Login FormClose

Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Our fortnightly bulletin, with over 80,000 subscribers, is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Find out what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

Welcome, Guest
Username: Password:
Remember me
Members
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Hello, New & need advice. ESA (Sorry long)

Hello, New & need advice. ESA (Sorry long) 8 years 8 months ago #44485

  • Claire79
Hi,
I just joined the site and i am looking for advice about my Mum.

My Mum has Emphysema and worked full-time until 2009, when she was admitted to hospital requiring surgery. She has not worked since.

She made a claim for ESA and after a medical in Apr last year she was put into the support group for 6mths. During this time she was retired from her job on Tier 1.

She had medical earlier this month and she got got a letter on Sat saying that she had been moved into the work related activity group! No explanation on how they came to this decison, Nothing. Absolutely nothing has changed since the last medical. So how can they say she is fit to work?

To add insult to injury an appointment for a Pathways to work interview this wed came at the same time! It has been made pretty clear that my Mum's working life is over and yet the dwp seem to have ignored this.

We have a benefits advisor coming tomorrow pm to show us the descriptors and see what we disagree with but as we don't know what she has failed on yet i don't see how that is going to help much.

What sort of things should i be asking or insisting on with the advisor and i dont know what to do about the pathways appt on wednesday, given that she is vunerable to infection i am terrified she is going to pick something up and the stress alone just over the weekend has already set her back!

Any advice would be great.

Thanks

Claire

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Re:Hello, New & need advice. ESA (Sorry long) 8 years 8 months ago #44489

Hi Claire

If you have a benefit advisor calling tomorrow they should be able to advise you on what to do next, rather than just discuss the descriptors.

Firstly, being placed in the work-related activity group does not mean that a claimant is fit for work. It means that the claimant is not fit for work, but has to attend monthly interviews in preparation for work, which may never materialize.

Secondly, the DWP never give reasons for an ESA decision unless you ask for them. You need to phone the number on the decision letter and request a copy of your mum's ESA85 medical report. You should also ask for your mum's previous medical report so that you can compare them. Tell them that you are considering appealing so that they know the request is urgent. There is a risk when appealing to get into the support group as it is possible to lose a current award, but that risk varies depending on the case. Your benefit advisor should be able to help you decide the level of risk.

If you choose to appeal the decision, you have one month to do so. You will find very helpful information in the ESA appeals guide in the members' area.

Hope this is helpful

Derek

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Re:Hello, New & need advice. ESA (Sorry long) 8 years 8 months ago #44490

Claire79

Welcome to the Forums.

The first thing to say is that your mother is not being asked to work. The Work Related Activity Group is for those that the DWP believe may be capable of working in the future.

The Work Focussed Interview that you mention is a result of being in the WRAG, your mother will be required to attend six, typically over a 12 month period. They can be deferred with DWP agreement but not waived, it is almost impossible to get out of the first one I am afraid, but it may be possible to have it conducted over the phone.

You can read about WFIs in the Knowing your rights at Pathways to Work Interviews which can be found in the Work section of the Members area.

With regard to your mother being moved from the Support Group to the WRAG. To qualify for the SG, your mother must demonstrate that she meets one or more the criteria. You can read about these on page 25 of the Understanding ESA guide, also in the Members area, in fact it may well be worth reading the whole document prior to your meeting.

If you believe she still qualifies for the SG, and clearly the DWP used to. Then you can ask for a Reconsideration, however, the success rate for doing this is relatively small. Alternatively, you can appeal the decision, this will result in a reconsideration as well, so you lose nothing. An appeal must be lodged within four weeks of the date of the decision on a GL24 form which can be downloaded from this site.

www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/gl24dwp.pdf

If you do decide to appeal then you should seek help from the advisor you are seeing. In preparation you can read the ESA Appeals guide, which goes through the process of lodging an appeal, preparing your case and collecting evidence. While appealing your mother is entitled to ESA at the Assessment rate.

You should contact the DWP to have the medical report sent to you, the phone number for the local office will be on the letter your mother received.

Whilst the liklihood is low, appealing a decision results in a full re-evaluation of the claim, in some cases this has resulted in a loss of benefits.

If you have more questions, please come back to the forum.

Gordon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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

Re:Hello, New & need advice. ESA (Sorry long) 8 years 8 months ago #44493

  • Claire79
Hi Derek,


Thank you for the reply! I have been reading everything that i can find over the weekend and my head is swimming with infomation, yet i don't feel like i understand the situation any better than when i started :unsure:

But i still don't understand if my Mum has not been found fit for work, then why is she being prepared for work?

I will ring tomorrow to get the medical reports, i hadn't thought about asking for the first report to compare them. Good idea!

Would i be in my rights to ask for a private room for the pathways interview? More to reduce risk of infection rather than privacy?

Thanks

Claire

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Re:Hello, New & need advice. ESA (Sorry long) 8 years 8 months ago #44540

Hi Claire

I'm afraid that unless a claimant is placed into the support group, the DWP think that people who are not fit for work should be preparing for work for when they are fit for work, if ever!

The reason I suggest comparing the reports is two-fold. Firstly, you mum was placed in the support group last time so you need to look at what descriptor she satisfied and why, and also why they did not consider that she satisfied it this time. Secondly, if you choose to appeal claiming that your mother's condition has not changed, the burden of proof lies with the DWP. They have to show persuasive evidence to indicate that her condition has improved.

You are perfectly entitled to ask for a private interview room for the reasons that you mentioned. Whether or not they agree to your request is another matter, but there is no harm in asking.

Good luck

Derek

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Re:Hello, New & need advice. ESA (Sorry long) 8 years 8 months ago #44545

After appeals only 38 to 40% fit for work though.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Crazydiamond. Reason: Corrected figures.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Moderators: GordonGaryBIS