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TOPIC: Capability 'Assessment'

Capability 'Assessment' 3 months 4 weeks ago #229321

I hope you can help.

After 17 years of being on IB and ESA and various updates and assessments, I have just received the news that I scored no points on my latest assessment.
Without going into too much detail, I have Cerebral Palsy, chronic pain and I can’t walk without assistance and consequently life is a huge painful struggle.

I'm told that because my arms work and I can drive, I should use a wheelchair and because of this I scored zero points. Apart from the fact that this news makes a mockery of my entire life, it takes no account of other factors that were made clear in the ESA form and assessment.
Some important points were mis-reported on the assessment report (mostly pain and fatigue)

During my phone call with the Decision Maker I said that I was in no doubt that my G.P. would disagree and provide the necessary fit notes. The letter with the report has said I must send further evidence within 4 weeks. Does a fit note meet the DWPs requirements of further evidence?
I read your excellent guide prior to the assessment, but it seemed to be no match for a pernicious, cruel and indifferent experience.

What should my next step be? I can’t afford to put a foot wrong, no matter how disabled it is.

Thank you for your help.

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Capability 'Assessment' 3 months 4 weeks ago #229329

T

Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explains where everything is

Welcome to Benefits and Work

In case you are not aware, your real name appears to be showing in the forum, if you want to change this then follow the instructions in the following FAQ

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ESA is not a walking test, it is a Mobility test! In addition to your walking, it considers your ability to self-propel a manual wheelchair over the same distances, you do not need to be using a wheelchair or even to own one for it to be considered. SO even if you can show your walking is restricted unless you can also show that you cannot self-propel the wheelchair you will still not score points.

Your post suggests that you did not explain why you could not use a wheelchair, I'm afraid assessors and Decision Makers lack imagination and will not make the leap from your limitations to your being unable use a wheelchair, you need to spell these things out clearly.

I'm afraid a Fit Note will not be accepted as evidence unless your GP states that you have a new condition or that your existing ones have deteriorated since you were assessed.

The first stage to challenging a Decision is for you to request a Mandatory Reconsideration, this needs to be done in writing to the DWP, within one month of the Decision, to the office that dealt with your claim, have a look at our ESA MR & Appeal guide for details of the process, the ESA area also has template letters that you can use to make the request with.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/esa1

You should contact the DWP for a copy of the assessment report (ESA85), if you have not already done so, I would phone them but again follow up the request in writing. Once you have the assessment report you will have a better understanding of how the DWP Decision Maker has come to their conclusions and will then be able to argue against them.

Your primary task is to show that you meet the criteria, there are many reasons you may have failed, you need to address each of these but don't get bogged down in criticising the assessment report unless you can clearly show that it is incorrect, it is a lot easier to argue the facts of the situation;

"the assessor recorded that I walked 50m, I did but they have failed to document that I had to stop every 10m for a rest due to breathlessness"

than their opinions

"based on my observations of the claimant walking I believe that they can reliably walk more than 200m.

When you have a better idea of the issues with your claim, come back to the forum and we will do our best to help.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: TEK

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Capability 'Assessment' 3 months 3 weeks ago #229460

Thank you for your help Gordon, it’s very much appreciated.
TEK

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