Have the DWP brought in ESA re-assessments for the Support Group yet?

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Hi all,

I'm still on DLA High Rates on both Components, and Contribution-Based ESA in the Support Group.

I know the government is bringing in ESA re-assessments for claiments in the Support Group, which I may add totally contradicts what is was originally created for. I know it is due, but I was just wondering if and when?

I see many people on the Forums asking questions regarding new ESA Claims, but as of yet I have not seen anyone that has been asked to attend a re-assessment in the Support Group of ESA.

I have had people ask me how can I be in the Contribution-Based ESA and in the Support Group.

Well, I have worked in the past and paid Tax and National Insurance, and the condition I suffer from is rare, which affects the nervous system, and caused other problems like Epileptic seizures, Functional Episodes, Panic attacks, Anxiety, chronic depression (to the point where I am a danger to myself and others around me) and is progressively becoming  worse over the years.

All this happened from an accident in my early 20's, and took Neurologists nearly 2 years to diagnose, back then I was only the 7th known case in the UK.

So, getting back on track - do you know or are you going through a re-assessment for ESA, and that are in the Support Group?

Regards,

Les.

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  • Posted

    Hi Les, it may well be that things have changed since my ESA days. But when I was reassessed, and in the Support Group for 3 years, it was a couple of months shy of the 3 year mark.

    My 3 year award finished in January 2013 and was reassessed in November 2012. There was no face to face for the renewal, just a GP report that ATOS obtained. They awarded me another 3 years, but as I was 65 in June 2013, it only lasted until I started to get my SRP.

    All of my ESA was contribution based. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Les,

      I don't even remember when I was changed over from Incapacity Benefit to ESA, I know I did not require any "face-to-face" interview.

      I can't even remember when my ESA started.

      The government make so many changes its difficult to keep up with them. I know Universal Credit has started to roll out across the country, which is putting people 7 weeks in rent arrears straight away - yet another stunt being pulled across us! rolleyeseek

      I am so glad, I am not a teenager living in today's society, it's been made a living hell for them. Even if they are working, you cannot win.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Personally looking back at my working life, I think for those that are of recent retirement age had one of the best if not the best era to be in. There was always full employment for the majority and you had no need to claim a benefit top up for low wages (WTC & CTC). Both of us were saying only a few days ago that we could not think of anyone in our lives that didn't have a job that paid a decent living wage.

      Even benefits were a lot more family friendly. If you had to claim Unemployment Benefit or Sickness Benefit, the DWP accepted that you were genuinely looking for a job or your GP knew better if he/she thought that you were unfit for work. Even Supplementary Benefit was of a reasonable level. They paid all of your mortgage (capital & interest) for as long as you needed the help.There was no limit on the amount borrowed or the rate of interest you were paying.

      It seemed that no one wanted to be out of work or ill if they could help it.

      Yes looking back over the past 50 years - they were the more caring years.I can't remember a time since the early sixties when I started work that I didn't have a few quid spare to go out on every weekend. I owned and ran a car at 17, married at 20, bought our first house at 21(for 4 times my annual salary) and by the time i was 27 we owned two properties. The main home in a village in West Wales and the second as a home during the week close to my employment in Cardiff.

      I also feel sorry for anybody today that are on benefits be they working or not.

       

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    • Posted

      Yes I remember that time too Les.  I started work in 1969 and there were plenty of jobs,  then I moved to London and again lots of jobs.   But I noticed that jobs were becoming scarcer around 20 years (not much in London but certainly in lots of other areas).

      I moved out of London 20 years ago this year to be with my family who live in a seaside town and here the job situation is very different.   I was never out of work in London but have been quite a lot here.   Jobs are very scarce and are mostly (unless you are a professional or own a business) very low paid and menial ie carers,  cleaners etc.  I can't get a job I can do now at age 61 with some health problems,  and to make it worse my retirement age is now 65.   Fortunately I have private pensions (not very much) but they make it possible not to have to sign on to JSA.  They are very draconian now. 

      Don't forget too that men have always generally earned more than women,  and they still earn around 25-30% more than women now.  x

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Les,

      I'm not quite a retirement age yet, I got a few years left in me! But, on saying that I left school in 1980, but back then you could walk in to full-time jobs. I was still attending school doing the last of my 'O' Levels and working in between exams. I did not need to attend college either. When I applied for a better position in the company, then I started college. The only problem back then was the courses I was doing, did not suit my job which was designing Prototype Thermocouple Measuring Equipment, it specialised in thermometers working down to temperatures in zero degrees kelvin (no minus degrees). Back then we had to program in basic and HEX, on Apple computers with two bricks which were one for saving your work to, and the other was to read it! Long gone are those days... I remember I used to pay my mother £20 keep, which back then was roughly what people were paying their parents.

      I knew friends that were signing on the dole, but like you said they were looking for jobs, but back then you had much more choice,

      I did not stay at that company very long, it was only a small company, and I was looking at larger companies, which did not take long - in fact I think it was less than 6 months, and then I was doing contract work for British Telecommunications, as it was called in them days! Phones still had dials, not buttons..

      I had the accident in my early 20's, and I had to supply sick notes,at first it was just weekly, then every 2 weeks eventually reaching every month. As soon as I got closer to 6 months, the company put me out of work because I was a danger to myself and people around me, and their insurance would no longer cover me, and I was still waiting for a diagnosis.

      It was at some point, when I was diagnosed and my benefit changed to Invalidity Benefit and DLA was granted for life, because the condition was a progressive disorder causing pain, cramps, etc.

      I seen one private Social Security doctor in all that time, and he even paid for my taxi back home, he gave the taxi guy double what he asked for - times then were so much different like you said than today.

      One thing I have noticed with my children, okay after they just left school, both of my sons had no idea what they wanted to do. My eldest son eventually went around loads of places trying for jobs, eventually he went to college fully trained bricklayer, then the economy dropped out, no need for bricklayers! Thats when he went looking in to retail, eventually found one at Halfords, worked himself up to Assistant Manager and left them just last month to better himself. On this Sunday coming he travels to Leeds, does 5 weeks of training in fixing and repairing fridges and freezers, then more training to become CORGI registered to service cookers, gas fires and boilers - he will eventually have his own area to cover. My second son is still stuck in Retail, even though he's a qualified Plasterer. My daughter is still at school, and her sights set on design and BTEC Drama, setting up lighting, etc - totally different to the boys, but shes very creative and attends an Academy.

      These days children leave school and face the wide world, with no idea where to even start. Totally, different to the days when I left school.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Yes a totally different world we now live in.

      I see your daughter is looking at BTECH Drama - setting up lights. At 67 I am now trying to get to grips with a Trans/Receiver DMX lighting rig for our local primary school.- it's a bl******** nightmare!!  What happened to ordinary switches and faders? Good luck to your daughter.

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    • Posted

      I used to be in to electronics and electrical experiments as a hobby as a teenager. I used to build the sound to light units, which were pretty simple back then. As the years went by, and microchips became more and more complex, I stopped making such advanced controllers. I used to make my own PCB's, but when the larger microchips came out, that required multi-layered PCB's, they required more testing and "soaking" as in checking out fully.

      I always remember when satellite TV came out, in Town shops - people started stealing the Astra Dishes. So, I went one better and made an alarm which was continually scanning from the dish to the LMB single line. Many friends asked what the black box on the wall outside was doing, it looked like the front part of Knight Rider's car "KITT", with 10 LED's scanning for movement or tampering to the dish. I actually made a few and sold them, did not make much on them because parts were so cheap to buy, if you knew what you were doing.

      We used to have great times playing in the parks, over-grown bushes and large ponds in fields, climbing trees, etc. Now it is against the law to even climb a tree!! We used to play "British Bulldog", where one person had to tag another, we even done it at school - but trust me, I ran straight into one of those old massive round school bins on three wheels, bent my wrist back that far I fractured it, and it was my left hand - course teachers knew I was right handed, so I couldn't pull that stunt either! lol

      Those were the good old days, no mobiles all we had was watches which our parents made sure we took with us, so we were always back on time, or grounded if we were late!

      Then look at today, take away the internet - and all kids wouldn't know what to do with themselves. Even now, my daughter comes up to me and says "I'm bored", she's got a mobile, tablet and computer! rolleyes

      My eldestt son just before Christmas last year, okay last month! Went for an interview, he was sick of Retail work, and it was part-time. So, attended an interview with a massive UK company. One of the questions they asked him was this "Do you have a Facebook Account?", he thought that's a strange question to ask him, they even as far as to ask him why - he said something along the lines of, well for a start it's all drama - and why would he want to know what other people were doing when he had his own life, he even said it makes people so anti-social, which what this society really is. They were so glad by his response, he won both interviewers over and got the job, full time and decent pay, company car and bonuses.

      There many reasons for not having Facebook accounts, or if you do make sure it is private. Facebook recently applied for a patent on a new technology, and it is probably one of the most obtrusive ways to your privacy of you and your friends. Basically, in the future when a credit check is done on a person, it takes in to account the people you are friends with, and if they have low credit score then affects yours!! I couldn't believe that just one bad report on a friend on your friends list could stop you getting a mortgage, car, etc....

      Today's world leaves a lot to be desired...

      Regards,

      Les.

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  • Posted

    Hi My sister is in the Support Group of ESA,  not for lung problems though but severe osteoarthritis.  She got a letter to be reassessed,  but she wasn't called for interview though and it was passed automatically.  I hope this helps.  x
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    • Posted

      Hi Hypercat,

      Perhaps there is a reassessment period, but I have never seen anything that points to anyone having to attend a re-assement, when they are in the Support Group - that I was under the impression it was at the claimants discretion and not compulsory. Which has been mentioned in the news recently.

      Strange, reassessed but no "face-to-face" makes you think it is done via a doctors form which the DWP sends out.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi Les when she was awarded ESA support group it was only for 18 months she was told and would then face reassessment.  She was called for interview but then was told she didn't need to attend and she was kept in the support group.

      I saw someone on here saying something about being told there were no ESA assessors in the South West - well that's where she lives.  So maybe that's why?  x

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    • Posted

      I do believe you are correct. In my case it was because of a report that was requested of the GP by ATOS. I maybe can shed a bit more light on the subject for you.

      When I rang to find out what happening I was told that they were in contact with my GP. This annoyed me at the time, as they did not have my express agreement that is required under the data protection act to do this. To that comment from me, ATOS told me that if I refused them the permission they would go ahead with a face to face assessment instead - my choice! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Les,

      You have to look the bigger scene and not ATOS, they are just paid by the DWP.

      Obviously, the DWP is controlled by the Government and this is where you find Acts and Laws, that everyone including companies must abide by, but there are exclusions. One of them is the DWP, making them virtually untouchable in many ways.

      Like I stated in a previous post they issued me with a letter stating that I must start to pay back a Social Loan from 2005. Now, if this was a company they would not stand a chance because they were out of the 6 year boundary. So I looked up to see if I could stop them under a Statute Barred, all companies have to abide by this, there is no way around it in theory, but they have even sneaked a Exemption for DWP in that.

      The only way I could of getting it squashed was by using a DRO, but this would have cost me and my wife a total of £180.00 and does not guarantee a great outcome, unless you can prove at the end of 12 months you still can not afford payments to creditors including the DWP. In the end, we decided to let them take the money, even though we asked for a 14 day grace period which they stated they could do. They didn't and my ESA per week dropped by nearly £18 a week, luckily we finish paying the dam Social Loan off next month.... The DWP even had the cheek to say that we were lucky, some claimants they were chasing were nearly 20 years ago!!!

      Like they say, the government is always right, and even if they're in the wrong they will re-word letters so they are right.

      Regards,

      Les.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi Hypercat,

      That is strange, on my ESA letter I have no time limit on it. Perhaps, there are no people covering the South West - I have only seen maps for PIP not ESA.

      Then again, the DWP is so far behind on everything, my transfer (as I call it) is not until around 2018. Stupid part about it is I get a new vehicle this year in December.

      All these years I have had cars on the Motability Scheme we have always saved up to get the Advanced Payment - one car it was £800, it's a lot of money. Then I found out last year Motability was having a crackdown on people abusing the system - by this I mean they were asking for the Advanced Payment on high priced cars, name the BMW X1 4x4 which retails at around £30,000 on the road, and people needed to pay a £3,000 advanced payment upfront. I think now, that vehicle as been removed from the list of vehicles on offer.

      And, we never knew you could apply directly to Motability for an Advanced Payment Grant, over the years we must have spent about £2,000 on the deposit (Advanced Payment).

      When all this was going on in the news I had a phone call from Motability asking me a lot of questions on how the vehicle was being used. I told them it had been not too bad so far, but we did have a breakdown after filling up with petrol. It is an electronic start car so you just push a button, but it was showing all doors open, no seat belts on, no oil, low petrol, etc. We had to wait 2hrs for the RAC to get to us, and all he done was disconnected the battery, which on the latest cars is the same as rebooting a computer. Then he put the lead back on, and it as been fine ever since.

      Can you imagine having a Ford Model T and having to crank it to get started.. that would be impossible for me, and even my wife! lol

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Hi I was quoting from what Marshal was told - that there was no one in the South West to do ESA assessment.  I don't know about PIP.  Bev x
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    • Posted

      I live in the South West and was assessed by ESA in Salisbury back in August a month before surgery when I had fibromyalgia and a frozen shoulder needing surgery. I was horrified to learn that two days after surgery my ESA stopped due to the month before assessment. I got my MP GP and Surgeon involved and was reinstated. I also got the resolution manager on board too. Also for an assessment for PIP I was told to go to Swindon just before Xmas. Over an hour away. In the end my GP insisted I did not travel to either of these places due to having just had shoulder surgery. So PIPs gave me a home visit and ESA put me in the support group without  an assessment as they had enough documentary evidence. At the moment I am asking for a reconsideration of my PIPs that was refused a week ago having been awarded two years back in May before the surgery. The muddle these people are in defies belief. And the incredible stress they put us through while we are fighting for our rights and telling them where they are going wrong mainly by misinformation and their systems not catching up. I shall be getting a copy of my assessors report hopefully and then I shall see more!!!!!!   
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