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Missing forms and missing medicals

Benefits and Work is receiving disturbing reports that assessments for both PIP and ESA are not being carried out in the way that the DWP claims they should be.

We have heard from a number of members recently who have been required to attend a work capability assessment without first being given an opportunity to complete an ESA50 claim form.

The ESA50 is vital because it gives claimants their first opportunity to set out in their own word the effects of their condition. It also allows them to gather together and submit supporting evidence.

At this stage we don’t know whether the failure to send an ESA50 is due to incompetence or something more alarming. We would be interested to hear from readers who have had a similar experience. You can either leave a comment below or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In relation to PIP, we have heard from one reader who was initially asked to do a six hour round trip for his face-to-face assessment . He was then given a series of inappropriate appointments before a paper-based assessment was used to deny him any award at all, as he explains:

“After being invited for assessment in Leicester, which is three hours from where I live and an impossible journey, Capita gave me a home assessment on a day when they had already been told I wasn't available.

“They then promised to re-schedule the home visit but instead passed the claim to a physiotherapist based 130 miles away in Leeds who passed it to another physiotherapist 200 miles away in North Wales for a paper assessment.

“My claim was refused despite the fact that my GP (who described the assessment process as medically indefensible) has never been contacted and nobody at Capita has even spoken to me let alone conducted an examination."

Comments  

#50 Samra 2015-06-04 13:39
I've just had the same thing they basing assessment on last year when last year I had no assessment they won't budge I'm seriously scared now they gave me no time to fill it in they being unfair
#49 micksville 2015-04-02 22:11
The more I read about this bex the more I think the people being sent for unannounced fall into two groups, one group who have been pending since sending an esa50 in around the cut off time for deferralslast January (2014) and secondly, a group who seem to have been unfortunate to have been sent for erroneously by atos as the handover to maximus took place. This really smacks of an atos cock up as they handed the baton over as it were and Maximus have to run with it and are dishing out a lame excuse that an esa50 isnt needed as they can go off the previous one.
#48 micksville 2015-04-02 21:45
In that case bex it sounds like atos or maximus have acted unilaterally and jumped the gun. The reassesment date ought be on the dwp computer system, when the claimants review date comes up the dwp refer to maximus who then should send the forms out....sounds like someones not being straight with you
#47 bex753 2015-04-02 12:50
Hi all, I have a similar problem (or know someone close to me who is). They are on ESA and have been put on the support group. They recently got a letter with a f2f interview but were not given a new form to fill. We actually called DWP and they said that the call for reassessment wasn't from them (really confused about how this is all organised) anyway we called the assessment centre and they said we don't need a form as they have the old one from when we initially made the claim a year ago. What i do not understand is that if they can reassess you f2f, they they should need a new form. After all if things haven't changed then why do you need a new face to face interview. Tried asking for a number for the complaints department and was refused that too. Currently trying to find someone to take the claimant to their appointment as I cannot help because of prior engagement and that's another issue in itself as they wont change the date of appointment.
I have never been so stressed and annoyed in my life.
#46 micksville 2015-03-31 09:47
Im confused now ana...you say you sent the esa50 back last january no medical This is about the time of the cut offs due to deferrals. Your earlier post says the last time you were reviewed you sent the form off and had a medical and a letter stating you were remaining on esa. Sounds like you might have been in the pending tray when deferrals started after all. Seems the vast majority of these formless cases are such.
#45 ana 2015-03-30 21:20
Quoting micksville:
Yes ana, youre the exception to the rule lol....thats what makes me wonder if it's just a cock up during the atos to maximus handover in your case. ...time will tell if many similar cases come up. Out of interest when was your last review/medical?


Last questionnaire was sent in January last year, no medical. Truly how do they expect to make a thorough assessment with a year old questionnaire?
+1 #44 micksville 2015-03-29 22:33
Ana, I can see where they might, only might yave very thin grounds in cases where an esa 50 had already been issued even a long time ago, because it was issued and the case is still being assesed as it were....still isnt right. However, in your case they can only go off your last esa50 and what you tell them at this current review. But honestly, whats to stop you saying well if youre basing this assesment on my last esa50 then nothing has improved so I ought still be in wrag or sg whatevef. Wont work that way of course but do they really think its gonna take long for claimants to wise up to this and bring their own esay50's.....ca ts already out of the bag....it's madness
+1 #43 micksville 2015-03-29 21:37
Yes ana, youre the exception to the rule lol....thats what makes me wonder if it's just a cock up during the atos to maximus handover in your case. ...time will tell if many similar cases come up. Out of interest when was your last review/medical?
#42 ana 2015-03-29 21:12
Quoting Acorn Antiques:
Quoting micksville:
...only ana seems to have suggested she's been sent for her review, minus an esa50 at the regular time, .

Just to clarify, I have never had a review, so this applies to me too! The 'previous' ESA50 that I filled in long ago was the one I filled in at the start of my claim.


This is definitely a review for me. Last time I sent the ESA50 form back I had a medical and a letter confirming I'd be staying in the support group. So yes no form this time only a medical request.
Fingers crossed for us all.
#41 micksville 2015-03-29 20:39
Frustrating as it is Acorn shes probably quoting what Maximus told her when she queried it. That as you received a form, albeit ages ago there was no need to re issue another,in effect you were issued an esa 50 as far as theyre concerned. It is unfair I agree, but looks like they have checked whether they can follow this course of action and got the green light to do so.As far as I can tell that is your situation. The other scenario is are they sending for f2f assesments without issuing a form at all, in cases coming up for their normal review, as opposed to claimants stuck in the backlog who sent their forms off ages ago. I would download the esa 50 anyway if I were you and be prepared to take it to the f2f with you if you eventually attend one. They have to read and act on any written evidence you make available to them or justify at appeal why they havent considered and acted on it. I would focus on preparing your case as detailed and thorough as you can. Meanwhile, see what Stdve comes up with when b and w get a response from Maximus.
#40 Acorn Antiques 2015-03-29 18:00
Quoting micksville:
Where I think youre getting confused with Sue Marsh is that she seems to be saying that she's still trying to verify other cases, where, unlike you,the claimant has been sent for a scheduled, ordinary review i.e. re referral, without esa 50 being issued first.


That's just it- she didn't say that my case was different- this is the part of what Sue Marsh said to me that is making me angry and frustrated. She wrote-

"However, I haven't been able find out if anyone else didn't receive a form at all or if, like you, they'd just been delayed in the backlog for a long time."

-it's the 'if, like you,...' well the situation she describes is not my situation at all, and I had already explained that. She says that my being told I don't need a form is correct. It isn't. We went through all this on the phone and now she's effectively dismissed my concerns over not getting a form.

Yes, I'm disappointed and frustrated. A professional said they would help and instead they have just shut me down. And no replies to my email since then, so out on my own again.
#39 Acorn Antiques 2015-03-29 17:52
Quoting micksville:
Maximus DWP will likely say you can update them at the f2f with any changes i meds, condition etc..


I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that they will take on board any update I give them at a f2f! Whether it be said or written.
+1 #38 micksville 2015-03-29 14:01
Apart from ana, the only suggextion I can find of this happening to those coming up for normal review are ana and reference in the other news post on this subject, where b and w state that a DM ordered a fresh assesment process after becoming concerned at the lack of an esa 50 form. All other cases seem to suggest those who have been sat in the pre deferrals backlog are now being sent for f2f.If a DM raised concerns at lack of a form for normal review perhaps somebody at Maximus had jumped the gun and cut corners, treating that claimant as if he/she were in the pipeline pre deferrals and thinking theyd sent form in albeit long ago. It's good the DM spotted this though as it sets a precedent for anyone wishing to challenge this practise.
Im sure B and W will get to the truth of the mater asap, at the very least this could prove embarrasing for Maximus who have trumpeted their fresh, fairer, more transparent approach towards the ' claimant journey'. Not an auspicious start.
+1 #37 micksville 2015-03-29 12:37
I understand your frustration Acorn and it isnt good practise to merely pick up a case which has been languishing in someone's in tray for perhaps 18 months. It ought to have begun again with re issue of esa 50 to enable you to re affirm your medical issues. However, given the logistical problems re the backlog I am not surpfised they have used this ploy. Maximus DWP will likely say you can update them at the f2f with any changes i meds, condition etc. Where I think youre getting confused with Sue Marsh is that she seems to be saying that she's still trying to verify other cases, where, unlike you,the claimant has been sent for a scheduled, ordinary review i.e. re referral, without esa 50 being issued first. In other words not acting on an issued esa, no matter how long ago the esa has been issued. As I understand it, she's still trying to get to the bottom of that, having verified that esa 50's issued pre deferrals are nos being acted on, rightly or wrongly.It will be interesting to see how much noise she makes within her role at Maximus re this practise.
+1 #36 Acorn Antiques 2015-03-29 05:08
Quoting micksville:
...only ana seems to have suggested she's been sent for her review, minus an esa50 at the regular time, .

Just to clarify, I have never had a review, so this applies to me too! The 'previous' ESA50 that I filled in long ago was the one I filled in at the start of my claim.
#35 Acorn Antiques 2015-03-29 05:02
Quoting micksville:
Acorn....I don't think she's saying she can't find others, indeed her twitter site confirmed about a week ago that she wzs aware of other cases. .


The fact that these Twitter feeds a few weeks ago were to me, and now she says to me that she can't find others, shows what I mean about her seeming to change her mind and maybe begin to 'toe the line'.
#34 Acorn Antiques 2015-03-29 05:01
Quoting micksville:
I wouldnt criticise Sue Marsh on tbis, she's clearly asked questions and, as I had certainly suspected, the majority of these cases had received an esa 50, albeit long ago. Still doesn't make it right but I always suspected that to be the case.Of all those posting only ana seems to have suggested she's been sent for her review, minus an esa50 at the regular time, although Gofdon telks me B and W have heard of numerous such cases. Frustrating though it is, if Sue Marsh says she's raised it and it's being looked into then I'm sure it is. FOI requests from B and W take time so I'm certain a query from Sue Marsh, whom Maximus probably aren't fully trusting of despite employing her, will take time.


OK. But the reason why I'm frustrated with her is that we talked at length. I'm disappointed that her only solution to me is-
"In your case, you'd already completed an ESA50, it was just a long time ago and as you explained, you wanted to complete a more recent one."
Well this is precisely what I went over with her and she said that it was wrong and that I should have had a form. The original I had was at the start of my claim, not for a review. I've never had a review. So I need to tell them up to date meds, side effects and even new diagnosis. No face-to-face will allow me that. Their own website says that at review I shoud get a form and says the reason is so that I can update my details. Sue knew this and agreed with it. She had a lot to say about it. But after talking to her bosses she has changed her view. This is what frustrates me.

The twitter remarks you're talking about were to me and were the start of our conversations- she asked me to email her, and from there we have phone contact.
#33 Acorn Antiques 2015-03-29 04:54
Quoting micksville:
Acorn....I don't think she's saying she can't find others, indeed her twitter site confirmed about a week ago that she wzs aware of other cases. What she's sahing is she's yet to get to the bottom of whether others are in the same boat as you, in that they'd completed esa50 but long ago, ot if others haven't been in the pipeline caused by deferrals but rather have been called for their regular review without receiving a form. That's the distinction she's trying to find out.



Ok. But the procedure is to have an ESA50 even at a review, this is even said on Maximus's own site. So even though I and others had a form years ago, we should still get one now.
#32 micksville 2015-03-28 13:28
Acorn....I don't think she's saying she can't find others, indeed her twitter site confirmed about a week ago that she wzs aware of other cases. What she's sahing is she's yet to get to the bottom of whether others are in the same boat as you, in that they'd completed esa50 but long ago, ot if others haven't been in the pipeline caused by deferrals but rather have been called for their regular review without receiving a form. That's the distinction she's trying to find out.
#31 micksville 2015-03-28 13:15
I wouldnt criticise Sue Marsh on tbis, she's clearly asked questions and, as I had certainly suspected, the majority of these cases had received an esa 50, albeit long ago. Still doesn't make it right but I always suspected that to be the case.Of all those posting only ana seems to have suggested she's been sent for her review, minus an esa50 at the regular time, although Gofdon telks me B and W have heard of numerous such cases. Frustrating though it is, if Sue Marsh says she's raised it and it's being looked into then I'm sure it is. FOI requests from B and W take time so I'm certain a query from Sue Marsh, whom Maximus probably aren't fully trusting of despite employing her, will take time.

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