has anyone else had problems sorting out the appeal rate for esa

this to me now just seems like a complete farce, every time I contact them they have a different excuse or set of problems,

started back in about march when I got a phone call saying that I had to fill out an esa 50 questionnaire to see if I was entitled to change over from income support to esa, filled this in to the best of my capabilities, sent back well; before the time limit, never heard a thing then till a letter dropped through the door at the end of july saying I had to go for an assessment with ATOS healthcare professional in middle of august, went for the assessment didn't hear a thing then till middle of November despite being told 4 weeks at the most, only to be told then that I had insufficient grounds for esa my I/s was stopped at the end of November 2 weeks after the phone call, had there reasoning come through and its effectively all lies that have been told about me, they have taken nothing I have done and said into consideration and instead lied about pretty much everything!, did the mandatory review thing after consulting my GP, they phoned me for more info after 2 weeks, again no change, decided to appeal for tribunal because of the state of my health, told that I can start claiming esa at the appeal or assessment rate, but had to send a sicknote or medical certificate in, did this at the beginning of January, had It sent back to me saying I wasn't on the system, and to claim statutory sick pay I had to give it to my employer or contact the job centre for info on esa, spoke to them again on the phone, got told that I had to visit local job centre for appointment to re open claim and to take the sick note and appeal letter with me for them to fax across and get the claim re-opened, did this Monday morning within an hour I had a phonecall to say I couldn't claim anything until I got a sick not that was from when claim ended on 28th November to when my note was issued on 24th December, again they never stated this at the time or It could have been done, I have taken my backdated sick note in to job centre this morning and again within a an hour or so I have had 3 missed calls from dwp, still waiting for them to get back to me with what will almost certainly be more excuses, im sick and tired of it now, I know there job is to get people back to work and to do it as quickly and forcefully as they can but this is ridiculous and un fair to say the least,

anyone else been through this recently and can offer any advice and help it would be really appreciated,



7 Replies

  • I'm sorry. All I can do is sympathise with you. My ATOS "medical" was a complete joke. The assessment was 68 pages long and consisted of things like I didn't try hard enough to bend down (because it flipping hurt!) and another comment about the fact that I scratched my head at one point!!

    I had a doctors letter that I asked to be put with my medical and he refused to take it. Somehow I found the strength to insist he read it - which he did.

    He then said that the DWP wouldn't understand the letter and gave it back to me.

    I gave him a list of all my medications and once again he refused to put them with my claim.

    I really, truly, do not understand how ATOS are getting away with this.

    Just because a certain programme on the television shows shameless capable people on benefits why oh why are they targetting the wrong people?

    Are they scared of the scroungers or is it just easier to pick on genuine honest people who, mostly, are too weak and in too much pain to stand up for themselves?

    I hope you get sorted soon.

    BM x

  • HI bluemermaid I had same problem he was old hands shacking gasping to breath when i read his report what a joke I was at boiling point we must have been in different medicals because it because every think I said to him had changed yep he said I scratched my head bent down to put on and fasen my shoes had no money since December joke fibro10

  • I haven't watched the program u refer to bluemermaid as I know it would make me too angry and have watched similar ones before. It amazes me how people who are completely able to work, but choose not to, seem to very easily claim benefits. And yet those who really need the system are treated as liars and cheats and have added stress to their already difficult illnesses and find it almost impossible to get the help they/we need. It is so unfair and I really pray that they do something soon to change ATOS to help the real people in need!

    I did try applying for DLA and was told that as I can get out of bed on my own and go to toilet on my own then I'm not disabled enough - even though I can barely walk without pain & use mobility scooter & am limited on what I can do round house. Luckily I work from home, so will continue to struggle through each day as long as i can to keep a roof over my family's head.

    Good luck to u both and hope u get the help u deserve xxx

  • I am sorry to hear they are messing you around. That's the way it is now, they are using the system to cause claimants as much hassle as humanly possible. They give limited information on how to make a valid claim causing people to lose money or give up claiming ESA out sheer frustration. When they make a decision to stop ESA, they leave it for several weeks or months before writing to you so you can't appeal until you receive the decision in writing, meanwhile you have no money to live on. When you finally figure out what is happening and get an appeal going, then they tell you you need sick notes, then they keep you waiting for up to a year or more before it gets to tribunal. Then the bloody tribunal may say your evidence is not valid as it was submitted after the Atos medical, as in Bluemaids case. And to top it all off, they expect you to represent yourself and know how to challenge their rulings on a legal basis if the case goes against you. By the end of it all, you should be able to get a job as a QC.

  • I to was told by c.a.b to go for jsa filled all forms in to be told I needed esa waited a whole month so did this I am working but only limited to what I can doso just needed a top uo as I lost my tax credits dont work enuf hrs for tax credits so I have to get a sick note to say that the doctor has to tick the box that says im fit to work but only limited hrs & put down why so far so good but am due to send my second note so ive got to see doctor again fingers crossed but im still waiting for the medical good luck hope you get sorted xx

  • And now we know how the people not claiming as they must be working figures come to light!

  • thank you to all who responded to this, its nice to know I am not alone, it appears now that DWP just don't have the brains they were born with, that's assuming they were actually born with any brains,

    they were ringing to enlighten me that they have found my backdated part of sick note but now have apparently, even though it was emailed through to them from the job centre and they told me that they had received it in an answerphone message on Monday they have now misplaced my current sick note, the mind boggles, they are making an already stressful situation even more complicated, all I got told was that there was another email attachment but the person who I spoke to was un able to open it,

    can I just take this opportunity to thank everyone for there responses, and to say good luck to all of you don't let them beat you down and keep fighting, one day they will realise that there are genuine cases out there and we need help and support not kicking in the teeth,

    KInd regards

    Tez x

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