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Thread: ESA Assessment - sent home without being assessed

  1. #1

    ESA Assessment - sent home without being assessed

    Hi,

    First of all, thanks for this forum. I've learned a lot from peoples posts and the advice given. I haven't heard anyone having had my experience though so would appreciate advice.

    I have been on Income Support and Severe Disability Allowance for many years and am now applying for ESA. I filled out my ESA50 form thoroughly and got a letter calling me to an assessment. I sent an email asking for it to be recorded and that was confirmed the next day. When the day of my assessment came, I was told they were running late and would I be able to wait. They said it'd probably be an hour so we agreed I'd go away and come back 40 minutes later. When I came back I waved to the receptionist who then came over with a form I had to sign agreeing to the assessment being recorded. I signed that and waited and waited and waited. Even with my hearing aid, I'm quite deaf so when I seen a man come an hour later and call a name and go away without anyone following him I went and checked if it was my name. It wasn't so went back to waiting. Forty minutes later, I asked at the desk for an update and the staff were very concerned and confused I'd been waiting so long. I was twice asked if I'd been for my assessment. One member of staff went to go to a room but stopped and said to the others that the door was closed. Then a lady came out and said to me:
    We have all the information we need. You'll get a letter but it won't be about another assessment.
    I went away feeling quite stunned! I'd been preparing and feeling anxious about this assessment for ages and then it never happened!

    So my questions are:
    1) Why no assessment?
    a) Paperwork mistake. Called in for assessment by mistake.
    b) Ran out of time to do assessment so decided not to do it. Maybe they took one look at my obvious physical deformities and decided not to bother.

    2) As I understand it, they can't turn down a claim for ESA without an assessment so I should expect a decision letter in about 2 to 4 weeks putting me in WRAG or SG?

  2. #2
    Sounds to me like they're going to decide on paper which means you can't be turned down for it. I'd try ringing DWP itself in a week and see if they have any update on your claim

  3. #3
    Its possible they didn't have time, and picked you out as 1 to cancel. Maybe they "observed" you walking with cctv, and you're clearly disabled, or they believe you can mobilize more than 200 metres. Where did you go, and what did you do for the 40 mins?

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I remember reading a couple of months ago that Maximus had been told by the DWP to do more F2F assessments and less on paper only, so they have been calling in people who don't realy need to be seen.

    This is actually worse for Maximus.
    They get paid a set amount for each assessment, £190, so if they can do it on paper only they make more money than doing a F2F.
    And of course doing them on paper will get the queues down faster.

    Sounds like you were one of these and so when they were short of time they just did it on the paperwork, as they should have done in the first place.

    You are right that you cannot be found fit-for-work without a face to face assessment.
    (Unless you fail to turn up for the assessment without 'good reason').


    EDIT- here is the article I mentioned seeing:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35256386

    A line from that article, (My highlighting)
    The new contract requires an increased number of face-to-face assessments - with more staff needed to carry them out.
    So Maximus have been required by the DWP to do more F2Fs, whether they are needed or not.
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-03-2016 at 08:32 AM.
    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.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies.

    PuthNation - I think I'll do that if I don't hear soon.

    abcd69 - Fortunately, I don't have any mental health or mobility issues. Thankfully, I have a good pair of legs and if they asked about hobbies, I was going to tell them about my hill walking. I parked miles away from the centre where it was free. If I had to use a parking meter, I'd probably drop more money than I'd put in the meter. It also meant I didn't have to worry about running out of time on a meter. The walk back gave me time to unwind afterwards too!

    nukecad - That sounds very feasible.

    Here's one thing that's helped me. As I've been unable to fill out my forms by hand, I have all my applications on my PC. My last DLA application was successful and I used some of the information to help me fill out my ESA from. Then when my PIP form came, it was a lot easier as I had a lot of information to start with. I just added more detail. Next time I get a form, I'm going to send some photos of my disabilities too. Hopefully that will save this sort of farce happening again.

  6. #6
    Major panic - noticed I was even more overdrawn than normal and my income support had stopped being paid. I phoned them up and they could see no reason for it. The guy pressed a button or something and I got my money through a few days later.

    I asked about my ESA application as well but they had nothing on it.

    I've got the date for my PIP assessment now so will see what happens with that.

  7. #7
    Had my PIP assessment. I forgot to ask for it to be recorded -doh! Anyway, it seemed to go well. Only 2 other people in waiting room and assessor was only a few minutes late. I had brought a copy of the information I had put in my PIP form and the assessor asked if she could use it to help her go through the process. Although they have your PIP form, they can't look at it and go through the assessment at the same time. As I'd been quite thorough in my application, it made the whole thing a lot easier.

    My assessor was very pleasant and I felt she understood my condition well. She even highlighted a problem with my shoulders I wasn't aware off! At the end she said she didn't know why they had brought me in as my form was so clear and she was going to put down that she didn't expect my condition to improve. So, I guess it's just a matter of waiting to hear from them. How long should I give it before requesting a copy of her report?

    PS: Still no word on my ESA application 8 weeks on.

  8. #8
    My PIP application got processed quickly and I got the points I thought I deserved but not the way I expected. I got more for cooking and less for dressing but I got the right result so not complaining. Anyway, I can't believe I'm saying this after all I've read but I can't fault ATOS. I had no delays, the assessment went smoothly and I'm happy with the result.

    No such joy with ESA & Maximus though. Ten weeks on from my non-assessment and still no word. I even phoned them again but they couldn't tell me anything.

  9. #9
    It seems you are in a similar situation to me. I applied for pip at the same time as my esa reassessment. I had my home assessment for pip today and have emailed maximus about my esa to be told to ask them again in a couple of weeks time. I think they are waiting until my pip is decided before making a decision about my esa assessment or if they decide on paper only. Mine was sent both on 19th March. I was told 6 to 8 weeks for pip decision from today.

    I realise that people say that one benefit does not affect the other but I think it can sometimes. Just my opinion though.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by KAREN SV View Post
    It seems you are in a similar situation to me. I applied for pip at the same time as my esa reassessment. I had my home assessment for pip today and have emailed maximus about my esa to be told to ask them again in a couple of weeks time. I think they are waiting until my pip is decided before making a decision about my esa assessment or if they decide on paper only. Mine was sent both on 19th March. I was told 6 to 8 weeks for pip decision from today.

    I realise that people say that one benefit does not affect the other but I think it can sometimes. Just my opinion though.
    Ian remember my PIP When i arrived they fist said it had been cancelled , and asked if had received the letter, which of course i hadn't (because they never sent one) So I waited for around 20mins when they told me that they would see me ,and shouldn't be to long
    After a further wait of 20 mins or so My name was called And Assessment carried out by a Nurse ,( after some non nonsensical hocus pocus type of examination that they do, which is supposed to determine power ect in your legs, ) and the usual questions , it was over,

    A few weeks later i receive the ATOS report which scored no points , and had blatant lies regarding the distance from train stn to assessment centre their calculation is around 3 + times greater than what the actual distance is , there's no way or excuse for getting that wrong , there again it wasn't a mistake on their part , but a blatant lie , used to deny PIP

    If you have had a positive experience, then maybe they had already hit their targets that week/month
    Last edited by tom34; 05-13-2016 at 01:23 PM.

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