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ESA/JSA worried about friend


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Hi,

 

I'm not sure whether there will be a problem here but don't want to wait util there's a crisis before posting. My friend lost her job last year when the young disabled man she was caring for went into a home. She also lost her home at the time as his dad had bought a house for his son to live in. Although the family gave her time and space to adjust this has worsened her existing health problems and she'sapplied for ESA.

 

She managed to find accomodation and apply for ESA. She had her appointment with the dreaded ATOS and keeps telling me "I know I'll fail". The woman who she saw at her appointment was "chatty". (I and other friends warned her to avoid trick questions, and she spotted them but I think may have fallen into the trap.)

 

The problem is that when she moved she had to register with a new GP. The new GP is not sympathetic. My friend has diabetes(which is seriously affecting her sight), asthma, chronic fatigue, mental health issues and chronic pain. She is undergoing tests to find out what is causing the pain. The job she was in before she could do at her own pace. She worked from home, the boy she cared for was at school during the week and she looked after him at weekends and during school holidays. She was also on call for any incidents during the school week. It's unlikely she will find anything similar despite an excellent reference. She has few qualifications and had been doing this for almost 20 years.

 

She tells me herself that she just needs a short space of time to get more clarity over her health, maybe get a treatment plan in place and recover from the shock she's been through. I would be seriously scared for her to be thrown onto JSA and the sanctions regime as there are so many jobs she couldn't do. I feel she would be sanctioned very quickly. If she does (as I dread) get zero points she has nothing to live on while the mandatory consideration takes place so tells me that she has to apply for JSA.

 

Is there anything else she can do? I have advised her to contact the council should it happen to get her housing benefit etc reinstated but I'm scared that she'll fall into a deep depression. I don't live anywhere near so I can only help her by phone/internet (she lives over 400 miles away.) Any advice appreciated.

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Unfortunately there is very little that your friend can do other than what you've already suggested, though the jobcentre *should* take account of her circumstances if she does need to claim JSA temporarily.

 

I have yet to see many, if any, posts on how long mandatory reconsideration is taking though I have heard anecdotally that, unless you have compelling extra evidence, it's best to not add anything to your claim to make it easy for the decision maker to say no so you can get to the appeal stage (and payment at assessment rate) as quickly as possible.

 

Could you encourage your friend to join the forum herself? It's almost always best to get advice first hand, but more importantly, even after more than 6 years as a member, I'm still astounded by how much support people on here are prepared to give and a little bit of support from people who have been there and done that goes a very long way.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Cheers RMW, I have asked her but she won't. She finds them a bit overwhelming I think. I will tell her what's been said but I tried to persuade her to join over some issue a while back but she said no and has repeatedly said no since. Which is a shame as I think this forum could have been a great place for her.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No brown envelope, she's still waiting but meanwhile her doctor has refused to sign her off any longer. She spent most of Friday in an icy cold phonebox trying to reach the DWP to find out what's happening/claim JSA. She didn't get a response and is struggling to eat. As she has diabetes, I'm really worried about her. She is not fit to take on the hassle of JSA. She'll be sanctioned in no time for not applying for jobs she couldn't do.

 

Does anyone have any advice for her? Unfortunately she isn't very good at standing up for herself and I'm too far away to do anything but advise.

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Cheers RMW, I have asked her but she won't. She finds them a bit overwhelming I think. I will tell her what's been said but I tried to persuade her to join over some issue a while back but she said no and has repeatedly said no since. Which is a shame as I think this forum could have been a great place for her.

 

You are a kind being to your friend, I can tell you I have asked many questions on here for my friend Cathy, she will not use any computer because of her mental health, poor memory and concentration. I must say people in this forum has been extremely helpful even though they are advising me and not Cathy herself, I will then pass the information to her. It is overwhelming when people are very sick and cannot come to the forum like this to ask help and advice so I do it all for her!

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Hi,

 

I'm not sure whether there will be a problem here but don't want to wait util there's a crisis before posting. My friend lost her job last year when the young disabled man she was caring for went into a home. She also lost her home at the time as his dad had bought a house for his son to live in. Although the family gave her time and space to adjust this has worsened her existing health problems and she'sapplied for ESA.

 

She managed to find accomodation and apply for ESA. She had her appointment with the dreaded ATOS and keeps telling me "I know I'll fail". The woman who she saw at her appointment was "chatty". (I and other friends warned her to avoid trick questions, and she spotted them but I think may have fallen into the trap.)

 

The problem is that when she moved she had to register with a new GP. The new GP is not sympathetic. My friend has diabetes(which is seriously affecting her sight), asthma, chronic fatigue, mental health issues and chronic pain. She is undergoing tests to find out what is causing the pain. The job she was in before she could do at her own pace. She worked from home, the boy she cared for was at school during the week and she looked after him at weekends and during school holidays. She was also on call for any incidents during the school week. It's unlikely she will find anything similar despite an excellent reference. She has few qualifications and had been doing this for almost 20 years.

 

Her old GP should have sent all her medical records to the new GP, whether the new gp is sympathetic or not she must tell the new gp of her circumstances and how it has made her illness worst off and ask for a sick note. Tell your friend to seek help from CAB or welfare rights in meantime especially if the new gp not being helpful and understanding. Why did she register with a new GP?

She tells me herself that she just needs a short space of time to get more clarity over her health, maybe get a treatment plan in place and recover from the shock she's been through. I would be seriously scared for her to be thrown onto JSA and the sanctions regime as there are so many jobs she couldn't do. I feel she would be sanctioned very quickly. If she does (as I dread) get zero points she has nothing to live on while the mandatory consideration takes place so tells me that she has to apply for JSA.

 

Was your friend told in advance by the family that the young man will be going into a care home? Why couldn't your friend suggested to the family of the young man that perhaps they could get a carer in as well as herself to care for the young man so they do not lose that house?

Is there anything else she can do? I have advised her to contact the council should it happen to get her housing benefit etc reinstated but I'm scared that she'll fall into a deep depression. I don't live anywhere near so I can only help her by phone/internet (she lives over 400 miles away.) Any advice appreciated.

 

Is your friend receiving any benefit at all? she can claim housing benefit under nil income whilst she is waiting for her esa to be processed.

 

hope this helps.

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Thanks all.

 

She was going a CAB office this moring. I haven't heard any thing since so I'll update when I do.

 

I have told her what to do about the housing benefit (I work for a council in an office near the service point)

 

My friend was told by social services that "Jim" (not his name but it'll do) would be going into a home and his father just went with it. Julie (not her name either) spent a year trying to find out what was happening, looking for suitable day placements for him and got limited (ineffective) cooperation from the family. SHe knew of a good place and he may have been accepted but time was wasted and he didn't. He's about to be moved as he is developing serious health problems possibly brought about by stress. No one will go to his hospital appointments apart from the home staff and she is being discouraged. She's still concerned about him.

 

She registered with a new GP as she had to move across town when she lost her home. She doesn't drive (she has a bus pass due to her deteriorating sight). She had no choice as she couldn't easily get to the old medical practice on public transport.

 

I'm now trying to persuade her to apply for DLA/PIP as her sight is causing major problems. She really needs to be able to use taxis to get about. I'm afraid that she's falling over due to not being able to see obstacles.

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If your friend has completed her ESA50, returned it but has yet to hear back, she can still send additional evidence. If, for example, her eyesight has worsened then she can send evidence of that, likewise if she falls over now whereas she didn't when she originally completed her form. I would recommend sending any additional evidence, signed for, to the DWP BDC that is processing her claim as opposed to ATOS. (This is what I was asked to do by the DWP with my last application where more medical evidence was forthcoming).

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Your friend should also get a medical eye certificate from her optician to say about her poor eye sights deteriorating because they may ask for proof. It's good to get as much evidence as you can it will make process far more quicker.

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I wish her the best of luck, I sympathise completely with the GP situation.

 

I changed GP surgery (yet again) the same month as my WCA, I then deliberatly didnt make an appointment at my new GP before the WCA as I didnt want to have my first appointment asking for evidence for a WCA. I did have an appointment for the day after my WCA but was only planning to discuss my health not anything benefit related. I am getting sick of doctors thinking I only want to see them for DWP purposes.

 

So I basically went to my WCA without any recent evidence from any medical professional, I did have GP notes that were sent to me for my DLA appeal so brought some of them with me as supporting evidence but otherwise it was based on my own statement of condition. I feared the worst as the nurse that examined me appeared to be suggesting I was pretending I couldnt do certian things, I also disclosed some things to her I hadnt previously disclosed to anyone.

 

The night following my WCA, my new GP rang me asking me about my well been as she had a call from a very concerned ATOS medical professional who was worried about me, I told her I was planning to bring this up and I had already made an appointment and I apologised that she was caught up in my ATOS assessment. But according to my GP there was no questions asked regarding the assessment the nurse was just worried about me, my appointment was changed to a double, and for the first time in years I seem to have a GP that cares. This atos nurse as it turns out did reccomend me for SG.

 

So be positive not everyone who has a WCA is found fit for work, even when they dont have GP support.

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She was found fit for work. I'm encouraging her to appeal. She's refusing as she's been told she can't claim JSA and appeal. I know it's tricky but i've told her that she can. She has to have something coming in. Can someone reassure me that's correct? Added to that she can't even get through to the DWP on the phone and has no money. She sounds depressed. Seriously bad.

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At the appeal hearing you won't be discussing the claimant's current state of health but the state of health at the time of the failed Atos medical.

 

DWP policy suggests that failed ESA claimants can apply for JSA while their case is being reconsidered [to have some income].

 

Once you receive the mandatory reconsideration notification you can lodge an appeal.

 

During the appeal process you will get the ESA basic rate but nothing during the ESA reconsideration phase- hence the idea to apply for JSA.

 

Your state of health can change from time to time.

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:Fuzzgin:

 

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2014-02-05a.185615.h

 

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2013-11-25b.175987.h

 

Your friend's been incorrectly advised by Jobcentreplus. But should the first stage of the dispute process (mandatory reconsideration) be negative, she'll need Med 3 (unfit) notes to evidence a claim for assessment rate employment n support pending the outcome of the second stage of the dispute process, a direct appeal to the Tribunals Service.

 

Unfortunately successive amendments to the regs for employment n support have tightened the criteria for an award. Current criteria for an award;

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esa214-a-guide-to-employment-and-support-allowance-the-work-capability-assessment

 

Exceptional/special circumstances at pages 10 - 12.

Descriptors at pages 18 - 28.

 

Praps you and your friend should make an informed decision as to her eligibility for employment n support. Then, if you believe she meets the criteria, she'll need to find a supportive doctor or try to cope with Jobseekers pending the outcome of an appeal.

 

Best wishes, Margaret. :panda:

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She has definitely decided not to appeal so thanks for all your help everyone. I might still need to ask advice on her JSA claim, as they've told her that she won't know get a payment for 6 weeks? Is this corect when she's moving from one benefit to another? She has no money for food although she has some food in the freezer.

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She has definitely decided not to appeal so thanks for all your help everyone. I might still need to ask advice on her JSA claim, as they've told her that she won't know get a payment for 6 weeks? Is this corect when she's moving from one benefit to another? She has no money for food although she has some food in the freezer.

 

Six weeks seems like a long time to move from one benefit to another. I think she's being rash in choosing not to appeal if she's really too ill to work. She should reconsider. But if she won't, it should be more like two or three weeks to get a JSA payment.

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Thanks Antone. I agree with you but she's determined and I've tried to persuade her but ultimately it's her choice. I agree with her that it will damage her mental health to appeal but I think her mental health will be tested whatever she does. She phoned on Friday and she'd go the report. I predicted the words and I'm kicking myself for not going with her as the fact she went alone was highlighted. She had no one to go with her. I live in northern Scotland she lives in central England but I should have gone. Also the fact that she used her iPad when she couldn't sleep. As soon as she said she'd told the woman that I cringed although I know why she does it and it's a distraction from thoughts that would harm her. Being able to play a game for a few minutes at a time is not the same as doing a fulltime job.

 

This system is sick and I loathe it. My friend is a kindhearted and trusting person who needs help for a short period after losing everything while dealing with a lot of health problems. She says herself "I want to work, I miss it, I just need some months!" She knows that the system is not there to help her but to trick her and catch her out but I suspect she still trusts. I don't want her to lose that trust but I do want her to be able to protect herself.

 

Can anyone change the title to ESA/JSA so I can continue to ask for advice as I'm sure she will need it. Thanks for the advice so far. Just knowing that she's not alone is positive.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks Antone. I agree with you but she's determined and I've tried to persuade her but ultimately it's her choice. I agree with her that it will damage her mental health to appeal but I think her mental health will be tested whatever she does. She phoned on Friday and she'd go the report. I predicted the words and I'm kicking myself for not going with her as the fact she went alone was highlighted. She had no one to go with her. I live in northern Scotland she lives in central England but I should have gone. Also the fact that she used her iPad when she couldn't sleep. As soon as she said she'd told the woman that I cringed although I know why she does it and it's a distraction from thoughts that would harm her. Being able to play a game for a few minutes at a time is not the same as doing a fulltime job.

 

This system is sick and I loathe it. My friend is a kindhearted and trusting person who needs help for a short period after losing everything while dealing with a lot of health problems. She says herself "I want to work, I miss it, I just need some months!" She knows that the system is not there to help her but to trick her and catch her out but I suspect she still trusts. I don't want her to lose that trust but I do want her to be able to protect herself.

 

Can anyone change the title to ESA/JSA so I can continue to ask for advice as I'm sure she will need it. Thanks for the advice so far. Just knowing that she's not alone is positive.

 

Sounds like you are a great friend, I wish her the best.

 

Maybe try to suggest if you handle the appeal for her (she just signs appeal form) then she claims JSA as she plans, its effectively the same thing right up until the appeal hearing which is likely to be many months away.

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