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TOPIC: ESA(IR) disability top-up

ESA(IR) disability top-up 1 year 3 months ago #183141


I'm afraid that revision rates at appeal are very low, so you should not be entirely surprised at the outcome.

I note that you reference the Mobility Descriptor in your post, please pay careful attention to the use of a wheelchair in addition to showing you cannot walk you must also show you cannot self-propel a wheelchair.


ESA(IR) disability top-up 1 year 1 month ago #188391

Made an appointment with local law centre, who helped to complete and submit an appeal to tribunal, some 5-6 weeks ago. Received a letter from the tribunal service stating that the decision officer has both reviewed and changed their decision to a more positive one, therefore my tribunal appeal has been closed. Have heard nothing from DWP, so unclear what the decision is, but am assuming they have moved me from WRAG to SG. Excellent news!

As suggested by Gordon, I had also submitted a complaint about DWP having taken 3 months to make a decision on my MR request, which I submitted to a DWP manager who had handled an earlier complaint on the same claim. I then received a call from another DWP manager, who informed me the other manager no longer worked for the department and my complaint would have to be sent to stage one, because more than six months had passed since the previous complaint was dealt with.

Having heard nothing further after one month, I sent the DWP manager who called me an email, but that was now more than a month ago and I still have heard nothing about my complaint. I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to proceed

ESA(IR) disability top-up 1 year 1 month ago #188449


A more favourable offer would place you in the Support Group, so well done.

It is usual for the DWP to lapse (cancel) your appeal when this happens.

I would certainly chase the DWP for an update and a new Decision Letter.


tags: @RESULT @ESA @MR

ESA(IR) disability top-up 9 months 2 weeks ago #196766

Just an update to this claim, in case it is in some way helpful to others

The DWP letter explaining that I had been placed in the SG did eventually arrive, but they started paying me as a single person, even though my wife is getting carers allowance for looking after me. They were paying the flat rate of £103.15 per week

Made a second stage formal complaint and even outlined step by step, every stage of my claim and where they had gone wrong. Got a phone call from a senior manager because I had included the fact I had attempted suicide as a direct result of their errors and she wanted to call the police, presumably to make sure I was ok. Said she would be investigating, but heard nothing for a further two months. Still getting paid as a single person, but rate has increased to £125.60

Made a third stage complaint to DWP and got a call from another senior manager who promised to investigate. Acknowledged my list of 45 errors/incidents where DWP had messed up on my claim, going all the way back to when I first claimed in Oct'15. They did mention how slow the local benefits centre is and how frustrating that is for them, but promised to cal back within three weeks.

The senior manager called back four weeks later to say they had received a response from local benefits centre to say they would be writing to me separately. Claimed not to know what their outcome was, but confirmed that upon receipt of their letter, I could accept it as their final response and take the case to the independent case examiner if I disagreed. So what happened to them carrying out an investigation? I smelled a rat.

As expected I received the letter from local benefits centre three days later. My calculations showed that they had underpaid by more than £3,000 and the point by point list even included how I had reached that figure, going all the way back to Oct'15, but somehow they claimed to have underpaid by £300.

The letter said nothing about my complaint, this being their final response, or anything. I checked the website of independent case examiner and found that they will not accept my claim without a letter from DWP saying they have completed their investigation. I called the ESA helpline, who could not find any trace of my claim prior to May'16. They were very argumentative and in the end, agreed to request a call back from the local benefits centre.

Surprisingly, I got a callback within 3 hours and the person was extremely helpful. They too could find no trace of my claim prior to May'16. We eventually figured out what had happened. I had submitted the claim in Oct'15 but it was refused, subsequently claimed PIP and my wife claimed JSA. All was well we thought until my wife's entitlement to contribution based JSA ran out, then we were visited by a fraud investigator from NAO. We had been given the wrong advice by JCP back in 2015 and subsequently claimed the wrong benefits, so the auditor advised us to claim ESA as a couple and ask for it to be backdated. That was end of May'16. DWP initially refused to back date the claim and we went through a very long winded process, eventually they agreed they should have backdated the claim to Oct15, which they did. However, it appears they never updated the claim on their systems, which is why no trace of a claim prior to May16 can be found.

This individual on the phone was tenacious, like a dog with a bone and even stayed late at work to calculate my entitlement and get the payment authorised by a manager. Their calculations were the same as mine and I received the payment in full 3 days later.

In conclusion, I have learned a lot. Firstly, to NEVER give up. Second, that the individuals working at DWP are really frustrated, unhappy, under staffed and in a lot of cases, fed up. Our government spent £millions on a computer system that is not fit for purpose and one of the staff actually told me that on occasions, they have to close a persons claim, then rebuild it in order to pay them. A lot of staff are taking sick leave, leaving the offices understaffed and moral is lower than low. Often, they are every bit as frustrated as we are.

Having previously done a lot of research into government contracts, I can see so clearly the familiar patterns. The government have spent £millions of taxpayers money on a computer system they were told would work, but it doesn't and now nobody wants to be left holding the can for that. Nobody will admit that the multi £millions computer system is unfit for purpose, so it is the individual frontline staff in local benefit centres that are left to figure a fix.

I am grateful to Gordon and all of the team for your help, support and guidance along the way. The words just seem inadequate, but I could not have done this without use.


ESA(IR) disability top-up 9 months 2 weeks ago #196794


Congratulations on arguing your case all the way to a successful conclusion.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Darren Jones

ESA(IR) disability top-up 9 months 2 weeks ago #196829

Well done for sticking with this until it was sorted out. Many people would have given up the fight!
Moderators: bro58GordonMrs HurtybackIzzy1010LisaJenny Clarke