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ESA / first work focused interview


norby500
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Hey, i'm new here just after reading loads of other peoples experiences that i may have a challenge on my hands! i am 22 years old and i suffer with depression and anxiety, i'm on cipralex 20mg and 3.75mg of zop...something? which are sleeping tablets. I have severe paranoier issues and i find myself staying in alot instead of going out, and spending 3 days awake and having to just drift off to sleep because i just can't do it....now i have my first work focused interview coming up this monday and i am a bit worried! i always feel as if what ever you have isn't enough for them to keep you on that benefit! i don't see how i can possibly work if i would make 1 out of 5 days due to either being doped up off my tablets, which i also have IBS from and i cannot sleep, i have alot of side issues too....what do you guys think? i'm not sure how i can come across or what? it's been bothering me for weeks now.

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Hi norby and welcome.

Depending on your particular area, the WFI is run by either Jobcentre Plus personnel or by an outsourced agency. Mine is JCP. To be honest - and my experience may be unique! - I thoroughly enjoy my WFIs and look forward to them. Informative, friendly and very helpful. That said, that is all down to the sheer quality of my Pathways Advisor. She has taken the time to find out about me, assess - in her own way - what I'm capable of (if anything), my health situation. She knows my work limits better than I do.

I suggest you go along with an open mind. Just be you. In my experience - and I agree it could be different from yours - this is not a trick to force you into work. My Advisor genuinely has my best interests at heart.

Best wishes

Rae

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hello, thanks for the reply to my thread. I am going to just go and see how it goes, i think it will generally be fine, but i have it in my head that i'm going to mess it up or not say enough because i cannot explain myself very well! it's bothering me that they could take my money off me which i can barely afford to live off right now. I just feel they won't take me seriously, my doctor is happy to continue giving me sick notes as she said my medication i am on and the fact i am always doped up doesn't help me into any kind of work as i am terrible with people and around them. i was laid off in november 09, and i think part of the reason was due to time off with my illness, and them having to adapt to my new work rate etc. i hope it goes well anyway.

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Don't worry about how you might come across. They will be aware of your medical situation and what you take. You probably won't be the first they've seen in your situation. If you attend then they can't take benefits from you. I hope you have a really good advisor :)

Let us know how you get on.

Best wishes

Rae

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hey thanks, im going to be sticking around anyways, what about the actual ATOS?? medical? i have had my booklet and sent it off on monday so i'm just exspecting a letter for those guys now. how do they go? are they generally going to fail your claim?

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Please do stick around, this forum isn't a bad place to be :)

I'm probably not the best person to ask about ATOSH and the assessment.

Long story short, applied for ESA Nov 2008. ATOSH Feb 2009. Null Points. DWP inadvertently archived my records. July 2009 we all realise my 13 week assessment phase has overrun somewhat! ESA stopped, Tribunal applied for. March 2010 awarded 9 points at Tribunal. That'll be a fail then. Thanks to a progressive disease (and an angry MP) immediate re-application to ESA accepted. No loss of assessment rate benefits. July 2010, despite including every scrap of medical evidence with my ESA50 ATOSH once again ride into my life.

The rest is conjecture, but I'm anticipating another Null Pointer, an Appeal and a further 9 months on the assessment rate. Guiness Book of Records anyone?

Best wishes in the Looking Glass.

Rae :)

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hey, that sure is a mad story!! i hope it goes well for you. so you dont actually get your money cut off? just have to keep going back and fourth? i was afraid of going onto JSA as i did sign on once and was told to sign off by my doctor as i was increasingly getting worse.

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The rule with ESA is that you need 15 points to qualify. You have a 13 week assessment phase where you get paid sixty whatever pounds per week. Get awarded your points and you qualify for either [about] £25/£30 disability premium. Don't get 15 points and you can appeal. As long as you appeal promptly you will not have any gap in the assessment rate. But you will need to supply [un]fit notes throughout this phase.

To be fair to the DWP, it was my BDC Call Centre who told me I'd failed my ATOSH assessment long before the official letter came through. I can't remember what I called about but clearly my medical history was available to the person I was speaking to. The conversation went along the lines of 'OMG, you've scored no points. I can't believe that. You need to appeal this right away'. The call centre person initiated the necessary form immediately and I returned them within a day or so. An exemplorary service for me but many others get the opposite!

Best wishes

Rae

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cool, i really appreciate your advice, i have my appointment on monday, i will reply here with what happens...just wanted to prepare myself for the worst. but it seems it won't be so bad. do you recommend anything i should take or remember? i feel they're out to get me at this interview...so it's just to ask where i am at really? not to try and say 'you have to find a job now!"

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