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Stress levels increased after 10 mins

Today I received a totally unexpected ESA renewal form within 5 mins of opening the letter the butterflies in the stomach had started, now all I can think about is not getting any sort of award at all. I’m already in the support group and i thought they left you alone after that, plus this esa50 form seems totally different from the original one I filled out. surely i can just write condition worsened since last application filed. AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH.

Hello Addick,

Crikey, sounds like a genuine AAARRRGGGHHH moment. Yes I had one too. Don’t panic and don’t leave it in ‘Deal with it tomorrow’ tray

Would you mind if I gave you some advice. First of all answer the really basic questions like NI number, disability etc Thse can never change.

Try to answer the questions in rough on a separate sheet of paper or on a PC. Now ask someone who has known you for a loing time such as your partner, friend or parent to look at your answers to each question. Get them to go through your answers, and check that you have not made yourself better than you are. When did you last fall, how often do you fall, when did bladder or bowels last let you down, your cognition, physical abilities.

Now find someone who can answer these forms whilst standing on their head and get them to go through your answers. There is a lot of repition but he/she will know what neds to accurately reflect your disability. Go to the MS Therapy Centre or MS Nurse

Remember your written answers describe you and your condition. Don’t be kind to yourself. Remmber that who ever is looking at your case has only what’s written down as quidance.

Good lick

The form will feel different from your original one because the descriptors are constantly evolving. A couple of years ago the criteria was somewhat different.

It is tempting to put that you have just got worse but what if they don’t have your original form in front of them? The decision maker will have nothing to base their thoughts on. Read each descriptor/task carefully and write about how it is for you.

Patrick has given you great advice.

When I filled mine in I had a go at each of the activities (going up steps, carrying things etc) that way I could describe my abilities (or disabilities) in detail. Don’t try to make your answers fit in the little bitty boxes on the form – take as much space as you need by going onto extra sheets. Just make sure that your extra sheets all have your name and national insurance number on them in case they get separated. My application was a bit like War and Peace it had lots of extra sheets.

I got in the support group without a medical or medical evidence so there is hope out there.

Jane