Search rightsnet
Search options

Where

Benefit

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction

From

to

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

ESA – migration cases – inaccurate IRESA assessments?

‹ First  < 27 28 29 30 > 

Jo_Smith
forum member

Citizens Advice Hillingdon

Send message

Total Posts: 135

Joined: 3 October 2018

Just bumping it up;  I really need some help guys.

Jo_Smith - 14 December 2018 06:35 PM
HB Anorak - 01 October 2018 08:55 AM

PS just thinking how an official error case could work: it would be that DWP’s original failure to assess for ESA(ir) meant that s/he was not put on notice to report any change in income: had they known that they failed to qualify for ESA(ir) due to student income, they would have reported the changes.

My client was not entitled Ito IR ESA on the day of migration because she was getting a student income. We have submitted supersession request because later on her circumstances changed and she lost her student income.

At that time she wrote to DWP to say that she will soon stop being a student. She said “Please advise me if there is anything I need to do in order to continue claiming ESA”

Soon afterwards she was an interviewed by the Fraud and Error team, following some malicious allegations and came through clean as a whistle.  Her student income was reviewed and she was told because she is in receipt of C ESA , her income is irrelevant.

My supersession request was refused because:
1. “With every benefit notification letter issued to you, you are also sent an information booklet ESA40. This booklet clearly states that you must tell us straight away if any of your circumstances change”
2. “When you wrote to us in May to tell us that you would cease to be a student in June, action cannot be taken on the notification of potential change. Action can only be taken on notification that the change has actually occurred.”
3. Re Fraud team interview: “Any evidence gathered by them at that time regarding your circumstances would be to ensure that you were not receiving benefits incorrectly.”


I need help with expanding on Anorak’s argument, in view of DWP’s statement that claimant is obliged to report any changes. What about changes which claimant thinks (and was told) are irrelevant?

What about my client, wanting to be careful, gives prior notice of c.o.c and asks for instructions? This is then ignored because it has not “actually occured”.

And finally, the Fraud team building a Chinese wall between themselves and some sort of “other” ESA departments, to the point that no information is passed through. Bizarre.

I feel this is a bigger issue. The single day of migration should certainly be a focus but not to the point of dismissal of scenarios like this one, whereby cluents who learn about this whole migration fiasco from newspapers, advisers, etc, apply for the backdate and fail, because of this single date. Many of them did notify DWP about c.o.c and got ignored, or their correspondence was lost. My client tells me she has sent letters by recorded delivery, and I have seen copies, but DWP response denies receiving some of these letters.

My client could really do with couple of thousands she could have been getting, if both parties played by the rules, but seems like some want to play dirty with a severely disabled young woman,  God forgive them…

Daphne
Administrator

rightsnet writer / editor

Send message

Total Posts: 2838

Joined: 14 March 2014

My feeling - and I welcome other views but to kick things off - is that this isn’t a case that comes under the failure to assess correctly at migration. On migration day she wasn’t entitled to irESA so the DWP did nothing wrong at that point and she won’t get anything via the trawl. So I think you need to separate this case from that.

However, she specfically told them she was going to stop being a student and to advise what she needed to do. My argument would be that she should have been given an ESA3 to complete at that point. Reg 32(1B)(b) of the SS(Claims and payment) Regs does say the change should be notified ‘as soon as reasonably practicable after the change occurs’ but surely if the claimant advised too early the DWP should have advised her what to do.

Also in [2018] UKUT 392 (AAC), which we’ve just published, it talks about what information is given in the ESA40 and there doesn’t seem to be anything there that indicates you can’t do it in advance.

So I would want to argue that it is official error on the part of the DWP not to have taken action on the notification of change of circumstances. It’s what you do next I’m not sure about - there isn’t a decision at that point to challenge. Could you argue that that decision is still outstanding and they should make it?

And also put in a complaint for financial redress

Owen_Stevens
forum member

UC London Adviser, CPAG

Send message

Total Posts: 156

Joined: 1 October 2018

DWP had set themselves a target of writing to PAC (by end December 2018) with a number of updates on these ESA underpayments (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/746797/CCS001_CCS1018676736-001_Treasury_Minutes_Gov_Resp_43-58_Cm9702_Web_Accessible.pdf ). 

These included:
- writing to the Committee with details of how DWP will improve its processes for gathering and acting on concerns raised by stakeholders and how it will routinely measure and report its progress on this.
- write to update the Committee on the additional changes it has put in place to address a management culture which does not proactively and systematically act on intelligence from its front line and fully address mistakes when they first occur.

I’ve seen that this (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esa-underpayments-forecast-numbers-affected-forecast-expenditure-and-progress-on-checking ) has been published which arguably addresses some of the points the PAC had asked the department to write to them about.  However, there is nothing showing on PAC’s publications page since the report on the issue.

Have I overlooked the department’s response or have they just missed their self-imposed deadline?

Update on 28/01/19 - I still can’t see a government response to PAC which addresses the outstanding recommendations

[ Edited: 28 Jan 2019 at 04:23 pm by Owen_Stevens ]
Mr Finch
forum member

Benefits adviser - Isle of Wight CAB

Send message

Total Posts: 444

Joined: 4 March 2011

I need some help if possible - I’ve just had an enquiry where someone was contacted in the trawl who had been converted from IB to cb-ESA in 2014 - she should have qualified for an SDP as well. After a year she claimed ir-ESA in 2015, so the decision is she does not qualify for the missing SDP arrears from 2014-2015. Is this right?

unhindered by talent
forum member

Aberdeenshire Support and Advice Team

Send message

Total Posts: 329

Joined: 18 October 2013

If she met the qualifying conditions for SDP on conversion in 2014, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be included when they assess 2014 to 2015. If SDP not included, i’d submit an IS10 for the period in question.

Andrew Dutton
forum member

Welfare rights service - Derbyshire County Council

Send message

Total Posts: 1694

Joined: 12 October 2012

https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/dwp-is-using-front-line-intelligence-to-help-improve-its-service-to-the-pub

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/public-accounts/Correspondence/2017-19/Corresp-DWP-Employment-and-Support-Allowance-181221.pdf
‘We are improving and re-launching the channels that enable frontline teams to ask questions, raise ideas and make suggestions. This feedback will be triaged and systematically considered, with frontline staff being told what will be done with their suggestion…
A good example of how the Department has already altered its approach to acting on front line intelligence* is by making staff feedback loops** an integral part of the universal credit design process, which uses an iterative and participative process*** to bring frontline experience to the heart of design activity. If staff identify an issue, improvement idea or question that relates to the universal credit Full Service it is addressed by the site centre Service Innovation Lead (SIL). If the issue or improvement idea has not been raised previously, the SIL will feed it into the design process…
More broadly, the Department is undertaking work to explore any corporate behaviours**** and drivers of decision-making***** that may have contributed to previous issues resulting in errors and will be considering how it can address these to mitigate the risk of similar issues occurring in the future.’ 
*What?
**What??
***What???
****What????
*****What????
I nominate this alleged communication for a ‘Golden Bull’ Award from the Plain English Campaign

Ianb
forum member

Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

Send message

Total Posts: 490

Joined: 24 November 2017

That was my reaction. I particularly liked “making staff feedback loops an integral part of the universal credit design process, which uses an iterative and participative process to bring frontline experience to the heart of design activity”.

BC Welfare Rights
forum member

The Brunswick Centre, Kirklees & Calderdale

Send message

Total Posts: 1168

Joined: 22 July 2013

I have a couple who have both received CB ESA with a SG component since their ESA started. Wife has had DLA HRC/HRM then PIP ERDL/ERM for 10 years or so, husband has had underlying entitlement to CA since 2013. No IR ESA ever paid to either of them. No savings, other income, etc. He receives a small amount of TP from Incap Ben transfer, currently £1.30 p/w.

Her review letter has arrived and refused backdate of IR ESA as “the CB ESA already received exceeds the amount payable on IR ESA.” No other explanation beyond an “assessment panel” print out that makes no sense to me.

Can anyone tell me if this can be correct? I can’t work out how it could be with no Carers Premium or Enhanced Disability Premium ever paid but my head is completely scrambled and I have a nagging feeling that I might be missing something obvious. Am I?

Ianb
forum member

Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

Send message

Total Posts: 490

Joined: 24 November 2017

Only one of them can get an income based top up. If the other is also getting contribution based ESA that will be deducted and will wipe out the income based entitlement. The income based top up would be support component plus couple enhanced disability premium plus carer premium which, at today’s rates I calculate to be £97.20 whereas the contribution based partner’s ESA to be deducted will be £110.75.
Apologies if I’ve misunderstood the situation.

[ Edited: 31 Jan 2019 at 09:26 pm by Ianb ]
HB Anorak
forum member

Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

Send message

Total Posts: 2340

Joined: 12 March 2013

Correct, no ESA

Applicable amount is £114.85 plus the premiums Ian has listed: £212.05
Income is 2 x ESA(c) both including the Support Component, which is a tenner above the applicable amount, making it unnecessary for me to research how the TA is treated in ESA(ir)!

BC Welfare Rights
forum member

The Brunswick Centre, Kirklees & Calderdale

Send message

Total Posts: 1168

Joined: 22 July 2013

There are 2 SG components though so I make the applicable amount £249.70… They are getting approx £222 p/w on 2 x CB plus £1.30 TA

flair
forum member

Welfare rights officer - Linstone Housing Association

Send message

Total Posts: 52

Joined: 16 June 2010

Unfortunately you can only get the one Support Group Component even if a couple.

Jeremy Barker
forum member

Citizens Advice North Lincolnshire

Send message

Total Posts: 102

Joined: 7 September 2010

BC Welfare Rights - 01 February 2019 01:29 PM

There are 2 SG components though so I make the applicable amount £249.70… They are getting approx £222 p/w on 2 x CB plus £1.30 TA

Only one Support (or, for pre-April 2017 claims, Work-related Activity) component can be paid to a couple making a joint claim even if both qualify. If one qualifies for the SG and one for WRA only the SG component is paid.

BC Welfare Rights
forum member

The Brunswick Centre, Kirklees & Calderdale

Send message

Total Posts: 1168

Joined: 22 July 2013

Thought I might be being a bit dim :-)
Thanks

Daphne
Administrator

rightsnet writer / editor

Send message

Total Posts: 2838

Joined: 14 March 2014

Latest analysis from the DWP finds that they continued making errors in conversions decisions beyond the end of 2014…

As a precaution, the department has undertaken additional testing of cases converted in 2015 and placed in the Support Group to assure itself that the guidance changes implemented in 2014 were effective. This testing has shown that the level of error did not improve sufficiently following the issuing of new guidance to provide assurance that no further problems remained. For this reason, the department will also be reviewing around 30,000 cases that were converted from previous incapacity benefits from 2015 onwards. This results in around 600,000 ESA cases being reviewed overall.