ESA Update from Benefits and Work

Benefits and work produce up-to-date information and support on disability related benefits. Here is an important update on ESA.

“The nightmare that is mandatory reconsideration has now begun and the first decision letters to be covered by the new system are being sent out. We have updated our DLA and ESA appeals guides in the members area to take account of mandatory reconsiderations.

We’ve also published a detailed set of Mandatory Reconsideration FAQs particularly aimed at ESA claimants, where the changes will cause by far the most difficulties and hardship.

And with the introduction of reconsideration phone calls for ESA and other benefits, we ask: should claimants now start recording telephone conversations?

What you are alleged to have said to the decision maker in the course of your reconsideration phone call will be used in the decision letter about your reconsideration and will be given in evidence to the tribunal if you go on to appeal. But it seems that in many cases the decision maker will only make notes about what is said, rather than tape recording the conversation. So, do you trust the DWP to fully and accurately reproduce what you told them? If not, what is the best way to avoid getting caught out by misleading evidence?

Staying with ESA, we can also reveal that in a pilot scheme, claimants in the WRAG are to be forced to have regular meetings with health professionals employed by a multinational welfare to work provider. Would you trust such health professionals to have your best interests at heart?”