Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Not optimistic about assessment

Holly35Holly35 Member Posts: 19 Connected
I had my WCA last week and I'm not feeling optimistic about the outcome. I went with my mum and first we couldn't find the venue, we were 5 minutes late but it didn't matter as I was waiting an hour before the assessment even began anyway! This made my anxiety spiral through the roof. I asked for this assessment to be recorded for the first time as previous assessors had lied and my outcomes were all WRAG. This assessor really didn't like the assessment being recorded and prior to it beginning she pretended she couldn't get the equipment to work to try and illicit a response from me to help her so presumably she could say I helped but I was in such a state already I couldn't do anything. Then she went to fetch some guy to help "fix" the machine and he came in and looked at me straight away so it was obvious they were colluding. Anyway eventually the machine "worked" and she spent 40 minutes going over the same questions it was ridiculous. I could tell she was trying to trip me up but I was saying everything I had said in my ESA50 and it was all going on tape. Then at the end she looked at me and said "I have enough information now. You will get a decision in 4 weeks and the letter will say there's been a change in circumstances". She got up and led me out and said "take care and look after yourself" again trying to get me to chat to catch me out hoping I would chat back but I just walked by and didn't look at her. However I am worried about what she said at the end "a change in circumstances". I've taken this to mean a fit for work decision as I could tell throughout she just didn't believe anything I was saying. I just hope the powers that be disagree and they can hear on the tape just how awful things are for me. 

Replies

  • AnkyieSponAnkyieSpon Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
    Hi @holly35, welcome to the community. I'm so sorry you've been through this terrible experience. It's really not fair to be treated like this. I hope you have a positive outcome.
    Tina 
    (Ankyie Spon)
    I'm a Pain Warrior
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,949 Scope community team
    Hello @holly35, I'm very sorry to read this. I can only imagine how stressful this experience might have been. Please keep in touch and let us know how the process goes and if you need any support or advice with this down the line, don't hesitate to ask. In the meantime, you're very welcome here and there are many who can relate to your experience, so please feel free to stick around and get involved in our community.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • Holly35Holly35 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    edited March 2019
    I requested the ESA85 report and it has arrived today. I think the assessor has recommended the WRAG again based on what I understand from it (she has awarded 15 points in several mental health activities) and her prognosis which just says "a return to work could be considered within 18 months". I am annoyed with things she put in there such as "takes no medication for mental health condition" but then says "takes mirtazipine for depression". Is depression no longer a mental health condition?! It's a relief she has not assessed me as fit for work but I feel I may have to take this further this time, I just don't know if I can summon the energy sigh. 
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,200 Disability Gamechanger
    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but mental health is getting worst in the UK. More and more people are feeling stressed by their work or life situations have no personal contacts to share or off load their worries and concerns. Many take to drink or drugs or immerse their free time in gaming or gambling to escape for the time from their work. Talking to some people I have concerns that they are with drawn and will not let anybody get close or engage with them in conversations of any description, they have work mates so say but no close friends who they can could talk to openly of their worries or concerns. Things are only going to get worst as those who cope manage ignoring those suffering in silence bettering their own lifestyles.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 918 Pioneering
    @Holly35 That's a contradiction that you can use to challenge the quality of the report.
  • MickConnonMickConnon Member Posts: 56 Courageous
    Hi, in response to Holly35, Depression is a Mental Health Illness and can be very debilitating. Mirtazepine is not prescribed for anything else and I know from professional experience it can also help sleep but does have some very unpleasant side effects. The fact that the assessor has contradicted themselves states they are blinkered and I would recommend that any letters you have from health services is forwarded to PIP to back up your evidence. Challenge the decision if you feel unhappy with it and always keep copies of consultants or GP letters especially if they have your medication on this as well as any diagnoses. Wilko, agree fully in what you have posted and have previously been a CPN but had to give this up for my own health. I know what D&A is like personally😔
  • Holly35Holly35 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    I have an update.

    I received the dreaded brown envelope this morning and my anxiety went through the roof, I was panicking before I could even open the letter. After a while I was able to open it and to my surprise I have been placed in the support group. I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm still in a state but calming down a bit now. I was really expecting a WRAG decision or worse. This must mean the DWP went against the assessor's recommendation. It's my belief having my assessment recorded helped massively as the decision maker would have gained greater insight from it. They would have heard how long it took me to reply and my voice and other nuances. This is my first SG decision and I recommend to anyone who thinks they should be in the SG to get your assessment recorded it really does help a lot especially for mental health claims. 
  • overthinkingagainoverthinkingagain Member Posts: 24 Connected
    That’s great news, you must be relieved. The whole process is such a challenging and stressful time isn’t it. All the best to you.
  • Holly35Holly35 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    That’s great news, you must be relieved. The whole process is such a challenging and stressful time isn’t it. All the best to you.
    It is torture. The entire process needs fundamental reform. People shouldn't have to go through this. 
  • MickConnonMickConnon Member Posts: 56 Courageous
    Hi @Holly35 am over the moon for you as these reviews do not do anxiety levels any good. @overthinkingagain i totally agree with you on that point as it needs overhauling
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