ESA change of circumstances - I'm confused!

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swift

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I rang the DWP today to report that I can now push a wheelchair 10m max (used to be power chair only) and to add a MH diagnosis.  I was expecting to be sent another form, but they said they couldn't understand why I'd called them because I'm already on the max amount for ESA.  I'm relieved they said that what I'd told them wouldn't change anything, but very confused about not having to fill in another form!

Sunny Clouds

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I wondered that in the past with my claim, but here's what I discovered.

In relation to ESA and DLA etc., what they understand by a change of circumstances is a change that would affect your benefits.

Let's take a silly example.

Let's suppose you suffer from delusions that ginger cats are marauding sabre tooth tigers and when you see one, you panic and try to escape by leaping in front of cars and buses.  Let's suppose that this means that you need someone with you when you go places, so you claim, and get, lower rate mobility DLA.  You claim ESA and they decide you're completely, incurably bonkers and bung you in the support group.

Now let's suppose a friend adopted a ginger kitten and showed you how cute they are.  You realise that you were wrong.  It's not ginger cats you have to be afraid of, it's squirrels.  And you also have a revelation - they're not sabre tooth tigers, they're flying crocodiles.  The only escape is suicide.  So to save the local motorists and bus companies the cost of repairs to their front bumpers, your kind friends escort you around.

Now it's obvious that something's changed.  You have stopped being frightened of ginger cats and started being frightened of squirrels. 

But that's not a change of circumstances for benefits purposes.  What matters is that you're frightened of ordinary things and that when you're frightened you endanger your life and probably that of others.

Thus you still have the same need for help, because the problem is still delusions.  And you still can't work because to say it would be hazardous to your health and others if you were to be in the workplace would be an understatement.  It doesn't matter if a herd of pink mammoths chases you down the high street from the DWP's point of view.

In short, it's not whether it's what would, in the abstract, be a change of detail, it's whether something has changed that makes a difference to your entitlement.

So if you tick a box that says you can't mobilise more than, say, 9 metres and you could only mobilise 3 metres and you can now mobilise 6, that extra 3 metres is irrelevant.

Mind you, I'm the sort of person who tends to report stuff if I'm not sure.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

swift

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Thanks Sunny Clouds, that makes sense! I'm still glad I reported it though.

Monic1511

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Swift you only really need to report a change if you could now self propel a wheelchair 50 meters repeatedly and reliably.  - Im just glad you got a sensible ESA worker as anyone else could have sent you an ESA50 and in the current climate you'd be fit for work before you know it.
take care
Monic

swift

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Gulp!  That's sobering.