Illnesses come in all shapes and forms. The overwhelming amount of people with severe illness, and therefore, chronic illness, are disabled in so many ways. Not all their body, might be disabled, but their disability is of such, that their disability affects their everyday life in one way or another. So with the above thoughts in mind, why does the DWP, insist on keep sending severely disabled persons, for a work capability assessment. The ESA50 booklet, i think has 17 questions, on how a person can or cannot manage their everyday needs. A disabled person, might manage to have a shower on their own, or clean their teeth. They may be able to cook a meal. They may be able to use a washing machine. What i am getting at, is, they maybe able to to the simple everyday household tasks, that the ESA50 booklet questions ask. This is a far cry from being in the workplace. I was in the workplace 5 years ago. Then at that time, i went to see the doctor, because i was not feeling to good. I worked for a heavy engineering company, as a forklift driver, and materials handler. You can imagine that this was heavy work. Most days, i did a 10 hour shift. I got to a point where i could hardly walk, at the end of a shift. So, i went to see the doctor, who sent me for a blood test. The blood test revealed that i had a kidney abnormality. I went to a kidney specialist, who did tests, and found out, that i had got a tumor on my left kidney. I had my kidney removed 3 months later. 8 weeks post-op, i went to see the kidney specialist, because i was not recovering from my operation. I had a blood test done, and the blood test revealed that i had a massive calcium deficiency. I was put on a massive dose of Vitamin D tablets for three months. The downside of having calcium deficiency, was that it affected my joints. It affected my knee joints, ankle joints, lower spine, both shoulders, elbows and hands. I have been in the ESA support group, for 3 years. I have recently received an ESA50 booklet to fill in. As i have stated above, i can do simple tasks in the home, although it knocks me for six, every time i try and do something. My spine pain is the worst, and cannot stand in the same place ,for more than a few seconds. Most of the time. i am sitting, and very rarely go out. I have my groceries bought in, and have a cleaner come in once a week. The point i am trying to make, is that, there is a massive difference, in trying to do simple tasks around the home, and holding down a regular job, doing 8 to 10 hour shifts, 5 days a week. These are the sort of questions, that the ESA50 booklet should be asking. The questions should be:- can you walk safely around a factory floor. Can you carry a heavy object over 20 metres. could you repeatedly pick things up and move them for an 8 hour period. This does not apply to all jobs, but the point i am trying to make, is that the Capability To Work questions, ought to be based upon the workplace, and NOT what you can do around the home. There are massive ramifications for those with severe disabilities, to be asked to try and get a job. My own personal experience, is that my health is worse now, than when i was put into the ESA support group, 3 years ago. An analogy could be....you were taken out of the support group, and put into the work group. Forced into a job, or loose your benefits. Start the job, try and lift an object, and because of your disability, you drop the object onto someones foot, and that someone has a broken foot. Who is responsible, YOU or the DWP, for asking you to do something that you know you are not capable of doing. Hypothetical indeed you might say, but i wonder if this situation has ever happened. Anyway, i have had my 2 pence worth, hope that what i have written makes sense.
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