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Back in 2014, Benefits and Work first broke the news that repeat work capability assessments were being deferred for two years because of the massive backlog built up by Atos.

Now, under Maximus, there is evidence that further deferrals may be taking place.

We have heard from a number of posters on the forum who say that they have been told that an expected review of their employment and support allowance award will not now take place.

One poster told us:

“I was meant to be reassessed for ESA in 2015, but it was deferred because of the backlog. I expected the form sometime this month, but at a recent WFI my work coach said that it had been deferred for another two years.”

Another wrote:

“The same thing happened to me as I have previously posted. I was due to be reassessed Jan 2017 but when I rang DWP was advised it had been put back to Jan 2019.”

A third has remained without a review for even longer:

“Same here. Paper assessment 2009, support group, paper assessment 2012, support group. Nothing since, nearly five years now.”

Another member also phoned the DWP to find out when they were due for reassessment:

“My paperwork stated I was due for reassessment December 2016 but when I finally plucked up courage to ring up yesterday they said it was now December 2018.”

We’d be very interested to hear from other readers about whether your WCA has been deferred or not and, also, which group you are in: support group or work-related activity group. You can comment below.

Comments  

#101 Asbo 2017-04-22 16:28
Quote:
Quoting micksville:
I have wondered if this might be due to the announcement late last year that those with the most serious and chronic conditions will in future not have to face repeated reviews and theyre employing a holding tactic on their computer systems whilst they weed out those they deem to not need further repeated reviews, so that the computer system doesnt send out letters automatically whilst they do this. It's a theory.


I wondered something similar, Micksville, but would have hoped I fell into that group. I've just been transferred to PIP at enhanced/enhanced for an ongoing period, and my last ESA assessment said recovery was unlikely in the long term. So I'm not sure they are holding off based on severity or chronicity.

Perhaps it's just that with too few assessors they prioritised the WRAG for re-assessment, on the assumption that people in the WRAG might be more likely to be recovered, and left the SG pending. Who knows?
I wouldn't hold your breath. The Green Paper on Work & Health threatens to compel those with mental health and/or muscular-skelet al conditions (that's most of us) with work, even those in the SG :(
#100 Rainbowlight 2017-04-21 10:40
Quoting micksville:
I have wondered if this might be due to the announcement late last year that those with the most serious and chronic conditions will in future not have to face repeated reviews and theyre employing a holding tactic on their computer systems whilst they weed out those they deem to not need further repeated reviews, so that the computer system doesnt send out letters automatically whilst they do this. It's a theory.


I wondered something similar, Micksville, but would have hoped I fell into that group. I've just been transferred to PIP at enhanced/enhanc ed for an ongoing period, and my last ESA assessment said recovery was unlikely in the long term. So I'm not sure they are holding off based on severity or chronicity.

Perhaps it's just that with too few assessors they prioritised the WRAG for re-assessment, on the assumption that people in the WRAG might be more likely to be recovered, and left the SG pending. Who knows?
#99 micksville 2017-04-20 19:21
Quote:
Quoting micksville:
Out of interest are you in SG or WRAG Rainbowlight?


The SG.

It sounds as if you might have got to the bottom of it.
Yes she certainly seemed to be stating they had too few medical assessors but did say there was an issue with those in the SG She was specific about that. However, at least one poster on here says theyve been deferred and are in WRAG so who knows She did admit there had been blanket postponements for reviews but that the reviews could happen anytime so the two years isnt rigid. I have wondered if this might be due to the announcement late last year that those with the most serious and chronic conditions will in future not have to face repeated reviews and theyre employing a holding tactic on their computer systems whilst they weed out those they deem to not need further repeated reviews, so that the computer system doesnt send out letters automatically whilst they do this. It's a theory.
#98 Rainbowlight 2017-04-20 12:13
Quoting micksville:
Out of interest are you in SG or WRAG Rainbowlight?


The SG.

It sounds as if you might have got to the bottom of it.
#97 micksville 2017-04-20 11:03
Quote:
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but these apparent deferments may not be as solid as they seem.

I was told in February that my re-assessment date had been put back two years to April 2019. The person I spoke to double-checked for me to make sure she wasn't reading it wrong. I waited, the original end date of my claim passed and payments continued, so I breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed.

I have just received an ESA50, and JC+ have confirmed it has been sent appropriately, and further said there is no evidence (now) of a deferred date on my record. So the deferments may be a temporary holding measure due to a backlog, and may be being wiped off/substituted when they catch up and get round to you.
Out of interest are you in SG or WRAG Rainbowlight?
#96 micksville 2017-04-20 10:17
I was due in May this year but called on another matter in February and told it was deferred to May 2019. After reading other posts here I called just now and asked and its still May 2019 but was advised it can change and that the deferrals were due to some issues with the medical provider i.e. backlogs and issues with medical staff ( It sounded like recruitment problems). The lady did mention that this was affecting the SG. Hope this helps but it seems the deferrals are a holding tactic and the revised review dates can kick in anytime before the two year referral date
#95 phoz 2017-04-20 00:12
Hi to you good folks, I was migrated from IB in Oct 2012 having been on IB since age 26, I am now 60, it was a paper assessment and I was put in the support group for 2 years so I am about 3 & a half years overdue and long may it continue.
I have mental health issues and was recently diagnosed with Autistic spectrum disorder, ASD on top of the original probs. I'm not saying a word to DWP in case it triggers a reassessment. Best of luck, try and be happy because worry changes nothing. :-)
+1 #94 Rainbowlight 2017-04-18 14:55
Forgot to add, I am in the SG, last assessment 2013.
+1 #93 Rainbowlight 2017-04-18 14:54
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but these apparent deferments may not be as solid as they seem.

I was told in February that my re-assessment date had been put back two years to April 2019. The person I spoke to double-checked for me to make sure she wasn't reading it wrong. I waited, the original end date of my claim passed and payments continued, so I breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed.

I have just received an ESA50, and JC+ have confirmed it has been sent appropriately, and further said there is no evidence (now) of a deferred date on my record. So the deferments may be a temporary holding measure due to a backlog, and may be being wiped off/substituted when they catch up and get round to you.
#92 Ian 2017-04-16 08:31
I migrated to ESA (Contributions only) Aug 2012, was placed in WG appealed went into SG no medical till Aug 2014, didn't hear anything till March 2017 filled in the form and have sent it off. Strange thing is come February 2018 my ESA (Contributions only) payment stops as I reach 65 years of age. I am 70% disabled for War Pension and still on the lowest rate DLA. So wondering when I will be contacted for the ESA and DLA to migrate to PIP. The mind boggles! I moved to the NE 12 months ago.
#91 Penelopej 2017-04-15 09:58
i had my medical assessment 3 years ago and they put me in the working group I appealed that and went to a tribunal, I won my case and was put in the none working group. Last month I was called for another medical and was petrified, I waited just 2 weeks for the outcome , this time they put me straight into the esa none working group, I was really shocked and happy to think I dint have to fight it ,but for some reason I feel uneasy about it because when I go on to PIP I think i will be having moor problems . I am on income support and disability and wounder when they will change me to PIP can anyone advice me on this please
#90 WestCountryPerson 2017-04-12 19:40
South West England

Assessed by ATOS late February 2015, while in WRAG. Subsequently placed in ESA Support Group. April 2015 told to expect re-assessment about February 2017.

April 2017, I rang to advise change of circumstances. I was told re-assessment now expected May 2019. Pension will be payable April 2021.

Incidentally, I have moved home twice in this period. I have also had a number of updated diagnoses. In each case (except the most recent, when I rang with a new diagnosis) wrote, recorded delivery, to advise "change of circumstances". Neither address change was implemented properly by DWP (until I rang). Not all diagnoses had been recorded according to the call-centre in the most recent conversation.

Typed (as is all my correspondence with DWP) for me!
#89 auntyjean 2017-04-12 19:37
My son who has aspergers syndrome was changed to the support group ESA and told he would be reassessed after 18 months which was last November but he has heard nothing. He was also told in 2014 that his DLA would change to PIP in 2015 but again nothing.
#88 rainbowlucie 2017-04-12 16:59
I have MS and was tranistioned over from Incapacity Benefit to ESA in 2013. I was put in the support group and was told that it would be reviewed in 3 years, as that was the maximum length of award they could give. I have heard nothing from DWP since.
#87 Asbo 2017-04-12 16:09
I was put in SG back in 2013. I don't know how long for because too scared to find out or maybe it was due the year Atos bailed. They then postponed all people due for reassessments for two years. That two years is up I think. But I was awarded PIP last year and info is shared, they said that when I was invited to apply for PIP from DLA. I am hoping that will make me less of a priority but who knows?
#86 j112009 2017-04-12 15:53
I was migrated from incap to ESA in April 2013 to the support group for 2 years and was expecting to reassessd in 2015 but have heard nothing yet. I don't want to ring them as scared it may trigger the reassessment.
#85 Renovatio 2017-04-12 15:48
Placed in SG in 2012 with no further assessment.

Is there possibly a relationship between ESA reassessment and the level of DLA or PIP that you receive? For example if you are High for mobility and care they are not wasting time on an ESA reassessment.
#84 Tabbycat 2017-04-12 15:00
In response to "Is there any pattern?"
I am in SG, severe RA for 46 years, no prospect of improvement, only deterioration. I live in East Anglia. Transferred to ESA 2012 , 2 year award, then Atos quit another 2 year deferral....... not heard from them since, thank goodness. Is it people they think they can get off ESA altogether or downgrade from SG to WRAG that they are targeting??? Interesting what others say.
#83 Suzanne Sloane 2017-04-12 14:50
I waa put in Support Group in 2014 for 2 years. Around the same time I was awarded PIP enhanced rate cate and mobility. When my Carer rang ESA last August to enquire what was happenning about my ESA review they said not to worry, payments would continue, but gave no indication of what was happenning or when I willl hear. I had a paper PIP review in December last year and was able to provide a lot of evidence in the form of specialist's letters and my award was extended for 3 years without the need for face to face assessment.
I reach retirement age in March 2018 so although that will present new challenges to work out where I stand, I am just hoping ESA leave me alone until then al least.
#82 sickandtired 2017-04-12 14:11
I was placed in Support Group for the firs time two years ago, with no face to face, after several years in WRAG, also got DLA HRC & HRM until 08/17 around the same time. Just received the ESA50 right on the 2 year review date, so for me it seems like it's business as usual. By the way, I have had my condition 9 years and it is unlikely to get better.

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