Using ESA ‘safeguarding’ and dispute procedures

ESA Seminar

ESA seminar

ESA seminar

Thank you to all those who attended our seminar on 2 March 2016, which covered the latest DWP guidance on safeguarding, and how to use it effectively to prevent ESA being refused or stopped or to secure rapid reinstatement.

This half day seminar examined:

• how DWP ‘safeguarding procedures’ can be used to help employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants who suffer with conditions which affect their mental health or cognition to avoid benefit refusals;

• how to help claimants dispute decisions and reclaim benefit when ESA has been disallowed.

The ‘safeguarding procedures’ are an important tool for advisers helping ESA claimants who suffer with mental health problems, learning disabilities or other conditions affecting their communication or cognition.

The safeguards can be used to avoid and deal with common problems such as failures to submit an ESA50 questionnaire, attend a work capability assessment or a work focussed interview, and undertake work-related activity, all of which can result in ESA being disallowed.

Where ESA has been disallowed, it may be necessary to help claimants dispute the decision and / or make a new claim for ESA or jobseeker’s allowance. The seminar identified the problems which commonly arise when pursuing reclaims, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals, and how best to overcome them.

The seminar was for anyone advising and assisting ESA claimants. Relevant training materials were provided and there was opportunity to discuss and share experiences and tactics.

Speakers
Corin Hammersley, Welfare Rights Officer, Royal Borough of Greenwich

Corin Hammersley is a Welfare Rights Officer within Greenwich Welfare Rights Service and runs and delivers many of the services’ welfare rights training programme on most aspects of social security and welfare reform. 

Corin also trains and mentors students at Greenwich University Legal Advice Centre. Previously, Corin worked at Howells Solicitors in Sheffield as a welfare benefits supervisor for the Community Legal Advice and other legal aid contracts, including the Upper Tribunal legal aid contract. She is also a committee member for NAWRA.

Dan Norris, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

Dan Norris is a welfare rights worker at Child Poverty Action Group. He has delivered welfare rights advice, representation and training for 15 years, for a number of organisations including St Mungo’s Broadway, SHP and Thamesreach.

David Simmons, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

David Simmons is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. He has more than 20 years’ experience of providing welfare rights advice and training and has written extensively for CPAG and other publications.

Owen Stevens, Welfare Rights Officer, Royal Borough of Greenwich

Owen Stevens joined Greenwich Welfare Rights Service in 2012. He is currently working as a specialist caseworker for carers of disabled people who live in the Greenwich borough.