ESA, worries !

I have been a member here a few months, I don`t often write but I read and learn a great deal. I have recently filled in my form and been terrified, really worried about the whole process, I have heard so many people go through so much. I haven`t slept or eaten properly since the dreaded brown envelope dropped through my letter box.

I thought long and hard and read through the questions all I did was tell the truth and explain as much as I could, I had a couple of hospital letters and I asked my GP for a couple as well just for proof really and a print out of my normal monthly prescription. I have COPD/Emphysema, Epilepsy and Heart Disease, my GP was excellent and very helpful as always. I was forever worried, had I done enough, said enough it was a real nightmare, I find it hard to explain, these people literally have your life in their hands financially. Anyway the dreaded envelope came yesterday, I really had tears rolling down my face before I had opened it, I had been put straight through to the support group, no medical or anything I could not believe it, so I cried some more, the sheer relief was incredible. I just wanted to tell anybody going through this horribly worrying ordeal that it can be ok, I tend to think that a lot more people will be put through very quickly with no fuss because of the bad press at the moment and Duncan Smith has set himself up for a big fall due to telling lies and also because of all the appeals it is costing a fortune because everyone who is going through this is genuinely ill and we don`t tell lies, we have no need to, or maybe I have just been very lucky.

Wendy x x

22 Replies

  • Absolutely delighted for you Wendy, and how sad that you have had all that worry. Now at least you have a bit of peace of mind, so just take great care of yourself and spoil yourself a little, you deserve it. :)

  • Lucky or not,well done Wendy



  • That is great news :)

  • Glad you have had some good news, well done. It is really great when good things happen x

  • Thankyou so much you are very kind, I was more worried as well because I have brought up my Grand daughter form birth so I did not want her to have suffered at all she is 13yrs old and she is an Angel, I love her, she is my life, I did not want her to worry, I will treat us both she deserves it , Thankyou both.

    Wendy x x

  • I'm so pleased for you Wendy,you can now put it to the back of your mind and just think of all the positives in life!have fun with your little Angel you both deserve it! huff :) xxx

  • Well Done Wendy, I'm so happy for you in being able to tell the dreaded DWP and ATOS about your disabilities and for them to have accepted that you're very much in need of the support you and your grand-daughter will now rightly get . :)

    No matter how confident someone may be, until you get the news you're wondering if you are going to be called for an interview or medical. I can sympathise with Wendy on this one and I think she's a brave person for letting others know, so they may not worry quite as much if they are applying for ESA or similar.

  • Hello Gordon I am so pleased you have commented, I now feel it ok to say how grateful I am to Gordon, over the last few weeks when I literally fell apart with worry I contacted Gordon, I had seen and read a lot that he had written and he really knows a lot of very helpful information, he really knows his stuff. I was amazed and very grateful that a person who he does not know from adam contacted him and asked him for help, I must have been a nightmare, I literally was so worried and frightened at what could happen to people at the hands of ATOS Gordon helped me so much I cannot thank him enough, he pointed me in the right direction but mainly got me to think straight and calmly and also contact BLF for help as well. So Gordon Thankyou.

    Wendy x x

  • I'm just happy it's all worked out for you, and only too happy to have helped :D

  • So happy for you Wendy, now you can enjoy this good weather with your granddaughter without worry. Yes Gordon is our rock the font of all knowledge. xxxx

  • Congratulations, now you can relax a bit and enjoy the good times ahead. X

  • WELL DONE, but isn't it sad that so many genuine cases live in fear of the end result, while the scroungers and fraudsters seem able to make and gain large sums of money from a fund for sick people.

    It's nice to hear a good result.

  • I didn't spot this until after I'd written quite a long piece on ATOS below. Whilst we know there are scroungers and fraudsters, official figures suggest these account for only 0.5% of the number of people claiming disability benefits.

    My biggest concern is that more has been spent on employing ATOS to police the applications than was being fiddled !

  • Thankyou very much for all your very kind comments and yes it can be a terrible experience, I heard so many shocking tales of people not a lucky as me, when our very own soldiers who are physically and mentally very disabled and have fought for the safety of our country and others are being turned down, often with very bad experiences at the hands of ATOS, the system is very flawed and very unfair, I feel very lucky.


    Wendy x x

  • Please can you tell me what ESA is? whatever it is well done.


    Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) ;)

    It's one where the dreaded ATOS were failing large numbers of people on assessment...

  • Thanks. What are or is ATOS I have cronic COPD and after an operation 3 years ago on my brain I am bedbound so I rely on my computer for imformation and entertainment 24 7 I dont sleep well and its nice to have found this site for both of those things.

  • ATOS is the private(mostly incompetent - from what I've heard) company outsourced by this +++++ government to access certain benefits but others will hopefully be able to give you more details. xx

  • ATOS are the organisation (terrible use of that word, I know) who handle the assessments and interviews for the DWP when people apply for benefits. They don't always make the right assessment, as I know from experience.

    They were paid millions to try and reduce the number of people claiming benefits by making sure their do not reach the qualifying criteria, usually based on attaining a given number of points to pass. They've been exposed on TV several times for the way they treat people explains a bit about a programme they made, you can watch it at if you sign in to the C4 site. It's free to register and I think it's worthwhile watching to see what they uncovered :X

    The ATOS Doctor who came to see me at home for my DLA claim would have received £100 for the 1 hour visit and his follow-up paperwork, which he filled in here anyway. I have disagreed with his 'examination' and am awaiting a tribunal hearing to see if I am to be allowed the mobility component of DLA.

    Thankfully, all the bad press seems to have had some effect as I'm aware of several people who have been passed through the process of claiming ESA without needing to be seen, whereas ATOS were trying to put everyone through a face-to-face interview before, simply because they got paid for doing so. :O

    Wendy is another ESA success and I am not going to make any claims that she would not have done it without my help. I gave her pointers as to how best to fill in the form, without writing it for her. She did the hard work of wiring it all and sending it off :)

    The forms go to ATOS first, they have to look at these and decide who needs to be interviewed, to try and weed out the ones who are trying to fiddle the system - reported as being only 0.5% of those who claim, 1 in 200. In the process, they've caused great concern and anguish to the 199 out of 200 who DO qualify.

  • I understand the pain/hurt/anguish that true sufferers go thru' when they are re-assessed for their benifits, but; there are crooks and cheats about in all walks of life. From the Lords/MP's

    et al!

    There must be a more compassion within the system. All are entitled to patience and politness, unless they are frauds. Innocent until proved guity!

  • I had occasion to speak to the NHS helpline the other day, at one time there was a helpful and knowledgeable person on the end of the phone, they used to offer good advice and assistance, now they read a script, one wrong answer and there is an ambulance parked outside your house. Is it now like ATOS, lots of under trained and uncaring people who just want to remove you from the system or move you on to the next operator in line so their target figures look good that day.

    It's a sign of the times, spend money to show how much you have saved.

  • i there I received the esa form letter today 18th march 2015 :-( I am dreading the process, after trawling through the internet I think next step is appointment with cab if they still exist - its been a while! I been on sda and disabled version of income support since 1995. I am also on dla - which inevitably will be reassessed for pip! I have uncontrolled epilepsy (tonic clonic and absences) but not as bad as 1995 - but still no warning and still go into status most the seizures - we suspect I also having nightime seizures but I live alone so unsure! I av regular absences and fall asleep suddenly often at the laptop - think I have a qwerty keyboard impression my forehead most days. I also slipped a disc in my spine and had surgery last sept - 2 months later I felt fine so got stuck into stuff - then sudden pain - o no de ja vu - saw consultant, another mri later and 3 more slipped discs - due see consultant end of april to discuss next step - but form due back before consultant app? there is a lot of stuff most take for granted I cannot do due to my back and I cannot walk as far as I used to, standing in shopping queues is a no no, sitting for more than an hour is painful :-( I try not take too many painkillers, coz my epilepsy meds make me drowsy anyways - I get quite down to all of it and I find these form filling events stressful and often lead to more seizures :-( I tried off my own back in 2006 to study a course at college - 3 yrs later I passed as a teaching assistant - I ad extensions to do the course as I could not complete in time like the others could. In 2009 I got vol position in a primary school at first 2 days a week but not consecutively - I ad several seizures at the school and several on way to the school and several before I even left the house - but I continued on as I was enjoying it despite the increase in seizure activity - but things gradually got on top of me and the workload was getting more and time to do activities with the kids was getting cut short - so I was stressing out and the seizures and sleeping odd times got worse - I was exhausted all the time the days post being in the school I was sleeping through till past dinnertime, I reduced to 1 day a week but that didn't really help. iw as into my 3rd yr volunteering and my dog of 12 and half yrs died, my dad had 2 strokes and I was trying support my mum to support him, everything was all too much, my health was on a downward spiral - I ad to pack it in and stop volunteering at the school...I was of no use to them, I was nodding off in my breaks, I couldn't concentrate in class, I was making mistakes, I was not coping with the little problems kids bring as I was exhausted...I went and got a rescue pup and he has helped a lot I have even trained him myself to help around the house, but being a pet dog he cannot go everywhere with me, I have ad less seizures having him and he allows me to go to dog activities, all the activities are adapted so I can get involved - I don't run like the other clients, I take longer to understand instructions etc - but having a bright dog we r learning distance agility - so I walk in a space less than the width my house, whilst he learns to listen from a distance - we had a 6 mth break due to back surgery - so we only had one session of distant agility - just hope cause I do that as a hobby the benefits ppl don't construed that as being fit for work - its 1 hr a week and I am exhausted after the session, despite barely moving, but its a lot mental concentration. I do art when I am not doing dog stuff and once or twice a year raise funds for charities with a lot of help from my mum as I would not manage it alone... it funds the art equipment as well as raising for charity. it stops me getting bored and I think it has contributed to less and I say less not stopped seizures - I still have seizures and I take a couple days if not a week to get bk to me...but sometimes I go on to have more than one seizure within a small space of time and as a consequence take even longer to recover than a week. so I not really sure where I stand esa wise??? very confused at the questions, as although from my back point of view I can answer, where are the questions relating to epilepsy??? and certainly the ones where I get zero warning I will seizure?

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