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TOPIC: Preparing for ESA tribunal

Preparing for ESA tribunal 6 years 9 months ago #14543

Hi. I have been trying to claim ESA since being officially diagnosed with CFS in April. I hope you’ll excuse my rambling style of writing; my mind isn’t at its sharpest these days.

I’m appealing the decision to turn me down for ESA and my medical assessment score of 0. I initially made my appeal because on the paperwork sent through with the rejection I was told I was perfectly healthy apart from a stoma, which I don’t have (Call me paranoid, but I suspected it might be a trick to make my appeal weaker, as on the appeal paperwork the section regarding the stoma was left blank). On the appeal I simply wrote I didn’t feel the results corresponded to my conditions, citing a couple of comments.

I hadn’t registered for this site when I was filling out the forms and such, naively I thought the process would be supportive and that I’d be given a fair chance to represent myself, so my answers were confused and easily misinterpreted. I am hoping to make a fresh, clear explanation for my appeal. I have a few questions I was hoping you could shed some light on...
  • Since my initial form and medical were not well planned, would it be useful to send in a written statement explaining my condition? I posted off the tribunal form about a week ago, but haven’t received any further information. As I understand it the tribunal isn’t interested so much in the shortcomings of the medical assessment etc, but just clarifying how my illness affects me.

  • I have significant social problems, as my fatigue has made me increasingly isolated since I was about 12 (20 now). I struggle holding eye contact, limited facial expression (All picked up and offered diagnoses on by the nurse in my medical), get easily confused and stressed, etc. – all compounded by my fatigue. Basically a tribunal right now is my worst nightmare. Will the tribunal be understanding towards this? I guess the best I can do is to write out a list of things to keep my case structured, I will be taking a parent for support.

  • I am seeing a nutritionist to try and help with my condition. He isn’t really aware of how my condition affects me personally, but we do have the results of some private tests showing deficiencies and other problems. Would it strengthen my case if I could get him to write a letter (I would probably have to pay)? And what should it be about; how these problems affect people in general, the results of the tests showing possible physical causes, or something else? Sometimes I feel that if I gave up all hope I would have a stronger case...

  • One of the GPs prefers I accept all my problems are imagined and I should just get on with my life, and I’m worried they will ask for his opinion. He’s not the doctor I listed on my claim however, but is the head of the practice.

That’s all I can think of for the moment. I’ll be reading through the guides a few more times until it begins to stick.

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Re:Preparing for ESA tribunal 6 years 9 months ago #14553

Hi Matt,

There's no problem with sending in additional evidence and it sounds like it would be a good idea for you to do so.

If you set out the difficulties that you have in relation to social contact that would be helpful for the tribunal and hopefully will make them better able to give you a fair hearing when you appear before them.

It's hard to say whether a nutritionist's report would be helpful or not. In the end, unless it addresses the actual problems you have with the different activities in the test it may not be of great value. I guess it depends on how much it would cost.

Good luck,

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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