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TOPIC: Gathering supporting evidence

Gathering supporting evidence 7 months 6 days ago #188782

Hello all,

I have been on ESA since 2015 for a long-term mental health problem (starting in 2008).

I have filled out 2 forms and have had one medical assessment, both times they decided I should be in the support group.

I was receiving therapy for the whole of 2015 ending in December, my condition improved but I still require further treatment.

In 2016 I was on waiting list after waiting list on the NHS, assessment after assessment for this further treatment but when they finally saw me in November they said that they couldn't offer me anything because there are other people in a worse condition than me.

The most recent evidence from the eventual assessment in November 2016 doesn't accurately represent my difficulties, it downplays it/gets it wrong so I don't think submitting it is going to help me.

I am wondering if resubmitting the evidence I showed last year (May) will be too out of date to be considered?

The only other thing I can think of to do is to ask my GP for a note summarising my difficulties and showing that I have had this problem for a while. Also, I may be able to get a note from a support group that I have attended for this problem.

Providing I fill out the form properly do you think this evidence will be enough?

The evidence I submitted last year (June) was solid but now I think they might see it as outdated, I have been trying to get help but am refused because of NHS waiting lists. I just don't think I have a strong way to provide evidence this year though I have had many phone-calls and assessments I didn't get access to the therapy which I need. Because of this I am worried they won't believe me.

Will a GPs Note, support group note, and early 2016 evidence be enough?

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Gathering supporting evidence 7 months 6 days ago #188783

7days

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

It's impossible to say whether what you have will be sufficient, there is no problem with you re-submitting information from your last assessment but you will need to show that they are still relevant to your conditions as they are now, so completing the form in detail will be essential.

I would start by speaking to your GP as their support may be essential.

Do you know how you qualified for the Support Group the last time?

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

Gathering supporting evidence 7 months 4 days ago #188821

Thank-you Gordon,

I'm not completely sure how I qualified for the support group the last times, but I assume its either because my problem is/has been significantly debilitating (it's possible I could've scored 15 points for it) - or it could be because there was evidence that I could be at some risk of harm to myself.

I just wonder how I can prove I am still in a similar position seeing as I haven't been seeing a therapist. The most recent evidence I have (November 2016) makes me seem fine when I'm not really.

The only thing I can think of is to tell my GP - maybe I can write down how I am feeling now and ask them to sign it? This is going to be incredibly awkward/uncomfortable esp. as a lot of it is sensitive and not sure if they will even want to do that as they only see me once a year.

What would you say might be the most helpful thing to ask my GP for?

In the meantime I will try to gather/include other evidence from other places such as the support group, following the info from the guide.

Thank-you,

7days

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Gathering supporting evidence 7 months 3 days ago #188881

7days

If you think you may have qualified under the Substantial Risk rules then you really need to try and get some up to date evidence to support how you are now.

I would certainly speak to your GP, but rather than write a letter for them which will almost certainly be discounted by those assessing your, find out how they want to tackle the issue.

Gordon
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Gathering supporting evidence 6 months 3 weeks ago #189508

Thanks Gordon,

I met with my GP to update her on my condition rather than request a letter.

Unfortunately (I think) - she decided that I should be prescribed anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication based on my long-standing issue.

I am really quite against mental health medication and have tried to overcome my problems without using them, even though in the past I have been in a much worse condition I did not believe medication was right for me.

Now I feel I am being forced to take these drugs, she wants to see how I get on with them and return to her in one months time.

I need to research more into this before I take anything.

I am worried though that not taking this medication will affect the ESA decision. The GP I saw has never met me before, she has just prescribed this based on my history but I'm not sure it is the right decision, it should be optional but I feel forced. If I refuse to take them will this affect the ESA eligibility?

Thanks

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Gathering supporting evidence 6 months 3 weeks ago #189529

7days

The DWP can make assumptions as to how you would be if you took the medication but given the timescales before the treatment would have any effect, it would be difficult to see how this would be valid. It's not unusual for patients to have to try a variety of anti-depressants before they find one that is actually of help and each will require it's own bedding in period.

I wouldn't worry about it affecting your ESA.

Gordon
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