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Thread: ESA stopped after assessment

  1. #1
    New Member Azriel's Avatar
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    ESA stopped after assessment

    Hello, I am new, this is my 1st post & its about my son. I am also disabled & will probably be looking for support soon myself Anyhoo, My son is 22yrs old, has severe social anxiety amongst other mental issues, has been getting ESA for 3 yrs due to that, had an assessment & was immediately turned down for continuing ESA. They didn't think he was ill enough. They want him to get JSA & attend the very thing that makes him so utterly ill & that's, to face crowds & people & put him in the stressful position he has a mental problem with ! Its all very well to say Fight it & appeal but, this has thrown him & he's very panic stricken now. He cant cope with the ordinary daily things we can, its too over whelming for him. He wont attend JSA I know that. Is there any hope for him ? How dare these idiot assessors sit there & make judgements in a few minutes on people that can seriously affect that person irreparably !

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but the advice is still to ask for Mandatory Reconsideration and then appeal if necessary.

    He may be able to go sick for up to 13 weeks once his JSA claim is in payment, which should reduce the need to attend or cancel it altogeter.

    The other alternative? - Don't claim anything and starve/become homeless.

    I do sympathise, we all know that what goes on is wrong.
    But the only way currently to fight their stupid decisions is through the MR/appeal route.

    Unless the law gets changed then this is the situation that we are all stuck with, so write to your MP they are the ones who make and change the laws.

    If you do decide to ask for MR and appeal then you should get help from CAB or a similar advice service close to you.

    Here is my standard advice about MR and having to claim JSA, in particular have a read of the bit about going on Extended Sickness when having to claim JSA.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    How Mandatory Reconsideration and Having to claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit (UC) 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, or Universal Credit 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/UC you tell them you are doing so because of an ESA MR and they don't (shouldnt) 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/UC claim; they shouldn't but some bad advisors do).

    The fact that you are having to claim JSA/UC 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/UC until found not-capable-of-work at MR (or until you appeal to tribunal).

    Extended Period of Sickness whilst claiming JSA-
    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 extended sickness are up and you will have been awarded ESA, or can go back onto ESA 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 Live Service 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.

    Again if you have to appeal to the court you can ask to go back onto ESA once your appeal is accepted by the court, but you should be aware that Jobcenters routinely, wrongly, tell people that they cannot go back to ESA during appeal once they have claimed UC.
    This is wrong, the law says that you can.
    If that happens to you ask us for more advice.

    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.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  3. #3
    New Member Azriel's Avatar
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    Hiya Nukecad. Thank you for reply. I know all you say is true. I fought Benefits for 3 years about my disability & know full well the horror of it all. I know so many people go thru hell every day, not including coping with illness, but surviving & fighting with the DWP, its wrong but, its happening every day, every week. And to be honest none of the 'big wigs' will look favourably on us until every last one of them come down with something unpleasant themselves. I think I panicked when my son got the news via a phone call. Panicked because I live with him & see what he goes thru. Thank you again tho for your help. We just gotta keep battling, don't give up or give in !

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi Azriel,

    I had guessed that your first post was a 'just got the letter' rant.
    I've done a few myself - some posted, others not.
    It can help to get it off your chest so you can start planning your attack.

    I just made another post about the number of appeals being made at the moment.

    There were 47,785 appeals about ESA decisions made in the first six months of this year.
    Current figures from HMCT show that around 68% of these are sucessful. (Which would be 32,490 DWP ESA decisions/refusals overturned in the last six months).

    So the appeal system is working even when the DWP is not.

    I hope that your son appeals, and is successful as many others have been.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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