ESA Reassessment - Brother With Learning Disabilities

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   Hello Everyone.

   One of my brothers is in his 50's. He has been on ESA and DLA for
several Years. He was put into the ESA support Group as soon as we
applied for it for him. He lives with my 80 Year old Father, who had
a Stroke a few Years ago. He is more and more forgetful, which is why
have to go with my brother and not our dad.

 When my brother was born his brain was starved of Oxygen, causing permanent
brain damage. He had to be educated at a 'Special School', as a result.

 He cannot take in instructions or advice, and has to be told things over
and over again. He also acts impulsively, as he cannot see any danger in
what he is doing. As such, he cannot cook meals etc. He is very naive -
like a child - and several cruel people have tried to exploit him over
the Years. A shop keeper only has to smile at him and he thinks they
are his 'Friends'.

  I am now greatly worried. He has been called in for a ESA Reassessment
next Week. I filled in the Form for him, and told them how my brother is,
but they seem to have disregarded it and they want to interview him.

 I will have to go with him to the Interview. I'm hoping that they will let
me speak for him. He gets very confused indeed, if someone asks him a lot of
questions. I am very worried that he will say the 'wrong thing' and that
they may remove him from the Support Group. He cannot even fill a Form in,
so, he would not be able to cope with the WRAG Group. He can't even write
his name properly.

  Even worse would be if they said there is nothing wrong with him and remove his
 ESA completely. There is no way that he would be allowed Unemployment Benefit, as
just be having a brief chat with him shows you that no-one will ever Employ him -
which means that he'd not satisfy the 'Available For Work', criteria for that Benefit.

 I'm on a lot of Medication, for Mental and Physical ailments, myself, and I'm in a
terribly nervous state, about what may happen at my brother's Reassessment Interview.

 Can anyone please give me some advice about this matter? Thank You.


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Hi Wayne333, I'm sorry you are having to cope with this on top of your own difficulties - it does seem totally random how the DWP decide who gets a face-to-face interview and who has a 'paper-based' decision (on the evidence from the form alone).  The fact that your brother needs someone with him for the assessment will certainly count for something, plus he will presumably need you to transport him there (these are things the 'health assessor' looks at as well).

From how you've described your brother's severe learning disabilities, I can't see how the DWP could possibly consider anything but an ESA Support Group entitlement - however, we know strange decisions can be made (!) so my personal advice to you would be to bring some extra evidence to the assessment interview like a letter from a doctor, social worker or any other professional aware of his needs.  All the very best of kind fortune to you both, and please let us know how it goes  >x-fingers<


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Try not to worry.  From what you have said it may well be obvious that your brother needs  a lot of support.  Good Luck.


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What you do is sit behind your brother with a notepad, take the assessors name and profession, take a note of the questions and only interject if brother looks to you . BUT at the end explain that he wouldnít get anywhere on his own, has no road senses, canít retain instruction and contrary to what he says he canít make himself a meal or even a hot drink safely

If he is found fit for work you live off his DLA, do a change of circumstances for housing benefit telling them he has no income, whatever you do donít claim universal credit

Sorry not at home just now so not contributing much


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maybe take his old school papers, that are normally more accepted  then  doctors papers, even that he is a long time out and when you have proof he did not work  since and why, I hope everything goes ok

Sunshine Meadows

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I am glad your brother has you helping him  >thumbsup<

Being asked to go for a face to face assessment does not mean a claimant has failed the written part of the assessment it has to do with some claimants being randomly picked for the f2f, others might not have been seen in person since they first claimed and so they are asked to a f2f and some are picked because the are actually chosen so the Decision Maker can have more information to use to make the decision to award or not to award ESA.

I realise you already filled in the ESA50 form but if you go and have a look at the information on this link (there are several pages) I think it will help you better understand what the F2F assessor is going to be looking for.

In my opinion claiming ESA can feel like crossing a minefield only you dont know if there are actually any mines in the ground. In other words you might get your brother through the F2F assessment, the assessor gives the relevant information to the Decision Maker and your brother get his ESA or he might not. The thing is to try you best and read through the information available, ask questions here and try to be optimistic because at this point your brother has not been found fit for work and he may never be found fit for work. At the same time it is okay to be scared, worried and stressed as we all know the process of claiming ESA still has too many flaws.


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  Thank you very much for your helpful replies.I will not forget your kind assistance.
  I will - of course - let you know how my brother's 'Reassessment' Interview goes,
  next Week...

  My brother is around 50 and he has never worked. As I said in my previous Post, he
was starved of Oxygen, when he was born, and it has affected his entire life.

  He was on Unemployment Benefit until well into his 30's. No-one told
my Family that he was entitled to Disability Benefits, so we never tried
to claim any for him. We were only told that he was entitled to them, when
he was about 35. He had been 'Signing On' until then - with no prospect of
a Job, as he could not function very well.

 Apart from being starved of Oxygen, at birth, I think that he may also be
Autistic. He has never been tested for Autism, but he shows symptoms of it.
 He has no idea - at all - of personal space, and you and he can be alone in
a huge kitchen etc., and he always ends up right by your elbow - crashing into
you, as you try to prepare a meal etc. He also has a habit of standing right
behind you, with only a few inches space, so that you walk into him when you
turn around. This has happened many, many times, and it can be quite dangerous,
if you are cooking.

He also has a habit of saying very inappropriate things. He cannot see why people
get offended by them. He has done that at Party's etc., and we've actually had
guests leaving - very angry - because he's upset them with a remark or 'joke'.
Over the Years my Parents made him apologise - many times - to people he's upset.

Also, he has a habit of walking up to a person, whom I, (or others), are talking
to, and he completely ruins the conversation, by starting one himself. You end
up looking at his back, as he starts chatting to the person whom you were talking
to! He seems totally unaware that he is being rude. Every Week he ruins at least
one chat that I'm having with someone in my Family Home.

 As my brother has been mentally disabled from birth, it isn't a case of him needing
reassessing now. The truth is that no-one ever told my Parents about Disability Benefits,
until he was about 35, so he lost out on Decades of such Benefits. He was made to have
Unemployment Benefit instead - even though no-one would ever want to employ him, due
to his disabilities.

 He makes many, many mistakes. If there are 2 or 3 choices that he can make, it is almost
certain that he will chose the worst option every time. He has often made choices that are
very dangerous, to both himself and to other people. He is especially dangerous in the
kitchen, which is why my Father does not allow him to cook anything. In the workplace, he
would never, ever be able to remember Health & Safety Rules, which would make him a risk to
both himself and other people.