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Psychoduck

Is there supposed to be a time restriction between assessments?

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My wife has had to have two assessments in the last few years whilst on ESA, due to her ill health and mental health issues.

 

She scored a 0 on the first one, we appealed, and 2 years later the appeal went through and we scored 19 points (not much of a difference, eh?) and we got our benefit back.

 

7 months later, they sent he for assessment again. Once again, she scored zero. We went back to appeal, 13 months later it went through and we scored 18 points

 

We went back to the full rate in March of this year. It's now just the start of June, and we're being told she has to be assessed again, only 3 months later. Is this right? isn't their some form of minimum time frame, given that she's been repeatedly cleared, has given medical notes through out all appeals, and that she has only been back on the benefit for 3 months?

 

It's making her ill, she just saw the ATOS envelope today and burst out in tears and had a panic attack, It's so hard for her to go to these things. Not just because of a bad knee operation that has left her unable to walk much further than the bathroom and back, but because her stress and anxiety kick in and she will literally be sleepless for days before the appointment, throwing up and breaking down.

 

Whilst reading this, if anyone can also help me out with another question too I'd be most appreciative.

 

My wife started the ESA as a mental health issue, however since she was on the claim within the last year, she was given surgery on the NHS for a knee operation. A Knee operation that has since been revealed that would be of no use to her (they originally thought it would help fix her knee joint which kept coming out of socket). This operation, combined with her high rising knees brought on from hyper mobility (which is why the op should not have happened apparently) leaves her with a knee that swells up and bruises over night if she walks as far as going around town. She will be in agony, and has to take multiple Tramadol tablets each day to knock her out so she isn't in too much pain to rest. Obviously, this is now another obstacle in the way of work... will this be accepted on her ATOS report? or when she fills it in, will she only be able to talk about the mental health issues that the claim was originally for, and she still has.

 

Just wondering, because if we can use the knee thing too, I intend to. Because they don't understand mental health at ATOS at all. We constantly said in our first exam that my wife is incapable of going as far as our local shop (100m) without being accompanied by me and planning it in advance, and even then sometimes it was too much. On their report back, she scored 0 and they said "Angelina has no issue with going to the shop on her own"

 

So yeah, would be nice if we can use something that is physical and can be seen, since they seem to ignore what isn't in front of their eyes. From reports, they will likely ignore physical too but I want to make it harder for them to be such [edit]s.

 

I'm also planning on taking a voice recorder, and recording the whole assessment. Maybe that will force them to write down what is said, and not just tick the box that means she loses benefit and they get a gold star.

Edited by honeybee13
Pejorative word removed.

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Hello there.

 

Other people here know more than I do about the gaps between assessments, but they do seem to be pretty random. I don't understand the system either. I do know how Atos and the DWP make you feel though.

 

I'm also planning on taking a voice recorder, and recording the whole assessment. Maybe that will force them to write down what is said, and not just tick the box that means she loses benefit and they get a gold star.

I don't think they will let you do that if you tell them. You can ask for them to record the assessment. You could also check out the thread about having the whole thing recorded, which I think also covers clandestine recording.

 

I hope the guys will be along to comment later.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello psyduck

 

Yes you should include the knee issue and as much as you can about all conditions. Take letters about it into the asessment if you have them, i did when i had mine and helped no end.

 

They frown upon there customers ie, us recording our own assesments they even have signs up saying its prohibited.

 

Request that the assesment be recorded and that should buy you some extra time.

However if u choose to record it yourself dont tell them, legally theres nothing they can do about it, all they can do is evil stare you, however if you do tell them that you are recording it yourself they may refuse to even iterview you.

 

As far as time limits go, im afraid that the judge at the tribunal may recommend no re assesment for 2years but thats just that a recommendation and the DWP dont care. They do as they please, i and i understand completely its wrong and they should back off, buts its all to so with saving £££.

Its is disgusting!

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They will ask when the she had the operation and how it effects her day to day lists of meds and they will also ask her how far she can walk with or without aid etc etc put as much down as possible on your questionaire.!!

 

 

Hope this helps

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:Psychoduck:

 

So the nine weeks were the final ones before the end of a recommended period before reassessment. :frown: After a tribunal, decision makers sometimes reset the date for reassessment but they don't have to. And it doesn't really matter cos Jobcentreplus can reassess whenever they want, from three months after a previous assessment.

 

Yes, your wife can add her mobility problems to her claim for employment n support. All of her medical conditions should be declared on the ESA50 and the resultant effects described in as much detail as poss. The 'moving around' activity is about mobilising rather than walking. How far away is town? Does upper body hypermobility preclude a manual chair? Enclose a copy of the most recent tribunal decision. Some mental health conditions need lengthy treatment before there's any chance of improved mental function.

 

Have you read CAG's guide to completing an ESA50?

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?316210-ESA50-Guide

 

And there's a guide to the mental health part, inclusive of a factsheet, at;

 

http://www.rethink.org/living-with-mental-illness/money-issues-benefits-employment/work-capability-assessment

 

Policy of Atos/Jobcentreplus is that assessments can only be recorded on dual deck cassette/disc machines that cost £1,500+. Some claimants secretly use pens or phones, but if the assessor susses they'll halt the assessment and send the case back to Jobcentreplus for consideration of good cause. By far the best option at the moment, is to ask Atos to record the assessment, especially as they've just suspended the four week time limit for them to source an audio recorder. :-)

 

#1111 of;

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?336827-Announcement-ESA-claimants-now-have-the-option-of-having-their-WCA-recorded

 

And the official route to request an audio recorded assessment, in addition to a written request on page 3 of the ESA50 as proof that one was requested;

 

http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/2012/12/how-to-request-an-audio-recorded-assessment

 

Best wishes, Margaret. :panda:

Edited by **Margaret**
  • Haha 1

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