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  • ESA Appeal

    Hey guys,

    Just realised I hadn't put details of my ESA appeal up yet! lol

    Don't necessarily need any help at this stage, but in case I need future help, or indeed my situation helps others, it's always a good thing

    Ok, so, I had been on Incapacity benefit since October 2001, DLA since October 2003, due to Mental Health problems.

    In November 2012, I was sent a letter to say that after reviewing my details for the migration from IB to ESA, I had been placed in the ESA work group.

    To be totally honest, I had no idea what this meant, and noted that the money was going to remain the same, so didn't bother chasing it up, as it stated in the letter that someone would be in contact with me soon to discuss this.

    A month later the Jobcentre wrote to me saying I had to go into the centre for an interview about getting back into work etc.

    Well, I rang them straight away to say that would be impossible, as I am basically house bound, from agoraphobia and anxiety.

    The woman I spoke to was extremely nice, and explained what the ESA work portion meant, and that I would have to come into the centre or lose my beneifts. She did say however for the first couple of appointments she would be willing to do telephone interviews, whilst I researched the appeal process etc.

    Now I knew what the ESA work was all about, researched it and how to appeal.

    But I was already at a disadvantage. I had moved in 2011 from where I was originally assessed by mental health, had ongoing treatments etc since 2001.

    My new GP I only ever saw about getting repeat prescriptions since moving, and decided that my best option was to re-engage with the local mental health team, and get them to assess me, as I had never had an ATOS medical exam, as my doctors always sent them letters to say I can be assessed at the surgery or my home, but not travel.

    It took me from mid-December 2012 until mid-April 2013 to see docs, get referal to MH team, to chase them constantly to get a home visit, then an assessment I could send to DWP...! Nightmare, but had to be done!

    In April, I sent in my appeal, with the appropriate form, the MH team assessment and a covering letter explaining my situation and detailing all the actions and dates of all appointments etc to get the assessment, which explained why I was appealing outside the 1 month deadline.

    I got a letter back from them on the 23rd of April to say they have received my appeal.

    To date, I have heard nothing more from them.

    But, in anticipation of a decision I don't agree with, I have been through the work capability assessment they use, and personally totalled 69 points. I've written a statement for my MH social worker to sign, agreeing to that assessment (of course although I think I total 69, whether she does or not is a different matter! lol).

    Anyway, I'm all set and waiting for them to respond, so I can either take action, or rejoice I was able to get it sorted first time round! (unlikely, but I do live in hope )

    So that is how things stand at the moment! I'm thinking I need to call and nag them into making a decision one way or the other soon, but all the information I can find says there is no set time limit they have to respond within

    Fact is, I'm still getting the same money paid to me, Jobcentre are not hassling me anymore, as they know I have appealed, so don't want to rock the boat and have them decide to withdraw benefits or something else!

    Will keep you all updated on progress, and if you want any further details/clarification, let me know


    On a side note, I thought I would be cheeky

    I decided to apply for a budgeting loan, as I have been on the work related ESA benefit for over 26 weeks now, but if I were on the support section I wouldn't be entitled to apply! Madness that has annoyed me for some years, when a social fund loan of any kind could of helped me out on more than a few occasions, but not applicable to me cos of the benefit they put me on! Just a pet hate, so that's why I'm being cheeky Whether they allow it is debatable, but technically, I should be entitled under their rules, right?
    Last edited by mark.1980; 10 June 2013, 19:19.

  • #2
    Re: ESA Appeal

    Good luck seem very well organised...nothing ventured nothing gained!


    • #3
      Re: ESA Appeal


      Just received a decision on my Budgeting Loan application today.

      Denied because: you are not getting Income Support, income based Jobseeker's Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit.

      So fed up with this, especially as I could of used that money for my portion of the moving costs we are going to have to find by years end


      • #4
        Re: ESA Appeal

        There has been a new reply from DWP about my appeal!

        Although, looking at the reply they sent me on April, and this new reply I got today, I don't see much progress, or change from the first letter...

        Looks like a fob off, while they continue to deal with the backdated claims of the thousands of other poor bastards they forced into this stupid process!

        Anyway, have a look what 2 months of difference looks like!
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Re: ESA Appeal

          by the way, the first DWP address in April I took off, as it was my local Jobcentre address. I left the Wembley adress on the other one, so that if someone else has an appeal to send, maybe sending it directly there will save you waiting 2 months to get to that stage!

          Maybe not, and there will be another address in 2 months, who knows! lol


          • #6
            Re: ESA Appeal

            They have no time scales now in which to make a decision as the rules have changed and swung heavily in their favour.

            Not sure if you got this appeal in before these rules changed or not though but suffice to say legal aid for these appeals has also stopped.

            The DWP is bordering on criminality in what they are doing and is leading to many Judicial Reviews.


            • #7
              Re: ESA Appeal

              Hmmm, I guess I'm quite lucky, in as much as my benefits are still being paid at the same rate as the Incapacity rate I was getting, before they moved me over to ESAW. Well, up until the 365 days limit, which is November 2013, will they have done anything by then... lol

              But, I'm still up for a fight :P

              Thankfully, as I alluded to in my first post, I went online, and found the Work Capability Assessment questionnaire that ATOS use to send to the DWP.

              I actually wrote to my social worker yesterday, and said that the DWP were unlikely to accept her assessment, as it was not outlined in a way that makes it clear enough for them (they is special and needs help!)

              So I asked her to do another letter, with an intro and end, but in the middle asked that she copied the 17 numbered statements that I wrote out.

              Again, another department that has had cuts, but an increased work load, means she does not really have the time or resources to be much of a help to me, but that's fine, as I know what needs doing, wrote a draft letter for her to get a secretary to copy, sign and send back to me on official headed paper, shouldn't be too much hassle for her! lol

              I don't think she will have a problem in doing this, but if she does, she can just come visit me again, and I can go through it in more detail with her

              It isn't as if I am lying about anything I am asking her to do, as, of the 17 questions, there are 10 I have no issue in doing. But the other 7 do effect me, and anyone else with the same mental health diagnoses I have. They total 69 points, above the minimum 15 points needed. I have of course changed the wording slightly, to make it more relevant to a mental health issue, but the result is the same:

              1. Mark cannot travel unaided for 50 meters or more without extreme discomfort, due to agoraphobia.
              2. Mark cannot settle either sitting or standing for long periods of time, due to his anxiety.
              3. Mark has no trouble reaching.
              4. Mark has no problem picking things up or moving things.
              5. Mark has no problems with manual dexterity.
              6. Mark has no problems making myself understood to others.
              7. Mark has no problem in understanding others.
              8. Mark cannot travel unaided in unfamiliar surroundings.
              9. Mark has no problems with my bowels or bladder.
              10. Mark has no issues with consciousness.
              11. Mark has no problems with learning tasks.
              12. Mark has no issue with being aware of everyday hazards.
              13. Mark has no problems with completing personal action plans.
              14. Mark is unable to cope with appointments, or changes to appointments, due to the stress that it causes him.
              15. Mark is unable to go travel to unfamiliar locations, especially unaccompanied.
              16. Mark is unable to cope with social interactions with unfamiliar people unaided.
              17. Mark can exhibit behaviour that would be unreasonable in a work place during an anxiety attack.
              So yeah, this is my next step, I am giving her a week to receive the letter, then call her and make sure she has read it, then 2 weeks to wirte and send it to me, to send to DWP.

              Such a timely process, but this government has forced me into a fight, and I am not going to back down!
              Last edited by mark.1980; 20 June 2013, 19:00.


              • #8
                Re: ESA Appeal

                6/8 weeks BEFORE your contribution ESA runs out remember to phone and get the form for income related ESA and get it sent off afterwise you will be up the river without a paddle.


                • #9
                  Re: ESA Appeal

                  Never give up Mark as that is what they want I am fighting this too so we are both in the same club.


                  • #10
                    Re: ESA Appeal

                    Oh I won't!

                    All their 'statistics' saying less people on these benefits are a load of bull, and just means they have left people unable or unaware of how to fight back, and, for those who are fighting, we're left in limbo waiting for them to pull their finger out and actually do the appeals in a timely fashion!

                    That's what they are relying on to spout these pathetic lies on how great they are!


                    • #11
                      Re: ESA Appeal

                      Indeed I am well aware, also do not believe the unemployment statistics as they too are a load of baloney in which they do not count those on a sanction or on workfare.

                      The real unemployment figure is much higher and this government is shite scared of revealing it because it is over 3m already due to all the cutbacks which the private sector has not fully swallowed.

                      I for one remember the days pre 2007 when their was 15+ pages of both skilled and unskilled jobs in the local press that is now down to just 2 maybe 3 pages of jobs which are mainly cleaners or carers.

                      Indeed local press can tell a lot in how this country is heading.
                      Last edited by pompeyfaith; 20 June 2013, 19:18.


                      • #12
                        Re: ESA Appeal

                        As I updated the other thread I had, thought I would this one as well.

                        Leon already knows the result, but:

                        I won!

                        I didn't have to go to the tribunal!

                        I sent them in a letter from my GP to say that expecting me to do the WRAG with my conditions was impossible and they reversed their decision!

                        So hassle free on ESA Support for 1 year! Wahoo!

                        I do have another issue with them, that being that because my IB benefit payments were higher than the rate they set for ESA, they are not increasing my benefit amount, in fact telling me I will have to wait 5 years until everyone else catches up to my amount for the annual uprating percentage to be added to my benefit.

                        But that is a fight I am still on, and will continue to do so through DWP Complaints until they confirm that is my situation, then I'll be asking for the DWP General to review the whole case, including the AUP issue and if he doesn't overturn it, then onto the Independent Case Review for them to look it over. At that point I can them get legal aid! lol

                        So, a long road still ahead, but less stress at least with the Support decision to fight further at least


                        • #13
                          Re: ESA Appeal

                          That's good news Mark
                          Let your smile change the world but don't let the world change your smile

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                          • #14
                            Re: ESA Appeal

                            More good news, brilliant Mark
                            "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride"


                            • #15
                              Re: ESA Appeal

                              SUPERB news mark well done!

                              i'm starting the roundabout again..won my appeal in may this year now ATOS (sers) sent me another ESA50 form despite being in the support group now..mental heath CAB specialist and my support worker are meeting next week to sort AGAIN