I'm forever reading other member's posts about Atos assessments and appeals for ESA and I'm confused about what to expect and how the system works.
I put my claim in for ESA a month ago, to run from mid-November when work had stopped paying me SSP. The reason why it took me til mid-January is because my employer took 9 weeks to send me my SSP1 form which you can't claim without. By the time it came through, I had my contract terminated anyway, so sent my SSP1 form and P45.
3 days later I received around £500 backdated benefits, and a letter saying my claim had been successful, and I could claim for 12 months. 4 days after this, I received the Atos questionnaire which I filled out and sent off the same day. I've not heard anything since.
Can anyone tell me what will happen next? Should I not be attending a group or something? Will they keep on paying for 12 months provided I have a sick note? What happens at the end of the 12 months? Do I stop receiving any money, and become un-entitled, or am I potentially entitled to anything else?
I've worked hard my whole life, and never thought I'd have to claim benefits, but I became so ill that I was no longer able to live alone never mind hold down a job, I was considered to pose a risk to myself. My decision to leave my job didn't come lightly, but I am such a long way off being returned to the kind of health that means a person can commit to a 9-5 job, that at the end of 12 months (if I'm not going to have to have an appeal and assessment like everyone seems to have had), I still won't be able to work and then will have nothing.
Sorry for essay, thanks if you have got this far