ESA Assessment

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Hi all, I am on the enhanced rates PIP for mobility and daily living until 2018. I have been in the support group for ESA for nearly three years and have just received a Capability for work questionaire. Does anyone know if it Is standard to receive this questionaire if I am in the support group?

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  • Posted

    Hi Sue,

    It is standard of the DWP to send these out, periodically - not very often.

    It is basically so they have an 'up-to-date' details of your condition which may have changed since the last claim or become worse. But it must be signed and filled in and sent back, within the allotted time on the letter. Unless you have a good reason why the form took longer to complete, e.g. waiting on some new reports, etc.

    Regards,

    Les.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your prompt reply Les. I am absolutely terrfied of the thoughts of an assessment. Not because anything has changed for the better, if anything I am worse than I was three yers ago but I have heard such horror stories about how these assessments go.
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    • Posted

      Hi Sue hope all stays well for you, its understandable your anxious as you say so many horror stories, 
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    • Posted

      Hi Sue,

      I am in a similar predicament, but I am still on DLA because I am on an "indefinite" claim. I am on Contribution-based ESA and also in the Support Group.

      But, I am one of the rare cases, that might never see an assessment - not every claimant as a "face-to-face", there is one area that the DWP does not bother with, because it would not be a viable option, a waste of money on their behalf. Certain conditions, which have other severe disorders brought on by a rare core disorder are usually within this group.

      Things may change by when my case is eventually brought up on their systems, but at the moment "indefinite" claims on DLA to PIP still stand at 280,000 cases, these were supposed to be finished in 2017. They stated now that they cannot do all claims within that time-frame, so now it is 2018!

      But then again, there is a lot going on with the Government, the DWP is running at a loss, not what they forecast and you also got to take in to account the ECHR Investigation, of the UK - many protocols have already found to be broken. The sick, disabled and low paid have been hit hard - which is the main reason the investigation was started.

      At the moment, everything looks as though it will all collapse - but that will not stop the investigation, which has been backdated to 2010.

      Sue, I would not worry too much - did you take photocopies of the original PIP Claim? Just in case, they pick up on something, but as you said you have a progressive disorder. If it's worse, then there should be nothing to worry about.

      There was talk about merging ESA and PIP assessments in to one, but this is probably just another IDS idea that will never happen, because they would be putting a "means-tested" benefit with a "non means-tested" benefit together, which would not work. The DWP is already a shambles without adding more to it! rolleyeseek

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi again Les

      No I didn't make copies of my PIP claim, I never thought to do that, I wished I had now. But I told the truth on that claim and will do the same on this one. They will be different because my condition has got worse. I wish they would merge them, at least then, if we have to have face to face assessments, we will only have to have the one. It really is making me ill. Fingers crossed it will be over and done with soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue,

      The thought of many people merging ESA and PIP assessments was the actual outcome. Obviously, to the government it would work out much cheaper, but there is a "price" to the claimant!

      As it stands, at the moment if you are on ESA and PIP, the one does not affect the other, well in theory it should not but in practice that is another matter.

      If the Assessment was merged for ESA and PIP, then if you lost points on ESA or PIP, you could end up losing everything, which would mean many people would be worse off than they are already.

      It is a horrible what we have to live like and within this country, which is supposed to be the 7th richest country in the World today!

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi Les, You are right, the government are not making the 'profit' that they expected with PIP. They could say to hell with it, all of those with high rates of DLA and which are indefinite, should move over to PIP without review. 

      It will never happen.

      So, the only alternative is to tweak the descriptors/points that will make it a lot more difficult to get any award. Yes the appeal system will cost more,but if the DWP got away from the lumbering and over expensive Tribunal system and simply relied on the MR, with maybe some input from say CAPITA/ATOS as the final word that would sort those extra costs out.

      Alternatively they could scrap DLA/PIP altogether and do what they are doing with Attendance Allowance - give the money to Social Services who can carry out through their OT's a risk/health/care assessment as they do already do but on a much larger scale.

      I only mention this as at the moment when an assessment is carried out by SS they advise and often supply aids & equipment to help with the difficulties that are found to exist. Take my wife, she had a SS assessment and they supplied free of charge all manner of equipment which reduced her needs by 90%. Yet the same assessment report that identified her needs was used by her to claim Attendance Allowance at the night and day rate! So SS sorted out most of her problems at no cost to her yet she was then awarded over £80 a week for life because of those same problems she was having but no longer had.

      There are many ways that the government can/will achieve the savings. It's really about how far they will go. 

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    • Posted

      If both assessments (PIP & ESA) worked on the basis of 'what you can do' and not on what you can't by reference to the existing descriptors, it would be easy to merge the two into one.

      Yes the single form would be much longer as would the face to face assessment, but it would be a lot cheaper in the long run.

      What you must remember is that those that claim any type of benefit are seen by those that don't as being a drain on society. Much the same as pensioners are! 

      Those that work see those that don't as lacking in moral fibre.

      To force the government to rethink it's destruction of the welfare state, you will have to convince the general population that have no need to claim welfare benefits that they must be more tolerant. With the weekly TV - 'Benefit' series, I can't see that happening in the forseeable future.

      The majority of the public are supporting what is happening to the welfare state.

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  • Posted

    As you have been in the Support Group for nearly three years, three years is the maximum length of time you can be there before you are re-assessed. So the ESA50 that you have received is quite correct.

    Make sure that you complete it correctly and that you don't put down anything that may contradict why you were awarded PIP. The DWP can and will use anything that they could use to re-assess your PIP.

    Mind you they don't work the other way which seems very strange - using the reason for being put in the Support Group to help get you PIP!

    Good luck and be careful

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies. And thanks for the advice. I won't  be caught out Les, my answers are the truth which is exactly how I answered when I applied for PIP. If you tell the truth you can't get caught out, but I do know what you mean. I am still terrified though. I am not eating or sleeping I am that anxious, I just want it over and done with.
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    • Posted

      The truth is always the best way forward. I have read of others that see just describing the worst days (and giving the DWP the impression) that ALL of the days are as described.

      It's not about the truth it's about how the DWP could/may interpret it to suit their own purposes.

      It's similar to telling the DWP/assessor that you can walk no more than 50 metres but leaving out the fact that you are in extreme pain for 30 of them and that you are unable to do the same journey again without sufficient rest. 

      Without adding the extra info, you would be assessed as being able to walk 50 metres AND would have no problem in carrying out the same return journey

      With the info added you would be assessed as being able to walk no more than 20 metres at best. 

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    • Posted

      Nice one, Les! smile

      That is exactly, how the DWP looks at PIP Applications, but if the 'so-called' Health Assessor's are given the wrong impression at an Assessment, then it goes against you.

      This is why so many claimants fail, at the first hurdle, they complete the form entirely different to the Assessment - then the DWP has the final word, hence no points is entered in your case.

      The problem with many applications is they think that the more evidence on their conditions, the better - that is not entirely true. If you have a pretty active doctor and hospital appointment list, you can probably get away with 6-12 months of details, letters, etc. I certainly would not take in all my hospital records which is nearly 4 volumes long!! That would be just mad...

      Regards,

      Les,

      P.S. - I voted on your post!  wink

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  • Posted

    Hi Sue smile

    I am in the same situation as you (almost,  except that I am still getting the lifetime award for DLA, not PIP as yet).  I was awarded the support group ESA category  award for two years,  following a zero point ATOS assesment, then appeal by Tribunal Process.  I have now been send a new, dreaded pink booklet form, which arrived yesterday, and all the horror of my first experience came rushing back and made me feel sick mentally, as opposed to just in the physical sense. 

    I had been left alone for almost three years, so I was half expecting it.  I have been worried sick, ever since, especially as the ATOS assesor LIED through her yellow teeth at my first assesment, which saw me gain 0 points, despite being in plaster, and having pianful damaged nerves in my bowel and stomach causing agonizing pain, bearly eased by morphine. incontinence.  A permenantly distended stomach, following years of painful surgeries.  

    Now I have permenantly damaged nerves in my arm and armpit, causing me to have lost all feeling - following surgery last month - to add to my list of problems. 

    By the time I got my outcome of my 2nd ATOS assesment, I was drained.  The first one, I almost passed out due to my medication dosage, and they tried to drag me from the waiting room to the assesment room!  Eventually they gave up as I was out of it.  And yet, STILL I had to go for a second assesment!   The judge at the tribunal was horrified. 

    I am dreading this time around after I have sent in my pink form booklet.  It has to be in by the beginning of April.  I have no fight left in me, but I am going to ask Welfare Rights for help like I did last time.  Only THIS time, if I get zero points, I will get paid NO money until I wait for a DWP reconsideration sad  Last time Welfare Rights had me appeal directly and I got paid the appeal rate of ESA  from day one.  I have read of people losing their homes and ending up homeless due to having no money during the reconderation period sad  It's terrifying for those who are already sick and/or disabled.

    I wish you a great outcome, Sue <3  Keep us posted <3

    Kat x

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    • Posted

      NO money until I wait for a DWP reconsideration  [sad]   Last time Welfare Rights had me appeal directly and I got paid the appeal rate of ESA  from day one.  I have read of people losing their homes and ending up homeless due to having no money during the reconderation period

      That really isn't actually the case. Yes the time from having your ESA stopped following an adverse decision and having your appeal lodged at the Tribunal will see you without any ESA monies.However, the DWP/JC+ have made it possible to continue to receive your money via JSA. You have to claim JSA in the interim period.

      Housing benefit will not stop nor will CT support as those are based entirely on income no matter where it comes from - ESA or JSA.

      To lose your home because of failing the ESA assessment is not possible.

       

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    • Posted

      I called Welfare Rights, and I was told that I won't get any money until I have recieved the reconsideration by DWP (Usually it's a /no/ anyway)  Once the Tribunal Appeal is lodged, I can get the ESA Appeal Rate (handing in sick notes from my GP)   I was told I cannot apply for JSA as I am not fit to work, and could injure myself or others while under my heavy medication. 

      When the pain is severe, my medication makes me sleep or I am on another planet, and won't take in anything that is being said to me.  I am as much use as a foam toilet. 

      If I don't, or am advised NOT to take my medication (Tribunal)  I am writhing in agony, and due to the pain I got aggressive (Welfare Rights lady told me - I was not aware)  But I was in so much pain (and bowel leakage) - the (very nice) Judge called it off early.  I was in the Tribunal no more that 15 minutes.  I then was told I was in the support group for two years  (its been almost three).  The dreaded pink booklet was on it's way............. Again Welfare Rights are helping me this time.

      I have researched quite a bit and gained a far  better  understanding of how the system works (or doesn't).  Some of the horror stories were so shocking, and sad at the same time.  People /have/ been made homeless, even evicted (usually private rental) and have had to live in and out of hotels/hostels until they can be rehoused by the council.  Foodbanks have became a life saver for many.  Others have commited suicide or died shortly after being given the news that they were awarded zero points.  There are endless stories out there. 

      I was not taking of my own situation as I am too ill to live alone, and stay with family.  But I did at one time have £80 a week housing benefit  (That bearly covered the council rent)  If that was me now, got zero points again, I would have no money for food, heating or lighting only enough for rent and council tax. 

      If Welfare Rights have given me the wrong information  regarding the Appeal Rate ESA - with sick notes from GP -   (after the no money)  reconsideration by DWP)  I will find out for definite when Welfare come to see me with regards to the (new style) pink form.  Without these great people fighting my corner, I don't know if I would have made it through.  They will even be present for the WCA if you need them (get it recorded on tape)........  They said the recording equiptment was broken at my last WCA after I had requested it beforehand......  Another lie I expect.  

      I am back on the mouse wheel ready for round two, and I have a feeling it won't be the last.  It's like a revolving door.  ATOS or Maximus, what's the difference?  It's IDS and Cameron's cruel government who have upheld Labour's WCA and it is designed it to throw people off  ESA benefit.  Will Maximus get money for everyone who fails the computer generated  WCA?    Of course!  It's all abount money - not the sick and disabled.  And WRAG?  That is JSA under another name.  It's Workfare Companies like Ingeus who are causing untold misery and having those who are too sick to attend face to face meetings, sanctioned by the DWP.  I know one such person this happened to. 

      Pardon any spelling mistakes etc, my medication is kicking in now, and I have no hand/eye co-ordination, and the screen is blurry now lol

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    • Posted

      Katheryn, I will comment later on this - But I have PM'd why it is impossible to find out anything at the moment.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Morning katherine

      What can i say to you, this is dreadfull and shouldnt be happening, as i said to my hubby when we lose our DLA and get turned down the PIP at lesast we have a roof over our heads and state pension to survive on. i feel so sorry for anyone of working age yet too ill to go to work, being turned away from JSA and going back tgrough the same door that led them to be there in the first place.!

      I really feel for you i really do

      Sue x

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue :D

      My Dad has terminal motorneurones (I think that is it)  disease, and he was turned down for his Blue Badge for his car.  He cannot walk without his special walker, and even then he can only manage a few steps.  He had to appeal before he was awarded his badge.  NOW he has his new blue badge form (36 pages lomg) to fill in sad It's frightening.  But as you say, he has his state pension and works pension, plus savings (so no other benifits)  Due to this my mum ( a retired nurse) was turned down for carer's allowance, because my dad did not get benefits outwith the state pension.  It's disgraceful and very sad indeed.  

      For myself, I called Welfare, and a lovely man came to the house, where he filled out my pink form for me.  He took it with him, and since that day, I am still in the support group, with no word of another medical by Maximus.  I pray that is a good omen. 

      I just learned the other day, that I have to go through more major surgery  this year, which will be about 8 hours  in theatre and then intensive care, so I really don't need the DWP and Maximus giving me a hard time.  My GP always wrote a letter or faxed  Atos, and they paid for me and my reprasentive a taxi to attend that way. 

      However, this time my GP's surgery is charging £20 for evidence and for any faxes or letters (EACH)  sad  I told Welfare that I cannot afford that, so this time, I will have no evidence or GP intervention to back me up  sad  Since the new form came in, I have lost clumps of hair leaving bald patches, and have lost a lot of weight.  My GP says it stress, possibly brought on by DWP/Maximus.

      Katheryn x

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    • Posted

      Hi Katherine, oh dear what can i day, this is just so plain outright unfair and cruel to say the least. Yes i bet its stress cause by DWP/ maximus.  i cant believe out government is turning a blind eye to these things happening to you, your dad, mum and hundreds more like it. But then they denied my grand daughter who has MS, the rapid worse kind in her appeal a couple of weeks ago. Its affecting her bladder, use of her hands, her vision and her standing ability, Because she is struggling  and i do mean struggling to work still they are holding it against her. Whats she supposed to do, give up work and live on nothing and hope they will give it too her.  They have gone OTT with all this denying genuine cases of the help they need. You think names like MS and terminal motorneurones  cases would automatically go through with high support wouldnt. The amount  of people losing their mobility cars  which is making them house bound and having to give up their jobs and going to college is down right inhumane in my opinion . frown

      Sue x

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    • Posted

      .......as i said to my hubby when we lose our DLA and get turned down the PIP at lesast we have a roof over our heads and state pension to survive on.

      That's what happened to us - High Mobility/Middle Care DLA since mid 90's - PIP '0'.

      Yes we too have our state pensions, but the loss of the DLA actually meant a drop of over £250 a week! - about 40% of what we were on before with DLA.

      The state pension doesn't go very far and for the past three months we have been cutting back on everything to compensate for the financial loss so that we can live!

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