Help RE: ESA

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Help RE: ESA

Postby JimS » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:30 am

Hi
I was on incapacity benefit for approx 10 years due to fibro & several other health problems.
Last year after yet another atos medical I was placed on esa (contribution based) and placed in work related group.
I received a letter stating that the esa was payable for up to 365 days.
I appealed being placed in the work related group and approx two weeks ago attended a tribunal & was placed in the support group.
I was told previously by the disability officer at the job centre that if I was placed in the support group I would continue to get my benefits after the 365 days, whilst awaiting my appeal though I had been attending various groups in the hopes of being able to find employment if my benefits where stopped (no chance of employment though after a year of trying)
today (Saturday) I received a letter telling me that my benefits had ceased because I have reached the 365 days.
After trying to phone the benefits centre to tell them I had been placed in the support group & that I had been told my benefits would continue, I find they are shut till Monday.
As you can no doubt imagine this has placed a massive amount of stress on me, so I am going to be having a very bad weekend before I can phone them on Monday.
So can any one please tell me will I continue to receive my benefits now that I have been placed in the support group?
Or am I going to be left pretty much destitute with no chance of getting employment.

Cheers Jim
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby anonymouse » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:48 am

Sorry to hear about your problems and being another victim of a broken system.

Quite simply you should still get your benefit if you are in the support group. The 365 day rule only applies to contribution based ESA in the WRAG. In your case it looks like your recent tribunal decision has not been processed by the DWP yet, although you should chase it when their open as things often go missing. One indication would be your letter from the tribunals service, have you got it through get? (They should normally send you the result in writing after the tribunal, even if you were there) as if you have not got it yet it may indicate that the tribunals service may not have I formed the DWP yet.

I know its hard not to worry, especially when the people you are dealing with over the phone do not seem to understand the very real financial impacts on claimants. Hopefully you will get it sorted when you start chasing it on Tuesday.

All the very best

Anonymouse
x
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby JimS » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:56 am

Thanks for the reply it brings a bit of brightness back in to a dark day :)

They actually gave me my letter when I re-entered the court room for their decision at the tribunal.
So I would have thought the DWP would have received their copy by now ( I have just checked the date & the tribunal was on the 7th of August) so they have had plenty of time to receive it.

Cheers Jim
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby johngis » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:14 am

Hi Jim, try and relax fella, you should have no problems now mate, your in the Support Group, so no more work focus Interviews, if you were awarded Support Group status at your tribunal, then that is what you are in, can be that the DWP system has not updated your status, this can take 3 weeks or more.

Don't forget, your benefit payment will be backdated to the day you submitted your claim. If you were on the lower rate it will be the difference between the two.

Hope this helps Jim...
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby anonymouse » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:28 am

Just an added thought from me, if you are in the Support Group foe ESA your health may make you eligible for PIP (new DLA). If your not already claiming it I would advise you have a look at the descriptors http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/377/schedule/1/made and total your points up and see if you think your eligible. If you think you are I would bang in an application. Just to warn you the journey is similar to ESA and it will take a while, probable appeals and tribunals, so you may need a rest before applying (I often say you have to be well enough for work to prove your not well enough work with this system):

For the Daily Living component a person being awarded the standard rate (after being awarded between 9 & 11 points) is referred to as having “limited ability to carry out daily living activities” and a person being awarded the enhanced rate (after being awarded 12 points or more)is referred to as having “severely limited ability to carry out daily living activities”.

For the Mobility component a person being awarded the standard rate (after being awarded between 9 & 11 points)is referred to as having “limited ability to carry out mobility activities” and a person being awarded the enhanced rate (after being awarded 12 points or more) is referred to as having “severely limited ability to carry out mobility activities”.


If you already get PIP/DLA feel free to ignore everything I say here :-) just thought I would mention in on the off chance as your having financial difficulties etc. Its only brief information and there is a lot more info out there about how the law should be interpreted and applied practically but that's the basic starter info for you.

Again, the very best of luck and hope you get it all sorted in the week.
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby JimS » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:39 am

Thanks again for the info :)

(Now where are those pain killers lol)
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby *Lisa* » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:00 pm

Not much more i can add apart from i think its bank holiday Monday so you may have to wait until Tuesday :?: :shock: I would copy your tribunal letter and send it to them by recorded delivery asap! this should move things a little faster.
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby allyson2663 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:40 pm

hi jim i was in the same boat as you and i ve got my tribunal on the 6th sept can you tell me what sort of things they asked etc as im so stressed about it all ....i last worked in 1996 when my athritus started in my spine since then was awarded incapacity indeffinately got loads of health problems now as well as fibro ......many thanks allyson
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby Graciebaby » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:04 pm

Hi,
May I just add something. I'm no expert regarding benefits claims, but I can speak from experience.

If you put in a claim for DLA/PIP and you are refused, don't take that decision as final and just give up trying.
So many people, including myself, have their claim rejected and are awarded nothing initially. Put in an appeal straight away.
I was turned down for DLA and appealed. I subsequently received a letter advising me that I had been awarded middle rate care and high rate mobility! They seem to refuse many initial applications, I imagine it's in the hope that you will just shut up and go away without arguing your case with them!
I realise that any new applications are now for PIP and I understand that the descriptors are a bit different and it's more difficult to qualify, but even so, don't give up if you are turned down initially.

G.
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby anonymouse » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:14 pm

For what's its worth my advice for a tribunal is: Get to know the descriptors the legislation sets out. If you work your own points score out you know if your lawfully eligible for the benefit and then what you need to demonstrate at a tribunal.

To get into the Work Related Activity Group you need to score 15 points under these descriptors: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/379/schedule/2/made (Note you can't add multiple scores under each descriptor, only one per descriptor counts.

To get into the support group its this criteria http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/379/schedule/3/made

The only other way is through the more rare route for severe cases which is Regulation 31 (2). The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013 Regulation 31 (2) states:

A claimant who does not have limited capability for work-related activity as determined in accordance with regulation 30(1) is to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity if—

(a) the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement; and

(b) by reason of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.


Obviously there is far more about the interpretation of these statements in the main Act however this is the "basic" essential knowledge if you want to be sure. The tribunal although a lawful court is set up for people who know nothing about the law so don't worry. It needs to be accessible to the "common person" so don't feel you have to be a lawyer, you don't. You can win without this knowledge but it sometimes helps to know what they are judging you against, word for word. Citizens advice can sometimes help and represent, if they have the people in your area. Note: There are other routes for other conditions the advice here is for people who have fibromyalgia as there primary diagnosis.

What was just added by Graciebaby is spot on. MOST people with Fibromyalgia do not get accepted at the first stage but rather on appeal or tribunal. Know the descriptors, if they apply to you do not give up, appeal, appeal appeal! :-)
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby JimS » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:08 pm

allyson2663 wrote:hi jim i was in the same boat as you and i ve got my tribunal on the 6th sept can you tell me what sort of things they asked etc as im so stressed about it all ....i last worked in 1996 when my athritus started in my spine since then was awarded incapacity indeffinately got loads of health problems now as well as fibro ......many thanks allyson


Hi Allyson

I have previously attended & won an atos appeal when it was judged on the points system score 15 points or above & you continued to get your benefits.

This time though at the atos medical the Dr said in their report I advise that a return to work is unlikely within the longer term.
So going off that in the past they would have rated me as having over 15 points.

I was therefore switched from incapacity benefit and put on to contribution based esa and placed in the work related activities group.

As I said previously I appealed this so that I could be placed in the support group so that my benefits wouldn't be stopped after 365 days.

The tribunal from what I have read do not now judge you to see if you score 15 points or more.

They base their findings on Schedule 3 of the ESA Regulations which you can view here.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013 ... ule/3/made

From what I can gather if you don't meet one of these limited descriptors (which fortunately I did) then they do not award you the appeal.

During my appeal the doctor asked me about my symptoms that met the descriptors and that was all.

The judge asked me if I had anything else to add, I asked if there was any point in discussing my fibro psoriatic arthritis etc as I knew their verdict would be based on the descriptors & he said there was no real point in talking about my other symptoms.

Now he could have said this as he knew I already met the descriptor that I had based my appeal upon.

So all I can suggest is check the list of descriptors to see if you match any of them & get a letter of you Dr saying what your health problems are that meet the descriptors and submit this to the appeals tribunal.

I hope this is of some help.

Cheers Jim
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby anonymouse » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:30 pm

Yea they first check if you meet schedule 3 for the Support Group, if you do your in, if not they then check for 15 points under Schedule 2 to see if you can go in the WRAG, if you do your in the WRAG if not you get neither. If that makes sense, if you don't meet the Support Group criteria they still have to check the 15 points its, just they didn't need to in Jim's specific case as he met the support group criteria.
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby reegogo » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:58 am

I had to ring on Friday as ESA payment had not been made and was informed it has been suspended as I am being investigated for Fraud!
i am also in support group but they would not discuss case with me and said I have to wait for an Interview.Been in support group for 2 years following a aStroke that escalated Fibro symptoms on many meds including Morphine,Thank's to our messed up Benefits system,worried sick.
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby Graciebaby » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:03 pm

Reegogo,

That's terrible! Please let us know how you deal with all this and I just hope that this nonsense blows over really quickly.
I can only imagine how you must be feeling :(


Have you got a miserable neighbour with a grudge against you or something?

G. x
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Re: Help RE: ESA

Postby *Lisa* » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:48 pm

reegogo wrote:I had to ring on Friday as ESA payment had not been made and was informed it has been suspended as I am being investigated for Fraud!
i am also in support group but they would not discuss case with me and said I have to wait for an Interview.Been in support group for 2 years following a aStroke that escalated Fibro symptoms on many meds including Morphine,Thank's to our messed up Benefits system,worried sick.



:shock: :shock: Makes you mad cause they dont tell you this you end up with no moneys and only find out when you call!! dont they realise we hve bills to pay and to get food! I dont know about you all but i live from pay day to pay day and have nothing left by end of fortnight so if they stop my moneys i'd be right in the ***** like many of you!

Why cant they have just called to say? :evil:

I would inmagine you will get a complience officer round to discuss matters and what there inbestigating.

Could be anything from having to much savings to no declaring a new bank account or you have a new partner living with you or as above family/friends/neighbours who have a grudge?

This process will take a while as they dont work it out quickly im afraid. Been there myself. I was without money for 2 months!! :yikes: ended up having to appeal taking even longer! managed to get it all backdated but my credit cards took a hammering (without them i wouldnt have survived) but the interest on this took a blow and i had to use all my over drafts etc etc again more interest so was out of pocket big time with that!

What i will also say is do you claim housing benefit?????

This may also be effected like mine was and so you need to contact them to see if they have stopped that benefit also. If they have then send in bank statement to prove your income is NIL and then its up to council by there descretion whether or not to except this and to carry on with housing benefit. Failing that if your on MRC/HRC DLA then this may also be used to help keep HB whilst claim us being sorted out.

I had to ring them every day to push it through so keep on there toes! I even emailed my local MP and told them how disgusted the system was and how i am living off credit cards to survive (someone may have not had that to fall back on)

I was refused a crises loan as i claim DLA but that goes on my therapies etc but they looked on it as i could use this for food! so my health would have suffered but they didnt care!!

You will get moneys backdated its just making sure they give you that interview ASAP or you'll be sitting around agaes.

Also the information gets logged by the complience officer/interview people then this goes to the decision makers!!! so again time consuming!!!

Get the interview ASAP then keep on there toes there after calling each day.

:goodluck2: lets us know how you get on and if you need any more info
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