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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  

#128 Chris29 2017-07-26 02:06
Quote:
Quoting Chris29:
Unless you have it in writing that the form was in error you should fill and return it, the consequences of failing to do so is worse than been found fit for work in a WCA.


In my case, I have it in writing in an email. I also checked with Maximus and they confirmed that my referral had been withdrawn.

I failed to return the ESA50 last time I was reassessed, because Maximus lied and said that I could have more time to return it but then followed the usual procedure once the deadline arrived. What they don't tell you -- or at least what happened to me in 2015 -- is that if you're already in the SG and you fail to return an ESA50, they go to your GP for advice on your capability for work instead. Which ended up just being a list of my medical conditions, and I was put back in SG, so why the hell they have to hassle everyone I don't know.
Thats good news, but I cannot confirm what you said about failing to return the form, I didnt receive a form when I should have (and as a result didnt return it) about 4 years ago and was in the SG, I then got found fit for work as a result. I was very lucky that I had strong evidence to make them reconsider it, although I still had to have the WCA but at least got the fit for work reverted.

Generally if the form isnt returned and they dont accept your reason, then not only are you found fit for work there is these 2 caveats.

1 - If you appeal you cannot get payments whilst appealing like from a failed WCA.
2 - You cannot just right away make a new claim as there is not the 6 month gap from the decision.
#127 SJ 2017-07-25 16:16
Quoting Carl:

Your correct, they just don't care. As so many have had defferals it's telling them for instance 2yrs and yet the esa50 will come through the post when it suits them.
Mine as said was with them 14wks ago this Friday, not heard a whisper as of yet. Either they have so many to process or have a massive back log. Please post any information you receive. Bye for now.


I think a backlog is why they've deferred reassessments again. It may be worth checking though as I didn't receive a letter about the outcome of my last two reassessments, so I was worrying about it for far longer than I needed to. I don't know if Maximus do all the ESA assessments now but you can email them and they can tell you whether they've given advice to DWP yet on your claim. Otherwise it means contacting DWP, or just waiting.
#126 Carl 2017-07-25 16:13
Quoting Asbo:
Quoting Carl:
Quoting TwistedWitch :
I posted earlier in this thread. My paper assessment back in 2013 was Support Group for one year, but that was subsequently deferred and didn't pop up again until March this year, to be returned by 7th April. After an agonising 15 week wait I finally heard this morning. Support Group on a paper assessment. A phone call informed me that I have been granted this for 36 months. It took me 45 minutes and a phone call to my Daughter before I had the courage to open it and then I got hysterical with relief. Someone asked earlier if they knew what they were doing, of course they do and they don't ruddy well care.

,
Correct they don't care as its all laid out by the government, they got bide by the WCA hand book. It's great news for you as getting what your entitled to.
As I mentioned on here that the dwp had my paper work 14wks this Friday, that's a long time to not know what they want from me. So it could well be that they are doing a paper assessment rather than a wca. I was advised from another forum that it's possible being a paper assessment as they take longer in the reply from the dwp. I hope they are doing a paper assessment as we all know that going to a wca adds more stress and exacerbate our conditions.
Keep you updated. Bye for now.


I got into SG very quickly with paper assessment last time (this was in 2013). I don't think the length of time means anything. I have just got another ESA and as it's with Maximus now and numbers are dropping in SG I;m shit scared.though I do have good GP support


Well well, as it be I just today received a letter from Maximus and I have to attend another WCA next month.
Myself with what they received was a GP Support Letter, one as well from my Local MP, and a Friend, some good that was, or as said never bothered reading it.
#125 SJ 2017-07-25 16:05
Quoting Chris29:
Unless you have it in writing that the form was in error you should fill and return it, the consequences of failing to do so is worse than been found fit for work in a WCA.


In my case, I have it in writing in an email. I also checked with Maximus and they confirmed that my referral had been withdrawn.

I failed to return the ESA50 last time I was reassessed, because Maximus lied and said that I could have more time to return it but then followed the usual procedure once the deadline arrived. What they don't tell you -- or at least what happened to me in 2015 -- is that if you're already in the SG and you fail to return an ESA50, they go to your GP for advice on your capability for work instead. Which ended up just being a list of my medical conditions, and I was put back in SG, so why the hell they have to hassle everyone I don't know.
#124 Asbo 2017-07-25 14:49
Quoting Carl:
Quoting TwistedWitch :
I posted earlier in this thread. My paper assessment back in 2013 was Support Group for one year, but that was subsequently deferred and didn't pop up again until March this year, to be returned by 7th April. After an agonising 15 week wait I finally heard this morning. Support Group on a paper assessment. A phone call informed me that I have been granted this for 36 months. It took me 45 minutes and a phone call to my Daughter before I had the courage to open it and then I got hysterical with relief. Someone asked earlier if they knew what they were doing, of course they do and they don't ruddy well care.

,
Correct they don't care as its all laid out by the government, they got bide by the WCA hand book. It's great news for you as getting what your entitled to.
As I mentioned on here that the dwp had my paper work 14wks this Friday, that's a long time to not know what they want from me. So it could well be that they are doing a paper assessment rather than a wca. I was advised from another forum that it's possible being a paper assessment as they take longer in the reply from the dwp. I hope they are doing a paper assessment as we all know that going to a wca adds more stress and exacerbate our conditions.
Keep you updated. Bye for now.


I got into SG very quickly with paper assessment last time (this was in 2013). I don't think the length of time means anything. I have just got another ESA and as it's with Maximus now and numbers are dropping in SG I;m shit scared.though I do have good GP support
#123 Carl 2017-07-25 08:35
Quoting TwistedWitch :
I posted earlier in this thread. My paper assessment back in 2013 was Support Group for one year, but that was subsequently deferred and didn't pop up again until March this year, to be returned by 7th April. After an agonising 15 week wait I finally heard this morning. Support Group on a paper assessment. A phone call informed me that I have been granted this for 36 months. It took me 45 minutes and a phone call to my Daughter before I had the courage to open it and then I got hysterical with relief. Someone asked earlier if they knew what they were doing, of course they do and they don't ruddy well care.

,
Correct they don't care as its all laid out by the government, they got bide by the WCA hand book. It's great news for you as getting what your entitled to.
As I mentioned on here that the dwp had my paper work 14wks this Friday, that's a long time to not know what they want from me. So it could well be that they are doing a paper assessment rather than a wca. I was advised from another forum that it's possible being a paper assessment as they take longer in the reply from the dwp. I hope they are doing a paper assessment as we all know that going to a wca adds more stress and exacerbate our conditions.
Keep you updated. Bye for now.
#122 TwistedWitch 2017-07-24 23:41
I posted earlier in this thread. My paper assessment back in 2013 was Support Group for one year, but that was subsequently deferred and didn't pop up again until March this year, to be returned by 7th April. After an agonising 15 week wait I finally heard this morning. Support Group on a paper assessment. A phone call informed me that I have been granted this for 36 months. It took me 45 minutes and a phone call to my Daughter before I had the courage to open it and then I got hysterical with relief. Someone asked earlier if they knew what they were doing, of course they do and they don't ruddy well care.
#121 Chris29 2017-07-24 16:27
Unless you have it in writing that the form was in error you should fill and return it, the consequences of failing to do so is worse than been found fit for work in a WCA.
#120 Carl 2017-07-24 14:33
Quote:
I posted before that my ESA reassessment was due in May this year, but I was told it'd been deferred for two years. Last weekend I received an ESA50 out of the blue -- cue lots of stress and anger. I was already in contact with DWP by email and I thought they'd done it on purpose to shut me up. But two days later they said it was an error, apologised, said I don't need to fill in the form.

I don't know what's going on with them, but I've been told two different things about the two year deferral -- that it's just a holding date and can be changed when they start reassessing people again, and that it'd only be brought forward if there's a change of circumstances. I'm not sure DWP staff even know what's going on.

The process is bad enough without the uncertainty of when the next reassessment will be. And without "errors" that cause unnecessary stress. They either have no idea how getting an ESA50 can affect people or they just don't care.
Your correct, they just don't care. As so many have had defferals it's telling them for instance 2yrs and yet the esa50 will come through the post when it suits them.
Mine as said was with them 14wks ago this Friday, not heard a whisper as of yet. Either they have so many to process or have a massive back log. Please post any information you receive. Bye for now.
#119 SJ 2017-07-23 19:50
I posted before that my ESA reassessment was due in May this year, but I was told it'd been deferred for two years. Last weekend I received an ESA50 out of the blue -- cue lots of stress and anger. I was already in contact with DWP by email and I thought they'd done it on purpose to shut me up. But two days later they said it was an error, apologised, said I don't need to fill in the form.

I don't know what's going on with them, but I've been told two different things about the two year deferral -- that it's just a holding date and can be changed when they start reassessing people again, and that it'd only be brought forward if there's a change of circumstances. I'm not sure DWP staff even know what's going on.

The process is bad enough without the uncertainty of when the next reassessment will be. And without "errors" that cause unnecessary stress. They either have no idea how getting an ESA50 can affect people or they just don't care.
#118 Carl 2017-07-23 03:32
Quoting Lee Jones:
Hi am on esa wrag had my medicial in September 2016 and my first work focused interview in Feb 2017, was told im on a 18 month backdated from last March so i should have another medical in September this year but today in the post i have another work focused interview at the job centre on the 4th August is it normal to have another wfi before a medical when my condition hasn't changed


As I am aware they usually ask for you to attend about six times for a wfi. It depends on how they feel wether to ask you or not. What they think is because of wrag, that to them is saying because of your condition they assume you are capable of certain types of work.
Best of luck with your next wca.
#117 Lee Jones 2017-07-22 15:03
Hi am on esa wrag had my medicial in September 2016 and my first work focused interview in Feb 2017, was told im on a 18 month backdated from last March so i should have another medical in September this year but today in the post i have another work focused interview at the job centre on the 4th August is it normal to have another wfi before a medical when my condition hasn't changed
#116 Chris29 2017-07-13 17:08
The form was sent off last week. With about a week to spare for the due date, first class signed for.
#115 Carl 2017-07-12 14:42
Quoting Carl:
Quoting Carl:
Quoting Chris29:
Hi Carl

It will probably be 2 weeks before I post it back, as you stated I am in no rush for this process to be completed.
I can post back here with how long I wait for an assessment or if I get a paper decision. In the past I have not provided much evidence with the ESA 50 and instead brought it with me to the assessment, but I would like to avoid a face to face so this time will provide consultants details etc. with the ESA 50 form to see if I can avoid the face to face.

Usually I get a appointment within 4 weeks of sending it back, but then when I request the recording it takes them some months to arrange it.


Hi Chris. Yes the more information given to them is the longer it takes them to decide if you have to go to another assessment. However, they have a tendency to not read what we have sent them. As I said come tomorrow will be 8wks and not heard from them yet. Mine will be recorded as like before, and assuming that they call me in for another wca, I will ask them if the recording equipment is there 48hrs before the wca date.
I will keep you updated as soon as they contact me. Bye for now. Carl.


Hi Chris. Another week has past and not heard anything from the DWP yet. I thought that the ESA50 was sent to Maximus first, but then I was told that its the DWP that gets it first and they decide going from the info we send whether a F2F is required. So, until I receive something from them I have no idea of attending a F2F or not. Speak soon and take care.

Hi Chris. This Friday will be the 12th week they had my paper work, I still aint heard anything from them. I still receive my benefit anyway as they cant stop it from my previous WCA.
As be it of the info they had, I have more issues that have arose that they know nothing about. My results will tell me next week if I have Asthma and or COPD.
#114 Carl 2017-06-27 16:56
Quote:
I put in an FOI about ESA reassessments being deferred. It was rejected due to cost (they said they hold some information, so I may try again and be more specific), but they did give some info/explanation.

It mostly refers to when reassessments were deferred in 2014, it doesn't say anything about them being deferred now. But what it does say of the 2014 deferral is:

"For the purposes of administration a 24 month period was set, but did not prevent the Department from being able to revisit those cases during that period once reassessments were restarted."

So I guess that's what they've done again. So the deferred reassessment dates are pretty much meaningless because they can choose to do them at any time.

To me that's worse, as now I have no idea when I'll be reassessed. It could be the 2019 date I've been given, or it could be at any point before then. They even suggest that the prognosis date doesn't mean that you'll be reassessed then, just that a review is normally done around that date.
As the date given for you in 2019, whatever month that is it's been mentioned in sites i've looked at that they can't call you in before that date. My review date was December 2016 and was sent an esa50 March just gone. I am still waiting for what they say after they had my paper work in April.
They maybe doing a paper assessment or call me in for another wca. Who knows. Take care.
#113 SJ 2017-06-27 15:49
I put in an FOI about ESA reassessments being deferred. It was rejected due to cost (they said they hold some information, so I may try again and be more specific), but they did give some info/explanation.

It mostly refers to when reassessments were deferred in 2014, it doesn't say anything about them being deferred now. But what it does say of the 2014 deferral is:

"For the purposes of administration a 24 month period was set, but did not prevent the Department from being able to revisit those cases during that period once reassessments were restarted."

So I guess that's what they've done again. So the deferred reassessment dates are pretty much meaningless because they can choose to do them at any time.

To me that's worse, as now I have no idea when I'll be reassessed. It could be the 2019 date I've been given, or it could be at any point before then. They even suggest that the prognosis date doesn't mean that you'll be reassessed then, just that a review is normally done around that date.
#112 Carl 2017-06-24 11:22
Quoting Carl:
Quoting Chris29:
Hi Carl

It will probably be 2 weeks before I post it back, as you stated I am in no rush for this process to be completed.
I can post back here with how long I wait for an assessment or if I get a paper decision. In the past I have not provided much evidence with the ESA 50 and instead brought it with me to the assessment, but I would like to avoid a face to face so this time will provide consultants details etc. with the ESA 50 form to see if I can avoid the face to face.

Usually I get a appointment within 4 weeks of sending it back, but then when I request the recording it takes them some months to arrange it.


Hi Chris. Yes the more information given to them is the longer it takes them to decide if you have to go to another assessment. However, they have a tendency to not read what we have sent them. As I said come tomorrow will be 8wks and not heard from them yet. Mine will be recorded as like before, and assuming that they call me in for another wca, I will ask them if the recording equipment is there 48hrs before the wca date.
I will keep you updated as soon as they contact me. Bye for now. Carl.


Hi Chris. Another week has past and not heard anything from the DWP yet. I thought that the ESA50 was sent to Maximus first, but then I was told that its the DWP that gets it first and they decide going from the info we send whether a F2F is required. So, until I receive something from them I have no idea of attending a F2F or not. Speak soon and take care.
#111 Carl 2017-06-15 14:00
Quoting Chris29:
Hi Carl

It will probably be 2 weeks before I post it back, as you stated I am in no rush for this process to be completed.
I can post back here with how long I wait for an assessment or if I get a paper decision. In the past I have not provided much evidence with the ESA 50 and instead brought it with me to the assessment, but I would like to avoid a face to face so this time will provide consultants details etc. with the ESA 50 form to see if I can avoid the face to face.

Usually I get a appointment within 4 weeks of sending it back, but then when I request the recording it takes them some months to arrange it.


Hi Chris. Yes the more information given to them is the longer it takes them to decide if you have to go to another assessment. However, they have a tendency to not read what we have sent them. As I said come tomorrow will be 8wks and not heard from them yet. Mine will be recorded as like before, and assuming that they call me in for another wca, I will ask them if the recording equipment is there 48hrs before the wca date.
I will keep you updated as soon as they contact me. Bye for now. Carl.
#110 Chris29 2017-06-15 07:34
Hi Carl

It will probably be 2 weeks before I post it back, as you stated I am in no rush for this process to be completed.
I can post back here with how long I wait for an assessment or if I get a paper decision. In the past I have not provided much evidence with the ESA 50 and instead brought it with me to the assessment, but I would like to avoid a face to face so this time will provide consultants details etc. with the ESA 50 form to see if I can avoid the face to face.

Usually I get a appointment within 4 weeks of sending it back, but then when I request the recording it takes them some months to arrange it.
#109 Carl 2017-06-14 16:50
Quoting Chris29:
I am in the support group and just received an ESA50, so no deferral here.

Also I think I never got deferred in 2014 either, I had an assessment just before the deferrals started and think I had a 3 year prognosis which matches when I got this new form.

I think it was never nationwide, my area never seems to have delays for the assessments unless its recorded.

Hi Chris29. Thanks for your reply. It will be 8wks this Friday since they had what I sent them. I also as the previous assessment told them I want it recorded, however it maybe they are doing a paper assessment instead of having another face to face assessment.
They have no information to contact me as no phone number is given to them, I won't contact them as it will be a reminder to get on with it. As be it I will have to wait and see.
It would be great if you can let me know when you send your esa50 to maximus, and how long after they call you in for an assessment or a paper assessment. As be it I'm in S Wales.

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