How often do people get put into group without an appointment for work capability assessment?


Has anyone ever heard of anyone being put straight into an ESA group without having to attend a physical appointment? I've been wrangling with the DWP and ATOS about the length of time I've been on the basic rate, and even involved my MP after Atos claimed they were no longer bound by deadlines since they'd chosen not to renew the contract.

On Friday I phoned Atos again and was told that my doctors had been in correspondence several times with Atos and had now provided all of the information they needed, and that my case was with a doctor to decide if an appointment was necessary, or if a decision could be made based on the evidence. I was wondering if this is standard, but they always call everyone in, or if it might be a realistic consideration. As well as Fibro, hypermobility syndrome and recently diagnosed hypothyroidism, I have suffered a mental breakdown and been diagnosed as bipolar, and had to move back in with my parents as I was unable to look after myself properly. I wondered if it was the mental aspect that might be affecting them, since that is the main reason why I had to stop working. It's could just be a fobbing off to make me think my case is almost completed when really they have every intention of making me wait a further 6 months for an interrogation :(


18 Replies

  • I have heard of people not having a physical appointment, so please relax a little - I know easier said than done. Gentle hugs.

  • I was put straight into WRAG without a medical appointment

  • Is that the work focused group with a view to getting you back into work? Did you appeal?

  • Yes it is, and yes I appealed, but failed the appeal. When I asked for SOR I noticed the judge had told so many lies it was as though they were talking about a different person.

    I am still in WRAG, but when I go for my interviews they are very understanding and have told me they don't expect me to look for work, however they have to call me in for periodic interviews to satisfy DWP.

  • That is really shocking! I'm so sorry they put you through that. It's no wonder people took their lives because of these processes. I was surprised yesterday to hear they'd twice been in touch with my GP as it's odd for him not to have mentioned it. I'll be interested to see what he says. I'm terrified they will put me in WRAG, if I was in any way fit for work I wouldn't have thrown away an 11 year career in November as a lawyer on a decent salary to lose my home and move back in with my parents and live off £72 a week, too terrified to go out and meet people because of my mental condition. I had stopped functioning way before, and I only just managed to avoid a sacking for absence :( x

  • Jigsawcat, please don't be terrified, i was shoved straight into the WRAG and nothing up to now has happen to me, i have written a post to you about this, i am not fit for work, and never will be, my medical problems are too severe, and will not improve, except of course my a miracle, which will not happen, for now ttfn

  • Yes, this is me too. The lady I last saw told me not to worry about which group I was in as there was no way I was expected to find a job. XX

  • I understand where you are coming from. Most people get put into WRAG. They know I am not fit to work, but I think you have to be on a stretcher before you get put into Support Group. I fought for this as long as I could but the stress was making my condition worse. At least my Job Centre are understanding. I think most of us would rather be well and working, than live with this condition at the same time as trying to prove to everyone that we really are in pain most of the time. I have found joining a Fibro group locally to be a Godsend. I now get out once or twice a week to meet them, and no explanations are ever necessary as we know how each other feels without words. We are also very supportive of each other and the problems caused by pain, fatigue and DWP etc.

  • Hi Jigsawcat

    I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you can be today? I have never undergone anything of this nature, but I want to wish you all the best of luck with your outcome.

    Take care

    Ken x

  • Yes Jigsaw some people are awarded ESA without having to go to the dreaded interview. I actually wonder whether it will become more common with people still involved with ATOS being their contract is not being renewed and them not being rewarded for outcomes as it will now be no skin off their nose to just let people through. Fingers and everything crossed for you that this will be the casex

  • Yes! I was put into the WRAG without having a medical. Apparently I'm due to have one in Nov 2015. XX

  • Thanks Sue, and how often do you have to go in to do work focused meetings etc? X

  • Every 6 months jigsawcat. The last time I went I had a hell of a walk from the car park to the building! It nearly killed me! The lady, Kim, said it was ridiculous that I was expected to travel for these meetings, so in future she was going to do telephone meetings, as it were, which is a lot easier for me! X

  • Hi, Yes, I applied for ESA in December when my Bereavement Allowance stopped. I was waiting for 5 months and finally a brown envelope popped through the door, I was dreading it as I thought it would be an appointment for me to go and be assessed medically. However I was really surprised that it was a letter telling me they had made a decision and put me into the Support Group and paid me the disability premium as well, all without a medical. I did however include with my ESA application medical evidence in the form of letters to support my claim. I can only assume that they went on my medical evidence or my GP had to send a report. I have been put in the Support Group until May 2017. I have no idea how this works or I could have been one of the lucky ones.

    I am not sure how long you have been on the basic rate I was on it 5 months altogether. You get back paid but only from week 13 or 14 and not the whole period of waiting. Hope this helps.

  • I was put straight into SG without a medical and I know others who have been too. I have years of agoraphobia on my records so I couldn't have got to a medical so asked for a home visit backed up myGP which she was happy to do. They went through a phase where it was really difficult to get into the SG but in 2013 it wasn't as bad because other people also reported similar.

  • Hello, when my change over time came from income support to the horrid esa, i just got a letter telling me that it had happened, and with the same money to be paid to me, £7.53pw paid fortnightly in arrears as always. Sometime later I went to the local office in crewe and sat opposite a man asking questions and taking notes on what i said, after a while appointment over, see you again next time... well then another man asking questions.. like work is that possible, i had arrived on crutches, osteoarthritis, T2 diabetis, hypothyroisism, depression, bladder problems, like you do... so went through that session, and then i said cannot keep coming down here for these sessions, may do the next one over the phone..... I have not been for a physical assessment/medical assessment yet, but i believe there is some nasty goings on with dla to pip, and those atos assessments which they are still doing, but dragging their feet in the hope that people get better!! or some die... I dont understand why they shoved everybody over onto the esa, when there are these blasted assessments, and then leaving some many already ill people stressed to the sky, with all the problems.

    When they sent you the esa details did they use the correct pip payment amount that should be your current dla amount, which they deduct from the amount and then leave you with the left overs, and just to add insult to injury the blasted esa is taxable, more kicking in the teeth. will watch for you progress, ttfn

  • Jigsawcat, hello, when the DWP changed me from Income Support to ESA, they put me staight into theWork Related Activity Group, i have not had a medical assessment, just one of those face to face across the desk talk/answer question sessions with a man from atos, after asking me many questions and not being able to answer any of mine and filling out his forms and paperwork, it was over. 6 months later back to the atos offices for another session with a different man, who asked his questions, including one about have i been able to look around about work, no was the reply, i cannot work , i can hardly walk some days and cannot get up too quickly as i go dizzy, slightly blank look , but thats the truth.

    I have heard that there is a Support Group, wonder what is needed to go into that group, what with O.A, U/A Thyroid and T2 Daibetis, depression, bladder problems and slight retinopathy in my right eye, downhill fast then!

    Well now that atos have given up that particular contract, i am hoping that i dont have to go through another one of them, but he did say, maybe be next time we can do this over the phone, i see another banging headache arriving if/when this happens.

    Atos still having the PIP assessments, medical to do I hope they are going to get their fingers out and workd through them faster, having read so many posts about people going through thr mill and stressed out it is not right for this to keep happening, ttfn

  • I was put on ESAU surport grop with out assment I had to fill in a form and sent lot of letters from my go and hospital

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