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IB to ESA letter has arrived - couple of questions please.


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Retro. Dont worry about Paper copies of the ESA50, download the online version and a good PDF reader writer and you can amend the ESA50 online as many times as you want before you print it out and send it.

GET AS MUCH MEDICAL EVIDENCE AS YOU CAN to support your claims of the descriptors.

Also, DO NOT send any originals, make copies of everything and send the copies, ensure your National Insurance number is at the top of all copies and also, if you can number,sequentially all the stuff you send in then also send a single page with all the stuff listed with the numbers and use your numbered documents as a reference to your answerr on the ESA50.

If the DWP and ATOS can 'lose' material, they will.

They lost my entire ESA50 and all the accompanying medical evidence supporting my claims, then sent one sheet of the ESA113 to the HCP assessor to make their assessment !

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Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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Getting medical evidence will be a mare to be honest. My initial hospital treatments were done at a hospital that no longer exists.

 

The only evidence I know that is easily retrievable, is any letters my G.P will have on his records from whenever he has been informed of operations, scans etc. And of course, being a new G.P, there is a heck of a lot of stuff he would need to sift through going back many years. When I signed up with him, he just knew I was on long term pain medication, and from my recent records knew this had been ongoing for quite some time.

 

I don't even know where to start. When I first had assessments I had doctors names, recent hospital visits etc etc. But as I say, that was a long time ago and the doctors aren't even there anymore - some have retire (there were two main ones - a plastic surgeon and orthopedic surgeon). I've long since gone from ongoing treatments, to pain clinics, minor ops to correct little things here and there, just to get some dexterity and mobility back etc.

 

This is a BIG worry that I may have to dig deep for stuff that is very old. I can only hope that my G.P can back up the things I have had done. I'm not in a position to call a hospital and ask DR X or Y to provide info of recent visits for example.

 

I think some folk here are thinking this my be my first assessment? It isn't though, I have had a few. Last one was just the old form to fill in, which I did and passed as it were.

 

Oh and I'd rather write the form out. I can only type one handed (one fingered really) and so it takes me an age to do. Mainly because my left arm/hand is screwed up. It might sound like a trivial thing, but if I explain how bad my left hand is (yet again) but fill out the online form with lots of details, they might think I'm blagging? Though the state of how it looks should be evidence enough!

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Oh and I'd rather write the form out. I can only type one handed (one fingered really) and so it takes me an age to do. Mainly because my left arm/hand is screwed up. It might sound like a trivial thing, but if I explain how bad my left hand is (yet again) but fill out the online form with lots of details, they might think I'm blagging? Though the state of how it looks should be evidence enough!

Your last point first.

No, the state of how it looks wont be enough. You might not even have a face to face assessment like myelf and be dumped straight into the WRAG.You need to be fully informed that in some cases, not all, the DWP and ATOS will be more devious than a devious person at devious University

If needs be apply for a SAR to your Doctor to produce all medical details he has on you.

 

As for not typing your stuff out. I helped a local chap last week by using a Tablet with Google Speak on it to write out documents. It works quite well, if you can get hold of a Tablet computer or try it on a Laptop with a Mic.

 

Whatever happens, photocoty everything and keep the originals safe.

Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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I am very sorry that I don't have any new advice to offer, or any help to give, except moral support, being in the same boat myself. I received the letter about the transfer today and immediately went into a panic attack. Luckily my husband was home (unluckily because he's just been made redundant at age 59!)

 

What I want to say is - the last time I needed help, the people on this site helped me a lot and just looking at the advice offered, I already feel better and should be able to tackle the forms soon.

 

At least I didn't have a full fit this time, just a small fall.

 

Many, many thanks

Pritti

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As for not typing your stuff out. I helped a local chap last week by using a Tablet with Google Speak on it to write out documents. It works quite well, if you can get hold of a Tablet computer or try it on a Laptop with a Mic.

 

You can do this on a lot of phones too.

 

I second photocopying and sending them the copy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well firstly aplogies for not replying for a while. I have had some trouble with my only good eye and had been advised to try and steer clear of computer monitors as much as possible just while things clear up. Too much strain on my eye.

 

Anyway, two weeks to the day, the form has arrived. I didn't phone them in the end (as the initial letter requested) - mainly in the vain attempt to hopefully prolong how long it would take them to send the form. But it is here and I am again panicking. Living alone has some nice benefits, but at times like this, it feels like a very big empty flat.

 

I have had a quick flick through the form and since I last completed one I can already see a fair few subtle (but devious) changes.

 

I'm going to go see citizens advice. But what is concerning me there, is how easily I'll get to see someone. There used to be a local one that appeared to be open quite a lot. But now the two local ones only open on Monday mornings from 9am to 1pm - which seems very restrictive considering how many people must want to see them. The nearest one isn't open to make an appointment but appears to have moved and is now in a G.P's surgery and the number you call only references G.P appointments!

 

This is the worst part of receiving something like this on a Saturday and being in Limbo for a few days. It says I have until 16th sept to send it back to them, so no immediate rush (although makes it difficult sending it back last minute, as 16th is a Monday) but with CAB only being open Mondays, that time could soon fly by.

 

So now I'm a wreck and can't really focus on reading the form. I need to calm down a little. I'm sure it sounds overly dramatic. But as someone who suffers ongoing pain, which can be triggered to its highest levels from the most trivial things (mainly neck pain, which is the worst as it makes you dizzy and gives me a banging headache) I can only imagine scenarios of being asked along to job centres etc and then heading home and doing nothing but trying to alleviate pain for the rest of the day.

 

I'm sorry but I know I have waffled in this thread, but you guys are the only people I have to talk to. I don't have anyone close to me that would understand or could help. The stock response would be "you have suffered for years, tell them what is wrong with you and you'll be fine". It is hard to impress upon people what these tests are designed to do.

 

I know I'll need to speak to my doctor as well. But I notice they say to send any doctors statements to the job centre, and not include them? That is different than before. Going to be a long doctors visit as he doesn't know a whole lot about me apart from my pain meds and recent asthma attacks I have been having. As I have said, he is a new doctor to me and doesn't know anything else - but wanted to see CAB first so that they can advise on exactly what I should ask my doctor. I know people have said to get hospital notes and whatnot off the various doctors I was under. But my injuries/disabilities were all sustained over 15 years ago. Hence my current doctor not being up to speed either. But then he hasn't really needed to be.

 

So, first port of call is CAB - I'll need to ask someone to print me a copy of the form and I'll fill it in in pencil and keep the posted one for when I'm confident I have all the details correct. Don't really know why I'm typing this out, as you have all been amazing, and I know at this point there isn't anything you can do but read my nonsense :) Thank you all.

Edited by Retro_uk
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No, no one apart from me going to CAB. I mean I can fill in the form, but unlike in the past where I just blindly filled it in, I want to be 100% sure this time that I spell out as much as I can and that it is relevant. I have skipped over many things I couldn't do in the past as I trusted from previous assessments that they had the information on me.

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if you don't have anyone to help with the form then I am sure those here who know about this will help...I am sure I have seen another poster list the questions they had problems with or things they weren't sure where to put, and people have advised and helped, sort of talked them through a bit. please ask and am sure those here who can help will do just that. I am still waiting for mine and I did ring 2 weeks after I got the letter, and its been two weeks and no form as yet, they said 2-3 weeks on the phone so its likey to be here any day if not I shall have to ring again, I cant leave it incase I get a non-reply accusation and benefit stopped, have seen this on here a lot too. seems we cant win either way they stress us out. good idea re seeing the GP, the more notes they have the more info they can give. good luck...and please come on and ask, the weekend is slow when you got all this....I have been there, but having CAG is a real bonus to come to and get help and info.

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Yeah...I was sat this morning waiting on the post, and thought to myself "I hope that form doesn't arrive on a weekend while I'm kind of in limbo for sorting cab appts etc" - makes the usually fast weekends go by really slowly as you stew over things.

 

I said to an acquaintance the other day though when discussing this. Going to see my doctor is going to be embarrassing. I always find it difficult telling people I haven't worked in a long time. Social situations always seem to dictate that the first thing people ask you is "so what do you do for a living". I'ma shy person and that question always filled me with dread. One, because you can see the reaction in some people (usually because with long trousers and long sleeved shirt on, I look "normal") and two, because some then ask a million questions about what happened to me etc etc.

 

I tend to avoid many social activities now because of that. I've missed out on school reunions for example, and even just catching up with old friends who have found me on facebook.

 

And now I find myself just feeling awkward about it all the time. I'm going to have to go through all that when I go see my doctor - who is a really nice guy - but I have no idea what his reaction will be. While I'm sure he will be supportive, I have come across doctors in the past who didn't believe in pain medications for example, and wanted me to try alternative approaches. Will my doctor have similar closed minded views on certain things? Paranoia setting in already :)

 

I wish I still had my old doctor now, but sadly he left his practice a few years back, and I have no idea where is is.

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Yes I know what you mean about doctors and differing attitudes. I too don't get involved with social events and people for much the same reason. I am lucky my GP is still at the same practise and knows all there is to know, he is generally supportive but a bit IMO of a pushover with DWP, and their carefully worded to get the answers they want, questions. I have filled out and printed off the esa50 online form and added separate sheets etc and am taking a copy of all of it to GP so by the time he may be asked to comment he has it all, if needed. At the end of the day he knows my issues/illnesses/conditions, and even if he wasn't my regular GP its all on record, and its how they affect my daily routine that is under scrutiny not what meds the GP advises or not, the personal opinion of a GP is just that re meds. It doesn't mean your pain is any less. There is much written about addiction, I am on pain relief daily at the most my GP has prescribed, I have seen online that they don't like these being prescribed indefinitely, so I may have issues soon if he wants me off them. I know someone who has been referred to a pain clinic and the referral alone shows there is pain that needs to be managed.....you could ask if there is a pain clinic you could attend or what the GP does recommend for your pain, or see another one if he/she isn't very helpful. Its awful as when we are not well we really don't need all this, and its draining enough being unwell. I sometimes feel, however good my GP is, that I have to push for what I need and its not unheard of for me to download and print off info from the internet and take it with me to appointments, make him read it and respond, I don't care its awkward, I matter, and its not my fault I am unwell, and its his job to help me. Good Luck....and remember you matter and you deserve help.

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I really do appreciate your responses, and of course I wish you good luck and well wishes as well.

 

I have attended a pain clinic in the past - in fact the meds I'm on now are a result of my old doctor (the one I miss) never being afraid to refer me to the hospital when I approached him with problems. I have issues with pain, but also issues with nerve damage that I did to my arms and legs. It took a long time and a lot of experimentation to find a mixture of tablets that helped with the pain and the nerves.

 

I've been on them a long time now. Thankfully an old girlfriend was a nurse and she taught me how best to manage my medication. I'm allowed "up to four a day" of my strongest meds. But as she drummed in to me, just because I'm allowed up to four a day, doesn't mean I should just blindly take them. Obviously you have good and bad days, so factor that in and literally take the meds as needed. I of course always take the strongest at night, as once I'm in bed and you struggle to get comfortable, that is when you usually notice pain the most - once you want to sleep.

 

Otherwise, be careful with them. And it worked, because they are still as effective now as they have ever been. But at the pain clinic, that is where I met the doctor who was trying to sell me on the whole alternative therapy thing. I told him straight that he had clearly never been in real pain, otherwise he would change his attitude. You do or take whatever when you are suffering - anything to help ease it.

 

I am just confused by what I do with anything my G.P might say, as it implies from the form that if he does have any statement/comments to make, that it should be treated separately and sent to the job centre.

 

It is almost like, the longer this has affected someone, the less chance you have of backing it up. I have only got everything my G.P has to hand, purely because of the time frame. If this was all just happening to me now, then obviously I could refer them to appts etc. But that isn't the case. I don't have anything current going on, for obvious reasons. Just as someone who has lost multiple limbs for example, may well have finished any treatments years ago, and are now just living with the consequences.

 

I think once I speak to CAB and get some suggestions then having something to focus on will help. Strange to think I have filled these forms in with the odd comment added here and there and been fine, and now that won't nearly be enough. And not because anything has changed with me.

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Retro Have you checked if there is an Advocacy service near you? My local Advocate came out to my house and checked over all my ESA 50 and documents and pointed out many things that I didnt think relevant.

If you cant find one contact your local MIND as they will know where the nearest Advocacy service is

Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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I've just been looking online for a proper CAB office as my local one seems very inadequate only opening one day a week. Just found one less than 2 miles away so can hop on a bus there I think. It opens every day and can get an appt of they think I need more time.

 

Just looked at NHS site for that advocacy thing - but it seems more geared toward mental health?

 

Managed to relax a little today. I tend to get obsessive over things, and I know I'll just let some questions fester in my mind and not be able to do anything about it - after all, I have filled in similar forms before so I know a lot of what I need to fill in already. Going to go to visit that CAB on Tues (if I can't get quick appt at the local one down the road) and sit with them and make notes as they go over the descriptors with me and see what they recommend I ask my doctor.

 

edit: Hmmm, after some more reading I discovered where my records from my original hospital (which closed many years ago) were sent to. I have just phoned their records department and they confirmed that they should have them. But sadly the Sunday staff had no idea what the procedure was as there have been changes to how you access your own records? And that mine may well be stored off site somewhere and will take time to gather. Rather handy for ATOS that one :/ eek, and a maximum £50 charge for hard copies. That is gonna sting hard.

 

Going to have to make an appt first thing for G.P I think and ask him to maybe put a request in for me? There are some gruesome photos in there that I've always avoiding seeing and I'm not looking forward to having to sift through them. In fact I'm shaking now just thinking about it.

Edited by Retro_uk
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:Retro_uk:

 

A few comments that may help:

 

The procedure for accessing your medical records is the same as for any other subject access request; a written request to your doctor for the information s/he holds about you. I'd start with the tenner for viewing your records and copies of everything that's on the computer. You can decide whether you need copies of the rest once you've seen what's there.

 

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1309.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCatagoryID=160

 

The sentence about medical statements on the covering QR1 letter refers to Med 3 (unfit) notes. Conversion claimants don't need them (unless they have to appeal), most won't have seen one in years, but a non existent one may be mentioned on the Atos report cos it's a default setting. :roll: Copies of supportive medical documents should accompany the questionnaire. However it's a good idea to send copies to Jobcentreplus as well, cos Atos somehow manage to lose more evidence than they send on.

 

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-handbook.pdf

(pages 82 - 87)

 

Can you use your right arm reliably and repeatedly or does using your arm cause cervical pain? I don't know how far you can walk, but if you can't repeatedly walk 200 metres explain why you wouldn't be able to self propel a manual chair either.

 

Do you want any face to face assessment audio recorded? If so, mention it on page 3 of the ESA50 as evidence that an audio record was requested.

 

:panda: Best wishes, Margaret.

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Margaret, many thanks for that post.

 

I sat thinking about this last night (and probably every waking moment since the post arrived on Saturday :) ) And I think I'm going to put in a request with the hospital anyway, to get everything sent to me.

 

I'm not sure just how much stuff they send. But I think it may be best, rather than me try and view my records. The problem with that being, that my accident happened a long time ago. But even though I haven;t seen my records in years, the folder was massive. Possibly close to a couple of hundred pages. Not to mention photographs of some of my injuries post op. And many many xrays etc - over 100 just of my right leg.

 

That's why I'm finding this part daunting to be honest. I've never needed to send any of this evidence before and there is going to be so much for me to look through. I know I'm going to find it daunting looking through it all. Not to mention that things like the photographs, that I don't want to look at.

 

I recall the orthopedic surgeon, who was a lovely guy and jokingly referred to me as the idiot on the motorbike. But did it with a wink and a smile - he just wanted to try and make sure I never rode another bike. But to scare me he thrust all these photos down on my bed one day. I was still badly injured at that point and couldn't move. A nurse had to grab a sick bowl as I remember going ice cold and nearly passing out. I'm not squeamish by any means, but when it is yourself you see torn apart, it isn't nice.

 

Going to be a heck of a lot of copies to print off is I send any records to the job center as well. I assume I could get someone to give me a lift to actually take them to a job centre? As otherwise I think posting would be expensive. But I think at this point I my as well bite the bullet and pay to have a copy of all my records at home so that I can read through them all and try and make sense of which are the best to send.

 

I can use my right arm ok.I do have some issues with it as they took a large piece of skin and muscle from my bicep. It gets sore and twitches sometimes, as it caused some nerve damage where they did the removal. But my left arm isn't that great. I can kind of wiggle my fingers, but there is no strength to them at all as I lost loads of muscle and did a lot or nerve damage and tendon damage to it. I couldn't hold a cup for example, I would just drop it on the floor.

 

My main pain comes from my neck though, and is irritated by holding anything heavy in my right hand, because it pulls on my neck. I broke the C4 bone in my neck. I was extremely lucky that it didn't dislodge, it just broke a piece off and so healed lumpy like bones do. But of course it is now permanently damaged and causes pain all the time. Up to points where it makes me feel very dizzy as well and at times can make me vomit. That is by far the worst I suffer as it gives me banging headaches and ....well, any pain so close to your head, and in your head, is the worst you can get in my opinion as it is most difficult to try and get comfortable.

 

As for walking - walking is always painful. I smashed my legs up pretty badly and my ankles lost a lot of flexibility and I have what is called hyper sensitivity around my right ankle, spreading across the top of my foot. So standing, walking, rolling around in bed - it all irritates that sensitive area. Using a wheelchair would hurt my left arm a lot even if I could grip the wheel for any length of time with my hand. I know because I was sent home in a wheel chair from the hospital as I couldn't walk when I first went home after my accident.

 

I mean, I live alone, and there are shops almost on my doorstep which I have no choice but to walk to, but it always hurts. It is something I have just had to deal with. I usually used to put that I could walk a hundred meters - and more if needed - but that even 50 meters causes discomfort that can vary. But that I have had no choice because there is no one here that can just pop to the shops for me etc. Or walk to my G.P's for that matter. But perhaps - and hope this doesn't come out wrong - me saying I can "soldier through something" isn't what I should be saying in case they misinterpret it and just think "right, this guy can walk as far as we want him to because he can tolerate it being painful/uncomfortable.

 

As usual I have waffled again - sorry! I also called an NHS number I found yesterday, to find a local advocacy service. But whoever I spoke to asked me what it was in relation to, and when I explained, they just asked me what an ESA50 was and said I should just go to the citizens advice :/ Oh and definitely asking for it to be recorded. I was worried about that part, as I was going to ask them if I could use the voice recorder on a phone, but knew I'd feel like an idiot pulling one out and starting it up!

 

One quick question. I decided to speak to a neighbour in one of the flats here yesterday. He is an alcoholic (not a bad one by any means - if that makes sense - but an alcoholic never the less. I know he has had a few tumbles and accidents over the last few years as he tends to get into trouble when he is bladdered.

 

The reason I spoke to him, is that I spotted he got an ATOS form in the post a few months ago. He was very open when I spoke to him (he was sober so I wasn't being mean and prying info from him!) - he says he was just put on to something called ESA WRG - which I'm not entirely sure I understand. And that he goes for interviews once a year? But curiously, he gets paid the same money as I do, but gets all his prescriptions etc for free? And he has never sent any medical information? Just a side note that I was curious about.

 

One last question. Let's say they fail me at the medical, I also fail an appeal and they put me on whatever benefit is applicable. But then I start trying to find a job, and end up in more pain because the work hurts my neck, back arm and legs. And end up taking sick days and losing a job because of it. Am I stuck in a loop or trying to find work, losing jobs and so on and so on. Or would the job centre see this and let me reapply.

 

Not for one second thinking that will happen to me at this stage, but surely it has happened to some people out there who have been wronged by this awful process? Thanks again for the continued support in this thread.

 

Oh sorry one last thing. If I apply for my medical records today, should I hold off on speaking to my G.P (who it appears may not be much use at this stage?) until I see how long my records might take? After all, if I have to pay for all my records to be sent to me, is it worth paying to view them at my G.P's? That is one of my other worries - there is so much stuff, how can I expect my G.P to sift through it all in a timely manner to get fully up to speed on my history? Still so worried about all this....it is daunting to say the least.

 

edit: should I add on the form that I am going back to the eye hospital for further tests? I started having a problem a couple of years back with my "good eye" (my right eye is a lazy eye and pretty much useless as I can't read with it, recognise faces....anything like that) in that I got a blind spot in it near the centre of my vision. I then developed a large shadow just in my peripheral vision. The eye hospital did a number of tests and rather oddly, gleefully told me they could find nothing wrong and that I should be happy. Errrr, no I'm not because my only good eye has a small blind spot and a large shadow to the right of my vision! They told me if anything changes to go back. Even though my right eye is no good, in bright light I have noticed it too now has a large dark shape in its periphery so am asking my doctor to refer me back to the hospital. They may not have been able to find anything - but what they can't seem to grasp is that I DO worry because I only have one good eye to begin with! Sorry if it is irrelevant to this.

 

Oh and rather embarrassing - should I mention that I have irritable bowel syndrome? It has only happened since my accident. I get anxious about going out and diarrhea can hit me with NO warning whatsoever. It is one of my biggest worries if I go for a medical, and I think I'd need to starve myself for a few days before it if need be so that I don't have to run out of the room (which has happened on several hospital visits and at some family functions) It just feels silly putting things like that on there as it isn't really an illness?

 

edit yet again. FIRST BIG BLOW - just spoke to a lovely lady at the hospital records dept and she told me that it has been such a long time since I attended that there is a fair chance my notes could have been destroyed!

 

I really hope not and have my fingers crossed as I did apply for some copies of photographs about 7 years ago, so here is hoping. But worried now! Thankfully she did ask what time frame I was looking at and said if they have them they will try and be as quick as possible. But man am I nervous now.

 

another edit (sorry): just been dealt another blow. Spoke to my G.P's and they have told me that they may only have the bare minimum notes on me if my old surgery (that closed down) didn't pass every single file on. Can't believe that even happens, but boy is it looking glum at this minute.

Edited by Retro_uk
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The reason I spoke to him, is that I spotted he got an ATOS form in the post a few months ago. He was very open when I spoke to him (he was sober so I wasn't being mean and prying info from him!) - he says he was just put on to something called ESA WRG - which I'm not entirely sure I understand. And that he goes for interviews once a year? But curiously, he gets paid the same money as I do, but gets all his prescriptions etc for free? And he has never sent any medical information? Just a side note that I was curious about.

WRAG is Work related Activity Group. Means you will have to go to Work Focussed Interviews unless you are above the Pension age or are on Pension credit.

He may get Free Prescriptions as he is on Low Income or even on Pension Credit

One last question. Let's say they fail me at the medical, I also fail an appeal and they put me on whatever benefit is applicable. But then I start trying to find a job, and end up in more pain because the work hurts my neck, back arm and legs. And end up taking sick days and losing a job because of it. Am I stuck in a loop or trying to find work, losing jobs and so on and so on. Or would the job centre see this and let me reapply.

Firstly, you may not even have a medical and may be dumped straight into the WRAG.

Dont start panicking about things that could be a very long time in the future. Work on one step at a time

 

edit: should I add on the form that I am going back to the eye hospital for further tests?

Oh and rather embarrassing - should I mention that I have irritable bowel syndrome?

Mention everything and get a letter from the Doctor or hospital backing it up

 

edit yet again. FIRST BIG BLOW - just spoke to a lovely lady at the hospital records dept and she told me that it has been such a long time since I attended that there is a fair chance my notes could have been destroyed!

Correct. My initial diagnosis was made in 1995 and all my records including scans etc were destroyed. Its normal for some hospitals to do this after 8 or 10 years. I was fortunate as I had the reports that were sent from the Hospital to the Doctors

 

another edit (sorry): just been dealt another blow. Spoke to my G.P's and they have told me that they may only have the bare minimum notes on me if my old surgery (that closed down) didn't pass every single file on. Can't believe that even happens, but boy is it looking glum at this minute.

Again par for the course. The Family Practitioners health service that used to do all the transfers of documents when changing surgeries lost all my records TWICE !! My records only go back to 1995
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I'm starting to feel a little better in myself now that I have some things moving along - CAB appt and G.P appt etc. The records is a worry - but then surely the job centre/ATOS (or whoever used to deal with the medicals) will have something on file from previous claims?

 

I keep forgetting that this four week period isn't the timeframe for everything to happen. I need to remind myself that this is the beginning of a process.

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I wonder if it would be worth doing an SAR to DWP?

 

When I did this I got copies of letters from the GP etc going back to the beginning of my claim, and got them fairly quickly.

 

There is a form on their website somewhere, and the added advantage is that they don't charge.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Spoke to CAB and he advised me to wait and see what the hospital and G.P say re: the records, then contact the job centre/ATOS and explain my records are lost through no fault of my own. Plus put a complaint in where necessary because my records are gone. Will have to wait and see of course. I had hoped when I emailed the medical records office this morning as requested, that they would have sent me a request form back immediately. But maybe they are seeing whether they still exist first?

 

CAB guy also told me something slightly worrying. He said if I fail the assessment form so to speak, that I will be put on an emergency payment while I appeal? But someone in this thread said they don't reduce your payments while you appeal? Confused.

 

Will relax until Wed now when I see my G.P. But feel like a fraud filling in some of what the CAB guy suggested - because like a fool I soldier on through things. Whereas he pointed out, that is the wrong attitude to take with these people. Pride can be bad at times :/

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edit: should I add on the form that I am going back to the eye hospital for further tests? I started having a problem a couple of years back with my "good eye" (my right eye is a lazy eye and pretty much useless as I can't read with it, recognise faces....anything like that) in that I got a blind spot in it near the centre of my vision. I then developed a large shadow just in my peripheral vision. The eye hospital did a number of tests and rather oddly, gleefully told me they could find nothing wrong and that I should be happy. Errrr, no I'm not because my only good eye has a small blind spot and a large shadow to the right of my vision! They told me if anything changes to go back. Even though my right eye is no good, in bright light I have noticed it too now has a large dark shape in its periphery so am asking my doctor to refer me back to the hospital. They may not have been able to find anything - but what they can't seem to grasp is that I DO worry because I only have one good eye to begin with! Sorry if it is irrelevant to this.

 

First of all, sorry to hear this. I understand part of what you're going through. When I was old enough to understand what was going on, I asked why do I have the eye condition I have? (some have it for no reason; but the majority have an underlying cause for) I was told it was nothing. My parents were told the same when I was a child. I was then told some 3 years later that there is a cause, which also explains why my colour vision is poor.

 

I hope you get some answers about what's wrong with your eyes.

 

I would personally add it. You may also find that you meet one or more of the criteria regarding visual impairment. (something about getting out safely and something regarding the location of a fire exit)

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:Retro_uk:

 

A few more comments:

 

Should you want copies of all your records, the doctor and the hospital can charge up to £50 for each set. Remember that you only need evidence, for example, an x-ray of the damage to your spine, a letter between doctors about how far you can walk, to support your claimed level of impaired function.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-request-for-personal-information

 

Should you need to read through as much of your medical history as possible for other reasons, that's an entirely separate issue. And you may need someone to talk to, a friend or a referral to a psychologist, especially as you're already struggling with anxiety.

 

'soldier through something' isn't what you should say. :nono: If you can only do something once cos of pain, or can't perform the activity reliably, repeatedly, and in a reasonable time, you should be regarded as unable to do it. Have a look at the descriptors for continence and getting around safely with sight problems. (1st link in #6.)

 

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

(Atos won't accept mobile phones.)

 

You should enquire about help with health costs on the grounds of low income.

 

A booklet about employment n support allowance, the different components, work related activity, etcetera;

 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@benefits/documents/digitalasset/dg_199992.pdf

 

Unfortunately, my advice in #6, about assessment rate employment n support during an appeal is correct. Been there several times with friends!!!

 

:panda: Best wishes, Margaret.

Edited by **Margaret**
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Ok, interesting point about what medical stuff I may need. All my hospital notes will be about the injuries I sustained. After my spell in hospital I was sent home in a wheelchair because my legs were still badly damaged and I had metal work screwed on the outside of one of them. It took a long time for my right leg to heal where it had been broken (over a year)

 

It was a slow process and I had a lot of physio visits. As for specifics about how far I can walk, use of my arm etc. I honestly don't think specifics will ever have been discussed? I mean it will be noted what damage I did to everything and how much of it would be permanent. But otherwise I'm not sure. But of course, bear in mind that I got better over such a long period (and had several visits back to "tweak things" for example trying to stop my fingers drooping down as much on my left hand, and to try and give a little more flex to my ankles), and a lot of it happened so long ago, that I can't recall all the details of what my original G.P may or may not have been told. That has me worrying again now to be honest.

 

I'll just have to see whether the hospital has any notes, and also what has been passed on to my new G.P. but I need to get an amended request form sent to the hospital and I didn't think about copies of xrays and whatnot - and feel like an idiot for that now. I guess I should just ask for everything! Even if there are a ton of xrays - although most xrays are almost carbon copies as they just kept xray'ing my leg at every visit to see if it was fusing at the ankle.

 

Thankfully they only emailed me late yesterday afternoon so by the time I had managed to get it emailed back it was probably close to them finishing for the day. I'll get the amended form sent before 9am today. Is a bit of a nuisance people wanting emailed scans of things as I don't have a printer or scanner so need to ask a friend to make a fairly decent trip to pick me up and sort it out :/ I'm still unsure as to whether my license was good enough I.D for them.

 

The girl said I really needed photo I.D - which I don't have. I don't have a passport and my license is the old pink paper ones. Fingers crossed that is enough!

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Sorry to be a killjoy here but you seem to be paying a lot of attention to your condition in the past.

What you SHOULD be doing is getting verification of your capabilities NOW, as that is what any ATOS assessment is going to be looking at.

 

The ESA50 as you will see, is focussed on your capabilities at present and what work you are capable of doing now.

You should also realise that the HCP might not even look at the ESA50 though they will state on their 'Justifications' that they did.

 

So whilst past records might be a help at appeal should it go to that, they wont be relevant now

Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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