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TOPIC: Mandatory Consideration

Mandatory Consideration 3 months 1 week ago #208175

Hi,

I have been on ESA for some years now with severe social anxiety disorder/AvPD. 2 years or so in WRAG and then the last 5 years or so in the support group. I also receive DLA middle rate care and low rate mobility.

I had an ESA assessment a couple of weeks ago and found out today I scored 0 points. The assessment was very short and she seemed kind of quietly hostile. I said I had supporting letters with me which she declined but as I was leaving I insisted on giving them to her. I suspect she hasn't taken these into account at all.

Anyway I plan to do a MR. I asked today for ESA85 and will hopefully be seeing someone from MIND who will help me. What I;m confused about is what I do now.

I'm assuming I need to contact my council regarding housing benefit and tell them the situation. But I don't know what to do about JSA? Do I claim it? Can I then hand in a sick note from my GP which will cover my MR/appeal period or for a while. I don't think I would be able to do things like job interviews etc.. I barely leave the house and am incredibly socially isolated. I don't really know what to do for the best. I do have a recovery worker at MIND who will hopefully help me, but I'm already panicking about JSA/Housing.

Mandatory Consideration 3 months 1 week ago #208182

Mory

You need to check whether you can claim JSA or not, some areas will now only accept a claim for Universal Credit. If your area is one of them then I would recommend that you get face to face advice first as it may disadvantage you in the long term if you claim UC.

If you can claim JSA then once you claim is accepted and in payment then you should be able to supply a Fit Note and be excused from your Claimant Commitment for up to 13 weeks.

If you go onto appeal then you can ask to be put back onto ESA at the Assessment rate.

You do need to contact your Local Authority as they will be stopping your Housing Benefit but a claim due to Nil Income should be accepted.

The first stage to challenging a Decision is for you to request a Mandatory Reconsideration, this needs to be done in writing to the DWP, within one month of the Decision, to the office that dealt with your claim, have a look at our ESA MR & Appeal guide for details of the process, the ESA area also has template letters that you can use to make the request with.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/esa1

You should contact the DWP for a copy of the assessment report (ESA85), if you have not already done so, I would phone them but again follow up the request in writing. Once you have the assessment report you will have a better understanding of how the DWP Decision Maker has come to their conclusions and will then be able to argue against them.

Your primary task is to show that you meet the criteria, there are many reasons you may have failed, you need to address each of these but don't get bogged down in criticising the assessment report unless you can clearly show that it is incorrect, it is a lot easier to argue the facts of the situation;

"the assessor recorded that I walked 50m, I did but they have failed to document that I had to stop every 10m for a rest due to breathlessness"

than their opinions

"based on my observations of the claimant walking I believe that they can reliably walk more than 200m.

When you have a better idea of the issues with your claim, come back to the forum and we will do our best to help.

Gordon

Mandatory Consideration 3 months 1 week ago #208186

Thanks Gordon. As far as I am aware UC isn't in my area until June 2018. I will check though that this is applicable to all claimants before I do anything hasty.

I have requested ESA85 today. And I was sent ESA65 - the decision makers report which is just ludicrous.

Apparently I'm perfectly fine dealing with other (unfamiliar) people because I have my shopping delivered (so I speak to the delivery driver) and can talk to my MIND recovery worker on a regular basis. Yet I have letters from the Richmond Fellowship, MIND and my counsellor that state I can'r cope with social interactions and my only interactions are with health professionals.

I will wait for the other report though and take it from there I guess, Thank you for you reply.

Mandatory Consideration 3 months 1 week ago #208205

Mory

Have a look at the following, it contains all the Case Law for ESA If you click on Activities then Coping with Social Situations.

wcainfo.net/


Gordon

Mandatory Consideration 3 months 1 week ago #208254

Thank You Gordon. That's a great help :)

Out of interest does anyone know if there is a difference between new style JSA and ordinary JSA? Is the 'new style' a reference to universal credit? Or something else entirely. I'm not sure what my area is (just that it's not a UC area) but am wondering if new style JSA is something to be avoided whilst doing a MR. I'm not making a claim until Monday.

Mandatory Consideration 3 months 1 week ago #208262

Mory

New Style JSA and ESA are the Contribution Based versions of these benefits in a UC area.

If you are not in a UC areas then you can't claim these.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mory
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