Thank you, thank you, thank you to jak10 for suggesting I contact a local branch for help with my ESA Mandatory Reconsideration.
Today I got to talk to an absolutely lovely lady who’s the secretary of the Sleaford and Grantham branch and she was a huge help, and so nice to talk to. She’s given me a direct number for someone at the Sleaford CAB who specialises in helping people with MS with their ESA/PIP problems(result!). That’s awesome in itself because there’s no direct contact numbers available for our CAB.
After explaining my fears of how neither my neurologist or MS nurse will have much of anything recorded about my actual symptoms, so I was stressing about how I could get medical evidence to back up the letter for the MR, she said I needed to go to the doctor and ask to be referred to the Outreach team at Grantham hospital, who are physiotherapists that specialise in MS, to see a cognitive specialist, and they will test me both mentally and physically. She’s given me a direct number for them too, my mum’s now trying to get me to call them and see if I can get in to see them without having to be referred. This lady thinks I do need to be referred, but to have a try, and ask to speak to Melanie as she’s lovely, lol. I’ve booked the next available doc’s appointment anyway (Monday afternoon).
She’s also taken my address and given it to the lady that sends out their newsletter, and told me where and when the local group meets up.
She’s said I need to write to my local MP! and tell him that I’m suffering from a chronic neurological disease that’s only going to get worse, that I have “severe cognitive impairment” (and other other excellent phrases to describe my problems, but because of my mental issues they were gone out of my head immediately, so maybe I need to learn to stop calling them things like mental issues, and say severe cognitive impairments instead?) and have been refused benefits. I don’t know if I can class my impairment as severe, but then that kind of thinking is why people end up getting denied benefits, isn’t it. You don’t word things strongly enough and what you tell assessors is translated as you being able to work. She told me to never say things like “sometimes” on forms.
So PHEW! Basically! I come back on here after months and am full of woe, but now I feel SO much more positive. I know it’s not going to be an easy journey getting through this, but having some solid support and help behind me makes such a big difference!
I’m even feeling calmer about the fact that I’ve had to claim JSA, which seems pretty nuts considering my assortment of problems. Got to go to the Job Centre on Thursday to see an advisor, I’ve seen her before though, early last year, and she’s really nice. So yes, calmer, right now at least…we’ll see how I feel Thursday morning!