ESA Decision Letter when being reassessed

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Becca7

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I sent my ESA50 in march. I have heard nothing at all. My housing worker rang and was told I was still in support group and that decision was made in march and there was no problem.

However, I have not recieved a decision letter. All I was sent was a written letter that states I am on ESA support group contribution and income based and then the amount and the start date (which is wrong!) but there is no breakdown of the amount. When she asked on my behalf for a breakdown letter it was refused, she was told on the phone that disability premiums no longer exist as well. I need the breakdown letter, because the one I have says it is both (and has incorrect information on it as well!)

Is it true that they do not have to send any notification formally of ESA after doing another ESA50? And premiums don't exist anymore? I do not trust the letter I have been sent (it's just a typed letter on DWP headed paper) and, I cannot use it for proof purposes as it needs to be an 'award letter' and the last one I had was last May and said I was on ESA, but I wasn't as I was paid JSA instead (reasons unknown) then it all changed to ESA.

KizzyKazaer

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Hi Becca

For a start, you should have received a five (yes, five!)-page printed letter once your ESA was decided, with the header 'Your benefit is changing to Employment and Support Allowance', the significant paragraphs starting with these first lines:
___

We will pay ESA from - (date)

You will get - (per week)

You are entitled to both contribution-based and income-related ESA

You have been placed in the -  group
___
On page 2, will be the breakdown of the award (yes, it is definitely shown).  From memory, because I chucked the other 3 pages away as surplus, the rest of it consists of situations that won't apply to everybody, like 'if you are receiving Child Tax Credits' and stuff like that.  If you only received a single page (sounds like the first one) you haven't had everything you're supposed to - and despite any silly nonsense you may have been told, it's not impossible for the staff at JC-Plus to make the computer issue another one.  As it happens, I've actually lost my own Page 2 after using it for proof of benefit at the dentist's  >doh< so will be phoning for another myself - will let you know the response!

Now about the premiums - it is indeed true that the Disability Premium no longer exists for income-based ESA.  It has in effect been replaced by the extra 'component payment' which is awarded on top of basic ESA according to which group the claimant is in (Support Group is higher).  But the Severe Disability Premium definitely is still included where applicable, so if you're still receiving DLA at mid to high rate care and live alone with no-one claiming Carers' Allowance for you, this should continue to be paid as part of your overall income-based ESA entitlement.  Also, you should be getting the Enhanced Disability Premium which is automatically paid for those in the Support Group.

Here's how it should break down weekly (assuming you have no other income besides DLA, which of course isn't counted) - these rates apply from April 2013:

ESA Personal Allowance:      71.70
Support Group component:  34.80
Severe Disability Premium:  59.50
Enhanced Dis. Premium:      15.15

Total:                                181.15

...plus any DLA you receive.  Hope that helps!

ATurtle

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Sorry to do this on a serious thread, but I'm always looking for something to laugh at, stops me getting too depressed.

Are we sure that the DWP haven't stopped sending decision letters to save money?  >lol<
Tony.

"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability." - Robert M. Hensel

Fiz

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A letter or form you send that ATOS/DWP fail to receive = loss of benefits

A letter or form from ATOS/DWP that you fail to receive = tough

 >doh<

starsmurf

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A letter or form you send that ATOS/DWP fail to receive = loss of benefits

A letter or form from ATOS/DWP that you fail to receive = tough

 >doh<

I had the papers for the review of my ESA appeal in on Friday.  One part said I had failed to return an ESA50.  I actually completed and returned two ESA50s, my sw sent them recorded delivery.
Look carefully at the avatar, note what's barely visible in the gap in the rings.  I've highlighted it for you.

Becca7

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Well I definitely do not have that 5 page letter and all the worker was told that I had the component part and what it added up to.

I literally only have a single sheet that has the address of the local DWP office and then it says :

"To whom it may concern,

* is in reciept of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) contribution and income based.

At the rate of x per week

This began on 28/06/2012 and is ONGOING

Signed
*name of person in charge of the local office*"

That is all they will send me. I cannot expect anything else apparently.
 
My ESA depending on the system logged into began 27/02/2012; or 26/05/2012 or now this new date(!).

I was migrated last Feb (2012) but they played silly beggars and gave me JSA instead and got me locked out of my bank account (I posted about it then). Then in January of this year I was sent an ESA50 and informed that I would be spoken to regarding the allegation I was fit and healthy (no-one bothered) and a recommendation had been recieved by a medical practitioner regarding transfer to JSA.

It was a v. complex letter, I've paraphrased it, and just in case that didn't cheer me enough I also had an ESA50 enclosed.

ESA50 I sent back start of March. Then nothing but the 'letter' I've typed above which I really do not trust. I mean on the bottom of it is has the route of the file and file name and looks like it has been downloaded from the internet somewhere, which probably is why it isn't accepted by anyone.

So how do I get a letter from them?

Answers here, all suggestions considered....


KizzyKazaer

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You've obviously not received for one reason or another (including 'gone missing in the postal system') the computer-generated decision letter for your latest ESA50, so you - or whoever is phoning on your behalf - just tell them that.  You're aware that normally you could expect a 5-page notification and would appreciate it if so-and-so on the end of the phone could get the computer to issue a duplicate (if the processing systems for ESA are anything like what they've always been for the other benefits like IS and JSA, then this can be done in at least 2 ways).  I really don't understand why they're making such a fuss - if you get any more humming and hawing, just fall back on the tried-and-trusted 'I'd like to speak to a supervisor, please'....

Becca7

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The worker told them that, but the DWP insist they are no longer sending letters out for ESA renewals or whatever they are called. There is nothing to say on system I should have one. They are refusing to send another. Will ask her to try the supervisor route!

Becca7

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Quick update: Went to JCP, spoke to the supervisor, told me I am not allowed a full letter as they no longer provide them unless something has changed in the claim.  So if my housing worker hadn't rung for a letter I wouldn't have been sent anything at all regarding my ESA claim, as apparently it isn't necessary anymore >yikes<

And, no I cannot use the letter as proof of claim; so it's no use to me as a claimant at all.

Is there anyone who deals with this stuff other than CAB? Oh and MPs (all mine does is whine about his child tax credit everytime someone mentions benefits to him).

Sunny Clouds

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I'm not clear what you want an 'award letter' for.  I've never found anyone or any organisation being terribly fussed what the confirmation is so long as it has my NI number and details of what benefit I'm on.

I have asked for up-to-date letters over the years as sometimes you need a letter that's less than 6 months old, but I've never had problems getting a letter of proof - I just write in asking them to confirm I'm still entitled to such-and-such benefit, and I get a reply which I can use.  If you think they won't send you one, think of any old excuse to write, e.g. "Could you confirm that my ESA includes an income-related component?" or "Could you confirm whether I'm getting a such-and-such premium?" 

However, I find that ESA shows up on my bank statements as ESA plus my NI number.  My  bank will also do a printout at the counter of recent transactions.  It might be worth asking because mine will do that for just one day if you ask, so you can go in and say "I've had a payment in today, could you do me a printout showing that I've received it plus the details of what it is?"  I don't know if that works with post office payments, though.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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It surprises me that JobcentrePlus are playing hardball over this - perhaps their ESA processing system really has gone through some sort of overhaul that restricts what used to be possible with IS etc. Though Sunny has some good suggestions there that you can try  >thumbsup<   

As for your MP, just because he 'whines about his child tax credit', this doesn't preclude him being able to assist his constituents - maybe he is even trying to empathise, albeit in a rather awkward and clumsy way, by talking of his own situation?  Anyway, it's up to you whether you persist with him or not.

ATurtle

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I've just realised that I'm in danger of getting a reassessment soon, it's the anniversary of my WCA soon.  The very WCA I've been appealing against for the last nine months.   Oh gee, know I feel like >crying<
Tony.

"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability." - Robert M. Hensel

Becca7

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Sunny, the problem is the letter I have clearly looks like a fake. It doesn't look like an official letter; and I need the official letter to be able to get free prescriptions when visiting England, which I do occaisonally do, and it is pharmacists who have not accepted the one I was sent.

Am still trying.

Kizzy the MP really doesn't have a clue, the tax credits thing is to try and get sympathy and show people he knows what they are going through, along with comments about how far he has to travel to London (which he obviously gets back in expenses) and it totally doesn't work.

And, *major issue for disabled people* as far as he is concerned every person turned down for ESA doesn't quaify and if had done so previously (or going through IB-ESA transfer) was illegally claiming in the first place. 

That said I will think of trying again *brave face*  ;-)