Forced to take medical retirement 24 years ago, now ESA want to assess me

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I was diagnosed in 1991 with Multiple Sclerosis and forced to take medical retirement. I am in receipt of a pension from my employer and the government. I am in the support group of ESA.

I thought the support group meant you would not be asked to work?

Do I have any rights?

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    I would presume that you are coming or have come to the end of your fixed term on ESA. Consequently you will have to be reassessed as a new claim if you want to keep claiming. There is an absolute maximum period of 3 years for ESA, but many get shorter fixed term awards.

    This is why that I will probably not want to transfer over to PIP from DLA.

    I just couldn't face constant re-assessments every year or so until the day I die. I'm 67 and nothing is going to improve healthwise.  

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    • Posted

      Hi you will stay on DLA now Les because you are of state pension age and was on DLA before you reached it. ..   It's only those who are on DLA and are not yet of state pension age that might have to reapply for PIP.  They won't have a choice.  If anyone made a new claim to PIP and they were state pension age,  they would claim Attendance Allowance instead  which is virtually the same (except there is no mobilty allowance) but just called a different name.
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    • Posted

      Thanks, unfortunately you are wrong. You had to be over 65 on the 8th April 2013 to miss the PIP assessment. I was 65 just after that date. 

      I am now at the start of the move over, they wanted me to telephone them to give details to start the claim. I refused as I want a paper form.

      If the DWP start their antics over this then I will drop the whole claim. I will not be able to accept constant re-assessment every few years for the rest of my life. 

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    • Posted

      That's what I was saying Les.  The date of changoever from DLA to PIP is different in different parts of the country.   If it came to your area just before you reached state pension age (and that's on a sliding scale now) then you would get caught and have to change over to PIP.   If you had reached 65 in my neck of the woods (South West) you would have got in in time as we don't change over until 2017.  I think we are the last area to be changed over.   I get lower rate DLA,   still get it and will until I have to apply for PIP in 2017 as I won't reach my state pension age until 65 and 3 months. 

      If eg I reached that before the change over came to my area then I would stay on DLA when I retired.  It's just a matter of luck  which part of the country you live in when it started.  x

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    • Posted

      My area was in fact one of the last to go live late this year. The government are supposed to pull people at random between now and 2018.

      However, and it is a big however, they made a point of saying that they intend to deal with those people that became 65 after April 2013 before anyone else. Hence why I was singled out only a couple of months after the area went live. Those still under 65 will have to wait until anytime up to 2018.

      So anyone that has an indefinite award and became 65 after April 2013 are to be assessed for PIP in the first wave that started a few months ago. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Leigh,

    According to the Government website you are correct to a degree. You can be asked or you can volunteer to look for a job, if you think you are up to a state that you feel okay to work in the support group, but it is voluntary.

    [Quote from the Government website]

    Work Capability Assessment

    You must have a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is being assessed. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.

    You’ll then be placed in one of 2 groups if you’re entitled to ESA:

    Work-Related Activity Group: where you’ll have regular interviews with an adviser

    Support Group: where you don’t have interviews

    [End Quote]

    However, there are changes going on now regarding ESA. This includes the following:

    {Quote from  Benefits and Work}

    ESA SUPPORT GROUP KEEPS GROWING

    The OBR has also revised its estimate of the proportion of claimants likely to be in the support group long-term. In July it thought there would be 30%, now it thinks that it will be 38%.

    One likely cause is the fact that Maximus are failing to carry out enough medicals, meaning that two thirds of the backlog of reassessment of current claimants has still not been cleared.

    {End quote}

    Considering this taking into consideration, there maybe changes already being made by IDS (IIain Duncan Smith}

    Regards,

    Les.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi you'e not being asked to work - you are being reassessed for ESA.  It is ridiculous as MS doesn't get better only worse.   This is nonsensical but go for the assessment anyway coz I am sure you will still get it.   You might well find that you don't need to go at all and they will just take doctors advice.   It's just the way the system works nowadays. 

    My sister has severe osteoarthritis and is in the support group.  They wanted to reassess her in case she had got better!   Stupid.  She went to the assessment and was put straight back into the support group so please don't worry unless you have miraculously found a cure for it!  x

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    • Posted

      Hi hypercat,

      You stated Multiple Sclerosis cannot become better only worse, this is not exactly correct.

      The Neurologist I am under proved this back in 1999, when he cured a women with MS, he diagnosed her first then cured her. It was not a quick process, and the story behind it is quite long. You would understand how and she was cured by reading the actual artical.

      Go to Google and enter the following keywords:

      "This MS drug that gave me back my life"  - Omit the quotes, and it is the first article on the google webpage by the Daily Mail.

      Obviously, it is not something a person could afford and not available on the NHS, it would cause an outcry if things were that simple in life.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      I have not read the whole article, but I was taking Beta Interfon a good few years ago and it did me more harm than good. I have the records to show that. As you are aware Multiple Scleroris is what is says, multiple, we all have different symptoms. Mine is extreme fatigue.
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    • Posted

      Hi Leigh,

      Yes, I agree - everyone has numerous disorders, and actually diagnosing people with the correct one can take many years, which I found out myself. I do not suffer from MS, but people think I have it until I tell them exactly what is wrong with me. Many Paramedics say to me or my wife is this normal or am I still in a Epileptic Seizure.

      It took a US Team of Neurologists and a Professor to diagnose me 30 years ago, back then I was only the 7th known case in the UK. The Neurologist Team I was under came over from New York, US every 3 months to view various tests that I had to have done.

      The trouble is you have an illness or disorder, then you have the patient - the problem comes when there are so many variations of a disorder, some are progressive like MS, and people that meet me for the first time think I have MS, or ME - it is not until I mention what I suffer from that they normally say they have never heard of it.

      Focal Segmental Dystonia was diagnosed initially, but has changed alot over the years from Torsion Dystonia, Generalised Dystonia with Cervical Dystonia and Torsion Dystonia - Generalised Dystonia affects the entire body, basically affects me with so many muscles problems (cramps and chronic spasms). I have 6 BoTox Injections every 10 weeks in to my neck for Cervical Dystonia, it helps the neck muscles to not spasm so much. Basically my head, constantly pulls to the left and in to my shoulder.

      But that is only my main disorder, I have many others that also affect the nervous system and on over 30 tablets a day...

      I did say I suffered from Epileptic Seizures which on many occassions lately has put me in hospital, but I also suffer from Functional Episodes, now this is where complications set in, there are 28 variations.

      My wife cares for me, as I am unable to do many things physically and sometimes mentally, this is due to side-effects from medications.

      I did not know beta interferons were available on the NHS, let alone used these days. I was offered DBS (Deep Brain Surgery) or stay on controlling medication for life, I turned DBS down because the risk of becoming worse was 95%!!! Which in my books is far too high.

      I'm on Contribution-Based ESA (support group) so I guess at some point I will need reaccessing, stupid really 30 years have passed and never had a face-to-face interview, only a private doctor by Social Security back in the 80's! The Doctor was such a nice guy, he even paid the taxi driver double what it should have cost to take me back home. DLA was granted instantly Care was only on Middle back then, but Mobility was on high which I rely heavily on to get out of the house, my wife has to drive me everywhere. Over the years the whole property has been modified in many ways through numerous DFG's, the last one was this year for £3,200 for a Clos-o-mat which is a bidet/toilet and all servicing is done by the Housing Association and annual DFG's.

      Opps, sorry I did not mean to write this much - its a problem I have (another story!).

      Regards,

      Les.

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  • Posted

    Hi Leigh

    As others have mentioned everyone in receipt of ESA benefit will be reassessed at some point, it is not just yourself.

    It all comes down to the descriptors and how many boxes you can tick and back up with medical evidence.

    If you score enough points your rights are entitlement to benefit. If you score is high enough then you will be placed in the Support Group which means you do-not have to seek work. However it does-not exempt you from future reassessments.

    Being in the Support Group is very important for you personally as your ESA is contribution based and not affected by your occupational pension. If you are placed in the Work Related Activity Group then you will have to attend work focused interviews and your CB ESA runs out after 12 months and replaced by Income related ESA which will be reduced or even stopped depending on how much you receive from your occupational pension.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for all your comments, as you know this is a stressful time, and to answer hypercat, yes I wish there was a cure!

    I know I am not the only person this assessment effects, but I received a medical report in 1992 (when I was age 30) from the Moorfields Hospital and my employer's consultant, which stated I should not be working. (not my wish) As I mentioned I am in receipt of a government pension and receive a P60 from them.

    Obviously I will attend the medical (when an appointment eventually arrives, been waiting since October). But if found fit (which happened to a lot of people a fews ago) I will have to seek compensation for loss of earnings.

     

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  • Posted

    How long do you have to wait for medical assessment? I've been waiting for two months so far.
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    • Posted

      That is a good question...

      The DWP is well under-staffed at the moment, think yourself lucky for people that are on DLA and waiting for their PIP changeover assessment, moreso the claimants on 'indefinite' claims on DLA the waiting period is now at 2018!!! They are way behind...

      ESA is dealt with quicker, but it is a case of waiting for records, to be checked, etc to then get your assessment date through. On rare occassions they do no face-to-face assessments, but even these can take upto 4-5 months.

      In your case, I would give it a few more weeks before phoning them.

      Regards,

      Les.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Les. It's driving my husband and I crazy with worry. We moved to Spain 10 years ago as I suffer less pain in the heat. If I fail the assessment we will have to move back to the UK as we will lose our entitlement to health care here, as entitled to on the S1.
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