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“Everyone is sent a form” claims Maximus

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.

Comments  

#14 Acorn Antiques 2015-04-23 22:08
Quote:
As Izzy and gardiner55 's son have not reiceved ESA50's despite ringing and asking for them what is really going on? Is this a way to easily refuse people with mental health problems the benefit?

Some more advice from B&W would be helpful as Maximus have told you one thing and are clearly doing something else. Please advise Mr Donnison.
Izzy and Gardiner55-
Sue Marsh, now head of 'customer experience' (I think that's what they're calling it) has been looking into this after I told her on Twitter about people not getting forms. I gave her my NI number etc. so she could look into my case. No real answers yet. But also she said she cannot push further into this unless she has more examples. If you haven't had a form and think you should have had one, email her on and tell her your story. DO NOT GIVE YOUR NI NUMBER VIA EMAIL as it isn't secure- give a phone number and she'll call you.
Her email is suey2y@gmail.com
#13 j112009 2015-04-22 17:28
As Izzy and gardiner55 's son have not reiceved ESA50's despite ringing and asking for them what is really going on? Is this a way to easily refuse people with mental health problems the benefit?

Some more advice from B&W would be helpful as Maximus have told you one thing and are clearly doing something else. Please advise Mr Donnison.
+1 #12 gardiner1955 2015-04-22 14:25
Assessment for my son notified by Maximus but no ESA50 had been completed recently. Rang Maximus and asked for a form to be issued but point blank refused saying they had a form completed in 2013!!!
Rang DWP and they 'advised' to attend otherwise SANCTIONS asked for a form to be issued but again refused.
Wrote to Maximus and said I had advised my son not to attend and if they didn't like my interference then I suggested obtaining a Court Order/injunctio n against me.
#11 Izzy 2015-04-22 12:23
Quoting Acorn Antiques:
Quote:
Acorn Antiques would Sue Marsh suggest that anyone called in for reassessment and not sent an ESA50 contact Maximus and ask for one? Where do you contact Maximus at?

Thanks


She hasn't said yes or no on this, but I know the advice on here is to not go to an assessment without having filled in a form, even if it means taking it with you- and get evidence too, like a letter from your GP/consultant etc.

Maximus's phone number is 0800 288 8777

their email is customer-relations@chdauk.co.uk

but you can download a form online.
Quoting Izzy:
Help!! I got called to another medical after 26 mths on esa. What a farce got zero points and used info from Esa50 form completed in January 2013 although my health and its effects on my everyday activities deteriorated. They are using out of date info Mandatory reconsideration came back with upheld so now will have to go to appeal.i really don't want to have to go through appeal as I really do believe that I haven't been given a fair process
#10 Izzy 2015-04-21 23:40
Help!! I got called to another medical after 26 mths on esa. What a farce got zero points and used info from Esa50 form completed in January 2013 although my health and its effects on my everyday activities deteriorated. They are using out of date info Mandatory reconsideration came back with upheld so now will have to go to appeal.i really don't want to have to go through appeal as I really do believe that I haven't been given a fair process
#9 Acorn Antiques 2015-04-15 21:38
Quote:
Acorn Antiques would Sue Marsh suggest that anyone called in for reassessment and not sent an ESA50 contact Maximus and ask for one? Where do you contact Maximus at?

Thanks
She hasn't said yes or no on this, but I know the advice on here is to not go to an assessment without having filled in a form, even if it means taking it with you- and get evidence too, like a letter from your GP/consultant etc.

Maximus's phone number is 0800 288 8777

their email is customer-relations@chdauk.co.uk

but you can download a form online.
#8 j112009 2015-04-15 19:28
Acorn Antiques would Sue Marsh suggest that anyone called in for reassessment and not sent an ESA50 contact Maximus and ask for one? Where do you contact Maximus at?

Thanks
+1 #7 Acorn Antiques 2015-04-14 21:00
A nice follow up today from Sue Marsh, "I agree that it would seem very odd to spare ppl the form filling, but still invite them for a face to face assessment. I am really trying to get to the bottom of it"

She also says:

" if you are able to ask ppl if they're willing to share their details you obviously have my email address so feel free to pass it on. Remind people not to send any personal details via email, just to get in touch initially. "

Specific cases to refer to and look into would be very useful for her to use as examples when she is questioning what's happening. If you have been asked to a Face to Face without first getting a form and are sure it isn't just a delayed appointment after a form submitted a year or so ago, that is the type of case she would be interested in. If you'd be willing to help her investigate in this way, could you let me know? NI numbers shouldn't be written on the internet or in emails, btw, so please don't give any.

Thanks.
+1 #6 Acorn Antiques 2015-04-14 14:42
I have received the same sort of reply from Sue Marsh, whom I asked about the prejudice against mental health claimants not being sent a ESA50.

This is what she emailed me today-

"The Benefits and Work article isn't accurate and sadly they haven't been prepared to share any further details with us. I am still looking into it, but can do little without further examples.

I will raise it again today, and I'll let you know if I get any further. It's a shame Benefits and Work wrote the article as they did, I think it's scaring people unnecessarily. My best guess is that where a doctor or claimant has indicated extreme distress at going through the WCA process, we're avoiding putting them through it again. It seems that might not be suiting all, but the latest MH ruling means we need to pre-empt mental distress and do all we can to minimise that distress in future.

Whilst some may feel that has denied them the chance to fill in a new form, it comes from a concern for the customer not incompetence or cruelty. "

Thoughts?

I'll let you know if I find more out.
+1 #5 Gary Martin 2015-04-13 11:40
Even the terminally ill? when a DS1500 form is sent they should not assess!!
+3 #4 Crazydiamond 2015-04-12 12:29
The concern is what Maximus are doing flies in the face of the Court of Appeal decision in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v MM & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 1565 (04 December 2013):-

www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/1565.html

This judgement stipulates that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions must make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 for ESA claimants with mental health problems, and the application of the work capability assessment.

Far from complying with the decision of the Court of Appeal, Duncan Smith has effectively stuck to fingers up to the court and instead of making it easier for ESA mental health claimants, he has made it infinitely more difficult!

I would suggest that any claimant in this category contacted by Maximus who did not receive an ESA50, as well as completing the form, refers to this important Court of Appeal judgement and perhaps include a copy with the ESA50 upon completion.
+1 #3 mike1983 2015-04-11 02:41
im on ESA support does this affect me ? as im already claiming it
+3 #2 micksville 2015-04-10 19:10
Well done B and W. It's taken less than six weeks for the new Atos Lite regime to end up with egg on it's face.
+3 #1 naheegan 2015-04-10 18:01
Thanks very much for following that up B&W.

“Not everyone will get a form.”
“One isn’t needed in your case.”
“You don’t need to fill one in.”

Regards Maximus' response, "If you are able to share the source of these quotes we will investigate accordingly. “...

always a good plan to be certain of getting the name and department of anyone spoken to on the phone.

I would also think it a good idea that anyone who does not receive a form may wish to also let other claimants know of it via forums, in order to alert other claimants of the possibility and the remedial action to take.

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