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atos assessment imminent

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Hi everyone. I was found fit to work by atos in 2009, due to bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia, both diagnosed and letters provided by the appropriate specialists I won my tribunal 15 months later and was re-instated on IB, the DWP said they had been advised to leave me on it for 3yrs but I would have to fill a form in after 2yrs due to the ending of IB and the new ESA being brought in by 2014. I am expecting this form within the next month or so, and an atos assessment and of course to be found fit for work, regardless of my health issues.

 

I don't think I have the strength to go through the whole appeal process again, its obvious I am unable to work and if they force me onto jobseekers then I really don't know what on earth they will do with me, or who in the hell would employ me. As well as the bipolar, I suffer with a lot of fibromyalgia symptoms, including the short term memory loss, severe fatigue and pain.

 

When they found me fit in 2009 my letter arrived the day before my benefit was due, telling me I wasn't getting it and to apply for jobseekers, the whole thing was a nightmare and made me very ill. They were so unhelpful and it was almost 3 weeks before I got any money at all which was reduced due to appeal in process.

 

I understand that you have to declare yourself fit and ready for work in order to claim jobseekers so how would that work for me? am baffled and just trying to prepare myself with what to do, as I seriously doubt anything has improved since my last experience with DWP and ATOS. Having some kind of plan in place will help my anxiety a bit as its already building up.

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Hello Ruby.

 

Yes it could be tricky. :) Can you ask us a couple of questions maybe? That might help people to respond, I'm sure they want to help.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Honeybee and thankyou.

 

Ok, so I am still on IB. Review of my benefit due shortly. Am fully expecting dwp to take me off IB as they want everyone off it this year.

 

If I am found by atos to be fit for work, which I am fully expecting regardless of my health issues, I will be expected to claim jobseekers?

 

I know I am unfit and how my illnesses affect me, in order to claim for jobseekers do I not have to declare myself fit and ready for work? There is no way I could do this as I know that I am not.

 

My FMS is severe now and affects my ability to also keep my routine which enables me to manage my Bipolar.

Edited by honeybee13
Spacing.

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Thank you for that, Ruby. :)

 

I don't think it's quite as cut and dried as you think, but others here know more than I do. If you're not awarded ESA then you can appeal, I don't think you will go straight on to JSA.

 

Hopefully the guys will be along with more comments for you.

 

Do you have anyone to help you like your community mental health team or MIND?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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oh I see Honeybee, I hadn't realised, I thought it was a yes or no thing like before. so its possible they could just decide to move me to one of the esa groups, am with you now. I am going to be in touch with mind, after 12 months of cbt on a one to one basis the mental health team signed me off, but I have regular catch ups with my gp who is aware of my issues. hopefully he can help more this time given recent history etc.

 

I find the benefits system confusing, I will look up this esa thing with my daughter, shes great at helping me and will be with me on any appts.

 

thanks again.

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You're welcome. :)

 

I hope you'll have more comments and help from the guys.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Well, basically yes - you'll either be moved to one of the ESA groups, or they'll say you're fit for work. Note that we've heard reports on the forum from others migrated from IB to ESA who weren't actually called for a face-to-face assessment, but instead placed directly into an ESA group based only on their ESA50. Obviously we have no idea what would happen in your case, but it's not certain that you'll be found fit for work.

 

If the worst happens and you are found fit for work, your options are to claim JSA or to appeal. If you really aren't fit, then I think appealing is really your best option, stressful as it may be. The conditions you'd be expected to meet on JSA are not likely to be any less stressful than the appeals process for someone with health concerns.


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I feel proper silly now lol we just put "ib to esa" in search engine and got the info up. form...possible assessment...decision poss esa group or jsa depending on info and evidence given. so yes it may not necessarily be as I thought so clear cut. there are more choices for them than before, where either you were sick or not.

 

Will just wait now then and see. Meanwhile will be in touch with Mind, I would like to find a support group or something as I do feel a bit isolated now that the cbt is long over but the illnesses are never over.

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yes antone, you are right, it was just the thought of it. anxiety is one of my biggest enemies, and I still battle with it. it wouldn't be any easier at all to not appeal if the worst happened. breathing now...thankyou.

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Well, I think what I wanted to say has been said, Ruby, I recall your posts from when I first joined here. Nice to see you're still posting ...

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hi RaeUK and thankyou. Btw I have just downloaded the cag toolbar, noticed the link under your name,

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In the words of my current cbt therapist you are catastrophising and mind reading (predicting the future) - remember this? I can't stop doing it either!

 

First of all you won't suddenly lose your benefit without anything happening.

 

1. The first thing that will happen is you will receive the ESA50 form which is lengthy and will need to be filled in within the set time frame, normally 2 weeks. Fill this in fully and not just in short answers for example if it says can you climb 4 stairs and you say yes, that's a firm yes to them whereas if the facts are you can climb the stairs over a period of 5 minutes, need to rest at the top for 3o minutes to regain your breath and then the exertion leaves you exhausted and unable to move for another 2-3 hours that all needs saying. Don't just say yes to the 4 stairs iykwim. So expand your answers always.

 

2. ATOS then peruse the ESA50 at their leisure, often for about 3 months. Meanwhile DWP continue to pay you as normal.

 

3. ATOS decide either to place you immediately into either the support group or work related activity group without the need for a face to face appointment or they call you in for a face to face appointment. If no face to face, you will be informed in writing of their decision as to which group they have placed you in. If you have been placed in the wrag but feel you meet the descriptors for the support group you can at that stage notify them in writing of your intention to appeal.

 

4. face to face appointment. A health care professional, or health care not very professional will ask you set questions which unbeknowingly to you provide them with snitches of information that lead them to believe you can often do far more than you really can. Therefore it is essential when they ask a question to answer it in full and expand on it just as you should have done with the ESA50. if doing something happens rarely for whatever reason, say so and state the reason, if it causes other symptoms or relapses, say so and state how long for etc. don't just answer their questions.

 

5. After the face to face, this generates their response which is form ESA85 and you have the right to request a copy of this from ATOS as soon as the day after the face to face. Then you can see what they've said.

 

After the face to face, based on the answers on the ESA85 which you can see, they decide on either of the two groups within ESA (and as before if they decide wrag, you can appeal for support group, when you do so, state which support group descriptors you feel you meet) or they decide you are not too ill to work and refuse you ESA. They would then notify you of that and suggest you claim JSA. However, you can appeal that and as soon as you notify them in writing of your intention to appeal they must leave you on your IB through the appeal process.

 

So basically at the end of the day, you will still have your IB until either you have been alloted your ESA group and are happy with the one alloted and transfer to ESA or you have been through the Tribunal and they have made their judgement one way or another. The wait for Tribunals is usually over 6 months so won't be anytime soon.

 

HTH

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Thankyou abc123def, it does sound a bit more organised than it was in 2009 when I did lose my benefit, got the letter saying I was no longer entitled, the day before the payment was due, told all I could do was apply for jobseekers, or appeal with unlikely chance of any change. I was treated very badly by dwp. I waited 15 months for tribunal, whilst being on reduced income support of £50, all of this didn't help my CBT which I was doing at the time.

 

Yes I remember the catastrophising, and yes when my anxiety kicks off I do still do this. 2 yrs since my CBT ended and with the onslaught of FMS and the gradual worsening of it over this past year, most days are a struggle to keep my routine together and negative thoughts at bay. Fatigue and pain and bad concentration etc the list goes on, hinder me.

 

Thankyou for your reply though, the panic mode has eased. I hope that this time round will not be anything like the last time.

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Can help a lot if you get the ESA form filled out with enough information. If they feel they ahve enough info on the form and it ties up with anything they may ahve on file then it's more likely thye'll move you into a group without an assessment, which most people find stressful.

 

Rethink has a pdf leaflet on their website which gives some help oneach of the descriptors for mentla health . There's also a wca assessors handbook on the dwp.gov.uk website which explains what they're looking for and how they rate things for each descriptor. It's a large pdf file but ahs an index.

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Can help a lot if you get the ESA form filled out with enough information. If they feel they ahve enough info on the form and it ties up with anything they may ahve on file then it's more likely thye'll move you into a group without an assessment, which most people find stressful.

 

This is what happened to me. I also sent a letter from my GP which stated I have these conditions and as a result, I have this issue and need this adjustment. (it was originally written due to issues with the work programme)

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that's a good idea Nystagmite I will get my GP to do me a letter to send with the form, keep a copy and get a special delivery, I will never trust them again.

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You will need to ensure that the letter is relevant to the descriptors.

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