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TOPIC: ESA Problems.

ESA Problems. 6 years 11 months ago #13163

This morning, sorry yesterday morning - it's now 3.10am and I can't sleep for worrying, I lost my appeal against the decision to refuse me ESA.

War and Peace post warning - In 1992 I did my back in picking my daughter up when she was 18 months old. The doctor said 'it sounds like you've damaged the strong leaders at the bottom of your back. Good news is, it will go away, bad news is, it will keep coming back' And it did. I have been left virtually immobile for anything ranging from hours to weeks because I sneezed, tied my shoe laces, put my trousers on, hung the washing out.

I stopped horse riding because if my back went up there I'd have three quarters of a ton of horse with nobugger driving. It's dangerous to the horse and anyone that crosses our path as well as me. Every time I went to the doctor I was told 'take painkillers til it stops hurting', so I did. I was given co codamol and ibuprofen by one doctor, then another took the ibuprofen away because it causes bleeding in the stomach when taken at the same time as fluoxetine, which I have been on to control depression since 1995.

So that was my life for quite some time, my back would 'go' I'd live with it, take the painkillers, Janet next door, bless her, put me in and out of the bath and many other things no neighbour should have to do. When it sorted itself out, I was grand. No pain, just a constant fear of it happening again leading to a total inability to really enjoy ANYTHING.

In January 2005, having had to leave a college course I loved because I was railroaded into doing dance at the age of nearly 40. Having explained to the teacher and provided a letter from my doctor that what I was expected to do was not wise for a middle aged non dancer with a very dicky back, the teacher said he'd fail me if I didn't go to his classes and when I went he kept telling me I could do things I knew weren't advisable. I dropped out. I don't do things I DO enjoy that are likely to set it off, why should I risk injuring myself doing something I didn't enjoy that was of no use to me?

I had a kid to feed and a mortgage to pay, and I had been working part time as a life model whilst at college. I foolishly told my Lone Parent Adviser that I had been offered a job as a life model at the college I had just left, but was concerned because even the few hours I was doing were painful and difficult, but I couldn't afford not to do them. Staying still for long periods then trying to move was a huge problem for me but my fears were brushed aside by doctors and Lone parent adviser alike.

She waved back to work calculations at me, saying I could claim working tax credit and I'd be better off etc, etc. I took the job, I felt I'd be viewed as a scrounger if I didn't, which doesn't help my depression any.

It was on 6 week temporary contracts, no one would give me a mortgage protection policy. The hours were irregular 3 hours one week 32 the next. The Lone Parent adviser said I couldn't claim working tax because I wasn't doing a steady 16 hrs a week. I couldn't get income support because even less than 16 hours meant I earned 'too much money' to get income support. So I struggled and took as many hours as possible, sometimes working at two different places, rushing back and forth between the two up to three times in one day.

Then I found out the Lone parent adviser was mistaken and I could have averaged my hours out over the 36 weeks of term and as it would have been over 16, I could have claimed. By then I was in serious arrears with my mortgage having tried to survive on an average of £80 a week, £20 of which it took to get me to work.

In late 2005 I undertook to model for another class at the college, they had a hard time keeping life models and I soon found out why. One of the tutors was a nightmare, she was hideous to both the students and me, it was made clear if I backed the students up when they complained I'd lose my job. So I bit my tongue, despite the fact that she would put me in awkward poses, knowing I had back problems and then 'forget' to give me breaks. Even when I reminded her she'd say, 'in five minutes', then 'forget' again. She wanted me to leave like all the other life models she deemed unsuitable had, but they'd been doing it for pin money, keeping our home depended on it.

In the summer of 2006 I was hanging out the washing and my back went, for at least two months my daughter and my neighbour did all the things for me I couldn't. It eventually subsided to a constant nagging ache at the bottom of my back that by November, I realized wasn't going to go away. I put a complaint in to the manager about the tutor and ended up with no job, and seven months later, no house either.

My back continued to be in constant pain, I 'got on with it'. In January 2009 I slipped on some ice and my back went again. I was told I must sign off JSA and claim ESA because it was illegal to claim JSA if I couldn't work. There was a note on my JSA agreement stating I had a chronic back problem and suffered periodic bouts of anxiety and depression - which to me is a clear indication of a limited capacity to work. They faffed about for weeks with my claim, we nearly got chucked out of our home because I couldn't pay the rent and I was being screwed for bank charges. After numerous phone calls at MY expense, it was sorted.

By May, I was back to being mobile again, but I had what feels like a severe period pain at the bottom of my back at all times. I had the medical in April 2009 and gained nil points, my ESA was pulled. The doctor at my assessment ignored everything I had said. I appealed, my doctor continued to give me sick notes, I explained I wanted to be in the work related group and do what I am able when I am able and not be pushed into something that might make it worse AGAIN. I was still being told it was ligaments or muscle damage, it could be this, might be that.

Eventually, via a locum I'd never seen before I was referred to someone for investigation, they suggested a pain clinic. After nearly 17 years, the doctor at the pain clinic asked for X Rays, exactly 2 weeks before my tribunal hearing. And immediately pointed out that I had at least one place where it appeared the disc had gone and been replaced by 'bone which had grown to fill the gap'. He thought the one below it might also be dodgy but the X Ray wasn't clear enough to tell. By now the right side of my pelvis and my right hip had started becoming very painful, especially after walking any significant distance, my daughter bought me a stick and insisted I carry it.

I rang the Tribunal Service and explained and asked for an adjournment until the consultant had done a report. He said to turn up for the Tribunal and tell them about the X Rays And they might suggest an adjournment. I did, they didn't and despite repeatedly pointing out that I am now in severe discomfort at all times I was turned down.

I was advised to put in a new claim and get my doctor to give me a sick note stating that the condition has worsened since my original application. She refused because 'we don't know if the hip & pelvic pain is anything to do with my back or something else entirely' and 'they want me to put a diagnosis on here and you're still being investigated all I can put is low back pain as I have been doing'. I pointed out low back pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis and when I mentioned the X Rays she said 'They were fine'. I asked if consultants often suggest possible corrective surgery for someone who is 'fine' to which she replied the damage was 'very slight and couldn't be causing all these other problems'. Which is not what the consultant at the pain clinic told me!I am also awaiting an appointment for an MRI scan as I was advised by a nurse that symptoms I have been getting for several years that have been dismissed by various GPs at the practice as 'pains you get for no reason' and 'unconnected to my back or each other' and 'nothing to worry about' could possibly require the attention of a neurologist - who then authorized the MRI scan, for which I am waiting.

So, I cannot sit down too long or I have to stand up, if I stand up too long, I have to sit down. I am constantly in severe discomfort and do not wish to take painkillers 24/7 because of the side effects, I enjoy nothing because of a) the pain and b) the constant fear of setting of another major episode where I cannot move as the previous two have left me worse once they subsided than I was before, but because no one did any investigations till November 11th 2009 I can't say it's worse because there is nothing to compare it to. I made it clear at the appeal that not only can I not walk 50 metres without suffering severe discomfort, I can't do any damned thing without suffering severe discomfort, I was told that I did not satisfy the descriptors. And now I have no idea what to do! I know no one will even give me an interview when I tell the truth about my health and I can't get the benefit they invented to help people with health problems get suitable jobs because they want you to say you can't work at all to get it!

Apologies, my finger got stuck on the 'AUTORANT' button.
Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by Gordon.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re:ESA Problems. 6 years 11 months ago #13176

Okay, I'm a technotard and changed my screen name before I saw the thing saying not to, so now I can't get any messages. I apologize, I'm blonde you know.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re:ESA Problems. 6 years 11 months ago #13177

  • pata1
  • Retired Nurse & Former Moderator.

You will still be able to post in the forums, and receive replies. It just means that if anyone wants to send you a personal message, including the moderators, then they won't be able to do so. We are currently investigating how this can be overcome.

Sorry, I cant answer your query as I'm only an Admin Moderator. Two of our guys who are experienced benefits advisers are in hospital.

I'm also going to to put your post into paragraphs, since posting a single block of text makes it hard to read.

I hope one of our moderators with benefits advice experience will be able to give you some general advice, as we cannot give advice on individual claims, as is explained HERE

Best wishes.

PLEASE READ THE SPOTLIGHTS AREA OF THE FORUM REGULARLY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last Edit: 6 years 11 months ago by pata1. Reason: Added information.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re:ESA Problems. 6 years 11 months ago #13178

  • boris1
Yeah sorry but I did try reading it but it's too long and I got blurred vision trying to concentrate on it.
Paragraphs would be better.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re:ESA Problems. 6 years 11 months ago #13179

  • pata1
  • Retired Nurse & Former Moderator.
Now put into paragraphs.

PLEASE READ THE SPOTLIGHTS AREA OF THE FORUM REGULARLY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re:ESA Problems. 6 years 11 months ago #13185

Cheers dudes, hope the folks who are in hospital are okay and home soon. The only time I've ever been in a hospital was to give birth up until a couple of weeks ago, now they're ready to start charging me rent!
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Moderators: bro58, Gordon, Mrs Hurtyback, shelam
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