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TOPIC: ESA and DLA

ESA and DLA 7 months 4 days ago #119233

I hope that the forum moderators who are too unwell at present will get better soon, and I would like to thank all the moderators for giving their time to help everybody else.

I was very worried today when I heard that the government had confirmed that it had ended its contract with ATOS.

I was worried because my ESA renewal was still in the system from earlier this year. I have phoned them five times since I sent it and ATOS just kept saying that it was in a queue waiting to be seen by a doctor.

I therefore phoned ATOS this morning to find out what was happening with all those still in limbo in terms of waiting for ESA renewals to be processed by them.

The call hander said that everything was going on a usual and that all those waiting for the results of their ESA reassesments and applications would still have those assessed (eventually).

But that in my case, the assessment had been made four days ago and that I would not be invited to a face to face assessment because of the bountiful quantity of consultants' and hospital reports I had supplied.

I began to feel many muscles untense, but then another spectre of anxiety overtook me.

I have an award of DLA. I have been in receipt of DLA for ten or so years. Every time I have submitted a DLA renewal form I have always tried my best to explain that I have very limited mobility. In fact one of my consultants blatantly stated this in his report to go with the most recent renewal, to no avail. I have only ever been assessed as being worthy of a care only award.

However, in the mean-time, since I received the DLA notice, and having to be reassessed for ESA, I have been diagnosed with a whole new illness, by yet another (very senior and highly respected) consultant at the same hospital while I was staying in hospital for a couple of weeks. The diagnosis of that (new) illness (the symptoms of which have been going on for more than 20 years) would clearly explain all the mobility problems which I had bemoaned of in all those DLA reassessments, but for which I could not provide concrete evidence by way of a formal diagnosis.

When I was reassessed for ESA earlier this year, among many other documents, I submitted a consultant's report which stated that new diagnosis also, because it affects descriptors for ESA as well as DLA and it was part of a very detailed report covering all my health problems.

I am now very anxious that the DWP will see this when they get all the ESA paraphenalia back from ATOS and make me fill-in a new application for DLA, because that diagnosis is very pertinent to the DLA mobility descriptors, and it also supports much of what I said in my last DLA reassessment.

Do you think it is likely that will happen? I would rather maintain the status quo, and not have the financial support that I need, than to face having to fill-in more forms and suffer the extreme anxiety and sleeplessness that I have experienced over the past three months.

Sorry about the long post, but please advise if you can.

Incidently, I have no idea of what the ESA award will be, as ATOS refused to tell me what their advice to the the DWP was.
Last Edit: 7 months 4 days ago by Gordon.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

ESA and DLA 7 months 4 days ago #119241

  • Gordon
  • OFFLINE
  • Forum Moderator
Porridge

Re your ESA, Decision are made by the DWP, whilst they usually endorse the ATOS recommendation it is possible that the DM will not, so I am afraid you will have to wait for the DWP to contact you, I usually only takes a couple of weeks at most before they do this.

In regard the DLA, you are required to notify the DWP of any change that can materially affect your award, although I will say that they are less interested in changes likely to increase an award rather than those likely to reduce one.

There are two issues you need to consider, is this new diagnosis sufficient to result in a Mobility award?

Secondly, if you do report the change, are you in an active PIP area, because if you are then reporting a Change of Circumstances is likely to result in your being invited to claim PIP rather than being re-assessed for DLA. You can check whether your postcode is active in the following

www.gov.uk/government/publications/pip-postcode-map-uk

Gordon
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
The administrator has disabled public write access.

ESA and DLA 7 months 4 days ago #119242

  • Jim Allison
  • OFFLINE
  • retired Principal Welfare Rights Officer
ATOS's £500 million contract to withdraw early applies only to WCA assessments.

Despite admitting they do not have the staff to carry out this contract, amazingly, they will still be carrying out medical assessments for DLA & PIP. ????????
PLEASE READ THE SPOTLIGHTS AREA OF THE FORUM REGULARLY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
The administrator has disabled public write access.

ESA and DLA 7 months 4 days ago #119247

Yes Jim, it's clearly just a face-saving excercise by ATOS, and I wonder how long it will take them to recover their corporate reputation, if ever. I also wonder how easy it will be for the government to find somebody else to do the dirty work instead.

Gordon, thank you so much for your kind reply: I am not in a PIP area. Regarding the matter of a "change in circumstances", as far as I'm concerned, I have always been very open about my severe mobility problems, so as far as I'm concerned nothing at all has changed, and I have always detailed all the mobility problems in my DLA applications, they were the same now as when I last submitted a DLA questionaire: the DWP have simply chosen not to believe me, I have nothing new to add and there has been no change. And yes, they would merit a higher mobility award.

But it's reassuring to know that they probably won't bother to make me be fill-in another form given that it would lead to an increase in award.
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ESA and DLA 7 months 4 days ago #119251

I am tentatively hopeful regarding Atos withdrawal from the ESA contract. Of course it depends whether their replacement will be any better.

Waiting for your reassessment should not affect you financially. In fact it may be a good thing as any decision will only apply from when it is made. They cannot back date a decision to lower or end your entitlement. Of course I appreciate it leaves you in limbo.

It is highly unlikely that putting a new diagnosis on your ESA form will initiate a DLA reassessment.
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ESA and DLA 6 months 4 weeks ago #119525

Further to my earlier posts in this thread:

I am slightly relieved to have been informed that I will continue in the SG for a further two years (I know this is REALLY grumpy of me, but considering the consultant said that I will never get any better, I don't feel entirely over the moon, but who knows what the system will be in two year's time, maybe "they" will have more compassion for people who are incurably ill). It took 11 weeks for ATOS to assess it, then a further 11 days for the DWP to let me know.

Thanks for your help!

Porridge
Last Edit: 6 months 4 weeks ago by Gordon.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
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