Getting a phone call from a Jobcentre Plus decision maker before a decision is made on your ESA claim is likely to mean bad news for claimants. Starting from 31 October 2011, if an ESA claim is likely to be unsuccessful, the decision maker should call the claimant to check that they have all the available evidence and to explain what will happen next.

If you receive such a call consider doing the following:

Ask the decision maker to put the questions in writing to you, but they may decline to do this.

Ask if they have been in touch with the health professionals referred to in your ESA50, if you haven’​t provided evidence from them as part of your claim. If they haven’​t, ask the decision maker why not and possibly warn them that their failure to contact your health professionals may form part of your grounds of appeal.

Ask if the call is being recorded and then request a copy of the transcript if it is. If it isn’​t ask the decision maker for a copy of any notes they make of the call.

You should also make your own notes and of the call, or record it yourself –​ you don’​t need permission to do this if the recording is for your own use - as you may need this information as part of your appeal.

If your claim is unsuccessful you may receive a further call from the decision maker explaining the decision and your options. Bear in mind that 40% of appeals against a decision that a claimant is capable of work are successful, so lodging an appeal is a very important option.

Further information about decision maker phone calls can be found in the latest edition of Touchbase, the DWP magazine.

We would be interested to hear from anyone who receives one of these calls.


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