Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Having difficulty getting support or representation for my ESA appeal, advice required.

Hi, I was found 'fit for work' in May and my ESA was stopped, I need to get some advice and clout behind me for my appeal, but am experiencing difficulties acquiring this.

Replies

  • DebzsDebzs Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    Can you go to doctor and explain circumstances,will he write a letter outlining your difficulties and the impact this is having on your life on a daily basis 
  • tina_123tina_123 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hi Debs, I've been today, however she said they've intervened in cases before and they are just ignored, so she wasn't really very helpful.
  • DebzsDebzs Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    My first letter had been ignored but my doc had written another letter and been rather direct this time,keep at your doc and tell her you need support and guidance atm maybe a friend can go with you,and explain your situation and as your friend can say how much help she gives you
  • tina_123tina_123 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    I saw a new doctor at the surgery, I'll make a specific appointment with a doctor who knows my case. Hopefully I'll have a bit more luck next time.
  • tina_123tina_123 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Any further advice that can be offered regarding organisations who will actually represent you?
  • DebzsDebzs Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    I'm not sure tbh but there's a lot of people on this forum have loads of experience and suggestions to help you with this most distressingly times 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,314 Disability Gamechanger

    Okay, so does this mean you have done a mandatory reconsideration (MR); had it refused and have now appealed or by appeal do you really mean MR?

    MRs have a low (17% but possibly rising) success rate but you can largely do an MR yourself as you don't need new medical or other evidence. Ideally for an appeal you need representation and you can look in your local area for Citizens Advice, a law centre, any other independent advice centre, perhaps the national charity which supports your specific health issue(s), or a local authority welfare rights advice service. Almost all of the above will provide their services free of charge. It's only exceptionally someone would need to use a service which charges. Be aware that some services which charge will tell you there are no free services in your area when that may be untrue. Certainly happens in Greater Manchester for example.

    You can try something like https://advicelocal.uk but I'd be the first to admit it's very hit and miss. It's worth securing representation because, if you attend an oral hearing (and assuming you have a winnable case in the first place) your chances of success are much higher with a representative.

    In terms of medical evidence for ESA the usefulness and necessity really depends on your specific health issues. You'll already have a fit note from your GP so your diagnosis should not be in dispute. Your GP may be able to add great value re: mental health but less so re: physical health. What do they know of how your conditions impact you outside of their consulting room or overnight for example? Their repeating what you tell them adds credibility but doesn't carry the weight of medical evidence because it arguably isn't.

    Where evidence from a GP can be good is in terms of understanding the impact of being found fit itself on your health and whether you might fit the grounds to be treated as having exceptional circumstances despite not scoring 15 points. Direct them to that rather than fitness for work itself. Their fit note has already expressed their view on that.

    What might be better is if you look at the ESA points scoring system and identify which points you think you ought to score by asking yourself whether you do each activity safely and repeatedly in a work context. Then think of a couple of examples of what happened the last times you tried that specific activity or something similar (some of the activities are not things we would necessarily ever do). That's going to be at least as helpful to your case as focusing on medical evidence. There's no legal requirement for medical evidence for any benefit claim beyond fit notes and this is often forgotten. However, you do need to have other evidence in place. Anecdotal evidence done in detail is excellent.

     


  • DebzsDebzs Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    That's usually the first step mandatory reconciliation, after that I'm not sure, I do know I have an amazing doctor who helps me all the way,  I don't know about anything other than my own circumstances but I would of thought the doctor would be firzf place to start, I know this process is debilitating BV to us all
  • DebzsDebzs Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    Don't know wer the BV come from lol
  • tina_123tina_123 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hi Mike, thanks for your advice. MR refused, now having to take the matter to court. I was moved to UC 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks ago I was referred for a sanction for missing a telephone appointment with my work coach, I explained that I'd had no money for 2 weeks, that my mobile had malfunctioned and I simply had no income to get it repaired. This explanation was ignored, I've complained to my MP who is taking this up for me with them.  I'm 59 years old, suffer from COPD and auto-immune disease, having been living from food banks for the past week, a really degrading experience. A further appointment with my work coach yesterday, I had to walk 4 miles to attend, for fear of a further sanction. The whole UC system is highly punitive and draconian.  Got annoyed yesterday at Jobcentre, and now in fear of a further sanction.
  • tina_123tina_123 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    At wits with it Debz
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,314 Disability Gamechanger
    tina_123 said:
    Hi Mike, thanks for your advice. MR refused, now having to take the matter to court. I was moved to UC 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks ago I was referred for a sanction for missing a telephone appointment with my work coach, I explained that I'd had no money for 2 weeks, that my mobile had malfunctioned and I simply had no income to get it repaired. This explanation was ignored, I've complained to my MP who is taking this up for me with them.  I'm 59 years old, suffer from COPD and auto-immune disease, having been living from food banks for the past week, a really degrading experience. A further appointment with my work coach yesterday, I had to walk 4 miles to attend, for fear of a further sanction. The whole UC system is highly punitive and draconian.  Got annoyed yesterday at Jobcentre, and now in fear of a further sanction.
    Plenty of scope for asking for an MR of any sanction. I doubt it would stand up at an appeal hearing. Most are overturned but you do need to challenge it in writing in the first place to make progress. It can feel overwhelming having to fight on several fronts but hang in there. One step at a time.
  • tina_123tina_123 Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Yeah, true...thanks so much for the useful advice...just gets very annoying and frustrating at times :) 
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