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dreaded DHSS phonecall

Any tips on filling the dreaded ESA forms in,i have just had the call from DHSS tellling me they are sending the forms out eeeek, not looking forward to it AT ALL,do i need drs letters and all that ?

J x

Join benefitsandwork. they will take you through the process and advise exactly what you need to say.

Yes as spacejacket says, join benefits and work and follow their step-by-step guide. It’s about £20 to join for the year and worth every penny.

Send any letters you have from neuro’s, GP, any specialist you have seen.

Get a friend to write a letter about how she/he has seen your MS affecting you. What you used to be like and what you are like now.

Do lots of ‘extra info’. Fill in the boxes with info and then put ‘see extra info page 4’ or whatever, and write MORE. Write as much as you can about everything that affects you. How it feels. What happens when you walk. How far. When you have to rest. Everything!

Always write your worst day symptoms but you can say ‘on better days’ or 'on bad day’s but do not use the words ‘good days’.

Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar, just get the info down the best you can. If you or anyone you know types you could type out the extra info… but say that someone else typed it for you!

Write your name, your date of birth and your national insurance number at the top of every extra page.

The mistake I made with the DLA form I just finished, was doing a ‘draft’ of each question and then going back to them and doing an ‘edit’. (I used to do a lot of writing for newsletters etc at work). BUT it made it much too much work and I got confused about which question I was answering!!!

So I suggest doing one question at a time. Finish it to your satisfaction and then move onto the next one.

Before you start, prepare now. Make a list of ALL your symptoms (however trivial they seem to you) so you are sure to get them on the form.

All the above is good advice and much of it I got from ‘Benefits and Work’ but I would suggest you still join them as it will show you how many points you can score for each question… that will make sure you get into Support Group (where you don’t have to look for work)… and it will be more helpful to you. ALSO because I might have forgotten some vital detail.

Good luck. Believe me the joy you will feel when you’ve finished it almost makes it worth doing (almost but not really!!!).

Pat xx

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Hi Pat and spacejacket

i have joined the benefitandworks site,theres lots of good info on it,so i am preparing myself for the forms to arrive,not looking forward to it at all though.one of the questions was about private pensions and the support group, but it answered my question, so heres hoping i get in the support group, i hope so as i spend a lot of time laying down all day.

J x

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Make sure on Benefits and Work you go into ‘members only’ and then download the ESA Application Guide. That’s the one where it goes through it question by question.

Another mistake I made with my DLA form, I didn’t print the guide out but kept going back to the guide on computer. Bad idea!!! Got very confused and spent ages keep trying to find which question I was on!

Much better to print it out (even though it’s very long… make sure you have plenty of paper and a new ink cartridge) and then you have it right next to you and can tick off bits as you do it.

Please learn from my mistakes!!!

Pat xx

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Can’t add much except that my union sent me some guides I found extremely useful, I can e mail them to you if you want. Got them for ESA and DLA, others I’ve forwarded them to also found them very good. My appeal went straight through after using them. They’re legal but just not handed out routinely as I think they can be abused very easily.

Good luck with it.

Cath x

Hello Mrs J.

As you can see, you’re not alone. I gave myself a 3 week period to get the form done. It took a lot of organisation. Benefits and Work are very good. I didn’t discover this until I’d done the form so it can be done if you grit your teeth!

Best wishes, Steve.

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I had a lot of help from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, when I had to appeal. I think they’d help you on a first attempt.

It’s all about getting the right answers to score enough points. Sounds preposterous, but there we are.

Don’t over-estimate your capabilities. Pat’s advice is spit on.

Good luck!

Kev x

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thanks Cath sent you a pm with my email address,i would love it if you can send me the guides.thanks very much

J x

Brilliant advice from everyone, especially Pat!

Thanks so much Pat, my form is due and I have pasted and copied your advise into my iPad note book! I’m glad the nightmare of your wretched form is over…well done and good luck!

Nina x

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