I have received a letter from the job centre telling me that from November 2012 my current payments of esa will be stopped as i wil have come to the end of the 356 day entitlement period. I am currently appealing against their decision that i am fit for full time employment after going to one of their medical assesments and only scoring 7 points out of 15 points. i'm just getting over my third major manic relapse as well as 4 depressive eppisodes since 2007 and they tell me i'm ok. my g.p and psychiatrist have both told me if i wish to return to work it's got to be when i'm ready and has got to be part time only and can be nothing where there is responibilty involved as it could cause another relapse.
I shake my head every time I hear of yet another person being turned down for ESA as ATOS have deemed them fit to work. I attended an ATOS interview in 2009 when I was off sick from work with severe anxiety and depression for nearly a year. I really didn't have the energy to fight them and I hadn't found this forum by then so I didn't know that there was an appeals process I could go through.
Surely instead of writing to you to advise that you are no longer eligible due to the 12 month period coming to an end, they should be inviting you for another assessment or asking for supporting documentation from your GP and your mental health workers.
I didn't have the knowledge nor the energy to fight so ended up having to go back to work due to my financial situation (or lack of!) and struggling terribly with a new job. I'm fairly certain that had I appealed and come back to work when I was good and ready I wouldn't still be in the midsts of this episode of depression that I still find myself in.
Sorry I hope my reply hasn't hi-jacked your thread, I just felt compelled to offer my support by way of expressing my anger at the way we, as a group of people get treated. I did have a rather heated discussion with a woman at work the other week who basically said that as far as the DSS is concerned mental health issues are basically the new "bad back syndrome". I had to finish my lunch hurridly and go back to the santury of my office before I did or said something I'd regret.
From what I've read that others have written on here, I think the key is getting the appeal in as soon as possible, and back it up with as much supporting documentation from GP, Mental Health Workers etc as posssible.
id ring and ask them at the Dwp If you can send in any more Supporting Evidence ((if you havent already done so? 'Sorry.)) ,.also take alook at the 'Benefits and Work' website for further information, and visit your local CAB for additional support and Legal advice.
Well i went for my appeal hearing last Friday the 25th and passed though was told that because i have done some volunteering work in the past i will more than likely be placed in the work related activity group. Has anyone else been placed in this group and if so what do they do.