Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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My DWP experience

scraggsscraggs Member Posts: 38 Connected
Hi there I have secondary progressive ms I've was on incapacity benefit up until 2011 then I was changed to ESA contribution support group have been sent two capability forms over this time no ftf however the DWP recently sent me another capability form and I was scheduled for a ftf interview this was cancelled day before and another date set for two weeks (ftf was Wednesday 26 sept) I was contacted day before if I could go earlier as they wasn't busy ?

I could not possibly go so kept to my appt the next day . however the address on the appt letter was no longer used and had not been used since last DEC! I was then contacted by the disability assessment dept saying hello you have an appt at 1-45 where are you? My husband and I was totally lost she then said you are in wrong place ? We are next to the job centre!!!!

Eventually we arrived and entered the building I asked if there was any toilets as due to my ms I have to go frequently :-( I was told no toilets withing this building??? It clearly states that it is a assessment centre for disabilities so why no toilet she told me if I needed a toilet I would have to walk to job centre and use there toilets ! This was too far for me to struggle to get to so I sat there dying to use a toilet but could not ! There was a chair in the waiting area with a price of paper stuck to it stating not to sit on it as it had been urinated on !! I was left to wait 25 mins for my assessment to begin because they told me they was waiting for a specialist Dr to see me due to me having ms however I was called in after approx 30 mins and my husband asked what the young girl was qualified in ( only about 20 yes old ) he said are you qualified in ms she said no I am a physio therapist !!!!!! I had no medical as I thought I would I was asked when did I last work!!!? I brought up 3 children and unfortunately I get diagnosed with a serious condition !

The questions where not relevant to my illness just questions to get me out to work which is impossible ! How can they get a physio that knows nothing of my illness to sum up if I'm fit for work in 2o mins and override all the qualifications and expertise of a neurologist ? I was humiliated discriminated against I didn't feel human at all and after all this ordeal I have to wait for another few weeks to wait for them to decide my fate !!! I feel sorry for anyone that has to endure this stress and humiliation and degrading process :-(

I'm totally disgusted that the DWP are not only degrading I'll people they have no compassion not bothered if your stressed out and illness made worse by the whole process I'm not sure if I have any strength or fight left in me to challenge them if I'm found fit for work :-( sorry for the long message :-( but I feel disgusted by the whole process . 


  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,631 Disability Gamechanger

    It's a functional assessment so they don't need to know about your conditions just the consequences of them. The benefits is paid on the basis of your capability for any work. Thus the questions related directly to those you were asked in the ESA 50 questionnaire and the points you could score in the regulations.

    The rest of your experience was unacceptable and worthy of complaint, especially about the use of the venue.

  • scraggsscraggs Member Posts: 38 Connected
    Thankyou for your reply but going to this ftf assessment how can I be assessed and it be legal to have an unqualified person that does not know anything about ms let alone qualified to justify whether I'm fit for work or not? I am so angry as I was seen 35 mins late to be told I was seeing a specialist doctor for my illness when in fact it was a physio what would she know about ms? So I feel it was a very unfaire assessment. Sorry to complain but this whole process has made an already chronic illness deteriorate :-( by the way she only asked the question when did I last work? I has nothing to do with my capability to work? Surely also because its an assesment centre for people with disabilities why was there no toilet facilities? The whole process was to try and catch you out to see if your lying ! She didn't have my new capability form I noticed she had a really old form from years back but my new MRI scan images?? Which I found rather bizzare! She asked me if I manage stairs! I don't as I don't even have no where to live !!! So not only stressed out due to being homelless through DWP in first place! Where someone said I had not got ms!! ( who would want to make up an illness ) they had to apologize also pay me compensation but due to there error and stopping my benefit through an accusation that was not true I lost my home :-( sorry for all this but I still feel that having to endure all this is harrasement and I do not know where to go for help in sorting this all out :-( and still they harass me :-( :-( by the way I'm still homeless :-( so very stressed :-( but thankyou for your reply where would I start in making a complaint ? Also can I request my ftf assessment record ? And when can I ask them to send it ? I had this ftf only Wednesday once again thankyou for your reply :-)
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,631 Disability Gamechanger
    1) No it is not illegal.
    2) Few medical appointments run to time. I trust you complain publicly about all of those too?
    3) When you last work is absolutely relevant to where you might be in any recovery, treatment etc. and which group you get placed in.
    4) Where you live is completely irrelevant to how and whether you can manage stairs.
    5) You can request a copy of the report at any time and make a complaint at any time. However, whilst I appreciate that DWP action may have cost you your own you cannot let that colour your view of this process. They are entirely separate.
  • scraggsscraggs Member Posts: 38 Connected
    Hi I completely understand they have a job to do but don't understand genuine people how I'll they are be put through this awfull ordeal :-( I will put in a complaint but just got to wait for outcome of my ftf with the dreaded brown envelope dropping thru my daughters door :-( I don't know how long this will be ? I still feel this is inhumane what other people including myself have to endure at the hands of DWP and no where to seek help :-( 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,631 Disability Gamechanger
    Plenty of places to seek help. Citizens Advice, local authority welfare rights, independent advice centres, charities supporting your health conditions, law centres, TUC unemployed workers centres etc.
  • scraggsscraggs Member Posts: 38 Connected
    I have tried many no help !! :-(
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