Whether you are claiming contribution-based or income-related ESA, the claim process is very likely to involve a face-to-face assessment. It is a good idea to ask for your work capability assessment to be recorded, to help protect you from what you say being misunderstood, but you should still not go alone if you can help it.
You may well be asked how you got there that day and if walking is an issue for you, seriously consider being dropped off near their door rather than have to do explain that you have walked from a car park. Make it clear where you were dropped off – they regularly make mistakes about the walking that you are capable of, based on what they believe you have done that day, this is them making assumptions rather than asking, so spell it out to them.
There are tasks on this page for both you and the person who I hope will be with you. If at all possible, that person should be in the assessment room with you. They will serve little or no purpose by staying in a waiting area.
You will hopefully have kept a copy of the work capability questionnaire, ESA50, and I recommend that the person with you reads through that copy, and this information, before your assessment.
Clients who have dealt with their own claims before coming to me have explained that they rested up for their assessment or it took extra medication to get them through it. Neither of these are a good idea; you want the Healthcare Professional to see you as you usually are. If you have had to take something, because you just would not be able to get there without, then at least make this clear to them – they will not ask you.
If you get a Healthcare Professional who asks what are called leading questions, such as “you can manage that on your own, can't you?” Please do not feel pressured into giving a one-word answer. Your answer to their question might be yes, or it might be yes, but only on a better day, not most of the time. The correct answer for you might be that you can manage it, but not all in one go, because you have to break up the task. Or you might be in a position where you can manage the task but you then need to rest or recover, not being able to go directly onto another task. It is vital that they hear the full answer from you. Although the questions are likely to be about what you do at home, the law says that they are to be considered in a work setting. If that makes a difference for you, make it clear as they will not ask you.
The person with you will not be able to answer questions for you, but they can prompt you, so they can have a vital role to play. You are likely to be anxious and you may forget things or not explain things as you would like to. The person with you might be thinking that if the Healthcare Professional wants to know about this, then surely, they would want to know about that, or you may tell them something that you have done, but have not been able to do for months or years. It is fine for the person with you to say these things to you, rather than directly to the assessor. They might ask you whether you want to tell the Healthcare Professional about something that has happened to you.
The assessor may explain that they have either read your form or that they are going to read it. Never mind, it is important that you say everything that needs to be said. Please do not leave things unsaid because you know that they are in the form and that they have either read them or are going to read them. You will only get one shot at this work capability assessment and I urge you to make sure that you explain things fully. Remember though that it is not just about what they have read of you and what they are told by you, but also what they see of you. Everything will be noted down. Everything from how you respond to your name being called, how you get up and then walk to the assessment room, how you handle bags or ID, as well as how you move around that room, will all be noted down. Be aware of this and simply be yourself. This includes not hiding the pain if it hurts to get out of a chair – if they cannot see or hear signs of that pain, they will not be aware of it. Please do not feel pressured to try and keep up with an assessor who is hurrying from the waiting area back the assessment room. If you need to take your time or stop, then it is vital that you do so. You want them to see you as you usually are. You need them to have clear information, but their ability or willingness to ask enough of the right questions varies from person to person. You may for example be asked if you have a pet. They may assume that you walk the dog, or can happily bend to provide food and water for the cat. If there are aspects of the pet care that you can’t and don’t manage, I recommend that you explain this, or you risk wrong assumptions being made.
Please be familiar with what is in your copy of the questionnaire that you filled in, and be consistent with it, unless things have changed of course. If they have, explain this, or they may draw the wrong conclusions about differences between what they have read and what they are hearing or seeing. They will go through your medical conditions and their symptoms, and then your medication, which you should have with you. They will ask about your home circumstances, including any aids or adaptations you have, so give this some thought before you go. The Healthcare Professional will then talk to you about ‘a typical day’, and what you say here counts for a lot. Please do not simply answer questions put to you, leaving important things unsaid, because the Healthcare Professional did not ask the right questions.
Remember that ESA is a 'most of the time’ benefits so that the issue is how you are affected on the majority of days. It is fine to talk to them about your worst days and even your best days, but make sure that they understand whether there are more of the better or bad days, overall. The issue is what you can do ‘with repeated regularity’, so if doing something has an effect on you, explain this; they will not ask.
There are two sorts of ESA claims, contribution-based and income-related. Entitlement to the first of these depends on you having paid sufficient National Insurance contributions. Income-related is another way of saying means tested. In the following weeks, you will be required to complete a work capability questionnaire or form ESA50. This asks for a description..MORE
Whether you are claiming contribution-based or income-related ESA, the claim process is very likely to involve a face-to-face assessment. It is a good idea to ask for your work capability assessment to be recorded, to help protect you from what you say being misunderstood, but you should still not go alone if you can help it. You may well be asked how you got there..MORE
You would not be reading this if you were happy with your decision letter. OK, so what do you do when a decision that you do not agree with arrives? We recommend that you call ESA to request a copy of the assessment report, because this is very likely to be where things went wrong. We go through the report with you pretty much line by line, to see what went wrong..MORE
The first thing to remember is that I can almost certainly put it right, so do not panic. Challenging the ESA decision is a two-stage process; the first is a paper challenge, called a mandatory reconsideration. ‘Mandatory’ because you cannot go around it; you have to go through this stage before you have the option of appealing..MORE
You must have been through the reconsideration stage before you can appeal to an independent tribunal. It is better to use the standard appeal form (search online for form SSCS1. You and the tribunal have the same appeal papers sent to you. They will contain a copy of your work capability questionnaire ESA50, the assessment..MORE
A tribunal decision can only be challenged by identifying one or more ‘errors of law’ in their statement of reasons, which the tribunal judge has to put together if any party to the appeal requests it. Up to this point, you were able to challenge a decision simply because you thought it to be wrong. If you are unhappy..MORE
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Going from DLA to PIP for my son resulted in only 2 points being awarded; my completion of the mandatory reconsideration form resulted in no improvement. At this point I realised that we needed professional help (with hindsight it would have been better if I had sought this earlier) and found the Disability Claims website via Google Search. They were most helpful and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the system, they meticulously prepared for the appeal tribunal and represented us. The result was an increased award from 2 points to 22 points. We couldn't have achieved this without them. Highly recommended.
Simon - 20 November 2019
“From the moment I spoke to you, you took the anxiety and stress from me. I was still worried about the whole procedure which was affecting my condition. You were so very, very helpful and extremely understanding. I was awarded high Mobility and high daily living. The assessor who came out was a nurse. She was very understanding of my condition and how it affected me. It was a long assessment as I did explain everything in detail. You are so very, very good at what you do. Many thanks once again.”
Mrs P of Suffolk 10 July 2019
“We were kept informed of the progress of the claim and the process we followed.
You obviously have good knowledge on the subject and was to formulate an
accurate statement, and present our case well at the appeal hearing. It is likely that
we will be in touch for help when our renewal form arrives.”
Mr M of Louth
Disability Claims are a courteous professional business. I highly recommend them to anyone needing help with PIP. They are cool and calm and after a few minutes speaking to them I was assured that I had made the right decision to ask their help. Most of all you are not forgotten about, as they check up on how things are, thank you. And to anyone faced with these forms they are your go to business.
Really professional and expertly researched legal representation. I went from 0 points on ESA to 18 points on appeal and got back in the support group. Highly recommended.
I strongly recommend Using Disability Claims. They are the best you can ever hire using PIP tribunal hearings appeal forms and reconsideration the best Welfare Benefit Solicitor in the whole of UK. I strongly recommend Disability Claims as the no 1 Welfare Benefit Solicitor.
With many disabilities, my full DLA allowance when changed across to PIP, and following my assessment, was reduced to standard rates, resulting in the loss of my car. Requested for a tribunal, and gobsmacked when the papers arrived, could not believe the ( I worded it inaccuracies) LIES that the assessor had told. Disability Claims attended the tribunal with me, and I was glad of their experience and reassuring me, if I got really nervous , that they would assist. My PIP was upgraded to enhanced care and mobility. I would certainly recommend that you should not accept any reduction in your benefits and should contact Disability Claims, I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Do not think of attending a tribunal without this business, they made the whole process so easy for my very stressed, distressed sister, who had her entitlement reduced and her car removed,at the change to PIP, they took the time she needed to calm her and put her at ease with some things that she was very uncomfortable talking about, they did a first class job at very short notice and worked until after 8PM on the evening of her initial interview, we would not hesitate to use their service's again or to recommend thrm to anyone who needs this kind of help.
The Disability Claims team are first class. If you need any help with any benefit they are the number one people to call.
They are excellent at what they do and will always explain to you each step of the process.
Fees are very reasonable for all the work and travel involved.
I have recommended them to people in need of their services.
Even get their help when the first forms drop through your letter box.
What can I say? They have helped my wife with her fight against this injustice winning every time which without them been harder..
I have been dealing with Disability Claims for many years for help with claiming the right benefit. They helped me a great deal, particularly when the DWP got it very wrong. They were confident and reassuring that I was in the right and we won no problem on appeal. You can be as genuine as possible, with real issues but often it's how those words are put over - this is where Disability Claims came in. Filled out the same information (mostly) as I did, just worded much better and was successful without any problems. Highly recommend you deal with Disability Claims if you're worried or have issues. In an ideal world this service should not be needed, but the DWP are ruthless and don't care what your circumstances are.
I would like to thank Disability Claims very much for their support and professionalism in dealing with my husbands case. At tribunal they took my husbands ESA case from zero points to support group. They are very pleasant, very experienced and knowledgeable in their work of supporting and advising on benefit claims. They are clear and to the point and I have no doubt that a genuine claimant will be supported 100%. They are very black and white as there is no room for grey areas in these case. I would recommend them to anybody who has a pending appeal or indeed any of the other services they offer. We certainly could not have got through this without their support and very clear understanding. There were no hidden costs everything was very transparent. Professional in every way. Thank you again.
Disability Claims is absolutely brilliant. I too wish that I had used them to fill the dreaded form in to begin with too! I will definitely be using them in the future if needs be. They were so patient, professional, caring, and lovely, lovely people. They travelled a long way to deal with my case and was with me every step of the way. Their service is not for free, but it is worth every single penny. I don't think I would have got the perfect outcome I did without them. In fact I know I wouldn't have. I highly recommend them to others.
Thanks so much.
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