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  • FIRST POST
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 11th May 18, 9:46 PM
    • 13Posts
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    Sarah1212
    I think my ESA was stopped
    • #1
    • 11th May 18, 9:46 PM
    I think my ESA was stopped 11th May 18 at 9:46 PM
    A few weeks ago I had an ESA assessment and I think my benefits have been stopped. I've not got any letter but I logged into my online banking about 30 minutes ago because I wasn't sure if its this monday or the next when my payment was due so wanted to check, and there is a payment from the DWP on Thursday of about 73 when my payments are usually on a monday and about 250 because I was in the support group.

    The only thing I can think for receiving a payment that isn't on the schedule and for a much smaller amount is that they failed my on my ESA assessment and now I'm really stressed and cant find out for sure until I can phone them on Monday.

    Is the payment I received likely to be a final ESA payment or is there some other plausible reason for it? Also does someone know how I can get help appealing? I struggle with my mental health and feel so overwhelmed with the whole process

    Thank you

    Edit: So I'm like 99% sure now. I get 254.30 per fortnight. Divide that by 14 = roughly 18.16. The payment I got was 73.66 (/ 18.16 = 4) So I guess that means last Friday (Monday is my payment date) they decided to stop my benefits and so paid me 4 days?
    Last edited by Sarah1212; 11-05-2018 at 9:58 PM.
Page 1
    • Robbie64
    • By Robbie64 11th May 18, 10:10 PM
    • 930 Posts
    • 793 Thanks
    Robbie64
    • #2
    • 11th May 18, 10:10 PM
    • #2
    • 11th May 18, 10:10 PM
    Is your fortnightly payment of ESA 254.30? If so I can't work out how a payment of 77 could be calculated. If you do get 254.30 that equals a daily ESA rate of 18.16 or 18.17. What is the exact amount you received yesterday and is the 254.30 the correct amount for your fortnightly ESA?


    Also, was your next payment of ESA due Monday 14 or Monday 21? I'm just trying to work something out from that too.
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 11th May 18, 10:13 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    Sarah1212
    • #3
    • 11th May 18, 10:13 PM
    • #3
    • 11th May 18, 10:13 PM
    Is your fortnightly payment of ESA 254.30? If so I can't work out how a payment of 77 could be calculated. If you do get 254.30 that equals a daily ESA rate of 18.16 or 18.17. What is the exact amount you received yesterday and is the 254.30 the correct amount for your fortnightly ESA?


    Also, was your next payment of ESA due Monday 14 or Monday 21? I'm just trying to work something out from that too.
    Originally posted by Robbie64
    I typed it incorrectly when I first wrote it then edited it later when I noticed. The fortnightly payment is 254.30 and the payment I received Thursday was 73.66, which I believe would be 4 days of what I'd normally get in 2 weeks, and the next payment is supposed to be Monday 14th

    254.30 / 14 = 18.16 (+ a lot of decimals)
    73.66 / 18.16 = 4
    Last edited by Sarah1212; 11-05-2018 at 10:15 PM.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 11th May 18, 10:29 PM
    • 2,261 Posts
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    Alice Holt
    • #4
    • 11th May 18, 10:29 PM
    • #4
    • 11th May 18, 10:29 PM
    Your right, you will need to ring the ESA line on Monday to ask them.

    If you ESA has been stopped, then you need to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/while-youre-getting-esa/challenging-an-esa-decision/

    Here is an MR template:
    https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/178163/mandatory-reconsideration-request.pdf

    I would ask for an MR on the phone (if ESA has been stopped), then follow up with the written MR. Keep a copy for yourself.
    Ask for their decision letter.

    Can your local CAB / advice agency help you with an appeal?
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Robbie64
    • By Robbie64 11th May 18, 10:29 PM
    • 930 Posts
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    Robbie64
    • #5
    • 11th May 18, 10:29 PM
    • #5
    • 11th May 18, 10:29 PM
    It's a little bit more than 4 days payment (admittedly only about a pound more) which seems curious as if it was a "final payment" for 4 days I would have expected it to be 72.64 or 72.68 depending on whether the DWP round up or down the daily rate to 18.16 or 18.17.


    I know it's not easy but all you can do is wait until Monday to phone ESA if nothing comes in the post tomorrow. I do believe that ESA stops on the day a negative decision is made on the outcome of a WCA so if this is the case then the decision would have been made last Friday. Any post would also have been held up by a day too because of the Bank Holiday.
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 11th May 18, 10:34 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    Sarah1212
    • #6
    • 11th May 18, 10:34 PM
    • #6
    • 11th May 18, 10:34 PM
    I just took another look and I messed up the amount again. My brain isn't working very well tonight. I'm getting really stressed about it. It wont let me post a screenshot because I am a new user. It is 72.66. Sorry for the confusion
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 11th May 18, 10:37 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    Sarah1212
    • #7
    • 11th May 18, 10:37 PM
    • #7
    • 11th May 18, 10:37 PM
    Your right, you will need to ring the ESA line on Monday to ask them.

    If you ESA has been stopped, then you need to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration.
    [had to remove the link because i'm a new userl]

    Here is an MR template:
    ]had to remove the links because i'm a new user]
    I would ask for an MR on the phone (if ESA has been stopped), then follow up with the written MR. Keep a copy for yourself.
    Ask for their decision letter.

    Can your local CAB / advice agency help you with an appeal?
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Thanks for the info. Do you know if the CAB can help on the phone? I have bad anxiety and would be difficult to get there. I do quite struggle getting help with things since I have no family and friends to help and its so hard to find support over the phone.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 11th May 18, 11:07 PM
    • 2,261 Posts
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    Alice Holt
    • #8
    • 11th May 18, 11:07 PM
    • #8
    • 11th May 18, 11:07 PM
    Thanks for the info. Do you know if the CAB can help on the phone? I have bad anxiety and would be difficult to get there. I do quite struggle getting help with things since I have no family and friends to help and its so hard to find support over the phone.
    Originally posted by Sarah1212
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/

    They also have the online advice guide which can help you with the steps needed.

    When you phone your local CAB ask if they have a benefits specialist who could help with an appeal (if it is necessary). If they do (and not all do), then see if you can get an appointment with the specialist directly (explain why coming to a drop in session would be difficult for you).
    It's worth seeing a specialist because it's possible they may be able to do some of the appeal work for you.

    If they don't - these are good online guides:
    https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-pip-appeal (deals with PIP, but the process is the same for ESA)
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ (has an excellent appeal guide on mental health grounds - but membership to access the full guide is c.20 pa)

    If stopped, it is worth getting the MR process done asap - as once your appeal has been lodged with the Tribunal Service you can get your ESA payments restarted.
    http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/benefit-during-employment-and-support-allowance-dispute
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5478474

    Unfortunately not many decisions are changed at MR stage by the DWP, so it is likely you will need to appeal.
    Don't be worried about a tribunal. They are there to review the DWP decision. They will listen to you, they are very fair and thorough.
    Most appeals are successful:
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/emilydugan/most-dwp-benefits-cases-which-reach-court-are-based-on-bad?utm_term=.viPeB2QqN#.rwewBMQE6

    Here are the ESA SG descriptors:
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-glossary/1353-support-group-descriptors
    http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/making-exception
    Reg 35 may well apply.

    ESA WRAG descriptors:
    http://www.mybenefitsandwork.co.uk/med2/indexxx.php
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 11-05-2018 at 11:21 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 11th May 18, 11:23 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sarah1212
    • #9
    • 11th May 18, 11:23 PM
    • #9
    • 11th May 18, 11:23 PM
    Lots of info
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Thank you. There's a lot there to look at. I'll try call the CAB tomorrow if they're open and see if they can help me
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 11th May 18, 11:26 PM
    • 2,261 Posts
    • 2,636 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    I'll try call the CAB tomorrow if they're open and see if they can help me
    Originally posted by Sarah1212
    Unlikely on a Saturday, as it is manned by volunteers.

    I'd give the DWP a ring first to see where you stand.

    I hope I haven't given you info overload.
    Just wanted you to know that there are useful guides if you do need to appeal.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 11-05-2018 at 11:28 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • venison
    • By venison 11th May 18, 11:39 PM
    • 2,211 Posts
    • 2,385 Thanks
    venison
    It wouldn't be totally unusual if your ESA has been stopped for the letter informing you to arrive tomorrow Saturday, they always seem to time bad news letters to land on a Saturday when they are closed.
    Not saying this will be the case but could be?
    Former Board Guide
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 14th May 18, 10:47 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sarah1212
    I spoke to the DWP this morning and they told me my benefits have been stopped. Tried get help from citizens advice but they told me they're fully booked and cant take on more clients and gave me another number but they're so far and cant help me over the phone. I don't know if I can get there in person to see someone. Not sure what I should do now. I feel even more stressed and overwhelmed by it all
    • w06
    • By w06 14th May 18, 10:52 AM
    • 660 Posts
    • 954 Thanks
    w06
    Did the DWP say why they've been stopped?
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 14th May 18, 11:00 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sarah1212
    Did the DWP say why they've been stopped?
    Originally posted by w06
    They said I scored 0 points but I don't understand because things have only become worse since my last assessment where I was placed in the support group
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 14th May 18, 5:53 PM
    • 2,261 Posts
    • 2,636 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    First step is to ask the DWP to reconsider their decision - a mandatory reconsideration.
    Template at post 4.
    If you have any medical evidence to hand, copy this and include it with your MR. (Don't worry if you don't have evidence atm).
    Go through the ESA descriptors (post 8), identify which apply to you and explain why and how you are affected. Don't forget regs 29 and 35 (risk to your health if found fit for work).
    I would do this asap. The sooner you do this, the sooner your ESA can be resumed pending appeal.
    Do this by phone (having written your MR), then post your written MR to the address on the decision letter.

    Then:
    A) If you receive Housing Benefit / Council Tax support - go to your local Housing Benefit Office asap and complete a Nil Income Form. When your council has been notified by the DWP that your ESA has stopped, they will suspend your HB. You don't want to build up arrears, so let them know what is happening, so that they can continue to pay HB.

    B) Ring the DWP after about 2 weeks of sending the MR to make sure it is being actioned. When you get their response (unlikely they will change the decision at this stage), you can appeal to the Tribunal Service and get the ESA payments resumed (you will need a fit note).

    C) If you rent from a social housing organisation, have a chat with your Housing Officer. They may have a Welfare worker or a link into an advice agency.


    If you can afford the Benefits & Work membership, follow their excellent appeal guides.
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-appeals/mandatory-reconsiderations

    Otherwise the Advice Now guide takes you through the appeal process:
    https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-pip-appeal


    Are you in receipt of PIP?
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/before-claiming/check-you-are-eligible/
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 14-05-2018 at 8:05 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 18th May 18, 11:04 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sarah1212
    I still didn't manage to find any help with it. When I spoke to the DWP on Monday they said to keep receiving benefits I'd have to claim for Universal Credit, but I've heard lots of bad things about that, and they said if my ESA was reinstated I'd have to stay on Universal Credit too so I don't know what to do about it.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows.. So I've read once the mandatory reconsideration is done and if they reject that and I have to go to appeal, then I would start receiving payments again of ESA at the assessment rate. Would they backdate those payments to include the period when I'm doing the mandatory reconsideration? I'm worried about moving to universal credit, but if I don't do that and then they reject my mandatory reconsideration and appeal then would this period of time before putting in the appeal be without any sort of benefits? If I move to universal credit then I get benefits for this period I believe even if they reject my appeal, but it'd be at the JSA rate and I'd be expected to look for work that I'm unable to do?

    I really don't know what to do at the moment. There's nobody to help and it's all so overwhelming. I phoned the CAB, they told me they cant help. Called the numbers they gave me and they're too busy to help. Spoke to the Mind infoline and the numbers they gave me aren't able to help. I'm thinking maybe I just wait until the last day of the mandatory reconsideration then just phone and ask them to do it and hopefully that buys me more time to get help with an appeal after that since I don't think they'll change their decision without more information and I can't deal with it all myself, its causing me too much stress and making me feel worse. I should be seeing someone from the community mental health team in the next few weeks so hopefully they'll know someone who can help, if I can delay the ESA stuff a little bit
    Last edited by Sarah1212; 18-05-2018 at 11:11 AM.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 18th May 18, 11:23 AM
    • 11,639 Posts
    • 13,530 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    I still didn't manage to find any help with it. When I spoke to the DWP on Monday they said to keep receiving benefits I'd have to claim for Universal Credit, but I've heard lots of bad things about that, and they said if my ESA was reinstated I'd have to stay on Universal Credit too so I don't know what to do about it.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows.. So I've read once the mandatory reconsideration is done and if they reject that and I have to go to appeal, then I would start receiving payments again of ESA at the assessment rate. Would they backdate those payments to include the period when I'm doing the mandatory reconsideration? I'm worried about moving to universal credit, but if I don't do that and then they reject my mandatory reconsideration and appeal then would this period of time before putting in the appeal be without any sort of benefits? If I move to universal credit then I get benefits for this period I believe even if they reject my appeal, but it'd be at the JSA rate and I'd be expected to look for work that I'm unable to do?

    I really don't know what to do at the moment. There's nobody to help and it's all so overwhelming. I phoned the CAB, they told me they cant help. Called the numbers they gave me and they're too busy to help. Spoke to the Mind infoline and the numbers they gave me aren't able to help. I'm thinking maybe I just wait until the last day of the mandatory reconsideration then just phone and ask them to do it and hopefully that buys me more time to get help with an appeal after that since I don't think they'll change their decision without more information and I can't deal with it all myself, its causing me too much stress and making me feel worse. I should be seeing someone from the community mental health team in the next few weeks so hopefully they'll know someone who can help, if I can delay the ESA stuff a little bit
    Originally posted by Sarah1212
    Have you received the ESA decision letter giving the reasons for how they have scored you nil points?

    To answer your other questions.

    If you can manage money wise then you do not have to claim UC but can do a mandatory reconsideration and if this is not successful then go to appeal. You would then receive ESA assessment rate until your appeal is heard and it would be backdated to when it first stopped. You would have to provide fit notes to cover this period.

    So the first thing to do is make an appointment with your doctor and start getting your fit notes. Whilst you are there ask if there is any medical evidence/reports that could be photocopied so that you could use for further evidence (you may have to pay for these)

    When you have received your decision letter you can go through the reasons one at a time and make an argument backed up by evidence as to why you should have scored points.

    You have one month from the date of the decision to do the reconsideration.
    When you receive your decision letter then you can come back here (if you can't get any other help for your reconsideration ) and we might be able to talk you through your reconsideration or you can use the links Alice has given you.
    Last edited by pmlindyloo; 18-05-2018 at 11:31 AM.
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 18th May 18, 11:30 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    Sarah1212
    Have you received the ESA decision letter giving the reasons for how they have scored you nil points?

    To answer your other questions.

    If you can manage money wise then you do not have to claim UC but can do a mandatory reconsideration and if this is not successful then go to appeal. You would then receive ESA assessment rate until your appeal is heard and it would be backdated to when it first stopped. You would have to provide fit notes to cover this period.

    So the first thing to do is make an appointment with your doctor and start getting your fit notes. Whilst you are there ask if there is any medical evidence/reports that could be photocopied so that you could use for further evidence (you may have to pay for these)

    When you have received your decision letter you can go through the reasons one at a time and make an argument backed up by evidence as to why you should have scored points.

    You have one month from the date of the decision to do the reconsideration. You can telephone and ask for an extension to this time to get support from an agency. When you are given an extension follow this up with a letter saying that you have been given this extension (I will find a link for you)

    When you receive your decision letter then you can come back here (if you can't get any other help for your reconsideration ) and we might be able to talk you through your reconsideration or you can use the links Alice has given you.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    Thank you. I still didn't get the decision letter. On Monday when I phoned they said it was sent on the 5th of May. They said they'd send out another copy so hopefully I get it when the post comes today. I'm able to manage for a couple months (I got quite a large backdated payment because of how long it took them to do my initial assessment about 18 months ago and have saved most of it) I was just worried about if they reject the mandatory reconsideration and appeal then I have a period of maybe 2 or 3 months of not receiving money which would mean the small amount of savings I do have would be all gone
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 18th May 18, 11:35 AM
    • 11,639 Posts
    • 13,530 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    Thank you. I still didn't get the decision letter. On Monday when I phoned they said it was sent on the 5th of May. They said they'd send out another copy so hopefully I get it when the post comes today. I'm able to manage for a couple months (I got quite a large backdated payment because of how long it took them to do my initial assessment about 18 months ago and have saved most of it) I was just worried about if they reject the mandatory reconsideration and appeal then I have a period of maybe 2 or 3 months of not receiving money which would mean the small amount of savings I do have would be all gone
    Originally posted by Sarah1212
    Have edited my post to delete the part about extending the deadline for returning the reconsideration as I do not think you can do this. You may be able to do a late reconsideration but you would have to have a good reason for being late.

    So do make sure you get the reconsideration in on time. The date of the decision will be on your letter - it is not the date when you receive the letter.

    The mandatory reconsideration is usually done within weeks so hopefully you will be OK.
    • Sarah1212
    • By Sarah1212 18th May 18, 11:38 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    Sarah1212
    Have edited my post to delete the part about extending the deadline for returning the reconsideration as I do not think you can do this. You may be able to do a late reconsideration but you would have to have a good reason for being late.

    So do make sure you get the reconsideration in on time. The date of the decision will be on your letter - it is not the date when you receive the letter.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    Thank you. I assume it'll be the 4th of June if they sent the letter on the 5th. If I don't have things sorted by the end of the month though I'll just phone and ask them to do the mandatory reconsideration and just have to try get documents and things for the appeal hearing
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