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TOPIC: ESA advice needed please! :)

ESA advice needed please! :) 12 May 2017 14:01 #2477

  • The Gibbon
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Hi all,

A friend of mine is currently claiming ESA in the WRAG group. She's on the work programme at the mo too. Recently, she's been told by her doctor that she's suffered a series of mini strokes. She now has to go in for several tests which could take weeks and is very worried about attending the work programme, the stress etc in case she loses her benefits. Her JC advisor keeps telling her to contact the WP provider, who tell her to contact her advisor.

She needs to know what she can do about getting the message across that she's too ill to and whether or not she will need to continue to attend. Who will she need to contact, what should she ask etc? Should she be moved over to the support group?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thankee muchly :)
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ESA advice needed please! :) 14 May 2017 19:26 #2522

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Hi Gibbon, just seen your post. The threads are not highlighting for me today? Not sure if it`s just a glitch or not but anyway....

Placing myself in your friend`s situation (I am in the WRAG too right now) given that her GP has told her she will need to have these tests done, I would be looking at two points here.

(a) How well does your friend feel right now? Is she able to attend sporadic appointments when asked, or is she on a weekly/fortnightly intervention with her WP? I`m thinking because she won`t be signing on (not on JSA or UC) she will be answerable to the WP and not JCPlus due to the referral. So.....what she could do, is inform them of her worsening health and that she will either require flexibility for future attendances regarding her up coming hospital appointments or...
(b) Her GP could sign her off from attending altogether if S/he decided that attending may cause her unnecessary stress/harm. This may require a doctors letter, although fit notes lasting the duration of her hospital visits could cover any absences on the WP and state on it why the patient is unable to do `ANY` tasks due to X or Y.

The other alternative to look at is a `worsening` of her health or her `change of circumstance` if she feels asking DWP to place her in the Support Group due to this change would be worthwhile, but it may also lead to a new ESA assessment. Put it this way, if (a) falls on deaf ears, she should ask to be placed in the Support Group, but should supply extra/new evidence of her health and any new mobility or mental state problems she currently has. She should think about the `risk` factors and how she fits those criteria and say why she fits those. mentioning any new medications her GP has put her on and why.

But it could be that her WP provider may well just accept a fit note and excuse her on health reasons. If not, CAB and her GP would be helpful. If she really doesn`t want to keep attending, she should speak to her GP though as they hold the power to give her some respite.
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