Anyone claimed ESA?

Hi everyone,

We've just put in a claim for employment and support allowance for my son. He's making great progress after 6 months in rehab but there's no way he can go back to work yet.

We think he should get it but have read loads of horror stories about the benefit and now we're really worried he might not get it!

Has anyone got any tips for us? Any stories good or bad would be really helpful!!

20 Replies

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  • I wish you luck in the process.

    Lessons learned:

    Arrange an appointment time for them to phone you to complete the form.

    Always answer referring to the worst day scenario

    Stress that all treatments, appointments, physio etc are ongoing and in the long term

    For the medical assessment you will need to remind them on making the appointment that you are a 'head injury' 'client' and then you must see a doctor and not a nurse.

    I failed to get ESA when i filled my own forms in, when they completed it for me I was successful. Not only did I get ESA but I was also put in the support group.

  • Good luck! As previous poster said always answer as worst case scenario. Also have you applied for DLA?

    We too had a nightmare with ESA 4 years on and my husband is still not ready for work. We still have lots of hospital appointments and specialist involvement yet ESA have refused us benefit.

    We are on Appeal at the moment after having 3 medicals. We are in a bit of a circle. Have medical...fail...appeal....win....another medical due ....fail.....appeal etc... Its very frustrating!

    Once again good luck not only with ESA.

  • hi try this web site they are good at helping i pay to be a member and they have a lot of info on how to appeal

    benefitsandwork.co.uk/

    its made up of ex doctors solicitors and social workers

  • Just started on this, i will have a look at the site thank you, good advice.

  • my daughter never got as far as a job, her tbi was when she was 15 just about to take gcse's with high expectations from teachers for very good grades. she didnt get to take them, lost the ability to learn and in her words lost everything she worked so hard for. she now suffers extreme fatigue, headaches and the inability to cope with new people and situations due to her may cognitive problems. she was allowed ESA for about a year then on the 2nd medical it was taken off her. we now support her as i will not put her through the stress of appeals on top of all she already deals with. its so unfair, what employer is ever going to hire someone who maybe too headachy or exausted to come in to work for part of every week but cant even say which days these will be. the system is a joke and the doctors used obviously do not understand the nature of a tbi. ok iv had my rant. good luck to those of you who decide to battle the system

  • spiralling up you dont say why youre not getting esa.....i dont get esa because mine is contrbutions related, and prior to my stroke i had 2 mature caterachts which kept me off work ( my stroke was on the18th as i was due to get the all clear from the eye clinic on the 20th ) ,

    when i came to apply again i hadnt paid enough ni, so i couldnt even get the basic esa.....

    steve

  • Hi Lizzybizzy,

    I claim DLA and ESA. I was lucky with mine as when i was in rehab they helped me fill in my form for DLA so i copied most of it onto the new form. They phoned me once just to confirm some things and i was awarded it about 1 month later my statutory sick pay ran out.

    Hope this helps and good luck

  • My husband gets DLA and ESA. He was in the support group for ESA for two years then earlier this year after I completed his latest medical assessment he was put into the WRAG (Work related activity group...in which ESA can only be claimed for 365 days). We appealed the decision with the help with our local advice centre, with the outcome that he is now back in the support group for two years. At no stage has he ever had a medical! For the appeal I printed off the fact sheets from the Headway site and highlighted all the problems the brain injury caused him. He also has epilepsy so I sent info about the drugs he is on and their side effects. I think you do need to try and get help to do the forms and also don't assume the reader of the form has knowledge of brain injury. I wish you luck but do try and if it gets refused go to appeal, many decisions are overturned at appeal.

  • Thank you so much to everyone for your comments, they're really useful! I'll be making a telephone appointment to do the form and looking into getting some help locally. Also just rang to get the form for DLA - thanks for the suggestion! Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly :) :)

  • Hi, I had my accident June 2012 I was very severe, I had no problem on ESA but after about 4 months they referred me to a 'specialist' not quite sure if it was persfically head injury specialists but it was someone who made a description to take me of it for the only 5mins he saw he with my head injury, it happened to be a good day for me in light, which to this day is a problem! My parents just started funding me till I was able to get out and about myself, but yes I still have to problems they will give him it for so many months then called in! Not fair to those who are on ESA and have no seriouse problems

  • Hi, i agree with all the above comments but i would also suggest that you provide as much supporting evidence eg, Rehab consultants letters, neuropsychology, etc. These should be sent off with yourt first initial forms that you fill in.

    Also dont be scared of asking an advocacy service to help if need be.

  • the process is long winded and requires lots of form filling nd patience my mp advised me taht the assessors questions are designed to catch frauidulent claims so expect lots of questions especially personal ones some designed to catch you out keep calm no use getting angry but they can back date 6 months and pay

  • Hi, We got ESA for our son earlier in the year,it was a bit complicated,and took ages to get, but they did backdate it,and after the first 2 'sick notes' from the doctor,they said Andrew was in the system until August next year,and won't require any till then. We don't know when Andrew will be able to work again,he may never be able to return to building work,which was what he was doing,but we'll cross that bridge later! I do hope you find the ESA process easy and good luck!

  • The ESA test or witch hunt is not fit for purpose ... its run on a point system, and in there own words its ment to fail people .. i dont know how any of them can sleep at night .. so the way i look at it they want points give them enough to put you on ESA

    tameside.gov.uk/esa/wca

  • I claimed ESA, at my first medical I got 12 points but needed 15 to get paid for the 365 days so I appealed & won. I just completed my 2nd medical where I got 0 points despite very little change in a couple of areas of health. I am now appealing again. I won't get paid ESA as I've had my year but they will pay my NI if I am still in the WRAG. To me its a matter of principle as the medical was a sham, the dr concerned only partially reported what I told him & refused to discuss some issues as he had his own agenda to complete.

    Don't be afraid to appeal if you don't get granted esa after the first medical, the appeal process although stressful was much more compassionate & only took 5 mins in my case!!

  • the Doctor who did my assesment at home was the same..EG i was alone caring formyself... my carer was upstairs because she thouhgh they may be personal questions. he missed lots of points out . The point is HOW CAN YOU FAKE A BRAIN INJURY!??? Around me a know 3 people who are frauding the system. saying they have disabilities when they dont.... so angers me. How can we work if we cannot remember what we are told.doh...

  • I think the best places to get help with your financial needs, is either citizen advice centres, also headway are very good with helping you to get on the right track with this,i would suggest starting with headway helpline, where you can talk to somone and get advice, without having to make lots of

    appointments, to see lots of differant people.

    I wish you lots of luck with this.

    deedeex xx

  • I became ill while there was still incapacity benefit, but had major problems with my employer who did not accept I was ill. After two years of harrasment from my employer I went along to see my MP, who was so shocked at my story he wrote to my employer (local authority) expressing his concern, follwoing week I was offered early retirement and compensation along with a letter of apology My experiance is hidden disabilities are often ignored or discounted

  • lizzybizzy a wee bit of practical advice th rules for esachange on 3 dec relative to back t work interviews it is important to attend any interviews one is asked to failure to do will stop all benefits i myself am totally incapable of working but attend i will total waste of time but better to comply neil

  • I've just won my appeal, 0 points to the support group. When i read what the doc had written in my medical it did not reflect me or my situation at all. Firstly i guess without Citizens advice i would have been completely lost and never managed to even fill out the initial ESA 50... so get them to help you fill out your forms, Secondly since my medical i've heard you can have the medical recorded, this should help prevent the doctors report misrepresenting your condition. Next APPEAL if you disagree, and make sure you turn up to your appeal. Get evidence form all medical professionals dealing with your case, i put in clinical letters from the neurologist, got my doc to write a 'to whom it may concern, podiatry, physio, pain & fatigue clinic, all of the correspondence with oc health through work, a letter from my Councillor as well as copies of letters recommending social services support etc... it is a complete mine field to get through, but the exceptional circumstances rule definitely applies to brain injury victims, so you just need to prove that your condition will be worsened if you were to go back to work. I hope you have an easier road through than i did x

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