Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Hi all, I have now got the GP's letter in relation to my ESA WCA and inability to attend the WCA - Benefit Stopped 27/7/2018

Please advise if you think that this is sufficient ? Thank you 

This 59 year old lady has been on ESA and apparently she tells me that her benefit has been stopped as she was unable to attend a review appointment.
She does suffer with quite long standing Bipolar Disorder and becomes extremely anxious with any change in her routine.
She also has Osteoarthritis and consequently is unable to get out of her house.

I feel that the combination of the two disorders renders her unlikely to be fit for employment and I would therefore be grateful if you would reconsider her eligibility for ESA.

SIGNED By Doc.  23/8/2018


  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    @Smedley I’m no expert when it come to this but that seems a reasonable letter and clearly your doctor agrees your not fit to work.

    I hope this helps your claim
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Thanks Susan 😘
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    I have had it sent RECORDED DELIVERY on Saturday - with a covering letter, both photo copied, the copies in my possession.
    Dr delivered this letter to me personally, & a Pastor of the local church sent it off for me.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,651 Disability Gamechanger
    Well it won’t do any harm, but...

    GP has fudged the matter through a lack of understanding. You haven’t been found fit for work. You've had ESA stopped because of a failure to attend. No decision has been made on capability for work so at this stage the GP perspective on that is irrelevant unless you can show good cause for a failure to attend. Anxiety about a change of routine goes some way to explaining the failure but, unsurprisingly, there’s a lack of detail as to what that means in practice and that needs to come from you describing in vivid detail exactly what happened. By itself what the GP has written about that will have nil impact. DWP presumably already know you are bipolar and they’ll already know that can make people generally anxious but not about changes in routine. That won’t make sense to them so you will need to expand on it. 

    Similarly, few people have osteoarthritis which renders them housebound so that’s not a great argument either. You need to explain in mich more detail. 

    More to the point, why precisely didn’t you attend? 

    I have posted this before but recorded or special delivery are a waste of money when it comes to benefits. Keeping a copy as you appear to have done (well done) is of far more use. This is because post is delivered to mail handling centres run on behalf of DWP and not to the DWP itself. The person who signs for receipt could be a door man or security guard. It will never be someone from DWP and if there’s a point it will be lost it is most likely after it’s been signed for abd us being transferred from mail delivery to be scanned onto the system.

    Using recorded or special delivery in this context tends to be a function of anxiety and unrelated to the actual level of risk. 
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    I was given I weeks notice to attend. I was blindsided. I rang them straight away to request a home visit and they said I would need a docs letter, and even that wouldn't guarantee a home visit.
    I offered them to ring my go directly - not acceptable. I said I'll ring my doctor.

    Rang docs, my doc is indisposed for some reason, and I have only ever dealt with her - she knows me.
    So I explained all to receptionist & she said a doc would ring me next day.
    Course next day came - no call.
    I'm on my own, have nobody to go with me, can't do the bus.

    Panicking like he'll, cos I literally have no where to turn.
    Meanwhile I then got the reasons why I couldn't attend found unacceptable and deemed fit for work benefit stopped.
    I then rang the docs again and was told a doc Grey had tried 3 times to know avail.
    I later realised that I hadn't put the phone down properly so no one could get through.
    Anyway comedy of errors or a nightmare ...

    I asked if I could speak to the doc that looked after my late partner, and they left her a note to ring me.

    I explained everything to her and I said I needed a letter supporting my reason for not going etc.
    I said 'will you back me & she said 'OF COURSE'.
    I rang DWP and said I was getting the letter and could they wait to receive it to include it in the reconsideration.

    I was not on the ball , I was flummoxed as to how I could make this happen within a week, of course I couldn't.

    I've been in tears, feeling suicidal trying to figure out what to do. 

    I have spent hours waiting in queues on the various DWP lines, waiting an hour at a time, listening to dreadful 'music' and feeling totally perplexed and beaten.
    I got so many conflicting answers from various operators to the same question.

    Some of the handlers were extremely terse & Jobsworth.
    Others more caring, sympathetic & kind.

    I'm at the stage now where frankly I don't care what the outcome is because I have done my best, caused myself great stress, sleeplessness & distress.

    I am not going to compromise my hard fought for mental stability to have this faceless organisation crush me to the extent that a depressive or manic episode is triggered & I end up in hospital.  NO WAY  I WILL STARVE FIRST.  

  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Also, had a home assessment re PIP and was awarded high rate mobility,
    I lost the high rate personal care which I was getting under DLA.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Now which is the best way to complete suicide, overdose, hanging or cutting my throat ....
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    And @mikehughescq

    Many people with Osteoarthritis are housebound, my own gran was. 
    You're being judgemental & making assumptions - much like the DWP do  - not impressed - Debbie Downer 
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Also, when I applied for mandatory reconsideration verbally by phone I gave all my reasons then which I expanded on and the handler hopefully typed it in for me.

    I never want to hear the phrase 'mandatory reconsideration ever again. 
    But I spect that is wishful thinking.
    I know at the end of it, I never want to deal with them again.
    I have never been so confused by a system in my life, it's a nightmare.

    Sick people trying to claim what is rightfully theirs. It is shameful really. 
    Perhaps I'll go and live off the grid.
  • LOOBYLOOBY Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Smedley, 
    I'm so sorry to hear about all the troubles and chaos you've been experiencing. Where do you live? I'm wondering if there is a local disability rights advocacu group which would be able to offer you some support? 
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    I live just outside Ipswich.
    I have got in touch with A disability advise bureau who will help me with my case after I have received the mandatory reconsideration decision re ESA missed WCA

    They also want to look at my PIP claim, as when I was in DLA receipt I had high rate care & low rate mobility.
    The home visit assessment resulted in full mobility, but 0 home care. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,651 Disability Gamechanger
    Your long post to me is an excellent way to explain it and, if explained in writing (keeping a copy) like that, would be much better evidence than the GP letter. 

    There is no judgement on my part at all. It is factually correct to say few with OA are housebound. Of course some are but certainly not the majority and it’s important to recognise that precisely because assessment providers and DWP are aware of that and start from that position unless given strong evidence to the contrary. This they won’t just accept a vague allusion from the GP in that respect as the reason for a visit. They will note, for example, that the GP has omitted one piece of information which could have been relevant i.e. whether or not you go see them or they have to come to you. You can’t win a failure to attend challenge by assuming that what is obvious to you is obvious to them. 

    As regards comments about benefits being “rightfully” anyone’s. I decline to engage in that kind of language. Benefits are not deserved or a right. They require a claim and supporting evidence. 
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    edited August 2018
    All doctors for whatever reason come to my home, I am unable to get to the surgery.
    As regards your last paragraph, I agree with you but I am tired, stressed and mightily pis*ed of with the whole affair so I am VENTING.
    IF I vent here, then it saves me from VENTING to the handlers, cos that doesn't get anyone anywhere & is unfair on the handlers.
    You are sounding like a Jobsworth.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    I know it's factually correct to say that only 20% of mandatory reconsideration is found in favour of the claimant.
    However 20% is 5th which is a sizable amount and I feel optimistic with those odds.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,651 Disability Gamechanger
    “A jobsworth”. LOL. Never been called that before.

    It’s 17% by the way, albeit that I suspect it’s growing again slowly judging from recent experience.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Whatever, it's a sizable percentage.
    'Jobsworth'   - there's always a first time lol 😜😀💝
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,651 Disability Gamechanger
    Fortunately my VI means I struggle with emojis even when I can see them.

    It really isn’t a “sizeable percentage”. That would be the numbers who win appeals cos their MR failed. 
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Ok, I'm seriously beaten, waving the white flag ! 
    My mind can't take in and process any more of this gobbledygook any more.
    My mind is frazzled and has shut down. Cannot process any more input.
    Thank you for all your help tho' 😘😀  Take care.

  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Sorry @mikehughescq for being rather salty. Please don't take it personally 😘
    I sure was getting frazzled !
    In the light of a new day, I fully understand your posts and thanks so much for your knowledge & experience, however tough it is a pill to take !! 

    Anyway, go letter is on it's way to them - now the ball is in their court ....

    Cheers !! 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2018
    Hi @Smedley, sorry to hear about how you are feeling at the moment. Do you have access to any kind of support which could help? Mind and Samaritans can offer great support. If the community can help with anything else then please do let me know.

  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Thanks so much Chloe, for your post & concern.😘
    My medications help and I can get in touch with the doctors if I think I need a referral to the mental health team, however I don't think that is necessary atm.
    Yep I can ring Samaritans or mind if I feel the need.

    My anxiety comes in waves, & I think once I get a decision re the mandortary consideration I will know where I stand and act accordingly as to whether I need to Appeal.

    In which case, our local Disabled Advice Bureau is going to help me.

    I will keep y'all posted.
    Thank you so much, all of you for your help & support.

    God Bless & Kind Regards, Mary 

  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    *mandatory reconsideration* I mean.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,651 Disability Gamechanger
    Smedley said:
    Sorry @mikehughescq for being rather salty. Please don't take it personally 😘
    I sure was getting frazzled !
    In the light of a new day, I fully understand your posts and thanks so much for your knowledge & experience, however tough it is a pill to take !! 

    Anyway, go letter is on it's way to them - now the ball is in their court ....

    Cheers !! 
    Sorry, only just seen this. Nice post. Thank you.
  • SmedleySmedley Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @mikehughescq, just to say that my mandatory reconsideration was successful and the decision has been revised in my favour and I have 'limited capability for work' 

    They did take into consideration the GP's letter in addition to everything I had said in my defense.
    I now await a letter detailing my monetary award., & if/when I have to have a WCA done at home.

    It pays to have a positive attitude as in my cup is half full rather than half empty.
    Good wishes to you kind sir Xxx 

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,651 Disability Gamechanger
    They were always going to take it into account. The weight they gave to it is a different matter altogether. However, worked out in the end.
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