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TOPIC: ESA, return date and xmas

ESA, return date and xmas 1 week 2 days ago #241363

I received an ESA50 (claim renewal) on thurs 28th Nov. The completion date on the letter is 27th Dec. I'm unclear what this means.
1) Do I have to have the form in the post by Fri 27th Dec eg have proof of posting that I posted it on 27th or do the DWP actually need to have received it by 27th Dec?
2) Given that post is delayed over xmas and there are 2 extra bank holidays on 25th and 26th this is eating into my time to fill in and send off the form if they need to have received it by 27th Dec
3) I'm supposed to have 4 weeks to complete the form and I am a day short even without factoring in xmas. Is there anything I can do?
4) It seems grossly unfair to hit me with this over xmas and not give me a little extra time. I have Chronic fatigue and ASD making this time of year really difficult in the first place. Adding in the extra pressure of the form and I'm not coping at all well. I saw in the FAQ that extensions aren't normally given for ESA forms but do I have any grounds for appealing for more time?

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ESA, return date and xmas 1 week 2 days ago #241366

Hi Nutmeg

The form has to be with the DWP on the 27th December 2019

You are allowed four weeks to complete the form but that includes from the date when it is sent out, so it is common for people to lose days whatever the time of year. Not saying this is right, but it is the system.

Extensions are not normally allowed under ESA, but I have known a couple of people receive them recently, so it would be worth putting in a call and explaining about the Christmas issue and posting. If they agree - make sure you write to them immediately after your call confirming what they said - so there is a record. If they still refuse then you need to send back the form, even if it is incomplete and attach a note saying you will send the rest of the information to the asap.

BIS

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

ESA, return date and xmas 1 week 2 days ago #241378

Nutmeg

Despite what BIS has said, the ESA legislation does not allow any extension of the time allowed to return the ESA50, the DWP can decide to accept a late return but there are no circumstances where they can change the return date that you have already received.

Gordon
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