ESA- HOW LONG TO GET A DECISION

Created 03/04/2018
The DWP latest statistics say most work capability assessment decisions (including the medical which take around 14 weeks) are now taking 19 weeks to clear.
 
Also says it takes 11 days to get a mandatory reconsideration decision.  Tip- over 80% of MR's are turned down. It's often worthwhile taking the issue further to an appeal tribunal (around 62% are overturned in favour of the claimant).  
 
Tip- A problem area is for those clients who are getting Income-related ESA and are reassessed under the Work Capability Assessment and found not to be sick any more. This is because even if it is later established (e.g. following an appeal) that they are in fact sick, once on Universal Credit they cannot revert back on to Income-related ESA. If they were previously getting the Severe Disability Premium and/or the Enhanced Disability Premium they may be worse off because Universal Credit does not have those premiums. Check whether they are worse/ better off.
 
The solution for a client who has failed their Work Capability Assessment is to challenge as normal by mandatory reconsideration. They should not claim Universal Credit during this period(full(digital service) areas. In live service areas they can claim JSA(income based). If they then appeal after the mandatory reconsideration they can restart their old ESA claim (ESA pending an appeal law-
reg 3(j)) and send in sick notes from their GP, avoiding Universal Credit.