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Kicked out of ESA Support Group - So Angry 10 years 1 month ago #24836

  • Eyupmiduck
Hello Folks

I'm so furious, I can hardly type and I'm trying really hard not to print any swear words.

I had my second ESA medical six weeks ago and have heard precisely nothing. I've just noticed that the last two of my fortnightly ESA payments have been pruned to the tune of £10.80 each. Okay, so nobody's going to starve but as far as I'm concerned this is the tip of the iceberg and if I don't challenge it I may as well give up and go to bed for the rest of my life.

I've phoned Jobcentre Plus to find out why my money has been cut and they told me I've been moved out of the Support Group, where I've been for 16 months. Apparently I have been passed as fit for work and am now in the Work Related Activity Group, hence the downgrading of the payment.

I can't begin to express how utterly and outrageously WRONG I feel this decision is. I have Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The clue is in the title - it's a progressive disease. It doesn't get better, it doesn't go away, it gets worse with every passing year.

Just how can they put me in the Support Group one year, then a year later, with my illness having progressed, pass me as fit to work and cut my benefit? They had exactly the same ESA claim form as they had last year, because I just copied the same information onto this year's from a photocopy of last year's. How can this decision possibly stand up to scrutiny or commonsense?

I even had the ATOS doctor say to my face that he knew very little about MS so what the hell qualifies him to pass me as fit for work? How DARE they accept reports from my health professionals one year and then ignore them the next? How is this right or in any way moral?

I demanded to know from Jobcentre Plus why I had had no decision letter and just got a lame, "Oh, well you should have had one by now. We'll look into it straightaway". I said he'd better do it sharpish because I would be appealing and I can't appeal without that letter. This incompetence is pathetic and inexcusable.

Anyway, I've just looked at the guide to appealing ESA decisions and I don't fit into any of the three categories for appealing. There doesn't seem to be one for people who were originally in the Support Group and have now been put in the Work Related Activity Group. Does this make me unique or is anyone else in the same position?

Any advice as to what category I should shoehorn myself into for the purpose of appeal?

I feel so cross about this whole ridiculous, degrading pantomime. I'm no shrinking violet, but this is starting to feel like harrassment. Even my brother-in-law, who broke his neck in a swimming accident 20 years ago and who is paralysed from the neck down, bedridden and catheterised has got to have an ATOS medical, which I find unbelievable. Do any of these people have brains? They'll be digging up bodies next and sending them for medicals the rate things are going.

Going to have a strong cup of tea and do some deep breathing. Thanks for listening and any advice gratefully received. xxx

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Re:Kicked out of ESA Support Group - So Angry 10 years 1 month ago #24854

hi that is an outrage have you contacted your mp? and the cab for help,i hope you get it sorted :angry:

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Re:Kicked out of ESA Support Group - So Angry 10 years 1 month ago #24855

Hi Eyupmiduck

Sorry to hear of yet another victim of the DWP.

You certainly can appeal, you are in the middle category, you have been placed in the WRA group and you consider that you should be in the Support group.

Please read the advice on page 4 regarding the potential risk of appealing to get into the Support group and seek advice if necessary.

ATOS doctors don’t have much time to exercise common sense (even the ones who possess it) and simply let the computer decide your fate. You should have a much better chance of arguing your case on appeal. It’s just a shame you have to go through this stressful and totally unnecessary process.

Best of luck

Derek

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Re:Kicked out of ESA Support Group - So Angry 10 years 1 month ago #24856

Eyupmiduck wrote:

Hello Folks

I'm so furious, I can hardly type and I'm trying really hard not to print any swear words.

I had my second ESA medical six weeks ago and have heard precisely nothing. I've just noticed that the last two of my fortnightly ESA payments have been pruned to the tune of £10.80 each. Okay, so nobody's going to starve but as far as I'm concerned this is the tip of the iceberg and if I don't challenge it I may as well give up and go to bed for the rest of my life.

I've phoned Jobcentre Plus to find out why my money has been cut and they told me I've been moved out of the Support Group, where I've been for 16 months. Apparently I have been passed as fit for work and am now in the Work Related Activity Group, hence the downgrading of the payment.

I can't begin to express how utterly and outrageously WRONG I feel this decision is. I have Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The clue is in the title - it's a progressive disease. It doesn't get better, it doesn't go away, it gets worse with every passing year.

Just how can they put me in the Support Group one year, then a year later, with my illness having progressed, pass me as fit to work and cut my benefit? They had exactly the same ESA claim form as they had last year, because I just copied the same information onto this year's from a photocopy of last year's. How can this decision possibly stand up to scrutiny or commonsense?

I even had the ATOS doctor say to my face that he knew very little about MS so what the hell qualifies him to pass me as fit for work? How DARE they accept reports from my health professionals one year and then ignore them the next? How is this right or in any way moral?

I demanded to know from Jobcentre Plus why I had had no decision letter and just got a lame, "Oh, well you should have had one by now. We'll look into it straightaway". I said he'd better do it sharpish because I would be appealing and I can't appeal without that letter. This incompetence is pathetic and inexcusable.

Anyway, I've just looked at the guide to appealing ESA decisions and I don't fit into any of the three categories for appealing. There doesn't seem to be one for people who were originally in the Support Group and have now been put in the Work Related Activity Group. Does this make me unique or is anyone else in the same position?

Any advice as to what category I should shoehorn myself into for the purpose of appeal?

I feel so cross about this whole ridiculous, degrading pantomime. I'm no shrinking violet, but this is starting to feel like harrassment. Even my brother-in-law, who broke his neck in a swimming accident 20 years ago and who is paralysed from the neck down, bedridden and catheterised has got to have an ATOS medical, which I find unbelievable. Do any of these people have brains? They'll be digging up bodies next and sending them for medicals the rate things are going.

Going to have a strong cup of tea and do some deep breathing. Thanks for listening and any advice gratefully received. xxx


This just epitomises the inconsistency and total absurdity of ESA. Definitely one for an appeal when of course you eventually receive the decision letter from the DWP. The ESA85 medical report should make interesting reading, but I suspect it will only make you more infuriated?

Incidentally, is the figure of £10.80 fortnightly you have quoted as an ESA payment correct, or do you receive an occupational pension which substantially reduces you ESA entitlement?

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Re:Kicked out of ESA Support Group - So Angry 10 years 1 month ago #24857

  • mickyc
Thats disgusting and yes you must appeal. I couldnt begin to think they have any way of justifying that decision. I hope the cup of tea and breathing works but if you are able I would suggest something stronger (in moderation) although these farcical situations are enough to turn anyone to excessive drink.
Try not to let it get to you too much, you must surely win on appeal

Good luck

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Re:Kicked out of ESA Support Group - So Angry 10 years 1 month ago #24858

  • Catherine
In light of the fact there is no evidence of any change in circumstances and your condition is progressive, I would make this clear to the decision maker and ask them to look at their decision again (the support of Citizens Advice may strengthen your request). Hopefully you will not have to go through the full appeal's process.

I would also let MS organisations know about your experience of ESA and complain if you feel up to it. Even if the re-assessment was fair, which it clearly isn't, you really should have been informed in writing in advance of the money being reduced in your account.

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