Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Son with severe anxiety didn't go with me to appointment

Jane7Jane7 Member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi I'm worried as my 18 year old wouldn't attend his work related interview , I went a s his appointee. The advisor was a bit insitent he should attend, but saw how upset I was ,as I really wanted him to.  He left it that the manager would ring me about it. My son has severe anxiety since 6th form when he wouldn't take exams.  He has always been hesitant to be in social situations but this rapidly increased at exam year.  He refuses to be fully assessed which doesn't make anything better. He took medication but stopped a year ago.  Thanks if anyone has information about this. 

Replies

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

    Was this a work capability assessment or a new claim for Universal Credit?
    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.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Jane7   Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.

    Sorry to hear this.  About your son.  

    I know it is difficult for you and not easy to deal with .  What is happening right now.

    You come to the right place for information and advice.

    I am one of the community champions. We guide, advise and help new members who join.

    There will be members of our community or a member of our team. Be able to advise.

    I know my own personal circumstance . I have mental health myself.  I do think it would be helpful if you son got some guidance, help with his mental health.

    There mental health charities on line to consult, advise and get support with any anxiety..

    The problem is if he does not think he need help and some support. Then he needs to understand by accessing support. Can be beneficial to his well being.

    Can help, advise his benefit situation. Many mental health charities have their own advisors or those who are floating support or an outreach worker.   Have benefit knowledge and expertise can signpost to those who can help and give the support for benefits.

    Can attend assessments and advise on any thing else.

    Of course if he is denial.  Then he going to lose out on vital support that maybe can solve a lot of the issues.

    That might be something he needs to know.

    Every one is entitled to good mental health and wellbeing.

    I used this one last time.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    Might not be in all areas.

    I know us men have an issue with health and it is probably maybe that the stigma of accessing mental health.  The need to discuss and talk about it does help . He has to try to help himself.

    One important point he has the support, reassurance of you as a Mother in his corner. He should be aware of that.

    I wish you well.  Please if we can be supportive or you wish to know anything please ask. We are here to listen as a community.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman

     
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @Jane7! I'm sorry to hear this, I imagine it hasn't been an easy time for yourself and your son. Was this a work capability assessment or a new claim for Universal Credit? 
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  • Silver925Silver925 Member Posts: 87 Courageous
    Hi you said Work Related Interview. Is he on ESA by any chance and been placed in the Work Related Activity Group. Then he must attend these as part of being in this group. The advisor should be aware of his limitations and allow and make ajustments for this. That he would be able to cope with. Perhaps they could recommend he be in The Support Group. Take Care
  • Silver925Silver925 Member Posts: 87 Courageous
    Forgot to say If new claim it would now be Universal Credit as others have said.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
    If you have citizens advice in your area I would give them a ring and get an appointment, explain to them about you and your sons situation and I'm sure they can help?
    I've received so much help from them after advocacy wirral ( a local mental health charity) closed back in 2015!!!!
  • david235david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    @Jane7 I sense I am not alone on being unclear exactly where your son is within the benefits system. It seems more likely he is a Universal Credit claimant than Employment and Support Allowance considering his age and that Universal Credit is now live for all new claimants nationwide.

    I am unclear whether the appointment was for a Work-focused Interview ("WfI"), or was part of Work-Related Activity ("WRA"). I am also unclear whether your son has gone through the Work Capacity Assessment or not.


    The particularly difficult aspect of the history you give is your son's refusal to be fully assessed. Perhaps there is also a wider refusal to engage with help or even accept his need of help and support. Others have already addressed these wider issues in ways which I cannot authentically do, as someone whose disabilities lie almost exclusively in the physical domain and who does not have direct caring responsibilities for anyone with mental health issues.


    You cannot complete your son's WfIs and any WRA for him, even though you are his appointee. There is a requirement to offer reasonable adjustments in relation to these requirements - but "I get anxious so I am not coming" is highly unlikely to excuse him from these requirements.

    There is a possibility of your son being found to have Limited Capacity for Work-Related Activity ("LCWRA") even though he doesn't meet any of the LCWRA descriptors if a requirement to undertake WRA would place him or someone else at 'substantial risk'. Following various Upper Tribunal cases, 'substantial risk' has been clarified and some idea of DWP's current approach can be found in ADM Memo 2/18. A documented history of severe anxiety leading to panic attacks, especially if supported by medical evidence, might well allow a 'substantial risk' argument to succeed. However, such an approach may well be frustrated by a refusal to undergo assessment.

    Your son will not have the option of opting out of the Work Capacity Assessment. Whilst you as his appointee can fill in the form there is no guarantee that he will not be called for face to face assessment. Refusal to undergo face to face assessment without good cause is likely to lead to a finding of fitness for work.


    I endorse the suggestion others have made to seek advice from CAB or another advice service about attempting to establish LCWRA.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That link above for substantial risk is far too long and lots of people won't understand it. This one is much more readable for everyone. https://wcainfo.net/issues/substantial-risk-lcwra

    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.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Jane7, how are you getting on? :)
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  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    I can only offer my sympathies.

    If you can manage to reply with information, then advice can be perhaps offered e.g. if it was a work focused interview, then there might be a way to request a move to the LCWRA category which would remove this obligation.

    When I was very briefly on ESA WRAG, I was surprised that the DWP lady who was doing my WFI offered to support the move to SG.  I actually declined the offer saying if I am to stay in WRAG I will go through the process to the best of my ability, but I did get moved to SG a week or so later following a one a line appeal form submitted by me and a successful reconsideration.  I was in two minds at the time as I felt these interviews could possibly yield positive results, but what scared me was the old "mandatory", the forceful side of the DWP.

    The DWP been forceful with your son wont be helping matters, and sadly the DWP just dont get it, when it comes to providing support for those with LCW.
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