I have just been put in the ESA work related activity group. Is this good or bad

Hi help please, i have just had a letter from DWP saying that my appeal has been heard by an independent appeal tribunal, and I have been put in the Work related group

I had appealed the first decision after scoring no points at the ATOS medical and so I was turned down for ESA and told I was fit for work. This was back in November 2012.

This letter in its self is little strange as I phoned them a couple of weeks ago and was told my appeal was still with the decision maker and I would hear once a decision had been made by them or if appeal was going to be sent to a Tribunal .

When i phoned them I told them I had a new list of up to date medicines and a GP letter and I asked them who I was to sent these too and I was told to send them to DWP. I sent them a five page letter and copy of all my medicines by a letter from my GP which included the fact I am on two types of morphine, lozapam, two anti depressess and a few other drugs for heart problems)

Anyway I think the last letter I sent them tipped the balance as when I went to the ATOS medical I got no points.

Should I be pleased or worried by being put in this group?

I am worried about having to go to the so call work focused interviews, I can't really get around too well and I have already sent them a letter from GP say I can't travel on public transport and my local job centre is a half hour bus ride and ten minute walk at normal speed which I can not do.

Lastly, does the above mean my appeal did in fact go to Tribunal without me knowing or is it just the wrong wording in the letter and it was in fact the decision maker at the DWP who put me in this group.

Any help please

Regards Confused,

Caroline

15 Replies

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  • From what you say I think your case was given a 'reconsideration'. When you appeal they always do a reconsideration first. If they cannot change the decision they write and tell you so.

    It would seem the further information you sent has caused them to reconsider. On your letter from DWP advising you are in WRAG, it should state when they expect you to be fit enough for work.

    If you disagree with this, you can still appeal yet again and request that you be put into the Support Group.

    In WRAG group your ESA payments will stop after 365 days but if it is your only source of income,or you are on a low income you can apply for the ESA income based payment when your Contribution based payment end.

    Before being sent for a Work Focussed Interview, you will be asked to go to the job centre. You will have an interview there, so if you have a copy of your GP letters take them. If you are unable to travel to the Work Focussed interviews, your advisor at the job centre can advise that your Work Focussed Interviews take place by telephone.

    Good luck

    Em

  • Hi, I think you may be right and I had a reconsideration ( maybe telling them my pain killers have increased by three times ) but no where on the letter does it given me an end date of when they think I should be fit

    I know I will get ESA income based as due to being unwell I now have no income as I am on my own with two kids ( 16 & 19 years )

    Thanks for your advice on doing it over the telephone i will ask for the interview to be done that way as I have no way of getting there

    Thanks

    Caroline

  • No way of getting there isent their problem but if you are specific that you are too unwell to get there and have a consistant illness that prevents you getting there then that will help you x trouble is you managed to get to and through the assessment.

  • Hi yes I now have a letter from my GP saying due to my health problem I am unable to use public transport and so he wants any assessments to be done in my home as I can't really go out. This is due to pain and severe depression and anxiety . So hopefully this will mean they will have to come to my home or do it over the telephone. I am lucky to have a great GP

    Thanks for the advice

    Caroline

  • That's good - you do need written confirmation from your GP if you are unable to attend interviews/assessments.

  • Hello, I was placed as I said in the work group and at the time I thought that was great as I didn't know what was wrong with me and I was trying to go back to work and earn some money. I used to run a bookies until I got ill. Sorry I got off the point. I never heard from the work programme people til Sept this year. They really push for you to go in, but if you kept saying you can't and point out you are too ill to go out they will give in and do it as phone appointments. The 1st she just talked about what they can offer, I agreed it was great but I can't get there. The 2 nd one she asked for a cv which I emailed to her. She knows I have asked to be moved to the support group but it seems it takes forever. I am waiting for a medical which I will tell them it will have to a home visit. If you can get a letter from your doctor saying you can not use public transport due to illness and that the doctor says for you to have home visits if you need to be seen, this will help you no end. My GP did it for free for me but I think some charge around £20 to do it. Good luck and message me if you need anything else

    Good luck

    Caroline xxx

  • i was fortunate at my work focussed interview that the lady i dealt with had a mother and father-in-law with fibro so she understands what were up against. now what she told me is not advertised that it is volentry in the first year, you do not have to go to these work related interviews after the initial one and you will still be paid your benefit. how ever after your 365 days of claiming are over you will have to start attending the interviews. i told them that if im not recieving benifit next year there is no way on earth i will attend any such interviews that we cause detriment to my well being. i will keep you posted on this matter.

  • Did you get a letter from the Tribunal Service?

  • No never had anything from them. I got a letter back in November that I wasn't entitled to ESA as I got no points, I then appealed and got a letter saying they had my appeal but the was early December. Then other than letters asking for doctors notes I have not had anything until this morning telling me I had been put in work related activity group and they will write again telling me to go to a work focus interview but no end date just a start date of 22 September 2012

    Still a little confused, but now have taken morphine so I really don't stand much of a chance to fully understand

    Caroline x

  • It is a bit confusing but fear not, the answer is very simple. You need to appeal again against being put in the WRAG = work group, on the grounds you are not fit for any type of work. State that you should be placed in the Support Group due to ill health.

    That should do it. As you have already appealed, I assume you know what a GL24 is.

  • Thank you and yes it is so confusing, anyone would think they don't want us to claim!

    I will get the form and have another go tomorrow and appeal again

  • That's it, you have to go through exactly the same process you went through to get ESA. The only difference now is, you are asking them to place you in the Support Group for same reasons you gave to get ESA.

    Good luck.

  • I ask for reconsideration and was pleased they moved me to the support group until march 2015 which I understand is a long award. Contribution based ESA for WAG was for 52 weeks only. They make you feel like crooks. I have my appeal for DLA & Income support on the 16th, fingers and toes crossed as I have no life without the money, the stress is making my symptoms worse :-(

  • I received a letter stating I was in the WRAG group and was transferred over from long term incapacity benefit,but there was no mention on the letter of how long this was for or how many points I had received. I did not get a medical,this was decided just by the ESA50 form. I have sent in the gl24 and within a week I have received a letter stating they are looking at my claim again. I called the DWP and requested confirmation in writing on how the DM had came to the decision to put me in the WRAG group,the person I spoke to said she would get this sent out to me, but surprise ,surprise have not received anything. So today I have sent a further recorded delivery letter requesting how many points I got and all information that they have on my file relating to my appeal, I got details on what to request from the Benefits site, I also sent in further details of all my medication and the side affects, as I take medication 3 times a day for Peripheral Neuropathy in my feet/legs and hands,,along with Fibro/arthritis/a bulging disc ( which means I can only sit or stand or walk for a few minutes before having to lay down/colitis/multiple diverticula,a condition called syndrome X,which causes severe spasms in my heart arteries on exertion and I am also anaphylaxic.( feel like I am falling to bits) the medication gives me some relief and makes me sleep for a few hours in the morning, a few hours in the afternoon and also helps me sleep at night, I have an appointment at the jobcentre to see an advisor on Tuesday, and will be taking all my paperwork with me, and advising them that I am appealing. I feel like I am begging for what I am entitled to. This has to be discrimination against people that are very ill, and sometimes just cannot face everything that goes along with appealing. It has taken me days to complete the appeal form.My advice would be to appeal again now to be put in the support group.Good Luck

  • Thank you so much for your advice, I am going to appeal to be put in the support group. It seems to get harder and harder just to get what we are entitled to. I have worked full time for years and up until I got unwell I was running a betting shop. I would love to go back to work I really loved my job but at the moment I can't go to work, so I need to have ESA to live on. I hope your appeal goes through quickly and you at least use what energy you have on feeling as well as you can. Good luck

    Caroline

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