they are a bunch of slaves to the tories!
get support from welfare rights, CAB or similar.
they can help you with the claim forms and warn you of the trick questions.
as ever it is all in the way you word it.
you don’t have much choice other than to fight it.
so get an army of experts on your side.
i can get my witches coven onto it too!
good luck curly x
Hi Curly, I’m so sorry to hear of the ordeal you are having to endure dealing with DWP! I hear of so many stories similar to yours and it really isn’t fair! I too am having a similar issue at the moment with PIP and have sent off my mandatory reconsideration about 6 weeks ago and still waiting their response (I doubt it will be a good one). I will be appealing though and I’m not sure if this is a possibility for esa but if it is I think you should too! To have them keep dragging you through the assessment process over and over isn’t right and shouldn’t be needed if like you say they have all the relevant information on how MS affects you from the relevant professionals! I wish you all the best and hope you get the result you deserve! Laura
Thanks Laura for your message. Good luck with your PIP I have got my fingers crossed for you. I have not even got to the PIP help yet ahh!!! The DWP were taking 5-6 weeks answering my letters so you should hear soon. Such a slog all this worry
As Carole said, see if you can get some help from Welfare Rights or the CAB.
If you are going it alone though, or even if you are not, it’s worth having the information to check that the advisor is doing it right, so here are a few useful links.
First, the CAB guide to ESA: Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - Citizens Advice
Then the information and guides from https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ are excellent, they charge about £20 for the year, but in my opinion, it’s worth it. (They have resources for PIP too Laura)
Lastly there’s Sickness and disability benefits | Advicenow I’m not quite as familiar with their guides, but they seem to be up to date. And there are lots of links to other places for help.
What is absolutely key to successful benefit claims, of whatever kind, is evidence. This can take the form of letters or reports from your MS nurse, neurologist, physiotherapist, care assessment, anyone else who can verify what you have said is true and represents a correct picture of your abilities.
Best of luck.
Thank you for the info. I understand what people are say to me about getting extra help with CAB etc… What the DWP decision maker is saying is I did not produce evidence on the day of my assessment about my MS. Also they stated if your medical condition has change please contact us which I have twice. I was going through appointments and MRI scans so could not produce evidence at the time. Now I have they are going to put me through another assessment ahh| I am not looking forward to this again, last time I had a physiotherapist decide my fate, they are not qualified for Mental issues, Ms etc…
MS nurse appointment is not until the end of this month, hopefully she will help. My ESA form has got to be in before the 14/8/18
So sorry Sue better calm down.
Thank you very much for you help. xxx
If you have cognitive problems Curly, have you had an assessment by a neuro-psychologist? It’s too late now for the current claim, but if you had an assessment, they would then write to your neurologist and GP with a copy to you, for use in future.
Again, it’s all about the evidence. If you’ve not had a psych assessment, you could still get your MS nurse or GP to verify that you do have problems.
I honestly think success with benefit claims is all about the evidence you submit which supports your claim. So for each of the areas in which you think you should get points, you should try to have written evidence in support.
Thanks for the info Sue.
When you ask for a mandatory reconsideration I sent them evidence from my GP and from my MS Neurologist Doctor but they won’t entertain it even though it said in big black letters (If your health has deteriorated since your assessment please contact DWP and send in the evidence).
I just feel they are pushing me to the limit I have urinary incontinence and cannot walk far and they are making me go for another assessment, last time I was so embarrassed as I had a young male physiotherapist asking what size pads I used and how often do I wet myself etc…
Anyway thanks again. I won’t give up.
Hi, Well I have not heard anything from DWP as yet but I know they will make me go through another assessment, I am feeling worse as I am waiting for the post man every morning for the bad news. I will go to an assessment but the waiting is making my MS worse through stress. My incontinence is getting worse and I am using my walking aid more as I am so tired all the time now. I am scared this has pushed me to the limit, I will not give in though even if it kills me.
It’s such a horrible time waiting for the DWP. I do know the feeling well, just looking at the post everyday for a brown envelope to arrive. Wanting it to come, but dreading it all the same.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. In fact they are just in a permanent state of crossness about DWP claims.
Hopefully soon. And hopefully good news with no face to face assessment.
The ESA and PIP don’t make it easy for people to get to assessments,some offices are not on the first floor,then there are fire issues…could you walk down lots of steps if the lifts don’t work and car parks are a long way.
According to this, if you’ve already been assessed previously and met the criteria for the support group then so long as you still meet the 4 main criteria
Level of function will always meet LCWRA (limited capability for work and work related activity)
The condition will always be present
No realistic prospect of recovery (based on treatment available now not some magic cure in the future)
Unambiguous Condition (ie a diagnosed condition with supporting documents)
M.S meets all of the above, then you should not be reassessed. As ever, evidence is the key.
My initial assessment was a joke and was a catalogue of misinformation distortion of facts and events that simply didn’t happen. My claim for ESA was disallowed. I went through the mandatory reconsideration process and pointed out all the errors in the work capability assessment and supplied further evidence, they didn’t change their decision.
I then initiated the tribunal appeal process and supplied further evidence as it arrived and they didn’t change their decision. I had an occupational health assessment through my employer (whole other story). The O.H assessment agreed with all of the other evidence, I sent it to the DWP and they still didn’t change their decision. I’d contacted the DWP in the meantime to request that they reinstate my ESA money at the assessment rate pending the appeal. They did this and paid a backpayment.
I heard nothing more for a few more weeks and then out of the blue received a letter stating that I qualified for the support group for ESA. I phoned them to query this because at this stage, as far as I was concerned, I had a court date with them to appeal the decision. Seems that they dramatically reversed their decision without the need for a visit to court…which was nice… I still didn’t trust them not to change their minds again or that this was maybe yet another clerical error but they confirmed it over the phone. This came as a pleasant surprise as throughout the correspondence they were adamant that their initial decision was correct.
Once I had this confirmed I applied for PIP on the 5th June and as part of that process, sent them all of the evidence that I’d submitted to the DWP for ESA. I received a letter back to say that they may not need to do an assessment and were seeking further info. In the meantime, I’d received the ‘support group’ decision from the DWP regarding ESA so sent a copy of that as well to additionally back up my PIP application. I’ve heard nothing further from them regarding an assessment (I requested a home visit) and it’s been over 10 weeks.
The point of all of the above is just to try to stay positive, try not to let the b@#*rd grind you down. If you can get additonal evidence then copy it and send it, bombard them with supporting evidence. Follow the process and don’t be afraid to stand your ground. If you do all of that then there’s a greater chance that you won’t have to drag yourself through another assessment etc and they’ll make the right decision based on the evidence you present. It might take them a while and they won’t apologise but stick to your guns and like with my case, they may suddenly see the obvious!
Best of luck
Thank you for your encouragement . Postman went past this morning I must get my head in better place. I know they have so many people to deal with and I must be patient. Hoping you are well at this moment in time?
Love Curly x
You have been through the mill. Thank you for your story as it does help to understand things better. I could write loads more but don’t want to bore people with my probs as everyone has enough of there own probs. I sent the DWP a letter from my MS Specialist nurse stating that I have progressive MS, I sent it off with my ESA form, so we will see.
Good luck to you my friend think positive for this time maybe? I will be thinking positive for you anyway.
Hi Guys, Just to let you know that I have been put in the support group and do not have to have anymore assessments. I am pleased but it took it’s toll on my health . Never give up pushing for your rights. xxxxxx
Well done Curly. I’m so glad you pushed through and got the correct result.
And you are absolutely right, if you are entitled to a benefit, keep pushing. It’s hard going, but eventually it’s all over.
So pleased for you Curly - it is such a stressful dictatorial regime we are suffering under.
I am just learning about Universal Credit - it is even more diabolical.
How did we get here?