UC ESA telephone interview - still waiting for it! — Scope | Disability forum
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UC ESA telephone interview - still waiting for it!

Jankins Member Posts: 11 Listener
Hi my name is Jane.  I had a breakdown in March 2017 but applied for ESA September 2017.  Has to attend an assessment in November 2017 and got turned down despite having 3 panic attacks in their offices!  MR was turned down and CAB helped me get a tribunal sorted which we won and was put back on ESA.  Even job center staff on seeing the state I get in were astonished that they'd refused my initial assessment.

Applied for and got turned down for PIP but again with the help of CAB got to tribunal (again) and won so we now have standard rate of PIP both parts and hubby gets carers allowance as he has to care for me 24/7.  I have depression, very bad anxiety and get panic attacks when I am out of my home.  I cannot go anywhere on my own and he has to be with me.  I react very badly with a lot of people around me, and if I think they are staring when I start shaking I go into full blown panic mode.  I am on medication which he has to hide as if I find it on a bad day (which I have lots of) I take too many of them - I'm not proud to say but I have done this several times.

Due to our financial situation - we were in danger of losing our home due to rent arrears with a private landlord, I decided to take a pension pot even though I was 54 at the time.  My GP confirmed that I was unable to work and would not be able to in any foreseeable future.  As we were now on income related ESA this took me over the savings amount and they stopped the ESA.

When we were down to the levels I applied again for ESA but was told we had to go on UC which we did.  This was a year ago.  I have explained time and time again, and they have seen the state I get in at the job center (different advisor now) but they refused to accept the previous tribunal ruling.  I've been providing certificates for the entire time.

Did the UC50 form and was given assessment date which I had to postpone, got a letter from my GP asking for a home visit due to the last time, they refused to accept this, made another appointment at another center, then assessment was cancelled due to the current situation.

I was called and told I would get a telephone assessment on 26/6/20 at 3pm.  At 3.30 I was frantic as I don't cope well when things changes.  I called them and was told someone would get back to me to rearrange.  I've called 3 times now as I am climbing the walls, getting really stressed out even more as my UC journal is now showing work I need to apply for which I am unable to do.  I have trouble going out even more now as the people in masks really freak me out.  I had trouble even going to a supermarket before this, so my lovely neighbor adds mine to her delivery while this is going on.

I called today in tears and this is really making me stressed out and they have now said they don't know when they will call me, with the journal entries I'm now worried they are going to sanction us if I don't do what they ask and look for work?

Sorry this is so long, but I just want to know if they can do this?  I've let them know through the journal what is going on but am worried they will stop our payments.  

Thanks for any advice on this.


  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,578 Scope online community team
    Hello @Jankins. This all sounds incredibly stressful and I'm sorry you've had so many difficulties with your UC and ESA.

    Can I ask, how long was it between your ESA closing due to capital and your claim for UC? 

    Also, when you say about your journal having messages about jobs to apply for, what do these say? Some work coaches send out mass messages to everyone on their list with vacancies. Do you know what your work commitments currently are? You should be able to find these on your online account.
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  • Jankins
    Jankins Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Hi Adrian, thank you so much for getting back to me. 

    ESA stopped in October 2018 and we started UC at the end of June 2019.  Looking at the journal again, I think you're right - it does look like a generic message.  I don't have any work commitments but it says I've accepted work commitments on 3/7 which I never did. 

    In the journal for that date is a message from the work coach.  I also shows my husband complaining about the assessment call not happening on 1/7 and the responses from the service center and work coach on 2/7 telling me to call again.


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