Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Extremely anxious about assessment

siobhan1siobhan1 Member Posts: 77 Pioneering
Hi

Sorry for the whinge... I have nobody to talk to about this. I feel comfortable talking about my private life online but don't know anyone else in my position so tend to worry about things on my own and I can't sleep or eat.

I thought I could sort this out on my own by applying logic but even though I've done everyrhinga sked of me I feel like something is off. I have really bad anxiety about rules and procedures not being followed. It has really helped at work in the past because I'm so thorough but I get really intrusive thoughts when I feel like people aren't following their own processes properly and it's severely affecting my ability to function at the moment.

I have an ESA assessment on Wednesday. I use an NHS powered chair to mobilise. It's well documented in my medical evidence that I have other problems which mean I can't use a manual one... and also the criteria in my area for the chair is that you cannot walk at all. Therefore I feel I meet the criteria for the support group automatically.

Again, well documented is a bladder problem which means I am at risk almost all the time of urge incontinence problems which I have medical treatment for weekly for the rest of my life until it stops working and my bladder is replaced with a collecting device.

I have other health problems caused by the same illness which would satisfy the other criteria for points but I know it depends on the medical professional's opinion.

I don't understand why I'm being assessed FTF. I know it's rare to have a paper assessment for ESA but when I called to say my doctors letter about a home visit had been ignored the manager at CHDA said she thought there was something wrong with my notes.

She said she would request my file back from the HCP who said I needed an assessment and call me back today to see why I'm having an assessment at the centre which is not accessible. After no call back I rang to be told that person is off all week.

So I have no choice but to go on Wednesday as they're telling me they can't see the letter as it's in my file and the HCP would have considered it. I'm worried the fact that they haven't considered that I can't mobilise 50m that they haven't looked at any of my evidence.

Last time I claimed ESA for a short while I note from a subject access request they assessed me 6 times over 8 months until I had a FTF, at first they just kept recommending a further award and no reassessment but the DWP must have requested the reassessment each time until I had a FTF? When I called for an update a few months ago I was told by CHDA I would probably not need to attend an assessment so I'm thinking DWP have asked for one. The alternative is they haven't read anything I sent to them.

I'm worried as the HCP I saw last time is the same person who did all of the other 6 paper based reviews so the person I see on Wednesday will be the person who has ignored all of my evidence? 

I'm not bothered by the assessment itself as I have nothing to hide... it's the fact I've been to this centre years ago, I know someone who works there. My powered wheelchair will not have enough room to turn in the corridor to get in. What will they do if I can't get in? The toilet is also not big enough to fit it in without taking off the leg rests and i just had bladder treatment today which will be painful until about Thursday...

If I  can't physically sit there for hours what will they do? I can't believe this is happening when I paid for a doctors letter. What's the point in them asking for it?

I didn't sleep at all last night and just want it all over and done with... does anyone else have anxiety this bad over this kind of thing? My appointment is really late in the day so after all of the hassle it could be cancelled and I'm really struggling to cope with the thought of that happening as I can barely afford to pay the carer who is coming with me to help... let alone pay them and the travel twice.

Thanks for reading 😐😐😐




Replies

  • Firefly123Firefly123 Member Posts: 525 Pioneering
    Nio your not alone my son is physically sick as his pip assessment is on Saturday.. Sorry I don't have any practical advice just wanted you to know your not alone 
  • siobhan1siobhan1 Member Posts: 77 Pioneering
    Hooray! Just had a phone call from another manager, my file came back and has been re-assessed, they have enough info to make a decision without me attending and it's been cancelled.

    I'm sure this is a good thing? Because they can't stop ESA without a F2F?

    I'm glad it's been sorted now it's just annoying that people spend valuable time and money putting this evidence and form together for it to be disregarded completely by a Maximus HCP.

    I find things very difficult to deal with when I know I'm right about something but the people doing things wrong don't listen and regurgitate "lines to take" responses at me. 

    The same thing happened with PIP. I am so thorough I know for 100% fact there is nothing I have not sent on evidence for. If something wasn't affected I was honest about that. The decision maker changed descriptors on my PIP because it was so glaringly obvious the assessor got it wrong.

    This is why I don't agree that the assessors report is the be all and end all in every case. I didn't even bother with a mandatory reconsideration as I didn't have my decision, I wrote to make a complaint about admin error on the report as it contained statements that contradicted irrefutable evidence I had provided.

    @Firefly123 thank you for replying. I wish your son good luck. I've found the PIP process a lot less stressful than ESA but I know that you have had difficulties. I really do hope he gets the help he is entitled to. I do think it's easy to worry when all we hear is bad stories but that's because people only ask for help when there is a problem I guess. 
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh fantastic! Thanks for letting us know!
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • topshoestopshoes Member Posts: 442 Pioneering
    Hi @siobhan1 a warm welcome to you , i hope all gos well for you at the assessment  x
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That's great news! You are correct, they can't find you fit for work without a face to face assessment. May i ask, are you on assessment rate or currently in a group?
    Community champion and 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.
  • siobhan1siobhan1 Member Posts: 77 Pioneering
    That's great news! You are correct, they can't find you fit for work without a face to face assessment. May i ask, are you on assessment rate or currently in a group?
    I'm currently in the assessment phase and this is my first assessment for this claim. I know that they could still put me in LCW group and I'd still have to do work related activity but I'm sure I'm right about the support criteria... electrically powered wheelchairs don't count as an aid if you can't use a manual chair.

    In my case it seems they contacted my GP surgery, instead of my consultants. I haven't seen my GP for a while except for medication reviews and I've never actually seen the GP I'm registered with. The first HCP completely ignored my consultant reports and occupational therapists reasoning for needing the powered chair and looked straight at the box where my GP said I could attend an assessment with help with transport.

    I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my mind. I've been send a complaint booklet last week which arrived today but not sure whether to bother. I do think the Maximus HCP who got my file originally has messed up or just been lazy... but then when I called to ask for the reason for the F2F assessment it was resolved after a second opinion sought by the AP so I dont feel thats a basis for a complaint? What do others rhink? I dread to think of people attending these things with no reasoning.
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