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About eliotnpt

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  1. I thought I would add a bit at the bottom of this thread and bounce it back up because there does still seem to be problems with moving from ESA to Pension Credit. My own Pension Credit claim is going through and will be active from May based up on my birthday. No problem there at all. That gives me just a couple of weeks until I am 62 followed by another couple of weeks before PC entitlement takes place. And what happens? I get an "invitation" to attend for yet another face-to-face assessment to see if I am capable of working (presently on ESA Support Group) and, no doubt, get me to register as unemployed for a 2 or 3 week period should I fail the assessment. I have been told that the invitation will be delayed for a few weeks because they gave me an incorrect time slot but they have no intention of cancelling it. Looks like someone is desperate to make a few last pounds before I disappear from ESA and move to PC.
  2. Wig, I don't think anyone here can actually answer your question. You do not have a medical now for ESA, you have a "face-to-face" assessment, which is a glorified way of saying a medically qualified person will ask you a series of questions and make some minor physical examination of you in order to complete boxes on a questionnaire. Whether you are called for a face-to-face assessment will now be entirely in the hands of whoever receives your ESA50 and deals with it at office level. Although it is very hard to say, all you can do is try to get on with your life as best you can and only concern yourself about the next step if/when you receive a letter from Atos giving you an appointment time.
  3. Best of luck with your assessment, it is a harrowing thing that we all seem to have to go through, and go through it far too often. When did you complete your ESA50 form? Did you ask for a recorded ATOS assessment when you submitted the form or later, when they gave you an appointment time? How long did you have to wait for them to sort out the recording equipment? Questions, always questions, but stay focused and make sure you keep reading all the help guides that are available so you are aware of the kind of questions you will be answered and the answers you should give (make sure those are not the simple yes/no answers ATOS want).
  4. I have been lucky enough to have some very nice people researching for me. I knew I read information somewhere 2 years ago regarding who should be called for a face-to-face interview by ATOS and who should not, also who could "tentatively" be "invited" for interview, where in the case of agoraphobia a taxi can be offered. Okay, this is a small consideration BUT it does not in any way show even the slightest spark of knowledge of agoraphobia as a medical condition. That being said, here is some information on two websites that may be of interest. Both of these websites contain information that was requested under the Freedom of Information Act and so it is quite legal to have the links posted and for people to use the pages for information and research. The first is part of the contract between ATOS and the DWP. It is very long and the section that I am referring to comes around 3/4 of the way down under the heading Medical Conditions and Categories. http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatoscontract.html#MEDICAL-CONDITIONS The second link is also the result of a Freedom of Information Act request and relates to ATOS Doctor's Directive Guides. This page contains a comprehensive list of physical and mental health conditions with an accompanying pdf that can be read in order to see how ATOS and doctors should be regarding at least the health conditions that are included in this list. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/atos_doctors_directive_guides I have given greater thought to the advice given by reallymadwoman (above) suggesting that I apply to have my next face-to-face assessment recorded. Irrespective of any other consideration, I feel this could be highly beneficial. My first assessment with them resulted in an appeal (following which I was placed into the Support Group on departmental review without it reaching the Tribunal), and the bulk of that appeal rested on an entirely false report of the interview by the ATOS doctor, something that I was easily able to prove with a simple medical certificate and pointing out how certain descriptors applied to my own health conditions. For example, the doctor wrote on the medical report that I did not have asthma and it was unlikely that I have ever suffered from asthma. Not bad really considering I have been treated, including in hospital, for asthma since I was 5 years of age. I have yet to read even a fraction of the information on the links I have given here but I am sure they will prove to be useful.
  5. Thank you, that is something I had not considered. After the last fiasco of a face to face assessment I had wondered about having it recorded but I did not request it when I submitted the ESA50 this time. I will certainly bear in mind what you have said, nice one
  6. I have a feeling the DWP and Atos must really like seeing me. As my previous posts over the years on this forum show, they can't seem to get enough of my forms and my assessments. Towards the end of last year I received a letter saying that I had been moved from the Support Group to WRAG. No ESA50 completed, no assessment, nothing. I telephoned to request the initial interview be conducted over the phone and, a short while later, was given a phone back saying an error had been made, I was to remain in the Support Group and unless there were any changes in my circumstances I only needed to contact the Department early next year (2014) to ensure that I was being transferred to Pension Credits. My relief was short-lived since in February I received yet another ESA50 - making 4 ESA50 forms completed, one face-to-face Atos assessment (failed, Support Group on appeal), one telephone call to say no further contact with Department needed until 2014. The ESA50 was completed, typed, additional pages added, everything being almost the same as all the other forms I have submitted - other than the addition of an extra illness that has come to light. From February until June I heard nothing, and then have the Atos "invitation" for face-to-face assessment. Although this time the first appointment has been made in my town, they have not given me the time that it has been stressed I need nor have they taken any notice of the times my carer will not be available this month (a full diary of the dates he is not available was submitted with the ESA50). So now I need to get that appointment altered and go through the whole process again. I find it interesting to see on the forum how many people are told how long they will have between assessments. The Department has always refused to tell me, saying 3 months between each Atos review is "normal". I do have a suspicion that, because I was failed by Atos 2 years ago and had Support Group status initiated on review, these frequent ESA50 forms and requests for assessments have very little to do with any actual review period - especially as the illnesses I declare are not curable in the normal sense of the term, they will be with me for life. No doubt others find themselves in the same position with endless demands to complete forms and attend for assessment so I am not the only one. Perhaps I am lucky that I will qualify for Pension Credits in 10 months, no matter what the outcome, I don't have as long to endure before I can be rid of ESA and Atos for good. Also, the form that accompanied my appointment time stated that no taxi fare would be paid unless I obtained a letter from my GP stating it was necessary - and that Atos would not reimburse me the cost of that letter. I do remember reading on an Atos document somewhere on the net 2 years ago a list of illnesses that Atos needed to consider before they called a person for interview. One of those was agoraphobia and a taxi was to be offered in case the person could get to the office by taxi. Does anyone know if this has changed? Is there still a list of ailments that Atos need to refer to before calling people for face-to-face assessment? In the meantime, I start the whole process off once again and report that these last 2 years have probably been the most unendurable of my life with pressures from Atos and related departments that is surely bordering on harassment.
  7. Brief timeline... December 2010 - re-assessment for IB, recommended further review in 2-3 years, benefit to continue. October 2011 - called for ATOS face-to-face interview as part of the IB to ESA transition. Failed. Appealed. Placed in Support Group for ESA on review so no Tribunal to attend. February 2012 - new ESA50 received, completed and submitted together with letter expressing disgust that another review was being made in only 3 months when my medical conditions could not possibly be improved in my lifetime. Had no reply but ESA Support Group benefit payments continued without a break. November 2012 - received letter from JobCentre stating my case had been reviewed and I was being placed in the WRAG forthwith. I telephoned to request a telephone interview for the first part of this assessment. I was called back and told an error had been made and I was to remain in the Support Group, but contact the department again in March 2013 to ensure I was being transferred to Pension Credits. January 2013 - new ESA50 received which I must now complete. I am aware that cases are looked at regularly and that up-to-date ESA50 forms are required, just as regular reviews of cases are required. But looking at the timeline above it now does seem rather excessive. My carer (who I pay for myself, I have never claimed any additional benefits) is now describing this as harassment, a blatant attempt to attack anyone who has succeeded following an ATOS failure. Does anyone else have a similar experience?
  8. Good point, I had not thought of that. I will have that done today. Thank you, very sensible advice.
  9. What a difference a day makes! This morning my appeal was printed for me and placed in an envelope to be posted. I then had to telephone the JobCentre to change my first WRAG interview to a telephone interview, and advise that I had lodged an appeal against the decision to move me from the Support Group to the WRAG. Sounds easy enough, but their use of a call centre is appalling! Finally I got through to speak to someone, finally they said they could not help and would I like to be transferred to my local JobCentre office - something which could have been done straight away. The ESA team were all busy and so the switchboard took some details from me and said they would arrange a call back. Less than 15 minutes later I was called back by a very nice sounding lady who said she had received the message and had taken a look at my file. She said there had been an error, I did not need to have a WRAG interview because I was still in the Support Group. No actual information of what had happened was forthcoming but she did offer a sincere apology and told me to ignore the letters I had received. She also gave me her direct telephone number in case I have any further problems or queries. She had also checked my Pension Credit date before phoning me and told me to arrange to contact the office at least one month before that date to ensure they were transferring me from ESA to Pension Credits. An error. It is a relief and errors can happen, but deep in my bones I am now expecting another ESA50 to come through the door for me to go through the entire process again. What I find most strange is that this is now the 3rd time in 11 months that I have had issues regarding my benefit following the transfer from IB to ESA, and had an IB medical less than 9 months before my first Atos. Yet I know for certain that others in my area, most under 30 years of age, are still receiving IB and have not even heard of ESA let alone been called for an Atos assessment. I am naturally a suspicious person but it does seem rather odd that there appears to be many people still receiving IB yet those now receiving ESA are being repeatedly hounded in one way or another.
  10. After much thought and realising that it is always possible to be placed into the WRAG and then, on appeal, lose the ESA completely, I have decided that an appeal is in order on this case. Being given a changed decision with absolutely no contact from the ESA department, nor my reporting any change of circumstances, and since my health conditions continue to deteriorate, then I feel an appeal against their changing me from the Support Group to the WRAG after some 11 months, is in order, especially since there is no reason for this change given on my records. So, here we go again and I will post more when I have the information.
  11. Yes, estellyn, you did remember correctly. No new ESA50 completion, no letters, no questions, no change in circumstances. Simply a letter saying you are now in the WRAG from the Support Group with the reason given as "because of a change in your circumstances" (no change reported to them and no change mentioned by them on my file or computer records).
  12. Thank you, that could help. And could also further help in the construction of my appeal since I was moved from Support Group to WRAG without assessment.
  13. As my earlier thread mentioned, I have been moved from the Support Group to the WRAG without any change in my circumstances and without notifying of any change. It appears to be just an arbitrary decision and there is no information recorded on the DWP computer system other than to say I have been transferred. I am now constructing an appeal and have come across the following... "If you are in the support group it lasts for as long as your condition continues to make you eligible. In other words, if your condition doesn't improve and your difficulties remain the same you should remain in the support group indefinitely." I have been unable to find this phrase in a DWP document and I wonder if anyone has seen anything similar to this and can point me in the right direction.
  14. I had my case fully reviewed less than one year ago following a rejection by Atos and I was told I needed to be in the Support Group. I had a follow up ESA50 2 months after this review and submitted it, together with supporting documentation, and my Support Group status continued. It will be just over a year before I can claim Pension Credits. Since leaving the opening post I telephoned the ESA and requested an appeal form. A very nice gentleman asked me some questions and made a check of my file on the computer. He said there was nothing recorded there to say there had been a change in my circumstances, there has been no reports of a change in my circumstances, there is no information at all other than a short note which he read, and it stated that I was previously in the Support Group and had now been placed in the WRAG. I must say, he did sound very surprised that there was no detail whatsoever and he said he would send me an appeal form out today. Edit - Yes, I qualify for the Support Group in a number of different categories.
  15. Last October Atos failed me but following a review of my case during appeal I was placed in the Support Group. 10 weeks later I received another form to complete for yet another examination, I completed this and sent it with a large file of documents to further support my illnesses. My MP, who had been actively involved in my appeal, also contacted the department to find out what was going on. That was March this year. Today, some 7 months later, I receive a letter stating I am being removed from the Support Group and placed in the WRAG, stating... "We have looked at your claim again following a recent change", states my benefit will be reduced and then adds "This is because of: a decision on your capability for work. You have moved from the Support Group to the Work Related Activity Group". I have not notified them of any change, there has been no change (other than a further deterioration in my health), I am almost 61 years of age and have already been told I will be moved to Pension Credits at age 62, and one of my illnesses is agoraphobia which means I very rarely can leave my home. Indeed, my young son recently died and his funeral was yesterday and I could not even attend! I know I am able to appeal this changed decision. Does anyone have any advice on this?
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