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BENEFITS ADVICE PLEASE

(12 Posts)
Ledkr Mon 15-May-17 14:39:48

Ds has just had his esa stopped after a medical assessment largely because his medical team didnt provide supporting evidence in time.
His main issue is in process of investigation and a referral has been made to the correct consultant.
He has severe neuralgia in his legs which is probably due to long term medication he takes since his kidney transplant two years ago.
We have requested a reconsideration but in the meantime he has nothing, no housing benefit, nothing. PIP also stopped.
He went to the job centre and they told him he couldn't claim universal credit as he isn't fully fit for work hmm
Anybody know what he should do now?
I just can't believe this. (Well I can)

Babyroobs Mon 15-May-17 14:59:27

Has he asked for a mandatory reconsideration of the ESA and Pip decisions? This should be the first thing you do. if that fails then go to appeal. Over half of Pip awards are re-instated at appeal.

Babyroobs Mon 15-May-17 15:01:37

I think when people are caught in this situation ( which unfortunately is becoming increasingly common) then you can apply to your local council and claim that you have ' nil income'. They should then reinstate your housing benefit even if you are ting no other benefits.

Babyroobs Mon 15-May-17 15:03:32

And also go to CAB or similar and get help with the mandatory reconsideration letters and the tribunals if it goes that far. There will be advisors who know how to support you in the appeal process.

Ledkr Mon 15-May-17 16:21:13

Thanks for replies.
We have done a letter to request the reconsideration but now in reading about templates and help writing them, I'm wondering for it's too basic.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Mon 15-May-17 16:45:47

Hi OP:
Sorry your facing this.

Your DH will have been turned away from UC because he has a mandatory reconsideration going on for ESA. Everyone is supposed to be moved over to UC eventually but allowing a UC claim when the claimant might get a positive ESA decision and "go back" to the old benefit system messes up the transition process.
Therefore the correct benefit for him to claim would be JSA. (provided he meets the income requirements etc)
He doesn't need to be "fit for work". The ESA refusal decision (that he does not have "limited capability for work") is binding on the DWP for the purposes of JSA.
He can claim a temporary exemption from jobs seeking for up to 13 weeks on health grounds. This should see him through to the mandatory reconsideration decision. If he needs to go on to appeal, ESA may come back into payment (if this is his first negative decision)
As PP have said- Housing Benefit can continue. You need to ask the council for a "nil income" form.
He needs to enter a separate mandatory reconsideration for PIP.
I used to represent claimants at tribunal and it was pretty common for people to be turned down in these circumstances (lack of medical evidence, issues still awaiting diagnosis) and win at appeal.
IME the tribunal members are better qualified medically and much more conscientious at decision making than the DWP.
IF you can, I would recommend getting a welfare rights advisor to help you.
Good luck

Ledkr Mon 15-May-17 17:05:22

Thanks so much that's hugely helpful.
How would we go about getting one of those?

unlimiteddilutingjuice Mon 15-May-17 17:12:55

Some social landlords have welfare rights advisors.
If not, try your council or a CAB.
Some private solicitors firms also do welfare rights.

Ledkr Mon 15-May-17 17:56:20

Isn't it awful? I've helped him today (my ds not dh btw) he's used the house phone to hold for ages, I've helped him request evidence from Drs etc. If he had no help like many people, he'd just be destitute and simply for being ill

Babyroobs Mon 15-May-17 18:47:52

I was trying to help someone the other day who was in a similar situation. He had had his ESA stopped, told to apply for JSA but then when he went to the JSA workshop was turned away because he had a fit note. Couldn't claim ESA or Jsa and then had his HB stopped. He was already in rent arrears and had an eviction note for a few weeks time. had no income at all. It is shocking.

Ledkr Mon 15-May-17 19:26:32

I know. You hear about it but until you see it first hand it's hard to imagine just how pig headed this all is.
The assessor was a twat too. He asked ds how far he could confortably walk then when he said how far, the assessor said "a little old lady could walk further than that"
I mean seriously?? angry

Tomsdottir Sat 27-May-17 20:12:36

I was concerned to hear about this. People who are appealing a decision about ESA may have to apply for JSA whilst waiting for an appeal to be heard. However, they may not be fit for work whilst doing so. One option is to request an "extended period of sickness" of up to 13 weeks whilst claiming JSA. During this period, you are treated as meeting the jobseeking conditions without actually having to do so.
If you turn up with the sicknote/fitnote however on the day you sign on, you are indicating that you do not meet the qualifying conditions for JSA, and will not qualify for JSA. You have to claim JSA first and then - the next day even - provide a fit note. Showing a fit note the same day is not going to result in JSA being paid. A reasonably sensible decent compassionate JC+ member of staff would explain that to a claimant....
We come across this happening a lot and have had to advise people to get their MPs involved to get JC+ to deal with these claims properly.

Another possibility is to ask for reasonable restrictions to be included in your Jobseeker's agreement/claimant commitment in the light of your condition. So for example, where someone had had a heart attack, had their ESA refused, had been advised by their GP not to work, and was claiming JSA, we would put in writing a list of tasks which were medically inadvisable (heavy lifting, prolonged standing etc) and ask the work coach to respond in writing if they disagreed, explaining the basis on which they were doing so, and copy this letter to the claimant's MP and GP. If the work coach will not change the claimant commitment, ask for it to be referred to a decision maker. If the DM won't change it, you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration and then appeal it to an independent tribunal. In order to avoid a sanction, however, it's important for the claimant to indicate that they will attempt to comply with the jobseeker's agreement until it is changed.
When claiming in this situation, it can be worth asking for a short term advance of benefit - basically, a loan on the benefit you are about to be paid. This means you don't have to wait at least 2 weeks to get any money.
In Scotland, you can apply to the local authority for a crisis grant to tide you over: in England most, but by no means all local authorities, have local welfare assistance schemes which can provide short term grants to help people in this situation.
Finally, social services still have a duty to provide services those people living in their area who may require those services: generally this covers older people, carers, people with children and the sick and disabled. You don't have to be without food or fuel for very long before you are likely to get sick.

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