ESA

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I applied for employment & support allowance at the beginning of January as I am unable to work due to a long term health condition.

i have been receiving the assessment rate of esa for almost 32 weeks.

i call DWP every 2 weeks to try & find out if they have a date for an assessment & I'm getting absolutely nowhere. The last time I called a very rude & abrupt lady told me "You are lucky, some people wait for over a year.' As you can image me, I was not happy on her response.

can anybody tell me how long the average waiting time is for an assessment? I'm not even sure I will have to go for an assessment but cannot understand why it is taking so long.

any help will be very much appreciated.

1 like, 27 replies

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27 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi,

    I'm afraid the person you spoke to is absolutely correct, even though you said she was rude. Some people are waiting 18 months. There's no time scale either i'm afraid and it does totally depend on where in the country you are. You may have better luck ringing the assessment providers rather than DWP and ask them. DWP have most likely sent your file to them to look at, as this is what they do. Did you send in evidence to support your claim? I'm assuming you have. One good thing about ESA is they can't find you "fit for work" without a face to face assessment. I can assure you that your 32 week wait is perfectly normal. if you're put into one of the groups you money will be backdated to the 14th week of your claim, so you're not losing any money. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise, Thank you for your reply. I called the assessment centre today & was asked to call another assessment centre, which I did. The lady I spoke to, told me my medical evidence (which they've had since the 17th of July) is now with the 'scrutiny team'  awaiting a decision on whether I need an assessment or not.  I guess it's just a waiting game now.

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  • Posted

    Hi l waited about 5 month before l heard
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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for your reply, I have been waiting nearly 7 months, with not even a clue when my assessment will be.
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    • Posted

      yes which goes to prove how very different these waiting lists are depending on where you are in the country. There really isn't any time scales to these assessments. It's like saying "how long is a piece of string"

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    • Posted

      Thank you for you reply Denise. It is so frustrating, not knowing if I will need an assessment or not & how long I will have to wait.

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    • Posted

      Yes it's very frustrating. Most people have to attend a face 2 face assessment. Very few people manage a paper based decision. If i were you i'd ring the assessment providers tomorrow and ask how much longer they expect it to be. It can't hurt because if an assessment wasn't needed you would have more than likely had a decision before now.

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise, I rang the assessment providers on Friday & I was told they are not allowed to tell me how long it will be before I can have an assessment, which didn't fill me with confidence. I was then advised to call DWP back & they may be able to tell me. I did this & was told "the man at the assessment centre was probably being awkward, he should have told you when your assessment will be". I couldn't face phoning back so I will wait until tomorrow but I don't feel optimistic.

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I'm sorry you didn't have any joy. Like i said your time frame really isn't long at all. There really isn't much you can do until they send you an appointment date/time. With the length of time you've been waiting i'd say an assessment is highly likely.  If the worst comes to the worst and it gets to 12 months+ then you could most likely do something about it. Some people are waiting 18 months and more. Are you on Income Related or Contribution based?

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for your reply. I found it frustrating that they can't even tell me how long it will take for me to have an assessment. I will have to keep waiting until I get an appointment. 

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    • Posted

      Being on Contribution Based could cause you problems because you're limited to just 1 year on assessment phase and in WRAG group. Unlimited time if placed in Support Group. Shouldn't cause any problems for you if Income related can be claimed but this would depend on your circumstances. Partner working etc.

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    • Posted

      When I made the initial phone call, I was told I would be placed in the support group. Letters I have received have stated I am claiming Contribution based. How do they decide which category to place you in. I am single & live on my own. Does this determine which group I am placed in?

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    • Posted

      I don't understand what you mean by this, what initial phone call? Do you mean when you first claimed? Being placed in 1 of the groups isn't determined by Income based (IR) or Contribution based (CB). If you didn't need a face 2 face assessment then you would have been placed in one of the groups by now. I highly suspect an assessment is needed as most people have these. CB and IR just means if you've worked and paid enough national insurance conributions in the last 2 years then you'll be claiming CB and not IR. There really isn't anything you can do until you recieve a letter for an assessment i know it's difficult but please try to relax. If it gets closer to 1 year then you'll have grounds to complain. Hopefully it won't get that far. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      No they wouldn't have told you during that call that you'll be put into the support group. If they did then they shouldn't have done that. You'll need evidence to support your claim.  During the assessment you'll be assessed for the work you can do and not the work you can't do. It's not as straight forward as people think to be put into the support group. I'm sorry I can't help you any further. Hopefully you won't be waiting much longer. 

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    • Posted

      If you google ESA descriptors and ESA assessment then there's plenty of info available that will help you understand it a little more. I'm sorry but i can't post links here. It would help a great deal if you have a better understanding of what it's all about, especially when you go for the assessment.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I've finally got a letter today, my esa assessment is Thursday 24th of August.

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    • Posted

      That's good. here's a few pointers for you. If at all possible take someone with you. They can also go into the assessment room with you and take notes if required. This assessment is to see what work you CAN do and NOT the work you CAN'T do. Answer all questions with as much detail as possible, and don't just answer yes or no. You will be watched from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave. If you can't do something then tell them why you can't do it. If you claim PIP and have been to one of those assessments, it's very similiar but the criteria for ESA is different. After the assessment you can ring ESA and ask for a copy of the assessment report. They send you a copy once they've recieved both copies (paper and digital) decision times vary depending on the backlog in your area, so there's no time scales really but anything from 2-8 weeks. If you have more evidence then take it with you to the assessment. The more evidence the better! If you're found with a "limited capability for work" and placed in one of the groups your money will be back dated to week 14 of your claim. Good luck and please let us know the outcome!

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise, 

      i recieved a letter from DWP at the end of last week cancelling my assessment this Thursday (24th of July) because apparently they didn't have my health records back from their health department. Yet today they phone me & tell me they now have my heath records  & the appointment is back on!!!! DWP are so disorganised!!!! Not very encouraging!!

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    • Posted

      Sounds just like the DWP. Maybe a good idea to ring them before you leave for your appointment just to check it's still going ahead. They have a habbit of ringing people to cancel when they've already left home ( some don't give mobile numbers) Remember they'll watch you from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave. You'll be assessed for the work you CAN do and NOT the work you can't do. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Remember that you can't cancel another appointment otherwise your file will be returned to DWP and it's very likely you'll be found fit for work.

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you  for for your reply. I know I will have to attend the next appointment that is offered.

      i have today received a report from a very recent assessment that I had with a neuropsychologist, which will hopefully assist me with both the ESA assessment & my appeal for PIP, which will hopefully make very clear the assessor of my pip, has told a series of untruths on my report.

      i intend to fight this all the way.

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