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ESA Appeals process


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Sigh, the dreaded appeals process. I went through it last year and now here it comes again. I was claming ESA due to mental health problems and initially scored 0 points, which went upto 15 during my first appeal. Just had the results back from my latest assessment, scoring 6 points (Im getting better!).


In many ways this one has been more farcical. I got a call from Atos to arrange a time for the assessment, however the letter confirming all the details, which I was supposed to bring with me, didn't arrive until the day after the assessment. Just got the official DWP letter confirming I am no longer entitled, with a little leaflet explaining how to appeal a JSA decision(why?), no GL24 or anything like that. Phoned up and that is in the post.


And the one thing that sticks out to me across both my appeals is the source of information used to make the decision, those being my questionnaire and assessment. No attempt was made to contact my GP or psychiatrist or any of the mental health nurses I have been in contact with. The only contact made with any of these people was my GP, to tell her I was no longer entitled (so the contact details supplied must be sufficient).


Last time (I won't even bother this time) I phoned them to request that they send an information request to my GP and psychiatrist, but was told in no uncertain terms "you have to get it from them and send it to us". I went to them and they said "They need to get in touch with us and request it". Can I just ask if anyone knows what the correct procedure is?


I looked at ESA guidelines on the DWP website and I was under the impression that the decision maker etc was obliged to obtain any relevent information from the medical staff who have treated me, did I walk away with the wrong impression or is this correct?


Last time I didn't know how points were allocated, this time I managed to find the webpage showing how points are allocated and I cannot understand the decision makers decision. I am eager to see the medical report, as last time they came to conclusions which they could not possibley have came to, as no questions were asked at the assessment that would have gave them the information.


I feel really trapped. Last time during the appeals process it got so bad I tried to kill myself. Without giving too much away, I claiming for clinical depression and anxiety/paranoia issues. Does it seem proper to you guys that in the assessment I was never asked about any suicidal thoughts/behaviour etc?


I mentioned my suicide attempt in the questionnaire for my latest assessment, I am eager to see the report to see if anything of this was mentioned in it. The timing of this is so bad too, I have been moved from the community mental health team to primary care and am awaiting to see a psychologist (which will better understand my mental health problems) but the process is so slow due to severe under staffing.


I know myself that I am not ready yet to work. I made it clear to them that I have a plan to get back into work, I just need more time (to see psychologist etc) and I am so worried that I won't get the chance to see them or get better, because this "assessment" essentially says there is nothing wrong with me.


Sorry to go on a bit, been really stressed out by this. Would be grateful if anyone could answer the few questions "hidden" away in that wall of text.

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Hi gismo


Welcome to CAG


The guys with the necessary knowlege will respond, but aren't around at the moment.

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Hello gismo. I really sympathise with your position, having been there.


My appeal was under the IB system, but we obtained our own evidence from my consultant psychiatrist and GP. I have a sticky in the yellow part of this forum, above all the thread titles and it might help you to read that. You could also try contacting the CAB and Welfare Rights, usually through your local council.


I hope that helps a bit.


HB x

Illegitimi non carborundum




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