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TOPIC: Have ESA Assessments changed?

Have ESA Assessments changed? 1 month 3 days ago #238753

Hi all,

I was previously on ESA about 6 years ago. That claim ended after I was forced into the work programme and into self employment, after being placed in the wrag with a "he'll probably be better in 6 months" assessment from a so-called "medical professional".

Anyway my self employment has inevitably failed and hmrc effectively closed me down (stopped my tax credits as business wasn't viable) in June this year. So I started down the route of a UC claim. When I started that I realised I get a severe disability premium (in my HB, due to my PIP award) so had to go the ESA route, rather than UC.

Did all the usual for ESA claim, and had my medical last week. However this, medical assessment just felt different than last time. For a start I was only in there for about 15 minutes, and the examiner seemed to type every word I was saying into the system, and there didn't seem to be a lot of the obvious multi choice clicking I've noticed in previous medicals. He also asked me a lot less questions than I've been asked in previous medicals, and basically just asked me about walking, and my typical day.

As per usual I requested a copy of the medical report 2 days after the examination and, unbelievably, copy of this report dropped on my door mat this morning. On checking out the report it is considerably shorter than previous reports I have seen, and is predominantly a typed description of what I said in the assessment. No sections based on descriptors etc. as I've seen on previous reports. The conclusion of the report is that I have limited capability for work/work related activity, and then at the bottom of the LCW/LCWRA section states that examination suggests I can't walk 50 metres and, due to upper limb issues, I would be unlikely to be able to use a wheelchair.

Have they changed the medical to focus more on what people actually tell them? Or is it just a case of the examiner, based on what I told them, and their observations, seeing that I'm eligible for the 15 points in moving around, and not bothering with anything else as that would automatically put me in the support group?

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Have ESA Assessments changed? 1 month 3 days ago #238781

Squirelly

It is likely that the assessor was satisfied that you clearly meet the criteria for the Moving Around activity from your form and papers and the questions they asked you in the face to face and that they did not need to continue with the assessment as a result.

This would also explain why the report was so short as they would not have provided information for the other 18 questions.

You will need to wait for the DWP to make a Decision but I would be very surprised if you were not placed in the Support Group.

Gordon
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Have ESA Assessments changed? 1 month 3 days ago #238784

That's what I thought. Just seemed very odd as, if it is the case that I get put in the support group, this will be the first ESA/PIP/DLA decision I've had, since all my medical issues started over a decade ago, where I haven't had to at least ask for a MR, and most have ended in a Tribunal.

Sounds like I may have got a good one this time! Thanks for the reply, and as always thanks to you guys for the guides. They make this stuff a lot less intimidating, and easier to understand.

Now all I have to do is wait for my PIP review (PIP is up in Feb, so expecting review papers sometime in the next month or so) and hope that one goes as smoothly., but something tells me I won't be lucky enough to get a good one 2 times in a row!

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Have ESA Assessments changed? 2 weeks 1 day ago #239834

I'm having a few more "fun and games" with this one. I hadn't heard anything as to my claim, so gave the DWP a call to ask for an update as it had been 3+ weeks since my medical.

Was told that they are currently taking 6-8 weeks to process claims, which is fair enough, but then the adviser checked on the system, to see when the DM got the medical report, and they said that they got it on 25/10, and that was the date the 6-8 weeks starts from. Not quite sure how the decision maker only got the report 2 weeks after they sent me a copy, but there we go. I know it's been a while since my last ESA claim, but I never remember it taking 6-8 weeks to stop your claim if the medical finds you capable, strange that! :)

Anyway looks like it might just all be sorted before xmas, and just in time for my PIP renewal to start :(

Now I'm assuming (based on the medical report) that I'll be in the support group, so have a couple of questions that no amount of googling can get me a clear answer to, and hope you guys may have an answer.

I currently get the "severe disability premium" (due to my PIP award) but see on the DWP site that income based ESA support group claimants (which I will be) get the "enhanced disability premium". Does this mean I'll get both? or is it one of those things were if you get a higher one (which severe is) you just get the highest one you're entitled to?

Also when they sort my claim, I know they'll backdate the support group component, but when do they backdate this to? is it the day of the medical? 14th week of the claim? or all the way back to the start of the claim?

Thanks in advance for any help

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Have ESA Assessments changed? 2 weeks 1 day ago #239841

Hi Squirelly666

The enhanced disability premium does not apply to pension credit, you have to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit such as DLA high care , PIP enhanced daily living or armed forces independence payment. The enhanced premium can be awarded in addition to any disability premium or severe disability premium that may be payable. It is payable only while the person who qualifies is under pension age.

Your claim is backdated to the start ofyour claim which is why DWP stamp a date on the application form.

Gary
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Have ESA Assessments changed? 2 weeks 1 day ago #239845

Squirelly

Just to clarify.

If you are placed in the Support Group then the Enhanced Disability Premium would be payable in addition to the Severe Disability Premium. this is not the case if you are placed in the WRAG.

As this is a new claim for ESA, the Premiums will be backdated to the start of your claim but the SG rate is only payable from the beginning of week 14 of your claim.

Gordon
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