Many of our members have found they have scored “0” points in their W.C.A. and thus their Benefits have been suspended. As the suspension notice usually arrives on or after the claimants usual pay day, panic ensues, followed by a call to JC+ and advice from the Jobcentre to sign on for J.S.A.
Note, as soon as you know you have not scored sufficient points it is essential to contact your local C.A.B. or Local Authority welfare rights office and request assistance from them. They are under severe pressure at the moment so get your request in quickly.
This is not necessarily the case; there is another option, one which will give you some money whilst you seek reconsideration.
What is the difference between reconsideration and an appeal?
Reconsideration: - When a JC+ Decision Maker looks again at the ATOS H.C.P.’s report or any new evidence you or your Doctors, specialists etc provide.
Appeal:- When your case has been reconsidered by the JC+ DM and is sufficiently borderline to be passed to the first tier Tribunal.
What to do
When you receive notice of your suspension due to scoring insufficient points to retain your Benefits do the following;
Make sure you have printed off our contact sheet or have a pen and paper in a convenient and comfortable spot near to your phone before you begin.
Call jobcentre plus, ask the person you speak to for their name and contact number.
Go on to request a GL24 form and a copy of the ESA85 assessors report.
Tell the JC+ operative you will be seeking reconsideration and you wish to be put on the “Assessment rate” during the appeals process.
The assessment rate is the same as JSA and allows you to retain any other help with rent and council tax you were receiving prior to your benefit suspension.
When you have the GL24 and ESA85
First make a copy of the ESA85.
Read through the document carefully, you may have to pause during this part of the process as it can be quite frustrating to find out what has been written about you. If you find this difficult get someone you know and trust to help you.
Highlight every piece of information you consider to be;
In this order, using a different coloured marker helps.
If you are going to dispute a descriptor it is essential you provide supporting evidence from your own H.C.P. as the Tribunal will accept the word of the ATOS H.C.P. if you do not do so.
Next, deal with one set of descriptors at a time. Write out the descriptor you are disputing, next to it say why, then indicate what evidence you have to support your challenge.
Mobilising unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid can reasonably be used.
a)Can not either:(i) mobilise more than 50 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion;
(ii) repeatedly mobilise 50 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion
I can not mobilise more than 50 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion. I mobilise using (state type of aid) and have been receiving treatment for (state disability) from (state specialist/ Dr/ etc) and have enclosed the following evidence to support my statement. Please see (Name evidence or give reference number).
It is essential you have supporting evidence.
By the time you have completed this exercise you may have received the result of the reconsideration, if the outcome is positive then you have no need to go any further, if it is negative the DM will inform you if he thinks you case can go forward to the first tier tribunal and you should continue checking and double checking your ESA85 form for errors in preparation for your appeal
Note: The space provided for your request on the GL24 form is deliberately small, therefor if you want to go into detail please fell free to continue on additional sheets. It is essential you write your name, the date and your N.I. No at the top of each additional page and numbers them thus (in this example there are 5 additional pages) Page 1 of 5 , 2 of 5, 3 of 5 numbering each page accordingly
N.I. No AB 12 34 56 C
Page 1 of 5