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TOPIC: Ongoing ESA claim, no fresh evidence

Ongoing ESA claim, no fresh evidence 1 week 6 days ago #220797

I’m worried about our adult son’s ongoing ESA claim as, sooner or later, the DWP are bound to be in touch with another lengthy questionnaire, possibly followed by a request for a meeting to review things.

The fact is that, although he’s still unable to work, very withdrawn, mucky, uncommunicative and possibly also depressed as well as autistic, he absolutely refuses to engage with services and moreover won’t even see his GP or dentist. He barely engages with us, his parents! Consequently there is no longer any recent evidence such as appointment dates, prescriptions, or correspondence to support his claim. Although he still has capacity, he uses this to refuses everything and that is actually a big part of the problem and linked to his autism. The trouble is that the DWP might be unlikely to take our word for this and old evidence is now all we have. All the medical paperwork is now over 2 years old.

Is there anything parents/carers can do in such a situation? I notice that the DWP have an appointeeship form but it requires us to state that our son is incapable of managing his affairs (a blanket statement, it seems to me) and there’s also a box for us to tick to show we’ll provide evidence of this. Even if we were to go down this route (not keen as it feels really bad to do so plus there are some things – NOT finances – that he does manage), what could we provide?

To my mind all I could possibly do is invite them to come round and see the state in which he lives and maybe have a chat with our GP so that she’ll provide a letter requesting a home visit for him. Obviously he’ll refuse to see them when they arrive (he did this with the Autism Team), but it would give them some idea of how we seem to have to live. The extreme reclusiveness and avoidance of any contact witht he world is absolutely part of his condition!

Anyone know of anything else people do in this kind of situation? It seems to me that non engagement is quite likely to lead to no benefits, affecting not just the individual but those who support them.

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Ongoing ESA claim, no fresh evidence 1 week 6 days ago #220800

Jennilee

As it stands, as an adult the DWP will communicate directly with your son, you will not be involved in any reassessment that he has unless he invites you to do so, so you need to decide whether to apply for an appointeeship.

In addition to the issues of being able to provide evidence that he needs this, you also need to consider what impact that doing this might have on your relationship with your son whether the request is successful or not.

As to evidence for an ESA reassessment, old evidence can be used providing he/you can show that it is still relevant to his limitations as they are now but I accept that this may be difficult to do.

The DWP's procedures in this situation should be to contact the claimant's GP for more information but if your son has not seen them for some time then the GP will likely not be able to comment.

I have to admit that I don't have a solution, Have you sat down and talked to him about the situation?

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

Ongoing ESA claim, no fresh evidence 1 week 6 days ago #220804

Will think about it but he barely engages with us either and feels uncomfortable being in the same room as anybody else. e.g. If I go into a room he dashes out the other side. He has a whole set of beliefs about negative energy and contamination from others from which he then needs to purge himself. :( His former CPN (with over 30 years experience) said that he'd never known anyone engage so little.

I am sure that my son will ignore any communications from the DWP, as he does from any other source.

All I can do is try to commnicate bit by bit in very short sentences through his bedroom door. Even then I don't usually get much response.
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