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It's all over

J

Jas0n

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
48
My story: https://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/thread182808.html

It's all over. I've been placed in the Support Group.

After last nights random DWP payment of just over £320, I rang them first thing in the morning to ask about it. The guy on the phone asked if I'd had a WCA recently to which I replied that I had - he then checked my notes and confirmed I'd been placed in the Support Group so that money is rightfully mine and is back pay. He confirmed that as of 21/6/2018 I'd been placed in the SG and that I'd be there for (I was expecting 3-6 months) 2 YEARS. He confirmed I'll be called for absolutely no assessments before 21st June 2020 and that my new fortnightly payment will be for £254.40 (£127.15 per week - I thought SG payments were only just over £110 p/w?!)

It doesn't feel real. It's my first time going through the process so I was expecting to be thrown off benefits all-together after my home visit last month. The only information the lady who assessed me had was a letter from my GP requesting the home visit...absolutely nothing else. No psych reports, nothing. I also confirmed in the home visit that I had a part time job (5 hours per week, extremely unsociable hours worked) so I thought that would 100% be me gone from ESA.

I'm still in shock! But I'm absolutely over the moon...

I started claiming ESA on 26th September 2017 and my medical wasn't until June 2018 - shouldn't I have more back pay than £320? I've been getting the standard rate all this time (£146.20 per fortnight) - I'm not sure how they work it out so any help on that front would be greatly appreciated.
 
W

winofunk

Guest
The lower rate of ESA is paid during the assessment phase - they aim to assess ESA claimants within 13 weeks of their claim. For this reason, if the claim is successful and the claimant is placed into the work related activity group or support group, then the additional amount of the award should be backdated to the beginning of the 14th week of the claim. This is confirmed at Employment and Support Allowance (ESA): What you'll get - GOV.UK

If placed into the support group you will also be eligible for the enhanced disability premium (often referred to as the disability income guarantee). This is paid as income-related ESA, so it can be affected by other income and savings. The enhanced disability premium should also be backdated to the beginning of 14th week of the claim.

So the basic award for ESA in the support group is £110.75 per week. Add to this the enhanced disability premium of £16.40 per week for single claimants, and you get £127.15 per week.

Do you receive the care component of DLA at the middle or high rate? Or PIP daily living component? If so, you may be entitled to more money. Or have you considered claiming PIP?

Well done on getting into the support group.

Just FYI, while claiming ESA a claimant can work without it affecting their entitlement to ESA. This is called "permitted work". Details of this can be found at Work you can do while getting ESA - Citizens Advice.

You do not say whether or not the DWP know you are working (there is a form that needs to be completed). Given this, and that there may be entitlement to additional benefit (i.e. Personal Independence Payment) or a higher amount of income-related ESA then it would be worthwhile speaking to a local benefit specialist, at local council welfare rights or Citizens Advice Bureau.


Hope this helps!!
 
J

Jas0n

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
48
Thanks for the info, Wino!

The DWP are aware of my work and that's all permitted/approved :)

ESA is the only benefit I claim. I've been advised to start a claim for PIP but is the process as daunting as the ESA claiming process?

In regards to backdated money, since I started my claim in September 2017 - does that mean I should get backdated money from January right up until when I had my WCA which was June? And if so, how much per month from January should I be entitled to? It's all very confusing!
 
W

winofunk

Guest
Hello again Jas0n.

Firstly, the claim for PIP is a very similar process - fill out the form (the How Your Disability Affects You form) and return it with any supporting medical evidence, then wait to hear if you will be required to attend a face to face assessment. Like the ESA Limited Capability For Work Questionnaire, it asks you questions about how your condition affects you day-to-day, both your mobility and your ability to take care of yourself.

It can be helpful to keep a diary of how your condition affects you day-to-day, and how this relates to the things you are scored against when being assessed for PIP. An example of such a diary can be found at Getting evidence to support your PIP claim - Citizens Advice

This diary indicates what is considered when assessing you for PIP - the 12 tasks. Further details of the 12 tasks and what points are awarded for can be found at How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims - Citizens Advice

Please do not be put off by it. I only mention it because it can be helpful to some to know what is considered in answering each question. This can be helpful in wording your answer, if you are doing this yourself. Do not feel you need to limit your answers to the space provided. Explain how your condition affects you - does it limit your ability to complete the task? Do you require help from someone else? If you can complete the task how long does it take you to do so? And always give examples of what you have answered.

If you find it too daunting, seek help from a local Citizens Advice Bureau or local welfare rights service. If you are struggling with completing it and want to give up, can I suggest you re-read your post on being awarded the support group and remember how good it felt to see it through to the end. Hold on to that feeling. If you do need help with it, do not be afraid to reach out for local help. Many people do so!

If you start your claim for PIP by telephone, your form will come and with it confirmation of the date of your claim and the date the form should be returned by.

Regarding your backdated ESA, rather than me try to do a calculation and give you a figure that may well be inaccurate, can I suggest that firstly you phone JobcentrePlus again and ask them what date your award was backdated to and if it was not backdated to the start of the 14th week of your claim, why not? From personal experience, I do believe that is a better way to start.

Hope this helps. Have a good evening :)
 
J

Jas0n

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
48
Thanks for all of the (extremely helpful!) information. It's truly appreciated :)
 
J

Jas0n

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
48
So I received the brown envelope this morning confirming everything

Something I'd like clearing up -

"We will pay £324.30 ESA into your account. The first payment includes arrears of £324.30 that are due from 8 June 2018 to 19 July 2018"

8th June is when I was officially placed in the Support Group.

I started claiming September 26 2017 - am I correct in believing I should have backdated pay from the 14th week of my claim?

If so, that would mean I'm still owed back pay from 9th January - 7th June? I'm currently on hold (surprise!) to the DWP to ask them about it. Does "first payment" suggest there'll be another payment? Nothing is ever straight forward is it?!
 
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W

winofunk

Guest
Hello again Jas0n.

I think the first payment simply means the bacdated amount they believe is owed, and following this your fortnightly payments, on the usual schedule, will continue at the new rate.

It is the case that straightforward claims should be backdated to the start of the 14th week of the claim.

It is important to know why the DWP are not backdating it. They may believe they have good reason for not doing so. This is why it is best to phone them and let them explain themselves first.
 
W

winofunk

Guest
I have tried to read your story from the link in your original post but it does not work for me :(

Good luck!!!
 
J

Jas0n

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
48
I have tried to read your story from the link in your original post but it does not work for me :(

Good luck!!!
That's a shame - it works for me. Try looking on the first page of this forum and click on the thread "ESA Home Visit in the morning - please help!!"?

I rang and it's all a bit of a mix-up on their part/all a bit complicated. When I told them back in June about my permitted work, they looked at my wages and thought the amount I was getting was per WEEK so they stopped my ESA immediately - I rang them and told them that if they'd have looked closer, my wage was MONTHLY. They admitted they screwed up and reinstated my ESA immediately. They closed it on 8th June - which is where my backdated pay comes from. The system believes I should only be getting it from then basically! It doesn't compute the fact that my claim was active before then, so the guy on the phone said the DWP are already looking into it and they'll already be calculating how much I'm owed from September 17th all the way up until June 7th. He said it should all be sorted within the week! :) I hope all that makes sense!

I asked for a copy of my assessment report but unfortunately he said I couldn't have it because I had a home visit and therefore the report was written and not on the system :/
 
W

winofunk

Guest
Great news that they are looking into it Jas0n :) It has been my experience that it is always best to ask them if it is right and let them decide if they have made a mistake rather than TELL them they have. I hope it gets sorted soon, but it will take as long as it takes. Be patient.

Was there a particular reason you wanted to see your medical report? I asked for a copy of mine, and I found it quite upsetting to see their emotionless and nonsensical statements. I wish I had just accepted that I was in the support group and not read what they had written about me.

Many people want to use their ESA medical report as supporting evidence for their claim for PIP. Particularly when it was a very recent assessment. But it is very important to remember that the PIP assessment is very different from the ESA assessment and the ESA medical report may not be sufficient on its own to guarantee a successful claim for PIP.

I hope the money gets sorted out soon.
 
J

Jas0n

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
48
Just an update on my back pay - I rang the standard ESA number on Wednesday and the lady said she'd e-mail the DWP with my concerns and that she'd requested a callback for me. I received a call today from them confirming that my suspicions regarding backpay were indeed correct and that I'd be receiving it from December all the way up until June 8th. She said it would be between £1,300 and £1,400 but couldn't give an exact amount. She authorized the payment today and she said it should be in my account within 3 working days. I'll check every day until its been paid in :)
 
J

Jas0n

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
48
That is brilliant news, Jas0n. Hope you treat yourself to something nice :)
I've heard countless horror stories of how the DWP randomly send out letters demanding money due to suspected over-payment or whatever else so it's nice chasing THEM for payments instead of the other way round! :)
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

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Apr 9, 2011
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33,661
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Magical fairy wonderland xxxx
this thread has helped me a lot
that you didn't have any medical evidence and still got put in support group has helped me because im so scared i will not get my benefits
thank you for the encouragement
Lu x
 
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