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Thread: MR is no longer needed in ESA Fit-for-Work decisions, you can appeal straight away.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    MR is no longer needed in ESA Fit-for-Work decisions, you can appeal straight away.

    Not of relevance at the moment because no face to face Work Capability Assessments are being carried out due to Covid, but it will be relevant once Face to Face assessments restart.

    Following a recent court ruling the DWP have now accepted that ruling and if you are found Fit for Work following an ESA Work Capability Assessment then you no longer need to ask for MR and can appeal to the tribunal straightaway. (But see the exceptions example below).

    MR's were ruled to be unlawful in Fit for Work appeals where the claimant could get ESA assessment rate whilst awaiting appeal.
    This was mainly because an ESA FFW MR stopped payments until the 'open ended' MR was over and an appeal was lodged, whereas other MR's didn't stop payments.

    So this also means that if you appeal straightaway you can then be paid ESA at assessment rate straightaway while waiting for the appeal to be heard, you will still need to supply fit notes.
    That is how it used to be before they brought in MR's.

    There will be a few exceptions, for instance FFW successive to a previous FFW decision (ie. one after the other) would not be entitled to be paid ESA during appeal anyway.

    It does not apply to failure to return the ESA50, or Failure to Attend the WCA.

    It does not apply to UC because UC continues to be paid even during MR.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...u-need-to-know
    Note: As a result of High Court decision in July 2020, MR has been discontinued for any claimant who, having been found Fit For Work following a WCA would, if they appealed, be paid ESA pending the outcome of that appeal. This is known as Payment Pending Appeal (PPA). Not all claimants qualify, and it applies only to Fit For Work disallowance decisions, not decisions such as disallowance due to Failure to Return a Questionnaire or Failure to Attend a WCA.
    For more details of just what this change means see also: What happens if I am found Fit-for-Work following Assessment/Reassessment?

    PS. This was an unusual court case as the claimant, a lawyer, brought it on his own with the help of crowdfunding and represented himself in the High Court.
    Shows it can be done, but I wouldn't advise trying it yourself without help.
    Last edited by nukecad; 14-09-20 at 03:47.
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    Do we have any inkling when F2F assessments might restart ? I heard something about next Spring.

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    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    There is no real rush to restart F2Fs for WCAs

    It's really only new claims and changes of circumstance that are affected.

    Existing ESA awards have no end date and so can just keep going as they are.
    (Unlike PIP which has a set end date and so a new law had to be passed to keep extending them six months at a time).

    New IR claims will be for Universal Credit which will just keep being paid at standard rate, either until a F2F can be carried out or a LCWRA decision is made on paper/telephone.
    New CB ESA claims that can't be put into SG on paper/telephone will run out after 52 weeks at which time you claim UC, unless you have a working partner or savings over £16K.

    Apart from those with a working partner or savings over £16k the people who may be adversely affected are those new claims and CoCs that would/will be awarded SG or UC-LCWRA after a F2F, rather than being clear cut so awarded on paper/telephone.
    Those will have to wait for a F2F and decision before they get backpay for SG/LCWRA.

    For the majority WCA F2Fs being suspended is a good thing, long may it last for those. (Sorry for those who may have to wait to get SG/LCWRA).
    Last edited by nukecad; 14-09-20 at 03:17.
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    Existing ESA awards have no end date and so can just keep going as they are.
    (Unlike PIP which has a set end date and so a new law had to be passed to keep extending them six months at a time).


    I haven't been keeping up.Is this true? Are they just going to continue to extend the ESA awards and have they passed a new law to extend PIP awards?

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    I haven't been keeping up.Is this true? Are they just going to continue to extend the ESA awards and have they passed a new law to extend PIP awards?
    There is a big difference in the award lengths for each benefit:
    ESA awards are 'Reviewed' and not 'Renewed'
    PIP awards have to be 'Renewed'.
    It makes a difference.

    All ESA awards are 'ongoing' - they do not have an end date and only end if you are found fit-for-work following a f2f reassessment, or don't engage with the reassessment ie. if you don't send an ESA50 back or don't go to the assesment.
    (Of course benefit fraud could also end them).

    So ESA awards do not need to be extended in any way, they just keep going until a f2f reassessment says otherwise, and if there is no f2f reassessment then that can't happen.

    By contrast PIP awards do have a set end date, and so have to be 'Renewed'.
    Every PIP renewal is in fact a new claim.
    So there was a risk that PIP awards could end without the chance of a renewal, as f2f assessments were/are closed due to covid.
    They are now doing (some) PIP assessments by telephone.

    Because of that risk they brought out a law in March to allow PIP awards that were due to end to be extended by six months at a time until an assessment for renewal could be done.
    (There are now some that are just going into their second six month extension).
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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