Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA Fit for work Assessment unfinished interview

despondentdespondent Member Posts: 87 Connected
I had a fit for work assessment due to my mental health problems and alcohol dependency. When we arrived the building had no lights on. There was a notice stating that the property had been repossessed. We couldnt find out how to get to the interview (no doubt they were filming the entrance all the while).  Then we saw a woman come out of a lift, and she told us it is on the 2nd floor. The lift was strange,  only the floor moved, and I am scared of going in lifts but there was no other way. The experience was awful as it seemed as if we were going to be crushed into the ceiling as the gap between the floor got shorter and shorter. I started to scream and hit an alarm button. Security came out and helped us. This was all before the interview. I was so rattled by the whole experience and couldnt stop crying and shaking. Even though we arrived very early, I was not seen for 40 minutes after my appointment time. I could not hold myself together, and just sobbed through the introduction of the interview. In fact the assessor asked only one question, which was when did I last try to kill myself. I then began to tell him that over dosing had damaged my kidneys and was not an efficient way to kill myself. I then was about to demonstrate how the best way to kill myself was, by lifting up my sleeve, when he said that the interview was over. I am very worried, everything scares me, that I will get 0 points as the interview never got started.

Replies

  • Lasian_ScopeLasian_Scope Member Posts: 660 Pioneering
    Hi @despondent

    I'm so sorry to hear about what you went through for your assessment, when did you have it? It sounds like such a distressing experience, have you been able to talk to someone and get support about it?

    Are you receiving any face to face support for your ESA application?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,341 Disability Gamechanger
    A paternoster lift by any chance?
  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 87 Connected
    I had it yesterday, and now have to wait 4 to 5 weeks for their decision. this is on top of the fact that i have been served a section 20 to leave my supported living accomodation. I really dont know how much more stress i can take.

    The lift was extremely scary, it was the whole floor that went up. When it reached level 2 which is the top, it continued to rise and would squash you to death.

    Why did they make it seem that the building was empty, and uninhabited?
  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 87 Connected
    Lasian, i am dealing with the trauma as i usually do by drinking. I find it extremely hard to communicate, and face to face is a nightmare, i am a recluse. Social interaction gives me panic attacks.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited March 2018
    Hi despondent, 

    It sounds terrible what you went through at that assessment. Unfortunately there is not a lot you can do until you get the decision apart from to try not to worry about it too much. It may be that the assessor didn't finish the interview because it became clear quickly to him what the recommendation should be. Hopefully you will be placed in the support group.
    Do you receive DLA or PIP? If not, you might want to apply for PIP as that may be extra money to help you. If you need any advice once you have received your decision please post again. Good luck.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Lasian_ScopeLasian_Scope Member Posts: 660 Pioneering
    Hi @despondent

    I'm glad that BenefitsTrainingCo has been able to comment and offer some advice.

    What you're going through sounds really tough, have you tried contacting the Samaritans for support? You can contact them by email on [email protected] if you find it easier to communicate that way, otherwise you can call them on 116 123 (free). 

    Please do get in touch if you have any questions or if you need any more support
  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 87 Connected
    edited March 2018
    Thank you both for your replies. I am in the support group at the moment, and I do receive PIP (just last year had interview for it at home). They refused me a home visit for the Fit for Work interview. I hope you are right in that they saw that I was unfit for the interview. It is just so stressful waiting 4-5 weeks. The whole process is stressful. 2016 on my birthday the letter came from DWP that I will not be getting dla any more and if I want PIP I need to apply. This stressed me out, I had not drunk for 20 weeks, and began again that day. Then my son having to gather all the information for me and wait. This whole process took 4 months until I received an interview date. Then the interview was stressful, and then I had to wait 6 weeks for outcome. Then 6 months later it starts all over again with the Fit for work assessment which has been going on for over 6 months. On top of that I was given an eviction notice as I was not referred to my suport home via a pyschiatrist but the Drugs and Alcohol unit. I am suffering severely from stress, depression and anxiety and yet the government continually choose to believe that I am lying about my conditions. I am a professional teacher and earned more than I ever get on benefits. I feel my life is worthless, and that I am a burden to society now that I dont work.
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @despondent, just wanted to say hello and that I'm glad you've received some good advice above. What you're going through sounds really tough, and I'm glad to hear that you're receiving support from the drugs and alcohol unit.

    Please do look after yourself, and do get involved with the community: we have lots of friendly members who will unfortunately be able to empathise with your experiences, and we'll help and support you wherever we can.
  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 87 Connected
    Thank you Pippa for your kind words and advice.
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