Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA support

Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected

Hi all.

I have my second WFI tomorrow... Really not looking forward to it! I had a relapse in my condition in April this year. I have social phobia, agoraphobia, panic attacks   and all the things that go with them... Two years ago, I got nerve damage in my spine that has made everything below numb. No other way of saying it sorry.

I had my interview for ESA (was working before) and put in the WRAG group.. The so called professional did not say I was incontinent as It didn't happen when I was there?...

I really think I should be in Support Group?

Any comments would be appreciated

many thanks



  • Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,737 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Leon630
    Welcome to the community! I wish I knew what advise to give you but I don't, I'm sorry. However another member of the community may know how to help you and will be in contact with you soon :)
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Leon630 and welcome to the community! I am sorry that you haven't had many responses. With your query being about benefits I will move it to that section of the community. I hope today goes well for you!

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    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.
  • Halfpint1319Halfpint1319 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    edited September 2018
    @Leon630 It depends on how long ago you received your decision letter you have 4wks from that date to appeal you call them & as for an appeal form, tell them why you are appealing especially the not taking your incontinance into account as that has a major impact on your life & your self-image you can also ask for a mandatory reconsideration if the 4 weeks are up. They have all this form filling to put people off & also say well you could lose your benefits but it wouldn’t happen. Hope that helps some pxx
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Leon630, how are you? How did the assessment go?
  • Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected

    Hi Pippa,

    It was a WFI. It went ok, the lady was really nice.

    However, none of my details from my last WFI were on her computer? The last job on there was in a factory, my last job was in fact a Carer? The nerve damage happend in April 2016, had to claim SSP for the 26 weeks then I was made redundant. This is my first claim for ESA. Think It was around November 2016. 

    She tried to suggest I go out once a week to a café, I declined as I know I could not face that. She did advise me to contact Social Services to have some adaptions made to my home to make my life easier, I think I will do that when I'm up to it.

    Thank you so much for your replies :-)


  • on33y3dbobon33y3dbob Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hello gang I just want a rant. on 1/4/17. I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma ( eye cancer) on 4/4/17 had right eye removed. Then 3 months later told glaucoma left eye. Registered partially sighted, so moving forward 17 months on life long checks for cancer recurrence and glaucoma , now with anxiety panic attack, claustrophobia , vertigo, other things and medications, my esa wc  was bad . zero points no medical issues and fit for work. M R gave me 15 points but not the right 15 for support group. So for now rant over thanx.  
  • Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected

    Hi on33ybob,

    I got 15 points for ESA none of real issues taken into account. Put in WRAG group.

    Your predicament (if that the right word) . Should have been a' given' as in it has no other way of it being real... Can not believe you have not been put in  'Support Group'. That is only my opinion,

    I would appeal as there is no denying your illness... Wish you luck with it (the appeal)


  • Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected

    Hi all,

    Another 'rant'... Sorry in advance for the long post :)

    I am expecting my next 6 month letter for WFI for WRAG ... I have spent the last two months reading up on how the HP came to the decision they did...

    My Prognosis says, (verbatim)

    Functional Problems:

    I advise that work is unlikely within 2 years.

    The available evidence suggests improvement is unlikely in the longer term.

    Long term condition, no plans for further intervention.

    So as you can probably imagine, I am so baffled as to why I was not put In the Support Group.

    I think it is because ' Normal Findings' outweighed 'Abnormal Findings' even though the 'Abnormal' included: Appearance: Behaviour, Mood, Appeared tense, Mood Was Withdrawn. 

    Relevant Normal Findings, Well kempt, Neatly dressed, Looks well, (they did not see me when I was well). Had good insight into their illness. I mean, what!!? I had to see a Consultant Neurologist (Private), just saying,  and all was explained to me. As in, they could not give me a diagnosis, they were as baffled as I was, and still are. It happened overnight, I woke up in this mess!

    As for 'well kempt', I put on 'a face' to greet the outside world. Just because I am ill, should I not have pride in my appearance on the odd day that I have no choice but to face the world? eg, MA or WFI?  Should I turn up looking like someone who does not care?

    I am also not a silly person and I can not and will not act 'silly' in front of these so called professionals to justify my mental health problems. Where does it say in the descriptors that you can not have any 'common sense'? My mental health problems have been on-going since 1995! Two nervous breakdowns and all that goes with it, panic attacks, social phobia, agoraphobia...medication  no need to say more.

    I am only on flipping ESA as I had to claim SSP due to my condition and that ran out after 26 or 28 weeks. Subsequently, no option but to claim ESA Contribution based at first. They left me alone during that, then here I am in this flipping awful situation.

    I am sorry for the 'rant' as the objective of my post was 'What does that prognoses mean' lol

    Thank you for reading :-)


  • Halfpint1319Halfpint1319 Member Posts: 14 Listener
      I know you feel as if this is another hurdle to jump over to prove how your illness affects your life. If it too late to appeal the decision of the DWP you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This is were you can ask them to have another look at your claim as you disagree with the findings of the medical practitioner (nurse, OT, physio, doctor or similar). Ask if the practitioner is trained to assess clients with mental health illnesses as this could be the basis for your reconsideration. Also because you are on contribution based (C) ESA you will have to re-apply for income related (IR) ESA after a year as contribution based only runs for a year. You can apply early for (IR) ESA, so hypothetically if your (C) ESA runs out on the 2nd of April you can apply for (IR) ESA to start on the 3rd of April and you can put your application in from 4 weeks in advance. I hope you’re able to sort this out quickly and without much difficulty. pxx
  • Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected

    Thank you for your reply halfpint1319.

    I am on IR ESA now. My CB ESA ran out around November 2017. My IR ESA began in January 2018 after my MA. It is to late for a Mandatory Reconsideration now.

    I just wish I knew what the 'prognosis' actually means, or,if it is just a standard computer generated diagnosis and no one takes any notice of it?

    Thank you :-)

    Leon630 xx

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    Unfortunately, you're outside the time scale for requesting the MR. It's 1 month from the date of the decision but can be extended to 13 months with good reason but you're outside of that time now.

    You can ask your work coach to refer you for another work capability assessment because of a worsening condition but you do risk losing what you already have. I'd advise getting some face to face advice from an advice centre near you.
    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.
  • Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected

    Thank you both for your replies :-)

    I really can not face another MA at the moment. My MA for PIP was on 02/05/18, four months after my MA for ESA.

    Put in WRAG for ESA, 2 years as I said before.

    I was awarded enhanced rate of both parts of PIP until 2022 but will be re-assed on or after May 2021. Therefore, I am happy with that decision.

    The stress of attending both in such a short time was...well I can't deny it, excruciating to my Mental Health. It took me months to calm down. NO armature dramatics btw.

    I hate the system, I hate claiming benefits. If I could go back to work I would. As I said in another post, the nerves in the base of my spine do not work, hence, numb from the waist down. This happened almost overnight, I woke up with it! I have tried to 'adapt' my life to it but unfortunately, I have been unable to. I can not 'predict' when I will have an accidental incontinence episode (sorry)  . There has been no 'diagnosis' from my Consultant Neurologist as even they do not know why, so 'how' can a so called HCP know?

    Thank you in advance for any reply :)


  • Halfpint1319Halfpint1319 Member Posts: 14 Listener
     I know exactly how you feel I got up to make a cup of tea 11 yrs ago & burst a disc which went undiagnosed for a few days as I hadn’t ever had a slipped disc or bad back. The delay in surgery meant I suffered sever nerve damage which means I have the same problems as yourself. But a year ago I went from walking with elbow crutches to using a wheelchair full-time. Like you I haven’t been given a reason why.
     I’m under the neurosurgeons and everyone else involved in my medical care always bounces me back to them, when they don’t want me as they can’t fix whatever has caused me to use a wheelchair. 
    I threw a temper tantrum when he said he felt he had done as much as he can, I went to leave and he said come back and we will sort something out. He put my case in front of a multi-disciplinary team (spinal specialists, orthopaedic, radiologists etc) they have asked for different tests to be done as they think they can help me, I can’t get away from neurosurgeons quick enough. 
     Also ask your GP to refer you to a different consultant as you are entitled to a second opinion, but if you are happy to stay with the one you have question everything he tells you. I have learned that you can’t leave your treatment in their hands you have to push them to do what you want & if that doesn’t work contact your local MP as I found they are very good at getting things done pxx
  • Leon630Leon630 Member Posts: 24 Connected

    Hi Halfpint1319.

    Thank you your reply, and sorry so long for me to reply :-)

    At the time, my neurologist sent me for extensive blood tests, (you name it, I was tested for it lol) all negative. Then extensive examinations including 4-5 MRI Scans on the different parts of my spine and also an extensive one on my head and neck. My neurologist was thinking along the lines of cauda equina but it turned out the damage was lower than that. He 'thinks' it may have been caused by something like internal shingles? I went private (not that that matters), to see my consultant neurologist. They did all they could and follow up appointments were not charged.

    It is extremely distressing having to go through all this hell to claim benefits through no fault of your own. One moment you are doing your best to cope with other things like mental health issues, but find some coping mechanisms to enable you to go work, then wake up,or,as in your case make a cup of tea, then lose control of your body! 

    Anyway, I hope you manage to find out the cause of your disability and if I ever find out mine, I will post an update

    Thank you :-)


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