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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Work capability issues and ESA  →  Thread

UC Service team asking to speak to doctor directly

 

MKM35
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ASG PBS UC Shelter

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Joined: 14 March 2018

Hello,

Not sure if I’m unduly concerned or if it indeed is an odd request by UC.

Background:
Client is paranoid schizophrenic and has severe alcohol dependency and claimed ESA + SDP.
Was on remand for 5 days and received conditional discharge. He then applied for UC because a worker at the accommodation recommended that he applies for it. (As reference: this accommodation is a motel/hotel charging £200 pw, but client was referred there by a case worker for local charity and not by LA).

Client now has live and active UC claim and is receiving only UC-Std Allowance. He has lost his severe disability premiums.

When we requested for a WCA (hoping to get our client the LCWRA element), the UC service centre sent the attached message. While the doctor will corroborate our statements, it seemed a little odd that they wanted to speak to the doctor directly.

1) Is this in the best interest of the client? Am I unduly concerned?
2) What is the best way to have client’s full entitlement reinstated?
3) Should the client have remained on ESA and not applied for UC or did ESA claim end because of remand and applying for UC was the right decision?

( Hopefully I have posted this on the right forum!)

     

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Helen Rogers
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Welfare Rights Officer, Stockport MBC

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It sounds like your client hasn’t been asked to fill in a UC 50 (yet.)  This form would ask for permission to contact the doctor.  This is normally done by sending GP’s surgery a form to fill in.  This can sometimes avoid the client going for a medical and it is actually best practice for a client with a mental health condition.  Of course the outcome will depend on whether the GP returns the form and what they write, but I don’t think you do need to worry.

BUT your client’s limited capability for work (or LCWRA) should carry over from ESA.  But UC can re-assess at any time.

     
MKM35
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ASG PBS UC Shelter

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Thanks, Helen. We have submitted the UC50.

Helen Rogers - 21 September 2018 09:32 AM

BUT your client’s limited capability for work (or LCWRA) should carry over from ESA.

Would you expand on this please?

     
Helen Rogers
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Welfare Rights Officer, Stockport MBC

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What I mean is that the decision made on the ESA claim about capability for work should carry over on transfer to UC.  So if the client was in the Support Group on ESA, they should still get Limited Capability for Work Related Activity element on UC - until a new decision changing this decision is made.

But I’ve just re-read your post and noticed that the client was on remand for 5 days, so I don’t know if that breaks the link and means the UC claim is a brand new claim, not a transfer.  Perhaps others will know more about this than me?

     
Dan Manville
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Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

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If he was only remanded the ESA claim should have been suspended rather than closed altogether. It was only if he was sentenced that a disentitlement decision could be made. The UC claim was misinformed.

The “link” is tenuous as the person needs to be “entitled to old style ESA” on the day the UC claim is made. Assuming the claim was just suspended he was still entitled so the LCWRAE should be payable.

     
MKM35
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ASG PBS UC Shelter

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Thanks, Helen and Dan.