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What is happening with Mandatory Reconsideration during Corona - Virus?

wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
edited April 3 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hello all.

I would be interested to know what will be happening to mandatory reconsiderations during this outbreak. I myself have a personal problem of my benefit stopping 1 week before the lockdown. I understand completely that this may be inappropriate - insensitive during these sad testing times. But sadly I still have to get through this just like anybody else. If anyone may know anything about how the DWP might be running the programme now it would be much appreciated.

Thank you and God Bless.
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Replies

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wonkavator80   Pleased to meet you.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.

    We have a member of our Community Champions team may answer you question.

    Has expertise and knowledge of benefits.

    @poppy123456 please can you advise.

    Please have you spoken to DWP rang them, or look at the websites.

    Please take care and safe.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 18,542 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    Face to face assessments don't apply to MR decisions so i would assume the MR decisions would continue as normal. How long the wait will be i have no idea. Even without these difficult times, there's no timescales for decisions.

    Most MR decisions remain the same and there's only about a 15% chance the decision will change at this stage, so expect to have to take it to Tribunal.

    All you can do at the moment is wait. 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.
  • wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello thespiceman pleased to meet you. 

    I have contacted the DWP to ask them about possible time frames. I have checked lots of Internet - Media coverage - Forums etc. The information highway seems to cover every topic about disruption to the DWP services except Mandatory-Reconsiderations. The DWP stated they were still doing revisions via telephone, however this was a week ago. And with the terrible virus problems their is a lot of uncertainty for not only me but for several others. 

    Thanks again thespiceman take care & all the best 🍀
  • wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello poppy123456 

    Thank you for the response.

    The reason I was or am so worried is due to this been a non - payment during Reconsideration situation. I have been to Tribunal before, and not particularly worried about going again, but assumed the DWP would have made comment about the situation. I know a charity made some suggestions regarding how the MR could be problematic to some now with the Virus problem, but no official Government information this far. Generally With several circumstantial problems I have at the moment, and with the lockdown measures I was kind of seeking peace of mind. 😲 But we surely know that this predicament and peace of mind don't mix. 

    Thanks poppy123456 all the best 🍀
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 2,287 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @wonkavator80 - Welcome to the community from me too. May I ask what benefit you had that was recently stopped?
    I'm ever so sorry to read how problematic this is for you right now, but hope there's a way we may be able to help/advise.
  • wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello chiarieds and thank you.

    The benefit I was claiming is ESA. I was in the support group. My situation is that I have been homeless since I left my job a few years ago, and have only had C/O addresses to receive my mail. I have had complications with getting my mail, and sometimes had letters of importance redirected to a Jobcentre for me to collect due to this. I received a telephone call from the DWP nearly three weeks ago to inform me of my ESA stopping as of my last payment ( three days earlier. ) I obviously asked why,  and the answer was due to not attending a medical. I said to the lady on the telephone that I never received any medical appointment,  nor did I receive a work capability questionnaire, nor did I receive a letter about why I did not attend or about the imminent stoppage of my benefit. I was asked if I would like a MR, I said " yes please ", and I had to give another address in a different part of England, which is a family member who doesn't really want me to but I had no choice. And with all these problems I had been to the dentist to have some teeth taken out, but was informed that I have a impacted wisdom tooth that will need to be done at a hospital, and that they would refer me immediately. So I travelled up north, and I spent the majority of the week in a travellers hostel, spending nearly every penny a fortnight aside from £20 for something to buy food and toiletries with. Then sadly the virus came along,  I didn't get my appointment at the hospital due to everything getting cancelled for the virus. After all this my phone rang with somebody informing me of my benefit cut, and several days after England went on lockdown with me not having money to stay in the hostel and not knowing were my next payment was coming from, ultimately making me completely homeless and pennyless during a pandemic. I know it sounds a little far fetched, but I just cannot believe this to be quite honest. I had a budgeting loan application accepted in January, and actually had a letter re-directed by the DWP to the local jobcentre  due to not receiving mail for sometime. I know that sadder things are happening right now, it just seems unreal to me that I am stuck in a situation where I feel I have done nothing wrong,  but on the other hand neither have the DWP. I know that if this is going to go to the Tribunal that it may take a long time now, and just don't quite know how I can get through several months to a year or 2 with no money. Thank you for the messages and reply.

    Take care & best wishes for now chiarieds. 🍀



  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 2,287 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @wonkavator80 - I'll ask @poppy123456 to look at your further info to see if she can suggest anything.
    Have you considered asking Shelter for help if you have nowhere to stay? See: https://www.shelter.org.uk/
    Another friend, @thespiceman, has resources that may be helpful, as there are certain charities that can help you with benefits amongst other things. I hope they may be able to help you.

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2
    Hello @wonkavator80   Thank you for reply.

    Sorry to hear all of this please if I can give some relevant information regarding being homeless.

    There are certain organisations and charities that often have their own housing association with the charity.

    I am going to supply these. My be helpful also to see how we as a community can help you.

    My friends @chiarieds and @poppy123456 I know have given you some advice but what is important how much more we can help and offer the support you need.

    This my Housing Association has properties all over the country. Supported and assisted homes.

    You do not need a deposit.

    https://www.homegroup,org.uk

    SHELTER 

    https://www.shelter.org.uk

    Helpline 0808 800 4444

    https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk

    Please if you have a mental health condition . Anxiety depression or any others a lot of these have links to housing associations support.

    The first one has its own housing with in the charity and can assist with many aspects of welfare, health and benefits.

    Might not be in all areas.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk

    https://www.mind.org.uk

    Please if I can inform you may be interested . Mail you could open a Post Box see Website Post office.

    Post Restante 

    Look on line has details of how to get your post. In a box safe in one place.

    Then that means have the mail delivered can pick it up  directed to your box may have use ID to access it.

    Something to think about.

    https://www.postoffice.co.uk

    Other support may be informative useful.

    https://www.redcross.org.uk.

    https://www.turn2us.org.uk

    https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

    Helpline 0800 138 7777

    https://www.evenbreak.co.uk.

    Employment agency supporting our community help those who have illness disability conditions.

    Please may I add going to tag SCOPE Team see how much more we can do, I do this because you have come to us for support.

    @Adrian_Scope   @Chloe_Scope   please can you help and assist anything to help.

    Please they will be in touch offer additional support.

    Please if I can help with anything always here tag my name like I have done with yours in the post to you.

    If you do that get to me quickly can be supporting you and helping with anything you might require.

    Please ask me anything. keep in touch and safe .

    In my prayers and thoughts.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 18,542 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @chiarieds for the tag and sorry for the delay, only just seen this.

    This is incredibly sad! Firstly, may i ask if you have somewhere to stay during this lockdown so that you are kept safe? If you're still homeless then i'd advise you to contact your local council because as per government announcement last week, they told local councils that they need to find somewhere for the homeless to stay.

    Regarding your ESA stopping. My advice is to ring ESA to ask to speak to a decision maker, if you can get through and ask if the MR decision could be rushed through because you have been left with no money, through no fault of your own! Your ESA should never have stopped and you should not be left without money during these extremely difficult times! Although i advised that most MR decisions remain the same, i don't know if that includes MR decisions for your reasons but i assume it does.

    If you don't get any joy when you ring ESA it maybe worth contacting your local MP to see what they can do to help you. https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

    If the worst does happen and the MR decision doesn't change you may have no choice but to claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the Tribunal because you won't be paid any money for ESA while you wait because of the decision to find you fit for work for failing to attend, either though i think it was absolutely ridiculously heartless!

    Please do come back and let us know the outcome and if you need any further advice, please do let me know.

    Take care and please stay safe!

    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.
  • wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    @chiarieds
    Thanks for the help and information. I will scope through this now to see if I can find further information to help my crisis.

    @poppy123456 . Where I am the homeless are more than the homed I think. I was only in my hometown due to waiting for a hospital appointment for my teeth. I struggle to find housing under the homeless category as people assume to be homeless you need to have addictions or bad habits or have been in prison, I am not in these brackets. People usually judge on appearance, and to others in authority, or even other homeless people think I am to normal - clean shaven - smart to be sick or homeless. This type of judgement from people makes it ten times harder for myself to get into accommodation, and causes problems with others by them only having a one track mind "what you see is what you get," which is unfair. I mean for people to assume somebody is not homeless or sick because they are clean, and present themselves well is a complete disgrace to a humans right of individuality.

    Thanks again & God Bless & Good Luck to all 🍀🍀
  • wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thanks @thespiceman

    I will check out the information. Thanks a lot for the replies.

    Best Wishes 🍀
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,053 Disability Gamechanger
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-update-benefit-reviews-and-reassessments-suspended

    The implication of this is that if you have an MR because if a change of circs it may be processed but an MR where you simply want to challenge a decision may not.

    The specific case on this thread is interesting because although most new sanctions are suspended - https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/insights/coronavirus-claiming-welfare-benefits/?utm_source=HOC+Library+-+Research+alerts&utm_campaign=02e85617ed-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_03_08_00&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a9da1c9b17-02e85617ed-102526909&mc_cid=02e85617ed&mc_eid=af775a51e6 - you may not able to get an immediate MR of a sanction already imposed.

    There’s an obvious unfairness to that which begs for a judicial review so I’d be contacting the Public Law Project or Leigh Day ASAP. 


  • wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello @mikehughescq

    Thanks for your interest. I do not exactly know what to do or how MR will work in my case. My only case is that I am not guilty for anything inparticular, only maybe of not having my own home with my own letterbox. I was in the support group after going to tribunal, in which homelessness, and my mental state were a large issue. Infact I was contacted several times via my mobile phone from the DWP about appointments in the past. I did the MR on the telephone The same Time I was told my ESA had stopped. My details were taken for my reason for not attending, and my situation of problems surrounding getting or receiving mail. Along with the fact that I didn't actually get to see any of the letters that were sent out, or the letter about MR, I just don't know what category I was put in. It's quite a disturbing position I am in, only hope some clarity arrives soon good or bad.

    Thanks again for your message. Best wishes 🍀
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 2,287 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @wonkavator80 - How are you? I'm hoping that you have somewhere to stay, & perhaps you've heard further about your MR. Have you been able to get your ESA re-instated? I do hope at least some of your problems have been resolved. If you can, please let us all know how you're getting on.
    Perhaps the Scope team can advise about your situation, if you say how things are.
  • wonkavator80wonkavator80 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello. @ chiarieds - Good afternoon, hope you are doing okay. Thank you for the messages, much appreciated. The Mandatory-Reconsideration was successful 2 weeks ago, and finally got a payment yesterday. I have stayed with somebody until the Virus Lockdown eases, and the transport runs again. I then will try to secure a more permanent accommodation. Thank you once again for your guidance and confidence. Also to @poppy123456 - @thespiceman - @mikehughescq. Thanks to everybody, and to all the people going through the same process of difficulty, may you all have the strength to get through these bad times.

    Best Wishes & Good Luck 🍀 to you.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 2,287 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @wonkavator80 - Thank you so much for getting back in touch with your news. I'm OK, & all the better for hearing from you! So pleased your Mandatory Reconsideration was successful, & you have somewhere to stay.
    My best wishes to you too, & keep in touch if you can. :)
  • abigail71abigail71 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Hello all.

    I would be interested to know what will be happening to mandatory reconsiderations during this outbreak. I myself have a personal problem of my benefit stopping 1 week before the lockdown. I understand completely that this may be inappropriate - insensitive during these sad testing times. But sadly I still have to get through this just like anybody else. If anyone may know anything about how the DWP might be running the programme now it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you and God Bless.
    Hi there! I spoke to PIP today about my MR they told me theyre going in order of who sent their papers on first rather than order of decision dates etc. Whether that's true or not I don't know but it's what they said on the phone. They told me because they only just received mine I'm behind everyone literally everyone waiting for a MR 😂 but I'm Infront of the people who's papers are getting sent in tomorrow I guess haha 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,053 Disability Gamechanger
    That may well be true but with the best will in the world stuff is largely being made up as we go along at the moment. Staffing numbers are low and erratic abd all concerned are doing the best we can with that and unclear guidance.
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