ESA Nightmare

Yesterday I got my copy of the ESA assessors report. My worse fears have come true. As I have read on here she had selective hearing and her own very unique interpretation of what was said anyway.Despite my Clinical Psychiatric Nurse being at the meeting with me and giving her a very frank report on my condition with clinical depression and despite the fact that she said she was a physiotherapist who completely understood the condition Fibromyalgia, she has declared me as fit to work. I cried when I finished reading the report. Im so scared how am I going to manage both financially and emotionally because I now know I have to go ahead with an appeal. I have been awake most of the night, when I did sleep I had such strange dreams I woke up with my heart racing. I really have no idea where to start with this or how the hell I am going to cope. Im sitting here this morning full of such a terrible feeling of foreboding,

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  • morning i was there a year ago where you are now.im sorry.firstly you need to go ahead with a appeal and get that in asap.that way once they have it in your money will begin on assessment rate again.

    but you must appeal asap okay?your money will then carry on being given .then you need to take a deep breathe and get your c.p.n to help you apply for a crisis loan asap and explain why?they ask you all about any savings and all your bills.

    apparently they dont class a car as a bill.doh.

    im going for my appeal 3 days after were moving im worried sick.but these are nurses who have no idea about the condition and shouldnt be able to assess us okay.

    you will be okay as you have all of us here to get you through it.

    worry mkaes it ten times worse.god i no that.all ive done for years is worry.we arent scroungers.

    always here but wont be from weds busy moving etc.

    i no we have a chance of losing the appeal and that scares hell out of me but im going in there with hands blazing.

    you must too.good luck and hugs x

  • Oh thank you Sammy all of you on here are angels I swear you are. I am on here this morning because to be truly honest with you I am having some very dark thoughts. I am on my own here and I can only think that I cannot get through this am I better off dead! With you angels online I feel that I have someone to talk to. I have no one to support me financially and I fear that I will lose my home (everything). I am drumming up the strength to ring my mum to tell her what has happened. She is not well and has been worrying so much about me and this bloody assesment.

  • Hi,just read your blog and was thinking how on earth can I cheer you up so you can have a better day. I cannot change your circumstances for you but I can suggest that you could try and focus on doing something today that will be good for you. Do you have a chance to sit out in the sunshine today? Perhaps have a little picnic and start reading a book which is inspiring. While you are waiting for the appeal process, you have a choice. Choose to find the things in life which will help you.Choose to believe in a positive outcome of your appeal, We al have to fight this Mr.Fibro as best we can, our sisterhood ! Gentle hugs, go and see your dear mum soon,she loves you and will always try her best to help xxxxx

  • I know how you feel, my Son who has autism, ADHD and PTSD was cleared fit for work too. I gave all his hospital documentation to the ESA peeps and after an assessment with someone at the jobcentre I told them in no uncertain terms that if my son was to be placed in work he wouldn't stick at it for long, he'd even insult people thus getting him the "sack". He is still classed as fit to work but they said it was policy for them to keep the numbers up for the stats to show that disabled people are still employable. So this ESA malarkey

    is just a government initiative to keep the numbers at bay me thinks!!

  • Hi Avarose I have been trying to use the fear for a positive way and have just finished going through the report and writing down notes where she has altered what I or my CPN said or completely omitted any important information. And that has made me feel more positive. Seeing it in written notes how ridiculous the report is. I know I have a case to fight and thank god for this site which gives so much useful relevant information. I have already quoted quite a lot of information and comments from this site in my response. I will be ringing my mum today to let her know. I just started to date a new man who has been an absolute rock throughout this and has written down a plan of action. He's a clever chap and will be a real asset for me as I go ahead into my appeal. And how well he has reacted to my history with the depression and the fibro has been uplifting. However even at the tender age of fifty I still am nervous about telling my mum Im dating again lol. Not had much luck in the last few years and I met my new chap from an online dating site. But I never go out to the pubs and clubs I dont really have an active social life to speak of so how else could I have meet someone. Its funny isnt it cos Im worried my mum will disapprove lol.

    Kay, your poor son how utterly ridiculous. Your son or none of us, is just a "Stat"! and that is the problem isnt it. How I would love these idiotic people to have spend a few weeks in our lives, see how that suits them. Yes I believe that this whole exercise is just a money saving project as JSA is a great deal cheaper for them to pay out then ESA and DLA. What do they care about the terrible heartache and hardship that they are causing and putting vulnerable people through in their thousands,Absolutely NOTHING!

    My chap has a list of MP's that we are going to be writing to. Chris Grayling being one of these and my local MP. I read some advise on here about emailing ATOS and complaining directly to them about their report, regardless of the appeal. I have been given my own plan of action for tomorrow so I have to telephone my Clinical Psychiatric Nurse who came to the meeting with me and let her know whats happening so we can get her involved in the appeal and I shall be contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau for any help that they can give because they have been and are dealing with numerous claims and they have the knowledge and expertise to help.

    So as far today as I cannot do much more I shall type up my notes and comments which will give me a sense of moving on and starting to deal with the problem head on.

    Thankyou all lovely ladies and of course gentlemen. Lets hope that each of us can finally get treated with some fairness, understanding and justice. xxx

  • You sound like a really brave,lady and you are very strong. Good Luck with your new man. I met mine on the internet and we have been married for 3 years now,so very,very happy. I am sixty so go girl! x

  • aawh thanks avarose, well the say your never too old for you, and quite right too lol

  • Hi Colleen. You do that appeal and dont give up. Being as you had someone with you at your medical makes it all the better so they also can write a letter for your appeal, also if they can attend the appeal with you. I know its hard but yes writing down feeling and any other notes you can will help, and do it sooner rather than later then you wont forget the little things you said? Dont let them win, go for it! Hugs Ann xx

  • Hi Colleen,

    how angry this stupid system makes me, been through it twice so i know how you feel. (Went to appeal and won, then last time, 2 months ago, was awarded ESa and put into a support group, wrote several posts here lol)

    it's the feeling of total helplessness and disbelief, and i actually think shock, when you know they've just written a work of fiction not the detailed information you gave to them. Do they listen?? obviously not, makes me wonder why we bother to attend for all the notice they take. they just don't care what impact this has on people's lives.

    I can't advise you any different to the advice given here, only say you can ask then to reconsider i think, or appeal.

    APPEAL you must do, you've got nothing to lose and all to win. give yourself 5 mins to get over the shock and anger of it all, gather yourself , brace yourself,,,get angry if you need to and fire away at them. don't let them get away with it was my view.

    i went to Citizens advice who were a great help. Scary thing was, the lady i saw ONLY did appeals, must say something about the whole shambolic system.

    OOOOhhhhh it infuriates me so much to read time and again stories such as yours and mine. wish i'd have known about this site before, i really felt so alone.

    you know you can always talk to people on here and get support and advice...just knowing someone is there who knows what's going on is a comfort.

    I really wish you all the best and keep us posted as to what is going on and as for "dark thoughts"....kick your backside from me :-) and stop that immediately.

    See you've now got a plan of action...well done, slow and steady and do a bit at a time, gives you a sense of achievement once you get cracking...xx

    good luck with the new relationship...also met someone online 14 months ago and couldn't be happier. Live your life and be happy xx

    hugs and thoughts

    Jan xxxxx

  • Hi try not to worry i have had to appeal everytime i get a medical i know iam unfit for work and when i got 0 points back i too could have cried but when i read what she had written it wasnt anything like i said so i reversed everything she said in a very long appeal letter and won. phone esa straight away and state that you are appealing that will help your money to restart quicker

    jen xxx

  • Jen You are so right, I had to read it about four times to take it in the rubbish that she wrote. I wrote down notes as soon as I had gotten home from the assessment which was lucky as they reminded me of what I had told her. And its not just the stuff that they make up or change what you've said to suit their requirements, Its all the stuff that you tell them, information that really is relevant that they then do NOT include in the report. CPN was astounded and has said she will help me with the appeal. My response back to their report so far has reached 23 pgs but oh did it feel good getting it all down and out of my system. Bring it On ATOS and DWP !!!! I havent actually got the decision makers letter yet just copy of the assessment report but seeing as she has said that I will be all fit and healthy and cured ready to go back to work in 3 months time (I am paraphasing here with perhaps just a touch or sarcasm thrown in) I think the decision is a foregone conclusion really. But when I receive that then I will be immediately doing my appeal.Meanwhile we are going to be sending out letters to MP's including of course Mr Chris Grayling and complaining directly to ATOS about this report. xxx

  • You go girl, sounds like you have it all under control. Only thing I would suggest is to send in the appeal form stating documentation to follow and requesting payments to be recommenced as they will only start paying you when they have received it. I won my last hearing then got reassessed to nil points so I am awaiting my new tribunal date so in same boat as you. Good luck with the MP's and ATOS, keep us updated xx

  • I emailed ATOS yesterday and asked for their complaints procedures as I intend to make a complaint against the assessor as well as their company. I have spoken to my CPN yesterday who was astounded when I told her what the assessor had said. Her words were along the lines of "was she (assessor) not in the room then when I (CPN) told her about your conditions!" So have sent her all that I have done in preparation for the appeal and asked her if she is willing to give evidence for me (which she is). Im a bit in never never world(or maybe la la land) at the moment as I havent actually been given the decision makers report. Cant tell you all how much Im looking forward to that one !! Never mind "Fifty Shades of Grey" they should just put together a load of assessors medical reports. Its all fiction and they are obviously done by sadists. We all love a good fictional story dont we girls lol. I have put up another post by the way, Im just trying to information gather on what to expect at an appeal so any advice very gladly received.. Thankyou Lynn for your concern and advise and got luck to you too. Though I am a bit confused as you won yr last appeal they still went ahead and reassessed you with Nil Points. What are these people, are they just gluttons for punishment, I really cannot understand the logic behind doing that to you. They do seem to really enjoy wasting the tax payers money by bringing about appeal after appeal. It really is appalling. x

  • Sorry for confusing you. I had my first esa50/medical assessment in may 2010 resulting in nil points/fit for work. I appealed against decision and had my tribunal in dec2010 where I was awarded 18 points and esa. In may2011 I received another esa50 followed by another medical which had the same result of the 1st one. Needless to say I have appealed again and am still waiting for a tribunal date. Since my first refusal I have had assistance from a very nice lady at my local cab. She told me whereas she usually has a case load of 12-14 clients she currently has around 40! Apparently around 70% of appeals supported by the cab are being won although she can't actually attend hearing with me as the court is in another town but hopefully the fact that she has helped with the paperwork will mean I am one of the 70% xx

  • Oh blimey Lynn thats so worrying for you. So do they now think that if we have Fibromyalgia we will be getting better. You are in the same state if not worse as you where in 2010 and got 18 points. Time and Money wasting burocratic Idiots !!. Good luck Lynn, please do let me know how you are getting on. Can you tell me whilst your appealing do they stop or reduce your payments. Im in the support group at the moment and also get middle rate component for care with my DLA. Will they stop my money do you know? Honestly, I cannot switch my brain off with all of this. I just keep thinking of more and more worries. xxx

  • I totally understand what you feel like, although i have just been to see someone about ESA, so I am waiting to see the lady at job centre for my first meeting, she said because I do voluntary work i couldnt go for the other type (cant remember what its called) where you dont have to keep going into the job centre to be assessed. There is no way they will find me a job that i can keep going a few hours a week! Have you spoken to you local CAB? I hope you can get help, try not to get to stressed out (easier said than done, I know) but you know it will only make your fibro worse. Good luck

  • Hey all, Update after over a wk of working on this, we have finally put together a response to the WCA report. Its 35 pages long and address line by line the report!. We have sent the complaint directly to ATOS and have done a letter including all the relevant correspondence to my MP. I have spoken to CAB and have to wait now for the actual decision to arrive and then send back my request for them to reconsider and go through all the motions. CAB said once this is done then I can go to them for further help and guidance. Totally exhausted to be honest, and now its all done weirdly today I am feeling rather unwell. I have had my first migraine in ages since last Friday. I suppose its probably the stress. And the last few days my hips have been really painful. So keep watching this space for the ongoing saga. xx

  • After a week of working very hard with my friend yesterday we finally finished our response to the WCA assessement, it was 35 pages long. We also added a nice letter lol, these are being sent by recorded post to ATOS direct. Also, have done a letter to my local MP and enclosed copies of all correspondence to ATOS. And have contacted CAB to get their support for when I go to appeal (which is going to happen) Also sending letters to the MP's who have started an Early Days Motion in parliament regarding these WCA's. If you do decide to put together a line by line document which addresses each part of the WCA (as we did), I would advise that a lot of what they say, you can find in your original esa50 form. However, they do change where about it comes in the form and where it is in the WCA. And they tend to change the wording a bit. So you have to be canny and carefully read all their statements. An example from my WCA is :

    PAGE 10. VISION, SPEECH , HEARING - ACTIVITIY OUTCOMES

    Navigation and maintaining sfety, using a guide dog or other aid if normally used (in the WCA report)

    in the ESA50 form this is actually described under :

    8. GETTING AROUND SAFELY

    Q. Can you see to cross the road on your own.

    Q. Can you get around a place that you haven't been to before without help.

    My answer to both of these was it VARIES. and in the box 'additional information' I explain - 'When extremely anxious, concentration is difficult which makes being in traffic or unfamiliar places very difficult.'

    Now in the WCA the assessor has put : DOES NOT APPLY

    And yet she had a copy of my ESA50 form on the desk infront of her. So, having found many more examples of this throughout my assessment, I can only come to the conclusion, that the ESA50 form is not refered to at all during your assessment or in the assessor's compiling of this report.

    I hope that all makes sense, just another thing to watch out and be aware of if you are putting together your own appeal.

    Good luck everyone and lets all keep on with the battle !!

    Colleen

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