Last October my IB was changed to ESA, and I was placed in WRAG group. My doctor at the time agreed that it was unlikely that I would be capable of holding down a job. In fact coming to terms with the idea that I would never work again has been a tough one for me. Initially I kept applying for jobs, submitting my old CV which laid claims to skills I no longer have, and tasks I am no longer capable of. I would attend interviews, wondering how on earth I'd manage if offered the job.
Through counsellors, I have eventually given up applying, though am still coming to terms with 'not working' as it is against every idea I was brought up with.
On advice I appealed the WRAG decision, believing I would have support. I went to CAB, who dragged their heels and eventually contacted my doctor for supporting evidence in January. Alas the doctor who knows about my condition and was supporting me, had left the practice in December, and the doctor who replied (Head of Practice) hadn't seen me in years, so his answers to their questions was not favourable. He agreed that I have Fibro and am suffering 'chronic widespread pain'. He also went on to say that it could be managed. There was no reply from the counsellor, who has since gone on maternity leave.
On receiving the doctor's reply, CAB contacted me to say that without his supporting evidence, I did not have a strong enough case and they would only take cases they believed had a good chance of succeeding at tribunal, so they would not be supporting me further.
I have been wondering what I could do since.
Today I have received a letter giving me the date for the Tribunal Hearing on 16th May. They have asked me to submit any further supporting evidence, but I haven't any.
I have been given various aids for around the house, including a door step, stair rail, stools and a bath chair etc. I have attended a Pain management Course, Pain Clinic and now an Extensive Physiotherapy course.
Last week I was sent to see a new counsellor, she agreed that I am not depressed and mentally am coping reasonably well with the fibro. So apart from referring me to a support group and yet another course, which will be similar to the PM course, but this time just with Fibro patients, there isn't much more she personally could do for me. She did ask how I felt about not being able to return to work, so is aware of the situation. However I have seen her only once and won't be seeing her again until end of May, so unlikely to get a letter from her.
I feel I have nothing further to offer and am panicking at the thoughts of this appeal. I don't feel I have a hope in hell of being placed in support group as things stand. I am not being pressured to attend Work Focussed Interviews, though of course that situation could change. I do wonder if at my age (almost 60) if it is even worth going ahead with the appeal? or if I should cancel it and carry on as I am, and so avoid the stress.
ANY advice whatsoever would be most appreciated.