Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Reassessment- Form arrived

Hi People

Just going to type and see where things go, have received an ESA form today, have been on ESA support group for just under two years now. Had no idea today was the day but the concern has affected me throughout the whole time tbh, always a cloud thinking “what ifs” or imagined situations or comments.

I am diagnosed as Asperger/High functioning autism, with co morbids of Trauma, ADHD, and OCD (stimming). Was late diagnosed so for most of my life had no idea of any of this, aoart from the obvious feeling that things weren’t right in the environments that I was in. Was granted ESA support group after going through the process of advocates and phone calls and good people and not so good people and Drs and Consultants etc etc, which had a big affect on the traits and symptoms associated with this “condition”. Getting to environment where I am away from environments that aren’t good for me has meant that I have learned and grown so much and for the first time put together some kind of identity and perspective, though day to day things aren’t “better”, I have to time and space to deal with them.

Had heard something about the idea that if a condition is a “lifelong” condition, that there should be less of an assessment process due to the knock on effects, until this is sorted it will now have a big impact on state of mind and thinking, and would be good to avoid that as much as possible, things haven’t changed it’s just the fact that I have my own space to shape my day. Another concern as stupid as it may sound is the idea of “forgetting” how things are because I’m not in a situation right now that exacerbated them (though going through this will actually bring a lot of them to the forefront). Is this idea something worth looking into, as there should be enough information on the form (and some people to provide evidence) to say that this is a condition that won’t change and there isn’t any good reason to add pressures??

The esa form I filled in a few years ago I made a duplicate copy of, so the information is still right there, though have never looked at it since. Would copying that onto the new form be a good idea, or would it be better to think from a fresh mind? This was a form that got the result it was supposed to (support group) so as someone said to me today it would take a valid reason to change that sitatuion tbh?

The concern as it has been throughout these days and months, has been the fact that there are good people who have understanding, and ones who just don’t or see it as a stereotype. Can only speak for myself but things can be less apparent than is always shown I guess, so holding a conversation doesn’t necessarily show the burnout or fatigue after, or being in a bad environment doesn’t always show the meltdown or the withdrawal that comes with it. It was only getting away from those situations that I realised how depressed and closed in my mind had been for my entire life until this point, I knew no different so just went along with what everyone around me was doing. The term is known as “masking”, which then has a big effect on the other side of things.

Any thoughts or information would be really appreciated, haven’t stopped today since getting this letter, so the comedown soon is going to be big and filled with dark or uncomfortable thoughts, anything said from experience is valued. 

Thank you

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    There's no harm in putting down all the information from your previous ESA50 form, as you say nothing has changed. Send in the relevant evidence you have to support your claim with the form because they very rarely contact anyone for any evidence. The onus in on you to make sure it's sent to support your claim.

    You need to make sure the form is returned no later than the date stated on the letter, if it's not received by this date then you risk having your ESA stopped for failing to return.

    The life long conditions you mentioned... Not everyone will be placed into this group, it totally depends on your conditions, i have a life long condition that will never improve and my last re-assessment for ESA was November 2018. I was kept in the Support Group but wasn't placed into the life long conditions group, so i will be re-assessed at some point in the future. If you're placed into this group after this re-assessment then all future re-assessments will be turned off and you'll remain in the Support Group for as long as it's needed.

      Before they decide this you'll need to go through the same re-assessment process as everyone else. This means that you could be asked to attend a face to face assessment, as most people have them. Once a decision is made, it will tell you on the decision letter if all future assessments have been turned off.

    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.
  • PolaBearPolaBear Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Tbh right now am just looking to provide evidence stating that a paper assessment would be better, so evidence stating it is a lifelong condition and the traits and symptoms associated with it haven’t changed. Someone I spoke to today worded it correctly in that it’s all very environmentally dependant”, and to go into environments that aren’t good for me may as well be setting fire to all that I have learned and the growth and perspective I have gained. 

    Have a a few people who could provide evidece, though a councillor I speak to seems to want to have sessions and “work through things” to see how things are, in a way I understand this but really am just looking for a basic statement saying about the condition, not looking to open up boxes in my mind. The advocate who came with me to the assessment originally hasn’t yet got back to me either. 

    Appreciate your thoughts
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm not sure i'm understanding what exactly you're asking but to be placed into the severe conditions group then there's specific criteria they look at. As i previously advised, not everyone with life long conditions will be given this because there's other criteria they look at too. You can't be placed into the severe conditions group if you got into the Support Group through reg 35.


    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.
  • PolaBearPolaBear Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Sorry If was unclear, Head is blown at the moment.

    Was looking more to provide enough written evidence for it to state that this is a lifelong condition and nothing on the original form in terms of “descriptors” has changed, and also that a paper assessment to do this would be better than the anxieties and knock on effects a face to face one would cause. I do understand this doesn’t always happen. 

    The larger concern is also not losing or damaging a lot of the growth and mindsets and perspective I have and am gaining by being away from neurotypical environments and in a more “comfortable” one (don’t get this wrong there are still issues)

    What you mention about severe conditions and no reassessments etc I totally understand. Guess it is a similar thing to what you say about your own situation. Right now though this is all having an effect on my mind and will become a big thing till it is sorted. Am looking to do it in the smoothest way possible.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If you have evidence stating exactly how your conditions affect you either from the mental health team and written statements from those that support you, whether it be mental health team, councilors even family then this sort of evidence you should be looking at. Putting as much information on the form about how your conditions affect you is probably more important than the evidence you send. There's very limited space so use extra paper, if needed. If you do this don't forget to add your name and NI number to everything.

    If you know the reason you were previously placed into the Support Group then you should base filling out the form on this. My guess and it's only a guess is it's reg 35, substantial risk to you and others around you if you were found not to have limited capability for work related activity. See link.

    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.
  • PolaBearPolaBear Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thanks

    Not sure what the reason or descriptor was,but it was a form that got the result. As nothing has changed (only the environment, which is away from NT situations).

    The form was very detailed, but obviously was from 2 years ago, although all the factors will be exactly the same. The evidence will be supporting the fact that this condition does not change, as well as saying that going through this actual heightens the distress. Remember the advocat saying the “affects of change” was a big issue, as this whole thing now is proving!
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    Hi can you tell me what money il get when I have my assessment esa I’m ill with worry thank you
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Dotty123 said:
    Hi can you tell me what money il get when I have my assessment esa I’m ill with worry thank you
    Hi,

    You'll only receive extra money if you're placed into the Support Group, what you'll receive will depend on your circumstances.  If you're placed into the WRAG your money will stay the same and if you're claiming Contributions based ESA then this is only paid for 1 year. If you're found fit for work your money will stop.
    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.
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    I meant when I go for my assessment what money will I get till I hear my result like food heating tent till they decide thank you 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Dotty123 said:
    I meant when I go for my assessment what money will I get till I hear my result like food heating tent till they decide thank you 
    It's very confusing when asking questions on multiple posts.


    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.
  • PolaBearPolaBear Member Posts: 8 Listener
    No sleep for 2 days and constant thinking (this will be like this till it is sorted) has meant becoming really frustrated and edgy which leads to stimming and shaking and mind fatigue. At one time for a long time this was how things were every single day so recognise it. As said before, would providing evidence saying this process actually has a negative effect on health be able to make this a paper based assessment? Do understand obviously having gone through it before but the issues that got this award will have stayed exactly the same, no change?

    Hqve phoned a few people and advocates to support but all seem busy which is understandable but right now it’s hanging and will do so until this passes
  • Dotty123Dotty123 Member Posts: 492 Pioneering
    I’m going thru same I can’t use my hands yet I need go for review this isn’t right it makes you sick worry doesn’t help hi blood pressure no one from medical or social help they treat you no respect good luck
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    @PolaBear all you can do is send the evidence you have. If it's enough to do a paper based assessment then they will, otherwise it will be a face to face assessment. It's rare to have a paper based one. No one can tell you whether or not the evidence you send is enough to have a paper based assessment. That will be for them to decide.
    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.
  • PolaBearPolaBear Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Ok an update (not even sure when I last posted here)

    The advocate got in touch pretty soon after writing on here and spoke with her, she was great again and helped go through the form, adding evidence from the last time, original evidence from an autism support person I have spoken to over the past few years (who was also great and went into great detail) and then added some sentences herself. Sent the form off 31st of January (had to be there by the 14th). 

    Its almost as if its a numb time where until this is sorted nothing can be done, which is kind of a contridiction as it’s not like things happen externally a lot, but there are obviously thoughts of things even if they don’t happen. Right now it’s all this, even had a freak out when I had what turned out to be an annual letter about ESA but got to wondering if it was saying it had all been processed, even ended up phoning the DWP over it which never like to do but just couldn’t settle. Obviously know that a lot of this is the condition itself (unti things are sorted mind just spins) but still it all feels like everything is “on hold”, concerns have had me literally using most money (you know it’s not exactly a lot anyway) on paying things in advance “in case”, which again is irrational I know but sometimes get to thinking how fragile this all is.

    Have distracted and self soothes with movies and video games which is something I did years ago with other situations, it’s again not something I have grown to do or feel I should really but it’s almost as if when you are thinking about it you are looking to process and when thoughts are on something else you are thinking you should be thinking about it incase you have to articulate! The advocate has said she will help with anything more again, same with the evidence provided but it never seems to settle thoughts, it never really did at any time anyway to be honest.
  • PolaBearPolaBear Member Posts: 8 Listener

    Now something didn’t expect

    Got a letter this week saying an assessment is scheduled for a couple of weeks, so have contacted advocate about this.

    But then today have had a letter from my doctors surgery saying that they have received a form from the DWP for a GP to complete. The issue with this is I have never been to that surgery or spoke with anyone there, the surgery changed a while back and was registered there, but the medical back and forth though diagnosis and consultants and bad information (long stories) was so hit and miss that once and award was originally made never went back to any medical centre anyway. This wasn’t a lazy thing, they had again changed consultant and never arranged another appointment. Instead I stayed close with my advocate and also spoke with a support worker who knows all the back story and has provided evidence (both have) and then attached the original diagnosis sheet.

    This is comcerning and has cause a load more spinning thoughts to what was already a load right now. Can’t exactly go to a GP I don’t know and ask them to fill in a form in a certain way, from experience last time a load of doctors just don’t want to know.

    Any thoughts?

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The form that they send a GP is the ESA113 and is a tick box form with a few other questions about your conditions and when you last seen them. Sample here. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/251339/esa113-interactive.pdf

    It's rare for them to send these but it does happen. Your GP will look at your medical records and fill it in from that. There's nothing you can do but wait unfortunately. If an assessment is needed then they'll send you the appointment once the form is returned back.


    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.
  • PolaBearPolaBear Member Posts: 8 Listener
    The appointment has been sent out already, it actually came a few days before this. The letter from the Dr is asking for consent to fill the form in, if they looked into medical records they wouldn’t find too much that is recent, and a lot is very sketchy because it was from a time I was on JSA so talks about “looking for work” etc. The drs and consultants back then were very hit and miss
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