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Terrified about ESA Tribunal

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Hi all,

 

First off, let me introduce myself.

 

 

I'm Lou.

I'll give you a little bit of backstory first:

 

 

I've been working for years with chronic pain issues, depression, anxiety, migraine associated vertigo and digestive issues.

I worked for as long as I could but I just couldn't manage any more so I got my doc to sign me off.

 

 

I got ESA easily initially.

when it came to my assessment, it all went wrong.

 

 

The nurse that assessed me actually used me being well-groomed against me as she did my hobby of having a beauty blog.

The whole thing seemed to rest on how long I can sit or stand for without pain

which is now around 10 minutes before I have to start fidgeting because I'm in so much discomfort.

 

 

I need a stick quite often,

a friend has to help me with my shopping or when my cat needs to go to the vet

and I am having grab bars put in to my bathroom as I'm having issues lifting my legs over the side of the bath to have a shower

as well as struggling to get onto and off of the loo.

 

 

I have issues getting dressed and undressed, even putting deodorant on is a trial!

 

 

All of that was ignored!!

As for my depression, I spend most of my time wishing I was dead

and the rest flying into rages over tiny things that I've gotten obsessed over.

 

 

Apparently, this wouldn't put me in danger at work, or anyone that I was around.

It all amounts to my Mandatory Reconsideration being turned down flat

once again, me being well groomed being rubbed in my face which I'm disgusted with.

 

 

I fully intend to fight it as I know I'm in no fit state to be around people mentally and I'm also not physically fit to manage work either.

My doctor is backing me all the way as I kind of figured what the outcome would be.

She's going to write me a letter.

 

 

I've explained to her how day by day, my chronic pain issues are worsening as is my depression and anxiety and this whole thing isn't helping at all.

The whole thing is terrifying to me and I nearly burst into tears when I got the letter this morning.

 

 

The DWP keep referring back to when I filled the form in back in August but I'm so much worse now.

I told the assessor this but she seemed cold and disinterested.

 

I'm at my wits end.

I pretty much deal with all of this alone.

 

 

All I have is my cat, Luna,

and quite frankly,

she's all that's stopping me doing something stupid.

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Hi there. Sorry for the delay in responding to your thread.

 

Just to be clear on what's happening: you were assessed for ESA but found to be fit for work, have appealed this decision and are now awaiting an appeal hearing. Is this correct?


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Yes, that's right. I collected my letter from my doctor today and have made an appointment to get help from the CAB with filling in form SSCS1 for next Tuesday. Sorry for my rambling posts. I tend to type as I think and my mind is a pretty chaotic, emotional place most of the time.

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It's understandable that you'd be a bit stressed at this time - I just had to ask for clarification so that we're not answering a question you didn't ask or telling you things you already know :-)

 

Anyhow, the key thing for ESA is the descriptors, available here - in most cases, to be successful at a Tribunal you would need to show how you score 15 points, and the evidence you show to the Tribunal should demonstrate that. I'm afraid I've never been through the appeal process myself, but there are people here who have and hopefully they'll be able to tell you what happens on the day etc.

 

The Tribunal will be interested in how your condition was on the day the decision was made to deny you ESA - that's just how the system works.


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Walking always hurts me, even over short distances. I can barely manage to sit or stand for 10 minutes before the pain starts, let alone 30 minutes and I have to fidget or shift to attempt to get comfortable. It doesn't work as a few minutes later, I'm back to square one. Reaching or lifting of arms to put clothing on, not good, as it hurts. I can't cope with change at all due to depression and emotional issues and I don't do any kind of social engagement if I can help it because it terrifies me. Looking at that, maybe I'll be ok? I'd love feedback from people that have been through it all though.

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Hello there.

 

Here are some links to information on tribunals, from Disability Rights and the CAB. As antone says, you need to show the tribunal how your condition fits the descriptors and why the DWP was wrong not to give you 15 points.

 

http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/appeals-and-mandatory-reconsideration

 

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/benefits-introduction/problems-with-benefits-and-tax-credits/challenging-a-benefit-decision/challenging-a-dwp-benefit-decision-on-or-after-28-october-2013/appealing-against-a-benefit-decision/appealing-against-a-dwp-benefit-decision/

 

Do you have a copy of what Atos or whoever said about you when you had your 'medical'?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hiya,

 

Yes, I asked for the medical report and was disgusted when I read it. A big deal is made of the fact that I bothered to brush my hair and put make-up on. Well, yes, I'm obsessed with routine and that's part of it but as they barely even questioned me about the mental side.....They only asked about suicidal thoughts and self-harming. I said I hadn't done it recently. She mentioned an hour of sitting which I didn't say so not sure where she got that from. A lot of fuss is made about how I 'seemed' at the assessment. I was so tense and scared that I'm sure I 'seemed' fine but I was stressed half out of my mind and desperately fighting my fight or flight instinct the whole time. I was terrified. The report goes on about the form I filled in back in August and by the time the assessment happened in December, I had gone significantly downhill and I told the supposed medical professional that but clearly she didn't listen as what was on that form it bought up time and time again. I've continued to go downhill since then.

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Thank you for that.

 

When I had my tribunal, I went through the Atos form with a fine tooth comb and highlighted everything that was wrong about me and also some answers the assessor had put that contradicted each other. For instance, he put that I didn't have trouble sleeping and then a bit later said that I did have sleep problems.

 

You know your case better than anyone else, so if you can winkle out this information, it can be the start of your submission to the tribunal, whether you write it or someone else did.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I could run out a pen highlighting all the wrong bits! lol But that's a very good idea, thank you.

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Doing that work and putting together a letter showing Atos's mistakes and how I fitted the descriptors is what won me my tribunal. :)

 

Anything you can put together will make the CAB's job easier and help them to help you better.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Can sombody explain what these 15 points are made up of and how certain problems are scored please ?


TJR JNR

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Can sombody explain what these 15 points are made up of and how certain problems are scored please ?

 

Follow the link in antone's post #4, it's all explained in that, TJ. :)

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Your ESA tribunal is based on how you were at the time of the assessment and not how you are now. You also can't use physical descriptors for mental health problems and vice versa.

 

Any letter your GP writes has to be relevant to the descriptors and not just something like "has depression" - why does your depression prevent you from working? That's what the DWP / tribunal want to know.

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Little update: Have doctor's letter with descriptor relevant bits waiting at the surgery, CAB helped me fill the form in and are hoping to send a rep to the tribunal with me and I've written a letter to send with everything as well. Will collect the doc's letter on Friday and will be sending everything in by recorded delivery on Monday. My ex doctor screwed up and didn't refer me to a Rheumatologist back in October like he was meant to but my new doc has sorted that so any diagnosis or info I get back from them will also be sent on as well. Once the appeal is logged, I can reapply for ESA with a doctor's note.

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Sorry I thought my reply earlier was to the OP of this thread, I see now I was wrong.

 

Please don't fear the tribunal. They are independent and it sounds like you have plenty of evidence to back you up.

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I'm a worrier as well as suffering with anxiety so it's hard not to be scared of the whole thing. It's not gone my way at all so far so I'm already dreading the outcome even if it's months away.

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Follow the link in antone's post #4, it's all explained in that, TJ. :)

 

HB

So i received a letter saying they awarded me esa at support group level - what happens next do i still send them fit notes? Any advice greatly received


TJR JNR

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Hi TJ. I moved your question from yesterday to its own thread - you can find it here:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?458332-ESA-Support-Group-Award-What-Next-%281-Viewing%29-nbsp


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Congratulations! You don't need to send in any fit notes any more.

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"Any letter your GP writes has to be relevant to the descriptors and not just something like "has depression" - why does your depression prevent you from working? That's what the DWP / tribunal want to know."

I learned the hard way to always make sure your doctor writes things down properly.My doctor described biceps tendonitis, bicep transfer and rotator cuff repair, which took three separate surgeries, as 'shoulder pain' which didn't look like a good reason to stay off work.

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