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TOPIC: ESA award for only 6 months!!!

ESA award for only 6 months!!! 1 month 3 weeks ago #202329

Hello,

I last Thursday finally received the dreadful phone call from the DWP informing that I'm completely “fit for work”. I of course disagreed with the decision. After emailing all the hospital letters I have for the stroke happened right after the assessment to the advisor I received another call on Monday confirming that I can stay on ESA and would be re-assessed in another 6 months’ time purely because of the stroke.

Prior getting the stroke, I have constant severe head&back&body pain as well as feeling very WEAK for almost 13 years. I have seen countless specialists over the years and currently under GP’s care for almost 3 years. I also suffer poor memory and have been on medications for low mood/depression for almost 7 years . I was confirmed to have severe urine incontinence roughly 5 years ago and was told by the doctor only operation could possibly help with my condition. I'm not keen to have any more operation at the moment just using pads and taking tablets. And I still have accidents at Least 4 times per week. I'm in a lot of pain every day. The painkillers could probably help for half an hour to an hour. I rarely goes outdoor and always walking with a stick at a very slow pace! I have numerical falls every single years and sometimes it was so bad that my family have to take me to the hospital for treatments. And because of long standing stomach pain I am referred to have a colonoscopy done on this Friday. I'm also on waiting list for physio & occupation physio. I received an appointment letter from the hospital asking me to see neuro mid Feb next year last Friday.

I required support every single day for getting in & out of the bed, bath and preparing meals etc. My family is currently my carers. I tried to ask why they think I'm fit for work when I apparently show no sign of improvement but having more new conditions this year. The advisor did not tell me the reasons over the phone but kept saying that a lot of people who have disabilities still work, and I already being seen by the health professional and apparently she thinks I'm completely fit for work etc. I was so upset and could not continue with the conversation any longer. My sister then helps me to ask if we could have a copy of the report and then being told they always sent a copy of the report to the claimants (?)..

We tried to send in as many letters as possible to support the claim this year. And due to the fact that it took an hour to get to the centre I could barely stand on that day and almost fainted while having the assessment. The lady who conducted the assessment although confirmed that she knew I was in a lot of the pain she apparently didn't reflect it in her report at all. I couldn't help but thinking that she was thinking to catch me out from the very beginning of the assessment. I requested ground floor but was asked to go to the 1st floor. Confirmed no stairs wanted on the application form but when we got there, there were stairs. She said that she had received some reports from my GP and asked me to describe and confirm my conditions one by one for her to compare and check ... Asked me to perform a few activities which I obviously couldn't complete them up to her standards because of the pain etc.

I really don't know if I could &/or should appeal. I'm now so angry. The assessor did confirm that she knew I was in a lot of pain during the assessment and she then wrote I'm fit for work completely in the report?!!

Any inputs on this would be greatly appreciated!

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ESA award for only 6 months!!! 1 month 3 weeks ago #202352

whaha

The most obvious thing that stands out is that none of your issues appear to address the ESA criteria! For example you mention you need

"support every single day for getting in & out of the bed, bath and preparing meals etc"

ESA does not look at any of these activities.

From your post you have been placed in the WRAG due to effects of your stroke and how that would pose a substantial risk of harm to you if required to work.

I would start by having a look at our ESA Claim guides to understand the criteria that your need to meet.

You can either stay with the current award until you are reassessed and a new Decision is made or challenge this Decision to be placed in the Support Group instead of the WRAG.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: whaha

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ESA award for only 6 months!!! 1 month 3 weeks ago #202361

Hi Gordon,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply!

I am so sorry that I did not make it clear in the thread. I was previously awarded ESA mainly because of the significant restriction I have in mobilising (<20 meters), and I cannot use the manual weelchair because I am extremly weak on one side. When I filled out the ESA form this year I stressing that I continued to have the same if not worse, restriction in mobilsing, standing, sitting. I had never claimed any points for having difficult in controlling bowels/bladders until this year ESA reassessment because I just felt very embarrassed to tell others that I have urine incontinence; I also tried to claim points for picking and moving around things etc under the physical function section. I have never claimed or thinking to claim any thing under mental although I have been on medications for low mood for almost 7 years. I'm in general a very private person. The health professional only found it out when they asked for reports from my GP this year. But still I do not think I would like to provide them any further information about it and in this case I rather not claim anything.

I have provided a lot of consultant/specialists/hospital letters to confirm my conditions stay the same if not worse to back up my claims this year and I was honestly suprised that they think I am completely fit for work??...I'm genuinely not sure how things worked. Do they normally take consultants' letter into consideration in deciding whether someone is entitled for any ESA or not? Or do they reach a decision mostly based on the health professional's report? When I was having the assessment the health professional said that she knew I was in a lot of pain and I cannot walk properly.....

I do not mind to wait for another assessment in 6 months time. But I have to say that I feel very angry that they think prior getting the stroke I am completely fine and trying to imply that I am just lazy and do not want to work?!!!..... I am also worried that in the future if I managed to score enough points for the ESA again they would just continuously put me under this short term (6 months) entitlement. I do not think I can cope with 2 asessements per year every year...

Sorry for the length of the post. Currently I am still waiting for the report to come through. Hopefully I will have a better idea of what went wrong after reading through the reports although I am not sure if I really have the guts to read it.... Agian, thanks Gordon for your continued support and time.

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ESA award for only 6 months!!! 1 month 3 weeks ago #202387

whaha

The Decision Maker should look at all of the information before them but they tend prefer the assessment report, to a considerable extent it will depend on the contents of your Consultant reports, if they deal only with your conditions then they will carry less weight than if they explain the difficulties that you would have completing the PIP activities.

It would be worth your getting a copy of the assessment report, it's an ESA85. Contact the DWP office dealing with your claim.

In case you are not aware, if you are in the WRAG then you are subject to Work Focussed Interviews and are required to participate in Work Related Activity if requested.

Gordon

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Last Edit: by Gordon.

ESA award for only 6 months!!! 1 month 2 days ago #203437

Hi Gordon,

Apologise for the late reply. Thank you for the information!

I finally managed to get a copy of the ESA85 forms today. I have not yet read through the whole thing but mainly the "personalised summary statement" section. I cannot stop feeing really angry & upset when reading it...

Under the summary section the first thing I noticed is that the health professional hardly mentioned any thing about the weakness & pain on one side of the body. In the report the health professional merely said that I told her the weakness (body pain was omitted completely in the report) was relating to my back pain which she then argued that it is inconsistent with medical knowledge. I never said it in the interview! I said everything is still under investigation. She asked me to decribe to her what my conditions are as soon as the interview started as she would like to compare what I told her against the report she got from my GP. I did mention that the doctors in the hospital suggest another MRI on the spinal because apparantly my conditions (weakness & body pain) have got worse. I have not yet had a chance to meet up with my GP as they are currently fully booked to ask for the referral. I never say that these conditions were confirmed to be caused by my back pain at any time!!

The health professionals also stated that I have not seen many specialists for my conditions recently. I'm currently mainly under GP's care because I have already seen a lot of specialists when the condition first arised and then given mainly painkillers, as I am not keen to have any more operations due to the risks. The GPs also are not keen to listen to my problems anymore and are reluctant to make any new referral most of the time these day because many of my conditions have been outstanding 5+ years. I actually started experiencing urine incontinence 7/8 years ago but only referred by the GPs to the specialists 2+ years later which then confirmed my condition is already too severe only operation could possibly help it....Moreover the health professional confirmed that I am having high cholesterol for years but I was not required to take medications by the GP. This is because I never knew that I have to. The GP done the test and then found out that I have high cholesterol but they never asked me to take any medication. I believed in their judgement and never question it untill recently I had the stroke which I was told it is due to high cholesterol! Only then I was told I actually have to take medication for high cholesterol!! I am thinking to change my GPs but I have been with them for more than 20 years and they are the ones who know my conditions the best...

The health professional stated that I only took moderate pain which is also not true. I have to take a lot of medication on daily basis and I was told by the consultants they cannot just give me the strongest painkillers as they probably won't work for me. They have to consider the interation of all my current medication when giving me the prescription. Also I told the health professional in the meeting with these painkillers they would only reduce the pain half an hour to an hour maximun. Sometimes they do not even work!

The health professional mentioned that I can mobilise around the home and sit for hours, as well as manage 2 steps if required. Ridiculously laughable. She under the Medical Opinion section did admit that I walked 15 meters VERY slowly to the examination room (actually I had to stop multiple times to gain back my breath & strengh too) and I was unable to rise from sitting without asistance!! But under the summary section she simply stated I can do them, mentioned nothing about the problems I have in doing them. Also I told her in the meeting that I have numerical falls every single years and it can be so bad that my family have to take me to the hospital for treatments (with letters from the hospital as proof too)! Moreover I have to use walking stick when moving around, and at a very slow pace!

Because I normally take pads & spare trousers when leaving the house for incontinenece and then she believed the use of an appropriate continence aid could help with this problem and significant disability is unlikely. I told her I never go out on my own. And I always require asistance in change of clothing. Moreover I cannot use pad for long period of time. It often cause me problems which I then have to go back to see the GP for treatment! Also mentally I feel so ashamed that I do not nornally go out much!

I have a really bad headache which is non stopped 24/7. Under investigation for many many years but at the moment just been given painkillers. I occasinally eperiencing blackouts. It causes a lot of problems in terms of poor concentration/memory. Also the headache can be so severe (roughly 4 days per week) I sometimes cannot help but started having some silly thoughts because I just cannot bear with it any more! In the report she just wrote I had headaches, saw some newrologies and sometimes feel fizzy....

Regarding my depression as I am not intending to claim anything under this section I do not mind what she actually wrote in the report.

Overrall she just concluded that considering all the evidence avaliable significant disability is unlikely and then gave me zero (??) point/found me completely fit for work....

Any inputs on this would be greatly appreciated. Also I would be grateful if you could kindly let me know how I could possibly find out when I will be reassessed again? I was told 6 months over the phone but I do not know how it was calculated. From the date I returned the form or or the date the decision was made? I honestly cannot deal with them any longer over the phone would I be able to request the information via writing?

Again, thank you in advance for your help & time!

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ESA award for only 6 months!!! 1 month 2 days ago #203448

whaha

There are definitely some points to raise as part of your MR but I am afraid I still do not understand which of the ESA Descriptors you think you might meet and therefore qualify for the Support Group.

Have you looked at the ESA Descriptors that would qualify you for the Support Group?

Gordon

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