DWP have moved the goal posts

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Hello,

I Andrew aged 57, I am full time carer for my wife Sue aged 62,
In 2014 Sue was medically retired by her employer ASDA, this was following 2 years of long term sickness due to treatment for 3 separate cancers including 6 sessions of chemo and 20 sessions of radiotherapy.
At this time Sue applied to the DWP for her State Pension, only to be advised that she would not receive this until she turned 66 in November 2019, instead DWP placed Sue on ESA (support group) which paid her £55 per week and paid her NI, this was the decision of the DWP at that time.

By early 2015 it became apparent that Sue was unable to cope alone and indeed suffered a number of episodes and falls when I was at work.
We then agreed that the best course of action was for myself to take early retirement from my work as a Commercial Manager at Heathrow Airport Ltd, downsize our home and move from the very expensive South East to the less expensive and less pressurised North East.
As a result of taking early retirement I took a reduced hit (by 33%) on my final salary pension scheme and a drop in annual income of 400%. I am not complaining about this, we live in a nice bungalow in a nice area and enjoy the less pressurised life style.However I am not entitled to claim carers allowance due to my pension paying more than the threshold allowed.
However the DWP have suddenly moved the goal posts, in mid June Sue was summonsed to an assessment by the DWP, the Health Care Professional conducting the assessment was working from a template of questions and even decided not to undertake a medical examination of Sue "because she could see that Sue was unable to carry out the movements required" at this stage I would warn beware of the assessors intention, as in the subsequent assessor report it was stated that Sue "had declined the examination" then on 21st July Sue received a phone call from a young man named Chris who bluntly advised Sue that she had been assessed as fit to work and that her ESA was withdrawn with immediate effect. You can imagine the upset such a blunt message caused.
Any way the net result is that Sue has had to apply for Job Seekers allowance and await an appointment with Job Centre Plus with no benefit payments coming in until a "Job Coach" commences "training" Sue for a return to the workplace.
Also despite Sue having been to our GP, who incidentally has further signed Sue off sick with suspected heart failure the DWP have rejected this because Sue has previously suffered from hypertension thus in the opinion of the DWP this constitutes "an existing medical condition" so in their pedantic world nothing has changed since the assessment in June.

Obviously we have appealed this decision, but this merely places us "in the system" and nothing happens until you receive the final decision letter, and then the appeal can take up to 2 months to reach court, thus keeping the claimant on Job Seekers allowance.

What we have discovered in this process is that in the past month there has been a sudden increase in ESA assessments withdrawing the benefit on women in their early sixties, the assessment forms are filled in by the Health Care Professionals in such away that answers and observations are designed to produce a score that indicates the claimant is declared fit to work.

Why this sudden change? The answer lies in the recent General Election and the appointment of Guy Opperman as Under-Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion on 14th June. This same Guy Opperman who on 5th July stated that women in their early sixties who had been affected by the change of pension age from 60 to 66 should seek to undertake apprenticeships in order to find work.
Clearly Guy Opperman ex Harrow Public School Boy, Barrister and Director of his family building firm has instigated this change of policy within the DWP.

AS Sue's full time carer and husband of over 25 years I am aware of the distress and worry this is causing her, and if other carers are similarly affected please contact Guy Opperman directly to request he advise on these wonderful apprenticeships for women in their sixties.
Hello Andrew

I suggest that you contact the Carers UK Adviceline team as they are the experts on all matters related to caring and benefits. I suspect that some of the information you have been given by the DWP is incorrect, our Adviceline Team are far more aware of the 'rules' than many of the DWP employees who seem to suffer from a lack of proper training !
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

Freephone: 0808 808 7777
email: advice@carersuk.org
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

The Carers UK Adviceline also includes a listening service, there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. Available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 7pm.
If you can’t get through on the phones (lines are often oversubscribed) then send them an email, they’ll usually get back to you within 3-5 working days. (I'd suggest copying your post here and emailing it direct to our team at advice@carersuk.org.
Andrew_1708 wrote:Hello,

I Andrew aged 57, I am full time carer for my wife Sue aged 62,
In 2014 Sue was medically retired by her employer ASDA, this was following 2 years of long term sickness due to treatment for 3 separate cancers including 6 sessions of chemo and 20 sessions of radiotherapy.
At this time Sue applied to the DWP for her State Pension, only to be advised that she would not receive this until she turned 66 in November 2019, instead DWP placed Sue on ESA (support group) which paid her £55 per week and paid her NI, this was the decision of the DWP at that time.

By early 2015 it became apparent that Sue was unable to cope alone and indeed suffered a number of episodes and falls when I was at work.
We then agreed that the best course of action was for myself to take early retirement from my work as a Commercial Manager at Heathrow Airport Ltd, downsize our home and move from the very expensive South East to the less expensive and less pressurised North East.
As a result of taking early retirement I took a reduced hit (by 33%) on my final salary pension scheme and a drop in annual income of 400%. I am not complaining about this, we live in a nice bungalow in a nice area and enjoy the less pressurised life style.However I am not entitled to claim carers allowance due to my pension paying more than the threshold allowed.
However the DWP have suddenly moved the goal posts, in mid June Sue was summonsed to an assessment by the DWP, the Health Care Professional conducting the assessment was working from a template of questions and even decided not to undertake a medical examination of Sue "because she could see that Sue was unable to carry out the movements required" at this stage I would warn beware of the assessors intention, as in the subsequent assessor report it was stated that Sue "had declined the examination" then on 21st July Sue received a phone call from a young man named Chris who bluntly advised Sue that she had been assessed as fit to work and that her ESA was withdrawn with immediate effect. You can imagine the upset such a blunt message caused.
Any way the net result is that Sue has had to apply for Job Seekers allowance and await an appointment with Job Centre Plus with no benefit payments coming in until a "Job Coach" commences "training" Sue for a return to the workplace.
Also despite Sue having been to our GP, who incidentally has further signed Sue off sick with suspected heart failure the DWP have rejected this because Sue has previously suffered from hypertension thus in the opinion of the DWP this constitutes "an existing medical condition" so in their pedantic world nothing has changed since the assessment in June.

Obviously we have appealed this decision, but this merely places us "in the system" and nothing happens until you receive the final decision letter, and then the appeal can take up to 2 months to reach court, thus keeping the claimant on Job Seekers allowance.

What we have discovered in this process is that in the past month there has been a sudden increase in ESA assessments withdrawing the benefit on women in their early sixties, the assessment forms are filled in by the Health Care Professionals in such away that answers and observations are designed to produce a score that indicates the claimant is declared fit to work.

Why this sudden change? The answer lies in the recent General Election and the appointment of Guy Opperman as Under-Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion on 14th June. This same Guy Opperman who on 5th July stated that women in their early sixties who had been affected by the change of pension age from 60 to 66 should seek to undertake apprenticeships in order to find work.
Clearly Guy Opperman ex Harrow Public School Boy, Barrister and Director of his family building firm has instigated this change of policy within the DWP.

AS Sue's full time carer and husband of over 25 years I am aware of the distress and worry this is causing her, and if other carers are similarly affected please contact Guy Opperman directly to request he advise on these wonderful apprenticeships for women in their sixties.
Hi Andrew

Firstly, sorry to hear of all the issues you and your wife have experienced!

Does your wife know about WASPI...
https://en-gb.facebook.com/WASPI-Women- ... 125688402/
Please contact/read/join Waspi...
Guy Opperman
Stated he wanted to hear about/from the most effective women.