Esa Claim

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hello, I am new to this so I am not sure if I've posted this in the right place.

My name is Amber, I am nearly 22 and I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, apparently I've had this all my life but it's never been diagnosed (as a child I'd be in agony and my legs would give way when running in the play ground.) I also have depression.

I applied for Employment and Support Allowance on the 31st of July 2014 and finally had my assessment on the 14th of April after they cancelled it because my assessor wasn't feeling very well. I went to this assessment with my housemate and my son. My housemate waited in the waiting room and my 21 month old son came in with me.

She assessed me, asked me to touch my toes which I couldn't and did not do... She asked me to squat which I couldn't do. After two days I got a phone call telling me I'd failed the ESA assessment. She had stated I walk to my physio with no problem and allsorts that just was not true. My doctor had only been writing back pain on the medical notes. I explained I had fibromyalgia and the man 'Steve' rang me back on the 23rd of April and told me if my doctor wrote a backdated medical note from the 31st of July 2014 onwards then he would overturn the decision and therefor put me on ESA.

I did this straight away as I already had a doctors appointment that day for stronger painkillers and other tablets. On the same day (23rd) I got a taxi and took it to the job centre. The woman rather than scanning I over decided she would post it and it then became lost. They made the decision without seeing the medical note.

A few days ago I got the phone call telling me they made the decision and I've failed still and they won't be changing the decision, they told me they didn't receive a medical note and I had to hand another one in.

I got another one, once again got a taxi to the job centre after borrowing money because I'm not on any benefit at the minute whilst they are assessing. Handed it in and a lovely woman scanned it straight over for me and wished me good luck.

I then had a woman ring me yesterday, she was not English and she was very rude to me, she told me the medical note meant nothing, nobody asked me for it and I bought it in of my own back for no reason. After telling her 'Steve' had told me to raring it in she didn't believe me. She told me to prove to her I was on the system to which I replied that I couldn't as I do not know how their system works. She must have then realised I was telling the truth and said "oh it's from Hull I'll pass it over to them bye" and put the phone down on me leaving me in tears.

A man then phoned me from Hull and told me 'Steve' was on holiday, told me I'd be best of making a new claim rather than appealing because otherwise I'll still be without pay and put me straight through to the new claim department. I made a new claim and she made a note on the system that 'Steve' would look on the system at his notes in a good few weeks when he's off his holidays, until then I may have to re do my assessment ect ect.

I am really sorry for this being so lengthy, I wanted to explain the full story, what do I do? I made the new claim but they have messed me about so much and this stress only makes my pains worse. I don't want to feel like this at such a young age but unfortunately I do. I don't think it's fair I'm stuck waiting around till this guy is off his holiday all when they probably won't even look at it.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Ajb

    I feel for you and agree it's not fair the ESA claim you are trying to get is being such a stressful time for you.

    Unfortunately, I have not gone down that road to make a claim but there are many people on this forum that have.

    I am sure they will assist you further.

    Will you are waiting please don't get stressed as this aggrevates the pains further. 

    Gentle hugs and take care wink x

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  • Posted

    Poor you Ajb, really feeling for you..and they say stress makes our condition worse..grrr ....Hard to believe that such an important big department relies on one man, like their doing with Steve.- what on earth would they do if he just didn't come back..mmm... I'm in Australia and things are certainly not done like that here...can't you contact your local MP or something like that..that is shocking what you have to go through..gentle hugs across the seas..stay strong.....have a lovely day..and just keep your eyes on your goal..:-) xx
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    • Posted

      Thankyou both for replying. I've contacted the local mp and got a reply saying they can't assist me. I don't have a clue what to do like I said to the man who rang me, what if Steve never comes back, what if he's gone for months or extends his stay... My life is now on hold for him. My head is a mess right now thanks to them and now I'm going to have to go through it all over again sad x
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    • Posted

      That's terrible that your local MP should just brush you off like that...there only there because people like you voted them in..I sorry but that would just get my back up and I would take it further maybe to the opposition..they usually like to help...or even threaten or do -go to the newspapers..they hate just the thought of bad publicity...gee I sound aggressive don't i? and I'm not, but I have had to learn to stick up for myself  through this Fibro....and it hasn't hurt......do hope you get somewhere soon, doing your had in..stress...is just not good for your Fibro...grr...if only these people were correctly informed about Fibro..I'm sure they would be more empathetic to sufferers...be blessed Ajb...:-) xxxx
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  • Posted

    Hi Amber,

    ESA + a female is a bad combination. Now, you may think that is a sexist remark, but that is how our horrible system works. If you are a male, you do not get asked the same questions and the possibility of getting ESA is a lot higher.

    If an Assessor asks how you got to the Assessment and you state via bus, you can guarantee a no go, instantly.

    Now Amber let's look at your disorder - Fibromyalgia, this is one disorder that most Assessors will not allow, and the DWP will back it up with lies. This is all normal, and with the Election going the way it did it will affect many other Benefits like DLA / PIP and ESA, unless the current enquiry proves that the Election was 'fixed' as stated in the media this morning.

    With Fibromyalgia has a disorder you have to be careful and take notes of how you approach the Assessment for a start. For starters, when they state a date and time and location which is difficult to get to then phone them and ask for a home visit, you will feel more at home (pardon the pun!) and more confident. Fibromyalgia is a mental/physical disorder, so check the letters you have received from the Assessment and note what it states under the person that interviewed you, does it state Health Assessor? If this is the case, then this is your first point to an appeal, contact the department that sent you the letter, and ask what profession the Health Assessor is qualified in, this is where you will find out exactly whom that Assessor was classed as, an Health Assesssor is a title that ATOS created, and they do not exist, apart from on your letter.

    Let's go back to your Assessment, and remember you were asked to do very little, this is because the Assessor does not know anything or very little about Fibromyalgia, and just puts anything down. So, you would see it as a lie but in fact, that Health Assessor (remember they are made up by ATOS) is either a Qualified Paramedic (yes, this is what caused the shortage before Xmas last year and caused chaos in hospitals) whom are paid about £23k-24k for odd hours as Paramedics, but ATOS offered them £30k and a 9-5pm job. This was also in the news when the NHS was trying to find out who the Whistle-blowers were in Hospitals. But, it didn't stop there they also bought out Physiotherapists!! Now, you probably got a good idea, that the Health Assessor was either a Paramedic (Fully Qualified takes just one Diploma, nothing else!) or a Physiotherapist.

    In the letters you have it probably says Health Assessor, which is not a professional, not even by GP standards (a GP takes 10 years to train! Yet in the Election we were led to believe by Labour and Conservatives that they will need around 1,000 more doctors by the year 2020!! Impossible, because both had not done their homework, if they had read the latest British Medical Journal then it states in B&W a single GP is in training for 10 years!).

    Anyway, put that aside, if your letter states Health Assessor and not any qualifications, this is normal because they do not want you knowing. Contact Capita or the Contact Number on the letter, and ask what your Assessor was qualified in, you will find it is a person that knows nothing about Fibromyalgia, because even GP's whom are fully trained do not know the full issues this disorder causes.

    I am assuming you have 28 days on the letter to appeal, get a letter again off your GP (sorry, I had to say that after what you have been through), but this time prepare yourself. By this I mean:

    1. If you have a digital voice recorder in the house use this to record the conversation, do not inform them that you are recording it. Note: the time started and ended.

    2. The letter or note from your GP, make photocopies.

    3. Note down the name of the Assessor, Department, and Centre she/he has come from. (Note: By law they do not need to supply their surname, that is part of legislation).

    After the interview is done, phone the same contact number on the letter but this time, state you have logged all details of the Assessment, including a full recording of the whole assessment, the name of the assessor, the time they arrived and how long they took. They will note all this information down, which will normally reverse the 'out come'.

    Sorry, about being long winded and writing a long message, but it is everything you need to know.

    All the best and regards,

    Les.

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for your detailed message, I was advised not to appeal by job centre. They said that I won't receive pay as usual if I appeal as it changed in April and I need some form of pay as I have a little boy. Home visits are hard as I live with a friend of mine in a shared house. I just don't know what to do. As I said I was stuck waiting for 10 months for the assessment and was told "re claim because you might get accepted next time"... Part of me thinks it might just be because they don't want to award a back date
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    • Posted

      I also found it strange as she asked how I got here. I said in a taxi. She said how long did the taxi take to bring you here. I said 15 minutes. It baffled me.

      I am stuck really because they've told me to make a new claim which I have done and then wait for Steve but this is silly as whilst Steve is having his lovely holiday in the sun I'm here stressed and in agony. As we speak I'm lay on the sofa with my son in agony... Yesterday when they rang me I was in bed whilst my son watched dvds. I'm sick of it x

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    • Posted

      Obviously, they are giving you the roundabout treatment. The DWP was instructed to deny many claims, let some through but others just get denied.

      There is a reason for this.. there is a backlog of appeals of around 800,000 and the Tories do not have enough staff to clear it. So, by denying your claim and saying not to appeal is their way of saying "Go Away!".... What you want to do is ignore that, and appeal anyway, they don't like it - but it is your right to appeal, not there's.

      You said a friend, do you meant a partner, or simply a friend?

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    • Posted

      My friend we moved in together three years ago as we moved 110 miles away from our home town... Manchester to Hull...

      Also, I've already started a new claim so where would I fit in with the appeal? Should I wait until Steve has looked at his notes and given me a call back, should I appeal before or after, will an appeal still stand because I've had to make new claim (without any form of pay I'm struggling, alot!)

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    • Posted

      BTW, you can still claim some money, many people think all is lost, but its not publicised which is why. I can send you a message giving you all the details requires for you to claim.

      I feel sorry for you, so many are in the same boat and it isn't fair by a long way.

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