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TOPIC: 0 points agoraphobia, anxiety, depression

0 points agoraphobia, anxiety, depression 4 weeks 1 day ago #173230

I received the news that I scored 0 points when I have had these conditions since 2007 (diagnosed by a GP who helped me get esa in 2011, anyway).

There are so many things working against me I don't know where to start and I'm feeling very disheartened.
Firstly Im really shocked that the decision maker ignored basically all the information in the report, awarded me 0 points and said I'm capable of some work.

Some information in the ESA85 report is incorrect. The nurse did not write down my agoraphobia condition on the front page. In the interview she even suggested 'lets keep it reliable' (i cannot remember the exact word she used, something along the lines of continuous). I said no, I have diagnosed agoraphobia. She assumed that because I was there (with both my parents) that it didn't seem appropriate to put down? She clearly had no knowledge of the mental health condition because a part of it is only being able to go outside when accompanied by a safe person (this should have awarded me 9 points alone).
She also stated somewhere that I was anxious due to being new to the area. No. My parents had just moved house and my mum had told her in the interview that they are new to the area (small talk). Which is why I have a new GP who has not got much knowledge of my condition. I was anxious due to my social phobia!
In my decision letter it states that my mum escorted me as I dont know where to go. I never said this and I'm very upset by it. My mum escorts me everywhere because of my anxiety/agoraphobia. I don't know where he pulled that from...They have just made things up.

Another thing working against me is, that they never even asked me to fill out an esa50. I am now realizing that I need to fill one out and send it to them. The last one they have is from 2011 and I'm not sure if they looked at it and used the old one as evidence. In the report it says that I didn't send it back but I did not even receive one. (I did send them a detailed letter - ignored).

And unfortunately another thing working against me is that i'm not currently on medication or seeing a psychiatrist. I did go to my GP to let them know I was re-applying and that they might be contacted. She seemed sympathetic and referred me to a psychiatrist but I have been feeling worse and have been putting it off, ignoring it.

I'm currently working on my mandatory reconsideration letter but it has taken me all day to read the full letter and complete a rough draft. I'm feeling very disappointed with this system. I don't think I will be able to state my case in front of an appeal. My anxiety would be so bad and I would feel humiliated. :(

I do have the guide so I will use it to fill out my esa50 but is it too late at this point for them to accept this?

If I fail this my conditions won't magically disappear. I won't be able to claim JSA I will just be living with my parents with no money to help with bills etc...
If it's helpful to other people I can keep posting progress.
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0 points agoraphobia, anxiety, depression 4 weeks 1 day ago #173244

HI Rachel and Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explains where everything is

Welcome to Benefits and Work

I'm sorry you are going through this :(

As you were not given the chance to complete an ESA50, it certainly won't hurt to do one now. You can use the PDF version and complete it on the computer if you wish.

Using The PDF Version Of The ESA50 Questionnaire

Many of the descriptors have several elements and you must satisfy all of them in order to score points. This is explained in the guide.

Don't try to refute everything that is wrong with the report. Concentrate on the things that will score you points. It is always easier to argue against incorrect facts rather than opinion.

As you have been found 'fit for work' the only other money you can now claim is JSA. You can sign on and submit a fitnote for up to 13 weeks once your JSA claim has been accepted which should excuse you from all work seeking activities during this time. This is usually long enough to see the MR decided.

If the MR does not find in your favour (it is unusual for it to do anything other than 'rubber stamp' the original decision) you could ask for a paper appeal and not attend in person. This is not usually as successful as appearing in person - but is certainly better than nothing! ESA basic rate can be repaid once DWP have been informed that the Tribunal Service have accepted an appeal.

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: 4 weeks 1 day ago by Mrs Hurtyback.
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0 points agoraphobia, anxiety, depression 4 weeks 4 hours ago #173355

hi rachel,
just read your post on the forum and realy do understand how you feel,.ime also agrophobic suffer severe anxiety ,depression ,along with ocd,ptsd,, ,i have just gone through the process of appealing for pip,, i wasnt awarded enough points to qualify for any ,, anyway i sent off for a appeal and won my case now been awarded standard on both ,for 3 yrs, about your esa, i was put on wrag group after having my assessment , i disagreed and asked for a mr,, with my mr i got letters from mental health , dr letter and any other medical evidence i could get hold of ,, my origanal form to apply for it i didnt have anything at the time to send ,,so my advice to you would be to contact you surgery ,doesnt matter if you have changed as they will of had all of your records from previous,. ask them in writing for specific info ,like letters from mental health ,psychatrist ,,any letter you recieve from these they also send to your gp ,so there will be copies of them ,u might get a charge to pay but my surgery charged £2 per copy,, if you can manage to do that asap,then send that off with your mr , send it recorded and keep copies for yourself also,,after i did this my esa was overturned and was then put in the support group,,. please dont feel like giving up ,,fight your corner hun , if theres anything i can be of help of please do msg me ,i know how difficult it is going though all of this ,,
warm wishes ,
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0 points agoraphobia, anxiety, depression 3 weeks 3 days ago #173635

Thank you very much mrshurtyback for the advice.

I have filled out pdf version of the ESA50 it was a lot easier to be able to save and come back to it. I can only hope that they accept my reason (not receiving any letters) for it being very late.

I've been working on my MR letter and other information. I have this dread that even with all this detail and examples I gave they will still not believe there is anything wrong with me.
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0 points agoraphobia, anxiety, depression 3 weeks 3 days ago #173636

Thank you alison.

In your experience do you know how long it takes typically for a GP to respond with copies and a letter of support? I have sent off asking for these 2 days ago.

I'm not sure what they'll have as I haven't been in much contact with my GP in recent years :(

I have sent my letter off asking for a support letter and only now realizing I should have given more info about what to write eg what descriptors apply to me.

When I got my last ESA award I was put in the wrag group too but didn't dare appeal again (as i had tried appeal with dla but stayed on low rate mobility).. They only asked me to go to a handful of interviews over that time so maybe they understood my situation. Either that or saw how much of a waste of time it was.
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0 points agoraphobia, anxiety, depression 3 weeks 3 days ago #173649

Hi Rachel,

How long Alison's GP took to provide a letter of support is no indication of how long others might take (even if they agree to provide such a letter) :(
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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