Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Concerned about the Coronavirus?


We've put together some helpful information and advice about Covid-19 on our website.

You can also read about: improving your wellbeing, getting food and essentials and claiming benefits during this time.

ESA Reassessment - Brother With Learning Disabilities

Wayne737Wayne737 Member Posts: 5 Listener

Hello Everyone. 

   One of my brothers is in his 50's. He has been on ESA and DLA for
several Years. He was put into the ESA support Group as soon as we 
applied for it for him. He lives with my 80 Year old Father, who had
a Stroke a few Years ago. He is more and more forgetful, which is why
have to go with my brother and not our dad.

 When my brother was born his brain was starved of Oxygen, causing permanent 
brain damage. He had to be educated at a 'Special School', as a result.

 He cannot take in instructions or advice, and has to be told things over
and over again. He also acts impulsively, as he cannot see any danger in
what he is doing. As such, he cannot cook meals etc. He is very naive -
like a child - and several cruel people have tried to exploit him over
the Years. A shop keeper only has to smile at him and he thinks they 
are his 'Friends'. 

  I am now greatly worried. He has been called in for a ESA Reassessment
next Week. I filled in the Form for him, and told them how my brother is,
but they seem to have disregarded it and they want to interview him.

 I will have to go with him to the Interview. I'm hoping that they will let
me speak for him. He gets very confused indeed, if someone asks him a lot of
questions. I am very worried that he will say the 'wrong thing' and that
they may remove him from the Support Group. He cannot even fill a Form in,
so, he would not be able to cope with the WRAG Group. He can't even write
his name properly.

  Even worse would be if they said there is nothing wrong with him and remove his
 ESA completely. There is no way that he would be allowed Unemployment Benefit, as 
just be having a brief chat with him shows you that no-one will ever Employ him -
which means that he'd not satisfy the 'Available For Work', criteria for that Benefit.

 I'm on a lot of Medication, for Mental and Physical ailments, myself, and I'm in a 
terribly nervous state, about what may happen at my brother's Reassessment Interview.

 Can anyone please give me some advice about this matter? Thank You. 


Replies

  • MickConnonMickConnon Volunteer community adviser Posts: 56 Courageous
    Hi @Wayne737 Welcome to the group. Reading your post has had me thinking....The fact that your brother will not recover from this learning Disability he has . From what you have said he would be classed as a vulnerable adult and the history certainly shows this. I can sympathise with your feelings at this point. I once had a letter from the DWP asking  that one of the guys I look after attends a Work suitability interview. We were all for this as it would have made the assessor look a twerp as there was no way he would've been suitable for work for 4 reasons. I do not agree the way that these reviews take place in placing those who care for others in a permanent state of anxiety as we only want what is right for your family and the fact you are willing to fight his corner I feel is great.  I feel you taking your brother along to see him will be the only way that they will be able to see for themselves, As one person said earlier on the forum that this assessment process needs overhauling..once and for all. You have my ear on this one so please feel free to use me as a sounding board as am listening and am here to be of some use to you,
  • MickConnonMickConnon Volunteer community adviser Posts: 56 Courageous
    @wayne737 just had a brain wave. Your brother is in his 50s and with a Learning Disability they do not get any better or recover. A truthful fact of life is that as we get older our health starts letting us down and various ailments set in. To this end it gets worse and not better. The fact you have your 80 year old Dad getting forgetful isn't helping and is adding to the stresses you already have and am not surprised you feel negatively about this forthcoming ESA. 
  • Wayne737Wayne737 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    edited April 2019


      Mick -- Thank you very much for your helpful replies. I will not forget your kind assistance.

      I will - of course - let you know how my brother's 'Reassessment' Interview goes, next Week...

      My brother is around 50 and he has never worked. As I said in my previous Post, he
    was starved of Oxygen, when he was born, and it has affected his entire life.

      He was on Unemployment Benefit until well into his 30's. No-one told
    my Family that he was entitled to Disability Benefits, so we never tried
    to claim any for him. We were only told that he was entitled to them, when
    he was about 35. He had been 'Signing On' until then - with no prospect of
    a Job, as he could not function very well.

     Apart from being starved of Oxygen, at birth, I think that he may also be
    Autistic. He has never been tested for Autism, but he shows symptoms of it.
     He has no idea - at all - of personal space, and you and he can be alone in 
    a huge kitchen etc., and he always ends up right by your elbow - crashing into
    you, as you try to prepare a meal etc. He also has a habit of standing right
    behind you, with only a few inches space, so that you walk into him when you
    turn around. This has happened many, many times, and it can be quite dangerous,
    if you are cooking.

    He also has a habit of saying very inappropriate things. He cannot see why people
    get offended by them. He has done that at Party's etc., and we've actually had 
    guests leaving - very angry - because he's upset them with a remark or 'joke'.
    Over the Years my Parents made him apologise - many times - to people he's upset.

    Also, he has a habit of walking up to a person, whom I, (or others), are talking 
    to, and he completely ruins the conversation, by starting one himself. You end
    up looking at his back, as he starts chatting to the person whom you were talking
    to! He seems totally unaware that he is being rude. Every Week he ruins at least 
    one chat that I'm having with someone in my Family Home.

     As my brother has been mentally disabled from birth, it isn't a case of him needing
    reassessing now. The truth is that no-one ever told my Parents about Disability Benefits,
    until he was about 35, so he lost out on Decades of such Benefits. He was made to have
    Unemployment Benefit instead - even though no-one would ever want to employ him, due
    to his disabilities.

     He makes many, many mistakes. If there are 2 or 3 choices that he can make, it is almost
    certain that he will choose the worst option every time. He has often made choices that are
    very dangerous, to both himself and to other people. He is especially dangerous in the 
    kitchen, which is why my Father does not allow him to cook anything. In the workplace, he 
    would never, ever be able to remember Health & Safety Rules, which would make him a risk to
    both himself and other people.
  • Wayne737Wayne737 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    edited May 2019

      Hello again. My brother and I went to his ESA Reassessment Interview several Weeks ago. I've
     been waiting   for him to get a letter, regarding whether the Interview was successful. That is why
     I've taken so long to respond here.  The Interview lasted for over an hour and the Interviewer allowed
    me to answer all of the questions for my brother.  I am an extremely shy and nervous person, but I kept
     calm and answered all of her questions. She was very polite  with both of us. I felt nauseated when the
    Interview was over, (nerves), and we left the building as fast as we could.  Since then, we've been waiting
     for a letter, to see if he can still be in the ESA Support Group. We finally got the letter, a few days ago. It
    said that my brother can still have his money and still remain in the Support Group. This is a huge relief for
     me, my brother and my 80 year old Father, who my brother lives with. I want to thank Mick, for his kind
    replies and advice, I do not forget such kindnesses. I'm just relieved that my brother's ordeal is over. I do
    think - daily -  of those who are still being assessed and reassessed. I know how it all plays on their minds
    and casts a shadow over their lives.
      

     
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,814 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community 

    First things first a LD doesn’t go away. From reading your post it does not seem like your brother can work at all. He should definitely be placed in the support group. Can you call them tomorrow morning after breakfast? I understand your feelings.
    My son has Spina Bifida and clubbed feet too. We are currently trying to find out if he has dyscalculia or not. He is 2 1/2 now. While his disabilities are not as serious as your brother’s ones, I’m preparing for the future now. Can you afford to pay for him to stay in a care home or not? I always struggle with this type of assessment and interview too. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 18,500 Disability Gamechanger
    @Wayne737 that's great news that your brother has successfully been placed into the Support Group. You're right those assessments are worrying and very stressful. Glad it's over for now, at least.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • MickConnonMickConnon Volunteer community adviser Posts: 56 Courageous
    @Wayne737, great news and am over the moon for you. Just as @April2018mom said an LD does not go away and am glad that common sense got through. The assessor sounds like she was really sympathetic which helps but I can understand why you felt nauseous afterwards. Well done for remaining calm and answering the questions. That’s what we do here or at least try to do 😁
  • StelStel Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi, I’m in this awful situation as well again. 18month ago my 22 year old son had a face to face interview for esa, and yet again we are being asked to fill out forms for renewal and another face to face.  He has had learning Disabilities all his life, went to special school and now at home with me.  Do these people think that they are going to be able to work at some point that they keep sending these renewals out.  I’m so anxious for him waiting for a reply that seems to be taking forever.
  • Wayne737Wayne737 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    edited March 13

     Stel - I'm very sorry that the DWP put you and your Son through such anxiety. They really are a great worry.

     Thank you all, again, for helping me with my Brother's Reassessment, last Year. I'd like to Donate some
     money,  to this Site. Can anyone tell me how to do it? Can I use Pay Pal? I'd Donate 2 or 3 times a Year,
     as I think that  this Site is very important. I thought that I'd Donated last Year, but I can't see where I asked
     about it, in this Thread,  so I think that I must have forgotten. I'm very sorry about that...
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 18,500 Disability Gamechanger
    @Wayne737 that's very kind of you, thank you! This link will take you to the donate page. https://www.scope.org.uk/donate/

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,665 Scope community team
    That's is so lovely of you @Wayne737, thank you! 
    Community Partner
    Scope
Sign in or join us to comment.