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New ESA Claim - Phone to 'Clerical'

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]Afternoon All,


I have had to leave my job as the problems with my lower back just do not allow me to stand on my feet for 8 hours straight, and my doctor has issued me a fitnote and referred me to a musculoskeletal specialist.


I was on ESA from Jun-Dec 2013 and returned myself to work (before having an atos medial, i hadn't been declared fit nor unfit for wok) as the treatment i was receiving then had some effect and i felt human again but i am no longer allowed the injections and im back to square one and the pain most mornings means its physically difficult to even get my socks on.... anyways


I just now phoned the ESA new claim line and the operator took some initial details and then informed me we could not go any futher as the claim had to be done on a 'clerical claim form' which they will post out 1st class. (Apparently all things they send to you now are 1st class as of quite recently)


I am worried there is a problem as when i claimed last year it was all done over the phone. I asked him about linking my previous claim and he said the computer tells us if thats what will happen when so much has been entered, but we never got that far.


What is a clerical claim form? Should I be concerned? Why do they need it to be done this way now when previously it was done on the phone?


In advance,





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The computer system that pays ESA and JSA (called 'JSAPS' - Jobseekers Allowance Payment System) is pretty bad. It's old, old technology and the ESA functions were tacked on as something of an afterthought.


What that means, in practical terms, is that there are some cases where the system simply can't cope with a new claim, especially when a previous ESA claim has been closed. In these cases, a claim is done "clerically" - using paper forms and a processor works out your payments with a calculator and a sheet of paper.


It's nothing to be concerned about in terms of your entitlement - it makes no difference one way or another - but it does mean that things could be slower and information about your claim might not be available to the contact centre staff if you need to call them. If you do call with an enquiry, advise the person you speak to that the claim might be clerical. They can then arrange a callback from the processor who deals with these things.




The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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