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bluestar

Atos Medical Assessment Question

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Hi!

 

I recently received a letter telling me to make an appointment for a medical. I'm kind of terrified about it. I've been claiming income support for a couple of years now due to depression/anxiety. I have real problems dealing with people, especially face-to-face and I'm worried this is going to effect the outcome of my medical. I'm not great at articulating myself when I'm questioned about my problems. It's like my mind goes blank and I forget how to speak. I've been in a couple of types of therapy and I always end up telling the doctor that I'm doing good and getting better cause they want that from e and disappointing them is kind of unbearable. I know that sounds crazy but I can't stop myself from doing it whenever I feel people are judging me. I'm worried that I'm going to go into my assessment and do the same thing - make myself out to be better than I am.

 

Anyway, I'm just wondering what to expect from the medical. How hard are they on you? How personal can I expect it to get? I hate when doctors say "would you like to get a job" like it's not a big deal because the idea of going out and having to face people everyday is feels impossible to me. In my mind it feels like these Atos people will be looking for any excuse to sign me off. Is that the vibe ay of you got from them?

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Hi Bluestar,

 

Speaking from personal experience, my late husband had to attend an Atos medical for EAS, last year and he was terrified, had physical and psychological problems and was convinced they were looking to disqualify him.

I went with him, and made sure that he didn't forget anything. Please take someone to support you. The medical lasted 45 mins which was very hard for him, and I had to prompt him on certain things. Did you keep a copy of your completed form, that will also help you to remember. If not take your own notes in to help you remember.

Tell them what happens when you feel at your worst, DO NOT MAKE LIGHT OF YOUR CONDITION because you feel it is expected of you, I say them but its actually one person, either a doctor or a relevant qualified professional , whatever that means. Make a note of the name of the person conducting the medical.

The same questions are asked of everyone. He or She will input the information onto a computer and seems to rarely make eye contact.

 

The assessment is based on a points system, and details about it can be found on the direct gov website. Also have a look through this site as there is very good advice on dealing with ATOS and the Dwp.

Good luck, I wont say dont worry but its impossible not to, just try to prepare for the parts that cause you the most stress before you go there, and take someone with you. And remember there is an appeals procedure if the worst comes to the worst, there is excellent advice on how to appeal on this site.

Take care

Dettie

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See:

http://www.cas.org.uk/FileAccess.aspx?id=7323 (Unfit for Purpose - Scottish CAB evidence on ESA)

http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/not_working_ma... (CAB evidence on the ESA work capability assessment.)

http://brightonbenefitscampaign.wordpress.com/2... (Employment and Support Allowance: a new harsher test Brighton Benefits Campaign)

DWP ESA Medical Examinations (First hand experience of the DWP ESA procedure from someone with a debilitating and life threatening brain tumour who was deemed fit by the DWP's "medical" contractor).


I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/127741-benefits-advice.html"]see this post[/URL] by Joa, great advice and links! I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.

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Dettie that's a great post with some really good advice :)

 

@ bluestar you should look at this more like an exam than a medical. The way it is set up is that you have to answer the questions in a way which score you marks. The person conducting is their to help the DWP not you so is basically trying to lose you marks.

 

If you have a problem with going blank take in some notes to remind you of what you want to say. Also plan how you're going to get to the medical and back so that's one less thing to worry about.

 

Now since it's an exam you will either pass or fail. You need to be prepared fully for what happens if you fail.

 

The medical exam is only part of the process in getting ESA. Have a read up on the appeals process and look for local advice centres who can assist you with it.

 

From what you've said there will be a quite a few people who have treated you who can be approached for reports etc to back up this appeal. So failing the medical whilst a pain in the ass is not the end of the matter rather its the beginning of a come back.

 

Your best bet for help is to look on your Councils website for local Welfare Rights organisations (google might get a few results too), DIAL and the CAB all offer services. Get this now as they can help you prepare for the exam and also help with the appeal if needed.

 

Summary: Don't get to worked up about it, pick up the phone and get some help. Being prepared is the key here and knowing what to do in the event of not passing will actually help take the pressure off :D

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Thanks everyone for the support and advice. My appointment is for tomorrow so I'm hoping for the best.

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Fingers crossed for you bluestar.

Best wishes

Rae

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Just back from mine :eek:

 

Didn't get asked squat or did I?

 

Have to check my recording but you can hear the individual keyboard strokes during the very long pauses between questions ;)

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