Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) seriously bad at their job!

12
Found 8th May
Wanting a wee rant as I feel I've been let down and not taken seriously.

I've been in employment for just over 27 years and never claimed benefits in my life.
I noticed in November 2017 that I was not feeling my usual self and in December 2017 I lost my job as I could not keep up with the other chefs and being the head chef it was more obvious to the management.

Then 4 days after losing my job I feel ill for 6-7 days that had me in serious stomach pains and not eating for 8 days. 3 weeks later it happened again (turns out I have to get my gallbladder removed) and I went to claim ESA.

I was given ESA and was then sent on an assessment on the 29th January. I then get a letter on 30th March saying I'm being removed from ESA and won't be receiving any benefits. I was told I can claim job seekers allowance. The letter I received was only 5 days before my next payment and I feel I should have been paid up to the 29th March if I'm being refused ESA on the 30th, but they disagree with me and so I lost a payment.

I also told them (on the phone) that I now have other medical conditions that are being investigated and that my doctor has told me I can't work.
I've got my doctor to give me another sick-line with the other/new medical problems and sent this to ESA over 3 weeks ago.

I contacted them on Wednesday 2nd and asked what's happening with my ESA claim and was told someone will contact me within 3 hours. No call arrived. I phone back on Thursday 3rd and again told wait 3 hours. Again no call arrived. I called on Friday 5th and complained that no one has called me back on the 2 occasions and wanted to know what's happening with my ESA claim.
The woman on the phone said the "Decision team" have not yet looked at my claim and will get back to me when they do. I asked her how long does this usually take as I've received no money since March 21st and I now have a lot of debt that I owe to family and friends. She said that she does not know and that i'll just have to wait until they make a decision :-/

7 weeks later and still no benefits and it just feels like they don't care.


Anyone else had these issues with ESA?
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12 Comments
I would try citizens advice bureau or local MP.
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deleted396333
Did you claim JSA as you were advised in the meantime?
shadey128th May

I would try citizens advice bureau or local MP.


I think Citizens advice will get the same reply I have.

deleted3963338th May

Did you claim JSA as you were advised in the meantime?



I can't work and the gallbladder is stress related. The other issues also make it impossible for me to work until the problem is found. JSA is for those looking for work and would be me making a false claim.
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deleted396333
WheresMeNuts7 m ago

I think Citizens advice will get the same reply I have.I can't work and …I think Citizens advice will get the same reply I have.I can't work and the gallbladder is stress related. The other issues also make it impossible for me to work until the problem is found. JSA is for those looking for work and would be me making a false claim.


It wouldn't be the first time that the DWP incorrectly advised somebody to claim a benefit.
It could have been providing you with some income while waiting for your ESA appeal to be dealt with and hopefully backdated.
WheresMeNuts9 m ago

I think Citizens advice will get the same reply I have.I can't work and …I think Citizens advice will get the same reply I have.I can't work and the gallbladder is stress related. The other issues also make it impossible for me to work until the problem is found. JSA is for those looking for work and would be me making a false claim.



Contacting your local MP is probably one of the best options. They tend to give the DWP a kick up the backside when they make mistakes like this. You’re wasting your breath complaining to the DWP as for some reason, they seem to always have a chip on their shoulders. You’d think they were running the country themselves with the attitude they display 99.9% of the time.
Thanks guys.
I'm in hospital for a quick OP tomorrow and will contact my local MP on Thursday.
WheresMeNuts2 h, 52 m ago

Thanks guys.I'm in hospital for a quick OP tomorrow and will contact my …Thanks guys.I'm in hospital for a quick OP tomorrow and will contact my local MP on Thursday.


Best of luck, hope everything goes well.
Wow that was a quick assessment from start of claim to medical, plus it was a long time after the medical to tell you that they found you fit for work(normally its within a week that you get the letter). Also why did your employer sack you when you were ill in such a short amount of time and could of been claiming SSP off them. Have you been sending fit notes in to the dwp when they were due. Now you only have 1 month from the date of the decision to ask for mandatory reconsideration which looks like have past. If you miss the deadline It's still worth sending your mandatory reconsideration, as long as it's within 14 months of the decision.

You need to have a really good reason for why you missed the deadline, for example if you were ill or in hospital, coping with a bereavement or had an emergency at home.

Write to the DWP explaining why you didn't meet the original deadline. They'll decide whether or not they'll accept your late request for a reconsideration.
(I also told them (on the phone) that I now have other medical conditions that are being investigated) They will say that you never had them at the time of the assessment/medical in which you were found fit for work. You should now ask for a mandatory reconsideration or make a new claim for ESA. I think that the assessment you went to was NOT a medical assessment but an interview with a JCP work coach and you did not send any new fit notes to them when your last one ran out (but i may be wrong). Anyway get help from your nearest Citizens advice office ASAP. The best of luck sorting you ESA claim out.
PS did you fill in one of those long ESA50 forms that they will send you and you have 28days to fill it in and return it back to them. Thats why i think that it wasn't a medical assessment you went to.
Edited by: "webtrawler" 8th May
This is a difficult one, I was signed off with a sick note following a skin graft and was on crutches yet still made to claim JSA as by the time a claim would have been considered 6-8 weeks I would have been fit enough. Hasten to say I didn’t look for work the first 4-5 weeks as I was still not able to walk properly but was back in a new job after about 8 weeks as I was able to walk and wear shoes/safety boots again.

It sounds to me that you need advice and CAB can help with this, your previous allowance probably stopped as your original condition was treated and that was what you claimed was preventing you from seeking work. Your currently ailments are different and may require a reclaim, in the meantime they would consider you as fit to work as to them you haven’t proved that you aren’t, even though you aren’t (if that makes any sense). Try and claim JSA but explain the situation to them, take your sick notes with you as it’ll get you out of looking for work whilst your not well.
Your employers have also behaved very badly, how long did you work at this company.
Unfortunately, they are not seriously bad at their job, they are very good at it. Their job being to reduce the amount of money being paid to claimants.
It's an absolute disgrace. The system is setup so they reject way too many claims, which forces you
to appeal. Over two thirds of ESA appeals are successful; that is not the DWP making an honest mistake or two that is systematic abuse of ill and disabled people. The government is spending tens of millions of pounds defending these decisions, which they more often than not lose.

The sad thing is a lot of people don't appeal because they either believe the DWP is honest and they believe they deserve the decision, are too ill or don't have the wherewithal to see through the appeals process, or simply don't have access to the information and advice they need.

I suggest you contact Citizens Advice or a local charity that specializes in your condition. If you are a member of a union, they can help too.

Some links that I hope you find useful:
theguardian.com/pol…res
independent.co.uk/voi…tml
benefitsandwork.co.uk/emp…als
fullfact.org/hea…on/
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