Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Work coach meeting....

Charliex8Charliex8 Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi I'm Charlotte. I'm 27, living with my parents and I have social anxiety and depression. I also self harm and have suicidal thoughts.

I've had anxiety all my life. I can't talk to anyone apart form my close family members, can't talk on the phone and I can't leave the house on my own. I have never worked, I take medication and have been seen by the mental health team. 

I recently managed to claim PIP after a reconsideration. I am getting the enhanced rate for daily living. 

I had to go for a meeting about my ESA last month. I've been a couple of times before but it always gets me upset and worried. I haven't heard back from them about any changes so my parents assumed nothing would change (though I've been worrying about it every day) I'm in the support group.

Today though I finally received a letter from them....though not to say anything about my benefits. 

I have to go to the job center for a meeting with my work coach...I have no idea what this means! I'm seriously stressing out about it! I can't phone them and I doubt they will talk to my mum on the phone either as they will need my verbal permission which I can't give. 

Do they think I can work after my most recent meeting? Have I been put in the other group without being told? Or is this just a new thing everyone has to go to? I'm so scared and I have no idea what it's for or what is going on.

Please help....    

Replies

  • Lasian_ScopeLasian_Scope Member Posts: 660 Pioneering

    Hi @Charliex8, hopefully one of our members with knowledge on ESA will be able to offer some advice soon.

    If you are having thoughts of suicide, it is important that you discuss them with someone who is qualified to help. You can talk to the Samaritans by emailing them at [email protected]

    If you feel that you may be an immediate danger to yourself, please call 999 or go to your local hospital right away.

    You might also benefit from reading MIND’s information on how you can help yourself.

    Take care
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,727

    Scope community team

    Hi @Charliex8
    From my experiences supporting my mum, the Work Coach meeting is an opportunity for you and your parents to explain your current situation. I would advise that you take along letters from your doctor and the mental health team and anything that you used to apply for ESA.
    If you can't attend I would get your parents to contact the Job Centre as soon as possible. It might be useful for your parents to seek advice from the C.A.B as well.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • Charliex8Charliex8 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you both. 

    I'm struggling...but I am safe...ish...I contact the Samaritans quite often

    My mum has the day off so she can take me. I don't understand why they would need us to explain my situation again when I've already had an assessment meeting...I'm just terrified they have taken me out of the support group without telling me...and I have to wait 2 weeks to find out...   
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Im glad to hear you are speaking to the samaritans and that your mum is supporting you.

    If you'd like to speak to someone about this, you could try the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333 
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Allo everyone hope you are all safe and well. I've just received an appointment letter informing me that I have an Health Assessment with a Qualified Healthcare Professional on the 10th September. I did have one at the very start of my claim 2 yrs ago but things have obviously got worse on my physical, but more so my Mental Health since, so I'm nervous about this one. My Mum is attending with me in the meeting so that's a great relief if anyone could help with advice or tips that may help I would be ever so grateful Thank you
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Mill07,

    That's great that you'll be able to take your mum with you, and I really hope it goes well. I can get really anxious around the time of appointments and have learnt a few breathing exercises that really helped me to stay calm (especially when waiting outside). Here are a few:
    Please do keep updated and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. :)

    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Silver925Silver925 Member Posts: 87 Courageous
    Hi just try to relax and answer as though it's your worst day don't hold back any information that might help you and them understand you and how things affect you. Sometimes people hold back feelings out of embarrassment but they need to see how you really feel so cry or get upset, rock, shake whatever you usually do as these are things they look for with mental health problems so if you do these things don't try to hide it. They note down all you do and say and how you look etc. Going too smart and well dressed might give a false impression that you have it together when you don't. You shouldn't have to if you take pride in your appearance but it all helps it all gets written in the report.Good Luck
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry but i disagree completely with the advice of answering the questions as if it's your worst day. Please don't do this. Just be yourself and tell them exactly how it is. Answering questions as if it's your worst day is probably the worst thing someone can do because if it isn't your worst day the HCP will most likely notice this and it could go against you.

    If you always dress nicely when you go out then that's how you should dress when attending the assessment. Giving a false impression isn't good because you're being someone you're not.

    When attending face to face assessments you always need to be honest and nothing more.

    We only ever hear the bad stories and not everyone has bad assessments, there are good stories out there. Obviously when reading stories on the internet it's mostly the bad one we read because if someone's had a decision they are happy with then they have no questions to ask, so we don't hear their story.

    I've attended quite a few face to face assessments for PIP and ESA and never received a bad report. All the HCPs i've seen have been nothing but kind, sweet and extremely helpful.

    Good luck with your assessment.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you for the advice you have shared with me and I shall take time to reflect on them and see what happens. I'm so very thankful that I can ask others for help and advice as I've never done this before and I'm trying to build my confidence back up by doing so because I never opened up and dealt with things by myself Thank You☺☺
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    No problem at all @Mill07, how are you doing today?
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Allo Chloe I'm ok thank you. I hope you are well also. I have just been getting things sorted and up to date but other than that just taking it easy. Have you been up to much at all?
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm good thank you @Mill07, I am on the forum today so have just been catching up on content from over the weekend. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Oh I see. Did you have a good weekend?
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I did thank you @Mill07! Did you?
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Yeah pretty good went to visit my little boy on Friday it was a good day. ☺
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    My little boy is 10 and he lives in residential care in Preston as he has severe Autism. He us doing very well and growing up fast. I see him on a regular basis as much as possible, he's the diamond of my eye and we enjoy spending time together☺
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Mill07, that's lovely that you are able to see him often! I'm so glad you had a good time!
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hi Chloe are you up to much today?
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm on the forum today @Mill07 and I have been editing some guest blog posts. What about you?
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    I'm just getting a few things sorted and in place and updating things etc. I'm planning to take my son to a Railway Museum and on the Steam Trains on Saturday.☺
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Sounds like a productive day to me!! I love the Railway Museum, the one in York?
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    This ones in Preston I've never been. I used to take him to Carlisle Train Station to watch the trains. Saturdays in the morning the steam trains used to stop off and he loved it.☺
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    As you know I've got my health assessment next Tuesday and for the last few months I've been getting chronic pain in my lower back and legs and find it hard to get about. I've been to the drs and had blood tests and an MRI and shows significant damage and wear and tear, but I'm still suffering even more so. I have a new appointment on the 25th, so do you think it would be a good idea to mention about this at the assessment. I do have to use a walking stick when I have to go out. Thank you.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Future appointments are not taken into consideration as evidence because all it tells them is that you have an appointment in the future.

    During the assessment you'll be asked questions based on how your conditions affect your ability to do any type of work. You'll also need to verify what was written in the work capability assessment form.

    Are you taking someone with you? This can help on the day especially with any anxiety you may have. You'll still need to answer the questions yourself but at least you'll have someone there with you.

    Good luck.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Allo Poppy123456 Thank you for replying, my mum is going to be with me as I won't go out of the house alone cause my Anxiety is so bad so she's there with me. I will be ok answering the questions once I've settled but if I get stuck my mum helps me out. Thank you so much.

    Kind Regards.
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Mill07 said:
    Allo Poppy123456 Thank you for replying, my mum is going to be with me as I won't go out of the house alone cause my Anxiety is so bad so she's there with me. I will be ok answering the questions once I've settled but if I get stuck my mum helps me out. Thank you so much.

    Kind Regards.
    Good luck. Fingers crossed! 
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you all, I really appreciate the help and advice.👍👍👍
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Mill07, how are you doing today?
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Allo Chloe sorry I've only just got to reply back to your message I do apologise I'm ok thank you been to see my little man today and had a great time with him. How are you? Are you aving a good weekend so far?
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Well its my Health Assessment tomorrow and my Anxiety is going through the roof and making me not feel very well. I'm so nervous and panicking and I know I shouldn't have to but still its making me feel uncomfortable and unsettled, if I'm feeling like this now what the hell am I gonna be like tomorrow. I do have my mum with me but I'm still so panicked.😢
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That's perfectly understandable that you're feeling this way, i'm exactly the same with the WCA. For some reason i always find it worse than the PIP assessment. Even those that don't suffer with anxiety get anxious.

    Thankfully you have your mum with you for support. Just answer those questions honestly and hopefully everything will be fine.

    Once you've had the assessment, wait a week then ring DWP to request a copy of the report and this will tell you what the decision is likely to be because they mostly go with the report.

    Good luck.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you so very much Poppy123456 I know what you mean about the PIP assessment it doesn't seem to be as intense. How long does it usually take to get the decision and is it through the post.👍
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. There's no timescales to any decisions and it varies depending on area. Sometimes it's through a letter, sometimes it's a phone call.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,934

    Scope community team

    Hi @Mill07, did your son enjoy the railway museum and steam train? Best of luck at your assessment tomorrow!
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Allo Adrian yes thank you it was a great day think we will definitely do it again. Thank you very much for the wishes I shall let you know how I get on. Cheers Fella👍
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Allo everyone just got back from my face to face health assessment it went ok I thought,  but I had to talk about when I tried to commit suicide and other suicidal thoughts and recent thoughts of harming myself. I found that part of it very hard to recollect and explain as it made me feel that I had been weak. I also had to do a short memory test and I failed but other than that it seemed to go ok. Thank you so much guys for your support.👍👍
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,934

    Scope community team

    Hi @Mill07, I'm glad the assessment appears to have gone okay. Don't forget, if you leave it a week, you can call up and request a copy of the assessment report, which should give you some indication of what's been recommended.

    I'm sorry it was hard for you to talk about how you felt in the past. Are you getting much support for your mental health at the moment?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • Mill07Mill07 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Sorry Adrian that I've not replied. I'm not getting any help at the moment as I'm unable to move my life forward at the moment as I'm dealing with a couple of situations I have to get sorted first, but I do have support from my family. I still have really bad days and struggle alot . I've been dealing with Clinical Depression for nearly 2 and a half years and severe Anxiety but I'm trying to rebuild my life but its a rollercoaster at the moment. Thank you for chatting take care stay safe fella.👍👍
Sign in or join us to comment.