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Dalrath

Looking for ESA appeal help

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Hi I am looking to see if anyone can help or point me in the right direction in how to appeal an ESA point’s decision.

 

Firstly my problem. I have pains in my legs and find it difficult to walk/stand for any time more than 5 minutes. Also I am numb in part of my foot. It’s not sciatica as I have full back movement and no pain when I lay down. I have seen doctors, physio’s and orthopaedic specialists who all say I have a problem, but do not know why I have it. I have been taken to hospital 2 times due to the pain, where a Doctor told me to stop doing all the exercises I was doing and to stay in bed “to stand to make a cup of tea, is standing for too long”, which I did, and have slowly got better to the point I can walk or stand for 5 minutes’ and the pain is not so great, but to continue it gets worse.

 

My 1st appointment with ATOS was cancelled to my friend’s car breaking down, and someone told me to ask for a home visit for the next one. So I was informed by ATOS how to do it.

I went to my Doctor who agreed I should have a home visit and sent a fax to ATOS. 2 Days before my next appointment date I got a letter saying that the home visit was refused due to lack of medical evidence. ATOS phone me the next day to say that a taxi fare refund had been arranged. So I was left in no doubt that I had to attend the interview or lose my ESA claim.

 

Now due to the distance and being out of work, I could not afford the £80-£100 return trip in a taxi. So I went by bus from a stop 3 minutes’ walk from my house, then by train and lastly by taxi, although it was only a 12 minute walk I would not of been able to walk it without being in a great deal of pain. As it was for that day and the next few days I was in a great deal of discomfort, it would have been pain if I wasn’t overdosing on my pain killers and couldn’t leave the house. This is the reason why my Doctor asked for the home visit, as he knew it would happen.

 

Now yesterday I had a phone call from ESA to tell me I had failed in my application, Not because of the report from ATOS (don’t faint here) as they agreed I had a problem, although I have not seen the paperwork yet.

 

Basically I failed because I turned up, therefor did not get the points I needed. I was told because I could travel by bus, train and then taxi I was fully mobile.

 

I have stated that I will appeal and have asked for all the paperwork including the ATOS report.

I just feel as though I am in a catch 22 situation. Due to no one know what is wrong with me; I have no solid medical evidence to prove I should not travel. So not to go I would have lost my ESA, but because I went I lost my ESA. As the guy on the phone said “because I turned up I am fit for work, even if I had been a wheelchair”.

 

So as I said before I am looking for help or any pointers that can help me with my appeal.

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You may or may not have already done this, but you simply need to complete a GL24 form and request an appeal. The most basic of details at this stage would suffice.

Generally speaking, your post should have attracted - at the very least - an answer or two by now. That it hasn't is worthy of mention. Perhaps you need to have a little rethink on what has occurred or what your interpretation of what has occurred is.

For example, you won't fail the WCA simply because you turned up. This is an internet myth by whose standard no-one could ever pass the WCA under those circumstances. Statistics prove overwhelmingly otherwise.

Neither will a lack of diagnosis preclude ESA in either group. It might give a person a bit more of a challenge but that's about it.

A home visit seems to be reserved for the most serious of cases. I'm not saying yours may not fall into that category but, perhaps, it's fair to conclude from your post that you could attend the WCA moderately pain free by utilising a wheelchair.

As for the taxi, having gained assurance from ATOS for reimbursement, was there no reasonable way you could have raised the necessary funds for later repayment?

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I have not seen the paper work yet, as I got the phone call Monday afternoon, so I have not had the chance to see the full assessment, as they haven't sent the letter which I need to be able to phone them to get a copy of the report. The man on the phone said he would send me the GL24 form.

 

In the phone call I was told, that all although the assessors had found a problem I had not reached the required points, which is 15 to go on to ESA. And yes I know it’s supposed to be a myth, but he did honestly say to me the reason I had failed to reach the 15 points is because I’d turned up. I had shown that I could move from seat to seat because of the way I got there. So it showed that I would be able to get to a place of employment.

I didn’t want to go on about my problems so I kept that short, in this thread. My biggest problem at the moment is I am still under investigation by doctors and specialists, so I cannot say what is wrong with me. All I know is if I move around or stand for over 5 minutes I am in pain and with pain killers I can go on for a while longer, but need bed rest after, so I don’t go out much if at all. So there is no real need for a wheelchair. Also a new problem is if I sit over 2-3 hours I start to get pains in the top of my legs and it’s starting to be difficult to climb a set of stairs. So yes I can get around to a small degree, a bit more with pain killers, more if I overdose on them. I have ended up in hospital because I used to try and fight it, thinking it was sciatica and movement and correct exercises was good for it, but no bed rest is the best thing for it, which is normally the opposite of what they recommend. So because no one know what is wrong they cannot say well he can do this and he can't do that.

 

As for the taxi fare, I was on the starting rate of ESA, a single man living in rented accommodation with no family. My friends are either unemployed or on low waged jobs, and it’s almost Christmas, and they gave me 1 day to find £80-£100 pounds, I’d have struggled with a week.

 

So yes I understand why people may think this is a wind up, because of the myth and because of not knowing what's wrong, but honest to god it’s all true. It is what I was told.

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This is another of example of ATOS deciding that one day = always. There is a difference between doing something on one day, under duress and in significant pain, and doing the same activities every day and coping.

 

What the assessor has done, is for each descriptor that you would have scored points on, used the evidence of your journey as cause for not awarding the points. Whether you would have scored the points without the trip there being held against you, is a different matter - but you'll find out at appeal.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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So, you failed because you turned up. If you didn't turn up, you would have failed too.

 

Do you have any other issues than walking / standing?

 

You would have to be able to repeat the activity without pain, discomfort, etc. If you can't, you should get the relevant number of points.

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I have no other issues apart from standing and walking. Yes I did it that day, because I had to, but would not have been able to do it again for 5-6 days after that. I spent the next 2 day's in bed because that is what I was told to do by a doctor in A&E to stop the pain build up and taking 10- 12 of my pain killers, I am supposed to be on 6 max a day.

There was a time that I would not have been able to do it on that day, but I have learnt to manage it better than I did, with lots of bed rest, I could not go more than 50 yards with out having to stop because of the pain. I have just had a letter of a specialist I saw and he likened the symptoms to claudication, (http://www.medicinenet.com/claudication/article.htm) I had to look it up to find out what it meant.

 

So I fail the points system because it's done for one day not over 3-4 days. As I have said even the ATOS person found a problem, but it's the DWP that have failed me on points, So I was hoping that some one might be able to help or give advice on a points appeal. But because I have fallen into the myth area, it seams no one really believes me.

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... But because I have fallen into the myth area, it seams no one really believes me.

 

Not so. There is a difference between being believed and stating an unbelievable tale. As I said earlier, you should not have failed simply by turning up. That is ridiculous from every angle. But that doesn't mean to say it didn't occur. You need to put your GL24 in asap if you haven't already. Next would be to have a close look at the written reasons for failing the WCA. These are what you have to rebut. If they state somewhere they have failed you for turning up then that would be an absolute feather in your cap and something any tribunal would be interested to see. I would suggest they wouldn't be so stupid as to put that in writing and it was probably an off the cuff remark.

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Can you get to the CAB? My wife has severe depression as well as physical problems and was told that she could work after an Atos assessment even though her psychiatrist, GP and social worker all said it was ridiculous to expect her to.Our local CAB adviser is fantastic and she helped with the paperwork and came to the appeal with us so I really think it wouldn't hurt to see what they say. From 0 points my wife came away with 18 on appeal.

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