Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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My last ESA assessment

I had a  motorbike accident on my way to work on father's day 2012, I suffered, in the words of the police, "life changing injuries" following several operations,  developing epilepsy and suffering PTSD I continued to work. I finally went sick in January 2016. I went along to my ESA assessment and everything was good I was placed in the support group. Late in 2017 I received the feared brown envelope. The appointment was for the middle of December,  for reasons that will become clear,  I had to cancel,  I had another letter arrive with a new appointment for the 21st of January, I phoned to cancel it but was told that as I had cancelled once,  if I didn't attend my money would be stopped, this was on the 16th of January,  I was asking for it to be cancelled because...my wife had died on the 15th. The thing on the end of the phone said,  "if you don't attend your money will be stopped and then you can appeal, if they think you have a good enough reason your money will be reinstated but I would suggest you attend if you can". So dutifully I turned up,  the "nurse" ticked the computer boxes, looked at the eleven and a half inch scar on my elbow and ended the assessment, I did of course,  tell her my wife had died 6 days previously. I went home and tried to forget it.

 Now, I suffer neurogenic pain in the remains of my right elbow for which I take morphine,  my seizures weren't,  and still aren't,  settled plus the PTSD,  depression and anxiety are still ongoing. So add to that the shock and  grief,  I was and am, in quite a bad way. A few days later along came the envelope, I was being moved from the support group to the work related activity group and had the £30 a week cut. I wrote a letter of appeal but the very kind adjudicator upheld the decision. So with a £30 a week cut and having to go to the jobcentre on a regular basis,  I applied to take ill health retirement, under the local government pension scheme the doctor that carried out the consultation and evidence for my pension, who did a much more thorough medical than Atos or Capita will ever undertake could not believe the way that the DWP had treated people. She said she had seen a lot on social media regarding the DWP but thought that maybe it was just a few disgruntled "customers" she was truly shocked. 

I was granted my pension, which is slightly over £200 a month, when the ESA reassessment came up late last year I had neither the mental strength or energy to carry on with being put through their rubbish, so I stopped claiming. It's probably played into their hands as they just wear us down a bit at a time. 

The problem I now face is that later this month,  I have my PIP assessment and the way the system is weighted I quite expect to lose it, I'm on lower rate daily living, if this is removed I have absolutely no idea how I will survive but by reading many stories,  I firmly believe this is all part of their plan. 

If you have read this far thank you, 
Gary

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    Thankfully, lots of people successfully claim PIP without any problems. Naturally, we only ever hear the bad stories on any internet forums. If anyone's received a decision they are happy with then they have no questions to ask so we don't hear their story.

    Fingers crossed you'll successfully be award PIP once the decision's been made on the review. Good luck.
    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.
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Scope helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @Gary1812,

    Welcome to the Community! 

    I really hope that all goes well with your PIP.

    If you do need help, our Helpline advisers can talk you through the appeal process or help you to find somewhere near you.. The call is free and the opening hours are 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday and weekends 8am to 6pm.  :)



    Joanne 
    Scope
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