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Can anyone give me advice on what to do next? i was on esa for 12 months but just had it stopped after ATOS assessment gave me no points.

I don't mind going back to work but I was ill after major surgery to my shoulder but my assessment only considers how i am now. what about all the recovery time it took and the extra benefit i lost because of THEIR long delays?. Please anyone who can help. I'm at the end of my tether getting deeper in debt and now suffering from depression and anxiety. Not sure I can take much more.

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I am dreading my assessment - seems to be focussed mostly on physical rather than mental. I also will score ZERO I know that. If they want me back on JSA, fine, won't last long as I am due major surgery in the next few months so will be back on ESA faster than DWP can say "better off in work" I am sure a prospective employer will be glad to hear someone they are thinking of taking on has ongoing anxiety and depression problems as well as impending major surgery - what a great candidate I seem

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Hi Bobfish7271,


I'm not an expert, but I've gone through the appeal process. It seems the ATOS medical is no longer about your physical or mental abilities. The medical now seeks to determine WHAT YOU CAN DO and HOW YOU'D COPE in a working environment. ESA seemingly has a very different focus on your medical condition from that of IB. I believe they operate on the assumption that everybody can do some thing in the workplace. I can only say that you need to get an appeal underway ASAP.


If you're lucky enough to have one, go to the citizen's advice bureau (CAB) and ask for help in lodging an appeal against the DWP's decision that you are "fit for work". You also need to get in touch with the DWP and request a mandatory reconsideration within a month of their decision that you are "fit for work".


The DWP have added the 'mandatory reconsideration' recently as a step, to allow them to look-again at the decision. Some see this as a delaying tactic, or a wicked flurry of red-tape to dissuade appeals.


The mandatory reconsideration occurs in-house; it can theoretically take as much time as they fancy, I think the norm is 6-8 weeks. No ESA benefits are payable during this period, so you may be required to sign-on for JSA to get any money to live on. You can submit new medical evidence during the period of the mandatory reconsideration and it will be considered by the decision maker.


You may have a need to get a lawyer to gather medical evidence. Medical report from specialist normally involves a fee. If you're unemployed or in a low-income household, I think you'll qualify for legal-aid.


Your medical evidence will establish the extent of your injury, expected healing time, etc. Your feelings of anxiety and depression and the associated delays will also be important in determining your fitness for work at the time of the medical. Also, the fact that you are awaiting further treatment.


It may be in your interest to find a welfare rights office (possibly at your local housing association or social work department), if there is none at your local CAB.


I hope my rambling answer helps.


Best wishes

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hi, had my atos medical 3 weeks ago, mine was all about the physical side, then one of the 2 doctors asked me at the end of the medical, oh any change in your mental state.1hour about my physical, 30 seconds about my mental state.

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They are clever, I will give them that - they know the majority of ESA claims are going to be anxiety and depression as there is still a stigma over these conditions and people think you can simply get a GP appointmentand get some pills and get signed off work/JSA - problem is for all the people that do try it on (small % I hope) most are genuine people with anxiety and depression problems. ATOS seems to be all about physical rather than mental so many people score ZERO

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well got that brown letter from dwp 3weeks after my atos medical,well shocked scored zero points but moved from wrag group to support group for 2years.passed a descriptor in my physical abilities only,nothing for my mental abilities.

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