Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Ok, the story is this:

    Beginning of 2008, my father was taken ill with Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease and had to be signed off work. He was then made redundanticon and his statutory sick pay ran out. He was told he had to apply for Employment Support Allowance, which he did and this was started in about November 2008.

    The Doctor says he can't work and referred him to a specialist, who said the same. The specialist said that they cannot cure the condition; however he has sent my father on a rehabilitation programme in an attempt to ease the symptoms slightly.

    Despite the Doctor and the Specialist saying this, and the Doctor giving my dad the relevant certificates to say he is unfit for work, the DWP made him go to an assessment with one of the "Medical Advisors"; the assessment said that without further intervention he may be fit to return to work within 6 months. The Doctor and the Specialist both say this is absolute nonsense, but this is not the point.

    Yesterday, out of the blue, my father got a letter from the DWP saying that they had stopped his ESA payments because he did not score 15 on their scoring system. A copy was enclosed of his score and they had scored him at 0 (perfectly healthy); they have even put down that he is capable of walking reasonable distance on a flat surface without difficulty!! He can't even manage to go from the living room to the kitchen without needing inhalers and a rest....... and that is only about 12 feet!!!!!!!

    On the back of this ridiculous letter it says that he can appeal....... but that they are very rarely successful!! It also says that he should claim Job Seekers Allowance........ but he has been signed off work by the Doctor and his current certificate runs out at the end of June....... so he would be breaking the law if he was to sign on to Job Seekers Allowance because he can’t actively look for work!!

    This has made me sick with anger!! He is nearly 60, has worked all his life, paid all his tax's etc and yet when he is quite obviously severely ill they make his life a @#*%&$ misery!! He is now so stressed that his symptoms are worse than ever!!

    My parents survive on a very small budget as it is and they simply cannot afford to lose this money - and they can't afford to not have this money whilst they wait for a (no doubt very lengthy) appeal to go through!!

    I feel this is so unfair and unjust and I need to do something to help them!!

    What should our first step be? Is there someone particularly high up that we can contact directly in an attempt to get things done quicker?

    Once again, I am indebted to you all for your help and I thank you in advance.


    Cheers.
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    I am rarely around these parts any more. I only stop by when something has come to my attention that has sufficiently annoyed me so as to persuade me to awake from my nap and put in my two pence.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    I can't offer any assistance with this, but am bumping the thread up for you.

    :)I am not an expert, but I can give good advice about Brighthouse:)

    Am learning more and more about DCA's too :)

    I have no legal experience and all advice given is based on the knowledge I've gained from this site.

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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    You are going to have to appeal. I would also contact your MP and get him on board as this may help the decision get looked at again more swiftly.

    I would also put in a claim for income support, DLA, council/housing benefit in the meantime. Does mum work?

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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Hi Poppy, thanks for your advice!

    Yes, my mother works part time. She is partially disabled and get Dissability Living Allowance. She works over 24 hours a week.

    Thanks again!
    UF

    I am rarely around these parts any more. I only stop by when something has come to my attention that has sufficiently annoyed me so as to persuade me to awake from my nap and put in my two pence.

    I am a final year law student;
    I am NOT an expert in law. All of my posts are just my opinion. I cannot be held responsible for any outcome whatsoever resulting from any person following the opinions or information contained within my posts. Always seek professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer.
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    As poppy says above. Lodge an appeal straight away.


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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Hi, thanks for the reply. I will do this as a matter of urgency. However I wonder if anyone has any further advice as to how to get this appeal heard and sorted faster??

    Many Thanks.
    UF

    I am rarely around these parts any more. I only stop by when something has come to my attention that has sufficiently annoyed me so as to persuade me to awake from my nap and put in my two pence.

    I am a final year law student;
    I am NOT an expert in law. All of my posts are just my opinion. I cannot be held responsible for any outcome whatsoever resulting from any person following the opinions or information contained within my posts. Always seek professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer.
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    I would get mum to put a claim in for working tax credits as well.

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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    what a silly system we have here i assume this benefit is the one brought in to replace incapacity benefit.the idea was im told to get people back to work who can work and look after the genuine sick .let me tell you know my father died from obstructive airways condtion known as emphysema.it is a horrible lung and chest problem that really cant be cured .walking is so hard to do as time goes along everything is hard to do his condition will not improve but deteriate.he wants to claim d l a mobility and care .also income support and also housing benefit and council tax benefit also there is when u get d l a u will qualify for cares allowence. also you need to get the g p to write a letter about his condition and how it effects him ect .also contact the specialist who he is under ask for a report the same and to include the prognosis will he get better or worse . this will be your medical evidence copy the letters and enclose them with ur appeal ur dla application and your carers application . it may all sound drawn out but it will be worth it .list all the medication he is on ,..you will win im sure of this but be prepared to fight .wish you all the very best and good luck .


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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    one point to sort this out quicker as u ask . if the medical people decided that his condition was terminal .the rules would then change. the dr did that with my dad and it was sorted within 3 weeks and all fell into place .


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    Smile Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Hello

    I am in the same situation but have ME/CFS which means that I get a score of 0 in the medical assessment but run out of energy on a regular basis and have to rest else I just crash which can put be back for weeks. Crazy thing is that the jobcentre recognise the issues and have employed experts to retrain me so that I can do work when I feel able.

    Try calling the BLF below as they may be able to point you in the direction of a support group.

    British Lung Foundation
    73-75 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7ER
    Tel (Helpline): 08458 50 50 20 Web: www.lunguk.org


    The ME support group where I live are sending a benefits advisor round in the morning to help with the appeal. It is a shame that some of the money
    raised by the charity has to be spent in this way.

    You need to find someone who is an expert in these appeals as this will be nothing new to them. There WILL be some one near you.

    I will see what I can come up with but as I do not know where you live it is hard. Please log in here later.

    Do not give up and the best of luck.

    Jo


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Hey everyone, thanks for the posts. A quick update:

    We have put in an appeal and are awaiting a tribunal date. In the meantime we have finally got this bunch of half-heads at the DWP to admit that they HAVE to keep paying the benefit pending the outcome of the appeal!!

    Thanks for the links highandwild, they will no doubt come in handy!!

    Cheers.
    UF

    I am rarely around these parts any more. I only stop by when something has come to my attention that has sufficiently annoyed me so as to persuade me to awake from my nap and put in my two pence.

    I am a final year law student;
    I am NOT an expert in law. All of my posts are just my opinion. I cannot be held responsible for any outcome whatsoever resulting from any person following the opinions or information contained within my posts. Always seek professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Good luck with that.

    I have been refused my ESA pending receipt of my appeal, was this how it was for your father?

    Does anybody know if this is correct?

    Upon receipt do they then reinstate it pending the outcome?

    Does anybody know where one can get a copy of the rules that the DWP has to adhere to? It may be a long document but it would be very useful for people on here.

    Thanks

    H&W


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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Hi highandwild, yep the DWP only reinstated my fathers ESA after they received the appeal paperwork - and even then they only reinstated it when I very forcefully informed them that they HAD to!!!!!

    Over the time we have been dealing with this I have had one person at the DWP tell us basically there was no appeals process (utter rubbish) and another try and tell us that they did not have to give us the reasons for the decision (also utter rubbish!!).

    The link you PM'd me earlier on was really helpful and contains all of the information you could need regarding the rules that they have to abide by - and also stated the rules regarding payments whislt awaiting appeal!!!

    It takes a while to read through all 61-odd pages, but it is worth it!!!

    Cheers
    UF

    I am rarely around these parts any more. I only stop by when something has come to my attention that has sufficiently annoyed me so as to persuade me to awake from my nap and put in my two pence.

    I am a final year law student;
    I am NOT an expert in law. All of my posts are just my opinion. I cannot be held responsible for any outcome whatsoever resulting from any person following the opinions or information contained within my posts. Always seek professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    A few useful links for you:

    Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008

    Employment And Support Allowance ESA214 The Work Capability Assessment

    Technical Factsheets

    The focus for the WCA's is not on how ill a customer is but on what work they are capable of doing taking into consideration the effect of their illness. Unfortunately there are a number of cases where people are being "failed" on the WCA that should not necessarily be so.

    If you appeal against the decision to disallow ESA on the grounds of the WCA score it is in your interesticon to include as much supporting evidence/information as possible. Whilst a claim is going through the revision/supersession/appeal phase ESA should be continue to be paid at a reduced rate. Upon a sucessful outcome, the difference will be backdated together with any work or support group components.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Quote Originally Posted by highandwild View Post
    Good luck with that.

    I have been refused my ESA pending receipt of my appeal, was this how it was for your father?

    Does anybody know if this is correct?

    Upon receipt do they then reinstate it pending the outcome?

    Does anybody know where one can get a copy of the rules that the DWP has to adhere to? It may be a long document but it would be very useful for people on here.

    Thanks

    H&W
    I work for the DWP handling claims and problems related to ESA. We aren't all a bunch of raging idiots and incompetents

    OK. Once your appeal is received, it should be noted on your records. It will be reviewed by a local decision maker at your Benefit Delivery Centre (BDC). This process should take 5-10 working days or so. The decision maker can reverse the decision to stop your benefit, or they can uphold the decision in which case the matter will be referred to an independent tribunal.

    But whatever they determine, your benefit should restart at this point. It should be backdated to the date it was stopped. In order for this to happen, though, you must continue to submit medical certificates. Payments will be at the assessment phase rate, that is, with no support or work-related component. If your appeal is upheld, component payments due to you will be backdated to day 90 of your claim.

    Your BDC should be able to give you advice about this. I know that calling BDCs can be frustrating, so:

    1) Be persistent, but not rude. The telephony operator you speak to did not make the decision, and has no unilateral authority to reverse it.

    2) Try to be concise and clear. A fair amount of my time is spent trying to figure out what a customer actually wants.

    3) But equally, if you genuinely believe the decision is wrong, be firm in standing up for yourself. The law gives you a right to this appeals process, it is not some privilege granted by the benevolence of the DWP.

    4) If you don't get callbacks from the BDC, and I'm sorry to say that this happens, keep calling and tell the operators (politely) that you were told you'd be called back and you weren't. The telephonists are human beings, are held to standards of customer service, and on a personal level most of them do not like to see customers who are struggling financially suffer because of institutional bureacracy.

    This page has some further information. My usual disclaimer applies: I am a BDO with Jobcentre Plus, but I have no access to your records and can give only general advice. For information relating to your personal circumstances, your BDC will advise.


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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Hi antone, thanks for the reply.

    Yeah I know that there are some helpful and knowledgable people, like yourself, who work for the DWP. Unfortunately evertime I phone up, I always seem to get the person who is still learning to speak!! lol

    Thanks for your help though, it is surely very much appreciated

    Cheers
    UF

    I am rarely around these parts any more. I only stop by when something has come to my attention that has sufficiently annoyed me so as to persuade me to awake from my nap and put in my two pence.

    I am a final year law student;
    I am NOT an expert in law. All of my posts are just my opinion. I cannot be held responsible for any outcome whatsoever resulting from any person following the opinions or information contained within my posts. Always seek professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer.
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Hi There
    Is this just for ESA? I was refused IB in March and have just received my independent tribunal papers, which I will be attending with a CAB worker. I take it it's only ESA payable on receipt of appeal papers, as I have never heard of IB being reinstated so... I was also refused IS as my partner works more than 24 hours

    I'll be watching this thread with interesticon and good luck!

    Sarah

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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    Quote Originally Posted by sazz View Post
    Hi There
    Is this just for ESA? I was refused IB in March and have just received my independent tribunal papers, which I will be attending with a CAB worker. I take it it's only ESA payable on receipt of appeal papers, as I have never heard of IB being reinstated so... I was also refused IS as my partner works more than 24 hours

    I'll be watching this thread with interesticon and good luck!

    Sarah
    Correct - the rules are different for IB. I can't speak to what they are, precisely, as I only deal with ESA, but my understanding is that ESA is unusual in that payments can be made pending the result of an appeal.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    One other thing.... You need to ensure that you still send in the med certs whilst waiting for your appeal otherwise payments will stop.

    It has come to light recently that there are a lot of GP's who will no longer supply an ESA patient with a med cert after the GP has been notified that their patient has failed the WCA. This is incorrect.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Advice desperately needed - Employment Support Allowance(ESA) Stopped..... :(

    hi i have been really interested reading your letter on here as i am in exactly the same situation! I am so stressed at the moment as i dont really know how to handle this! Can you offer me any advice?




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