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TOPIC: Christmas came early

Christmas came early 1 year 11 months ago #127545

The age of miracles is not past. I got The Letter telling me my SDA was coming to an end, which was dated 12 October 2014 and they received my ESA50 form on 12 November 2014. On the morning of 10 December 2014, I had a phone call from the DWP - which I recorded, expecting a problem with my form or request for a recorded assessment - to say that they didn't need to see me for a medical and that I've been put into the Support Group as from Boxing Day and will not need re-assessment for 3 years. A letter putting it into black and white arrived 5 days later, at which time I really believed it.

I knew that this was the right outcome but I thought that I would have to fight for it and wait for it. Instead of which they took 29 days from receiving the form to phoning me with the SG decision. Excluding the Special Circumstances fast-track, could this be a record?

I've got a list of thanks due which would do credit to an Oscar winner, but high on the list has to be B&W. Thanks, guys, you've been brilliant. I have more reason than most to be thankful for the patience of the mods on this forum as I kept nit-picking away thinking of more and more potential problems. I've been very grateful for the advice - I even took most of it (which isn't always the case).

I've absorbed the "concentrate on the descriptors" message over the last however-many years, I hammered home the "repeatedly, safely" message on the form and I was very glad of the sample answers in your guide. Over and above that, I would like to thank Gordon for this piece of advice just when I needed it:
Don't feel constrained by the available tick boxes, if they do not fit the way that you want to explain you limitations then simply mark them with a "see below" and explain in the comments box or attached pages.
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum?view=topic&catid=10&id=102167

Half the descriptors I was claiming on ended up with just a "see attached notes page x" and no boxes ticked. I don't know if they were impressed by the amount of (cross-referenced) paperwork attached - I certainly was.

I was just about to post here with the good news, when I discovered that my sub had expired. Was fate telling me that it was time to move on and get Christmas sorted? Maybe, but I decided in the end that there were still many potential pitfalls along the way and renewed.

So, first question – I already have (recorded) telephone confirmation of my re-assessment date. Do I need to get written proof?

Second question. On the telephone the friendly lady from the DWP said “You won’t hear from us again until [3 years’ time]. Does that mean there’s no need for any continuing sick notes (I've not been submitting them for decades)?
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by bro58.
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Christmas came early 1 year 11 months ago #127546

That's great news Carruthers! Thanks for letting us know and for your kind words about B+W :)

In answer to your questions -

1) The length of award is only advisory and does not form part of the decision. If DWP decide to reassess at some other stage (as long as at least 3 months have passed since the initial decision) the claimant hs no come-back.

2) No, you do not need to supply sick notes/fitnotes as you have been assessed as unfit for work :)
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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The following user(s) said Thank You: carruthers

Christmas came early 1 year 11 months ago #127548

  • bro58
  • OFFLINE
  • Forum Moderator
carruthers wrote:
The age of miracles is not past. I got The Letter telling me my SDA was coming to an end, which was dated 12 October 2014 and they received my ESA50 form on 12 November 2014. On the morning of 10 December 2014, I had a phone call from the DWP - which I recorded, expecting a problem with my form or request for a recorded assessment - to say that they didn't need to see me for a medical and that I've been put into the Support Group as from Boxing Day and will not need re-assessment for 3 years. A letter putting it into black and white arrived 5 days later, at which time I really believed it.

I knew that this was the right outcome but I thought that I would have to fight for it and wait for it. Instead of which they took 29 days from receiving the form to phoning me with the SG decision. Excluding the Special Circumstances fast-track, could this be a record?

I've got a list of thanks due which would do credit to an Oscar winner, but high on the list has to be B&W. Thanks, guys, you've been brilliant. I have more reason than most to be thankful for the patience of the mods on this forum as I kept nit-picking away thinking of more and more potential problems. I've been very grateful for the advice - I even took most of it (which isn't always the case).

I've absorbed the "concentrate on the descriptors" message over the last however-many years, I hammered home the "repeatedly, safely" message on the form and I was very glad of the sample answers in your guide. Over and above that, I would like to thank Gordon for this piece of advice just when I needed it:
Don't feel constrained by the available tick boxes, if they do not fit the way that you want to explain you limitations then simply mark them with a "see below" and explain in the comments box or attached pages.
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum?view=topic&catid=10&id=102167

Half the descriptors I was claiming on ended up with just a "see attached notes page x" and no boxes ticked. I don't know if they were impressed by the amount of (cross-referenced) paperwork attached - I certainly was.

I was just about to post here with the good news, when I discovered that my sub had expired. Was fate telling me that it was time to move on and get Christmas sorted? Maybe, but I decided in the end that there were still many potential pitfalls along the way and renewed.

So, first question – I already have (recorded) telephone confirmation of my re-assessment date. Do I need to get written proof?

Second question. On the telephone the friendly lady from the DWP said “You won’t hear from us again until [3 years’ time]. Does that mean there’s no need for any continuing sick notes (I've not been submitting them for decades)?


Firstly c, Merry Xmas !!!! :)


"The age of miracles is not past. I got The Letter telling me my SDA was coming to an end, which was dated 12 October 2014 and they received my ESA50 form on 12 November 2014. On the morning of 10 December 2014, I had a phone call from the DWP - which I recorded, expecting a problem with my form or request for a recorded assessment - to say that they didn't need to see me for a medical and that I've been put into the Support Group as from Boxing Day and will not need re-assessment for 3 years. A letter putting it into black and white arrived 5 days later, at which time I really believed it."


Well they do say that Xmas is the time for "miracles" !! :laugh:

That is Great News, and thank you for letting us know !!!

"I knew that this was the right outcome but I thought that I would have to fight for it and wait for it. Instead of which they took 29 days from receiving the form to phoning me with the SG decision. Excluding the Special Circumstances fast-track, could this be a record?"


Not quite a record, but super fast taking into account the huge back log.

You must have provided good, clear, substantive evidence with the ESA50.

"I've got a list of thanks due which would do credit to an Oscar winner, but high on the list has to be B&W. Thanks, guys, you've been brilliant. I have more reason than most to be thankful for the patience of the mods on this forum as I kept nit-picking away thinking of more and more potential problems. I've been very grateful for the advice - I even took most of it (which isn't always the case)."


Your thanks are much appreciated, we are glad that we could help !!!

carruthers, "nit-picking" ?? ............ Nah !!!! :laugh: :laugh:

"So, first question – I already have (recorded) telephone confirmation of my re-assessment date. Do I need to get written proof?"


It would be advantageous to have written confirmation of The 3 Year Prognosis of The SG award.

There is obviously no hurry to obtain this, as there would be if you were challenging an adverse decision,

See further info on this : Here.

"Second question. On the telephone the friendly lady from the DWP said “You won’t hear from us again until [3 years’ time]. Does that mean there’s no need for any continuing sick notes (I've not been submitting them for decades)?"


Now that you have been placed into The SG, and it has been accepted that you have Limited Capability for Work and Limited Capability for Work Related Activity, (LCW & LCWRA) you do not have to obtain or send in fit notes.

If the 3 year prognosis is adhered to, which it should be, you should expect to receive a new ESA50 about 2 months before the end of the prognosis period.

Cheers

bro58
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by bro58.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Christmas came early 1 year 11 months ago #127605

Carrruthers: that is fantastic news for you. Congratulations! :)

And, could I ask Mrs Hurtyback and bro58 a question or two about things that have come out of your message and their replies?

I was kept in the SG last year (before that I had been placed in the SG for 18 months after appealing against a decision to place me in WRAG, a miracle considering I could not provide any evidence). I was not seen face-to-face this latest time but was kept in the support group (I had filled in the ESA50 form as fully as I could. I could only provide a GP letter in support as, having got my diagnosis quite a long time ago and having no up-to-date 'evidence', my GP said that this was the best way forward (because 'old' evidence, even if still valid - in terms of my condition - as it hasn't changed) would be totally disregarded. Anyhow, it must have sufficed. (My mum helps me a lot - not as a paid carer...she works around helping me but we couldn't face the forms. I put down that she could not help with supporting evidence as she was v stressed and recently bereaved of her sister, dealing with the new diagnosis of her brother's cancer. This was all true, but in actuality, I also did not want them speaking to my mum as she becomes very small and anxious when speaking with figures of authority, even on the phone, and I feared, because my condition fluctuates, she might be steered towards saying I was more capable than I am by some unscrupulous person at the DWp... Anyhow, I digress!

I did get a letter at the time I was kept in the SG last year which I believe was the letter telling me about this, though it did not say anything about being a decision letter. It wasn't headed decision letter or anything; it just said something like ' Following a change in circumstances or some such', showed what I currently received (a breakdown) and how there would be a slight increase (I think in line with inflation as it went from April). When I rang DWP to ask if this was the decision letter I was told 'yes'. I said the letter stated nothing about how long I was to remain in the SG and the man I spoke to over the phone told me it was three years/ to expect to receive ESA50 end of 2016 for re-assessment early 2017. I can't tell you the relief I felt at that. I asked if I would be given this information in print as it was nowhere in the letter and I was told that this was not something provided in writing, though he could see it onthe system and give me it over the phone... I recall asking if I could be called up before the 3 years elapsed and the man said something like 'if your circumstances change' which I took to mean as 'yes, unless you call us saying you are better'.

I was just so relieved to be through with the process that I didn't even think to come here and ask if I had been given misinformation... Should I have insisted on the approximate date of re-assessment in print? I feel it's too late now, especially as I don't want, a year down the line, to call them to ask for it... - not even sure what a SAR is (one of you mentioned) - as I don't really want to bring myself to their attention, and they may wonder what I want if for now... It's bad enough...I don't want to draw attention to myself.

I'm rambling but I thought once you were in the SG and were told verbally the length of time that this stood unless you felt improved and contacted them before then. I already dread the brown envelope (esp in light of some here being called in for reviews or WRA stuff even though they are in the SG) and am literally in a state of acute anxiety until the post has been each day... I had no idea that as long as three months has passed since you were last assessed they could send a new ESA50 and have you re-assessed. I am so stressed and depressed, even at the possibilty of this! If this is true (I'm trusting it is since MrsHurtyback and bro58 say so), is it likely that they would call you any time or would it be more likley it would be in set stages ie one year early? 2 years early? Eighteen month early? Six months early? I got my letter in March of last year (based on having returned the ESA in January) and am panicking I'll be called early now, esp as I did not have a face-to-face last time and my evidence was - albeit through no fault of my own - insubstantial.
If they say you will be in th SG for three years and you don't conact them to say something has changed, why is that not the end of it for that time period? What is the point? How is anyone ever supposed to make any improvement if they are living under constant stress and anxiety of the threat of being called any time! How likely is this? Any idea?

There was an article in the Daily Mail today about an overweight couple claiming benefits and a spokesperson for the DWP said that they are introducing a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews. Don't they already do this? I'm womdering if that is what all these letter to come in to JC+ that some claimants have been receiving... :S

I'm sorry about this message... I am just so anxious all the time, and absolutely drained right now! Between the possibility of a letter asking me to come in for review/ WRA despite being in the SG and the (news to me) that you can be called before they told you as long as 3 months have elapsed since your last assessment, I am feeling even worse than usual. I am sure all this is achieving is to make sick people more sick and less likely to get to any point where they might be able to do some kind of work when possible.

Anyhow, Carruthers, sorry to hijack your message (but hope some of my questions, if they can be answered, may help you and others too). Anyway, I am delighted for you! Let us know if you get a date in writing, won't you? I'd be interested since I was told way back last year they don't do that (maybe so that they can reserve the right to change their mind and call you early...who knows?)

Well, I hope you all had a good Christmas and all the best for the new year!

Thanks all for any advice!
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Christmas came early 1 year 11 months ago #127620

  • Gordon
  • OFFLINE
  • Forum Moderator
Shell

Whilst the DWP have the option of re-assessing all claimants three months after a Decision was made on their claim, the reality is that it would be very unusual for them to do unless they received evidence that their had been a change in the claimants conditions or circumstances.

Therefore I would not stress about a re-assessment there is really no reason for the DWP to look at your claim again before the three years that you have been told.

Gordon
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Moderators: bro58, Gordon, Mrs Hurtyback, shelam
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