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Teej75

Looking for advice before filling in my ESA50 form

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Hi

 

In the past few days i have been gathering info on ATOS and esa to know what to expect and it's pretty scary. I have been ill for 7 years, appealed and won my last tribunal and passed the previous medical.

 

From what i have been reading i don't stand a chance as my condition is undiagnosed so i'm going to struggle to get backup even though i've been through a process with the doctors and hospitals to try and find out what's wrong with me.

 

People a lot worse than me are failing but people with mental health issues apparently don't even register, is this true? I suffer with anxiety and depression due to my health and was even referred to liason pyschiatry a while ago.

 

I'd expect to go onto esa from doing the esa test online, i have episodes where i go dizzy and nearly fall over and severe fatigue and chronic sinusitis plus breathing/cardio difficulties which combined are pretty debilitating and cause severe distress but i have adapted to it and this is partly cause of the benefits i receive, i don't know how well i would cope if it was taken away due to a semmingly brutal and unfair system.

 

My question is whether i should even include anything physical or just focus on the mental health issues, they are intertwined. I'll have to get help from CAB filling in the form anyway but i've seen the way things are used against people and people with mental health issues don't seem to stand a chance otoh how physically sick do you have to be to pass the medical?! Other people in a similar situation to mine are being failed so i'm expecting the worst.

 

I feel like i should include everything as it will be relevant if it comes to appeal and a tribunal, it's gonna take some effort for me to fill out the forms and any extra information. I'm trying to prepare as best i can for what happens next. Thanks in advance,

 

Teej

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I can only give you my personal view. That would be to fill out the form as honestly and fully as you can. There's plenty of space and you can always add further sheets if you wish. Forget what others have experienced and don't try to complete the form in a way you might think the DWP or ATOS might prefer. This is about you. If you fill it out as accurately as you can and then fail your WCA you still have an honest document. IF (and it can be a big 'if') you fail then you should appeal. Once the appeal goes to the Tribunal, one of the documents the panel will read closely is your ESA50. It would be silly to then spout a whole load of things at the Tribunal that didn't appear on your ESA50.

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Thanks. That's my thinking but the atos documentaries i've watched and accounts i've read seem to imply that if you can breathe you are fit for work! I just don't want to give them ammunition to fail me cause i can lift my hands above my head. :|

 

Is it really that black and white or have things been improved? It seems like what you say has very little bearing on the assessment or it will be used against you but everything i include in the form will be important in any future appeal so best to include everything i suppose.

 

Teej

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You need to include everything on your form. Don't just apply on the basis of mental health - apply also on the basis of the undiagnosed condition(s) too.

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:Teej75:

 

Written by :leemack: there's a guide to completing the first part of an ESA50 among the stickies on the first page of this forum. Rethink's site has a guide to coping with the questions about cognition and mental health, together with some tips about getting supporting evidence.

 

Conditions, diagnosed or not, are irrelevant to awards of employment and support allowance. Important bit is how fatigue, anxiety, depression or symptoms of whatever, compromise your ability to work. Include everything. If necessary use extra sheets of paper (headed up with your national insurance number) and staple them to the ESA50.

 

Tis my personal opinion that most work capability assessments aren't worth the paper they're printed on. At the same time, it's worth noting that currently, 42% of employment and support allowance appellants are successful at tribunal.

 

Best wishes, Margaret.

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You need to include everything on your form. Don't just apply on the basis of mental health - apply also on the basis of the undiagnosed condition(s) too.

 

Thanks. I know i should i'm just worried about failing it and what comes next as i've been there before. :!:

 

It was some advice i was given but i thought mental health issues were been pretty much ignored by Atos so i'd be worse off all round...

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:Teej75:

 

Written by :leemack: there's a guide to completing the first part of an ESA50 among the stickies on the first page of this forum. Rethink's site has a guide to coping with the questions about cognition and mental health, together with some tips about getting supporting evidence.

 

Conditions, diagnosed or not, are irrelevant to awards of employment and support allowance. Important bit is how fatigue, anxiety, depression or symptoms of whatever, compromise your ability to work. Include everything. If necessary use extra sheets of paper (headed up with your national insurance number) and staple them to the ESA50.

 

Tis my personal opinion that most work capability assessments aren't worth the paper they're printed on. At the same time, it's worth noting that currently, 42% of employment and support allowance appellants are successful at tribunal.

 

Best wishes, Margaret.

Margaret, thanks. I was worried cause i thought the assessment rate was lower so for 6 months would have been difficult, that was a real concern for me. Thanks for the info anyway, i've been in touch with rethink and they will help me.

 

I hope the system is being improved, seems like a lot of people are falling through the cracks. Thanks again for all your replies. :-)

 

Teej75

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I think that's the same the same guide or is there another one?

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I think there's only the one guide. Unfortunately, there isn't one for mental health yet.

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What's the best thing to do then? Get help from CAB? I'm doing it next week but i'll need help filling in the form either way. My main concern with the physical is i've hard a real hard time in the past getting doctors to recognise my health issues, some even attributing them to mental health but they are not. :mad2:

 

I'll have to be going to the GP for sick notes if i fail cause i will be appealing. I'd rather do everything i can to avoid this but it seems like a forgone conclusion...:roll:

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Yes, get help from someone who fills in these forms.

 

Thanks Nystagmite. It turns out i didn't need to fill it in, spoke to Atos to let them know i was having trouble getting help with the form. The sent me an appointment anyway and when i spoke to them again they said i could bring the form with me which is good. They also said i can take medical records with me and a someone can come in with me to take notes.

 

I raised my concerns about the severity of the process and they said people will post their negative experiences but then i read The People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment (google it). The report says send it to your local mp so if you think it's worth bringing to their attention then send it, i'm sending it to my MP but it paints quite a different picture!

 

My advice is to get as much help as you can going into this. Speak to Atos, make sure you prepare as ell as you can and don't take any crap! They're trying to trample over peoples rights and it's not on. :-x

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I would suggest that anything said by ATOS should be confirmed in writing. As for not having a completed form, smells like stinky fish when ATOS says bring it along. To me this has the feeling of a tramline assessment. Yes / No answers. I doubt very much any assessor would pay any attention to anything you brought in that relates to medical information.

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Thanks Zonker. In triplicate i reckon! I had the assessment recently and got 0 points but i think i messed up on the answers as i tried to fit my issues with the ones in the form using the indicators. Doing this on the day with a health condition is not ideal but i had no choice. I think i would have failed whatever and expected to go to appeal while claiming assessment rate ESA but today i received an email from Benefits and Work today saying ESA will be stopped altogether while awaiting the tribunal, unbelievable if true. :mad2:

 

Anyway sorry for the delay in replying, had a lot on my mind with all this. I think everyone needs to contact their local mp cause putting sick and disabled people in such impossible circumstances has to be challenged. Cheers,

 

Teej.

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