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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  

#106 Teresa 2017-05-10 00:02
They gave me a 2 year extension in August 2015 but reassessed me after 18 months. I'm not on JSA and it is killing me. Today I was so stressed I paid £175 I don't have to enrol on a training course that a plausible woman on the phone said would get me a job. I know I'm not going to be able to complete it, so it's just a waste of money. That's what they do to you. Pressure, pressure, pressure.
#105 Carl 2017-05-09 16:40
Quote:
I finally heard back from DWP re several questions I'd asked, including my ESA reassessment that was due in April 2017. I've now been told that my reassessment is due in May 2019, due to "a government easement when the previous contractor was in arrears". I was last assessed in May 2015 (done via my GP when I didn't return the ESA50, and put back in SG).

So relieved not to have the reassessment for another 2 years.
Great news for you. My last assessment of April 2014 and placed in the support group after a MR. They sent me a new ESA50 in March this year, they have received that on 21/04/17. Hopefully they will take great care in what they have to read through, hopefully they will do a paper assessment instead of having another wca to attend. God knows when they send me a letter to state to attend or not.
Time will tell but it's as you and many others the amount of stress it causes on top of our illnesses and or disabilities. Take care.
#104 SJ 2017-05-09 15:02
I finally heard back from DWP re several questions I'd asked, including my ESA reassessment that was due in April 2017. I've now been told that my reassessment is due in May 2019, due to "a government easement when the previous contractor was in arrears". I was last assessed in May 2015 (done via my GP when I didn't return the ESA50, and put back in SG).

So relieved not to have the reassessment for another 2 years.
#103 Annis 2017-05-05 10:23
I'm in the WRAG, and won my appeal a couple of months ago. I was told by the panel that I wouldn't be reviewed again until a minimum of 24 months has passed.
#102 OldAndConfused 2017-05-02 18:11
I had my last assessment in 2013. They decided to move me from the Support Group to the WRAG. I appealed, it went to tribunal and the decision was overturned. I went back into the Support Group with a recommendation that I not be reassessed for two years.

In December the dreaded brown envelope landed on my lap. I had my face to face in March and once again was moved to WRAG. WE're in the middle of sorting it all out again but the four year break was very much appreciated.
#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?

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