Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Very worried about ESA.

I’ve been on ESA in the support group for a few years now. Around august each year, I receive a form asking me to fill it in and send it back for reassessment. This year I haven’t received any kind of form. Now we’re in October, I’ve had absolutely no contact with the DWP about an assessment or prepare for a phone assessment or anything. No letters or phone calls or anything. I also can’t find any kind of information about my particular situation. I’m worried my money could stop at any time at this point and I find myself actually terrified of receiving mail in the post. I’ve not called the DWP yet because I don’t do well talking on the phone. Does anyone have any advice or answers they could give me before I resign myself to the fact that I HAVE to call the DWP for answer. 

Many thanks.

Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 1,353 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @AnxiousESA welcome to scope, have you checked your most recent award to see how long it was for? if in the past its always been for a year could be last time it was for longer.
    Also due to covid it might have been extended, your best option is to call them you could do that and ask them to speak to a friend/realtive who's there with you.
  • AnxiousESAAnxiousESA Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you, I don’t have the letter anymore which in hindsight seems like a dumb thing but I remember that it was until October 2020. I’d read that it might’ve been extended if it was due to end in the first three months after March, but I haven’t found anymore recent information regarding ESA.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,482 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 13
    HI and welcome,

    I see you're in the Support Group. This group is an ongoing award and will continue to be paid until you're next assessed and a decision is made on your review. Your award has no end date and never has. Assessment reviews for the work capability assessment can be anytime from 3 months and the timescale they give you is just a guide and nothing more. Your award will not have been extended because there's nothing to extend. Only PIP awards have been extended.

    As all assessments were suspended for 3 months and resumed in about middle of July, they will most likely have huge backlogs. You have nothing to worry about because your payments won't just stop in October.

    I'm sure you will eventually be sent the work capability assessment forms again but in the meantime please try to relax, although i know how difficult that is.

    Also just so that you're aware, ESA decision letters do not state an end date, or a date for your next review, this is because it's always an ongoing award.

    Hope this helps.
    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.
  • AnxiousESAAnxiousESA Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you @poppy123456 what you’ve said has put my mind to ease a little bit. I still dread the form coming every year. I work myself up thinking about the what ifs and the potential fight that could be to come if they say I’m fit to work. This time has worried me even more than usual and my mental health has deteriorated a lot because of it I feel. Again. Thank you for your post.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,482 Disability Gamechanger
    You're very welcome. I'm glad i eased your mind a little.

    I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety with the forms, having been claiming ESA in the Support Group myself since 2012/13, it's always a worry. Thankfully, mine was reviewed back at the very start of lockdown and i had a paper based assessment this time.

    I think the current situation with Covid hasn't helped anyone's mental health either. At least you know your money won't just stop. :)
    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.
  • AnxiousESAAnxiousESA Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I’ll admit that knowing my money won’t just stop is a big relief. This whole pandemic has honestly just made me feel worse and worse as the months have gone on. If I’m not worrying about the pandemic and how it’s affecting everything, I’m sat there feeling absolutely rubbish about myself. The anti-depressants aren’t helping and I’m stuck waiting until November for an appointment. This assessment stuff is the last thing I need to deal with, so thank you for you supporting words. They really have saved the day for me. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,482 Disability Gamechanger
    You're most welcome. I'm so glad that you asked the question and i've been able to put your mind at ease. That's exactly what we are here for, to help and support others. It sure is a very difficult time for everyone. I hope you'll be able to relax a little more now :)
    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.
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