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TOPIC: Not coping very well, really need some help

Not coping very well, really need some help 2 months 1 week ago #169090

I've been in the ESA work related group since it was introduced and am being pushed quite heavily to take part in things which I literally can't do or to apply for mandatory reconsideration - I thought too much time had expired for MR? I'm going to have a work capability assessment next month also. I'm unsure as to how to go about this, could I please get some pointers? I'll try to summarize my issues below:

Okay, I have some slightly complex mental health issues as well as physical health problems (which all of my doctors seem to have a different take on) and has left me barely able to function. I've been in supported housing in the past (years back) with some extremely low functioning people and I'm now at that point, actually worse that some of them. My grandmother is 74, disabled and I have to rely on her to help me when things are really bad. I live independently but I'm not managing and haven't been managing for some time. I live in literal squalor - anytime I have repairs/maintenance, it's pure stress in the days before and some frantic attempt at cleaning/tidying for it to look somewhat passable...

My GP has a sanitized version of all of problems. They understand the agoraphobia, the anxiety (to an extent) and the depression. (barely as "depression" doesn't really accurately describe my state, it's something beyond and worse than that). As I have physical health issues too. I've tried really really hard to separate the two by well avoiding discussions about it because genuine problems are immediately pegged as my anxiety or dismissed (i had to pay several hundred pounds for a private scan to confirm what I already knew in one case so the NHS could follow it up).

Some of my symptoms fit the ME/CFS profile and one doctor suggested it but gave no conclusive diagnosis or help. Another highly regarded specialist does have a more accurate picture of my situation but also has very little to offer by way of treatment....some of the individual symptoms themselves might be well understood, the condition/problem itself is not at all. My adviser does not appreciate this and has taken the view that if there's no fix then I just need to get on with things.

I've had therapy which was completely unhelpful and have tried a range of different things, but I'm just not getting better. I have no life, no social life...I just feel I'm in this almost dreamlike state of shock most of the time. I cannot describe how difficult I find small things to do, everything is in chaos. It seems so simple to just do the small things I have to take care of but I just find it exhausting/very difficult and leave and leave it... some times are definitely worse than others but it's never really at an acceptable level. Occasionally I can get out, other times I totally can't and am totally barricaded in the house, can't answer the door etc. I rebooked a hospital appointments numerous times because I couldn't face the journey, in fact an MRI I fought so hard to get is probably going to be bounced back and canceled by my GP because I called to cancel/rebook way too many times....

Can I get some pointers, what do I do next? I feel I need to be in the support group. Over the years I've seen different private doctors and have one now who I feel comfortable with and can be fully open with, she would be happy to write a letter to assist me - would this hold as much weight as my GP? I really don't want to go anymore in depth with the GP :/
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Not coping very well, really need some help 2 months 1 week ago #169102

Hi Blu and Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explain where everything is

Welcome to Benefits and Work

I'm sorry that you are so unwell :(

If your last decision was more than 13 months ago, you are outside the limit for a MR.

You say that you are due a WCA next month - this is usually a full reassessment. Have you had an ESA50 to fill in recently? If not, you might find this helpful

Invited to a face to face assessment but no ESA50 sent

This is your chance to make your case to be allocated to the Support Group. Have a look at the relevant descriptors and see which you think apply to you. Any letter your doctor (private or otherwise) gives you will be most effective if it relates directly to these descriptors.

Qualifying for the Support Group

You should also have a good look at our ESA guide

ESA claims and appeals

May I suggest that you bookmark/favourite this on your web browser now so that you can find it easily in future? This will allow you to return with further questions or comments about your ESA without having to start a new topic each time. It helps us enormously when everything relating to the same claim is kept in one topic - and I hope you will find it useful too :)
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last Edit: 2 months 1 week ago by Mrs Hurtyback.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Blu

Not coping very well, really need some help 2 months 4 days ago #169428

Mrs Hurtyback wrote:
You say that you are due a WCA next month - this is usually a full reassessment. Have you had an ESA50 to fill in recently? [/url]

Hey Mrs Hurtyback :) - no I don't have any details on it at all really, my adviser just said it's coming up and then used it to springboard a discussion about the benefits of me looking for part time or voluntary sooner rather than later as there was a possibility I could end up on jobseekers like some of her other clients.

If I don't get reallocated into the support group, what are my options?

Another thing, I'm having a particularly bad time atm, it's been a while (months) since my last face to face appointment at the jobcentre (I couldn't get out for the last one and had it over phone). I really don't think my adviser will let me do this again but I don't think I'm going to be able to go regardless, like fairly sure I won't. I've never been sanctioned before, what usually happens? Is there anything I can do minimize the damage?
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Not coping very well, really need some help 2 months 4 days ago #169447

  • Gordon
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Blu

Is your ESA being reassessed? Did you receive an ESA50?

I'm afraid wile you remain in the WRAG you are required to attend WFIs and to participate in Work Related Activity. However, you cannot be required to look for work or to do any work.

To be placed in the SG you will need to meet one or more the associated Descriptors, do you believe that this is the case? The Descriptors are listed in the ESA Claim guides.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/esa1

For a sanction to be applied, the activity must be defined as mandatory and the requirement must be made in writing. If a sanction is applied then you can appeal. Sanctions remain in place until the requirement is satisfied. There's a guide to avoiding sanctions in the ESA section.

Gordon
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Blu

Not coping very well, really need some help 1 month 2 weeks ago #170791

Hi Gordon,
Is your ESA being reassessed? Did you receive an ESA50?

No, I haven't received anything re the work capability assessment. I tried contacting the ESA department about it to no avail and finally managed to speak with my adviser about it today:

She's now saying it's something which could happen anytime rather than this month specifically and repeating that I need to put through a mandatory reconsideration if I can't manage/am doing worse. She also said I could bring a statement to my next appointment requesting to change group for her to fax through but warned I could end up in Job seekers.
To be placed in the SG you will need to meet one or more the associated Descriptors, do you believe that this is the case?

Yes, I know someone in the SG much more functional than me but he has a social worker sorting things out on his behalf.

As I don't know when the assessment will come through and no one can tell me, I want to try to move group another way but idk what to make of her advice?
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Not coping very well, really need some help 1 month 2 weeks ago #170807

Hi Blu,

How long is it since your last ESA assessment? If the JobCentre is advising you that you will be due for reassessment soon, I suspect it will have been more than 13 months ago? In which case you are outsider of the absolute time limit for a Mandatory Reassessment and this avenue is closed to you.

You can trigger a reassessment yourself by contacting DWP to notify them of a Change of Circumstances. To do this you must be able to show that your condition has worsened since the last decision was made, such that you now meet at least one of the Support Group descriptors.

Please try not to get sidelined by someone you know who is in the Support Group who you feel is more able than you. The Support Group descriptors are very specific

Qualifying for the Support Group

To find out when your next routine reassessment is due, you need to phone DWP and ask. The JobCentre advisor has nothing to do with the assessment/reassessment process (and it sounds as if she doesn't really understand it anyway).

I'm afraid those are your only options - MR, change of circumstances or wait for your next reassessment.
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last Edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by Mrs Hurtyback.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Blu
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