BREATHE Self Help Update : 2

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Breathe Update - At Breathe we are dealing with an increasing number of Universal Credit enquiries, particularly where people are failing their ESA assessments, and who want to challenge the decision that they are capable of work. We have had a number of clients approach our services to tell us that they had been advised by the DWP and Jobcentre Plus to make an immediate claim for Universal Credit following these decisions. Because you cannot come of Universal Credit once you claim it and would not be able to revert to claiming ESA, you need to consider your options carefully before you claim. You can still receive ESA once your appeal has been lodged, and it is paid at the assessment rate. You will first have to request a Mandatory Reconsideration, and wait for a decision before you can lodge your appeal. We can help you request a Mandatory Reconsideration, but this should be done as quickly as possible (you also need to remember that you only have a month to do this as well). You should receive backdated benefit if your appeal is successful, but whilst you are waiting for the appeal to be lodged, your income will be much less than you would have normally received. You can get information on what you can do in these circumstances by calling the Breathe team on 0121 384 2333, or emailing us on advice@new-heights.org.uk.