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Thread: ESA phone assessment

  1. #41
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Yes to both,

    CHDA currently carry out all WCAs.

    It's the same legislation so follows the same rules as any other assessment.

    The legislation doesn't specify how the WCA contact is to be carried out and leaves it pretty wide open, using the telephone for an assessment isn't specifically mentioned, (neither is video, virtual reality headset, hologram, or any other technology that may come along in future).

    It only makes a distinction between "required to attend in person" (F2F), or not.

    If not it then says "A work-focused interview may take place at a claimant’s home", but note that's 'may' and not 'must'. - telephone, or video, (or any other new technology) assessment is perfectly allowable under the legislation as written, no method is ruled out as long as it follows the other laws about assessments.
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  2. #42
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    The telephone assessment process has been designed to streamline the process for cases that could be considered as 'either/or', meaning that it is at the LCW threshold, but could actually be LCWRA/Support Group with some more information from the client.

    Initially the case would go through 'filework' where a HCP would review the ESA/UC50 and any medical evidence available. At the time of writing, only cases that are at LCW threshold and are considered to be a borderline case that is leaning towards LCWRA/Support Group are the cases being prioritized for telephone assessment.

    It's likely that a medical condition, the evidence or the questionnaire suggests LCRWA/Support Group my apply, but it's not 'clear cut' based on the information in front of them, or it is not documented in the exact way that the HCP can outright recommend LCRWA to the Decision Maker without talking to the client via assessment.

    For example - It may be clear in the medical evidence that a client has issues with continence, but it may not specify how often this happens or whether the client uses any aids or collection device (like a stoma, continence pads etc), and if these are effective or not (pads may not fit properly, stoma output may be excessive etc).

    On the telephone assessment after the HCP as read out the required 'script' and done ID checks etc, a good HCP should hopefully be zoning straight into the questions about your condition to fill in these banks and get you 'checked off' as meeting LCWRA/Support Group criteria. Once they are satisfied you meet the threshold the assessment should be curtailed, meaning they won't have to go through every medical condition and cover every descriptor in the typical day history.


    However - It's likely the assessment process will continue by telephone (at least partially) for some time over the coming months. Telephone assessments for standard applications are starting to occur and are being reviewed by the DWP. These are pretty much the same as a standard face to face assessment in terms of questions and structure, but without the 'physical examination' (if you can even call it that).

    One point to note is that a former colleague has advised that a number of clients meeting LCW and not LCWRA during the telephone assessment are being given a prognosis time of 6 months.The idea behind this being that these clients can attend the assessment centre once restrictions improve for a face to face assessment. I would advise anyone on here that you check your award letter or medical report for this. If your medical condition is clearly longer term and hasn't been given the appropriate prognosis time. This can be appealed by mandatory reconsideration - This won't affect the payment rate or group you're in, unless you are requesting a review of that on the CRMR1 form also.
    Last edited by citydwm; 10-07-20 at 18:30. Reason: Ease of Reading

  3. #43
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    Am I correct in saying that you cannot be found fit for work without a F2F, or has this changed in recent months?

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by DaPa View Post
    Am I correct in saying that you cannot be found fit for work without a F2F, or has this changed in recent months?
    That’s what I was told at the start of my ESA telephone assessment. They said the award could be changed from assessment rate to standard or support group but not taken away without a F2F. That was last week.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by leicesterguyuk View Post
    That’s what I was told at the start of my ESA telephone assessment. They said the award could be changed from assessment rate to standard or support group but not taken away without a F2F. That was last week.
    Thank you for your reply

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaPa View Post
    Am I correct in saying that you cannot be found fit for work without a F2F, or has this changed in recent months?
    This is correct as things stand at the moment. The wording of the current legislation would have to be amended. Hence the telephone assessments looking at claimants who are over threshold - Not fit for work.

  7. #47
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The only ESA, and UC limited capability, decisions made under Covid have been Support Group/LCWRA done on the paperwork only.

    Anyone who is not clearly in that group has to wait for a F2F when they restart.

    Up to now they have only been doing clear cut paperwork based decisions under Covid, but they are now starting to do telephone WCAs for those who are bordeline between LCW/LCWRA.

    It is planned to start F2Fs soon - as long as it is safe to do so.
    I would imagine that for a while at least you will be able to refuse if you believe it would not be safe for you to attend a F2F.
    (Either the WCA itself or travelling to it on public transport).
    That would be covered by the already existing 'Good Reason' legislation for not attending a F2F.
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  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Up to now they have only been doing clear cut paperwork based decisions under Covid, but they are now starting to do telephone WCAs for those who are bordeline between LCW/LCWRA.
    My telephone assessment results were that I would need a F2F, so I'm guessing that means they don't feel I fall into LCWRA. Or even LCW?

  9. #49
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millicent1234 View Post
    My telephone assessment results were that I would need a F2F, so I'm guessing that means they don't feel I fall into LCWRA. Or even LCW?
    Not really,

    At the moment it simply means that they couldn't get enough from your ESA50/UC50 or from the telephone assessment to make a decision to put you into LCWRA.
    For example there is no way to do a grip test or any other physical test over the telephone.

    All decisions, including LCWRA, still remain open but they want to do a F2F to give them more info.
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