Upcoming ESA assessment - what to expect

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Hi all,

I have been diagnosed by the hospital as having a "hypermobile tailbone" coming under the umbrella diagnosis of coccydinia and was told I would get an operation to try and fuse the bone back together. That was in August and I have heard nothing so I am going to attend my GP on Monday to chase them up.

I used to work in retail/customer service jobs but for the past 4+ months I have found it difficult to walk/stand for extended periods of time and even find it painful sitting for any length of time. I'm currently taking daily painkillers and applied for ESA in September. I have just had the dreaded letter through about my upcoming assessment (27th January).

Can anyone advise what to expect or offer any tips/advice? I'm extremely apprehensive about it as I get the feeling they are going to try and trip me up at any opportunity.

Many thanks!

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  • Posted

    hi Racheal,,, please do not worry,,, i was in a terrible state when i went for my assessment after waiting months over the 13 weeks period,,, what people try to do is impress,, because we dont want people to see the stuggling side of us,,, you say you are in pain DONT act as though your not dont be a hero,,, i cry alot YES because of my illness and what happened to cause it,, yes im embarrassed but hey if thats my disability then why should i hide it,, the same goes for you DONT be a hero be honest ,, act honest,, one tip DONT PUT A HAND BAG ON THE FLOOR AND BEND DOWN TO PICK IT UP,,, KEEP IT ON YOUR LAP,, IF SITTING DOWN HURTS GET UP AND MOVE DEALLY IF STANDING HURTS SAY SITTING DONT CROSS YOUR LEGS,,, just be yourself and im sure you will be fine,, take any mecication with you,,, drs letters,, anything that supports your illness,,, dont say if they ask you about going out that you were clubbing last night,, think about your illness and what YOU SHOULD BE SAYING,, SORRY im rattling on ,,, i wish you all the best please let me know the outcome,

    take care gentle hugs jayne xx

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    • Posted

      If you are prescribed any form of medication to control pain you should take it - you will be assessed on the basis of what you can do when taking prescribed medication.

      You should be honest as you say, but must not exaggerate any difficulties. 

      Be yourself and DO what you would normally do at home. Trying to play act will only lead to problems. 

      If you WERE out clubbing last night should you really be applying for the benefit?

      It's not WHAT you SHOULD be saying, it's what is the truth.

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    • Posted

      hi Les i wasnt implying i go out clubbing havent done that for over 30 years,,, but some do and claim disability,,, actually i dont go out of the house unless its medical and then my hubby takes me.  I take lots of medication,,,i was honest at my assessment ,, im to honest that what im told,,, after what happened to me i need my benefits to survive and i told the truth from start to end, i f the time should come that i dont need the benefits any more then so be it,,, but till then im happy with what i get it keeps my head above water.
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  • Posted

    If you look up descriptors for ESA assessments this will give you some idea of what questions they will ask

     

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  • Posted

    Keep a 7day diary, from when you get up to going to bed. Make sure you take copies of everything. Your Dr's will be invaluable ask for their help

    They will ask you about a typical day so you should have a good idea about that by keeping a diary. If you have more bad days than good, base your answers on that but as Les said, try not to exaggerate your problems.

    You will be asked to perform simple excercises. If it pains you to do them or know it will, then refuse!

    Take someone with you, someone who knows you well. You will be sat on a chair that I would imagine will be facing the assessor or just to the side. I have heard some horror stories of peoples assessments but honestly mine wasn't so bad. If they are rude - complain straight away

    Only you will know the true extent of your problems but remember they are ticking boxes so study at the PIP2 form and see where you fit in. Don't rush your answers, take time to think. They are going through a list of questions so try and answer them in full, giving examples if you have any

    I made the mistake of being my typical independant,stubborn self and did things at the assessment that I wouldn't normally attempt

    Don't worry, though I know its easy for me to say!

     

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    • Posted

      Even professional welfare rights workers are thinking along the same lines. If the DWP/ATOS/CAPITA don't bother to read the PIP2 or look at the evidence you send in what is the point - you might as well wait to submit the full infomation at MR stage instead.
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  • Posted

    Whatever you do dont fake anything....they will know!! they are doing this day in, day out. I had my assessment a week ago at home, I did not ask for a home visit they told me that was what I was getting because of my disabilities. The lady was very nice but I knew she was there to do a job so did not get over friendly with her. She was on her computer writing everything down and it was obvious she was going through a list. I had ALL my medical records going back to 1960 supplied by my GP also a letter from my GP stating all the things I could not do or attempt to do, this is always helpful as no one knows you like your own doctor. I was asked how my illnesses affected my every day life from rising in the morning to going to bed. I was also asked to do a few excercises, I told her there was not way I could do most of them but did attempt the one touching my fingers. As I also have vertigo on top of everything else I cant bend down or stand up quickly anyway. Just think how your illness affects you daily but dont say you have good days !! They will think you are fine if you say you have some good days, always work on your worst day. I know I will never get better and that my pain will get worse so hopefully with all the information they have I will continue to receive my benefits. I was previously on high rate mobility and middle rate care but since my first application 6 years ago have got progressively worse, in fact I should have applied for high rate 2 years ago but never got round to it. Fingers crossed everything goes well for you, I am also waiting for my decision after my assessment.
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    • Posted

      For a start, they may suspect but they can't justify that suspicion. They have to justify every comment they make with evidence.

      I don't know how you managed to have your GP confirm the many things that you couldn't do. I only see my GP when I am 'dragged there screaming' or if he is wanting to look at my medication. Apart from that my GP hasn't got a clue how my life is. I could tell him, but then if he passed that information to the DWP it is only uncorroborated evidence - he is simply relaying what I told him.

      I declined (well the DWP decided it for me in the end) the option of transferring from DLA (High Mobility/Middle Care) for two reasons. The main one was that I could not cope with the regular re-assessments every few years and secondly looking at the descriptors I would be lucky if I got 4 points across the whole assessment - I just don't fit many boxes, if any. 

      Now I don't have the stress of looking forward to multiple re-assessments, MR's and Tribunals. At 67 I just want a bit of peace.

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    • Posted

      I obviously have a very good relationship with my doctor, I see him and my consultant every 3 months for assessment and injections. Also I have had a very bad 15 months with other illnesses eg. diagnosed with BPPV (Vertigo) which my own doctor has the knowledge to do the Epley maneuver, which I had but it only worked for a short while. As I have very bad rotator cuff in both shoulders and the pain is so bad he cannot do this again until the pain reduces. Then I had a heart attack and nearly died had heart surgery in May, six weeks later collapsed in the surgery with gall stones and rushed into hospital again, waiting for an operation but they cannot do this until I am off the blood thinners for my heart. I keep this under control through a strict no fat diet, have lost 3 stone 4 lbs. I have ear problems as well, Cholyastoma/mastoid and this on top of my arthritis, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure ,TIA's. So Les I see my doctor very regularly at the surgery and my home. He knows my pain and knows my limitations, without him i would have done something to myself years ago. So yes my doctor knows me very well and I think is in a very good position to know how I cope with my illnesses.
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    • Posted

      you list so many complaints,,, as myself so quite honestly i dont think you have anything to worry about,,, cant understand if you have everything you have put in your messagethen why havent you applied for PIP and ESA before ,, you have obviously missed out on so much,,, good luck anyone x
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    • Posted

      Hello Jayne, you have obviously missed previous threads, I have been on high rate mobility and midddle rate care for 6 years. Now the powers that be because I was not 65 in April 2013 say I have to be reassessed for PIP. I have been claiming and really should have claimed high rate care over two years ago but never bothered as I was grateful to be getting what I was. I am 67 this year so definitely wont be going back into employment, haaa, did my stint for 46 tax paying years. Unable to do a lot of things now, computer and reading plus TV. Again it is 03.55 as I write this and cannot sleep because of the pain. Can't remember the last time I slept through the night, maybe 3 years ago. Yes we all need good luck because so many genuine cases are being refused !!
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    • Posted

      Like yourself, I have been in receipt of High Mobility/Middle Care DLA since 2011. Before that from 1995 I was on High Mobility/High Care until 2004 when I became so ill  that I just couldn't face filling in the DLA re-assessment forms. They however gratiously gave me Low Mobility from 2004 to 2011 (when I eventually got round to asking for a re-assessment) based presumably on the evidence that they held from previous years.

      I'm 67 - 68 in June this year. PIP assessments at my age I see as a waste of time to be honest - things aint going to improve as the years draw on. So PIP isn't for me for the reasons I have already explained elsewhere. Attendance Allowance then? Nope, the DWP have put on hold all new claims until the government announce that the benefit is to be got rid of with the money saved being handed to the local authorities so that they can help those that are in desperate need of more better care in their own home via Social Services.

      So what do us oldies have instead - nothing. Gone is the Pension Credit because of the loss of the disability premuim, gone is the 100% Council Tax Benefit and gone is the help towards the mortgage interest.

      Can't wait until I get that bad that Social Services have to get involved with my care via daily visits from care workers - but then they will want me to pay for that by way of a charge being levied on our home!!  

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    • Posted

      ???? What did you say !  Anyway I think this subject for me has come to the end of the road we are all repeating what has been gone over before. I shall sign off been nice talking to you all x
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  • Posted

    Hi everyone,

    thanks for for all your input and advice. I called to request my assessment was recorded (as I've read a few horror stories about what the person has actually said being manipulated) and was advised the request would be met. On the day of my appointment I received a call maybe a hour or two before hand and told Nope couldn't record it for me. Now they are saying that my local office (which isn't some backstreet shanty town) doesn't even have the facilities to record my assessment. I have to call back this Friday to discuss my options so we shall see how this fiasco pans out.

    i think I have prepped as much as possible for when it actually does go ahead. I have all relevant letters from my GP, aids that I use daily and even some literature I found online to explain my problem fully to the assessor. Can only do our best but doesn't stop our anxiety in the weeks/days prior.

    will keep you updated when I eventually do get my assessment.

    Best Wishes!

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    • Posted

      Par for the course from what I read.

      They don't want it recorded and when you ring up they will put pressure on you to go ahead without it being recorded. They probably had no intention of offering it to you in the first place.

      They could well say that it isn't a guaranteed right to have it recorded.

      Depends how strongly you feel about being manipulated by the DWP

       

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    • Posted

      I acquired a radio mic back pack that fits snugly under my shirt at the back clipped to my jeans + a very small mic that clips in the inside pocket of my jacket. It came with a receiver (ex PA sytem used at a school). I tried it out with my laptop and it received/recorded a very clear signal from over 200 metres away. 

      Can't wait for the next re-assessment for my IIDB even though it is a 'for life' award.

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