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Thread: ESA Helpline

  1. #21
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I have now found an updated version of that guidance,
    dated 24th August 2020, released 13th October in answer to an FOI request.
    Telephone WCA clerical (report form) guidance. - August 2020

    The previously bulleted list has been simplified to:
    The DWP have agreed the following advice will be provided by HCPs conducting telephone Work Capability Assessments:

    LCWRA Yes or LCWRA No. (Including Risk LCWRA where appropriate).

    All claimants will remain at least on the assessment rate, therefore LCW advice is not being given in this process.

    No fit for work decisions will be made by DWP.

    LCWRA Risk can be advised once the severe functional LCWRA categories have been found not to be appropriate.
    Note that "All claimants will remain at least on assessment rate therefore LCW advice is not being given in this process.".
    "At least" covers remain on LCW or remain on LCWRA as well.
    The word 'remain' is also important there and means that a current award can't change, unless it changes to LCWRA.

    The 6 month prognosis is still current in this revision, however in 'Changes since last version' it says:
    Section 4.3 Wording on prognosis slightly amended with greater emphasis on applying a longer prognosis where this is appropriate.
    section 4.3 now states:
    4.3 Prognosis or re-referral advice

    Although we give advice on the balance of probability, in most cases the normal full body of evidence will not be available (observations, examination findings, further evidence) and therefore a 6 month prognosis should be given in cases where evidence is felt to be lacking. If however; there is strong evidence that a longer prognosis should apply, for example, previous report confirmed a chronic deteriorating condition and all evidence gathered in the telephone assessment continue to suggest ongoing deterioration, prognosis advice should be given in line with the evidence. This applies to conditions that have not improved as well as those that have deteriorated.
    So a 6 month prognosis should only be given "in cases where evidence (ie. evidence for giving a longer prognosis) is felt to be lacking."

    I may try a new FOI to see if anything has been updated since, but as that was released as current to an FOI last month it probably hasn't changed yet.
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-11-20 at 20:12.
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  2. #22
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    Yeah my first thoughts were, what is the point if the only outcome is a LCRWA and its a 6 month prognosis? Those waiting for a F2F right now are unlikely to have one within 6 months, so in practice there is no difference in waiting for a F2F for 6+ months or getting ESA SG prognosis for 6 months.

    But then I thought about it a bit more, if you are in WRAG or AR now, then getting bumped to ESA with a 6 month prognosis is a great thing, also there will likely be a big backlog for F2F when things return to normal, and those who are already waiting for F2F will be at the front of that queue. So in practice a 6 month prognosis is probably going to mean at least 9-12 months for a possible F2F.

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