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Taken 18 months from starting esa claim to winning at tribunal!!

Hi all,

I'm new to this site, so hope my query makes sense, as at witts end today.

* Commenced esa CB 1st June 2017 after being made redundant
* luckily never had to claim benefits prior to this - last job was for 17 years
* claim for esa was due to severe anxiety and panic disorder - medical notes provided.
* Failed face to face interview with no points
* Mandatory reconsideration, again failed
*Applied to tribunal.
* Tribunal 1 scheduled for June 2018 (12 months later as my case seemed to have been over looked)
* Was only given 2 days notice for tribunal. As my condition had worsened and now also suffered from alcohol disorder due to mental issues and severe menoraghia, Dr sent an emailed letter to tribunal to cancel as I as too I’ll to attend.
* Tribunal 2 scheduled Oct 2018. I attended with my Mum as support, had to take double medication to get out of house as so anxious. Tribunal judge cancelled hearing within 2 minutes of me being in front of her, as they had not received my dr medical notes, even though I had received the copies from the tribunal courts - court clerk was amazed by this and said Ged never known it happen in his 10 year of history.
* Tribunal 3 scheduled Dec 2018. Between judge and dr they asked me 5 questions and awarded the appeal in my favour. This lasted 10 minutes of which caused me so much distress and anxiety. I sobbed my heart out and had a panick attack.
* Received a text from DWP mid Dec saying they had my fit note and I would be paid 27th December.
* No money paid yesterday or today.

My query is (sorry for above long email), finally got through to dwp on phone today. First man - Jo who i spoke to after holding for an hour on phone, when I explained put the phone down on me....

second man man I spoke with basically said as taken way too long for tribunal hearing etc- as usually within about 6 to 9 months, I’ve exhausted by esa cb money, and as husband works not entitled to money or any back pay. 
I advised him My Mum did ask judge would I get back pay and he said yes. 

I was told today no money as dwp have decided to put me in work related group and will just pay my ni contributions.

He said text message ref payment must have been sent out in error
He said on system still shows esa appeal pending tribunal, yet shouldn’t as they received the email paperwork from tribunal the day I attended.

 He said appeal to tribunal to go into support group. Is this correct? This has totally set me back today and my anxiety now is horrific - seeing things and very dizzy.

Any help is really appreciated. Typed from my poor suffering husband having to cope with me in tears. X


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    What was the decision made by the Tribunal? You said it was awarded in your favour but which group?  If it was Support Group then this is paid for as long as you remain in the group. If it was WRAG then this is time limited to 365 days, whether you're entitled to any backdated money will depend on how long you were on assessment rate previously.

    You should have received a letter from the Tribunal.
  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener

    The letter they gave me on the day didn’t state what group I was in. It just said they recommended the dwp didn’t contact me for a minimum of 12 months from the hearing date, as due to section ? they believe this would deteriorate my mental health. It was titled a first stage tribunal hearing. 
    What do I do now?

    Many thanks for the response so late. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    It must have said something other than not being contacted for 12 months. Unless you know what to look for then you may not understand it and without seeing the letter it's impossible to advise you. You should contact HMCTS  and ask them which group.
  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    Looking at the letter now it says under regulation 29 of the esa regulations of 2008 has now been applied.

    i have limited capability for work.

    *By reasons of anxiety, depression and alcohol misuse, xxx is significantly limited, in particular, in coping with daily life. Nevertheless she does not score sufficient points. However if she were found capabable of work, this would result in a substantial risk of deterioration in her mental health. 

    Tribunal reccomends department does not reassess me within 12 months from today’s date......

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2018
    Ok regulation 29 limited capability for work is WRAG and not Support Group. This means that you will only be paid your NI credits towards your state pension because it's CB ESA that you're claiming.

    To be able to appeal the decision you must first ask HMCTS for the statement of reasons and record of proceedings. Once you receive these you can only appeal the decision if an error in law is found in making the decision. If that's not found then you won't be able to take it any further.

  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    My ignorance, what does HMCTS stand for? Do you have contact details for them please?

    Ths is me typing now in a different bedroom as can’t stop crying. I’m so upset about this and don’t want to keep husband awake.

    His Mum is dying of terminal cancer and he’s struggling to support us both, mentally and physically. I’m trying to be strong to focus on them both, but so hard with this hanging over our heads.
    any advice appreciated. X
  • Government_needs_reformGovernment_needs_reform Posts: 708Member Pioneering
    edited December 2018
    Her majesties court tribunal service ...


    "This must not be allowed to happen"

    The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a contract notice announcing its plans for a £3.1billion revamp of heath checks for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and other benefits.

    PIP is not ESA or even UC, having one assessment for those benefits is morally wrong to treat them as ONE size fits all with that one assessment.

    Latest update 9th May 2019

    DWP confirms single assessment plans, despite Tomlinson confusion

    The government has confirmed that it is pushing ahead with plans to test how it might be able to merge two disability benefit assessments into one, despite comments from a minister that appeared to suggest that no such plans were being discussed.

    But DWP has now made it clear to Disability News Service that testing of a single assessment will be going ahead.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    You should email them to request both copies, details for this should be on the letter you received from them. When you do this make sure you put your reference number on the email.
  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    Thank you all very much for your help. 

  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    Hi all,

    Did this last Thursday and awaiting response.....
    As no money received since 1st July 2018, do I make a new claim as additional illness and existing one worse? Tribunal said I had to only discuss my health from over 12 months ago and not current ones - which they based my tribunal on? 
    Any advice is appreciated.

    many thnx
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger

    As you're claiming Contributions based ESA and you're not being paid any money because you were placed into the WRAG by the Tribunal, you're only being paid your NI Contributions. You won't be able to re-apply for New style contributions based ESA unless you've worked and paid enough NI contributions in the years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. I'm assuming because you're not receiving any money from ESA then you live with a partner that works?

  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener

    i have been out of work since 30th June 2017. My partner works full time. Do I have any options as conditions worse and unfortunately new Ill health conditions?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    The reason you're not being paid any ESA is because it's only paid for 1 year if you're placed into the WRAG. Claiming again for New Style ESA wouldn't make any difference because you still won't be paid.

    Claiming Universal credit maybe an option but it depends on household income/savings but before you do this you should get further advice, if you and your partner are claiming any other benefits such as tax credits, claiming UC will mean your tax credits will stop and it will become UC. You would claim UC as a couple because it's a means tested benefit.
  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    We don’t claim any other benefits and as we are fortunate enough to have some small savings- think we must be being penalised for this? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    The reason you're not paid any Income related ESA is because you live with a partner that works. Claiming UC maybe possible but it will depend on many things, savings do affect this and any £6,000 and more will affect it £1 for every £250 over that amount. £16,000 and over and you won't be entitled to any UC.

    It will also depend on other circumstances like partners income, do you have any dependent children?

    Popping your details into a benefits calculator will tell you how much if anything you can claim for UC.

    Do you claim PIP? PIP isn't means tested and a partner working/savings won't affect this.
  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    Hi Poppy,

    Unfortunatley ( or fortunatley for me) I do not fall into any of the above criteria.

    i applied for pip months ago and awaiting a date for assessment.

    Just makes my blood boil that I worked so hard all my life in a very stressful job 15 hour days, even answering emails on holiday, and now don’t get a bean for my contributions, even though the job gave me a mental melt down in the end.

    i know I am luckier than a lot of people on here, who have disabilities that they have not been able to work, so I am greatful for my past health. Just thought I’d get a little help to get me through this very difficult mental period in my life.

    thanks as always for your response and support.
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,858Member Disability Gamechanger
    I just wanted to say I'm truly sorry to hear about your experiences @1974jan. It sounds as though it's been a long and drawn out process for you and I really hope you're doing as well as possible.

    You've had some brilliant advice as always from @poppy123456, and please do know that we're here to listen whenever you want to talk. Wishing you and your husband all the best, and I hope today's as kind as possible to you.
  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    Hi Pippa,

    Thank you for the above mail. I sent an email on 3/1/19 requesting the information Poppy said I needed. As yet, nothing back apart from automatic email on 3/1/19 saying they had my email. I’ve re sent it again this morning. 
    What else can I do as this is making my conditions worse and my nerves are horrific? I have no money as placed in wrag and not support group, I’ve received no money for 6 months now.
    i hope you can advise?
    many thanks,
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    @1974jan there's no timescales for HMCTS to send you the SOR and ROP. They will send in but you'll need to wait. There's nothing more you can do until you receive both of these. Once you do receive then you need to find someone that can have a look through them to see if the error in law has been made, without this you can't take any further.

    Did you do as i advised and put your details into a benefits calculator to see if there's any universal credit you can both claim? https://www.entitledto.co.uk/

    You'll need to put your's and your partners details into that because UC you claim as a couple.

  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    Hi Poppy,

    Because my husband is fortunate to earn a good wage, and we have savings (against an off set mortgage) we are unable to claim any benefits. 
    As I now have additional illness (which my Doctor can confirm to DWP)can I make a new claim for esa - since my CB esa ended June 2018?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    The conditions you must meet to claim New style ESA are in this link. As you haven't worked since June 2017 you may or may not qualify. The years that count for this are 2016/17 and 2017/18.  If you're not sure you've worked enough then you'll need to ring the number in the link and they'll advise you.

  • 1974jan1974jan Posts: 13Member Listener
    Hi Poppy,

    checked against the the criteria and put details into the link - nil money I can claim. 
    On another note, if you could kindly assist, the judges letter from the tribunal stated his recommendation is the department does not contact me for a minimum of 12 months.
    Yesterday I received a letter from dwp saying I needed to go to a work capability meeting and meet with a lady on 29th of January.... Surley this cant be right?

    many thanks,
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 10,314Community champion Disability Gamechanger

    Please read the letter again. As you're in the WRAG then it's most likely an appointment with your work coach at your local job centre.

    Have you recently filled in another work capability assessment form? If it was a face to face assessment then you would have had a form. Also take note of what the letter heading is, if it was a work capability assessment then it would be from the health assessment.
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