I am a member of Benefits&Work and was looking for up-to-date ESA manuals to download as I got the preliminary letter from the DWP today
I downloaded the Fibromyalgia.doc on their site and I have heard how the DWP 'perceive' fibromyalgia and while some of the stuff was OK, I was beyond shocked to find a sub-heading marked 'Malingering' and of course all the stuff about the biopsychosocial model which has been used in the US to deny disabled people their health insurance payouts. No wonder people with fibromyalgia get a raw deal.
I have mental health issues (eg anxiety, social and agoraphobia etc) as well as fibro but so many of the symptoms of fibro are mental AS WELL as physical eg fatigue and cognitive skills just as many mental health problems are physical AS WELL eg IBS, breathing, palpitations etc. Using new ESA criteria on fibromyalgia, if you state that it is 'mental' they have got you in a bind by saying 'see, it's all in their heads' whereas if you say it is physical a lot of the descriptors won't apply so you're in a no-win situation more than ever before.
I am incensed that there's a paragraph on malingering. Do they say that about all conditions or are people with fibromyalgia especially singled out to deny us our entitlements?
I tried to upload the document but can't. Sorry folks!