ESA Health assessment!!!! Worried I won't be taken seriously!?

Hi all

Very anxious as have a health assessment for Esa.

I have been in chronic daily pain for almost a year now. I'm under a Bsge centre and on a waiting list for surgery and possible bowel surgery.

I have tried to work through the pain but in fact it made it worse.Unable to move or sleep from the pain.

From previous posts on esa assessments it is obvious that I will not be taken seriously. Knowing It's all points related with Q n A.

A good friend of mine with severe epilepsy was refused disability allowance n advised to work. Although he can barely function daily without falling over and ended up in AnE.

What hope is there for me?

Any tips to prepare for this?

I feel mentally very fragile from being so unwell, utterly exhausted mentally and physically with this Endo battle.

Thanks for listening and hope collectively we might have a voice!

Best wishes for a painless day to all X

7 Replies

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  • ESA is a complicated one. They have quotas and they can only let a certain amount of people pass (my dad's friend resigned because he got multiple warnings for letting through too many people repeatedly even though he had good evidence they all weren't fit for work). So basically they're always looking out for people who may not be very fit for work, but they can classify as "not so bad" and not pass you anyway. As such try to get them to give you an assessment early at the start of a month/week/day, and be very clear about exactly how impossible it is for you to work in this state.

    Emphasise everything you suffer with and everything you cannot do, and bring medical evidence if possible. Maybe try to have the assessment during your period whenever your pain is at its peak so they can really visually see how much you struggle (mine was during my period, I whimpered and hunched over, could barely sit or stand from the agony and had to keep running to the loo - it was awful but at least they got a visual idea). They might make you stand up, walk a few paces and pick something up so don't try to look tough or hide anything, show it if it's causing difficulty. I tried for ESA myself just until I get treatment but I got refused and was told that endometriosis is rarely accepted, especially when not yet surgically diagnosed like mine.

  • Thanks Serenwyn for replying, means a lot.

    I will definitely try all suggestions and appreciate your time and experience in this matter.

    Hope your managing with the pain and financially too.

    It's a long tough journey, especially when you feel no one takes you seriously. Hope you get diagnoses soon.

    Any advice I can give back please don't hesitate.

    Kind regards xxx

  • Hi Google how to pass the assessment. There's lots of info about what they look for and the descriptors they use, bone up n the descriptors an how they relate to you, when answering think about what it's like on a really bad day. They may ask questions like what hobbies do you have, do you watch TV, use a mobile phone or socialise. At least atos don't do them anymore. If you need to get up and move around do. They will be assessing you from the moment you enter the car park or building. Take all hospital letters with you.good luck xx

  • Take a makenzie friend in with you.xx

  • Appreciate the help.. Thank u. Xx what a Mackenzie friend?

    Sorry if stupid question

  • I feel for you as I went through this a year ago and it was so stressful.

    As mentioned above, with the forms and the assessment answer all questions based on your worst days. It's hard as I think if you have Endo you're constantly trying to push through, be optimistic and do your best. Applying for ESA you have to do the opposite of this and throw your dignity out of the window. Answer everything based on when you're most debilitated.

    Definitely take someone with you and get someone else to fill in the form for you. I had to anyway as I was so distressed I couldn't do it myself. I had to leave my job due to Endo and PTSD - depression, anxiety, constant insomnia which was severe. My GP backed me up by writing quite lengthy letters for me to give them stating if I was pushed into work it would be detrimental to my health conditions and therefore I'd be out of work longer.

    You've mentioned how anxious you're feeling. Speak to your GP about this. As I say, my claim was due to PTSD as well as Endo so I was on antidepressants, diazepam and had already had 2 years of therapy. From what i know, the mental health side is likely to be what made them approve my application. Mental health is recognised as a disability whereas Endo currently isn't even though some of the symptoms are. I would see if your GP can write a letter emphasising how the impact Endo and the ESA process is affecting your mental health.

    I found the process and assessment very distressing. It was a constant reminder of the awful reasons WHY I was in the position to have to apply after working for 20 years. My friend who I took with me answered a lot of the questions for me as I was so upset but with hindsight this probably gave me extra points.

    And yes, they have cameras outside the building and they assess you from as soon as you arrive even before the questions begin. They will ask you how you got to your assessment. I got a cab and they did reimburse some of it. If you can travel on public transport they deduct points.

    Make notes of what you're unable to do when at your worst and give a copy to your friend too. If you google ESA assessment form you'll see the kind of things they're likely to ask. I nearly threw the thing out the window after reading 'Can you boil a kettle?' as if saying yes means I can travel and work. My friend then pointed out on my worst Endo days I can't even sit up to take painkillers and have to crawl on the floor to the bathroom. These are the things you have to remember and state. The stuff you spend all your time trying to forget to get through better days.

    I'll post more suggestions if I think of any but feel free to message me if you have any questions.

    Good luck. It's a battle. Xx

  • Thank you poppy!

    I must admit my anxiety is begin to rise just even thinking about it. I will take on all your helpful advice and I'm so pleased you where accepted.

    Its sad that they make people go through such stress, on top of having to live with such a condition and all that goes with it. I have to battle to keep myself positive and suffer badly with depression; so I'm scared it might send me over the edge!

    I'm not sure if I have anyone I could take sadly, as friends are beginning to be thin of the ground( continually missing social events hasn't helped)My best friend is battling on behalf of her brother and his mental health issues; so couldn't do it to her.

    I will ask my dr for a ltr, as you say this must stand for something.

    Thanks again for making the time to write to me, it's heart warming that there is a community of woman wanting to help each other.

    I do hope you're get the help and support you need?

    My consultant is very understanding so that helps greatly.

    We Must not let the other buggers get us down

    Kind regards n best wishes to you

    Xx

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