Apr 18, 5:12 PM
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    w06
    Mine as a student was a bit different as I wasn't entitled to any payment just the NI credits but it did appear to work as it's supposed to with the ESA50, assessment (on paper un benkown to me at the time) and then being placed in a group. My only issue with the process was the incomprehensible letters they sent me
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 20th Apr 18, 9:36 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    My only issue with the process was the incomprehensible letters they sent me
    Originally posted by w06
    Surely they can't be as bad as the council tax letters
    • w06
    • By w06 21st Apr 18, 3:29 AM
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    w06
    I think they're all secretly in competition to produce the letter that includes the information needed but in such a contrived way nobody can find it.

    Something to do with first letters of each word, the Fibonacci series and lunar phase I reckon. Must admit UC where you actually 'speak' to people via the journal is a breath of fresh air.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 11th Jun 18, 4:26 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    UPDATE:


    My son has a face to face assessment on 29th June, so he will miss his last day in college for this school year (they finish at lunch time, and with the timing of the appointment, it's unlikely that he will go in before or after the appointment). I don't know how long they will be in making a decision regarding which group he is to be placed in, but he definitely fits a few support group descriptors.


    I'll update again after his F2F.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 11th Jun 18, 5:00 PM
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    Ames
    My decision was a couple of weeks after the F2F. They didn't send a letter explaining the decision though, just one explaining how they worked out the amount of money.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 11th Jun 18, 11:15 PM
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    poppy12345
    UPDATE:


    My son has a face to face assessment on 29th June, so he will miss his last day in college for this school year (they finish at lunch time, and with the timing of the appointment, it's unlikely that he will go in before or after the appointment). I don't know how long they will be in making a decision regarding which group he is to be placed in, but he definitely fits a few support group descriptors.


    I'll update again after his F2F.
    Originally posted by kingfisherblue
    There's no timescales to decisions but hopefully it won't be too long after the assessment. Be sure to answer those questions with as much detail as possible. Hope everything goes ok for you both. Good luck!
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 12th Jun 18, 8:40 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    Thanks Poppy. I'm good with detail - in the original application form, I added details of times that he could or could not do things, and why. It wasn't just a straightforward Yes or No answer. On the question about lifting an empty box and putting it at waist height, for example, I pointed out that he lacks spatial awareness, so may bump the box into someone or against the table that he is putting it on - he can't judge accurately sometimes, especially with bigger items. He also can't do it repeatedly because he tires easily and he has joint pain due to hypermobility.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 29th Jun 18, 7:28 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    ANOTHER UPDATE:


    Well, today was my son's ESA assessment. The assessor greeted us, and then said that she was really sorry that we had been called in for an assessment. She then went on to say that she would be asking about my son's Down's Syndrome. I pointed out that he has a number of other diagnoses which impact on him greatly, and she replied that she knows he has other problems, but this is about his DS only. She turned her computer screen to show me that she had listed his disabilities, but had grouped some together and changed the wording. For example, he has specific abnormalities of his oesophagus, and she had listed 'oespohageal problems' - despite the fact that his specific abnormalities cause choking, reflux and swallowing difficulties (so he would fit support group descriptor 16).


    Throughout the twenty minutes that we were there, she concentrated on his learning disability and the fact that he does not recognise hazards, so presumably she felt that she had enough information from those two descriptors (support group descriptors 9 and 10).


    At the end of the assessment, during which my son would not engage, she said that we should receive a letter with the result in about four weeks.
    • w06
    • By w06 29th Jun 18, 8:01 PM
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    w06
    That sounds positive, and as though as you say she knew she'd have enough evidence from the one area to support putting him in support group.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 29th Jun 18, 8:42 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    That sounds positive, and as though as you say she knew she'd have enough evidence from the one area to support putting him in support group.
    Originally posted by w06

    I hope so. At one point, she asked what his learning age was, but my son's special schools no longer give a learning age. I explained that I feel his learning age is around 4-6 years old, and gave examples of why I think that.
    • Mr Costcutter
    • By Mr Costcutter 4th Jul 18, 1:44 PM
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    Mr Costcutter



    I did find it a bit emotional towards the end of the call. Even though my son has been disabled since birth, and will never be cured, it seemed so final to claim a benefit for him being unable to work. We all have hopes and aspirations for our children. Mine for my son are a little different to the hopes that I have for my other two children. For the time being, I'd like him to continue enjoying his SEN course at college, and maybe one day learn to recognise all of our current coins without mistakes. I'd like him to continue to enjoy travelling on his special needs bus with his friends, and for us to find a social activity that is suitable for him. I'd like him to carry on enjoying life, and eventually to be able to attend a good day provision after his college course ends.

    In the short term, I'm hoping that my son's ESA is awarded without any problems. I'm fairly confident that it will be. People tend to post more about difficulties in claiming than successes.
    Originally posted by kingfisherblue
    A beautiful post Kingfisherblue and I hope your son's ESA award is dealt with fairly
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 4th Jul 18, 11:11 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    A beautiful post Kingfisherblue and I hope your son's ESA award is dealt with fairly
    Originally posted by Mr Costcutter

    Thank you Mr. Costcutter.



    My son has already broken up for summer, and you might be interested to know that I have found a couple of activities that he will enjoy. Each school holidays, I take him to the disability cycling in the next town - it's run by a group of men with special needs, plus their council employed carer, so it's great for the adults who help run it, as well as for their clients. I'd love it if my son could achieve alevel where he was able to fix punctures, adjust bikes to the right height, etc, but accept that it is doubtful. Well done to Halton Council for giving some adults with special needs the opportunity though.


    I've also discovered a community cinema in a nearby village. They are showing films once a week, so I'm going to contact them and arrange to buy tickets. He loves films, and although we have the DVDs at home, it's a good chance for him to get out of the house.


    The team that deals with adults with learning disabilities have started a new Social Communication group, so he is attending that each week for ten weeks.



    I'm a member of Girlguiding, so we're going to work on a few of the unofficial badges, making things, learning about different topics, and trying oout different activities. Tonight, with his brother's help, he has made a simple cuckoo clock from a pre-cut kit. Tomorrow, he's decorating it.



    We also hope to attend some local events held by the Rangers in the local parks. Our council was going to axe them, but fortunately they did a U-turn and withdrew the redundancy notices. Ranger services are great - they often run free events, and althoough my son doesn't understand it all, he enjoys going.



    Finally, we are going to make a scrap book of his summer. Lots of gluing and sticking .


    As well as keeping my son occupied, it will keep my mind off the long wait for a decision (I hope!). I'll post when I know the result.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 19th Jul 18, 5:54 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    ESA DECISION:


    Today we received a decision. My son has been placed in the support group. It's a relief that the Decision Maker has agreed that my son is not able to work, although it's a very 'final' sort of feeling. I can relax a bit now and enjoy the summer holidays with him and my other son, without keeping an eye on the post. It's taken 13 weeks exactly.
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