Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Unfair and Prejudiced ESA Assessment (WCA) by a Physiotherapist

AbusedByESAAbusedByESA Member Posts: 2 Listener
I'm in a deeply depressed state as a result of an ESA assessment. It was one of the worst experiences of my life and I've had my fair share of bad ones, including being a victim of both sexual and violent assaults etc. My issue is a chronic and longterm mental health condition, which is well documented and diagnosed and profoundly crippling.

I was greeted at the assessment by the woman assessor with a cold stare and silence. She marched me into the assessment room and ordered me to sit down. 

"I'm a physiotherapist," she stated with cold aggression. 

She then plunged into a brutal 15 minutes of quick-fire interrogation devoid of basic humanity.

I explained that I contemplate suicide on a daily basis. She snapped back ,"is it fleeting?" Clearly, she was intent on minimising my condition as much as she could. I replied that it wasn't, to which she said, "what's stopping you?" And proceeded to demand if I had any plans to act on it.

The rest of the brief assessment involved her hurling questions at me in relentless succession and talking over me when I strayed beyond the monosyllabic responses she expected.

By the end her expression was one of rage and her tone that of unyieding contempt. I was calm and polite throughout, however. I have no doubt she will fail me and I'll be left scrabbling for money, as I have no savings. 

The prejudice against mental health claimants is profound. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it gave me a glimpse into how something like the Nazi mindset took hold among the general German populace during WWII.

If I had recorded it I would take it to the Guardian news site. Record your interviews, friends!!!


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    I'm sorry to hear what happened. You can certainly put a complaint in about the HCP by writing a letter to the health assessment providers, contact details will be on their website.

    Lots of people claim ESA and are successfully placed into one of the groups because of the way their mental health affects them.

    Did you send in evidence to support your claim? They rarely contact anyone for this and the onus is on you to make sure it's sent. Did you get help to fill out the form or did you fill it in yourself?

    You can contact DWP about 1 week after the assessment to ask for a copy of the report to be sent to you. This will give you some idea what the decision will be as they mostly go with the report. If the worst does happen and you are found fit for work then a Mandatory Reconsideration will be your first step. Good luck.

    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.
  • AbusedByESAAbusedByESA Member Posts: 2 Listener

    I had no problem filling out the form and yes I provided evidence. Lots of people may get awarded it for mental health, but equally lots of people are discriminated against and treated like dirt , so the prejudice is real and pernicious thanks to the Tory driven culture of demonisation of the disabled. A complaint to the HCP would be pointless and doubtless kicked out the door with empty platitudes. 
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