Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA At Home Reassessment almost 2yrs wait?

Hi,
I am presently in the WRAG  ESA (or whatever it's called now) & I completed a form again for reassessment & returned within the required timescale.  I received a WCA appointment at my local medical centre but this was rearranged as I needed my sister to accompany me & also for a audio recording. I was sent another appointment date in for late Jan 2018. About a week before this medical I sent additional evidence from my doctor & notification of change to stronger medication. (I suffer from severe depression/m anxiety/mood swings due to private sexual identity issues)
Two days before my WCA I received a letter advising my appointment had been cancelled  Instead home assessment had been arranged & I would be notified in due course. I waited & waited but no communication regarding a home assessment. My sister called ESA to enquire what was happening & they said there was a long waiting list. So we just left it at that.
Then out of the blue I received a letter on the 2nd January 2020 for a home assessment on the 13th January.?? Don't get me wrong I so appreciate the home assessment as my first WCA at the centre was horrendous due to illness  All my interactions with the JobCentre are done approx 6 monthly over phone as I am unable to attend the JobCentre & my advisor arranged this.
Because of the timescale of me waiting the original form is quite old - 2yrs is a long time?? 
 lm just looking for some advice,I should I speak to my doctor about more up-to-date evidence? Any advice would be appreciated - is this wait time normal? Seems very excessive wait.
Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post.
Thanks


Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 1,121 Pioneering
    I suppose the good news is that they have been paying your ESA during this wait,It does seem a long time 2 years but it is what it is, I wouldn't personally bother seeking more upto date evidence from your GP, just answer the questions they ask as best you can.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,365 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome,

    2 years is indeed a very long time and if it was me then i'd most definitely put in a complaint about the length of time you've been waiting. Yes, your ESA has obviously continued to be paid but on the other hand you could have been placed into the support group and if that happened then you would have receive more money. If the decision is to put you into the support group now then it will be from the date the decision is made and you won't receive any backdated money.

    Also as you pointed out the form you filled in was 2 years ago and a lot may have changed in that time, with your condition. If it hasn't then it's not a problem. Same with the evidence, if nothing has changed in that time then i wouldn't worry too much. If it has changed then i'd try to get more evidence but remember, it's based on the work you can do and not the work you can't do.

    Good luck.
    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.
  • kenny1967kenny1967 Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Hi & thanks for your advice. I don't think I'll bother getting any further evidence as nothing has rely changed since then.
    @poppy123456 - I do see what you are saying here. For example let's say I am moved to support group  - it would essentially mean I would loose out on any backdated benefit?? I never really thought about that. If I just stay where I am I guess it doesn't matter. 
    I may look into how I go about complaining about the long wait.

    On a positive note I have heard (please correct me if I'm wrong) but I heard actual doctors do home assessments & I would of thought this is much better as than "medical specialists" in the WCA centres. 

    Thanks again 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,365 Disability Gamechanger
    You heard wrong. They are HCP's and not doctors. Home assessments are no different to an assessment in one of their centres. The only difference is it's in the comfort of your own home. Everything else is exactly the same.
    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.
  • kenny1967kenny1967 Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Oh I read somewhere they were doctors on home assessments. Ah well will just have to see how things go. Thanks for that.
  • kenny1967kenny1967 Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Just an update on the "possible"  outcome of my home WCA, although I have not received my decision letter yet today my ESA payment was like £30 more than my usual payment??
    As it happens I'm also having my usual 6 monthly work activity telephone interview with JobCentre at 4pm today, so I'm going to ask what this extra payment is.
    Not sure at this stage but it may be that I have been moved from WRAG to support group as a result from my recent home WCA. 
    Great news if so, but I'm pretty angry too as I waited SO long to get this home WCA. 
    Anyway, I'll update once I know more 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 19,365 Disability Gamechanger
    If you originally started your ESA claim before April 2017 then the difference between WRAG and Support Group is about £25 per week.
    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.
  • kenny1967kenny1967 Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Hi @poppy123456 - I didn't receive my call from the JobCentre coach at 4pm. Tried to call him but couldn't get an answer. So I called the free phone DWP line incase they tried to sanction me for not having the telephone interview. They said I have been moved to support group & the JobCentre didn't call as a result.

    So I have been moved to Support Group as a result of my recent home WCA - something my doctor has always said to me from day one, but it's one thing what your doctor says & what the DWP decide. unfortunately.

    But everything aside a positive outcome for me which I honestly didn't expect. I mean the home assessor was  a very pleasant empathic lady & all that, but as we all know that means nothing at all.(always expect the worst when dealing with the DWP so any positives is a bonus) 
    Thanks again ;-)
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,401 Scope community team
    It's great to hear you've been moved to the support group @kenny1967!
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • kenny1967kenny1967 Member Posts: 16 Connected
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