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Thread: ESA Helpline

  1. #1

    ESA Helpline

    Just a quick question - can ringing the ESA Helpline trigger a review? The adviser was nice enough but asked me more security questions than I can remember before. I’m really nervy on the phone and have to psyche myself up and usually take a diazepam so that I can do it but I’m a bit worried now.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    No I have called a few times asking when I'm due to get reassessed and it has never triggered a reassessment.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Just ringing them won't normally cause a review/reassessment, unless you are ringing to report a change of circumstances.


    Because of Covid the only reassessments they are doing at the moment are if they are already pretty sure that you will be remaining in Support Group/UC-LCWRA, or possibly if a Change of Circumstance means that you would move into that group.
    These reassessments are only being done by telephone.

    The DWP are not currently making any decisions/awards except for Support Group/UC-LCWRA, and so the assessors have been told to only look at that and are only being sent cases that should quailfy for SG/UC-LCWRA (plus any brand new claims).
    No WRAG/UC-LCW decisions are currently being made at all.
    No fit-for-work decisions are currently being made at all.

    If you are ESA WRAG/UC-LCW and due for a reassessment then you will just carry on as it currently is until they can do face to face assessments again.
    If you are ESA SG/UC-LCWRA and due for a reassessment then you may get a telephone reassessment, but that will only result in either 'same again' or 'can't decide over the phone so carry on as it is now until we can do F2Fs again'.
    Last edited by nukecad; 13-11-20 at 22:15.
    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.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the answers, I’m just a born worrier

  5. #5
    I had a telephone reassessment after almost 3 years in ESA support group. The assessor said he felt he had enough information to complete his assessment and send to the DWP. I'm a born worrier and also have terrible anxiety and depression. I'm trying to get my finances on track and need to know if I will be remaining in the support group or if they will be kicking out into WRAG or telling me I'm fit for work. I also suffer with IBSD and bowel incontinence. This is the reasons for my ESA support group acceptance in the first place and nothing has changed in my health except getting worse. My reassessment was 2 weeks ago and I was paid as usual yesterday so would you this mean I'm still in support group or should I give them a call for a possible update?

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi. Shaun0fThedead,

    As I said above if you are in ESA Support Group then you will stay there.

    If you have any award of ESA, or UC-Limited Capability, then it can not be reduced.

    They way things are at the moment the DWP cannot award you less ESA at a telephone reassessment than the ESA that you have already got.

    No if's, no but's, no maybe's - the rules they have at the moment mean that your current ESA award can not go down. (It can still go up).
    Last edited by nukecad; 14-11-20 at 00:37.
    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.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the reply. So will I stay in support group for a further year, 2 years, or until they decide to trigger my anxiety and arrange another face to face assessment once covid is over? :/

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Any idea what the timeline is? I was initially assessed in September 2017 and put in the WRAG with a recommendation for re-assessment in twelve months. But it was over two years later - Nov 2019 - before I was re-assessed and this time put in Support Group with no fixed date for re-assessment. It's now November 2020 and I've received nothing about a further assessment. Given the Covid situation this isn't unexpected. But I'm wondering how they will treat indeterminate awards. I'm no better than I was a year ago and sixteen months away from receiving state pension. Hoping I can avoid all the stress and worry of a further assessment before then.

  9. #9
    I fully understand nukecad response and explanation and don't think existing ESA support group people will be removed from it. I'm just curious about trying to sort my financial situation out. And don't want to put anything in place incase of an upheaval in changes of reassessment by DWP once covid is finally over it's all so confusing to be honest and the stress caused isn't warranted

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Hi. Shaun0fThedead,

    As I said above if you are in ESA Support Group then you will stay there.

    If you have any award of ESA, or UC-Limited Capability, then it can not be reduced.

    They way things are at the moment the DWP cannot award you less ESA at a telephone reassessment than the ESA that you have already got.

    No if's, no but's, no maybe's - the rules they have at the moment mean that your current ESA award can not go down. (It can still go up).
    Could you point me to the regs showing that ESA awards can’t be decreased following a phone assessment? This is the first I’m hearing of it and can’t find it anywhere, I’m aware there was a suspension of reviews for 3 months starting back in March, also that they’ve relaxed the rules regarding failure to attend for phone assessments - but not this.

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