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The correct way to claim new style ESA is as follows apparently - circumventing is discouraged

 

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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From the Complaints Resolution Manager I DWHI District I Department for Work and Pensions | Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and IoW District via MP

‘The correct process for claiming new style ESA is to contact the helpline on 0800 328 5644 and a claim form is then sent out to the customer to complete. Once completed the customer should ring the helpline again in order to make an appointment to take the form into their local jobcentre. A new style ESA appointment is an 80 minute booked appointment due to their complex nature’. Unfortunately it appears that the CAB circumvented the process by using a copy of a form they held and instructing Mr N Couling to take it to the jobcentre’.

We helped Mr N Couling to make a claim in writing.

We have given MP copies of stuff attached regarding making a claim in writing (circumventing) and telephone.

In response to Benny’s post have edited this to contrast the extract from the guidance below with the above i.e. the service centre arranges the appointment not the claimant - Its also worth pointing out the above is from the Regional complaints resolution manager. for completeness have attached the guidance (again).

At the service centre 6. Claimant telephones the service centre to claim new style JSA or ESA. 
7. The agent must follow the latest new style JSA or ESA agent led process (ALP) to:-  ? issue the relevant application form (UCJSA1 or UCESA1) ? arrange an initial appointment

 

 

      [ Edited: 12 Jul 2018 at 10:33 am by Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District ]
Andrew Dutton
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Derbyshire Welfare Rights Service

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The Process is what matters - claimants and their pesky needs can clear off.

The original title of Kafka’s classic novel is ‘Der Process’.

     
Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare Benefits, Craven CAB, N Yorks

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I’ve recently suggested to JCP liaison that the current process isn’t lawful, when you compare it to the regs in Andy’s attachment. I was informed that those regs are “not appropriate for New Style ESA”, and given a link to the process as set out on the gov.uk public site.

[PS, is “Mr N Couling” now a euphemism for something ...?]

      [ Edited: 11 Jul 2018 at 05:06 pm by Jon (CHDCA) ]
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Jon (CHDCA) - 11 July 2018 04:49 PM

I’ve recently suggested to JCP liaison that the current process isn’t lawful, when you compare it to the regs in Andy’s attachment. I was informed that those regs are “not appropriate for New Style ESA”, and given a link to the process as set out on the gov.uk public site.

Thanks both - extracts from my very tired email response to MP or circumvention as it is known in these parts.

‘I think Mrs Miggins has further work to do regarding the area of New Style ESA/JSA and client’s with ‘complex needs’. I should emphasise from a constructive angle, because both we and the DWP need to make New Style ESA/JSA and UC work/succeed, at our local jobcentre on both a process and legislative basis.

Just by way of observation, regarding the correct process of claiming new style ESA and related stuff. Which may be of concern to Caxton House regarding implementation and staff training (national issue as well as a local issue).

Couple of things firstly, the legislation does allow written claims as well as telephone claims, have copy pasted the relevant legislation below. So it would appear Mrs Miggins is actually referring to the DWP’s preferred administrative process, not the law regarding claims for New Style ESA, i.e. governs how claims should be treated including defective claims too.

So for example i was not circumventing the process in advising Mr N Couling to drop of the claim pack at Bridport Jobcentre. It was on the legislative basis of regs 15 and 16 UC (C&P) regs 2013 (see attached).   

The second issue connected to the above, is the lack of any consistency regarding phoning the helpline to make a claim for new style ESA i.e. its very rare to find someone who actually knows the process. In part because its the UCFS phone line so the emphasis is UC, then once past that potential gateway, people are told variously that they have to phone again to book an appointment after they have been emailed the claim pack, or go to their jobcentre.

This is further compounded by very long delays before the phone is answered. Difficult enough for claimants, but for advice agencies, particularly for tiny volunteer led agencies like ours (i am part time and the only paid advisor), is a further drain on already stretched resources (i should add DWP resources too for the reasons above). Ordinarily we would take a philosophical approach regarding this i.e. its life and just get on with it!

However, this is really basic stuff that should be a cause for concern for Caxton House as well as for our local area/region DWP management. For example having to advocate on behalf of a client at the local job centre to accept his claim and help him by persuading them to read the legislation and telephony guidance in the absence of them having any meaningful knowledge, guidance or training’.

All names have been changed to to protect peoples identities, any resemblance to living or fictitious people is an unfortunate coincidence.

 

     
Benny Fitzpatrick
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Agree with all the points raised. The lack of consistency of advice from telephony staff is appalling. Jobcentre staff appear to know next to nothing about New Style ESA, and seem unprepared/unwilling to deal with claims or enquiries on the subject. It’s a shambles, and serves only to add to the problems of people who are already struggling.

(But then, isn’t that the idea, Mr Couling?)