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WRAG/support group appeals.

benefitsadviser
forum member

Sunderland West Advice Project

Total Posts: 663

Joined: 22 Jun 2010

Its Friday - my head is battered after another bizzy week and its silly question time!
I have a procedural question, where the answer is probably staring me in the face, but here goes.
I have had an increasing amount of clients who have been either migrated from IB -> ESA, or new ESA claims where they have been placed in the Work related activity group.
A couple of months later they are being requested to attend JC+ for work focused interviews and a few clients feel totally mentally (or physically) unable to comply with a WFI.
The obvious solution would be to appeal the WRAG decision and request the support group, however many conversion clients don’t even know what ESA is or what WRAG responsibilities are until after the months deadline. I have even had loads of appointments booked for DLA renewals and the client turns up with an ESA50 as they think its to do with their DLA claim.
I would like some advice regarding how i can request clients to be placed into the SG after a couple of months of being placed in WRAG. I dont think that I really have decent grounds for a late appeal, and i dont think i can get away with quoting a change of circumstances either as my clients health hasnt really deteriorated since the LCFW determination was made. My local Jobcentre are being good about this by offering 3 month postponements of face to face WFIs or even arranging telephone based WFIs, however some clients mental health condition even causes them difficulties with this as well.
Any advice would help.
Thanks

     
iut044
forum member

Welfare Benefits Adviser, West Lancs Disability Helpline, Skelmersdale

Total Posts: 163

Joined: 17 Jun 2010

In my experience, it is very easy to get leave for a late appeal.  The other option is to submit a change of circumstances.

     
Darran
forum member

Kirklees Benefits Advice Service, Huddersfield

Total Posts: 13

Joined: 29 Jun 2010

Getting a late appeal is usually easier than people think.

If you are looking for specific reasons to put on a GL24 you could argue that Jobcentre Plus and the notification letters never explained what the ESA test involved or the structure of the benefit, so how could any reasonable person understand the relevance of the decisoon being made. At the appeal you could then use the agrument put forward by Martin Williams (see CPAG Welfare Rights Bulletin 224, also think he is doing a workshop at next weeks NAWRA meeting in London) that the conversion is not legal, and your client should still be on IB. Then make the agrument that if your client is to be on ESA they should be in the support group.

     
benefitsadviser
forum member

Sunderland West Advice Project

Total Posts: 663

Joined: 22 Jun 2010

The explanation on the “you are now entitled to Employment and Support Allowance” decision letter regarding WFIs seems pretty clear though, so im not sure how the reasonable person thing would hold up. I dont have CPAG 224 leaflet (got 221 and 226 but not 224 for some reason) and this illegal conversion thing looks pretty interesting though. Can anyone point out to me where i can get more info online regarding this? Thanks for all the replies. I will try the change of circs thing and try to get evidence where appropriate. Have a good weekend folks.

     
ros
Administrator

editor, rightsnet.org.uk

Total Posts: 905

Joined: 6 Jun 2010

here’s martin’s thread on conversion argument -

http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/1944/

     
Paul Treloar
forum member

Head of Policy, LASA

Total Posts: 857

Joined: 6 Jan 2011

And here is a link to Martin’s article in WRB 224

Unnoticed? The flaw in ESA conversion decisions

     
Hoofer
forum member

halton CAB

Total Posts: 18

Joined: 29 Mar 2011

‘noon all

i have a cl with learning difficulties, placed in WRAC. we requested copy of ESA85 repeatedly from JCP as wanted to see what activites she scored under before considering strength of appealing to SG, after 3mth nil response from JCP i’ve now lodged the GL24 and had it acknowledged, simply stating we seek “anytime review” of decision placing her in WRAC

i’ve not even looked whether ESA regs still allow for this…. at least we should now get copy of the evasive ESA85

     
Josephina
forum member

welfare rights adviser, BHUARC, Brighton

Total Posts: 53

Joined: 21 Mar 2011

There’s a difference between not being able to mentally or physically cope with the WFI and passing the test for limited capability for work related activity. Lots of my clients will have a problem with the WFI, but they would not pass that extremely strict test.

Josephina

     

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