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TOPIC: 3rd ESA50 received,more worries -various questions

3rd ESA50 received,more worries -various questions 8 years 8 months ago #50580

  • Mr Struggling
Hi,
I'm in my late 50's, married and have significant (but not too common) physical & mental health problems. Various NHS consultants I’ve seen have not really been able to help. I’m likely to have a third ESA WCA “interview” soon as I have received another ESA50 (version 10/10). Stress & Anxiety are rising again :woohoo:.
Please can anyone throw any light on some of the following questions. Sorry about the number of questions but although I’m pretty savvy at scouring the web my conditions mean it takes days (as does filling in the ESA50 and writing this!).

Q1. Can I assume the reason I have received another ESA50 incl standard Atos covering letter is because the examiner wrote (without evidence) "I advise that a return to work could be considered within 3 months" ?

The letter stated I could find out why they had sent the questionnaire by phoning JC+ but the help guy who answered my BDC's 0845 number didn’t know and when pressed said that ATOS made the decision and gave me their 0800 2888777 number. The surprisingly friendly ATOS contact desk employee who answered said they definitely don’t decide/ recommend about follow-up WCA’s (!?) and gave me a different JC+ number. He said that JC+ pass all sorts of queries on to them, despite ATOS not being responsible.
BACKGROUND The "Reason" written in the medical report was "The client does not have significant functional impairment and may return to work in the short term" (Incorrect). In fact despite my previous knowledge of WCA/ appeal, such that at the exam I tried to explain in detail some of the characteristics of my "disabilities" and give practical examples, the report had many errors. A subsequent DWP review had corrected some errors which allowed me entitlement to ESA (Work Related Activity Group) but ....
Q2. perhaps the DM should have extended the "return to work" date in the report’s Prognosis statement as well ?

Q3. Does the fact that I was sent ESA50 10/10 by ATOS mean that I will be assessed for the same “not as harsh & unfair as the new ones” WCA descriptors as previously ?
Note - Then I was awarded 25+ points on appeal, delayed nearly one year after my first WCA.

Q4. When is a B&W guide to the new ESA likely to be available?

Q5. As both the previous med examiners made mistakes, (besides those prompted by the Lima program) can you tell me what is the current rule on recording the WCA. Would I need to request it on the ESA50? Would asking give me a black mark?


To me my future prospects look grim with the likelihood of being thrown off ESA (Contributions Related) in early 2012 (if not before) because of the 1 year rule in the reform act.

Q6. My wife earns about £22K p.a. before tax, but her job is under threat. We have nearly paid off the mortgage on our house. We have some savings (earmarked to plug the largish company pension gaps) from 35 years of work (paying full NI). Is there anything we could do in order for me to qualify for ESA or JSA (Income Related)?.


I'm having trouble getting a straight answer from JobCentre+ or the N.I. office whether I would even qualify for Jobseeker's Allowance because I was self-employed for a few years before my health got so bad that I claimed ESA. Note - I went self-employed after being made redundant in order to be able to better manage at least some work (at home) for my living (while suffering from increasing clinical depression as well as the physical problems).

Q7. Is there any reliable way of of getting/ seeing one’s N.I. contribution history in writing, as I don’t really trust what JC+ employees say on the phone.

Thanks for any help answers/comments for any of the questions.
Note – I do appreciate that many people have a lot worse problems than I do!
Kind Regards
Andy

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Re:3rd ESA50 received,more worries -various questions 8 years 8 months ago #50601

Andrew

1. This is likely to be the reason, however, ATOS/DWP seem to have a variety of criteria as to when to re-assess a claimant.

2. You don't say when you were last assessed, but you can make a request to the DWP to have it deferred.

3. The new ESA50 and associated medical tests have not been implemented yet, so you should be tested using the current system.

4. When the new ESA50 is published. We have a new guide ready, but need to see the new ESA50 before we do so.

5. You can request the WCA be recorded, however, the DWP have re-trenched their position on this, so you will have to really push.

6. Not sure what you are asking, as from your post you are already receiving ESA!

7. Don't know, maybe someone else does.

Gordon

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

Re:3rd ESA50 received,more worries -various questions 8 years 8 months ago #50610

Andrew wrote:

Q7. Is there any reliable way of of getting/ seeing one’s N.I. contribution history in writing, as I don’t really trust what JC+ employees say on the phone.



You can get written confirmation of how many years NIC you have by writing or telephoning the State Pension forecasting team on 0845 3000 168.

Or see Here

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

Re:3rd ESA50 received,more worries -various questions 8 years 8 months ago #50621

  • Catherine
Andy.

As part of the assessment process Atos HCPs do make recommendations as to when claimants should be reassessed.

I don't know if the length of time allowed between reviews is something that a claimant can appeal? (probably not relevant to your situation as i think you are saying your next review is approaching.) As Gordon states - provided you have 'good cause' you can ask for a medical to be deferred, but i don't know for how long?

I can understand your anxiety - there can be no justification for subjecting people (especially those with longterm conditions) to frequent assessments. It leaves vulnerable claimants feeling threatened and likely aggravate their illnesses.

I think you are asking if you will be entitled to any means-tested benefits if you lose your contribution based ESA. Your partner's earnings and savings above a certain limit would be taken into account. There is an online facility caled 'benefits adviser' at 'directgov' which calculates entitlement, but organisations like Citizens Advice would see you face to face and could advise you on all your concerns.

Disability Living Allowance is not means tested - have you considered applying for that? Do you meet any of the criteria for ESA support group as those claimants will be protected from the 12 months rule?

Regarding your query about NI contributions - hopefully HM Revenue & Customs would be able to advise you. The Enquiry line is 0845 3021479.

Best wishes.

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Re:3rd ESA50 received,more worries -various questions 8 years 8 months ago #51517

  • Mr Struggling
Thanks for all your suggestions.
I believed I was up against the new ESA rules already and wanted to get answers asap but it takes me days to compplete my own posts and new info fills some of the gaps in the meantime.
Perhaps I should stick to short single question posts.

At least it's a bit clearer now and I feel as if I've got a breathing space for a while.

Andy

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