Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Esa assessment

Hello, could anybody please tell me when the face to face assessments are likely to start up again. I applied for new style esa in Jan and started receiving esa in march (which was backdated to Jan) . I understand I was supposed to be assessed within 13 weeks but due to covid  all meetings were cancelled. My award letter says I will only get us esa for 365 days. What happens after this period if I haven't been assessed. This is all very confusing.

Replies

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Administrator Posts: 1,277 Pioneering
    Hi @Andywheels56! As face to face meetings have been cancelled due to coronavirus, assessments are currently being carried out over the phone. Perhaps you could call the assessment company to find out when the assessment is likely to take place? 
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,511 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    Although the assessment phased for ESA is indeed 13 weeks, even during normal times it definitely doesn't mean you'll be assessed with a decision being made within that time. Lots of people are waiting quite a few months even during normal times. If of course the decision is to place you into the Support Group your money will be backdated to the 14th week of your claim.

    Although face to face assessments are still suspended, where possible for the work capability assessment they will do a telephone assessment, like they are doing for PIP. If enough of information can't be gathered from just the telephone assessment then you'll need to wait until the face to face ones are back up and running again and there's no talk of that happening anytime soon.

    To answer your question about the 365 days, unfortunately, if a decision hasn't been made by that time then your money will stop, likewise if a decision has been made and you're placed into the WRAG. The only time it continues is if you're placed in the Support and then it's paid for as long as you remain in the group.

    The Health assessment advisory service do the work capability assessments so you could ring to ask if it's likely you'll be having the assessment soon. Details here. https://www.chdauk.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance-esa

    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.
  • Andywheels56Andywheels56 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    [email protected] and @poppy123456

    Just phoned the health assessment advisory service and they said they are just waiting for the jobcentre to tell them when they can restart face to face meetings. Yes they are aware I have been waiting since March.

    When I went to sign my claimant commitment at the jobcentre on the form it has Meetings with my work coach and Work preparation activities. The lady ticked the This does not apply to me box. Is this because I had not had my work capability assessment yet?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,511 Disability Gamechanger
    Usually with ESA they are less strict with the appointments with your work coach, unlike they are for UC. Although due to covid the usual appointments are not fully back up and running again at local job centres as far as i'm aware.

    Your work capability assessment could be by telephone, unless they have specifically told you that a face to face is definitely needed. I have heard of a few people that have been told one is needed because they can't get enough of information through a telephone assessment alone. Nothing you can do really but wait.
    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.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Administrator Posts: 755 Pioneering
    I hope the above advice from Poppy and Tori has been helpful @Andywheels56 :) 
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