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Atos Reassessment - Need some advise please.


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I had my first ESA assessment last year at the end of March. The nurse gave me 12 points, and the DM at the DWP upped this to 18 points, putting me into the WRAG and advising review in 12 months. I was transferred from income support to ESA on the terms of mental health. I was also booked in for work focused interviews, but after speaking to my advisor on the phone she agreed to waive them due to my mental health and so I was left alone.


I have received the Atos form this morning asking me to fill it in and return before 1st January 2013.


Im not sure what to do, I have always filled these forms in myself, but I now know that I need an expert to help me with it due to a recent problem I had with the appeals service.


I live in Cardiff so does anyone know of any local associations that could help me with this, apart from CAB?


Also, I notice in the descriptors on the net there is a section that deals with eating problems, however I cannot see a section for this on the Atos medical form.


My condition has worsened since my last assessment as I have developed severe Dysphagia. Yesterday due to my not eating or drinking anything for a week, I have lost a stone in weight over the period of 7 days and my doctor was going to admit me to hospital due to dehydration, and the fact that as a diabetic I had high levels of ketones in my urine which can be quite dangerous. I didnt get admitted as with her help I was able to drink some water whilst with her, and promised to try to eat and drink small amounts as often as I could. I am also having to monitor my ketones over the next week, but if they do not improve I will be admitted.


Due to this condition, after being with my doctor for 1h 20 minutes, and having to have an urgent blood test and ECG at the surgery, I was yesterday referred to a Psychiatrist on an urgent basis for evaluation, and for CBT as my stress levels hit the roof if there is the slightest change in my daily life/routine. I am also being seen by a Speech therapist at the local hospital who is trying to teach me to eat/drink/swallow again as I am being treated as someone who has forgotten how to swallow naturally, and unfortunately, swallowing is no longer a natural instinct for me, it often leads to choking, and there are times, when due to stress I cannot even swallow my own saliva without choking on it, so quite a severe condition which can take a long time to overcome.


I dont really know how to convey this on the forms anymore so need more professional help to deal with this, the form arriving today is making my stress levels rise already, which is going to affect my swallowing ability even more and I cannot foresee a good day ahead. I do take 10mg of Diazepam daily for this issue, but due to my using it for several months it doesnt have the effect it used to.


I think what I would like to ask is, who might be the best people to see to get help with the forms, and should I send proof of the Psychiatrist appointment, CBT details/appt and Speech therapy appts?


Any help and advice would be gratefully received.


Many thanks.



Edited by DMG123
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HB is right - Mind can help with filling in the forms. Ensure you have information from your GP about your illnesses.


Thanks for your reply, do you mean I should take proof of my illness to Mind to help with filling in the form, or info from GP for when I send off the Atos form?

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Take the proof to Mind. They can photocopy it. It also means if your GP writes you have this diagnosis and it means this, Mind can give more information about you. For example, I have a letter from my GP which states I have a diagnosis of ASD and the lady I spoke to (this is for DLA; but it'll be the same) wrote it means I have these issues, which means I can't do this and so on. That's what they're looking for. You have to keep on referring to the descriptors of ESA.


You mention something about not being able to swallow - there's criteria about not being able to swallow, which may apply to you.

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Hi again,


Yes, I had a look at the support group descriptors and they state the following.


15. Conveying food or drink to the mouth.

(b) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;


16. Chewing or swallowing food or drink

(b) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;


However, in the ESA50 form, there is nothing regarding this type of problem, its only mobility, and mental health stuff, so I just wondered how I would get this across if there is no section for it.


I have suffered with the above 2 problems, on top of everything else, for several months now, so there is no problem getting my doctor to state this. I will go to see her, and gather as much information as I can to take with me. I have sent an email to MIND and will follow it up with a phone call in the week to see if they can help, luckily I have an office only a few miles from my home.


Thanks again for the info!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quickie, and an update.


I got some help filling in my ESA50 from a place called Riverside Advice (the MIND person is off sick) this was Friday just gone, explained all of my problems to the lady and she summarised them and entered them onto the form.


I had my urgent Psychiatrist appt on Monday (yesterday) and the plan of action is as follows.


My Diazepam is to be raised from 10mg to 30mg daily.

I am being referred to a Psychologist for CBT

I will remain under the care of my Psychiatrist for the time being and have a further appt in 4 weeks.

I am also being prescribed antipsychotic medication - Now Im not sure about this, it seems a bit extreme to be honest, so will speak to my doctor about it first. As far as I am aware I am not Psychotic, I am just severely anxious.


My question is, the ATOS form will not mention any of this as it was filled in Friday, so do I wait for the assessement letter/appt and explain all then, or do I send a letter informing of this new information?


My problems put me into the support group according to descriptors, and I want to get this new assessement over and done with, with the least amount of hassle, because less hassle = less stress. I have no problem going to the assessement as my condition is clear cut with 8 months of medical records to prove it, but if I can avoid the appt it would probably be a lot easier for me.


What do you think?


Thanks again for any advice!!

Edited by DMG123
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  • 2 weeks later...

All done, thanks!


Sent 2 letters from Psych, 1 Speech therapy, 1 ENT, looking forward to their comeback now, I hope its quick, I cant stand waiting.


Thanks for all your help:-)

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