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  1. Hello there, Hopefully someone can help with this. My understanding is that under the old system, if you had sanctions on JSA but then won ESA the sanctions you had on JSA would not effect the ESA payments. I'm on Universal Credit however, and it's just recently occurred to me that the UC basic payment is the same benefit whether you are fit for work or are found to have limited capability. So any sanctions from before a successful WCA would be the same as after. Is this correct? My story is a bit long winded. I started UC back in late 2015 but was suffering with depression, so I did the whole fit note thing and had a WCA in 2016 but was found fit for work as I had been trying anti-depressents which had given me a boost which coincided with the WCA. It didn't last much longer and I got worse, started getting sanctions for not meeting commitment. I eventually managed to persuade someone, somewhere that my condition was worse so should get a new WCA. I also managed to overturn some sanctions after this by providing fit notes and saying I had a new WCA on the way. However, as I still wasn't meeting the commitment they kept asking why I'd not met it and I said the same thing as before, that I was sending fit notes and waiting for the new WCA. I assumed that would be fine, as the sanctions had been overturned before because of this, but then one day I got about 7 letters through the door at once all saying I was being sanctioned for 91 days each, so about two years total. I thought it must be a mistake, so I was quite confident with the reconsideration request, but the decision maker phoned me up and told me the previous overturning of sanctions had not been correct and that the new 2 year sanction would remain. I was pretty defeated by this and clocked up more sanctions to hit the full 3 years because I wasn't managing to meet the commitment. Anyway, I had my new WCA in 2017 but was found fit for work again. I went ahead with the reconsideration and appeal and my tribunal hearing is coming up in a month. I seem to remember that my work coach had said after the first sanctions that a successful WCA would make the sanctions disappear, but now that I'm looking I can't seem to find anything that says that, and the more I think about it and look at the regulations the more I think it isn't correct and that winning at the appeal won't actually make any financial difference as I'm still under the sanctions from before the WCA. Anyone got a definitive answer? Any help much appreciated
  2. my friend cancelled his JSA claim today and has appointment booked with his ingeus advisor tomorrow, he has asked me if he can still get sanctioned for not attending as he is switching from JSA to ESA? sorry to keep going on but he keeps asking me.
  3. Hi, Im hoping to get some advise on my last WCA. Ive had four assessments at each one the HPC had my ESA50 infront of them, at my last WCA the HPC didnt have my ESA50 infront of her and was looking at my last review via the computer. It makes me worry that the HCP didnt have my ESA50 at all. My WCA was also ended within 20minutes, the HCP then said she had to make a phone call, then came back in to say she has enough information to write her report and not to worry. Is this sosmething i should be concerned about? P.S I was in WRAG for 2 years before being moved into the SG on the third year. All help is very much appreciated.
  4. Sent my appeal off with some brief details of why i was appealing , Had a Letter from DWP confirming that they received my appeal, and about how much ESA i will get until it's heard, But so far over 1mth since requesting the full written statement of the Atos wca Form IB /ESA85, But so far i have not been sent it, The person that i recently spoke with from DWP ,Confirmed that they could see that i had previously requested it, but could not understand why i had not yet received it, What can be done to force them to supply this info,(assuming it actually exists) ?
  5. I hope someone might be able to help me. I have borderline personality disorder diagnosed 3 years ago after a crisis which led me to being put on ESA without the need for a face to face interview. I am now due a reassessment on 2nd Jan which I have to attend the stress of worrying about it has triggered a deterioration in my mental health I now feel I am on the verge of a crisis. I live on my own and have no real support. Is it worth me phoning Maximus, will they listen? If not can someone advise me please. I have a letter from my Psychologist (who has now left the NHS so I can no longer see her) and my GP is in the process of writing one. I think I messed up my reassessment form as I filled it in on my own whilst in a panic just to get it done and gone as I couldn't deal with thinking about it. I feel fragile vulnerable and sort of out of control.
  6. Hi everyone, I've been on ESA in the Support Group for the past 2 years and today i received a capability for work questionnaire through the most that has to be returned within a month. I am just wondering how long after you send the questionnaire back do you hear back from them with a possible face to face assessment date and do you still receive your normal payments while this process is going on?
  7. I was on Incapacity Benefit at one time and years ago was sent an ESA50. I filled it in, sent it back, and was granted ESA WRAG, and never had a WCA. Now another ESA50 has arrived, and now I'm thinking they're going to haul me before a WCA this time. I'm also afraid that this means that my ESA has already stopped. Is this so? BTW, should I take my time in sending it back, or send it back as soon as I can? Should it also be Special Delivery?
  8. You just couldn't make some of this stuff up, Why is this man who is also 60years old and registered Blind even being mandated to submit to the F2F farce WCA ? What is the point in it, He is extremely unlikely to ever regain his sight ,? So apart from it benefiting Maximus in another fee they can charge the DWP it's a waste of tax payers money this is an example of how flawed the system in place is http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/blind-man-benefits-axed-after-9380033
  9. Hi, I am reaching out to you as I'm absolutely exhausted with the WCA saga and I would be grateful for any help, advice, guidance, support. I'll try and keep this short... Main medical conditions: - Postural Tachycardia Syndrome - its a rare conditions, but an accurate description of symptoms is listed here: potsuk dot org/symptoms (please note: to diagnose POTS the heart rate has to increase by 30bpm after 10 minutes of standing, upon test mine increased from 65 to 140, so its obviously a more aggressive form of POTS). - Ehlers-Danlos syndrome & Hypermobility (symptoms: ehlers-danlos dot com/what-is-eds/) - Previously had spinal fusion for scoliosis, in recent years the titanium rods in my spine broke; had a two-stage anterior and posterior corrective spinal fusion operation to take out the broken metals and extend the fusion, - Major abdominal complications post spinal fusion op (just uploaded video here: youtube dot com/watch?v=P4GraSbCCy4 - eating food is not fun for me) - Divarication of recti of at least 8cm. - Depression - Other less significant conditions The WCA saga (main points only): I had returned the ESA questionnaire and a bundle of medical records in total weighing quarter of a kilo by recorded and signed for delivery. The Health Assessment Advisory Service and DWP claimed they didn't receive the bundle in time, even though they signed for it, and my benefits were stopped (including housing). I tried to dispute this, 3 separate advisers at HAAS and DWP intimidated me accusing me for not accounting for their internal delays despite having submitted my form in line for the deadline - it was as though they've been taught intimidation techniques from the same script. Anyways, after a battle that got restored. I feel sorry for those who did not send their forms recorded and signed for... Due to various issues I registered formal complaints. In a complaint response HAAS wrote that medical records prior the year 2015 might not be considered, claiming its a DWP requirement for the documents to be 'recent'. This meant my medical records might not be accepted due to a 'bad' date and I did not have enough time to get my conditions to be re-diagnosed. (Note: this is contrary to their own WCA handbook gov dot uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535065/wca-handbook-july-2016.pdf providing that medical history should be considered). Anyway, the WCA went ahead. As expected by this point, the outcome was work activity group with compulsory JobCentre appointments under the threat of benefit sanctions etc. My GP wrote a sicknote, only to find out that DWP does not accept sick notes from sick people and their is no way to formally register sickness, so you have to go to Jobcentre or loose benefits. I attempted to go to the JobCentre, my heart rate became unbearable and I ended up in the A&E on the drip. This happened twice. DWP told me I could submit for mandatory reconsideration, but would not grant me an extension for the deadline, nor would they allow me to access my medical report before the deadline to submit for the reconsideration. Effectively I was forced to submit a blind and a very week mandatory reconsideration request simply because I had no idea what I am disputing or asking them to reconsider. Naturally, I don't expect a positive outcome from that. After eventually receiving and reading my medical report it became clear to me that the WCA was purposely conducted in a manner that would lead to a certain (unfavourable) outcome; I conclude so due to the excessively biased nature of the medical report. I find the assessor covered up my physical medical conditions and struggles, with some very significant medical history either left out or very subtly hidden at the back in the notes. The assessor went as far as to deny the symptoms of my conditions, making serious allegations and negligent recommendations. The effects/symptoms of my condition are not being recognised by the assessor (who apparently is a doctor). The assessor effectively denies all the symptoms and even alleges that I don't have any such symptoms (in relation to POTS) and that I only have an increased heart rate. It is even recommended in the assessor's report that I can "remain at a workstation standing unassisted by another person...for more than an hour before needing to move away in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion", which to me as a POTS sufferer (I faint from such activities) is just unthinkable. The assessor forgets to mention the broken metals in my spine altogether. Frankly I think the report is an outrage. I believe aggressive practices are in place to disallow positive WCA outcomes. I also feel discriminated. After getting my share of bullying from the DWP and their party of association I am starting to think it's not possible to get ESA anymore, unless you have a solicitor or the law behind you. I'm just really tired now... Any help is much appreciated.
  10. Hi all. Long time no post I know but I've been occupied elsewhere! I have a WCA booked for 7th September, however I had a nasty fall on the 29th July and fractured my upper right arm. I know an injury like this would trigger an automatic ESA claim, but as I'm already on ESA (WRAG) due to other conditions I'm wondering if there is any procedure in place to cover a situation like this? I'm guessing the answer from the DWP will be attend the WCA anyway. Can anyone shed some light? I used to be pretty well read on benefits issues but I'm well and truly rusty and I know some things have changed since I last locked horns with the DWP and ATOS, Maximus taking over the WCA's being just one example. Any help greatly appreciated.
  11. Hi I have been on ESA contribution based for a while I did passed my first WCA and been put into Work Related Group. I was claiming ESA because I was awaiting operation for gallbladder removal and I did suffer from depression, anxiety, have blackouts, panic attacks and fainting's. On 26/9/16 DWP send me to second WCA. Although I did have operation behind me I still suffer from the things I mention above. I'm taking antidepressants, awaiting hospital appointment with cardiologist and starting Stress Control Course (I showed letters with those appointments at WCA). I don't know what to expect now. How long it takes to DWP to make a decision? If they decide I am not entitled to ESA do they move me on JSA or I need do do it myself? Or if it's possible they will still keep me in Work Related Group? And if they close my ESA do they pay me money up the date they made their decision? Because I don't know how they pay ESA - I mean upfront or arreas? It's so confusing I don't know what 2 do or think.
  12. Hello everyone. So, I had the dreaded WCA 'medical' 6 weeks ago and the brown envelope finally arrived yesterday giving me a grand total of ZERO points. Obviously annoyed with that, but I thought I'd read it all and came to the ESA65 which was a brief summary from the HCP's 'findings, thoughts, opinions' or something along those lines. All I can is wow. I mean, I've read around the forum, and was expecting there to be some sort of sillyness from the HCP, but I was gobsmacked with the bare faced lies that was written down. Things that didn't even happen were there, things that weren't even spoken about were there, things there were talked about weren't there. I've already contacted the BDC to inform them that I will be appealing. Was told to download the GL24 which I have done, and have also asked to be sent a copy of the ESA85. Hoping to get it by the end of the week or sometime next week at the latest (I can only hope). A couple of questions I have if anyone can help me. I would like to send the GL24 off tomorrow, does section 8 need to be have detailed reason(s) as to why I am appealing? Or would I short paragraph be enough to start the appeal process, whilst I gather further and supplementary evidence from GP and Consultants to be sent a little later. When I spoke to BDC on the phone, I informed them that my current MED3 certificate is still valid until mid July. They said that I don't need to send another MED3 certificate with the GL24 as long as before the current one expires that I send another one to cover the period after. Is this accurate? In regards to being put back onto the assessment rate whilst appealing, according to the BDC, it's an automatic process once they allow the appeal. Is it wise to still write that I wish to be put back onto the assessment rate on the GL24? Lastly (for now at least) when sending further/ supplementary evidence, does it all have to be sent within this one month period given for the appeal? Obviously, I can counter all the Lies and BS that the HCP spouted once I get the ESA85, which would be included as part of the evidence I expect to send them further down the line. Sorry if these questions are tedious ones, I just want to get things clear in my head, so I can get this process moving correctly without messing up. Thanks in advance for any and all help provided. Kind Regards
  13. The story comes from B&W, which I think the link is not allowed, so instead linking to the Welfare News Service report of it, hope that's ok, this is an important story: https://www.facebook.com/WelfareNewsServiceUK
  14. Revised version available here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535065/wca-handbook-july-2016.pdf
  15. My query s regarding aspects of the WCA more pointedly the following descriptor as an example = 13(a) Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least two sequential personal actions. If for example you are unable to cook or prepare a meal and say not reliably able to clean and use the hoover properly due to your health condition like lack of energy and motivation due to depression and say this to the assessor at the WCA but they say well can you brush your teeth or go to your GP both which you HAVE I stress have to do and they use this to say you can do two tasks how do you counter this or am I reading the descriptor wrong it does say "at least two sequential personal actions" also on descriptor 14 coping with change -- 14(a) Cannot cope with any change to the extent that day to day life cannot be managed. (b) Cannot cope with minor planned change (such as a pre-arranged change to the routine time scheduled for a lunch break), to the extent that, overall, day to day life is made significantly more difficult. © Cannot cope with minor unplanned change (such as the timing of an appointment on the day it is due to occur), to the extent that, overall, day to day life is made significantly more difficult. if both b and c applies do they add 9 and 6 for each descriptor or is it 9 or 6? thank you for any feed back in advance
  16. Guest

    WCA without ESA50 ?

    Hi, ..enquiring on behalf of a friend who is in receipt of ESA and recently received a letter to attend another WCA which is coming up soon. The previous ESA50 was sent in late 2013/beginning of 2014, hence at least more than 18 months ago. Under these circumstances - what is the current position regarding whether M. has to send a new ESA50 form before calling for a WCA? There are different statements from M. dating back to April/May this year implying that everyone would receive a new ESA50 before they are called for a WCA. Are there any regulations, guidelines, statutory acts that require that a new ESA50 is sent before calling for a WCA? A quick response (Margaret?? ) would be much appreciated due to the urgency of the upcoming WCA. Many thanks
  17. Latest WCA Handbook for Health Professionals, Version 7, 9th Feb 2015 This guidance is for healthcare professionals who undertake Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. This document tells you how health professionals are supposed to assess you. It can be downloaded at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-capability-assessment-handbook-for-healthcare-professionals
  18. My 12 months on ESA is up and i got the dreaded WCA appointment. I asked for recorded interviews. Three times now just before the interview date Atos have cancelled. I attend interview this morning. The chap first of all said the recording equipment had not arrived, then TNT delivered it. After about 20 minutes this chap came back and said the recording equipment was not working and would i be prepared to have the assessment without being recorded. Of course i declined. So after travelling a total of 60 miles this morning and achieving absolutely nothing, ATOS will send me another appointment in the post. Something is telling me these so called ATOS health care professionals do not want these assessments recorded as evidence
  19. http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/new-job.html The worst part of this is she went from being deemed unfit for work indefinitely to a £60k salaried management position, a nice point for IDS to press i am sure. Is she a sellout or could she do some good from within? (Her own words)
  20. Hi there, you guys gave excellent advice in Febuary about an esa appeal and i still appreciate that to this day so i thought i would ask again. I am sorry for the fairly lengthy post. Another friend is going through it, with severe mental problems who really should be getting looked after. Hes had drug problems all his life and is on so many different medicines his head is frazzled, he is completely lost when it comes to benefits. He ended up getting 0 points, the usual medical evidence and history or doctors supporting notes not being taken into account at all. This is where the problems start, on around the 12th october he received the results of the WCA assessment. He said he would be appealing this decision right away as he does not agree with it, however the person he made the call to asked him to attend an appointment at the jobcentre where he somehow, ended up being on jsa and appealling ESA at the same time. It was around the 16th october he started a JSA claim (which he shouldn't have), and has signed on 3 times now, but he so far hasn't been paid once. Jsa tells him its because he has a sick note open on his claim for ESA and ESA cant pay him because he failed. I didnt even know you could have two different claims open. I know about how to start the appeals process from your advice last time, but what can he do, close the JSA claim then ask for the mandatory consideration? I feel he has been misled somewhere. Martin
  21. If this happens, well then I fear for the future. http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/7241/ “Global firm Maximus are in pole position for the £500million UK Government contract, despite a history of allegations of corruption, incompetence and discrimination. The successful bidder will be announced next week ....” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/company-fined-millions-fraud-tipped-4457618 http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/10/incompetence-discrimination-and-fraud-the-us-company-that-could-take-over-from-atos/
  22. After you have a WCA do the DWP notify you of the outcome,wether you have failed,been put into WRAG or support group?
  23. Started a new thread as this is a fresh concern. A little background I was found Fit for Work by ATOS and have to wait for a Mandatory consideration before I can appeal. The only way I could get any money coming during this time was to sign on for JSA. Most Advisers will be understanding and sort of Park you till the decision is made and can get an Appeal going at Tribunal and be put back on Assessment Rate ESA. My Adviser however is not one of those and wont take my Medical condition into account when I saw her she put me straight onto a course starting next Monday and continuing till Wednesday 9AM start till 11.30 with the National Careers Service to build confidence I told her my condition could well prevent me turning up 3 Days in a row as my health cant take that much activity her reply was "You have been found fit for work so I can't see any reason why you cant attend if you don't I will sanction you and you will get No money for 4 weeks" Today I get an automated phone call stating My work placement has been set up and I must attend a Charity Shop Thursday for said work placement this is the first Ive heard about any sort of Work placement can my Adviser set this up and Mandate me to do this with out any discussion first? I have no idea why this is happening DWP know I will appeal the Fit for work assessment decision at Tribunal and ask to be put back on ESA while it goes through. There is no way I can get through 3 days of the course at 2-3 hours a day let alone start or do any type of Work placement and I don't know what to do or how to cope as Ive been told the DM could take up to 6 weeks to make a Mandatory review decision. I think they are trying to cull me if I am dead through starvation or my mental health gives out with all the worry and stress and I end it all atleast it will be one more person off benefits Any advice would be welcome.
  24. I've been reading a certain website by a whistle blower (or so he calls himself). I believe he's a doctor who used to perform WCA tests for ATOS and he's wrote the following on his blog regarding what he believes will happen and indeed what is now happening to the ESA WCA: It is positive by the way ---- Tuesday, 25 February 2014 ESA Reassessments Suspended The dogged investigators at Benefits and Work have used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a key DWP internal memo from January. In it, the DWP instructed its staff to stop asking Atos for WCAs in certain circumstances. It was an official communication, so naturally it was unclear. Here's what I think it DIDN'T say: No one will ever have a WCA again The IB reassessment programme has stalled It's because Atos are pulling out. What I think it DID say is: When a claimant has: a) had a WCA; b) been accepted for ESA; and c) been recommended for another WCA in the future to review their condition, then Atos should henceforth no longer be asked to carry out that further WCA to review the claimant, unless the claimant has reported a change The reason for the suspension is that a large backlog of WCAs has built up Normal service is expected to resume when new providers come on stream at a later date in addition to Atos. The memo was written in January and the author was presumably unaware that Atos were hoping to pull out of the WCA programme ASAP! So I think statements about this being the end of the WCA are wide of the mark. What it does show is that Atos cannot process WCA requests quickly enough - no doubt because of the longer time it now takes to carry each one out, and because the number of assessors still willing to do them has dwindled since last summer. Posted by dr greg wood at 11:12
  25. Would help if i put what i have, I have chronic rheumatoid arthritis! I would not wish this on anyone! as it has turned my life upside down, in pain 95% of the time, on about 12 dif-meds a day along with taking pain killers 24/7, i have around 3 to 4 flare-ups a month, it gets that bad some times i just wish i could be put down!! not nice having something that you know you going to have for the rest of your life, and knowing all that can be done is try and keep it under control! and nothing seems to be working yet, and i can not see any light at the end of the tunnel. No one seems to understand how you feel, and when you tell someone that you have rheumatoid arthritis! you can see the look on there face ( as if to say well its only arthritis thats not that bad!) but unless you have it you will never know or understand what its like, Its like having the flu 24/7 and the pain that comes with it is bad but when you have flare-ups! you get 10x the pain it is out of this world thats only way i can put it! I have been on ESA 2 years now! Just Added^^^^ What can i say, 2 weeks ago i had to go Job-center as i had been put in the work group! and i told the guy when i was there that i dont understand as i have WCA in 2 weeks time, so why am i here? he just told me this is how they do things. any way they book me in to go on a back to work thing! i go along to it! was not to bad they was very understanding, and then 3 days later i have my WCA, and the women that seen me was very good i have to say she was very understanding and asked me lots about how i feel and how long i had been on ESA, and went on to ask me how bad my RA gets and so on. this was on the monday and by the end of the week i give DWP a call, and i aksed what group i was in and the guy on the phone said hold on i will look and then he went to say something and then went hold on a min there is a note here! and he said you just been moved back to the support group, HAPPY DAYS!
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