esa dreading it

hi iv been ill for years i spent sevral years in wheel chair luckily im out of it most the time i suffer with alot of illnesses but reading on the net question u will be asked scres me eg when they phone to make apoointment means ur a ware and in good stae of mined

evry day day evry part oif the day is diffrent so if i go for my interveiw on good day im knackerd they dont understand in and outs of illnesses can any one advise iv heard so much on the web and news about these interveiws

23 Replies

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  • Take somebody with you, only describe your worst days, write down how your illness affects your day to day , all the details, a list of all your medications and a list of all your hospital appts and visits and Gp visits, anything you can think of. If you have a facebook account there is a really good site called "fightback " take a look at that, its a charitable organisation and offer lots of advice and information and will accompany you to interview if needed and help you with any questions you have and what to do. Hope this is helpful, if you want to ask me anything else just get in touch with me, and try not to worry. :)

  • thxs mate ill get started on that

  • Hi,

    I have a had a ESA interview and like was dreading it. I actually had a really great understanding lady. I showed her all my doctors letters and explained what consultants I was seeing and all my operations this year. She was very understanding and was helpfull. She also made it easier for me by not having to send my sick note every few weeks. i go back for another assessment in couple months. But if they are happy the will probably do same and you wont have to see them for 4 months. What they are trying to find out is just how they can help and also there are lots of dishonest people out there who are not disabled and are capable of work who are happy to claim benifits they are not intitled to. The lady said she could genuinely see i was unwell. So dont worry about whether your having good day. tell her about the bad days which you cannot control. tell her like all these government benifits your worse day scenario. When you cant walk and cant make it out of bed etc.

    Hope that helps?

    Dont worry.

    Andrea x

  • thxs andrea in the past iv set cooker on fire forgetting its on or days without sleep pain unberable i follow ur advise thxs

  • Be careful , they are not there to help you - they are employed to save the government to save money, my interview went well and the nurse acknowledged all the details l had wrote down and didn't bother with the physical examination as she could see l wasn't fit for it and even recommended l be put into The support Group, but from what l have heard other nurses are not always that understanding so make sure you have all the details they need and take somebody with you, even record the interview on a phone if you can :) I agree their job is to find out who is really eligible to the benefits which is how it should be, but they are also under a lot of pressure to reach their targets and then its the vulnerable sick people that go without. Just remember it is your entitlement.

  • I can understand what ur saying but more i read more i get worried they say some r not rehistered under gmc and to say how somebody is aftet 30 mins its scarey playing on my mind which makes me worse going try take sombody with me iv joined fightback on facebook as advised thankyou

  • Like you l got myself all worked up and made myself ill with worry even though l know l am eligible, my brother came with me and it all turned out well for me, so please try not to worry easier said than done l know. Let me know how you get on and take care :)

  • I'm not sure why assessments are happening every few months, as I thought once a year - but some times appeals mean that the next assessment due not long after appeal.

    to start with get help filling the form out. I find it helps both with getting it right and not freaking me out. I got help from someone trainging in advocy for the disabled through an organisation for artitsts/writers who identify as disabled. probably charities for disabled and mental health issues would be able to help. If I find out anymore about how to contact them I will let you know. Even at the form filling stage you can send a letter from your doctor, it might have your illnesses and medication on andy appointments they are making for you with specialists. Also through the advocy help I found that I could fill the forms in on the computer then print out, which I found very useful.

    My last two applications have been accepted without going on to a face to face interview, which I did have when on income support.

    But as others have said, get someone to go with you. Ask to record the interview. Take your time

    My helper kept saying to me: but can you do that reliably, repeatedly and every day?

  • thxs im taking all advice on board problenm is i always say im alright even when im not my physio always stopping me saying ur npt right same with my doctors if i say that in interview im well

  • an addition - I think Citezen's Advice might help with finding advocacy organisations to support you - maybe even be able to help themselves.

    fightback facebook facebook.com/FightBack4Justice

    fightback freephone: 0800 612 9207 mainly for people who want face to face ESA/DLA/pip or other benefit appeal help only.

  • thank you all help on board fight back got back in touch iv emailed them coz dont understand wrag or essament just say esa medical

  • This blog has usefull advise re filling out the form lupusuk.healthunlocked.com/... In particular this link gives info on how they score your "points" to get ESA direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_d...

    At assesment they will check if what you have said on form is true for example if you say you can not reach they may observe wether you can hang a coat up on a door hook, if you say you can not sit or stand for long periods they may observe how long you do so whilst you are in the waiting room. if you have said your back is painful they may observe wether you bend or twist when signing in to the assesment/ when getting in & out of chairs etc

    It is reasonable to refuse a long phone call re arranging appointments if this fatigues or confuses you ( I always screen my calls by using an answer machine and state on the form that they will have to leave a message or write to me instead)

    It is also reasonable at assessment to refuse to do something that would leave you in pain - for example I refuse to raise my arms above my head or to kneel down, by saying that allthough I physically can, I am in pain to do so and I can not repaetedly do so

    I also make it very clear that I always have some level of fatigue and pain even if on a "good day" and spell out clearly how fatigued/ exhausted physical activity makes me, how much rest I will need for days after the assesment etc.

  • In my written report after my claim for esa, they stated that I walked into the room and was carrying a handbag on my left arm and therefore had no trouble walking or carrying. I don't know how your supposed to get into the room without walking though, unless they can beam me up like star trek! The fact that I limp was never mentioned or the fact that I only have the use of one arm. I find they make you feel all relaxed and talk very kindly to you and then write a load of old bull on their reports. My advice is have it recorded without a doubt. They don't like doing it but they can't refuse you. They also ask how you get to the interview. If you say ina car. then they say you are able to sit for how ever long it takes, if you go on a bus they will say you are capable of using public transport. They will ask if you can lift an empty box, and I think most people would agree that nearly everyone can lift an empty box unless you're completely paralyzed. Trust them not one bit as far as I'm concerned and forewarned is forearmed.

  • thankyou sounds so bad somebody with out medical knowlege can asses u in 30 mins y do we have doctors speilist physio coz what they say the atos panel say diffrent to 100s does that mean doctors etc dont no what there on about

  • I couldn't agree more Paul. Your doctor has been treating you for years and yet their opinion can be overrode by Atos. Also, what annoys me, is that it seems you are penalised for trying to help yourself in any way. You are not allowed to walk, even if you are working towards strengthening your muscles, it seems you are penalised for this. You are not allowed to shop alone, even though for a lot of people, they have no option. They either shop or starve. You are not allowed to use a mobile, or telephone because that means you have no communication problems! Its absolutely disgusting what this government are doing to the disabled. Sorry, had to have a rant :)

  • No i totaly agree unless ur completly paralysed or comatozed is the only way ur classed as disabled if we didnt try r hardest to improve our life and advise ftom our physio foctors r muscle would become usless just coz u answer a phone doesnt mran ur in full control and hold proper conversation

  • I had an interview a few weeks ago I wasn't able to do some of the things the man asked me to do, I took ill during the interview and had to take pills and ask for water, I even fell over a d hurt my back whilst trying to get onto the step to get onto the examination bench yet on the paperwork none of this was mentioned, according to the man I can work some days and therefore scored nill. So I need to find an employer who will allow me to say when I can and can't work.

    It's a joke. My advice would be take someone along and video the interview so when they lie you can show what really happened, that's what I intend doing if I ever apply again.

  • Ok sorry about that its disgusting.

  • Hi Paul

    I agree with much that has already been said, including looking at the Atos point system that you can get from lupus uk. I was clear I fit the criterea and that had me feel better about going.

    Ive had two Atos medicals, after the first I was declined DLA based on the Atos medical, even though their criteria is different. In addition to taking someone with you, have that person carry anything you take, let that person open the doors for you, help you onto the examining bed. All the things that would hurt you on a bad day. If you use a stick, take it along. Do not hurry down the corridor after them, take it at the pace you need not to suffer afterwards.

    Because I was 'misrepresented' in the first medical, (and they put me in the support group). I got indignant and asked for and got the second medical to be sound recorded, Fatique is the grounds for this.

    I was interviewed by a 'disability specialist' who had knowledge of Lupus. When she asked me to raise my arms overhead, I did and said I couldn't repeat or sustain that for long, eg, I wash my hair less as it causes pain. When asked to bend I said it was likely to make me dizzy, she said not to do it. So, don't push yourself, and tell them how it is for you at every opportunity. They asked about shopping, I can't carry things for long or flick though clothes on hangers, in regard to grocery shopping, I now get it delivered and told them that, then my daughter, who was with me, said how unsafe I am now in the kitchen, leaving pots on and cutting myself, I was in catering for manny years and never cut myself. Think about all the ways the Lupus has changed your life and make sure they know about it. If sitting causes you pain, have a little fidget, to get comfy again, don't hold back to look good.

    BTW Atos are leaving me alone for a year since the second medical and I appealed and get low rate personal care DLA.

    Good luck, please let us know how it goes.

    Best wishes Seb

  • Thankyou keep looking for that pointd test thing all makes sensr the sick r being punished hardet snd harder who in yhe right.mind going give us a job soon as they.no ur medical backgtound

  • Hi Paul

    I've got this to come in July. Really understand what you're saying.

    I have had my contract with a local authority terminated through ill health in March.

    My rant is two higher level occupational health doctors/consultant say I am unable to work for the foreseeable future, my gp says I'm not fit for work, my consultant seems vague, but has said CTD possibly Lupus. I am so stressed, can't stop crying in constant pain, and can't think straight.

    Why am having to prove that I can't work when I've lost my job because I can't work? Anyone got the answer?

  • i understand its disgusting as u no the pain can crippel u i struggle get decent sleep

    no one would employ any of us r health varies from real bad to okish

    when people ask how i feel today i always say ok thankyou i no coz its habit i probaly say that at interveiw which is the worse thing i can say dont want sympathy just want as normal life as i cann im lucky my kids are great they do alot for me

    iv had to have vertical lift put in to get uostairs and downstairs wet room so can shower an go toilet

  • Well i have been on JSA and just been sanctioned because they told me everyone has to be physically fit to get JSA so i have had to apply for ESA, just got to get a sick note now, I have had a hell of a week, got problems with my sight this morning has well as facing 6 weeks plus without any money.

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