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TOPIC: Placement in ESA Support Group under threat

Placement in ESA Support Group under threat 5 months 2 days ago #187546

My first post, & don't know what all the Topic icons mean, so I hope I am doing it OK.
Basically, I've been in ESA Support Group by Tribunal for over 3 years, with the maximum time directed. But now, I've just been sent an ESA50 Form to reassess my Capability to Work all over again (back to Jobseekers Allowance in one step?), & wonder if this is usual at 62 years of age.
It's as if I have to start back at square one as the questions are very similar to those in my original ESA application, when the whole process took many stressful months, with no record on which to base a reason why I have to be reassessed now.
At the time, even the ATOS doctor recognised that my health conditions could only get worse with age & time - and indeed they have, yet I'm astounded how his statements don't appear to be taken into consideration.
Naturally have been using the Member Guides to help me, but still look for further advice & information, especially where an 'older' claimant is concerned.

NB With just under a month granted to get my Form in & most of the annual increase due to
my ESA not coming into force until December, if anything, feel I am being 'fast tracked' out
of ESA!

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Placement in ESA Support Group under threat 5 months 1 day ago #187558

All ESA claimants will be reassessed periodically. The longest period without reassessment, under normal circumstances, is 3 years for those in the Support Group - so your ESA50 has arrived right on target.

We have heard from members who have received a form just a few weeks away from retirement, so that fact that you are now 65 will not be taken into consideration.

You should treat this from as if it were a new claim. It is unlikely that the assessor will have any prior knowledge of you or your current award.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Running_on_mt, Alex

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Placement in ESA Support Group under threat 5 months 1 day ago #187560

  • Gordon
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Running_on_mt

I'm afraid ESA is a benefit that claimants should expect to be regularly assessed for, there is no way around this. The DWP operate a policy that all conditions are capable of improvement and age is also not a factor to prevent them looking at a claim again.

You need to treat this as a new claim for ESA, especially as the last Decision was made at a Tribunal and assume that those assessing you have no knowledge of your problems, this includes your providing evidence of your conditions which you should send even if it was previously submitted, providing of course that it is still relevant.

Be aware that there is no extension available for the completion of the ESA50.

Just a head's up, the December increase you mention is only for one week as it is the Christmas bonus.

If you have further questions then please reply to this post and we will do our best to help.

Gordon
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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Placement in ESA Support Group under threat 5 months 1 day ago #187574

Thanks for such an immediate reply & helping to answer my question. You've confirmed:
1. It's usual, & 3 or so years are as long as you can hope for.
2. No different for anyone no matter how close to retirement.
3. Alerted me that it will be treated as a new claim irrespective of having gone
through a Tribunal.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mrs Hurtyback

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Placement in ESA Support Group under threat 5 months 1 day ago #187581

Thank you for such an immediate reply as well, confirming Mrs Hurtyback & adding clarification that:
1. All conditions, whether degenerative or not, are assumed capable of improving by default.
2. As a new claim, evidence should be resubmitted, irrespective of having been through a Tribunal.
3. The December increase I saw was really the Christmas bonus!
I'm sure to be returning to the Forum with more questions, as it looks as if I'll be in for a rougher ride this time round, as if it wasn't bad enough before!

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Placement in ESA Support Group under threat 4 months 2 days ago #189798

Hi Gordon

Situation still ongoing, but just to add that today I've stumbled across paperwork concerning that mysterious increase in December.

Though it made perfect sense at the time to put it down to the 'Christmas Bonus', because of the timing, I've found the statement on the letter actually reads ... 'From 1 December your Employment and Support Allowance will be £...... a week'.

And that is with a full stop afterwards with no further rider to the statement, so I am back to wondering if this is a deferred increase, as originally suspected, put out from the reach of most, like myself, facing reassessment.

Or is this a mistake in how it's been expressed and really is a 'Christmas Bonus'? - realising this is a very small point in the scheme of the things I am presently going through.

With thanks again.

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Moderators: bro58GordonMrs Hurtyback