Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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F2F assessment

I went to a f2f assessment last week regarding ESA. Whilst the nurse who carried out this assessment was very kind (I am hopeful that she will not have her opinions of how my medical health affects me on a daily basis overturned by her boss), she said she was not allowed to give her surname. Is this correct? I ask because there is no way that I can check her nurse credentials and ascertain that she is in fact a nurse. Not that this will make any difference at all, it is simply one of the many questions that are swirling within my remaining brain cells. 

Replies

  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    edited February 2018
    Nope she lied  they are supposed to give their full name and the proffession ie registered nurse or doctor, (maxifarce also have doctors) who have a licence to pratice  but not registed as GP's  who work only for maxifarce
    You will be able to check who she was by requesting the ESA85 HCP's report  from the DWP that will or should have her name on it
     
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Yup, she lied. 
  • BrokenBroken Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    @tomm and @mikehughescq (Sorry, not sure if I have done this right). Thank you for your replies and info/advice. Now I am unsure if she will be also putting lies in her assessment report :-(. She said she would disregard all of my additional medical conditions and just focus on ones that came under the umbrella of musculoskeletor (as there were too many to be considered). She did not look at the additional evidence (letters of support etc) that I had brought with me as, in her words "I do not have time to go through all this". My friend who accompanied me asked if they would be taken into consideration, her reply was, yes. Had he not asked this, she would not have picked them up from where they were placed on her desk. I can only hope that she has reliably and honestly assessed me and await the outcome - however long this may take. Meanwhile, I have a PIP assessment form to deal with ...... deep joy :-) 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Well that's largely nonsense on her part. She can't pick and choose which conditions with which to have regard.
  • BrokenBroken Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    @mikehughescq I did wonder about that but was too unwell at the time to get my brain in working order. The whole assess took just 35 mins and she told me she would not carry out a physical examination as this would cause me more pain and she is not allowed to cause further pain, she would get into trouble and so would her boss. I took this to mean that she could tell just by looking at me that I was in pain. At the end (I said I have to fill in a PIP form) she advised me that there is an assess centre in my home town and I should ask for it to be held there and to put "NO" on all of the descriptors that apply to me as I cannot do it as often, in a reasonable amount of time etc etc. On the whole, she came across as "being on my side" for want of a better way to describe it so I guess I shall just have to wait and see.....
    I was asked to fill in an expenses form for the taxi I had to get in order to get to the centre and told this would be reimbursed within ten days to my bank. It will be a pleasant surprise if this happens as I was under the impression that a taxi journey would only be paid for if my dr had provided a letter stating I could not use public transport. No time for me to get such a letter as I only had one weeks notice of attendance. 
  • BrokenBroken Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    @mikehughescq forgot to add .... it is the combination of my many disabilities/illnesses that contribute to my problems with day to day activities not just those that come under the umbrella of musculorskeletor (keep spelling that wrong grrr!) 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks. I had understood that :)
  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    Reading my ESA85  (Awarded LCWRA 18mths) I was shocked  that the Maxifarce "Doctor"  who holds no UK clinical qualification and is not a registered GP according to the GMC HCP checking tool and is basically  licensed to practice for maxifarce's purposes only,
    Appears to of totally ingnored that i have Stage 4 OA of one knee   (bone on bone contact) it's not even listed in the list of my conditions  as per the ESA50
    But  although i  scored 15points for a  LWC  in a different  activity/descriptor, Which probably because they recognised that it had a greater impact  on my life recomended i met LCWRA  even though  i didn't quite meet  the strict criteria
     so???  It is a life long condition unlikely to dissapear , as my mobility  decreases further  it's impact will likely become worse,  So a non straightforward result , but
    a positive one for a change, though i feel that they could of awarded a longer period before they  re assess (try to remove lcwra to LCW or nothing)
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    BrokenBroken,

    I think the best thing to do here is to wait for the result. However, if you don't get the right level of ESA, then it would be worth complaining as well as challenging the decision via an MR request. It's not acceptable for someone to say you have too many conditions to take into account. ESA is based on a functional assessment & the assessor should be able to carry this out (with the relevant safeguards, which she mentioned) whilst bearing in mind all relevant conditions. Not looking at your additional evidence is also unacceptable.

    She may have had the best intentions but she clearly didn't have time to do her job well - and this is worth complaining about. 

    About the taxi - if they refuse to reimburse then I would complain specifically about this & say that they should give you the expenses as compensation for the late notice of your assessment, which meant that it simply wasn't possible for you to get a GP letter.  Their policy about taxi fares is a policy only (not law) and they should exercise discretion if you can't get proof from your GP in time (though it probably wouldn't do any harm to get it now, if you can).

    tommtomm, everyone who is put in the support group now is supposed to also be told whether they will be assessed again. In your case, unfortunately, they've decided that this will happen. You can't appeal against this decision (though of course you can challenge any decision that moves you to LCW or out of ESA at a later date). You could complain. You'd need to show how the OA in your knee limits your functional activities in the ESA points system & should have been taken into account in considering whether you were likely to stop having LCW/LCWRA in the future.

    I'd also consider going to see your MP. The change in policy was supposed to result in people who have a lifelong condition or who are likely to get worse not having to have a repeat assessment. But in your case, because the assessor has ignored one of your conditions, that policy hasn't been effective at all.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • BrokenBroken Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    Thank you for clearing this up for me, much appreciated. I had a letter yesterday to say that they will be reimbursing me the taxi fare. It only covers the journey fare there not the return journey (I was told that the costs would simply be doubled to cover the return). Perhaps they have decided that they needed a receipt for the return journey or have simply made a mistake. It will take ten days from the date of their letter to reach my bank account. To be honest, I do not have the energy to pursue this part and am both surprised and grateful to have had confirmation of the taxi fare (albeit one way) paid. :-) I did not ask for a receipt for the return journey as was not told it would be required. After such an exhausting (physically and mentally) experience, once home, I was unable to do anything except collapse in a heap for the rest of that day and evening. Will keep updating with progress once I know what is happening, thanks again for all the support and info. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Broken,

    Thanks for letting us know. It does seem likely that perhaps they needed proof of the cost of the return journey - if you feel able to address this later in the week, then I'd just remember the advice above. Whatever they say about the fares, it's all their policy, not law. However, I'll be honest and say that without a receipt or a quote, it might be a bit fiddly, and you might have to for example ring the taxi firm and get them to confirm the costs for the journey back. I'd check with Maximus first as to what they would need before you do anything else, but I can completely understand if you don't have the energy to do this.

    Meanwhile - good luck with the PIP form, and let us know when you get an ESA decision!

    Will

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    edited February 2018
    @Will Which would appear to be why the HCP has ignored the OA of the knee  IMO, they are greedy, so they will try and get as many reassessments as they can,  It would be interesting  to know if that condition would qualify for no reassessment,
    Although lifelong, (unless i have major surgery  TKR) which doesn't come with any guarantees but like any major surgery it does carry several risks 
    I also suffer with psoriasis which would prevent such operations due to increased risk of infection 
    As for the Home visit ,it was recorded and my OA of the knee and other joints were discussed and the HCP accepted verbally after reading and retaining a copy of the Orthopedic surgeon's clinical assessment report  that i was as serious as it can get, but then failed to include this in the ESA85 report, I was prescribed an offloading knee brace, which although helps  by making mobilising less painful it has it's limitations but even wearing it , i can't repeadly mobilise more than 50mts  one of the factors that my wieght has increased  and was last year diagnosed with stage 2 hypertension i can't exercise adequately to maintain a health weight
  • BrokenBroken Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    I now have a date for my PIP f2f (6th March)

    The advise booklet that came with the PIP assessment appointment letter seems to be very "nicely" worded and informative.
    It includes "A companion can add in anything that helps you explain the difficulties you face more clearly, or help you answer any questions that you're asked".
    Along with "The HP will always ID themselves clearly with photographic proof of ID"
      
    Most importantly it goes on to state " Please tell the HP if you'd like to see what they're writing in their report. Sometimes it may be easier if they describe what's being written". 
    It also states "You can only request a copy once DWP writes to you with their decision". So ....not the same as ESA???

    I am going to ask if my companion can take photo's with their mobile phone of what is on the assessors screen as there is no way I shall be able to see to read it clearly. @mikehughescq any views on this? :-) 

    This information booklet has IAS/Atos VO2 2017 A5 printed on the back so presumably has been in circulation/used since the time they changed their name to IAS.
    Read more at https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/40538/waiting-for-decision-after-f2f-assessment-for-esa#l5YDqpxLrEsgoGIY.99
  • Government_needs_reformGovernment_needs_reform Member Posts: 858 Pioneering
    @Broken I'd be very surprised if they would let you take photos of their computer screen or even let alone let you look at what they've even wrote about you.

    Ne interesting what their answer will be surrounding those above?

    Best of luck and hope it goes well for you.


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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    What they’re referring to is the section of the report where they’re supposed to take your main statement/typical day rather than the section dealing with the specific activities. They won’t show you the latter at all. As they can read back the former you’d have to have a good reason to justify acquiring images rather than just listening and challenging any obvious errors. 

    I encourage my clients to say as little as possible on the typical day section on the basis that a) there’s no such thing b) guidance says the HCP must not snapshot and yet that’s exactly what that section does and c) energy is better spent focusing on being very precise re: activities. 

    Better tip - at the end ask how many activities they have recommended you score on. Not how many points. They won’t tell you that. If you’re well prepared and know how many you ought to score on then you can compare and if you’re number is higher than theirs ask them to identify which ones so you can just check there are no obvious errors. 
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    What they’re referring to is the section of the report where they’re supposed to take your main statement/typical day rather than the section dealing with the specific activities. They won’t show you the latter at all. As they can read back the former you’d have to have a good reason to justify acquiring images rather than just listening and challenging any obvious errors. 

    I encourage my clients to say as little as possible on the typical day section on the basis that a) there’s no such thing b) guidance says the HCP must not snapshot and yet that’s exactly what that section does and c) energy is better spent focusing on being very precise re: activities. 

    Better tip - at the end ask how many activities they have recommended you score on. Not how many points. They won’t tell you that. If you’re well prepared and know how many you ought to score on then you can compare and if you’re number is higher than theirs ask them to identify which ones so you can just check there are no obvious errors.


    That is really great advice, not something I had thought about.
    Thanks mike

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
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