Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Failed ESA medical

poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
Just been told I failed my ESA medical today and that my benefits will stop from today, including help with mortgage. (I have put in for a reconsideration) but told I will need to apply for JSA and start a claim all over again.
I am 61 with MH problems (well documented) as well as high blood pressure and other ailments that go with age (I have not worked for a long time) but only been claiming benefits for about 7 years). I am so scared I have no family to help or turn to, so facing this ALL alone I am at my wits end.
Someone on the claims line suggested that IF I could wait for the reconsideration before I make a new claim, as the new claim with be for UC, whilst if I wait and win the reconsideration things will go back to as before and any lost money reinstated.
I truly have NO idea what to do for the best outside of wait and see (I was told recons take about 2/4 weeks)...

I know I cannot jump through the hoops of looking for work again, it was that process that put my MH illness into overdrive.

I am going to see my doc to see if he can help with a letter (but they don't normally) I was signed off from the MH team as I would not agree to group therapy classes so basically I have been left to get on with it.



 

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm so sorry to hear this @poppyred, and that you're having to manage things on your own. I imagine that it feels really overwhelming right now, but we'll do what we can to assist you.

    A benefits advisor should be in touch soon. In the meantime, it might be worth looking at the online benefits calculator to see if there's anything else you could be entitled to, and a HC2 form to help with prescription costs. Best of luck with your appointment, and do keep us updated- fingers crossed things get sorted for you as quickly as possible.
  • poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I already get free meds, due to age, yes I am overwhelmed, thank you for your reply.
  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    As someone who has been in a similar situation a few times, Failed several WCA farces MR rubber stamp /tick box exercise that has or had a 80% target for  rejecting cases,As for the time line, they aim for 4 weeks, but they can take 6-8 weeks ,depending on their work load at the time
    So I wouldn't be holding my  breath  unless there is something  that will stand out to even the dumbest DM   If you can get some newer clinical evidence or evidence they haven't seen already that supports your claim, it may be enough

    As for claiming JSA  you should be able to negotiate lighter claimant commitment They have to take your disabilities /health conditions into account
    Such as things like reducing the  size of the area that you will seek work, by agreeing  a maximum journey time (public transport )  from the default of 90 mins in either direction to say 20-30mins  and if they insist on a uc claim a reduction in the number of hours  that they expect you to spend looking for work . But  once the claim  is in payment if you were struggling  you could  with a new fit note  request  an extended period of sickness  for up to 13 weeks  (but the claim must be in payment first)or they will refuse  and may end  your JSA claim saying that you do not satisfy  the conditions of a Jobseeker, crazy system i know , IMO if you are without money  then there isn't nothing to loose by starting your claim for JSA now, And it won't be a UC version, which from what i have read  it should be the old style JSA  in your circumstances   Pending MR, 
  • poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks Tomm
    I cannot face jumping through the JSA hoops, the thought fills me with suicidal thoughts, (and the DWP said a new claim would be UC).
    My local JC is a 45 mile round trip with the buses every 2 hours (they know this) I know I cannot do that, mentally or physically, if the MR fails then I have NO idea what next, but I have to believe it will not because the options are not favourable for me.
    I have been given some pointers on my MR concerning the medical, and tomorrow I go to see my GP, hard as it is, I have to swallow my pride and ask for help (this medical has undone 2 years of counselling) and taken me back to worse than before.
    I am 60 years old and too old to jump through the JSA rules.
  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    That  distance and the time it would take you DOOR to DOOR  could be a blessing in disguise as there is a maximum journey time, of 1 hour in either direction postal signing , you would still have to search for jobs, maybe apply for the ones you know you will not be offered keeps them of your back, and can all be done from home , and if you did go EPS after the first payment   you would have to do even less
    here is a FOI request about postal signing https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/postal_jsa It;

    I know it's going be hard for you, but don't give in  or let them get to you,  as for asking your GP to support you  there is no shame in this, gp's are asked frequently to write letters of support  for their patients, some will charge a fee others will not,

     I have had 1 previous GP refuse to help  party because of the DWP's misleading information that they give to GP's  regarding fit notes ,
    Then another GP who wasn't my appointed GP who thought i was swinging the lead, he didn't say it , but implied that, and he refused to write a letter,citing some pratice policy
    My appointed GP was happy to help me, he has referred me to specialists, written serveral letters supporting me, and not charged me a penny



  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello poppyred

    If you live in a full service area for Universal Credit (UC) then you do not have the option of claiming income based Jobseeker's Allowance and your only option would be to claim UC. You can check this on the universalcreditinfo site here. You should think very carefully about claiming UC as in most cases we advise people NOT to claim it This is because even if you were to win your ESA appeal you would not be able to return to ESA and would remain on UC. This is likely to be a worse option because you may get significantly less UC than ESA and there are lots of system based problems associated with UC that are not associated with ESA. You might like to get some advice on this from someone who will be able to assess your circumstances in full.

    The problem is you will not have an income during the mandatory reconsideration process and will only be able to get your ESA paid again once you are at the appeal stage.

    There is too much to cover here in terms of the appeals process. I suggest you focus on getting some help locally with challenging the ESA decision including asking for the mandatory reconsideration to be done quickly. If you are not sure of your local advice services you should contact the Scope helpline.

    In the mean time you should also check your Council Tax Reduction/Support remains in payment on a low income basis. Usually this is stopped following the decision to stop ESA but it can be restarted again even if you have a zero income.

    I hope this helps.

    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks David, and I agree I am not going to claim JSA and change over to UC. I have requested my medical report and putting together notes for my MR.
    Contacted local council for a Nil Income form, rang my local welfare group who gave me some advice about challenging the medical report. Joined a online group with lots and lots of help on how to put the appeal together, at the moment I can do no more.
    Sadly I live in a very rural area and help is almost none existent.
    Went to my GP yesterday going back to my MH team, got some print out of my last MH team reports, so moving along all within the time span.

    Worried yes, blood pressure up doc up meds, but trying very hard to keep it all together. I know 60 is not old, but I went from the support group to zero points, who in their mind is going to give me job with a long history of MH problems, the whole damn process is crazy.
    I shall keep in touch if that is OK, as I will need all the help I can muster.

    Thank you much appreciated.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi poppyred,

    Please do keep in touch on here, we will provide further evidence when requested and other members of the forum are extremely helpful as well. 
    You need to submit your MR as soon as possible. You can provide further evidence at a later stage if you don't have it yet. The sooner you put in your MR, the sooner you will get a decision (probably negative in all honesty unless you supply overwhelming medical evidence) and then you can submit your appeal to the tribunals service and request the DWP to reinstate your ESA pending the outcome of the appeal. 

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi Lee
    Done and ready to post tomorrow, its lengthy picking apart that medical bit by bit. I feel dreadful, cheated and disbelieved, I have asked for a referral back to my MH team, I am not coping with it, but I intend to fight it all the way. It took less than 30 mins for me to fail the medical I went from support group to nothing my illness just wiped out. No wonder people take their own lives, the stress is overwhelming.
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @poppyred

    Well done on getting your form together, as Lee says do keep us updated. I'm so sorry to hear that this has been such a stressful process for you, and I'm glad that you've sought support and a referral to a MH team. I hope today is as kind as possible to you.
  • poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Posted my MR so it's on it's way, I have ripped the medical to bits, not rude just set out my case as to why it was all wrong, I then summarised the whole content. I feel a little better for getting my side across, but I still feel trampled on, the medical was a farce I think because I went alone I was easy prey.
    I shall keep you informed - such a shame they treat people this way and are allowed to get away with it.
  • poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I failed with my MR so having to go to tribunal. Their reply was almost intimadating but I have no choice left then to go to appeal. I have found some help from my local welfare group, going to see them soon to help me fill out the form to send back. I had a fresh apointment with my MH team three weeks ago, they offered me a letter of support to send with my MR this never came, even though I rang and asked, they also have sent me the information about that metting saying I am waiting for a support worker to be allocated to me, but that was over 3 weeks ago (and I need help) I cannot handle all this stress alone, I am scared and not making sense of it all. I am also afraid to overstep the mark and ask my GP if he can hurry them up as they might hold that against me. I really do not know what to do, I have weeks if not months to wait for the appeal not sure how I will survive the pressure if I do not have any MH support. It is bd enough the DWP dismissing my illness but I also feel my MH team is also ignoring me, maybe because I am old, or maybe because they offered me some group therapy a few years ago which I would not take, (I am not good in groups of people talking about my borderline illness) AM i being made to pay for refusing that help.
  • ellerdeneellerdene Member Posts: 6 Connected
    Hi i just cant belive how someone in a support group can sudenly make a full recovery and score 0 points in an Assessment .How do these so called Assessers score people ! they obviously have no empathy or any experience of basic illness I really hope you get their decission overturned at your tribunal 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    Shocking. I am currently writing a letter of complaint about my son’s assessment report that was sent to us. The report contained all kinds of inaccuracies. I’ve also complained about inaccurate information in medical records and reports from the therapists and doctors too. I’ve also contacted evaluators to thank them politely and ask for them to change the report.

    Reports serve as a means to a end. Use them to get services and benefits for your child. Read them as if they were written about the therapist’s child. Negative things identified within the reports should be seen as a good thing. Store them somewhere else and move on keeping the faith. 
  • poppyredpoppyred Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Still waiting my tribunal been over 6 months. I did pass my PIP medical exactly the same illness only this time the accessor spent well over one hour thirty mins with me (the ESA one less than 20 mins). All in all it is disgusting - even more so when you realise that there is also NO help or real support when you suffer from Borderline Personality, life is NOT good at the moment. Good luck to everyone.
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