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ESA : Age of Medical Evidence Question


callista
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Hi everyone. As a first time poster I hope that I have this in the right place.

As a long term IB claimant (1992) and DLA HRM and HRC recipient, I am dreading the inevitable migration to ESA so am digging out written evidence of my condition in advance.

The trouble is that my diagnosis letters, scan results etc are dated mid nineties so are very old. Even though I have always kept in touch with my GP as my condition has deteriorated does anyone know if these old papers will hold any sway with the decision maker or should I be looking to have a review from a current consultant to bring the information on my condition bang up to date? BTW I did undergo a DWP DLA medical in 2003 where I was given an indefinite award.

Apologies in advance if I have duplicated a common question.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I don't think you've duplicated a question as far as I've seen here.

 

I don't know the answer to your question sorry, but I think in time our guru Erika should be able to answer you.

 

Please bear with us and I think you'll have your answer.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you very much for responding and also for the warm welcome. I'm more than happy to wait as this is a question that's been bothering me for some time. My GP will write an up to date report but will that be enough I wonder?

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Hi,

My evidence isn't quite as old as yours (it's from 2004) but I would also be very interested in the answer to this question. However, I doubt there is a straightforward answer - I'm pretty sure it will begin 'It depends ...'

I'm hopeful that since my DLA award has been renewed twice based on this evidence then it will be OK.

Are you aware that you can get a copy of all the evidence/information that DWP hold by doing an SAR request - it tells you how on their website and it costs nothing. I did one just so that I knew exactly what information they already hold, which was when I found out they'd never bothered to update the medical evidence since 2004.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Thanks RMW, I'll certainly follow up your suggestion. I didn't realise that I could make a SAR - especially interesting as I haven't had any direct dealings with the DWP since 2003 and now wonder how current my file is. Potentially there is a great deal they are unaware of.

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Hi guys.

 

To be frank, the DWP tends to afford more weight towards ATOS reports rather than that of the claimant's own medical professionals even where current information is concerned (particularly for ESA purposes).

 

Therefore the DWP won't place a lot of importance on evidence that isn't recent but that's not to say you shouldn't include it - because it will show how long you have suffered with the condition, and how it has affected you over the years.

 

At some point, unless the condition is terminal with a life expectancy of less than 6 months it is likely you will be sent for an assessment which will be carried out by ATOS. These assessments have a reputation for not being fit for purpose and a lot of people do not receive the required points to qualify for ESA - that said, there have been a few who have received the points first time around. However if you are one of the ones who doesn't get enough points to qualify, a tribunal can be less amenable to a GP/consultant report which is written in a retrospective manner after the decision to disallow ESA, where that GP/consultant has not actually seen the person or performed an examination or review at the time in question.

 

For that reason, I would encourage anyone who is going through a changeover to ESA that once they migrate and are given a date for the ATOS assessment, to schedule an appointment with the GP for a general check up and review of their condition, to take place as close to the ATOS appointment as possible, give or take a week. That way, if you do face a tribunal and need your GP to write a retrospective report, the GP can state the date they saw you on and show that the condition affected you in whatever manner during the time called into question.

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

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Excellent advice as always Erika, thank you.

 

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are going to be wasting a lot of GPs time jumping through all these hoops.

 

As well as the GP report, can I suggest that everyone keeps a diary for at least the week leading up to their medical, if not longer, focusing on things that are directly affected by your condition, e.g. spent half an hour at the computer but then had to lie down as back was hurting.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Erika and RMW - thank you very much for the advice, it's very much appreciated.

Isn't it incredible that an ATOS report will hold more sway than that of a GP/other health professional who deals with me on a far more frequent basis? It beggars belief!

The idea of keeping a diary is an excellent one. I'll certainly do as you both suggest when the time comes. Hopefully by then I will be better prepared to fight my corner. Thanks again.

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