Maximus, the company carrying out employment and support allowance (ESA) assessments, insist that they send out ESA50 forms to “everyone” and that their staff are not authorised to tell claimants that they will not get a form.
Benefits and Work has been investigating why some ESA claimants are not being sent ESA50 forms prior to a face-to-face medical assessment.
In previous articles we revealed that some claimants who do not get an ESA50 and who query this are being told things like:
“Not everyone will get a form.”
“One isn’t needed in your case.”
“You don’t need to fill one in.”
However, in relation to the first two quotes Maximus have now claimed:
“The above two quotes are not information our advisors are authorised to convey. If you are able to share the source of these quotes we will investigate accordingly. “
In relation to the final quote, they say that:
“This can be the case if a customer has been diagnosed with severe mental health conditions and it is too difficult for them to complete the form (which they will have been sent). We would however always encourage customers to complete an ESA50 so we are aware of how their condition affects them.”
Maximus went on to say that:
“For absolute clarity. Everyone who is referred is automatically sent an ESA50 and are asked to complete it if they are able to do so. If they are unable to complete the form they are encourage to nominate someone who can on their behalf. Ultimately failure to complete the form does not mean no assessment takes place, but every applicant receives the ESA 50 in the first instance.”
We are pleased to receive this clear reassurance from Maximus.
We would advise any reader who may be asked to attend a favce-to-face assessment for ESA without having received an ESA50 to contact Maximus and ask for a form to be sent out.
If this is refused, or you still do not receive one, then make a formal complaint as Maximus will clearly wish to investigate and put the matter right.