Skip to main content

Employment & Support Allowance - time limit on payment of contributory ESA 1 year for those in the Work Related Activity Group

208 replies [Last post]
John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Change to be introduced - 2012/13

Saving - £2bn per year by 2014/15

Access to what benefits you are able to claim is in some cases directly related to the payments you have made in National Insurance (NI) , meeting a set of criteria.

Where you have made sufficient NI payments you become entitled to "Contributory" benefits.  Where you have made insufficient or no NI payments you become entitled to "Non-contributory" benefits.

The difference being that you are entitled to more if you have paid into the system through NI.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)  is split into two groups.  Following the "assessment phase" which includes the "Work Capability Assessment (WCA)" you are placed in either the Support Group (which are exempt from these changes) which places no work requirements on you. Or you are placed in a "Work Group" either the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) or awarded Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) for which you have to find work.

From 2012/13 under current plans. If you are placed in the Contributory ESA WRAG group. You will receive this payment for only 1 year (time limited).  Prior to the announcement yesterday. You would have continued to have been paid the Contributory ESA WRAG rate until you found employment.  About 60% of people that typically fall into this category find work within a year.  This change is expected to affect 1 million claimants.

After 1 year, where you are still looking for work. Your benefit entitlement will change to the typical "non-contributory ESA income-related" type payments, subject to meeting entitlement criteria at that time. They may have to claim other benefits or move off benefits. This will be a reduction in money paid in benefits. This type of payment, basic in nature, is often referred to as the "safety net".

The 1 year starts at the start of your ESA claim and includes the assessment phase.

For those that are awaiting migration from Incapacity Benefit (IB)  to ESA. Where they are then placed in the ESA WRAG group. The 1 year will start following the reassessment phase. For those reassessed first this change will start in 2012/13.

For clarity. If your assessment places you on Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) the aforementioned will not apply.

Areas of Uncertainty (Spending Review 2010 policy costings<)

  • Some customers may be able to claim Contributory Jobseeker's Allowance if they are able to comply with the work search requirements. Numbers here are expected to be small and it is difficult to determine levels given the particular circumstances required to qualify.
  • The change in policy is likely to see an increase in the number of appeals for those placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)
  • An acknowledgement that claimants may reduce other income and/or capital so that they qualify for income-related ESA after the 1 year there Contributory ESA WRAG payments end.
anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

hi I'm in the ESA work related activity group at the moment, (which is a joke, but another post)  Can u tell me if these changes will affect me, (and if so when, will it only take effect from 2012/13?) or is it just for newer claimants. Thanx for the help x

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Unless you are in the Support Group, yes this change will effect all recipients of ESA in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) group both existing and new claimants.

However we await the full details of the legislation to give more clarity and detail.

dave (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Hi,

I have just been told while I was waiting for date for medical assesment for ESA that I have been placed into support group and do not need a medical assesment for the next 6 months.

Can you advise me what will this mean for me, apart from receiving higher rate of money.???

Does this make any effect on my dla which is initially rejected and a appeal has been put in.

 

Do I also have to inform anyone about being placed into support group? such housing benefit dept etc.???

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

If you are in the Support Group than you have no compulsion on you to seek work or engage in work related activity.  With the DWP saying that you have "limited capability" for work through the ESA it may have a bearing on your DLA. However it is only for 6 months and this indicates that the DWP believe you may be well enough to engage in work related activity thereafter though they will have to undertake another medical assessment first.  Clearly if this also finds you in the "Support Group" you may then have an "arguement" to use with your DLA.

DLA is different from ESA. ESA is about your capability. DLA is about the additional costs you have for care & support because of a disabling condition. As the two assessments have different focus. It is entirely likely that you can get Higher Rate DLA but only get JSA or ESA(WRAG).  Conversely you can be placed into the ESA Support group because of illness but not meet the criteria for any DLA.

Without detail it is difficult to answer. I suggest you look at direct.gov.uk< and/or the Citizens Advice Bureau<.

With the paperwork you recieved it will tell you who you have to inform.

Sharon (not verified)
anonymous's picture

I would like some advice if possible.

I've just been told that I failed the ESA exam.  This is totally stupid as I suffer from Anxiety, depression and social phobia with moodswings even though I'm on Citalopram. (medication for depression)  Not only am I not able to cope with my own feelings most of the time but I have trouble sleeping and staying asleep and I can't cope with going out much because of the Social phobia which leaves me feeling absolutely shattered with no energy because of worrying about every little thing I can't cope with.

  Five nearly six years ago I had cervical cancer and as a result of the treatment I had, I suffer with incontience at times yet according to the ESA dept, I don't qualify.  How can that be? Surely all of that should have scored more than 6 points which is what I got told I scored.

I got told over the phone, which was a total shock to me as I thought I would get some support, not cut off totally with no income, an overdraft I can't pay back and to top it all I haven't been able to pay my rent because of the pitance they give you while you are waiting to hear back from them.

Do they think it's easy to come out and tell them all that you feel? It was the hardest thing i've ever had to do only for an end result of nothing.  They don't leave you with any options whatsoever.  I'd rather top myself than have to go down that job centre ever again.  It's bad enough having to go to the doctors every month to talk to a human being that probably doesn't understand how I feel and is never likely to. 

kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Additional to the response John has given, can I also suggest that you contact your local social services, they will be able to refer you to occutional therapy, a community nurse, access a community care grant/budgeting loan if your are on Income Support, they will be able to access your needs and should also direct you to additional support that might be needed.

Also ask your local social services to carry out a community care assessment. They will send you a report of your needs and you could use this as additional information to support your ESA claim.

http://www.turn2us.org.uk/< , http://www.britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/< , http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.direct.gov.uk/en/Hl1/Hel...< , might also help your additional needs.

n/a
John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

I am sorry to hear of your ordeal. We are not welfare advisors, I would direct you to your local Citizens Advice Bureau< for someone that can deal with the specifics of your situation.

However you do raise some points that are very important and need emphasis.

Today I posted a case heard at the Upper tribunal that dealt with social interacion (click here)<  that may be of help to you when you appeal the decision on your ESA. Certainly make sure you make any advisor who helps you aware of this. It highlights the lack of consideration and that may be an argument applicable in your case.

I do understand that many feel the intrusive nature of discussing highly personal issues, especially health, turns most people off even claiming the support they would otherwise receive.  It is also not good to think of in terms "of what they think".  Concentrate your efforts on you in this situation.

Now for a harsh truth.  You have to be explicit and candid about how your illnesses affect you.  Any embarrasment you feel and that stops disclosure of detail by you harms your claim potentially. Just as doctors will be unfazed by what you might tell them. Remember the DWP when they are dealing with health based claims will also be 'unfazed' by what you tell them. That is they have dealth with and heard of many many embarassing issues that people have. So although difficult to talk about you won't necessarily be telling them anything they haven't already heard of.  I would have a major issue if they were being judgemental however. Just like medical professionals they are human beings and given what they have to deal with, maintain a distance that can come accross as uncaring.

At the end of the day they are professionals working with in a system.

So what can you constructively do moving forward.

Challenge the ESA decision.  Go to your relevant medical professional and seek a medical report from them on the contienence, sleep and mental health issues you face. This is evidence you would submit to counter the assessment. 

Challenge the Decision Maker. Have they merely accepted the WCA assessors report? Have they considered any further medical reports they might have requested on you?

As the DWP under the Data Protection Act to provide you will all the information they hold on you. This will tell you what has been reported internally about your claim. Also we know that assessors often change what they say on the paperwork they submit.

If you appeal your ESA decision and have another medical. Request in writing that it is recorded<.

Do you take any medication to help you sleep? Taking some Antidepressants at night can keep you awake and you are better taking them in the morning.

I am sorry to hear you have had Cervical Cancer. One of the issues close to my heart is the HPV vaccination programme. Have you been given the "all clear" on your cancer? if not than you will need a medical report on this.

I am sorry but the other lesson in all of this is that the 'prepared' claimant may do better. By that I mean, knowing you have a review, go and engage with all of your doctors and get the medical reports yourself. On the forms LIST every doctor your see, INSIST the DWP get a report from them (or better submit a report with your form - saves time). Most important, put your embarassment to one side and DETAIL everything that you go through DAY & NIGHT. People don't often mention how they cope at night with there respective illnesses.

Thank you for sharing your experience. You are far from alone in both what you have gone through or how you feel. Especially about the degree of intrusion. I hope you challenge this and wish you well.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

The RNIB in conjunction with MIND have a letter which you can copy to your MP against the proposed changes to esa. The campaign includes the time limit of 1 year. Please forward to anyone and everyone you think might be interested!

http://www.rnib.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/yourmoney/Pages/esa_concerns.aspx<

william (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Hi I was put on the work related activety group and went for interviews until August 2010,in September I went for another medical and was put back in the same group, it is 6 months since my medical and have not been contacted to go and see them is this ok as it seems along time,at my previous interviews I was told that they thought I should not be in this group as they did not know which kind of work they could find me as I have severe breathing problems

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Interesting as they should have told you what they expected from your involvement with the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG). That is regular checks on your progress as you indicate.

If they have told you as you mention you should not be in this group than which group? What are the barriers to you being placed in the Support Group?

william (not verified)
anonymous's picture

don't know unless it's the extra £5

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

It should be on the paperwork you have been given from the DWP. Just "parking you" isn't sufficent. If you have recieved an extra £5 that should be subject to a DWP letter. Of course if you are in the Support Group there is no compulsion on work related activity.

william (not verified)
anonymous's picture

sorry John the people I seen at my interviews said they thought I should be in the support group but if they were to put it to someone higher they would be told that they are not doctors,but these are the people on the front line who see people like myself,After my medical i was not told how many points i had recieved,I was sent a letter saying I would be on the work related activety group and how much I would be getting each week, nothing else. I just find it strange in six months they have not sent for me.

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

William, you mention a few points that I think need further investigation.

1) You need to find out the full information regarding your claim. Moreover the actions and the "What?" the Decision Maker undertook to reach the decision to place you in WRAG.

To get the information the DWP hold on you. You need to make a Data Protection Request.

You can do this by filling in the form on the DWP website (click here)< . On the form there is a box called "Any other personal information" include "all personal information held electronically or otherwise that may be used in relation to any claim including information sent to/recieved from & held by any 3rd Party acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, for the purposes of decision making on any claim currently in payment or applied for by me".

You can then send this to the NAME & Address of the person you last dealt with at the DWP. The details should be on a previous letter you have recieved, alternatively try and find you local DWP office (click here)< .

On EVERY sheet of paper you send, make SURE your NATIONAL INSURANCE NUMBER is on it.

If you wish to write a letter than the Information Commissioners Office, Personal Information Toolkit< is useful in giving you a template as well as a breakdown of your rights.

This will take a few weeks and will be a large envelope when it arrives. Contained within should be all the information including the medical assessment and notes sent by the medical professional including your points to the Decision Maker.

2) We hear that on many occasion the Decision Maker just "rubber stamps" the decision of the ATOS medical professional that assessed the claimant. The Decision Maker is to use this information as well as any other evidence you have submitted and THEN reach a decision.

It seems odd that people are telling you there opinion but say they are not a "doctor".

Once you have the information.

It may well be advisable to look at claim again. Subject to what has been recorded and the accuracy of the medical opinions expressed.

 

william (not verified)
anonymous's picture

no i didn't recieve an extra £5 i meant that is about the difference between the two groups,and this is why they put me back on the wrag.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

I have been migrated from IB to ESA as I live in one of he test areas. They have placed me in the WRAG group and I have to go to an interview with the Jobcentre on 1st of april.

I am not particularly worried about this as I have been in regular contact with the Jobcentre on a voluntary basis for the past few years because I am happy to do some work if anything suitable could be found,

 

However I am becomeing rather alarmed at stories that are flying around on the net about people in the WRAG group being forced to do the sort of activity that is normally done by offenders on community service.

Whilst I am not of the opinion that my limitations for work, I failed a medical that was compulsory for my industry several years ago, are such that I can't do anything; its unlikely that the sort of work available in this area is something that I can undertake.

I would also add that the fact that I am on a contirbutory benefit makes me unhappy at the way the goal posts have been shifted to my disadvantage. I wonder how just many of the people that made these decisions, decisions that in effect renege on contractual obligations, would be happy if they were shafted in a similar fashion.

I have no experience of being on a benefit that appears to be paid on the whim of an official rather than as a right from a record of contributions so I am expecting the worse, that is I will not manage to jump through the hoops demanded in order to stay in benefit and my benefts will be stopped.

My predicament is made worse by the fact that had I been born a single month earlier i would be able to claim pension credit but alas that boon is a coupl of years further down the road for me so my fears are that destitution looms for me as nobody in their right mind would pay me the minimum wage for the level of work my infirmity permts.,

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Thank you for this you raise a good few issues. I assume you do not get any other health or disabiltiy benefits.

I am encouraged by some of the reasons for bringing in "Universal Credit" though the 'devil is in the detail' and I express a personal view here. Its a shame it is a few years away. I believe it is a step in the right direction as it tries to better facilitate those who wish to undertake some work without a complete loss of benefits or the nightmare for trying to take steps to working part - time.  Over the few years there are many for whom the current benefit setup prevents them from undertaking some work.

You are in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).

I am not aware of the comments relating to community service.  I would make the following points.

Sensational reporting often "stretches the truth". It is important to establish the work done, why it is prescribed and the broader experience. I am not claiming the benefit reforms are not subject to criticism. They are very much so in my view. However if you have an illness that falls within the auspices of the Disability Discrimination Act then any employer you work for or any placement, for work experience or otherwise the job centre place you in is subject to this law.  Furthermore they do have a duty of care and must fully consider your limitations. see http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/FinancialSupport/esa/DG_171894<

For people that have been out of the workplace for some time. Getting some basic experience such as ability to turn up on time, attend to your work tasks, how you deal with work etc. may for some people require an introduction to a job or task that people may interpret as being something offenders might undertake under community service. However clearly the reason why one group undertakes such work is different from the other.

Many people would agree with the your sentiments regarding contributory payments. Why did we pay National Insurance?. I appreciate many may never have done so because of a disability or illness that prevented them from doing so. However some of us who became ill/disabled in later life understood our contributions were an insurance against what we now live with.

The reason why there is now much more activism on the whole welfare reform agenda is of course because it will generate the anomalys of the type you mention. A double or triple "whammy" is you like. There seems to be little transitional process for dealing with the changes and therein lies the demon of "total unfairnes".

I started by saying some of the welfare reform conceptually was encouraging. But you demonstrate only to well why the detail and execution are eroding the potential here.

You do not mention if you suffer with HIV/AIDs. I don't assume people do unless they state it though clearly that is the reason for our website. Three or so years ago when I started this I was in a meeting where many gathered concerned about DLA. One point that has always been with me since is this. Many were professionals, were told to sell everything and live what ever they had left to the full. The thearpy came in and of course people responded, though with differing experiences. In the main this cohort of people had complex HIV issues as many had damaged immune systems having progressed to AIDS at some point. There concern was that considering there age i.e. close to retirement anyway. With so long away from the workplace, an illness that fluctated and would make any employer "run a mile" from employing them. How could they "return to work"?. I relate this as your last paragraph brings these people to the forefront of my mind. Less than 5 years on, all the goal posts have changed.

Not just for those with HIV/AIDS, but for anyone on a health related benefit or requiring any form of social support or a higher than average need to use the NHS.

Thanks for posting this. I wish you well.

 

 

 

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

The Work and Pensions Committee Select Committee is leading an Inquiry into Migration from Incapacity Benefits to Employment and Support Allowance. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news/announcement-of-esa-inquiry/<

Submissions of not more than 3,000 words are invited from interested organisations and individuals

Please note that the deadline for written evidence is 14 April 2011.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Public Bill Committees - Scrutiny Unit

Room G10, 7 Millbank

House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

 

Tel 020 7219 8387 Fax 020 7219 8381 Email scrutiny@parliament.uk< Website www.parliament.uk/scrutiny<

 

10 March 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Call for written evidence:

 Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill?

 If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

 Aims of the Bill

 Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including:

 ·        introducing Personal Independence Payments to replace the current Disability Living Allowance (DLA);

 ·        restricting Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need;

 ·        up-rating Local Housing Allowance rates by the Consumer Prices Index;

 ·        amending the forthcoming statutory child maintenance scheme;

 ·        time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months; and,

 ·        capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.

 

The Bill can be viewed on the Parliamentary website:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmbills/154/11154.i-v.html<

 The Explanatory Notes on the Bill are also available:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmbills/154/en/11154en.htm<

 On Wednesday 9 March the House of Commons debated the main principles of the Bill and decided that the Bill should be given its Second Reading. The Bill has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee for scrutiny.

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/welfarereform.html<

 Deadline for submissions

 The Committee is able to receive written evidence from Wednesday 9 March, when the Bill has passed the Second Reading Stage; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Thursday 10 May. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration. The Public Bill Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 22 March.

 

*****************************************************************

 

Guidance on submitting written evidence

What should written evidence cover?

Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the Committee to be aware. It is helpful if the submission includes a brief introduction about you or your organisation. The submission should not have been previously published or circulated elsewhere. If you have any concerns about your submission, please contact the Scrutiny Unit (details below).

How should written evidence be submitted?

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk<. Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee.

Submissions should be in the form of a Word document. A summary should be provided. Paragraphs should be numbered, but there should be no page numbering. Essential statistics or further details can be added as annexes, which should also be numbered. To make publication easier, please avoid the use of coloured graphs, complex diagrams or pictures. As a guideline, submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.

You should also include a separate covering email containing the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the submission. The submission should be dated.

 What will happen to my evidence?

 The written evidence will be circulated to all Committee Members to inform their consideration of the Bill. Most submissions will also be published. They will be posted on the internet as soon as possible after the Committee has started sitting, and will also be printed in hard copy at the end of the Committee’s deliberations.

The Scrutiny Unit can help with any queries about written evidence. Contact details are as follows:

Telephone: 020 7219 8387, Email: scrutiny@parliament.uk <Fax: 020 7219 8381, Post: Michelle Edney, Senior Executive Officer, Scrutiny Unit, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.

 

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

hello i am very concerned last year april 2010 i had atos medical placed in support group i am on dla and mobility allowance i don t no if i am to have a yearly medical as my award letter didnt state when another medical is required i am so worried i may loose the support group even though medical doctor at the time said i could have a home visit next time. but iam waiting and havnt heard as yet. i think people in support group should be left for at least 2 years unless things change. why couldnt they say at the time we will call you next year this is making me worse waiting for that letter

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

Yes I understand your frustration. I am bound to suggest that you can call the DWP to enquire but would understand if you didn't wish to do this.

For the second time today I need to make you aware that even if a benefit is awarded for a certain time i.e. DLA can be awarded for 3 years.  The Secretary of State Department for Work & Pensions has the legal right to review any benefit at any time. 

As with any health related benefit you do have to notify of changes. But even if as you suggest they wrote to you saying they would review you in 2 years it would be subject to the paragraph above.

I have just undergone a review to benefits following a change made 6 months ago. I know others who are reviewed more frequently than others.

Furthermore the policy direction is to have more regular reviews of benefits not less.

I don't tell this to make you worry more. Merely to impart the truth of the matter.  If your health is the same or gets worse, unless the criteria tightens even more, than you ought to have nothing to fear from a review apart from the hassle.

Part of maintaining the information you need for any claim is to keep a note of any change in medication or when and who you might be refered to by your GP for health issues that arise. This just makes it easier to find the information when you might need it.

neil (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Hi,

I have just found your page and thought I would ask a question. I applied for ESA in Nov 09 and then had my medical. I passed my medical and was placed in the WRAG group but after taking advice I appealed. I had the tribunral on 19//9/2010 and was placed in the Support Group.  i have just had today a esa50 form to fill in. Is this the case? As i have only just been placed in the support group??

Thanks

Neil

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

When you recieved the ESA50 form did you get a letter also? This should explain why the form was sent to you but more importantly the number for the person dealing with your claim.

All benefits are moving to more regular and frequent reviews. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions can review any benefit and any time even when they may have awarded it for a specific period. 

It has been 6 months since you moved into the Support Group. It may be, and I speculate, without full knowledge of your claim to date. That either the DWP made a decision to review you in 6 months, or you were selected as part of a random checking process or maybe its the work cycle of the claim.

Call jobcentreplus and have your National Insurance number to hand as well as a pen & paper. Note down who you have spoken to the date & time and ask them why you have been sent this form. Note down what is said to you. Pen & Paper is good for keeping notes on when you speak to people at the DWP.

You can find much more information on ESA on the DWP website <

 

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

STOP THE WCA TO ESA NOW http://e-activist.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=22&ea.campaign.id=10009<

There is still a chance of getting the new work capability assessment cancelled. Labour have tabled an EDM for the new WCA to be cancelled saying that the recommendations in the Harrington report should be implemented before further changes to ESA.

Please click on the above link to contact your MP urgently and ask them to support EDM 1651.
 

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

http://www.hardesthit.org.uk/<

Write or email your MP!

Protest online!

March for May 11th

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Hi there,

wonder if you can help, got a letter from jobcentreplus..

"you meet, or are treated as meeting, the eligibility criteria for ESA work related activity group/ support group."

does this mean im in both groups?

thanks

John
John's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2008

You would be in one or the other. Without seeing the full letter this seems to confirm initially that you are eligible for Employment and Support Allowance as opposed to Job Seekers.

There are different obligations for being in the Support Group or the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) as your question implies.

Have they mentioned in the letter how much they are going to pay you? this can indicate with group you are in.

I suspect that there will be further correspondence to follow specifying the group you are actually in.

The Work Related Activity Group is awarded where it is believed with some support you could undertake some work. The Support Group is awarded where the DWP accept you are unlikely to be able to work even with support.

Have the JobCentre tried to contact you by telephone? From my understanding they will telephone you to tell you if you have been placed in one or the other groups.

Also does your letter mention that you have a "personal adviser"?

The Citizens Advice Bureau has raised issues and undertaken a report where it mentions "poor communication" as an issue.

Either way on your letter you should at the top have a contact you can telephone to find out specfically which group you are in?

It may be on the information they have gathered thus far you meet the criteria for ESA but to determine which group you are in they may requred further medical information. This they should mention in the letter. Have they done a "work capability assessment (WCA)" have you seen a DWP medical advisor?

Not having sight of all the communication thus far or how much of the process you have undertaken it is difficult to give you an answer.

anonymousSuzi (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Hi,

I dont know if you can advise me. I had a ATOS medical assesment In January. I have severe Fibromyalgia/CFS/ME. And i cant manage to walk more than 5 feet without severe pain. I cannot wash or dress myself..I have a lot of problems with personal care too, I have severe Depression to the pointy of being suicidal. After the assesment..They stopped ALL my DLA..and i have not been told iam on any..group at all for any other benefit.!!!???

I cannot claim Income support, as my partner (If you can call him that..as he doesn't care for me, or do anything for me, including wash and dress)

Has savings over the threshold for ESA..but its all locked up in accounts that he cannot get access to for years. And he wont help me or support me anyway, as he is extremely selfish and tight with his money. I now have a overdraft i cannot pay back..and he will not help me. Iam now destitute and desperate. Hell i cnt even get out my front door without help. Iam housebound.

I do have a CAB representative, and we are taking it to a Tribunal. But i could be dead by the time it gets here. My supposed partner..will only buy me a little food. A church mouse would eat more than i get.

Is there anything else you can advise me on? Can i claim income support as a single person? We do not sleep together, and havent been intimate for 3 years...so in real terms we are not a couple. I have even thought of leaving him, as he is also abusive towards me. To be honest, iam totally neglected, dishellved and i feel like aq indoor tramp. I do not have a carer at all.

anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

Firstly can I say how much better I feel simply by finding this site.  Independant advice is hard to come by in my geographical area where CAB is very thin on the ground and offers a very limited volunteer only service.

 

Like many of the people who post here my health problems go back a long way.  The most significant event was being retired on helath grounds 10 years ago when I was extremely ill.  I recieved Incap and DLA  for three years but voluntarily gave them up when my health improved and I went back to work part time, 6 years ago.  In the past two years my health deteriorated again and in June 2010 I was dismissed from my job as being unfit to carry out my duties (the reason given by the work Occ Heath consultant).  Working with my union I applied for access to my occupational pension (i am 55) but after another medical this time by Atos (who do the NHS Pension medicals), this was refused as 'accessing all appropriate medical treatments and with appropriate resonable adjustments ' they felt that I could work (I am a Registered Nurse). I am presently appealing this decision.  In the meanwhile after another medical by Atos this time for ESA I was put in the support group and I am presently attending meetings with my advisor at JCP every 6 weeks.   

After Xmas with his encouragement and help I applied for and was offerd a part time job with NHS Direct. I disclosed my health issues on my medical disclosure form and was sent for another medical by a private firm that they use for Occ health screening.  They tell me I am fit for work as long as

1. I do not work for more than 4 hours a day

2.   I have breaks every 30 minutes

3. I do not write for more than 5 minutes at a time nor for more than 15 minutes in every hour.

4. I use adjusted equipment

5. I am allowed to walk around while working

He also informed them that in his opinion I would be more likely to have further sick leave in the near future.

Unsuprisingly NHS Direct do not feel that they can meet those adjustments.

Being provoked by the Atos report that said I should 'access all available medical treatment' I approached my GP and was referred to consultants in Neuro surgery, pain managemnet, rheumatology, hand surgery and orthopaedics long story short they tell me that I have accessed and engaged with all appropriate treatments and that no further surgical or medical treatment is available for my conditions.

Despite all of these medicals which I have to say were in some cases very painful, no one will simply say that I am not able to work.  Instead they make really meaningless comments about 'reasonable adjustments' which its seems are really not that reasonable at all.  I and my union rep are at a lost as to how to proceed, I live alone so have no financial or physical support and of course I have been refused DLA, help with Council Tax and I still have to pay for my prescriptions.  If you or anyone else can offer advice I would be very grateful.

Elizabeth 

kevin
kevin's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/03/2009

Elizabeth hi,

I will ask John also to comment. 

In relation to some of your points your raise, you can access a PrePayment Certificate from the NHS http://www.ppa.org.uk/< (http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1127.aspx<) which costs £29.10 for 3 months and £104.00 for 12 months.

You may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment and have linked http://www.benefit-leaflets.org/Default.aspx?page=6932< and http://benefits.tcell.org.uk/forums/discretionary-housing-payments-good-...<

I have linked further information http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/disab...< , http://www.efd.org.uk/employment/reasonable-adjustments< and http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/disab...< which looks at resonable adjustments in the workplace.

You could also apply for a Community Care Assessment in which directly seeking additional support from your local authority. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_family/family_index_ew/communit...< or http://www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/guide/assessments/Pages/Communitycareasse...<

Kevin

n/a
X