7 December 2010

The DWP still appears to be unsure how to deal with the many thousands of claimants who do not have a review date for their incapacity benefit and thus do not have a date for their migration to ESA.

Many Benefits and Work members are exempt from the personal capability assessment for incapacity benefit or have serious, lifelong conditions and have not had their claim reviewed for many years.  As a result they have no way of knowing when they will be assessed using the work capability assessment for ESA.

A Benefits and Work member has used the Freedom of Information Act to try to gain some clarification  for claimants in this position.  The response they received was that:

“All those who do not have a review date because of exemption or because their prognosis is 'in the longer term' will for internal planning purposes be assigned the same nominal review date. These will then be smoothed out over time to ensure that we have a manageable flow of  cases. Customers will be issued a notification when their benefit is about to be reassessed.”

So, it seems that all exempt claimants will be listed for review on the same date and then actually reviewed at any time after that.

Unfortunately, what the DWP have not said is what that nominal date will be. 

This is important because no exempt customers should be reviewed before that nominal date and it may be set a year or more after migration begins, in order to give time to get over the backlog of decisions caused by the lack of working software at the start of the process.

We’ll let members know when we discover further details.


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