Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Incapacity Benifit to ESA change over

katiewombatkatiewombat Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi, I am Katie, I am new to the forum, To cut a long story short I have got Ataxic Diplegis CP (I only learnt of my full diagnosis in July) and Dyspraxia (which I only leart I had in July also)
I have fought long and hard to become the person I am today, sadly several years ago I also got ME and Fibromyalgia. Anyone reading this will know the worst thing for CP is fatigue, so I have really struggled for the past few years.

I am just wondered if anyone out their would share with me how they have got on with the ESA/ATOS thing, as I don't know anyone in real life who has been through it with CP and I am really worried about be found fit for work, which sadly I am not.

I know that as part of the contract between the DWP and ATOS, that people with CP aren't even meant to be called for medical and I wondered whether this is indeed the case.

Any help gratefully recieved or any thips on how to survive the process or even on filling in the forms.

Kind Regards

Katie

Replies

  • pantherpanther Member Posts: 251 Courageous
    Hi Katie

    I have spastic diplegia cp and epilepsy. I was moved from IB to ESA at the end of last year.

    I filled the form in with the help of a welfare rights officer and was placed in the work related activity group which is the one that is time limited for a year. I was placed in this group without having to attend a medical.

    I appealed the decision and DWP wouldn't change it in June this year I had the decision overturned at tribunal and was placed in the support group. But because they back date the tribunal decision to November of last year and DWP have said I've been put into the support group for a year I am expecting another form any time soon.

    Another friend of mine with the same type of cp as me was called for a medical and she was found fit for work and told she wasn't entitled to ESA. She is currently appealing she is still waiting to hear and her appeal was put in in April. But until her appeal is processed she has been placed onto the assessment rate of ESA.

    Take a look at this website benefitsandwork.co.uk if you pay to join as a member
  • akkanaedaakkanaeda Member Posts: 4
    "I know that as part of the contract between the DWP and ATOS, that people with CP aren't even meant to be called for medical and I wondered whether this is indeed the case."

    I doubt this is the case, as I am on JSA and they are telling me that I will have to have a medical to prove I can't do office work or retail work (use a computer or computerised checkout for long periods).
  • HymerkarHymerkar Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    I did a lot of research before completing my form, and I think the biggest mistake most people make is 'short answers' to the questions.

    Take a long time filling in your form, there is no rush, you get several weeks in which to return it.

    Answer each question fully i.e. If it asks if you can lift half a litre of fluid, and your answer is NO. Dont just put NO, explain why you cant. For example, No I cant because I would find it difficult to lift a container of fluid without spilling it if my hand shakes. Or No I cant because I need to hold on with both hands. etc. etc etc. Do this for every question so that they get the full picture. To be fair, the person reading the form has never met you.

    As for not being called for a medical if you have got CP, I have never heard of that one, but if you have been on the highest rate of DLA for a long time, I think its since 1991, that qualifies you not to be called, but I cannot swear to that. I am almost certain that if you have been on the old Incap Ben since 1995 you are exempt from the medical.

    Maybe someone at Scope could advise you ?

    I have been placed on ESA and didnt need a medical, but I have other conditions as well as CP which also cause fatigue, so I am, perhaps a little different to some of you.

    Take you time, photocopy your form in case you need to refer back to it, and Good Luck. This is a very worrying time for us, and one which most of us should not be subject to. We have enough to deal with, just trying to get through every day without worrying about whether our benefits are going to be cut or not. I am sure most of us would rather work if it was possible.
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