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Employment and Support Allowance

C

cant_carry_on

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Apr 2, 2009
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46
Location
Harrogate
I was signed off just before christmas by my Dr and so I started claiming ESA, I had to attend a medical with a dr they sent me to and fill in a form. My friend made me get myself up and looking presentable to attend the appointment and came with me as I don't go out anywhere on my own. The Dr couldn't understand me and I struggled to understand him so was having to try and lip read. A couple of days after the appointment I got a letter through saying I was no longer eligable for ESA as the Dr determined I could function normally on a day to day basis, I appealed and it is now waiting to go to the tribunal.

Yesterday I got a letter through with all the details on that they use to consider my application. They have used against me the fact that my friend made me look presentable, has said I go out on my own and can care for myself which i specifically told them I couldn't as my friend goes everywhere with me and has to drag me out of bed most days and has to look after my animals for me. I did have a job doing 6hrs a week at a cattery that I can't do anymore as when it got quiet after christmas i stopped working but am now unable to go on my own or get the motivation together to do the work if i manage to get there.

Has anyone else had difficulties with the ESA benefits etc.

I feel like they are saying that i'm lying about everything and that i'm just lazy and don't really have a problem.

Sorry for the rambling on just had to get it of my chest somewhere:)
 
rollinat

rollinat

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Apr 24, 2008
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1,816
I have recently started claiming it and have recently had the form through to fill in which I have to say threw me into a panic really. Do you have anyone who will help you appeal? - I don't know if you have a CPN or perhaps your GP would write you a letter to support your claim.
 
nickh

nickh

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Feb 14, 2008
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Yes the crucial thing is to get proper advice and advocacy support - either your local Mental Health Trust or CAB are the first places to go to try and find this. I am afraid that the whole system is designed to make people worse - in the first place by creating stress and anxiety and fear; then by producing a system which 'rewards' being as ill as possible. This is what a lot of us here get so constantly :mad::mad: about - and sadly you will see you are not by any means alone in your problems cco :))saving typing).

Do let it all out here and let us know how you get on - hopefully it is helpful for you, and also for other people who may be in the same position.

Nick.
 
C

cant_carry_on

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Apr 2, 2009
Messages
46
Location
Harrogate
Got a letter from the tribunal people today saying how I can attend in person to fight my case. Are they trying to be funny, I dont leave the house on my own and just the mere thought of it made me feel ill so I'm going to see if my CPN that I use to see can help by writing a letter to them in support of my application and explain how things are for me. I am also going to get my friend who is also my carer to write a statement as well as sending a statement of my own in and see if that helps at all.
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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Sep 22, 2008
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971
I'm so sorry they are'nt being supportive/sensible/reasonable/etc. I have to attend a medical assessment on Tuesday. Does this mean I should turn up with hideous BO, greasy hair and dirty filthy clothes and mis-matched socks? What a stupid system. That IS how I ended up when I didn't get the support that I needed. How bizarre the whole thing is....and yes, Nickh, it is creating stress and anxiety and I have had more than a lifetime of that already.

I think it is a ridiculous state of affairs if people feel they may have to 'act' as they do when at their worst....and not make an effort when attending the appointment. The fact is that being able to present yourself well for a one-off appointment is nowhere near the same as being able to keep that going day in and day out in regular employment. It is really very short-sighted of them.

Best of luck for everyone dealing with this sort of issue. :flowers:
 
nickh

nickh

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You have summed up all the absurdities of this system brilliantly grizzlybear. But we have to be clear about the purpose of it which is very simply to save money; that money is to be saved at the expense of the ill. Now in the long or medium term there will actually be no saving at all but the reverse because this will make people worse, which will mean more medical intervention, which is far more expensive than benefits. So it is stupid even in their own terms when you take a long-term view. But they don't give a damn about that - it is all about short-term targets and harassing people, creating a climate of fear.

cco - yes see what your CPN advises; a good one should help you out in this situation. Let us know how it goes.

Nick.
 
F

firemonkee57

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Mar 23, 2009
Messages
8,222
For people who are erratic and /or fluctuating on account of their illness the whole idea of being able to make a decision about them based on a one off appointment is quite frankly not only risible but irresponsible.
I can never tell when i am going to be at my worst as i never know on a day to day basis what may occur to push me into that state.
All it needs is the right stressor or stressors to occur and i can go from functional and intelligent to irrational, paranoid and ranting in several blinks of an eye.
Then there's the issue of motivation and how consistently together you are irrespective of any emotional and mood variability.
Firing on all cognitive cylinders one day is no guarantee of firing on anything like that the next day.
On a good day i can think very well but on a bad day it's hard to co ordinate my thoughts. An apt way to put it would be having 99 tv channels playing in your head; all of them showing crap.


I could present myself as reasonably together at such an interview if i was having a good day only to come out be stressed by something which might not even register as stressful for someone who is not mentally ill and end up shouting hysterically at someone telling them if i had a knife i would slit their throat.
With the rest of the day spent struggling with overwhelming feelings of anxiety/anger/fear/irrationality/irritability/paranoia etc .


As you rightly say Grizzlybear being able to get your act together one day is not the same as being able to do that day in and day out in the way that would be expected at work.


It's all very well concentrating on what people can do but not at the expense of glossing over those problems and symptoms that would impact negatively on a person's ability to function and interact with others within a work environment.
There are some problems that can not be fixed, despite all the hype and propaganda surrounding it's efficacy, with a 6-12 week course of CBT(or however long it is) offered by the Job centre plus.

In any case the use of CBT as with any other treatment should be about the potential of improving a person's mental well being first and foremost not something to be used in a cynical and opportunistic way for the primary purpose of labelling them 'fit for work' on as low a level of functioning as you can cynically get away with.

With appropriate,good, and prompt treatment people with mental illnesses stand a better chance of being in and sustaining employment but that should always be seen as a secondary aim alibi one to be hoped for.
The primary aim always being to improve a person's mental well being and reduce the problems and suffering caused by their illness irrespective of whether that renders them employable or not.

.
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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Sep 22, 2008
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971
Quick update: Someone told me that I should not go to the assessment without my CPN so I cancelled the day before and asked to reschedule. Then my CPN asked my GP to contact those responsible for the assessment to say that I am not fit to attend at all at the moment. Hah....I didn't wash my hair 'specially! What a waste of time that wasn't!
 
unlucky

unlucky

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This is what happened with me too grizzly, my gp wrote a letter saying I couldn't attend 2 weeks ago and recommending a home visit but I've not heard anything. You probably have to attend the same one as me being in the west of scotland and i've heard the yes you do hav to attend with unwashed hair and no make up to make any difference, its a disgrace!! If I get a home visit I'm assuming the house will have to be in a state with unwashed dishes and stuff lying everywhere!! Haha in saying that, its like that today so I should be okay!
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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Hmm....I got the impression what my CPN was saying was that I was not fit to be assessed at all at the moment - which is fine by me.
 
J

jamesdean

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I dont mean to put the fear into you but they will not of forgotten you obviously working out their tactics because I was told they would visit people in hospital beds to be sure that people werent lying.

Honestly not washing your hair n have some dirty dishs wonted bohter them I'm told they are ruthless, I used to get into this state when the doctor visited me twice for dla b ut It dosent matter whot state you are in I think it all depens on who interviews you if they have any compassion, because dont forgrt where there wage comes from people tend to have loyalits to the wage packet n dont forget mh is invisable, like I said I wish I was being more positive but all that I'm trying to bargain is that it might be a couple of yeras until they get me but thats not guarnteeed I'v eherad that they work seven days a week to implement this benefit because labour are under so much pressure to sort out the welfare system though someone said that this system would collaspe it doesnt look like it will, I'm all in agreement that it does need updating the welfare system but all to often they are looking at the wrong peole has always but the cheats are so clever n know how to play the systems
 
G

GrizzlyBear

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Sep 22, 2008
Messages
971
You are probably right JD. I am lucky(?) that I live in an awkward place....I have been getting TV licence 'threats' for all the five years I have been living here. Apparently they were/are going to come to make an inspection....but they never have. So maybe that's what it will come down to....no-one will want to come here so I will be allowed to pass through the net for the time-being. I was even told recently that living where I do means there will be little or no chance of me being 'forced' into work.

What a rubbish system that any of us should be feeling anxious about this. However....I have found the 'system' reasonable to date....and sometimes I have even found myself feeling fortunate so I'm going to keep an open mind on this and trust that I will be treated well. Ultimately they want people to feel anxious to help spook the people who are swindling them....even the thing about visiting hospital beds may just be there to 'intimidate' the 'opposition'?

I shall let you know what (if anything) happens.
 
J

jamesdean

Guest
I have to admit I do feel quite lucky with my benefits that it hasnt be to harsh but I have had to go to two tribunals I have had the amount of dla reduced but an advocay worker did say to me in recant months if they did stop my money at any point that I would proberly win on an appeal, its just a shame that we have to fight all the time but I would be the first to agree to a return to work if I could honestly beleive that htere was support but from experience of two of these help/support services there isnt any support just some one else trying to get goverment benefit fiquires sorted.
 
unlucky

unlucky

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Grizzly, if your doc said that you weren't fit to be assessed in the letter then I would assume that would mean not at all. Its just that mine said a 'domicilary' assessment would be required (ie a home visit).
JD, you're right. It is difficult withMH being invisible and there are so many people playing the system who know exactly what to do to get the best benefits that it really must be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were!! I went to the docs a few years ago with my hair and make up done covered in new scars under my clothes but cos I'd got ready was told 'you don't look depressed to me!!'
Grizzly, I really wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure thay can't just ignore your doctor xx
 
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