I am a caseworker in the Legal (Families) team.
I am sorry that your son’s ESA re-assessment was unsuccessful. You should request a mandatory reconsideration (preferably in writing) within one month of the date of the DWP decision letter. In relation to the issues that you have raised:
- Obtaining relevant evidence is a common problem as often people with learning disabilities were diagnosed in childhood and as an adult have no regular input from professionals.I suggest that you obtain supporting evidence from family if they are the ones who provide him with support. They could keep daily diaries to show the support they provide and these diaries could be submitted as evidence and/or they could provide statements or letters setting out the support that they provide your son in relation to the ESA activities.
If the case ends up going to appeal (as mandatory reconsiderations are rarely successful) then you should ask for an oral hearing which your son should attend. You will be able to attend the tribunal with your son and if you feel that he is misrepresenting himself and his abilities at the tribunal you should ask to intervene and explain how you think his condition impacts on his ability to carry out the relevant ESA activities.
- He should be able to claim UC for housing costs whilst the reconsideration is pending. He is likely to be expected to attend the job centre and have to comply with a claimant commitment. If he does not comply with the claimant commitment then he may be sanctioned. You should attend the initial interview at the job centre with your son to make sure that he is not agreeing to a claimant commitment which he is not capable of complying with. You should also bring along any relevant medical evidence to the initial meeting as the work coach may not be aware of your son’s conditions.