Time to wait before assessment for ESA

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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby paulfoel » Tue May 05, 2015 9:36 am

*Lisa* wrote:
paulfoel wrote:Thats just appalling. Of course, income related ESA runs out after 12 months - is that right?

So if you're still waiting for an assessment they just stop the money? Thats absolutely scandalous.


Its contribution based ESA that gets stopped after a year.

No, they should transfere you onto income related ESA


If you are eligible. A lot of us would not be eligible I guess. My wife wont be. So we'll go from £1000 a month when she was working, to £320 that she gets now, to zero when the 12 months is up.

Yes, I work but not many jobs pay enough that we've got £1000 a month spare!!!!
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby clairbear » Fri May 15, 2015 2:23 am

paulfoel wrote:Thats just appalling. Of course, income related ESA runs out after 12 months - is that right?

So if you're still waiting for an assessment they just stop the money? Thats absolutely scandalous.


Hi Paul,
Sorry I didn't get a notification that you responded :roll:
I'm claiming Contribution rate because my partner works over 24hrs a week.
Unfortunately this does mean I'm not entitled to any Income Based ESA, despite low income, a mortgage in arrears and debt management that doesn't feel very managed anymore.
If your on Income based as far as I can gather you will remain on the assessment pay (£77 a week?) until your assessment is completed.
Those of us entitled to Contribution rate have it stopped after 365 days even if they haven't completed your assessment.

Its absurd and after speaking to Maximus today I can confirm that I still do not have an assessment date so mine will be a 12 month delay as of the end of this month, or if you include the first 13wks, nearly 15 months!
They also advised me not to complete another ESA50 because it will delay my claim further as I come out of the assessment queue and go back into the "form completion" stage!! So I can't even update them without losing my place in the queue.....brilliant

I'm seriously contemplating moving back home to my parents and separating from my partner because of this, not because I don't love him but because financially the strain is so severe I'm barely hanging on. My mental health is struggling and I just can't cope with no financial stability, so much so, I'm in a fibro flare again, my immune system is zero and I feel like shutting down. :cry:
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby cdcrossy » Sat May 16, 2015 10:21 am

i never knew that support group was just on going i always thought you got a 2 or 3 year award
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sat May 16, 2015 8:04 pm

clairbear wrote:If your on Income based as far as I can gather you will remain on the assessment pay (£77 a week?) until your assessment is completed.
Those of us entitled to Contribution rate have it stopped after 365 days even if they haven't completed your assessment.

Its absurd and after speaking to Maximus today I can confirm that I still do not have an assessment date so mine will be a 12 month delay as of the end of this month, or if you include the first 13wks, nearly 15 months!

From how I understand things {and I may well be wrong} no matter whether you are claiming contribution based or income based ESA, whilst you are in the Assessment Phase, you will be paid the assessment rate. It is only after you have been assessed that the 365 day limit comes into effect for those claiming contribution based ESA who areplaced in the Work Related Activity Group. For those who are placed in the Support Group and claiming contribution based ESA, their benefit will continue to be paid beyond the 365 day limit whilst they are still in the group.
cdcrossy wrote:i never knew that support group was just on going i always thought you got a 2 or 3 year award

Whilst being in the Support Group means that appts/sessions relating to taking steps towards looking at returning to some form of employment at some point don't have to be attended, claimants are still subject to the periodic reassessments that the system requires for entitlement to benefit. However, being in the Support Group does mean that those of us claiming contribution based ESA will continue to receive benefit whilst we remain in the group.
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby paulfoel » Mon May 18, 2015 3:31 pm

clairbear wrote:
paulfoel wrote:Thats just appalling. Of course, income related ESA runs out after 12 months - is that right?

So if you're still waiting for an assessment they just stop the money? Thats absolutely scandalous.


Hi Paul,
Sorry I didn't get a notification that you responded :roll:
I'm claiming Contribution rate because my partner works over 24hrs a week.
Unfortunately this does mean I'm not entitled to any Income Based ESA, despite low income, a mortgage in arrears and debt management that doesn't feel very managed anymore.
If your on Income based as far as I can gather you will remain on the assessment pay (£77 a week?) until your assessment is completed.
Those of us entitled to Contribution rate have it stopped after 365 days even if they haven't completed your assessment.

Its absurd and after speaking to Maximus today I can confirm that I still do not have an assessment date so mine will be a 12 month delay as of the end of this month, or if you include the first 13wks, nearly 15 months!
They also advised me not to complete another ESA50 because it will delay my claim further as I come out of the assessment queue and go back into the "form completion" stage!! So I can't even update them without losing my place in the queue.....brilliant

I'm seriously contemplating moving back home to my parents and separating from my partner because of this, not because I don't love him but because financially the strain is so severe I'm barely hanging on. My mental health is struggling and I just can't cope with no financial stability, so much so, I'm in a fibro flare again, my immune system is zero and I feel like shutting down. :cry:


Thats nuts they can just stop it because its taken a year. They should keep paying.
Might encourage them to shorten the queue a bit then.

Sorry to hear things are like that. The way they treat people is awful - it just encourages people to do things like this.
Im so grateful sometimes that my income is plenty still. Like I said, £1000 is a lot but its not the end of the world.....
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby paulfoel » Mon May 18, 2015 3:39 pm

FluppyPuffy wrote:
clairbear wrote:If your on Income based as far as I can gather you will remain on the assessment pay (£77 a week?) until your assessment is completed.
Those of us entitled to Contribution rate have it stopped after 365 days even if they haven't completed your assessment.

Its absurd and after speaking to Maximus today I can confirm that I still do not have an assessment date so mine will be a 12 month delay as of the end of this month, or if you include the first 13wks, nearly 15 months!

From how I understand things {and I may well be wrong} no matter whether you are claiming contribution based or income based ESA, whilst you are in the Assessment Phase, you will be paid the assessment rate. It is only after you have been assessed that the 365 day limit comes into effect for those claiming contribution based ESA who areplaced in the Work Related Activity Group. For those who are placed in the Support Group and claiming contribution based ESA, their benefit will continue to be paid beyond the 365 day limit whilst they are still in the group.
cdcrossy wrote:i never knew that support group was just on going i always thought you got a 2 or 3 year award

Whilst being in the Support Group means that appts/sessions relating to taking steps towards looking at returning to some form of employment at some point don't have to be attended, claimants are still subject to the periodic reassessments that the system requires for entitlement to benefit. However, being in the Support Group does mean that those of us claiming contribution based ESA will continue to receive benefit whilst we remain in the group.


Yes would seem to be a bit unfair to stop after 365 when you're still waiting for assessment. Then again it could be a sudden stop too if you get assessed and lumped into the work group.
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby clairbear » Wed May 20, 2015 9:00 am

FluppyPuffy wrote:From how I understand things {and I may well be wrong} no matter whether you are claiming contribution based or income based ESA, whilst you are in the Assessment Phase, you will be paid the assessment rate. It is only after you have been assessed that the 365 day limit comes into effect for those claiming contribution based ESA who areplaced in the Work Related Activity Group. For those who are placed in the Support Group and claiming contribution based ESA, their benefit will continue to be paid beyond the 365 day limit whilst they are still in the group.


Hi Fluffy - Unfortunately they changed the rules either last year or the year before on the 365 day rule.
Contribution Based ESA is 365 days maximum from start of claim unless you are assessed and placed in the Support Group within that period.
So in my case I've had 365 days (March-March) on assessment phase as I'm still waiting for my appointment.
Dependent on the outcome I still might not get a further years benefits (if placed in a WRAG) however I would be paid all my back pay from week 13-52 which is over £1000 in benefit.

The Work Related Activity Group would also cease your Conts ESA after 365 days, the only difference is, you've received more benefit between week 13 & 52 and can reapply under a 13 week rule and maybe still entitled to another years Conts if you've paid enough stamp.

I've been told because I still haven't been assessed if I apply under the 13wk rule (as I do have enough stamp for another year) they will close this current claim and start it again, meaning I've missed out on over £1000 worth of benefit (be it WRAG or SG).

Now this is difficult because whilst financially we're struggling and attempting to reclaim would help even to get the extra £70ish a week I feel I shouldn't because I have back pay pending once assessed (I am making the assumption that in the last year I have not been fit to work!)

I get the distinct feeling that DWP want you to close the old claims down & reapply - it makes their figures look nice, their bank balance a little larger and I get pushed to the back of the queue for another year - being an EX DWP worker for 11 years I can't be blamed for being cynical!
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby FluppyPuffy » Wed May 20, 2015 9:23 am

Thanks for that clarification clairbear xx I'm not at all surprised at your cynicism with you being a former DWP employee, sadly it's something that is rife pretty much everywhere these days :-( What you're thinking about new claims being started and old ones being closed off to make the figures look far nicer may well be one of the targets they're aiming for!!!

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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby Zia2014 » Wed May 20, 2015 10:38 am

Hi Clair,

This is really helpful (and sucks) - thanks. Is it the same for Income based? I try reading the guidance and end up like this :crazy:

clairbear wrote:
Hi Fluffy - Unfortunately they changed the rules either last year or the year before on the 365 day rule.
Contribution Based ESA is 365 days maximum from start of claim unless you are assessed and placed in the Support Group within that period.
So in my case I've had 365 days (March-March) on assessment phase as I'm still waiting for my appointment.
Dependent on the outcome I still might not get a further years benefits (if placed in a WRAG) however I would be paid all my back pay from week 13-52 which is over £1000 in benefit.

The Work Related Activity Group would also cease your Conts ESA after 365 days, the only difference is, you've received more benefit between week 13 & 52 and can reapply under a 13 week rule and maybe still entitled to another years Conts if you've paid enough stamp.

I've been told because I still haven't been assessed if I apply under the 13wk rule (as I do have enough stamp for another year) they will close this current claim and start it again, meaning I've missed out on over £1000 worth of benefit (be it WRAG or SG).

Now this is difficult because whilst financially we're struggling and attempting to reclaim would help even to get the extra £70ish a week I feel I shouldn't because I have back pay pending once assessed (I am making the assumption that in the last year I have not been fit to work!)

I get the distinct feeling that DWP want you to close the old claims down & reapply - it makes their figures look nice, their bank balance a little larger and I get pushed to the back of the queue for another year - being an EX DWP worker for 11 years I can't be blamed for being cynical!
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby clairbear » Thu May 21, 2015 12:35 am

Zia2014 wrote:Hi Clair,

This is really helpful (and sucks) - thanks. Is it the same for Income based? I try reading the guidance and end up like this :crazy:



Hey Zia,

Its like a minefield isn't it..full of jargon like descriptors and points systems that seem to lend themselves to some bizarre countdown number puzzle! :lol:

If you claim Income based (IB) ESA and are accepted into the initial assessment phase (i.e you provide the claim form, medical notes etc to meet the basic criteria) you will receive the ESA assessment rate until you have a decision either via assessment or from the Decision Maker.

The 13 week assessment phase still applies (all claims have the lower rate ESA paid weeks 1-13) so from week 14 you should be paid at either the Work Group or Support Group rates until your next assessment.

Their are no time limits at present on Income Based ESA as it is dependent on income in your household and other factors such as partners, children & other benefits/income.
So if you are entitled to Income Based ESA I wouldn't worry about the money just stopping after a year, it won't, unless you have a change of circumstance or a decision made.

Hope this makes it clearer - just yell if there's something specific your not sure about and I'll see if I can help :-D
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby sarahsnow » Thu May 21, 2015 1:28 pm

I never got a medical form to fill out within the 13 week assessment stage....I didnt even know about it. I eventually got it about 4 weeks before my 365days were up. I was on income based esa which stopped after the 365days and have not received anything since because my husband works. Not sure if there is an income cut off point like if your partner works 16hrs or under. I have since stopped myclaim as I had filled in the form an sent back but icouldnt make any of the appointments theysent me and technically I am still employed anyyway!!
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby Zia2014 » Thu May 21, 2015 1:44 pm

clairbear wrote:Hey Zia,

Its like a minefield isn't it..full of jargon like descriptors and points systems that seem to lend themselves to some bizarre countdown number puzzle! :lol:


You are not kidding - I just realised I have applied for contribution based! :roll: :crazy:

I sent off the form, with a 'date from' about a week prior as that's when my fitnote was done. Does that matter? Do they go from the date I put on the form or the date they get it? And when will I hear back from them?

Sorry for all the questions, this is making my anxiety go through the roof and I haven't even done the hard bit yet! :oops:
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby paulfoel » Fri May 22, 2015 10:26 am

*Lisa* wrote:A few years back when i first started to claim ESA it was 14weeks. I was on the standered rate waiting which was around £50 a week and then they had to assess you within the 14 weeks and put you into a group if you passsed. So i was all done and dusted within 3 months but by the looks of the replies its all different now!

I know PIP is the worst! my daughter waited 18months for a medical and after all of that she was denied!! :roll:


ESA been waiting since Jan. PIP applied for in march took about two weeks for appt letter. (But see my other thread for that one!)
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby paulfoel » Fri May 22, 2015 10:29 am

clairbear wrote:
FluppyPuffy wrote:From how I understand things {and I may well be wrong} no matter whether you are claiming contribution based or income based ESA, whilst you are in the Assessment Phase, you will be paid the assessment rate. It is only after you have been assessed that the 365 day limit comes into effect for those claiming contribution based ESA who areplaced in the Work Related Activity Group. For those who are placed in the Support Group and claiming contribution based ESA, their benefit will continue to be paid beyond the 365 day limit whilst they are still in the group.


Hi Fluffy - Unfortunately they changed the rules either last year or the year before on the 365 day rule.
Contribution Based ESA is 365 days maximum from start of claim unless you are assessed and placed in the Support Group within that period.
So in my case I've had 365 days (March-March) on assessment phase as I'm still waiting for my appointment.
Dependent on the outcome I still might not get a further years benefits (if placed in a WRAG) however I would be paid all my back pay from week 13-52 which is over £1000 in benefit.

The Work Related Activity Group would also cease your Conts ESA after 365 days, the only difference is, you've received more benefit between week 13 & 52 and can reapply under a 13 week rule and maybe still entitled to another years Conts if you've paid enough stamp.

I've been told because I still haven't been assessed if I apply under the 13wk rule (as I do have enough stamp for another year) they will close this current claim and start it again, meaning I've missed out on over £1000 worth of benefit (be it WRAG or SG).

Now this is difficult because whilst financially we're struggling and attempting to reclaim would help even to get the extra £70ish a week I feel I shouldn't because I have back pay pending once assessed (I am making the assumption that in the last year I have not been fit to work!)

I get the distinct feeling that DWP want you to close the old claims down & reapply - it makes their figures look nice, their bank balance a little larger and I get pushed to the back of the queue for another year - being an EX DWP worker for 11 years I can't be blamed for being cynical!


Confused. What week 13 got to do with it?
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Re: Time to wait before assessment for ESA

Postby clairbear » Sat May 23, 2015 1:23 am

paulfoel wrote:Confused. What week 13 got to do with it?


Hi Paul,
A couple of years back the first 13 weeks of a claim to ESA (contribution based) was not taken into account for the 365 days of ESA you were entitled to - this has since changed and from day one of your claim they start the count down :(
Basically the lower rate payment wasn't included in the 365day rules as back then (a long time ago) they got assessments done a hell of a lot quicker. Doesn't affect the timing of a claim from their end but certainly makes a difference to those of us claiming! xx

Zia2014 wrote:
I sent off the form, with a 'date from' about a week prior as that's when my fitnote was done. Does that matter? Do they go from the date I put on the form or the date they get it? And when will I hear back from them?

Sorry for all the questions, this is making my anxiety go through the roof and I haven't even done the hard bit yet! :oops:


Hi Zia,
Sorry I've ticked the notification box now so I see replies :roll: #Iblamefibrofog :-D
I wouldn't worry to much about your date - they will probably question it with you or check it against your medical note, it depends if you are still on other benefits or employed - either way a nice person processing the claim will contact you if they are not certain.

I know its easy to say but don't let this bit make you anxious - By & large the processors are all normal nice people who just work from the ESA1 - they assess your eligibility, check all other benefits etc and will send you a letter pretty quick, I'm sure I has a confirmation within a week and benefit within 3.
If you've claimed Contribution based but don't have enough National Insurance Stamp they will let you know and offer you to complete the Income based part (which is tedious) - Complete this as best you can, maybe ask someone to help you if the form seems a little bewildering, it's huge but mainly tick boxes, but it is quite in depth so make sure you have all the information to hand about income, savings. benefits, pensions, HB, CTB etc, otherwise you'll be going backwards and forwards for it all!

The biggest step you have is the ESA50 - I believe their is now an ESA50 online that can be completed, if this would help you, request it from Maximus when they send your first paper version, complete it in your own time (I think you have 4 weeks to return it) print it and return it - otherwise do as I did and use the paper version, sit and write on the days you can, my writing these days is terrible my fingers hurt so much (fortunately PC's have spelling and save modes lol) xxx

sarahsnow wrote:I never got a medical form to fill out within the 13 week assessment stage....I didnt even know about it. I eventually got it about 4 weeks before my 365days were up. I was on income based esa which stopped after the 365days and have not received anything since because my husband works. Not sure if there is an income cut off point like if your partner works 16hrs or under. I have since stopped myclaim as I had filled in the form an sent back but icouldnt make any of the appointments theysent me and technically I am still employed anyyway!!


Woah Sarah that's rough but not unheard of, Atos dropped the ball often with the ESA50 medical forms, if you are income based they shouldn't stop it, however in their eyes it seems like they have sanctioned you on the basis of non completion of your medical form.
If you're not up for fighting then that's fine and you mention you have employment (was it permitted work?) but still they should have informed you of the reason for stopping it.
You still had a right to an assessment and any potential back pay you may have been awarded - and what appointments did they ask you to attend? In my whole time claiming I've spoken physically to the Jobcentre once, told them I was too ill to come to an appointment when I wasn't even getting any benefit and they said fine, we'll speak in a few months! The Jobcentre team were pretty good with me, honest and did talk through options like college and training when I felt up to it and didn't pressurise me, which surprised me, knowing how much pressure most of the staff are under for "targets!"
Good luck with things going forward xxx
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