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chrischris

Incapacity benefits cut with sick note?

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Hi,

 

My mum is recovering from cancer. She was getting incapacity benefits until a couple of weeks ago when she was informed that she had failed her medical which wasn't a medical just a form. She was told that if she got a sick note that she would get her benefits at least until her appeal so she got a sick note but now they are saying this doesn't matter.

 

Can they cut her benefits if she has a sick note from her GP?

 

Also, would anyone know if it is legal to tell someone that the decision to fail you on your benefit claim was based on information from your doctor when it is not true?

 

Thanks,

Chris.

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More information needed: is she receiving Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance? Was her benefit stopped because she failed to attend a medical or failed to return a form, or was it because they looked at the form and decided she was capable of work.

 

I ask these questions because, certainly with ESA, she would not be denied benefit simply because of the answers she gave on the form if she hadn't also attended a medical.

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The normal arrangement with ESA (and I think IB) is that, once an appeal is lodged you can claim the lower "assessment" rate of benefit (about £65 pw) until the appeal is decided. If you win the appeal the extra money (£20 or £30 pw) is backdated. If you lose you do not have to pay anything back. To claim during this time you have to supply "sick notes" from your GP.

 

Appeals frequently take 6 to 8 months. This is very annoying if you are likely to win. However, if not, then you could argue the longer the better.

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The normal arrangement with ESA (and I think IB) is that, once an appeal is lodged you can claim the lower "assessment" rate of benefit (about £65 pw) until the appeal is decided. If you win the appeal the extra money (£20 or £30 pw) is backdated. If you lose you do not have to pay anything back. To claim during this time you have to supply "sick notes" from your GP.

 

 

Usually true, but it should be noted that ESA is not payable during an appeal if the disallowance was for failure to attend a medical exam or failure to return the ESA50 medical questionnaire form.

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Usually true, but it should be noted that ESA is not payable during an appeal if the disallowance was for failure to attend a medical exam or failure to return the ESA50 medical questionnaire form.

 

Do you happen to know the procedure if somebody fails to show up at a "medical"? Do they get a second chance? Does the system in any way check if they got the appointment letter? If the person wants to re-arrange the appointment who decides if their reason is valid?

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Do you happen to know the procedure if somebody fails to show up at a "medical"? Do they get a second chance? Does the system in any way check if they got the appointment letter? If the person wants to re-arrange the appointment who decides if their reason is valid?

 

Several questions here:

 

If the person calls prior to the appointment to rearrange, it is a matter between ATOS and the individual. Normally it's possible to rearrange, though I suspect there might be a problem if someone is constantly cancelling and rebooking appointments.

 

If a person fails to show up, ATOS will close the file and inform the Jobcentre Plus BDC. A form is issued asking the customer to supply the reasons they failed to attend to see if "good cause" can be allowed. If it is allowed, the file is re-opened and sent back to ATOS for a new appointment. If it is not allowed, benefit is stopped. The good cause decision is made by a Decision Maker at the BDC.

 

Edit: Just to clarify the above, benefit is stopped immediately the BDC is informed, but will be reinstated and backdated if good cause is accepted. If good cause is not accepted, the customer can request a reconsideration. They can also appeal, but in this case ESA will not be paid during the time it takes for the appeal to be processed and heard at the tribunal.

 

There is no way to check if a letter has been received as they are not sent out via a tracked service like recorded delivery. There is a record of letters that have been sent, of course. In my experience, DMs generally accept failure to receive a letter as good cause if it is an isolated case, but of course this can't be taken for granted.

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Interesting post. What is the situation where atos send out a form asking you to phone within two days for an appointment when you are unable to use the phone and they have been informed of that fact? I previously advised that they should contact my advocate at Mind and their ciutomer services know the position and agreed a home visit months ago, then they didnt follow up on it. Now this form has arrived. Thx

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If you don't call them they will just send you an appointment. I think they have to give you at least a week's notice. As Antone says above you can normally re-arrange for a different day.

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