Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Are the horror stories true?

GrampyGrampy Member Posts: 3 Listener
I have an ESA medical assessment early next week at one of their centres. I tried to get a home visit as I have chronic pain which limits my mobility and severe anxiety, hyper-vigilance caused by PTSD & a fear of new places/people. My request was denied. My beloved wife is my full time carer and will be accompanying me. Are the horror stories about these assessments true? Will they ask me stupid questions and expect me to do physical activities? Please would you give me your experience.


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

    I'm one of the community champions here on scope and i'm here to help and advise others.

    Lots of people are successfully placed into one of the groups without any problems at all. You will always read more bad stories than good ones on an internet forum because if someone's had a decision they're happy with then we don't hear their story because they have no questions to ask.

    During the assessment you will need to verify what you wrote in the form as well as any additional information needed. What they ask you will depend on how your conditions affect you in a typical day. The work capability assessment is about the work you can do, rather than the work you can't do. They will assess your ability to do any type of work.

    If they ask you to do anything that causes you pain and discomfort you can refuse but you'll need to tell them why you're unable to it.

    I've had 2 face to face assessments for the work capability assessment and 1 paper based one. The 2 face to face assessments i had the HCP was lovely, friendly, polite and very understanding and helpful. I received honest and truthful reports for all assessments and a decision went in my favour each time. The good stories are out there.

    This link will give you a little information. If it's Universal Credit you're claiming, even though the link states ESA they are both the same. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/help-with-your-esa-claim/esa-medical-assessment/

    Good luck.

    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.
  • GrampyGrampy Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you, so much, Poppy. Very pleased to know that your experience was OK and not an ordeal! Fingers crossed I’ll have the same.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 10,115 Disability Gamechanger
    @Grampy Hello and welcome to the community I am a community champion here. I have had a WCA assessment and also PIP assessment. Like Poppy said not every story is a bad one we just don't hear abut thrm. While my assessment seemed to go ok and the assessor.was very nice and empathetic I was found fit for work. I completed a MR and got the same decision so took it to appeal at tribunal were I was successful. Good luck for your assessment, I was asked to do few physical things like raise my arms put them behind my back but nothing much as I am in a wheelchair and unable to walk. Let us know how you get on
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 8,590 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Grampy - Welcome to the community from me too. I'm sorry to read about the physical & mental problems you're facing & that you were unable to get a home assessment. It's great to read your lovely wife will go with you to the assessment; I'm sure that will help.
    I've only been through a PIP assessment, & all the questions were relevant, & I only did about half of the few physical movements explaining why I couldn't do some. Because my right arm was injured decades ago, I just said I'd rather not do some movements, but showed them with my left arm about the movements I could do on the right, but that doing so with my right arm would cause pain. This seemed to be perfectly acceptable to the assessor, who was also lovely, & showed a lot of empathy.
    I do hope our personal experiences have reassured you, & also hope you look through the link Poppy has given above.
    As Jane has said, please do let us know how you get on. My best wishes.
  • AilsAils Member Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Grampy and welcome to the Community.  It is nice to meet you.  I'm sorry to hear of your struggles and wish you well with your assessment.  I can appreciate how worrying this must be for you.  As other members have said, sometimes the assessment isn't as bad as you think and you end up having a positive experience, but often these are never commented on.  My PIP assessment was also fine and I only had to do a little movement as I was still recovering from surgery at the time and the assessor was really nice and very kind.  I hope you have a positive experience also and wish you all the best with it.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you get on.  We will be thinking of you.  We are here to help and support you at any time so if there is anything at all you need then please just ask.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • GrampyGrampy Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I’m very grateful for all of your kind and positive comments & support. It really has helped, thank you. I’ll try to shake off some of the fears and anxiety and just hope for the best. If they are fair then I shouldn’t need to worry. I’ll let you know how it goes, of course. My thanks, again.
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