Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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What should I write in a mandatory reconsideration for sdp

frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
Esa have refused to pay entitled premiums for backdated period and their reason for doing so was they say they wrote to me in 2016,2017,2018 about decisions on my esa claim and said I was not entitled to any premiums and I should have asked them to look at my claim again within 31 days of receiving these letters. I never received such letters nor do I believe that they were sent out in the first place. Whomever made the decisions I was not entitled to premiums had not looked into my circumstances very well as I was in receipt of PIP low rate care comp, income based esa/JSA/housing benefit & living alone. Nobody claimed carers allowance. From what I've read in the news the DWP should have automatically paid this premium. I was unaware of it's existence at the time. Even if they did write to me saying you are in receipt of X amount why should I have questioned their decision-making at the time if I was unaware of a premium for those on pip without paid carers. 

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 4,578 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community, I will tag in a couple of champions who may be able to help with your query 

    @Adrian_Scope or @mikehughescq can either of you assist with this
  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    Thanks for tagging the experts but I've already sent one off today. I just highlighted eligibility rules and told them to look into my old claims and backdate the premiums. I can't believe they said they had decided multiple times not to award a premium onto benefits despite clear entitlement. And to say I only had 31 days to inform them I was unhappy of decisions I didn't even know where being made. The lady from the benefit center even mentioned i missed a health assessment back in 2016. What has that got to do with anything hahaha what a headache. Wonderful people on here though! It's a nice safe place for those who need it! 
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 4,578 Disability Gamechanger
    Good you have sent it off and hope it gets sorted for you if not or you need any further advice just ask 
  • Lou67Lou67 Member Posts: 710 Pioneering
    Hi Frank so sorry to hear everything youv went through, I really hope you get a positive outcome on your MR. 
  • ross2503ross2503 Member Posts: 91 Pioneering
    Fingers crossed you get the outcome you're looking for :) You're definitely right about this community, it's a great support network!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,619 Scope community team
    Hi @frank96, how are you getting on? :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    Hi thanks for asking, I sent off the MR directly to benefit center Belfast recorded delivery. Called esa and they said they have no record of receiving the letter (it's been signed for) so I'll be resending another in the morning via the freepost mail handling site. I'll send 2 just to be safe. Apparently if you send directly to the benefits centre rather than via mail handling site then they won't have a the letters scanned on their systems and ESA phonestaff won't have any record of receiving it.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,619 Scope community team
    Really hope they have managed to receive it now @frank96. :)
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    Scope

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  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    I swear the DWP have quotas similar to DVLA on how many people they can pass/pay per week and I'm just unfortunate. I've been told I need to lodge an appeal as all of the reconsideration letters I sent were not considered and the reconsideration was done when I asked them to reconsider on the phone 2 months ago. They said they haven't looked into my claims because an is10 form was filled out on a previous claim and it said I was not entitled to any premiums. Benefits centre Belfast have said this MAY be because I was not living alone and when I was i didn't inform them of a change in circumstances. I was always living alone, I was always on pip, I never had anybody claiming carers allowance. What do I need to say in an appeal letter and where should I send it to?!?! I repeatedly explained this to the benefits centre dealing with my claim, they didn't give me a straight answer. ESA enquiry staff have told me several times that I need to write in a mandatory reconsideration despite the decision already being made. Can somebody point me in the right direction of a benefits solicitor who can assist in writing an appeal letter? Or a few hints on what to write myself and where to write to. The fella on the phone was being proper shirty with me before can't stand dealing with DWP staff sometimes they purposely lie
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,574 Disability Gamechanger
    A solicitor is not needed for this. Start here. https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser

    Difficult to advise further without seeing any paper work and you deifnitely need expert advice here.
    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.
  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    Thanks poppy I honestly can't believe after six months nobody at ESA has looked into my records because a decision on premium entitlement back in 2014 (supposedly) and they found it was not entitled? Hopefully an advisor can assist in writing a well worded appeal. Thanks again for the quick response :)
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,574 Disability Gamechanger
    I suggest asking to see all the information held about you and you can do this by requesting the right of access. See link.


    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.
  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    I didn't really want to pay for a solicitor, and I have already received a massive pile of letters of all the information the DWP hold. If it goes to tribunal I'll just be using information they already hold as evidence to support my claim. Any idea if the appeal decision makers will look into this further and just pay up what's owed or will it have to be seen by a judge before being awarded?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,574 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 21
    Please use the link to see what advice agency is local to you. I didn't advise about paying for any solicitor, that is not needed here.

    It's the mR first and then Tribunal.

    Just want to also add as i see in your first comment that you stated DWP should have automatically awarded you the SDP. That's not actually true, it's not automatically awarded because of the criteria involved.
    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.
  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    I know you didn't advise such I was just stressing believing they would refuse the appeal without a tribunal hearing. And that makes sense given how entitlement can change depending on who is living with you, age of children ect. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,574 Disability Gamechanger
    Refuse an appeal without a Tribunal hearing? that doesn't really make sense. The appeal is the Tribunal. A decision can be made before the hearing takes place.

    May i ask what reason they gave for refusing you in 2016/17 and 18?
    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.
  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    So I never actually knew about it nor did I apply myself and nobody else did on my behalf. I've just been told that when I started my claims decisions were made at the time and they found I wasn't entitled and that I should have notified them of my eligiblity sooner. I asked BC Belfast (gave me a callback today) what reason did they find I was unentitled to the premiums, the man couldn't tell me.  Possibly esa and JSA had wrong information on record at the time a decision for premium eligibility was made. But the housing benefit, council tax letters, landlord contacts I've sent them should prove otherwise at appeal. They couldn't tell me if there was over the phone though he just kept repeating "a decision has been made". And from Dec 17 to Feb 19 I wasn't claiming PIP and working full time. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,574 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't think this is one for an internet forum. Please get some expert advice and take all your paper work with you, if possible. It's very difficult to give any advice when we can't see any paper work. I wish you good luck though. Do let us know the outcome.
    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.
  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    Received a call today completely out of the blue from BC Belfast (private number, Irish accent, safe assumption) saying esa have awarded sdp arrears to be paid from Jan 17 to sept 18. My pip claim ended in December 2017 so I don't think I'm entitled to the money I'm due to receive but it's better than nothing while I wait for a tribunal to sort out the rest :)
  • frank96frank96 Member Posts: 37 Connected
    There was a glitch/error on my file with ESA. All arrears have now been paid. I highly recommend anybody chasing SDP arrears does a freedom of information request and sends over their pip claim details to their benefit centre as they will not investigate entitlement thoroughly, you will have to prove to them you are entitled they won't simply do this on your behalf. For months I was having to deal with ESA repeatedly telling me I was not in receipt of PIP during 2014-2017 when I was. They repeatedly said they will converse with PIP to confirm this but they never made contact. 

    If you're trying to get SDP arrears paid I suggest you do a freedom of information request for all information DWP hold and send over proof of SDP entitlement, they won't investigate on your behalf (or at least during the pandemic they won't)
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,551 Scope community team
    Really pleased to read you've now been paid what you were owed @frank96!
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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