Fibromyalgia Action UK
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dreaded Assessment


Ive filled out the new awful forms and have been 'lucky' enough to be chosen for an assessment. Im terrified, how can someone tell in a few short moments how this complex illness effects me?

I asked for a home visit as I cant walk distances and theres a good walk from the multi story carpark to the assessment place, also I never know if I will be able to actually get out of bed that day. they suggested I ask the doc to fax them, the doc says that unless Im housebound she wont recommend a home visit........... and also said it would be good for them to see me at my worst............ ok to say but if Im sick all over them and collapse in a heap, how will they respond to that?

How has anyone else found these assessments and what do they entail?

Please help, very worried


28 Replies

If your doc won't back you then you will have no choice but to attend Freyeesha or they will stop your benefit.

Be aware that they do observe you , sometimes even before you enter the building , so if possible get someone to drop you off at the door. They may also ask how you got there so be prepared to tell them how difficult it's been for you . You will also probably be observed in the waiting room- just something to be aware of . They often leave you waiting around past your appointment to see how you cope.

Once in there you'll be asked a series of questions followed by a brief examination and usually you are also asked to do a few physical movements while they observe you . Touching your toes, bending your knees etc. If any of this is painful for you make sure you tell them, you can refuse to do it if it hurts.

Be aware that even though the " chat " may seem informal at times, you are being observed at all times . You can ask for your assessment to be recorded and it's a good idea to do that , or to take someone in with you and have them take notes.

It's really sad that I feel the need to warn you of all these things, you are entitled to a fair assessment , but experience has shown to me that you really do need to be on your guard , because what you SAY and what makes it in to their assessment is not always the same thing.

Ask for a copy of the report afterwards , just in case there are errors and you need to appeal.

That's the best advice I can give you.


Helen xx


Oh i never knew you could ask for your interview to be recorded , i got turned down and when ive done my appeal letter i wrote that they should record these interviews as what is wrote down on my assessment is totally different from what i said , xx


Thankyou Helen, thats really valuable advise, I dont think theyd see anything in the waiting room other than me, but Im aware of what you say, It would be helpful if it were one of my worst days.......x


They watch everything , how you sit, how you get up, how you walk down the corridor, whether you use the lift or stairs .... So just be aware of that .

I've had both the old fashioned , hand written assessment - which you get to read and then sign - and the new WCA where it's done on the computer and you don't get to read it until you ask for a copy.

Guess which one I failed ? Yup the WCA ! I did win at appeal though , but it is a lot of hassle .


Oh dear, Im so dreading it all, I dont know why either as Im genuine like everyone else on here, but some of you can fail then I can too, has anyone actually passed it with our condition????


I passed the assessment I had last year , but that was the old fashioned hand written one. I was one of the first to have the WCA when it was first introduced and I don't want to worry you but it wasn't pleasant .

I wasn't dreading it because I thought ( stupidly ) that I'm genuine, they would see that and it wouldn't be a problem. I got 0 points . I asked for a copy of the assessment and it was a complete fabrication ! The medic was rude and arrogant and I put an official complaint in about him , when I followed it up a few months later I was told he no longer worked for ATOS .

However, at least with him I could see what I was dealing with , I have friends who had the WCA and the medic has been really nice and chatty , got them talking- and then failed them . So I think you do need to be on your guard , ask for a copy of the assessment and make it clear if it's been difficult for you to get there , because you don't get to see what answers they are putting on the form the way you did with the old assessment that you had to read and then sign.

We tend to play out problems down because we hate feeling a burden , that's human nature I think. But for the time you're in there try not to do that . They will jump on every answer , don't forget they are paid to fail disabled and sick people !


Helen's right - you are observed from when you arrive, they even check CCTV if there's an on site car park. I haven't had assessment yet, but went with my mum for her assessment and they just generally asked what she can and can't do, as well as asking her to do a range of movement.

Be careful how you answer questions, as mum said she was able to walk x amount of yards with severe and debilitating pain - this was just recorded as can walk this far. She nearly lost her mobility component over that.

Take someone with you, in case you need support around answering the questions and also to have a witness to what is said.

Best of luck!

Kate x


Thankyou Pands87, I will be aware......x


Yes you are missing the point and I for one am a bit sick of your attitude.

There are people who have cancer who are being told they are fit for work,one peron died two weeks after assesment.

This whole thing is so Cameron can get his bloody figures down,and he doesn`t care who he walks over in the proccess.

Of coarse people on here are worried.And if you can`t understand that then I really don`t know what you are doing here.

Are you somebody who has nothing better to do but upset people.

In fact it`s probably better if people on here just ignore you as I feel your bitterness is just something you get a kick out of fueling.



Well said Jayne . I'm wondering why someone would want to be on a support group if they have nothing supportive to say ?




He/She won`t answer you Helen,He/She doesnt like being asked questions.Just feels He/She has the right to come on and be plain rude to people.

Well they do say bullies are cowards don`t they!!!!!

Keep as well as you can hun.

Love and hugs Jaynexxxxx


Has gary/louise got fibro ?? does anyone know ?? x


Agreed Jayne ! xxx


Have you had an assessment GaryLouise ?


Good grief, what went on here????? I didnt see a remark, was someone being horrible????


Hi frayeesha I had my assessment last month and it was by a male which I presumed he was a doctor he turned out to be a reg nurse I didn't like him and felt worthless by the time I came out took me 4 weeks to get my report and guess what Im fine can do almost anything everything different on form from what I said

I sent my doctors letter to them with a complete list of everything I cant do it will be interesting to see what happens next.

And that joker who is going on about people and their cars is obviously never been in our pain, just could you cant see it doesn't mean its not here

good luck and chin up we are all here for you

Lin x



Thankyou for your reply. I hope they dont try and make you do exercises etc. Im just dreading it. I think all of those in 'power' should spend a couple of months in our skins, see if they like it or not.........

Hope you get things sorted....

Freyeesha x


as the saying goes, "Don't judge my journey till you've walked my path", very very true indeed


jan xx


iam waiting for my appeal for esa and terrified so you are not alone, ive had a medical before and what you say and what they write down are 2 different things.

good luck paula x


Thanks Paula,

Maybe I should tell them that Im fit and healthy and lead a very full social life, see if they write the opposite lol.......xxxx


haha, good thinking lol, should theory ,lol. omg this could sooo get us down but thanks to folk on here we let it all out, have a grump, get advice, have a laugh or just generally crack up..:-}

cracking up sounds good to me personally, and i mean that in the nicest possible way



i am due next month(after waiting nearly a year to go to my appeal,atos wrote a complete work of fiction about me that even enid blyton couldn't have dreampt up!,as soon as i got atos report i rang the social and compained ,in the paperwork i have to take to my appeal the social have recorded that i complained at the time,one of the stupid questions "do you have pets?" if you do i s'pose they think if you are able to look after a pet your ok, (i decided then i wouldn't mention i had a pet girraffe, oh, and i forgot to mention gus,the orangutan!!!) if you can't do the medical tests they ask you then don't do them,when she asked if i could climb up the 2 steps and get on the bed ,i said no i definately couldn,t i haven't been able to climb 2 steps for several years now,because i also have spondylosis,do not be intimidated by them they are only jobsworths!!! xx good luck


hi Freyeesha,

i had my assessment 3 weeks ago,(as per previous posts on here, so i won't bore you too much) had to travel an hour and a half on the bus from Grantham to Lincoln then a 20 min walk, well hobble, to the joke i can tell you. i was in soo much agony when i got there and just felt so ill i wanted to cry.

""Oh so you came on the bus then, she cheerfully noted, as if to say well if you can make that journey you can't be too bad...well how was i to get here then...on my damn broomstick!!! Said i couldn't drive, had no one to take me so what was the option???

As things went on the nurse said i looked very unwell and she could see by my face i was in pain so she wouldn't do the physical exam, took my blood pressure and immediately sent me home by taxi it was so toxic.I'll be very interested to see what the report says.

The point is, make sure if you feel the physical will cause you a lot of pain, make it very clear to them and make sure they don't put refused at the side of it on the report, which i'm sorry to say you should be well prepared to be a work of fiction. i had a medical June 2010 and what i said bore no resemblance to what was observed or said. I was a little more prepared this time.. I've poured my venom out on here before...several time i think lol, about these farcical assessments. well if they insist we have one please report the truth not a pack of lies.

just tell them your worst days and try to think what you say, don't let them fool you into thinking they're friendly and helpful...they're like a nest of vipers.

Sorry i can't offer you much encouragement about them i really am, but as per previous we all say the same thing it seems.

good luck and take care

Jan H xx


Thankyou Jan,

Thats basically what I needed to know.... Ive got the Lincoln lot too. My doc wouldnt reccommend a home visit as I was able to get to see her so not bedbound.....

ohhhhh, well, will keep you informed.....xx


you're welcome, just another thought, phone the place that sent you the letter and ask them how you are to get from the car park to the centre as you can't walk that far, see what they say just out of interest. I've got the phone number for the lincoln centre somewhere, took me ages to winkle it out of A..tossers.

Do you know where the assessment centre is?, as when i was whisked home, if you drive past, turn left and there is a car park directly on the left or near a pub..hmmm funny that, we all need a stiff drink after whole shambolic episode . it's towards Carholme road....i think....Yarborough road might have been on the right...don't take this as literal, my navigation skills are as yet unknown to me and crack my darling partner up ( tried to send him up a railway line once as it seemed the most direct route...eeek)

So going on that ignore directions and check google maps. :-)

have a good weekend and please do keep us informed

Jan xx


get a taxi to the door and get a reciept and get them to pay for the taxi there and back,see what they say !!


Hi when I had my medical, on my paper work and in the medical I said i couldnt walk 50mts with out being in extreme pain and discomfort, so he put me down as being able to walk normal and without being in pain. So watch out, this remark he made destroyed my my chance of getting DLA too, cuz they say your medical has nothin to do with DLA but it does so all take care!! We have to fight them all the way. Ann x



I passed my medical assessment and so continue with help...

However, I have to go to some one to one work related meetings to assess further how my condition effects me.......

Anyone else been to these??



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