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Thread: Esa

  1. #1
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    Esa

    Hi all im new to this I had a health assessment last wk I suffer with aurtheriteus in my knee im waiting for knee opperation also I suffer from depression and panic attacks I received a phone call earlier to say iv not past and iv got to sign on jsa on Tuesday how do they expect me to work wen I use a crutch and incontinent due to hysterectomy could u tell me how I go about reply for esa again as I dont know which way to turn I got no family to turn to as both parents died recently

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi lisajeff,

    There is a procedure to follow if you have been found fit-for-work following a Work Capability Assessment.
    You ask them to reconsider their decision (A Mandatory Reconsideration) and if they don't change their mind then you make an appeal to the Independant Tribunal.

    You should not make a new claim at this time.
    You could make a fresh ESA claim now, and they will accept the new claim but will not pay ESA at assessment rate for any new claim you make now.
    (This is because you have just been found fit-for-work after a WCA, you would still have to claim JSA during the full time any reclaim takes).
    OK, we know you do not consider yourself to be fit-for-work, but that is what they have decided and so you have to fight their decision.

    When you get a letter saying that they have refused you it will tell you on the letter how to ask for the Mandatory Reconsideration.

    You may want to contact CAB or another welfare organisation close to you to get help with this.
    You are not the only one facing this situation, the welfare organisations help with many of these Mandatory Reconsiderations every day so they know how best to go about it.

    In the meantime the advice below explains just what happens now.
    And yes, you will have to claim JSA/UC while the Mandatory Reconsideration is going on. Don't Panic - read below about going on an 'Extended Period of Sickness' whilst claiming JSA/UC.

    How Mandatory Reconsideration and Having to claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) works.

    Mandatory Reconsideration-

    Your first step is to start by following the instructions in the rejection letter you've received to request a Mandatory Reconsideration.
    You only have a month from the date on the letter to do this so don't hang about.
    (From now on keep notes of all phone calls and copies of all letters sent, get at least proof of posting for all letters).

    You should do this by first phoning them, saying that you want a MR and that you will be making a written submission.
    While on the phone request from them your Assessment Report (ESA85) and the Decision Makers report (LT54), these will help you to see why you were refused and what to concentrate on to try and get your points score increased.

    Use this information to write a letter explaining why you think the original decision was wrong.
    Just explain why you think you qualify for the points on the relevant descriptors.

    Don't go into things like "what the assessor wrote was I lie, I never said that". That is for a complaint not a MR.
    You are having another chance here to influence a Decision Maker with the facts, arguing with what the assessor wrote will not help.

    (Expect this MR to fail, not all do but most do, think of it as a practice for your appeal - most of which win).

    Claiming JSA whilst awaiting MR- (see below for Universal Credit).

    Whilst you are waiting for the MR you will have to claim Jobseekers Allowance if you want to keep receiving benefit.
    If it then goes to appeal after MR you can go back onto assessment rate ESA until the tribunal decision. (Provided you were on ESA, assessment or full rate before the fit-for-work decision).

    If you have been claiming JSA during MR then you have to ask to be put back onto assessment rate. The advisors are told not to ask you.
    Or you can stay on JSA, the jobcentres prefer you to stay on JSA but it's up to you.

    The Jobcentres are aware of this strange situation, when you sign onto JSA you tell them you are doing so because of an ESA MR and they don't give you the same claimant commitments as a regular jobseeker.
    (Be careful what you say though, if you refuse to do any jobseekers comitments at all they can refuse your JSA claim; they shouldn't but some bad advisors do).

    The fact that you are having to claim JSA in this situation has no bearing whatsoever on your MR (or your tribunal appeal if needed).
    The MR (and tribunal) can only consider the circumstances at the date of your original claim, not what has happened since then.

    If they try to give you commitments that are too difficult for you all you can do is remind them that you are awaiting a ESA reconsideration because you have ill health.
    Try to point out how you condition affects your ability to do the commitments they ask for.
    For example, they may ask you to do so many hours searching for jobs. As most of this is done on a computer these days say that you can do this at home but cannot manage to go to the Jobcentre multiple times a week.

    Unfortunately the current government stance is that you have been found fit-for-work at a WCA and so have to claim JSA until found not-capable-of-work at MR (or until you appeal to tribunal).

    Extended Period of Sickness whilst on JSA-
    Changes to the JSA rules mean that those claiming Jobseekers Alowance can have a period of 'Extended Sickness' for up to 13 weeks.
    So if you sign on to JSA during your Mandatory reconsideration, you should be able to supply 'sicknotes' and you can go into this 13 week sickness period.

    The rules/guidance say that JSA must be ‘in payment’ before you can go on extended sickness, so you should sign on for JSA first telling them you are doing an ESA MR; and then go sick once your first JSA payment has been made.
    (If you try to go sick before your first payment they may refuse your JSA claim altogether).

    Hopefully the MR will have been completed before these 13 weeks are up and you will have been awarded ESA or can go back onto assessment rate during appeal.

    Universal Credit Areas
    In Universal Credit ‘Full Service’ areas you claim Universal Credit instead of JSA.
    In Universal Credit ‘Live Service’ areas you still claim JSA because:
    • Although new claims for Income Related JSA (and IR ESA) have been replaced by Universal Credit in some areas this is only for new claims that fit the 'Gateway Conditions'.
    • Claims for IR JSA (and IR ESA) are still valid if you do not satisfy the UC Gateway Conditions.
    • Currently Because your existing ESA claim has gone to Mandatory Reconsideration you do not fit the Gateway Conditions and so are still able to claim Income Related JSA during your MR.
    • If you are in a UC ‘live service’ area and they try to make you claim UC instead of JSA, politely point out that you do not fit the Gateway Conditions.

    Contribution Based ESA or JSA is not affected by UC and you should be able to claim CB JSA during an ESA MR.
    (Although there is a six month limit for CB JSA, which in this case includes the time spent on CB ESA asessment rate).

    Housing Benefit and Council Tax-

    You should let your Council know what is happening, for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Relief reasons.
    They have probably already been informed by the DWP that your ESA has stopped.

    Again they are used to this situation with MRs now and as long as they know you should have no problems; or at least less problems than if you don't tell them.
    Last edited by nukecad; 04-20-2017 at 08:51 PM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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