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    • Amex as with any creditor must help you the FOS should go with you and make them remove all interest charged from the very 1st time of asking for help. the FCA regulations actually almost dictate it, they most certainly clearly state that if the are FCA registered they must help.   it's very telling they have no marked your credit file....almost as if they know they are wrong. it's also telling that an irresponsible lending complaint might well be in order hear too, they can just keep upping the credit limit without checking you can pay. and ofcourse covid plays its part here and they've already admitted as they allowed payments holidays until october in line with the rest of the industry and they should be continuing that. you problem is you keep using the phone, no paperwork no record of things discussed. i'd get an SAR off to them. and get the comms/account log and all the statements from day one and go nail them.
    • Hello CAG, Bit of a long post, may want to get a cuppa before starting reading... 😁   after being a lurker for many years and trying never to get into a mess with credit cards like i did 20 years ago, i've got myself into a mess with Amex... I've tried being open and honest with them, but now getting the feeling they are messing me around.    Its not a chargecard, but a Nectar Credit Card with them. TAKEN out 2016. Balance is just under £15k as of today, was almost at £17k.  Debt still owed by Amex, not been sent to NCO/Arrow etc - YET...    Background (short version): Was all fine with more than min. payment (£500 or so), being made until April 2020 when a number of things reduced my monthly salary from work (mainly, take a pay cut or be made redundant), so I soon quickly realised i needed to tighten my belt quickly. Phoned Amex, advisor said nothing they could do except Payment Holiday. Was put onto that for 3 months, told that Amex will be in touch at the end to restart payments. I asked about interest being stopped/frozen/reduced - not possible. So agreed to payment holiday to give me breathing space. 3 months came and went, no contact from Amex... No payments made, interest still racking up at around £300 a month...    Rang Amex back (July 2020), we cant do anything today because your in the middle of the statement cycle call back next week. Called back week after, no solution yet (i asked about things i seen on Amex US website = Regain program - basically freeze card, lower interest rate and pay a set amount for 12 months - more about this later) > Not available in UK yet.   Want to stay on payment holiday Mister B? I asked if there was any way interest could be stopped as this is making the balance increase and increase. No. Do you want to stay on Payment Holiday? Ok. (Bear in mind, if i came off Payment holiday. Minimum Payment was around £570 per month.  So, stayed on payment holiday... Didnt hear anything from Amex again. Called back up in September 2020. Please call back in October after 10th and we can assist.   Called back after October 10, went through loads of stuff, different options etc, was warned that Payment Holiday might not be extended much longer, but now have a program. Worked out with Amex woman that i could pay around £200 per month. But please stop interest - no we cant but we can reduce this down to 9.9APR instead of 23%... . Amex woman said she needed to submit details to 'Seniors' at Amex, please call back next week for update.   Called back week after, advised that first Amex woman was wrong and had made mistakes, shouldn't have told me what she had told me, £200 is too low, minimum would be £389 per month for 12 months or account will default. Told Amex woman 2 that couldn't afford it, went through this last time, etc etc. Amex woman 2 went off, came back, £329.74 is minimum they can possibly accept, 12 months at that amount per month and interest would be lowered, but not stopped. If you dont take out this 'Program' then account will default and will be passed to NCO or Arrow (I hate them both).  Went off, tried to get loans etc, all refused. Rang Amex back, reluctantly agreed so i can keep credit rating at 'good'.  So, been paying since Nov 2021 @ £329.74.    Letter arrived in December - due to out mess up with moving accounts around whilst on payment holiday, we are going to give you £3074 back. Logged into account, only £30.74 refunded, not £3074. Phoned Amex cos thought it was a joke/mistake - Spoke to some bloke - Oh dont worry, the rest will be applied to account automatically in 7 days. he advised was genuine but then got cut off during call. Called back, spoke to some other bloke, yes, looks genuine but please hold... Came back 10 minutes later. Oh, its a mis-print, you are not the only customer to receive one of these. Each should have been £30.74 not £3074. Me = Gutted.    Wrote a letter to Amex saying how dissatisfied i was with general customer service and felt they were incompetent, blah blah etc. Final response received, Complaint partially upheld, heres £150 credit because we were a bit silly, but thats it. IF your still not happy, go to FOS. Opened a case with FOS... Have sent them the complaint letter to them and have had a call from them about this... FOS are backlogged though and will take another 3 months for complaint to be looked at by them.   Let me make this 100% clear, fully admit to owning the debt, yep, ive spent this money (wish I knew what on, cos having got much to show from it - just general stuff and holidays)... Not trying to shirk out of it, trying my best to keep up with re-payments but im really struggling. After I got paid on 1st April, after paying all outgoings i had £9.83 left in current account so am having to go into overdraft each month which is just a vicious circle.  I would really like to NOT have to down the default route and trash my credit rating and then have to deal with the morons at NCO / Arrow etc.    Meanwhile, this is where I need the advice of the CAG experts... - Credit Limit increases... These were coming every few months and it was just being upped and upped and upped. Credit limit eventually was stopped at £15,400. Some of the increases I never even received letter for, just noticed when I logged into account. >>>> Would this be a case for irresponsible lending?   - Stopping interest - I've read something on FCA site that they recommend (not policy) that if a customer is put onto a payment holiday then they recommend freezing interest for customer so the debt doesn't continue to build. I've asked time and time again, Amex just refuse.  >>>> Any tips on how to get Amex to play ball?    - Full & Final/Short settlement I've rung Amex today, told them I might be able to pay it off. Initially they said full balance, i then pushed, they then said they would accept 80% of balance, pushed them a bit more, got it down to 70%. >>> Surprised, and then very surprised they would accept 70%, anyone else think this is a bit odd? Normally they wont budge, or they wont budge from their first offer... Could their be something wrong on account (missing CCA etc?), or do they want rid of me and account as much as I do with them?   - Cant really keep going at these £329.74 repayments. Something is going to have to give somewhere. I believe they wont go any lower and they will just default it i send £100 instead of £329 and send it out to NCO/Arrow. This might not be a too bad thing though because this would stop the interest right? Anyone thoughts on this?    Anyone think of anything else I could try with them? Again, its still with Amex, not defaulted or anything yet, yep, its all my own fault, i've spent the money, dont deny that, just feel Amex have took advantage etc.   Many thanks for reading. Any advice is greatly appreciated.   Kr, Mista B.     
    • Ok so we have complained to HMRC but were still no further forward with getting the P45/P60. We need this as DVLA has said they need more proof of who he is before giving him a provisional license.  What more can l do. 
    • Hi All   just looking for some advice. I bought a used Porsche Boxster from one of Marshall motor group’s Audi dealers (can I name them?) recently and was assured that it received a major service in October 2020 in line with the manufacturers requirements. The service book confirms this. The dealer also told me on the phone that they have a 6 month rule with any mot or service being done if due within this period which assured me when making an offer over the phone on the car that it wouldn’t need anything doing for a while as I recall saying that.   However, digging through the receipts post delivery I saw that the service was in fact minor and after calling the specialist who serviced it in Oct both they (Sheepishly) and the invoice confirmed that the car did not receive new spark plugs, an air filter, brake fluid replacement or a new fan belt which have now all fallen due and hence the major service due warning light. Had I not investigated this then the car would have potentially gone another 4 years, so 8 in total without some of these items being done.   i emailed the salesman to ask what they would propose to do. The matter is complicated by my living 450 miles away in Scotland, and 200 from their nearest branch, a Mercedes dealer in the Lake District, so I suggested getting my cheapest local specialist to do the works that have fallen due, however I have received no response.   Whilst I am still within my 30 days i don’t want to reject the car, which is otherwise perfect, but the fact remains that the Audi 150 point check only asks for upcoming mot’s to be checked and not services and surely you wouldn’t buy an approved used car and expect to have the service light come on 2 weeks later and have to spend almost £500 putting it right.   i would really appreciate some advice on next steps and perhaps who to escalate this to. Meantime the car is booked in for 2 weeks time to get the work done at the cheapest reputable place I could find.   Many, many thanks in advance
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Hello I hope you can help

- I have someone who is a decent human being but has been put is a difficult situation.



Someone else was helping him before but I’ve been called on-board as the other person hasn't got the time.



He has been on ESA for a long time,

He suffers from severe social anxiety, depression, body image issues

and also post-traumatic stress due to many issues;

most of which are childhood-related,

whereas the traumatic stress (I believe)

was relatively recent (5 years ago) due a severe facial injury that required intense facial- reconstruction;

(were talking hours of surgery and many surgeons)


He has been on a continual downward spiral since as he has no support network and his heavy drinking with which he has used to cope with his social anxiety!



This has now culminated with him having a psychotic episode a few weeks ago that resulted him being imprisoned for 6 weeks on remand.



He received a suspended sentence plus counseling for drink.

No one was hurt, though I’m assuming the experience hasn’t been pleasant for anyone that was involved.

I cannot stress enough that the person Is decent human being that hasn’t had the help he’s needed for years.


His ESA was such that even wrote him off (never needed a tribunal etc)

but since coming out of prison he has found that his ESA has been stopped.



Im assuming it was because he went to prison

the last amount paid into his account was june 6th! and nothing after this.



He doesn’t have the skills to get it reactivated on his own!

I have done some homework, and found that he is classed (still) as a remand prisoner as just being locked up from June 6 to approx 5-6 later! I believe from my own research (limited) that.....


1 There is a 12 week period within which the EAS can be re-activated / or linked) is this correct?


2 and that this means that there is not major/ substantial extra information needed to be sent to the dwp? And that it is merely a case filling in a new form and re-activating the claim?


3 However he hasn’t been in proper contact with a DR due to him slipping off the radar in terms of doctors notes (he hasn’t needed them for over three years, so you can imagine that someone who suffers from such conditions has simply let things continue!) will he need one now?


4 Or is it simply a case of filling in the correct forms etc? He has no money since coming out of prison- his rent was paid by housing benefit but the short-fall which was made up by himself with the ESA which obviously means the current situation is-not sustainable


5 he will not need to see Atos, surely if it is simply the case of linking the claim?


In conclusion

I’m unsure which type of ESA he was on but I’m sure it falls within the category of not needed to attend any support group.



He hasn’t needed to supply an updated Dr’s note to Atos or the dwp.

I have not phoned the ESA yet on his behalf as I’m not sure if I’m up to the task.

But the idea is I would like to get the ESA up and running the way it was before,

but obviously to try and get him some type of support group as well.



Can anyone help?

As the 12 week cut off period is looming?


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He should, within 12 weeks, be able to do a "rapid reclaim" of his ESA on the same terms as he was before. He shouldn't need sick notes if he didn't need them previously, though it's probably a good idea for him to get back in touch with his doctor regardless, as he may well benefit from some sort of support right now.


Is he still getting Housing Benefit? My recollection is that this can be paid while a person is in prison on remand.




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

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE: My friends esa has been restarted and was backdated from the moment he left prison.



But theres a problem. under linking rules (twelve week period) he should have gone back to the way it was before?

but he is now on an assesment rate of 70 a week whereas before he was on 240 a fortnight.

this cannot be correct.

he was on remand in prison,

he got sentenced but received a non custodial sentence.


what can we do?

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In the first place he should contact them (phone call will do for this, or a letter if he prefers) and ask them why they have not applied 12 week linking rules. There could be some reason why the rules don't apply in his case, or it could simply be a mistake on their part. Without knowing why they have done this, it's hard to advise what, specifically, he should do about it.




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

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My friend was recently incarcerated in prison,

after he got out we managed to get a rapid reclaim?

as he was remanded in prison for 5-6 weeks.

Under the 12 week linking rule it means he didn't have to go through all issues of a new claim.



After much fuss, and many calls we managed to get his claim restarted (or so we thought)

when he got backdated we noticed his money was short some 350-400 pound.



We phoned his advocate who told him to write a letter of query and fax it from his local job center.

the advocate then mentioned that he was told my medical letter ran out on the 20th of September, and to get a new one.



After some thought we realized that sounds strange as he was written off for years

(due to mental illness, chronic depression and social anxiety and pts. ) as suspected



when we phoned it turned out he his rapid reclaim that should have taken him back to the same situation as before prison i.e 240+ a fortnight, has only got him to an assessment level of 70+ a week (140 a fortnight) .



Would our suspicions be correct?

that this means it is a new claim and not a rapid reclaim?



he should be back in the support group. what is assessment rate?

is this a mistake?



what do we do now (if we send a medical not in, are we not just accepting there decision) any advice needed.


* he was remanded in custody for 6 weeks and then was released with a suspended sentence. we made the rapid reclaim withing the 12 week linking period. any and all advice needed today thank you and we were told it would go back to the same rate as before.

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threads merged

please keep to one thread

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 2 months later...




HI, belated thank you those who helped my friend with their prison advice. we managed to get this money restarted. he even had some money backdated unfortunately we could use some more advice. potentially a problem that is worse.


but two days ago he had a letter stating that he must attend a medical assessment on 7th December. there are a few points to this


1 he was told when his money was restarted that he was told that he definitely wouldn't have to do an immediate medical assessment since it is not a 'new claim, but a rapid reclaim i.e linking the old claim. so can we dispute this?????



2 he recently moved address- strangely when i phoned the ESA to tell them of the move, they mentioned that they had to inform/ update the medical assessment team in case they want to contact him. this was a week for the medical assessment letter arrived. I'm wondering if the very phone call (change of address) itself 'triggered' the medical assessment call up? is this possible?

Alarm bells rang when the ESA call center woman mentioned this but she played it down and i thought nothing further, but now....


* can we fight this assessment call up since he wasn't expecting one for the reason mentioned in 1 i.e its not a new claim?


* also he had a sever breakdown three weeks ago, its documented at the doctors. If if his doctor states in in-depth letter that he cannot attend and needs at least 6-8 weeks to get himself together will this be accepted? 6 days with no notice is impossible for him, plus he hasn't managed to find a new advocate to represent him if he has to go- im not qualified to go. he needs time to prepare.


ive been told if i just phone up myself to cancel for him they will just rearrange in approx ten days time. Can anyone offer any suggestions and answer the above points.


WHATS THE BEST WAY AROUND THIS SITUATION? THANKS. hes just got his money restarted and he's now in danger of losing it again!!!! thanks again

Edited by selfless1
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I'm fairly sure that they are required to give a minimum of 7 days notice, however cancelling for that reason is just likely to get another appointment fairly quickly.


It would probably be best if his GP provides a letter saying he cannot attend at present due to his condition - at worst, that may get him a home visit which will take much longer to organise.



You can also request that the assessment be audio recorded since the extreme shortage of equipment also tends to get appointments postponed. If you/he phone the surgery, you may find due to the urgency they will fax the letter to ATOS.


There's probably no point challenging the decision to assess him now as the rules do allow for assessments to be carried out whenever DWP like.


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

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thanks for the advice. the home visit would be pointless hes had a breakdown, surely atos cant feel that doing home visit makes it any easier, its the assesment not just the getting there. any other advice?

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Getting his GPs support for no assessment at this point is about the only thing you can do, the assessment will have to happen sooner or later however the more difficult you make it for the assessor, the longer it will take to organise - home visits can take much much longer as a lot of their staff just won't do them, in some cases it can take months or (in my case) even 2 years to actually happen. Best case is that they decide if he's that bad then they can do an 'on paper' assessment instead of a face to face, but that probably is a long shot.


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

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just been to his GP which is a different one from his old one (who went back to the us)

since then hes hast had his 'own' GP just GPS hes seen.



therefore no real rapport.

unfortunately the GP hes just seen (today) wasn't very supportive and tried to convince him to go;

she didn't seem to understand that these assessments are not fair assessments.

She was loathe to write a letter as she said she wasn't sure it would help

! (put off the appointment)



she said he couldn't possibly afford the £20!

without even asking him if he could.



he explained he had no support network at all and needed an advocate to speak on his behalf and time to prepare for the assessment. and she said 'probation is his support' they can help. network.



(considering they threatened to breach him for being late one time, i severely doubt that)

A few weeks ago he got a sick note from another GP (slightly more helpful) so he wouldn't have to attend a probation meeting and



the GP today had read the notes and (we feel) assumed hes trying to get out of going to probation appointments or anything similar.


The guys just got out of prison, having escaped a custodial sentence and is severely depressed and down. I felt the GP was extremely patronizing/ ignorant;



we said if his money is stopped he could be homeless and then she handed us a telephone number with a housing advocate for people without accommodation. a situation hes trying to avoid!


We eventually persuaded her to write a letter stating that hes had a breakdown and to defer the assessment till after Xmas.



we asked for six weeks to eight weeks and she refused! she wouldn't put a time frame on the letter just until after Xmas.



This letter will be ready on Monday but we feel it wont be as strong or as forcible as required, and will be written not from the Dr's point of view i.e I feel that the patient needs, but rather hearsay, i.e 'the patient feels that they need .



...'she simply isn't aware (or isn't bothered) regarding how these assessments work) can anyone offer any more advice? as were running out of time.




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I am trying to help someone who has recently been given a medical assessment in 2 days.



we are asking for a delay from maximus due to short notice and the fact that he has recently had a breakdown. we have the drs letter and it is quite good explaining the range of conditions confirming this.



- the letter is asking for a few weeks as he also does not have an advocate to represent him.

and that this will affect his anxiety and will be unable to attend without anyone there with him. a few questions


1 does this letter HAVE to be hand delivered for proof of delivery? as the deadline is tomorrow to cancel ( the appointment is the 7th) or can we just fax it?


2 we want it recorded- does the letter have to state this? or can we state this at a later time over the phone after we have cancelled this appointment or does it need to be done now.


3 will we have to supply the recording equipment? can they refuse? will this further delay the appointment?

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You seem to have created two threads about the same issue. To save confusion with people responding on both, I've tidied things up a little.


In answer to your questions:

1: Due to the time constraints, I think a hand delivered letter would be best. Faxes could disappear down the cracks and are not always reliable, especially if the receiving machine hasn't been serviced regularly.


2: Yes, use the letter to request (demand) recording equipment is made available.


3: They are required to supply the recording equipment. It doesn't hurt to record the session on your phone as a back up. If suitable equipment is not available, the appointment should be delayed until adequate provisions can be made.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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  • 1 month later...

I’m writing this for the person in his own words as it’s less confusing

- He urgently needs help


He has a medical assessment for ESA next week (JAN 10TH).



Long term mental illnesses-15 years,

first medical assessment ever!,

cancelled once to find an advocate-,

assessment to be recorded.



Suffers from alcoholism,

severe depression,

severe social anxiety/ social phobia/ BDD previous long standing,

agoraphobia (bad body image issues) and paranoia.



* No friends no family support network.

Lives in a single room 8x8 foot,



so no condition for a home assessment to take place

There are questions below to experts.

please help and offer any other tips etc?


1 He WASN’T sent an esa50 form by MAXIMUS

just the appointment time;

therefore He is worried he will be disadvantaged going into the assessment.



How bad is this situation?

I feel if he had got the esa50 in he wouldn’t even be attending the assessment!


2 Will the LACK OF HOME VISIT LOSE POINTS/FAIL? will he be penalized for going to actual appointment?


3 RECORDING- do i secretly record in case their recorder doesn't work?


4 The advocate is ‘only’ a well-being coordinator- hasn’t been to assessments before and is naive. Thinking MAXIMUS assessors are reasonable and will not try to catch people out/ and report honestly. Also says don’t worry regarding information on these forums? SUGGESTIONS?


Information that has been collected for assessment:


A summary of my medical problems


C Doctor is writing an in-depth medical report with day to day issues etc

D criminal Solicitor is writing a report, specifically – he got arrested over a disturbance that can be linked to his conditions.

E civil solicitor is writing a report- he was put in hostels and was homeless twice due to vulnerable person type behavior, homeless, not taking care of himself e, nervous breakdown etc

F Photographic evidence of living conditions/ state of his room, rotting food dirty etc? not suitable for assessment etc



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4 threads merged on the same friend...



please keep to one thread....




please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

My friend WASN’T sent an esa50 form by MAXIMUS just the appointment time; therefore He is worried he will be disadvantaged going into the assessment. How bad is this situation? I feel if he had got the esa50 in he wouldn’t even be attending the assessment! hes being given conflicting advice to NOT GO and TO GO please read below:





1 'recent interesting case has been brought to the attention of DPAC, which demonstrates that it is absolutely essential for claimants to refuse to undergo a WCA without first completing an ESA50, and to refuse to undergo a WCA with an ESA50 submitted for an earlier assessment.In practice, no claimant should agree to undergo a WCA without first submitting an ESA50 form with the most recent medical information. Go back to Maximus and ask them for a new ESA50 form. Ultimately, the legal power to require evidence rests with the DWP and not Maximus.'


2 I would contact them first thing Monday morning and insist the assessment is postponed and an ESA 50 form sent, and sufficient time given to complete it.

If they don't allow that There are then grounds to appeal.

Obviously this is very stressful,specially for those who are vulnerable.






He's had his assessment date changed once. I think he will be skating on thin ice if he doesn't attend this one without really good cause. I certainly wouldn't demand anything. And, given you've indicated that he can attend in options 2 and 3 then I am not sure what a good reason would be

I still believe he should go and see what happens. Things are, like last time, now at the last minute and anything extra you try and do now is going to be rushed. You could take up the offer of help from The Philantropist but I'm not entirely sure of the logistics and the last thing you want is an issue with an ESA50 that is submitted on the day


If, for any reason, he doesn't get ESA (and remember he has had it for 15 years) there is an appeal process and you will have more time to formulate a Mandatory Reconsideration and, if necessary, an appeal after that

it's a mess but the OP's friend is where he is. I'm very inclined to the view that he should go ahead (given the fact that he has already had a deferment) and see how it pans out. On the face of it (ESA for the last 15 years) he has a good chance of it continuing. If there is a problem then he can look to take it further.



it seems these are the options(can someone advise?)


1 Refuse to go full stop on Tuesday and demand another appointment

2 Go to assessment with a documented letter stating that this is completely unfair without an esa50 filled in and is evidence and grounds to appeal (if the assessment goes against us)

3 Go to assessment with a Downloaded and Rushed filled in Esa 50 form and demand it is handed in with other evidence at the assessment?


anything else you may suggest??

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ESA50 isn't necessary in every case.


If he is already a claimant then it is likely just another of their games, you can always fill in an ESA50 if not done so already, and force the fake HCP to read it prior to the assessment.


But to dig your heels in and refuse to play their childish game, simply means you're playing into their hands.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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Probably the best thing to do is download and complete the ESA 50 and take it to the appointment and INSIST that the HCP read it before starting.


Remember the golden rules for answering the questions - you don't have to tick a box if it's not exactly the answer you would give (e.g. don't tick 'sometimes' if there isn't a never box but that would be your answer) and you don't have to make your answers fit in their tiny boxes - some of us just number our additional pages with the question number and write an essay for each one! If you do use additional pages put name and NI number on each.

For each relevant question 1. say why it's a problem .... because of my anxiety I have difficulty/cannot ....

2. say what happens if you try .... so if I have to go out, I take care to only go when there's not likely to be anyone around ... or how it affects you .... so I haven't been able to go into a shop for 3 years ...

3. mention any recent incidents where there has been a particular problem .... I had a panic attack in the street and had to be taken to hospital for a check up

4. try to include the words 'risk' 'harm' and 'damage' as often as you can and remember that if it's worth saying it's worth repeating whenever it's relevant. Just because you've described a problem fully for question 9 doesn't mean the HCP will remember it by question 10, so explain it again!


Remember, you can always complain after the event so I don't think it's worth risking his benefit by not going.


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

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