Wednesday 10 April 2013

ESA50 Resolution?

[Image description: my ninety-eight page pro-forma ESA50]

In relation to my previous post Ongoing Torment of DWP's ESA50-form I have today (10th April) received a letter dated (4th April) from JobCentrePlus an off-shoot of the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). 

(Not sure why it took the Royal Mail so long to deliver a letter, but hey!)

The contents advise me that I am "entitled to contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance" (ESA); but oddly enough, and quite typically for the DWP, there is no explanation as to what this is or what the ramifications are, if any. However, I note - though this is not expressed within the missive - that the decision has been made without reference to ATOS. Well, that at least saves tax-payers the cost of a fee. Hurrah for common-sense! And thanks to the kind decision-maker (DM); as that is one extra stress-factor I can now avoid.

Additionally, I "have been placed in the support group because [my] illness or disability restricts the possibility of working." Again no elucidation.

Apparently I am also going to get a '"top-up" payment'; but I am uncertain why it is needed or what it is.

I've had to go scrambling to the internet to attempt to determine whether this, all added together, is good or bad news. My understanding - and it is on very weak ground -  is that because I am in the so-called 'support group' AND am entitled to ESA based on previous payments of National Insurance (NI), I remain on ESA until such time as I ameliorate spontaneously or there is a miracle cure (none expected for at least the next fifteen years). So, I believe - shakily - that I can breathe a sigh of relief. Phew! Mind, my pulse is still racing from the panic-attack the arrival of the brown envelope and very long letter induced a few hours ago.

There is no information to enlighten me as to how the DWP reached their decision. However, I am permitted to:

" •     ask for an explanation

  •     ask for a written statement of reasons for our decision "

I think it is in my best interests that I do so, as one never knows what future changes are up the politicians' sleeves; so I really do need to know on what basis the decisions were reached. Furthermore, I can be re-assessed at the DWP's caprice. So no chance of my levels of anxiety abating.

Even now, I still feel as if I am in a skirmish with the DWP. As I previously wrote, the ongoing torment...

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