The Law Centre is assisting a number of people who should be getting paid ESA after they have lodged their appeal until their appeal hearing date. Unfortunately it seems that lot of people do not know that they can claim at this time and as a result can go for months living on foodbank vouchers and loans from friends. This can often be avoided.
As an example over the last couple of days we have dealt with a single man in his 40s whose main health condition is anxiety and depression but who also has hearing problems and vertigo. He scored 12 points at the work capability assessment just short of the 15 points he needs. This is the first time he has failed an ESA medical. He did a Mandatory Reconsideration and decided he could not cope with claiming as a job seeker so decided to wait out the next decision. The decision was unchanged so he appealed. He did not know he could get sick notes and then get assessment rate ESA until his hearing date. He came in to see us yesterday in a desperate state with a letter from his doctor who was obviously concerned as he had become suicidal.
We wrote a letter for him to take to his GP to get sick notes for the relevant period. He was able to see a GP at his surgery and obtain the sick notes and return to see us today. We have now scanned over the sick note and spoken to the relevant section at ESA in Hanley and we expect his payment to arrive today or tomorrow together with arrears since he was last paid back in June.