Disabled charities attack fit-to-work tests after 1m people denied benefit

Wiseowl

Wiseowl

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#1
Disabled charities attack fit-to-work tests after 1m people denied benefit

original article
Disabled charities attack fit-to-work tests after 1m people denied benefit | Society | theguardian.com

Disabled charities attack fit-to-work tests after 1m people denied benefit

Government figures show 32% of new sickness and disability benefit claimants found fit to work from 2008 to 2013

Disability charities have renewed their criticism of fitness-to-work tests after the government said almost a million people who applied for sickness benefit have instead been found fit for work.

The applicants were denied benefits after undergoing a work capability assessment carried out by private firms contracted to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). But disability charities said the tests were unfair and the system was failing to give people the support they needed to get a job.

The testers assessed 32% of new claimants for employment and support allowance (ESA) as fit to work and capable of employment between October 2008 and March 2013 – totalling 980,400 people, according to the figures published by the DWP on Saturday.

More than a million others withdrew their claims before reaching a face-to-face assessment, because they had recovered and either returned to work or claimed a benefit more appropriate to their situation.

Under the old system, 2.6 million people were on incapacity benefit when ESA was introduced in 2008.

In August 2010, 900,000 people had been claiming the sickness benefit for more than a decade.

The minister of state for disabled people, Mike Penning, said: "With the right support, many people with an illness, health condition or disability can still fulfil their aspiration to get or stay in work, allowing them to provide for themselves and their family."

The employment rate for disabled people has increased gradually over the years to 45%, a DWP spokesman said.

ESA is an income replacement benefit provided to people of working age who are too ill to work because of a health condition or disability.

There were 2.49 million people on ESA and incapacity benefit as of May 2013. ESA replaced incapacity benefit, income support and severe disablement allowance for new claimants from October 2008.

Philip Connolly, the policy manager for Disability Rights UK, said: "They are finding people fit for work when they aren't and they are not even giving them the support they need to get a job. It is a disgrace.

"People should go online and read the test, and judge for themselves whether the test is fair. They will almost always come to the conclusion that it is not."

Richard Hawkes, the chief executive of the disability charity Scope, said the work capability assessment should be more than an exercise in getting people off benefits.

He said: "The fit-for-work results are only half the story. We should be talking about getting a million more disabled people into work.

"Disabled people are pushing hard to find jobs and get on in the workplace. Nine in 10 disabled people work or have worked. Yet only about 50% of disabled people have a job right now.

"They face massive challenges when it comes to finding and staying in work. We need to make sure that as the economy picks up disabled people are not left behind. We've got to start by supporting more disabled people to find and stay in work."
 
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Narracist

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#2
What really annoys me is the majority of those people who loss their ESA suffer from mental illness and they probably lost it because they where in a manic high stage where signs of mental illness cannot be seen.

When I had my test I can't remember much of it but a lot of it is embarrassing. My Dad said I was so depressed I didn't care that I smelled like a tramp and the only thought in my head was going to sleep.

I wish I was in a anti-social mood so I could have done something extreme. Sadly if I mention it on this forum I will get banned. lol.
 
Rowan

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#3
I didn't go through with my claim as I was insulted that I was turned down at first. My charity benefits adviser told me that I should have qualified for it but why should I jump through hoops to get a tiny bit of money, it's offensive.:curseyou:
 
Lillyone

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#4
I didn't go through with my claim as I was insulted that I was turned down at first. My charity benefits adviser told me that I should have qualified for it but why should I jump through hoops to get a tiny bit of money, it's offensive.:curseyou:

The trouble is, for everyone that withdraws their claim then this lot have won.
I could have walked away many, many times, yes it is degrading, but what choice is there when you are ill, and have no other means of support.

This is what they want and are aiming for - to embarrass us into not claiming - I do not have the luxury of being able to feel embarrassed I need that support.

Maybe people with NO MH records may have decided to stay in work and soldier on , how do people who already have that well documented on their records go about it, because it is not going to happen, no firm is going to take on someone with long standing MH issues, so what this report says is rubbish - there is no way back into work for us, not sustainable work that pays us a living wage.
 
Rowan

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#5
This is what they want and are aiming for - to embarrass us into not claiming
Oh I do realise what they are trying to do, but for me I wasn't embarrassed but I was getting so angry and stressed about claiming that I just walked away from it.
 
Lillyone

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#6
Oh I do realise what they are trying to do, but for me I wasn't embarrassed but I was getting so angry and stressed about claiming that I just walked away from it.
So do I, well not angry - just stressed to the point I begin to cry.
I just let them see this.
 
cpuusage

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#7
Maybe people with NO MH records may have decided to stay in work and soldier on , how do people who already have that well documented on their records go about it, because it is not going to happen, no firm is going to take on someone with long standing MH issues, so what this report says is rubbish - there is no way back into work for us, not sustainable work that pays us a living wage.
The problem is that the majority really have been brainwashed into believing that all the mentally ill are simply lazy bums, who are getting a free ride off the backs of honest & hard working tax payers. That all mental illness is largely malingering, & that work is the most therapeutic thing that anyone can do. & this Government & the mass media have done a bloody good propaganda job of getting this message across.

i was hospitalised 4 times, & worked full time between hospitalisations. Things got to the stage that i couldn't work & have been out of work 15 years. i've done everything to recover & heal as best that i can, & it's a massive achievement to maintain stability & independent living. i'm not going to lie about my past, & even if i was given a job, i don't see how i'd cope or function with one?

The catch 22 is how are people going to support themselves? i had to fight all last year to get ESA support - & i'll have the same fight with PIP. When & how does it all end? i can't do all this, & fight the DWP for the next 35 years? The last i spoke with the work advisor she said that they're always finding jobs for people with schizophrenia, & severe mental illness. At the tribunal the judge & doctor in attendance were amused by the whole thing, put all my problems down to past drug/alcohol use & said i'd recovered from everything.

As peace loving as i am i'm waiting for the back lash from more people. 5,000 people with mental illness have already committed suicide after having benefits stopped, according the current count. Couldn't one of them get a machine gun & go on a spree at the local benefit office before hand? Surely someone at some stage is going to live up to the reputation of 'dangerous & violent lunatic'?
 
Lillyone

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#8
What I find upsetting is how people with NO idea what living and coping with MH problems is like, make the rules.

I have suffered from this for 4 years (not long I know compared to many).
But, even I do not understand it, and I am living with it, so how the heck can an outsider.

One on hand, the Doctors, my CPN encourage me to get out more (something I find incredibly difficult and only do for visits to those people, ATOS and the likes.
And yet when it comes to DWP/ATOS I am condemned and considered fit for attending these places.
Going out maybe 4 times a month does not to me, class me as fit to get back into normal day to day living.

I mentioned I cry, well I do.
But it is not something I have any control over, it just happens when ever I am stressed.
Which is bloody embarrassing/humiliating when in the middle of strangers.

Neither do I get where this lot think all these jobs are for us ill people.
They are not there for the healthy, so why keep making is jump through hoops for something that is non existent.

I wish I was not ill, my life is slipping away without me being able to take any steps to change direction, feel happy, motivated - and feel that life still holds something for me.
Maybe a few people do make it up, (I have NO idea) I can only say if they do, then they really ARE ill, because who would want to make this up.
 
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#9
What I find upsetting is how people with NO idea what living and coping with MH problems is like, make the rules.

Neither do I get where this lot think all these jobs are for us ill people.
They are not there for the healthy, so why keep making is jump through hoops for something that is non existent.
Yea, it's not right, & the most vulnerable members of society have been targeted, but i suppose that's always the way of this World?

It's a repeat of patterns, & it's what the pre War Germans did as well, but things do repeat & cycle.
 
Rowan

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#10
It is awful that people have to jump through hoops to get help. It's very rejecting and insulting to get a letter from the DWP saying that you haven't met the criteria or whatever, I forget the wording as I probably ripped up the letter in a rage.:redface::LOL:

I'm pretty sure if I had gone through with the claim I would have received the benefit as I was in the therapy group for personality disorders at the time and I wouldn't have received that much support if I wasn't seriously mentally ill. I can understand why some people have given up though as it is a slap in the face.

5,000 people with mental illness have already committed suicide after having benefits stopped
That is terrible if that figure is correct.:low:
 
T

TheRedStar

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#11
The trouble is, for everyone that withdraws their claim then this lot have won.
I could have walked away many, many times, yes it is degrading, but what choice is there when you are ill, and have no other means of support.

This is what they want and are aiming for - to embarrass us into not claiming - I do not have the luxury of being able to feel embarrassed I need that support.
Same here, and when the DWP started fu*king me around I damn well made sure to let them know that I don't conveniently have a family to leech off of (and even if I did, why should it be their duty to substitute for state welfare that I'd paid into for years?), and therefore would do anything and everything I could to claim a benefit which, prior to the Tories unilaterally deciding to rip up the old social contract when they came to power in 2010, people like us could access without having to endure the DWP's condescension and snide insinuations, and the Atos gestapo.

Maybe people with NO MH records may have decided to stay in work and soldier on , how do people who already have that well documented on their records go about it, because it is not going to happen, no firm is going to take on someone with long standing MH issues, so what this report says is rubbish - there is no way back into work for us, not sustainable work that pays us a living wage.
It's the same bullsh*t that's hurled at anyone on any form of out-of-work benefit... the thought that simply 'trying harder', and being more 'enthusiastic' and 'positive', will cause magic job trees to grow is hilarious until you realise that people actually seem to believe this! Stupid people admittedly, but the problem is there's enough of them, and their voting tendencies are so fickle, that the main political parties are all trying to appease them.

In order to properly illustrate the stupidity of these folk, think about the way in which many such individuals try to justify their idea of there apparently being work for everybody by claiming that 'all' the immigrants are able to find jobs... and then consider how many of these same people hate immigration because 'foreigners are takin' all our benefits, innit?!' So which is it? Are they hard-working folk taking up the jobs that lazy scrounging scum don't want, or are they here to sit around and plunder Britain's welfare pot?! These people need to make their minds up - they can't have it both ways!

I tried to soldier on myself for a good few years, only to eventually burn myself out, and no-one gives you any credit whatsoever for it. Not that I want a medal or my ass kissed, but it would have been nice for someone I dealt with at the DWP to at least acknowledge that I have worked and did so for a long time, and to not treat me like a caricature from a Channel 4 stitch-up... sorry, 'factual documentary'. Additionally, it would also be nice if the government, the media, and the morons amongst the public could accept that not everybody who's on benefits is a poorly-educated, criminal 'chav' who's been on welfare since the day they left the education system.

On a sadder note, I used to be close to someone who once refused her doctor's recommendation of psychiatric treatment because she was scared of it being on her record and affecting her career prospects. Judging by how she deals with people and relationships something is not right with her psyche, but it is being allowed to fester away untreated, detrimentally affecting her personal life, and for what? Is any career really worth that kind of sacrifice? And besides, as I found, continuing - and slowly worsening, which often happens when this sort of thing goes untreated - problems in this area of life can eventually take everything else you manage to build down with it in the end.

The problem is that the majority really have been brainwashed into believing that all the mentally ill are simply lazy bums, who are getting a free ride off the backs of honest & hard working tax payers. That all mental illness is largely malingering, & that work is the most therapeutic thing that anyone can do. & this Government & the mass media have done a bloody good propaganda job of getting this message across.
Completely! It is both depressing and frightening to have seen with my own eyes just how easily a significant proportion of a population can be manipulated to hate, especially now this dirty propaganda campaign has been so consistent, for so long, that some of this easily-led scum have become brave enough to start publicly voicing some truly vile opinions. The irony of these fu*king morons is that they're so thick, and so lacking in self-awareness, that they don't realise holding such nasty, disgusting views puts them in the same gutter as they believe the people they hate to be in.

I'm always told that 'everyone is entitled to their opinion'. Fine, whatever... so surely I'm entitled to assert my own opinion that holding certain opinions makes the holder sound like an ignorant, compassionless, stupid cu*t?

i was hospitalised 4 times, & worked full time between hospitalisations. Things got to the stage that i couldn't work & have been out of work 15 years. i've done everything to recover & heal as best that i can, & it's a massive achievement to maintain stability & independent living. i'm not going to lie about my past, & even if i was given a job, i don't see how i'd cope or function with one?
I'm sorry you found out like I did that however long you managed to work for in the past, and however hard you tried to keep on working, counts for absolutely nothing with those fu*kers; in their eyes we're all parasites who've spent our entire lives draining the welfare pot. Christ, I had one of the arrogant DWP bastards tell me I 'hadn't contributed enough' to claim contribution-based ESA... I went spare at the guy, saying I'd worked for years and paid in at the upper rate of income tax, but apparently 'only the previous two tax years count'. Oh, how fu*king convenient(!).

Funny how, when the government wants money out of you, they can go as far back in time as they feel like...

The catch 22 is how are people going to support themselves? i had to fight all last year to get ESA support - & i'll have the same fight with PIP. When & how does it all end? i can't do all this, & fight the DWP for the next 35 years? The last i spoke with the work advisor she said that they're always finding jobs for people with schizophrenia, & severe mental illness. At the tribunal the judge & doctor in attendance were amused by the whole thing, put all my problems down to past drug/alcohol use & said i'd recovered from everything.
They don't care... I honestly think they're hoping for a quiet genocide which involves us all crawling into a corner and dying; hell, they've already driven several thousand to suicide. It's utterly cowardly - even the Nazis at least took some responsibility and did their own dirty work, but this lot want to believe they're still fundamentally 'good people' (as do their voters) and, as such, are doing it in a way whereby they can project the blood on their hands onto 'troubled minds' who refused the state's 'help' (of being bullied every fortnight for not getting one of the jobs that there are five jobseekers for each of). Spineless motherfu*kers.

I don't suppose the work advisor elaborated on what kind of jobs she was 'always' finding for people with severe mental illness? And, indeed, how many of them were full-time and permanent positions?

As peace loving as i am i'm waiting for the back lash from more people. 5,000 people with mental illness have already committed suicide after having benefits stopped, according the current count. Couldn't one of them get a machine gun & go on a spree at the local benefit office before hand? Surely someone at some stage is going to live up to the reputation of 'dangerous & violent lunatic'?
The best comment I've ever heard or read along these lines was someone expressing a hope that somebody found 'fit to work' would decide they felt capable of being an assassin, and started with Iain Duncan-SSmith (the two capital 'S's are intentional... nasty, thick, lying, bald, gold-digging, Nazi sh*t).

What I find upsetting is how people with NO idea what living and coping with MH problems is like, make the rules.
That, sadly, is the way it's always been. I find it worse with these Tories though as the general air of viciousness they've fostered towards the mentally ill seems to be the worst it's been since before the eugenics nutters were finally seen as the hate-fuelled psychopaths they were. Sadly, this has allowed the remaining knuckle-draggers amongst the public, who used to feel enough duress around them to generally keep their ignorance where it belongs (i.e. inside of their pea-brains), to again feel brave enough to tell all and sundry about their expert, comprehensive, and indisputable knowledge of mental illness (i.e. that it doesn't exist).

It's amazing how many mental health experts there are in Britain, with their highly relevant educational and working backgrounds of IT, bus driving, paper-shuffling in offices, etc.! Sadly these pillocks are allowed to vote though (and just about have the intellect to be able to do so), and so have to be appeased rather than educated as they should be.

I have suffered from this for 4 years (not long I know compared to many).
But, even I do not understand it, and I am living with it, so how the heck can an outsider.

One on hand, the Doctors, my CPN encourage me to get out more (something I find incredibly difficult and only do for visits to those people, ATOS and the likes.
And yet when it comes to DWP/ATOS I am condemned and considered fit for attending these places.
Going out maybe 4 times a month does not to me, class me as fit to get back into normal day to day living.

I mentioned I cry, well I do.
But it is not something I have any control over, it just happens when ever I am stressed.
Which is bloody embarrassing/humiliating when in the middle of strangers.

Neither do I get where this lot think all these jobs are for us ill people.
They are not there for the healthy, so why keep making is jump through hoops for something that is non existent.

I wish I was not ill, my life is slipping away without me being able to take any steps to change direction, feel happy, motivated - and feel that life still holds something for me.
Maybe a few people do make it up, (I have NO idea) I can only say if they do, then they really ARE ill, because who would want to make this up.
I can honestly say that all of this has had a detrimental, rather than a 'helpful', effect upon me. The stress caused by the application process for ESA caused me to have the first full-on panic attacks I'd had for years - two in the space of a month - being in the WRAG group has left me in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety about this subject, and being referred to as lazy shirking feckless scum every time I read a newspaper has done nothing for my already barrel-scraping levels of self-worth and self-esteem. I don't give two fu*ks about work... two weeks ago I had to fight off a very seductive and comfort-inducing compulsion to do something permanent involving heavy and fast-moving vehicles, so to be honest I've got more pressing drives and priorities than thinking about how quickly I can get working for free in Poundland. In actual fact, realising that giving into the compulsion would mean never again having to worry about this bullsh*t added to the appeal of it.
 
Lillyone

Lillyone

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#12
It is awful that people have to jump through hoops to get help. It's very rejecting and insulting to get a letter from the DWP saying that you haven't met the criteria or whatever, I forget the wording as I probably ripped up the letter in a rage.:redface::LOL:

I'm pretty sure if I had gone through with the claim I would have received the benefit as I was in the therapy group for personality disorders at the time and I wouldn't have received that much support if I wasn't seriously mentally ill. I can understand why some people have given up though as it is a slap in the face.



That is terrible if that figure is correct.:low:
Yes, slap in the face is about right.
We all know how hard it is to say how this effects us, they tell us to paint our worst day when going for the medical, hell they all get lumped into one with me, plus it is hard to explain.
I expect they might seem trivial to them, but when they happen on a day to day basis it all takes its toll.

I truly still believe the benefits system is still all about how loud you can shout and let them know you are on their back.
They get their low targets from those who do not make a fuss, and cave in under pressure.
People who are ill do not have the will or strength to keep fighting, so we are the ones who get weeded out.
 
Lillyone

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#13
I can honestly say that all of this has had a detrimental, rather then 'helpful' effect upon me. The stress caused by the application process for ESA caused me to have the first full-on panic attacks I'd had for years - two in the space of a month - being in the WRAG group has left me in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety about this subject, and being referred to as lazy shirking feckless scum every time I read a newspaper has done nothing for my already barrel-scraping levels of self-worth and self-esteem. I don't give two fu*ks about work... two weeks ago I had to fight off a very seductive and comfort-inducing compulsion to do something permanent involving heavy and fast-moving vehicles, so to be honest I've got more pressing drives and priorities than thinking about how quickly I can get working for free in Poundland. In actual fact, realising that giving into the compulsion would mean never again having to worry about this bullsh*t added to the appeal of it.




Same here, it was when I first applied for JSA the lid came off for me.
I could not handle the pressure that they put upon me - I was on the point of a break down.
I remember going in to sign on, and visiting the cash point - and literally not being able to remember the pin number that I had been using for 15 years.
My mind was blank.
I got into the JC and then rushed back outside to be sick...
That was the start of it all - and still it goes on when your Doc tells them you are ill.
 
Rowan

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#14
Yes, slap in the face is about right.
We all know how hard it is to say how this effects us, they tell us to paint our worst day when going for the medical, hell they all get lumped into one with me, plus it is hard to explain.
I expect they might seem trivial to them, but when they happen on a day to day basis it all takes its toll.
Yes, exactly. I also felt awkward as I used to have to attend meetings at the job centre offices for my old job so I was worried that I would bump into someone I knew.
 
S

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It's amazing how many mental health experts there are in Britain, with their highly relevant educational and working backgrounds of IT, bus driving, paper-shuffling in offices, etc.!
All the same, I've recently noticed quite a shift in middle-England's attitude towards the DWP's pronouncements.

People are much more cynical now.

Take the recycled DWP press release in yesterday's Daily Mail, for example:

Third of all people who applied for sickness benefit fit to work | Mail Online

If you go to the comments section at the bottom of the page and sort them by "best-rated", you'll see that without exception the most popular comments dismiss the story as distorted lies and propoganda.

A year ago the most popular comments would have agreed with every word of the article and heartily endorsed it.

This is a real sea-change in public opinion.

My guess is that almost everyone knows of at least one case of flagrant injustice at the hands of ATOS and the DWP.

And as you rightly say, TheRedStar, there are many hard-working people who've paid into the system all their life and so naively assumed that the safety-net would be there for them when they needed it, no questions asked.

Many have now discovered otherwise, to their great shock and anger.
 
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#16
.......there are many hard-working people who've paid into the system all their life and so naively assumed that the safety-net would be there for them when they needed it, no questions asked.

Many have now discovered otherwise, to their great shock and anger.
Bit of a different story & a change of tune when people realise they could be effected by it all as well.
 
milkshake

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#17
The trouble is, for everyone that withdraws their claim then this lot have won.
I could have walked away many, many times, yes it is degrading, but what choice is there when you are ill, and have no other means of support.

This is what they want and are aiming for - to embarrass us into not claiming - I do not have the luxury of being able to feel embarrassed I need that support.

Maybe people with NO MH records may have decided to stay in work and soldier on , how do people who already have that well documented on their records go about it, because it is not going to happen, no firm is going to take on someone with long standing MH issues, so what this report says is rubbish - there is no way back into work for us, not sustainable work that pays us a living wage.

I am ashamed to say i couldn't cope with fighting the system anymore, and gave up after a failed tribunial, although i was told to start a new claim by lawyer, as since my ATOS (bastards) assessment i had had a diagnosis and was undergoing treatment, but it took nearly two years to get to court and they could only go on what was said and asked at that bloody assessment, i was really ill with the stress, in a constant fibro flair and i couldn't cope with it.. stupidly thinking that work was the least of two evils... however, i am in tears right now, and so much pain and i have to go to work in two hours, every bit of me hurts and i want to die, i can't do this! i just want the pain to stop... i get no support at work just bullied as i have health issues, my manager is a prick, told me i was no use to him as i had cognitive problems, he breached the equality act 2010 by the things he said he's a taster "if you can't learn straight away your are no use to me, i don't have time to pander to you" i called ACAS and then went armed to human resources but its changed nothing, i am being ignored and left to struggle, the stress is horrendous, all i do is work then sleep no energy left to even hug my children NONE! My children are missirable too, at least when i was ill at home i could paint a face on for them coming in, sleep during the day when my body was attacking me and pretend to be okay for them in the evening, but i can't hide it now, i can't pretend anymore not even for the odd hour i see my kids, i have had accidents in work that sent me to A&E i miss at least a day a week with the migraines its killing me, i am so scared of where this will lead:panic:
 
Wiseowl

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#18
Hi Milkshake

It sounds to me from what you've written that the workplace you're in is harming your physical and mental health wellbeing. It also seems like your boss is unlikely to change their approach and unsupportive ways any time soon. I'm so sorry to hear that you have to put up with this idiocy. :hug1:

Do you see regular health professionals due to your health?
 
milkshake

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#19
Yes Wiseowl i was seeing my psych for 18 months prior to being forced by Job Seekers into taking the position, i left too soon though and didn't complete the EMDR that i was undergoing to deal with the PTSD, i still see my GP regular

because of bad lighting at work and a dizzy episode with the Fibro due to stress, i had a bad fall at work that put me in casualty, i was black a blue with a nasty sprain to boot, i was unfit to attend work next day as my body shut down to deal with the pain... it seems to have triggered a fibro flair and now i have constant migraines again, the work have covered their own backs and followed procedure, but every day i have to take off because of the Fibro i get docked a days wage witch means we are struggling financially, doc put me on Stemital again to deal with dizzy spells but it doesn't help with the slurred speech i get when exhausted, i am a hazard i don't mean to be but i am, its normal for me to trip and fall and bang into things, but it is exacerbated when i am stressed, i am waiting to see neurology, the day after my fall i was in so much pain my GP came out to the house i told them i couldn't stand up, i felt drunk, i think when he first seen me he suspected a stroke , i am not fit for stressful positions i don't know if i am fit for work any work full stop! but what choice do i have the system has fucked me over i have a hidden illness both mental and physical illnesses, suicide thoughts have been my constant shadow, these past few months the urge to walk out in traffic is so strong that i am even scaring myself, i am made to feel worthless, by work, by the system, by the media, by family and many others inc my Ex

I live in constant pain and fear, even animals get put out their misery:cry2:
 
Wiseowl

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#20
I think you have a strong case for ESA. Often the difficulty with ESA is knowing how to put down the information into DWP speak.

Has it been over 6 months since your last ESA application?

Do you have records of some of the incidents you describe? :hug1:

Would your doctor be willing to write (there may be a fee) a detailed report of your condition including times they have been called out?