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Been cut off from ESA....

M

MangyDog

Member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Norfolk
So I don't have to retype all this, I'm reposting what I posted on moneysavingexpert site... Sorry hope it's not spamming.... Anyway... I'm really scared I'm going to appeal but I don't think it will change anything....


Right im panicking now, and still shaking somewhat.... I dont know what to do and I'm utterly terrified....

Basically I've been on long term ESA, not perfect or ideal and sure I actually want to be back in work earning a real income. But I just cant.

I suffer from a few different issues.... My ESA was based on 2 main conditions. I have Severe mental health issues, suicidal depression and high anxiety, I had a complete break down some time ago of which I have never fully recovered from.

I have in the past attempted suicide on several occasions because of my issues... with last Christmas being another really bad low for me, though not quite making a decision to end my life.

My previous assessment a couple of years ago agreed to keep me on ESA, at the work group allowance of 200 a fortnight. Now please understand, I am a highly skilled person, whom having previously worked as a motion graphics and special effects artist and a mixed bag career in various IT roles... I have a higher than average intellect, yet I'm on ESA. I'm not doing it because I want a free buck, trust me 200 a fortnight is really not enough to live on... I do it because simply I cant cope.

My mental health is the main reason I was put onto ESA as advised by my doctor originally...

The secondary reason was because I have 2 collapsed disks in lower back. This while not putting me into a wheel chair has made sitting still or standing or being in any position for a extended length of time very difficult and painful...

My condition hasn't changed whatsoever since my previous assessment. But because I ride a motorbike and go swimming 3 times a week, they are now saying I am fit for work and have cut me off...

Let me explain a little about that. I have a motorbike because I live in the middle of the Norfolk country side, a motorbike while fun to ride is also the cheapest option for me to get around.

And I swim in the morning because since hurting my back I have put on a lot of weight, and I swim to try and help deal with that and because its low impact taking the pressure off my back.

My conditions haven't changed, yet they still remove my only source of money. How is this right? How is this fair? I am at near tears trying to work out what to do... I am utterly terrified.

They called me up this morning, and frankly I was upset with them on the phone, I was practically crying and yes angry too... and the person just told me to go to the job centre and get universal credit and hung up the phone.

Do these people really not get it? Do they not understand the complexity of mental health and suicidal depression and anxiety? Sure I dont see hallucinations and im not locked up in some mental aslylem. But I'm far from well... Its in fact taking a lot of effort for me not to end up trying to hurt myself again after that phone call...

Now I did call them back and I spoke to some one who frankly was far more sympathetic (the first person wasnt at all and was down right cold about it tbh) And shes trying to get the department to call me back.... She also explained to me that they should have told me I could appeal... Something the first person didnt mention at all...

But while sure im going to try and appeal I really have zero hope now....
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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Mar 9, 2012
Messages
9,288
Location
Tigger and Willow's house UK
sadly they just do not "get it", I do hope they listen to you and that you can appeal and they tell you yes you can have your ESA money again :hug:
 
daffy

daffy

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Dec 16, 2007
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hiding behind the sofa
Omg that sounds dreadful and very worrying as you were 9n it previously. Have you asked for a copy os the assessors report because you are entitled to it so you can see how it has been graded and what points awarded. Did you have any supporting letters from your pdoc or CPN even something like a care plan helps.
Also the hospital that’s dealing with your back should be able to prove evidence. They must have xrays . If you haven’t already get a letter from them

When you’ve got all that then go in for an appeal. I think a lot of it is to do with the fact that your of working age and they want you off their books,
 
M

MangyDog

Member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Norfolk
I wasnt given any opportunity to ask for anything. I was upset on the phone and the assessor just hung up on me...

I filled in the appeal form but as they called to tell me the result I dont have the address to send it to.

As for scoring, from what the assessor told me i needed 14 points, and i scored zero on all accounts... How is that even possible? And thats when she told me because i can ride a motorbike and go swimming 3 times a week im fit for work...

I can get a letter from my doctor to explain my mental state and back, and also explain I had to cease all medication because im getting strange liver results too... I have the dvd of my ct scan on my back but unless you have the proper software you cant view it. but heres the kicker, while I have 2 collapsed disks and I fall under the NICE guidelines for surgery and disk replacement, Norfolk NHS are refusing to treat me as its not cost effective and told me to continue with pain medication... The very thing I had to stop taking because I had been on it for 2 years at the time and was causing stomac problems... and ontop of that affecting my liver...

As for my mental health, Im not seeing a councilor, I was involved with the crisis team in london at the height of my break down and suicide attempts but that was nearly 10 years ago and I doubt I could get any info from them... Since then ive mostly been having to deal with it all on my own... I had been on anti depressants for much of the last 10 years. But like i mentioned my liver readings were odd and I decided to stop taking them and basically try and cope for a while without them. Which for the most part, sure ive been doing ok, Ive certainly had my really bad times... but a few good times too however I am very fragile and the slightest thing can set me off again... Like this sodding phonecall.

I have no doubt I could take up a skilled job again and work well for a few weeks, but it would just take one thing and it would all unravel very quickly...

Something Ive not mentioned here yet is Im also midly autistic... With Aspergers or PDA, which is highly linked to my anxiety and social awkwardness with new people...

I find it very difficult to make new friends... I can only meet new people via people i already know. This Anxeity and awkwardness I can mask, and play a role of some one confidant... But inside im an utter mess... Its how I managed my work previously] and I was good at it.


Interesting just as I was typing the last paragraph dwp phoned me again.... And this time there was a very sympathetic and friendly lady who talked to me about it.... And offered to put it through mandatory reevaluation or something.... again I can only say *fingers Crossed*
 
Confusedandanxious

Confusedandanxious

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May 5, 2019
Messages
469
Location
Uk
I'm sure you will get back on it with the appeal. Plus once the appeal goes in they need to continue paying you. I dont think it's the same amount, but its not far off it.

The took me off it on the grounds that I didnt have anxiety as I wasnt rocking back and forth as a true anxious person would do. They also said I can use public transport after we explained I was forced onto it after letting 3 metro go past and I tried getting off at every stop. They also claimed I would be able to work if I could be accompanied by someone. How they even got away with cutting my claim on those grounds is beyond me, because none of it makes sense.
Also my condition was worse than it was when I first applied. I had never read such stupidity in all of my life.

It was so stressful, during the whole waiting process but I got it back. I also applied for pip while waiting for the tribunal and got that. Which baffled me again as that is harder to get than ESA.
 
M

MangyDog

Member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Norfolk
Its the reevaluation, while this is going on my claim has been stopped and Im not getting any payments. I was told it could take several weeks for this to go through. So in this time I have no income.

The person I spoke to this morning said, I could sign up to UC and continue getting payments as a job seeker... but if the reevaluation comes back in my favour I wont be put back onto ESA but what the UC would be changes.... But in not so many words she seemed to imply not to sign onto UC...

I have a little money saved, I can get through the next few weeks without any money... But its going to be tough tbh.

Its not only that this has been stopped thats upset me.... its also how cold and callous the person who first phoned me was about it. It really showed they have utterly no care or understanding for mental health... Yes I am in a fragile state. But if i was in a much more fragile way this news could have made me attempt to end my life...

And indeed I have been reading news reports of that very thing happening since this happened to me and researching what best to do...

Ive also seen reports thats as recent as last year and even this year the DWP has been slammed and ordered by the courts to take mental health seriously in there assessments... I guess that still hasnt got through to them then...
 
Confusedandanxious

Confusedandanxious

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469
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Uk
I see what you mean and the difficult position they have put you in. Yes I'd agree to hold off on signing up for UC for as long as you can.
Maybe look into PIP? This also increases your ESA when you get it back.

It's awful how they've put you in this position. I hope it passes quickly so you can get payments again.
A lot of them really are cold and it seems that none of them actually have any training or even a slight understanding on mental health.
 
M

MangyDog

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Location
Norfolk
I really dont know if i even remotely qualify for PIP... and then theres the fact I do feel there are people far more deserving than me...
 
M

MangyDog

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Norfolk
Just looked up PIP, given that generally im still mobile. Sure i have a stiff back and can be crippling painful at times... I generally am able to get around... I dont think i even remotely qualify for PIP...
 
Confusedandanxious

Confusedandanxious

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I'm perfectly mobile. I found them more understanding of mental health than ESA was.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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london
i've got a scooter too anxious to ride it most of the time and with london councils out to make money out of parking and traffic violations, the psychiatrist when i had one said i'd get anxious on a moped in traffic

if through some goverment dept information sharing agreement the dwp hear from the dvla, i'm the registered keeper

i used to swim due to london swimming baths been overcrowded don't go any more
 
supergreysmoke

supergreysmoke

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Scooter requires a good head to both naivgate safely and filter out the distractions. If the DWP knew you had a scooter they'd want to know why you can't pilot a passenger plane or something. Or at least deliver pizzas? I can't ride a scooter, no sense of physical balance and a unbalanced take on pedestrians would get me in trouble...bad enough when I get the urge to kick walking sticks away, never do but on a scooter could require more reflection time than I've got....
 
M

MangyDog

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Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
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Location
Norfolk
My anxieties aren't so much around traffic... Though had a few but clenching moments. But I used to pushbike everywhere in London, so I guess I'm used to that side of things...

My anxieties are more linked to sudden change, and also fear of everyone finding out I'm a total fraud.... I mean, I used to do really skilled work and I was good at it. But it was always a pressing fear that I'll get a task that a too much for me and I'll cracking at work... I showed a confidence at work and I was good at it, but it was all an act... I was putting on a brave face...

But that wasn't even the main trigger of my breakdown... It's just now an overriding fear since...
 
M

MangyDog

Member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
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Location
Norfolk
Scooter requires a good head to both naivgate safely and filter out the distractions. If the DWP knew you had a scooter they'd want to know why you can't pilot a passenger plane or something. Or at least deliver pizzas? I can't ride a scooter, no sense of physical balance and a unbalanced take on pedestrians would get me in trouble...bad enough when I get the urge to kick walking sticks away, never do but on a scooter could require more reflection time than I've got....
That's just it...

That's what I think they did with me.... I can ride a motorbike.. So I must be able to ride to work.... So I'm fit for work then right?

This is why I think they have utterly no comprehension what mental health is or means.
 
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