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Missed Work Capability Assessment Due to Illness - Now been told capable of work???


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Hello and thank your reading,

 

I unfortunately suffer from the following which I take medication for:

Spinal Injury - Long term disability affecting movement, loss of feeling in legs and feet

Chronic Pain due to spinal injury and herniated discs

Depression

ADHD

 

I missed my Work Capability Assessment as I had an infection, I called the centre prior to the appointment to tell them and I also visited the GP and obtained medication.I was told that I would receive a letter from the DWP asking why I missed the appointment.

I subsequently received the form, I completed the form complete with an appointment card and the medication container which listed the date on which I obtained the medication, at no point was I asked to explain my disability/illness or the reason as to why I had been in receipt of "not fit for work" note from the GP and have been since Sept 2016.

A couple of weeks later I received a "Decision maker has decided your capable of work"

The questions I am asking are:

1.How can this have been made when there has been no formal assessment completed or any forms filled out by myself to explain the conditions and difficulties I face on a day to day basis?

2.I have note received any explanation as to why this decision was made, so I want to appeal, whats the best way to do this?

3.I have no benefits in the meantime, I am in a lot of debt and am behind in my rent, which means that I may lose my home due to this decision, what can I do?

 

Many thanks in advance for the advice, it is really appreciated

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First thing you need to do is get a 'No Income' form from the council, fill it in and give it back to them. That will get your rent paid again. Second thing you should do is write to your MP and tell them about this and ask for their assistance in regaining your benefits. They might help, they might not so you need to apply for what's known as a Mandatory Reconsideration. This means you're asking the DWP to look again at their decision. I forget how you do that exactly, someone will be along in a minute to explain further I imagine. When that fails, if it does, you can then appeal against the original decision, the one you've just had, and once your appeal is underway you should start getting ESA at the basic rate again to keep you going.

The problem you're going to have right now is you've been declared fit to work so they'll be expecting you to be visiting the job centre to sign and and probably doing job search or courses or all sorts of other unsavoury pursuits you are clearly unable to do. To get round that you need to apply for an 'extended period of sickness'. There's more on that here https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=opera&q=90+days+extended+sickness&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=extended+sickness+jsa I know you'll read the govt stopped this, and they did, but it's been started again. I know as I've just recently had to look into this for a friend of mine. Basically, for a period of three months I think it is, you can go sick while on JSA and not have to do any of the usual nonsense you have to do with JSA. This should easily see you through the waiting period for your mandatory reconsideration, and when that comes you can appeal and go back on normal basic ESA. HTH!

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To make a request for mandatory reconsideration you can telephone or write to the office that pays your benefits. If you choose to call, follow up with a letter and advise them on the call that this is what you intend to do. There is some more advice available at this site. In regards to the fact that the letter says you've been found fit for work, this is just the way the DWP phrases these things. In effect, they're saying not so much that they've decided you're fit for work, but that you can't be treated as being unfit for work because you didn't attend the assessment.

 

This should easily see you through the waiting period for your mandatory reconsideration, and when that comes you can appeal and go back on normal basic ESA.

 

Most of the advice you've given is sound and I'd urge the OP to follow it, but there is just one point to note: you can only receive ESA on appeal if you're appealing against a points failure of the assessment. You can, of course, appeal a "failure to attend" decision but you won't be paid ESA while it's pending.

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CAB or Welfare rights advisers may be able to help you with this, They may know of an escalation route to get your payments restarted quicker than the MR route

 

A letter from the GP may also help , IMO you should not have to wait for an MR.It probably wouldn't have gone this far had you covered your bases with regards of supporting evidence from your GP to back up your case for having good cause, Had you rescheduled the WCA appointment previously? , If not then i would think they maybe in the wrong on this

 

Also due to your health conditions Spinal Injury - Long term disability affecting movement, loss of feeling in legs and feet

Chronic Pain due to spinal injury and herniated discs

Which i would imagine will limit your ability to mobilise, As well as using stairs etc, And if stairs are an issue they have to offer you a ground floor venue, but you would have to tell them that stairs are a no go

 

Do you know how long it would take for you to travel from the assessment centre, from your home to the front door of the centre using public transport, and by car ,if it would take more than 90mins in either direction on public transport including any waiting time or walking time then they should offer to to provide a taxi in the journey time would take no more than 1 hr or a home visit,

You can request a home visit or a paper based assessment but would need a letter of support from your GP or other HCP who sees you regularly and knows how your conditions affect you, Also If they insist on a F2F WCA , then you should insist on it being audio recorded

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Also please note that in these type of circumstances where the DWP deemed a claimant to have failed to submit to their farce called the WCA , ESA assessment rate is not payable until they have had a WCA should the MR not change this decision, all a tribunal can do is instruct the DWP to rearrange a new WCA , but until this WCA ESA payments won't be paid

http://www.cpag.org.uk/http%3A/%252Fwww.cpag.org.uk/content/ask-cpag-online-esa-problem-areas-claims-and-payments-have-you-failed-attend-medical-examina

 

If your condition has significantly worsened since you completed the ESA50 and you r GP will support this being the case, or you have a newly diagnosed condition then you could make a new claim for ESA but you would have to complete a new ESA50 if the DWP accept a worsening or new condition then they will pay you ESA at the assessment rate again until the WCA .

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