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ESA help please

I am not diagnosed, but progressively getting worse and finished work through ill health. I managed to appeal ESA and was recently put into the Work related ESA. When I went to the job centre interview he immediately said the best thing would be to appeal this decision and ask to go into Support Group and he started to fill in the form for me and I posted it off. My question was has anybody else done this and been accepted into the support group without diagnosis?

Catherine

I think there is a bit of a misnoma that if you have dx benefits system is more understanding - unfortunately, thats not the case. I have a friend who had confirmed diagnosis of schizophrenia who is in work-related group. She is extremely unwell, no question that she is too ill to work r even engage in ‘work related activities’ - but still (for ridiculous and unfair reasons) is in work-related group.

My understanding is that having a specific diagnosis will not necessarily impact as much as you might think on ESA.

As we all know, some people with MS will be able to work, whilst others are not.

ESA decision-making people are aware of this too. They will tell you that a dx of MS does not necessarily mean you are entitled to be put into support-related group. Desion will be made on the tests they give you (interview - which you’ve prob already done); physical tests etc, and then later on they might look at medical evidence (but they are not just looking for evidence in terms of official dx, they want specific evidence of what you can and cant do, ie if you struggle with mobility, they will want to see doctors reports doccumenting this ). It is good that the advisor you saw was proactive and gave you form - they are not all this helpful! and fingers crossed this will help.

I would imagine you may be slightly at a disadvantage by not having official dx - but unfortunately, support-group is notoriously difficult - for anyone with any condition - to get into anyway.

So in my opinion, i’d say there is good news - I am not sure that not having official dx will make as much of a difference as you might think with regard to esa,

and bad news - it is notoriously difficult for anyone (with or without diagnosis) to get into this group.

but thats just my opinion based on my own (and friends!) experiences… other people might have different experiences / advice with this xx

thanks Anon for your help, I supposed my greatest worry is, that they may re-access me to have the work related ESA and I will loose everything, online this is said to be rare but possible. The adviser at the job centre took me by surprise in getting me to complete the new appeal form and I just rolled with the idea and the doubts set in after I posted it, so having another opinion has helped. thank you x

As the previous poster implies, strictly it should have nothing to do with your diagnosis - or lack of one - but only on your ability (or not) to perform various work-related tasks. If you can provide medical evidence of how you’re affected, it shouldn’t matter one jot that they don’t know what’s causing it yet.

Unfortunately, the reverse is also true - having a diagnosis of MS still gets you “nul points”, if they don’t consider you sufficiently incapacitated - or incapacitated at all. The decision does NOT rest on diagnosis - it rests on being able to demonstrate you have limited capability for work, or inability to work - so the more medical evidence you can muster, the better. A report from a physio saying how badly your walking is affected is much better than just you saying so, for example.

Tina

Hello Catherine I was on Incapacity long term for Psoriatic arthritis. They moved me to ESA work related group. I appealed and was moved to the support group. It took months of stress for me and my poor husband who filled out the form for me. There was no way I could have done it myself…since being diagnosed with ms my brain just doesn’t function in a good way anymore. It’s not about diagnosis but about your day to day symptoms and how they impact on your life. Good luck with the appeal…get plenty of help. Keep copies of everything and send off your forms by recorded or special delivery. Noreen xxx

thanks everybody for your help, I did put in the letter from DVLA revoking my driving licence and a copy of a letter sent by my doctor to the pension company as I am trying to get this early too (I don’t think this will happen as there seems to be more of a trend that pension providers are not willing release pensions early with top up as if you where 60) it explained about the Ménière’s disease. Seeing Nuero Physio on Monday, so I will take your advise Noreen and ask for a confirmation in writing. OT have put some adaptions in my house and I asked council to put this in writing but the letter came to late to put in with appeal as I had to do withing 1 month of decision. Its not easy is it? hopefully it will have a positive end.

Have a nice weekend, I am just off to see Frozen with a few of my grandchildren and then to McDonalds for a Happy Meal.

xx

Once you have sent in your appeal you can still forward any relevant letters. Just make sure you enclose a covering letter explaining and write your national insurance number on every page. www.benefitsandwork.co.uk is a good site should you need it. Once again, keep copies…I can’t stress this enough. They will come in useful for any future claims. Noreen

PS: have a lovely weekend xxx