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Benefits and Work has received information from a DWP insider claiming that people who are due to have their employment and support allowance (ESA) award reassessed in the coming months will now have that assessment deferred for a full two years.

On Monday we broke the news that current employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants will be left on the benefit, without further medical checks, until another company can be found to carry out repeat work capability assessments (WCAs).  The DWP stopped referring claimants to Atos for repeat medicals with effect from 20 January 2014.

The change does not apply to IB to ESA transfers or to people who report a change of circumstances, such as a worsening of their condition.  It will also not apply to anyone who has already been referred to Atos or to those who have made a new claim for ESA, as those assessments will still take place.

Benefits and Work has now received further information from a mole within the DWP on how deferment works.  Whilst we cannot verify the identity of the individual, they clearly had access to the DWP memo which Benefits and Work obtained, as they were aware of details which we did not publish.

One unpublished section of the memo states that:

“Scans will be run from 18 January to identify and defer Employment and Support Allowance repeat referrals. The impact of this should be seen from 20 January.

“The scans will be managed centrally and will result in a reduction in the number of Work Available Reports.”

The DWP mole informs us that the scan has caused reassessments due in late January through February to be moved on by two years.  The same scan is due to be run each month throughout the year.  Each time, all those due to be reassessed will be given a two year deferral.  So someone due to be sent back to Atos on 1 February 2014, for example, will not now be re-examined until 1 February 2016.

The revelation is clear evidence of just how long the DWP really expects it to take to clear the massive backlog of WCAs built up under Atos.  

It is also evidence of the extreme heartlessness of the DWP.  The memo in question makes it clear that claimants should not be told about the deferral of their reassessment.  Instead, the intention is to leave people for years dreading that brown envelope dropping through their letterbox and constantly wondering why it hasn't arrived yet.

 

Comments  

#41 stripey1877 2016-04-05 22:34
Help I get both higher rates of DLA, also ESA, my wife gets carers allowance for me. Today I got another ESA form, which I will complete, what happens in the meantime. Am I still on DLA, what do I do with my Motobility car, basically I am lost? What do I do?
#40 Camly91 2016-01-28 00:02
Quoting Throwaway:
Is this still accurate? I was expecting to hear in August 2015 and havn't heard a peep. I dont wanna call incase...im somehow at fault.

Is the 2 year differ still accurate? (Jan 2016)


See the forum for more info, there are at least a couple of threads I read about the latest on this.
#39 Throwaway 2016-01-27 12:02
Is this still accurate? I was expecting to hear in August 2015 and havn't heard a peep. I dont wanna call incase...im somehow at fault.

Is the 2 year differ still accurate? (Jan 2016)
#38 ALPHA 2015-09-24 17:14
Quoting sandra:
Hi.i was due to be reassessed on the 14th of this month,just phoned dwp and my assessment has been deffered to march 2017,they wont be contacting me until dec 2016,i am so relieved.
Just thought I would let everyone know that the scans are still running.

Thank You
I'm also to be assessed on March 2015 after my ESA decision on 2013.Will I also be deferred to March 2017. I live in London
#37 sandra 2015-03-04 11:54
Hi.i was due to be reassessed on the 14th of this month,just phoned dwp and my assessment has been deffered to march 2017,they wont be contacting me until dec 2016,i am so relieved.
Just thought I would let everyone know that the scans are still running.
+1 #36 J L Jackson 2015-01-17 09:16
Hi so I am guessing that seeming I was reassessed back in 2013 & put onto ESA Support group & was told I would be reassessed again in or around Aug of 2015 that I may NOT be getting reassessed at that time???.........
I am now 63 & by the time it gets to Aug be a few months short of 64 & more than likely if it took as long as it did last time I would be more or less 64.....
Seems a waits of time to me being reassessed at that point in time anyway but I know they don't need much of an excuse...
I have had serious health problems including cancer & a triple heart bypass & other issues...I hope they will leave me alone but I am not sure if I will be reassessed or not...maybe you have a better ides that I do...Regards J L Jackson
+1 #35 tintack 2014-03-04 20:03
Quoting Crazydiamond:
Quote:
It will also not apply to anyone who has already been referred to Atos or to those who have made a new claim for ESA, as those assessments will still take place.


The above quote would seem to include all ESA claimants, because aside from new claims, surely everyone else will have already been referred to Atos at some point in time to transfer them to the main phase of ESA from the assessment phase???
I think "anyone who has already been referred to Atos" means anyone who has already been referred for a repeat assessment. It can't mean anyone who has ever been referred to Atos at any point, because, as you say, that would mean all ESA claimants, and if all claimants were to be reassessed as normal then there wouldn't be a deferment process underway in the first place. Either all claimants are being assessed as normal, or some are having their assessments deferred: one of those statements may be true, but they can't both be true.

As the government has now admitted that repeat assessments have indeed been suspended, and as they have not denied the two-year deferral period, the position seems to be that if you were referred for a repeat assessment prior to January 20th (the date that repeat assessments were suspended by the DWP) you will indeed be reassessed as normal. However, according to the above article the deferment scans will be repeated "each month throughout the year", which presumably means at least up to and including December 2014. So, if your repeat assessment was due at any point in 2014 from January 20th onwards, then that will show up in the deferment scans and your reassessment will be deferred for two years.

Whether the deferment scans will continue into 2015 god alone knows, but given the utter chaos in the system it wouldn't exactly come as a shock.
#34 morgandlin 2014-03-04 15:39
Quoting Plonker:
Does anyone know if the deferment applies in Northern Ireland?



As far is is known, no, it doesn't.
#33 morgandlin 2014-03-04 15:39
Quoting Crazydiamond:
Quote:
It will also not apply to anyone who has already been referred to Atos or to those who have made a new claim for ESA, as those assessments will still take place.


The above quote would seem to include all ESA claimants, because aside from new claims, surely everyone else will have already been referred to Atos at some point in time to transfer them to the main phase of ESA from the assessment phase???
Sorry - I have red arrowed you, and didn't mean to, my finger slipped.

You are right, I would think.
#32 morgandlin 2014-03-04 15:05
Quote:
That's good. I could weep that my referral for reassessment was done at end of December - less than a month before. I feel so ill with the stress of it all :(
I've heard nothing from them since sending in my form over a month ago, I'd be interested to find out how one would discover if the stoppage of WCAs means that i will not be called for a face to face if i havent had one yet? or if already in process reassessments will continue on as normal?
[quote name="Cemily91

It appears that any reviews, currently in progress, are continuing to the end, for a decision.
#31 morgandlin 2014-03-04 15:03
I think it's impossible to say what might be happening in two years (we have an election before that anyway).

ATOS will be replaced, the backlog should be cleared, and, at that point, I would imagine, the system will revert to normal.

All that seems clear, at the moment, us that any reviews due in the next few months, will be deferred for two years.

It would be helpful if any government could clarify what is going on, but they won't.

Meanwhile, it's basically speculation and guesses.
#30 Crazydiamond 2014-03-02 15:19
Quote:
It will also not apply to anyone who has already been referred to Atos or to those who have made a new claim for ESA, as those assessments will still take place.
The above quote would seem to include all ESA claimants, because aside from new claims, surely everyone else will have already been referred to Atos at some point in time to transfer them to the main phase of ESA from the assessment phase???
#29 Plonker 2014-02-27 23:24
Does anyone know if the deferment applies in Northern Ireland?
#28 Jennifer 2014-02-27 19:10
Maybe they are putting one huge mess on the back burner so that they can concentrate on the next round of chaos and appeals for pip!

I know it is two different benefits however, I am sure accessors etc.if freed up can be shuffled from one area to another without having to hold a great deal of knowledge.

They definately like to keep us all in a constant state of high anxiety and stress.
+1 #27 Steve K 2014-02-26 20:51
Quoting Porridge:
Quoting Steve K:
Quoting Porridge:
An envelope that comes from ATOS is WHITE, not BROWN.


Your pedantry is unhelpful and pointless! And, as I said, ATOS didn't bother to tell me of their decision - the letter I received, from which I was able to work out that a decision had been made, was from the DWP, and the envelope was brown!


Well I dread the white envelopes the most, because those are the ones which contain the ESA 50 form and the demand that you fill it in or lose your means of eating, shelter, etc. Yes, you are correct, the decision on whether or not you will get ESA usually comes in a brown envelope. You might think that I am a pedant, I am autistic and some people think I am pedantic, but I can't help it.


Fair enough Porridge, no offense mean by me. I take your point re the ESA 50 form which does, if I remember correctly, come in a white envelope. I have my own mental health issues, which leads to oversensitivity sometimes and I thought you were having a dig at me, hence my reaction and I can't help it either. I wish you well. :-)
+1 #26 stuart52 2014-02-26 20:45
a horrible thought occurs to me and I wonder if anyone agrees with me?..the medical deferrals may not be the good news some seem to think it is, .the way I see it those currently on ESA will not be re-assed for 2 years...so far so good...from reading the posts a few seem happy about that....it also appears that DWP/ATOS are concentrating on migration claims and new claims only...but here's the thing folks and I hope to god I am wrong...didn't I read that IDS was going to scrap ESA?..this government seems to be in one hell of a hurry to get the remaining claimants on IB/IS/SDA onto ESA or JSA, nicely timed for the election next year when they say ESA will be scrapped, affectively what this means is that all ESA claimants currently in the WRAG will automatically be moved to JSA and its regime, they will save immediately the WRAG premium from all ESA claimants , it would only leave SG claimants untouched, if I am right this is a very sly move, it makes sense and as already said ties in nicely with the next election,am I right or have I missed the point? I would appreciate any thoughts from others.
+1 #25 Susan Fowler 2014-02-26 18:34
What does this mean for those of us currently in WRAG with deteriorating chronic conditions with a review due in 12 months. Will we stay in WRAG even though our reviewed condition would probably mean we would be moved to Support Group? This is not necessarily good news for all.
#24 poppy38 2014-02-26 17:55
Quoting Chris29:
Quote:
Chris29 May I ask how you know this? Is it not possible that the 2 year deferal may apply throughout the year when the scan is applied. Quote from above "The same scan is due to be run each month throughout the year. Each time, all those due to be reassessed will be given a two year deferral".


Hi Jemmy, I did make a 2nd comment, to try and explain but it got removed, so sorry you didnt get a chance to read it if you missed it, my comment was based on the news article, I knew people would misunderstand it which was why I made the post. Sadly this will be my last comment as I am dissapointed my reply was removed yet the person attacking me was ok to stay published, so I apologise if I offended anyone.
Chris no one is attacking you, But you need to get your facts right before you spout things on here you are not certain of, it rubs people up the wrong way.
+1 #23 Mr chris limb 2014-02-26 17:45
Quoting Chris29:
Quote:
Chris29 May I ask how you know this? Is it not possible that the 2 year deferal may apply throughout the year when the scan is applied. Quote from above "The same scan is due to be run each month throughout the year. Each time, all those due to be reassessed will be given a two year deferral".


Hi Jemmy, I did make a 2nd comment, to try and explain but it got removed, so sorry you didnt get a chance to read it if you missed it, my comment was based on the news article, I knew people would misunderstand it which was why I made the post. Sadly this will be my last comment as I am dissapointed my reply was removed yet the person attacking me was ok to stay published, so I apologise if I offended anyone.
...think the torys know they wont get in next year so i reckon referrals will be left for next gov to sort out
#22 Chris29 2014-02-26 17:32
Quote:
Chris29 May I ask how you know this? Is it not possible that the 2 year deferal may apply throughout the year when the scan is applied. Quote from above "The same scan is due to be run each month throughout the year. Each time, all those due to be reassessed will be given a two year deferral".
Hi Jemmy, I did make a 2nd comment, to try and explain but it got removed, so sorry you didnt get a chance to read it if you missed it, my comment was based on the news article, I knew people would misunderstand it which was why I made the post. Sadly this will be my last comment as I am dissapointed my reply was removed yet the person attacking me was ok to stay published, so I apologise if I offended anyone.

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