Esa Appeal

I had a spinal operation in 2012 and since have pain in back neck legs and arms. I also have discs degenerated in my neck and the pain is getting worse. I was on ESA and medical retired in November 2013 due to my pain. I was awarded PIP enhanced disability and standard mobility on the grounds that I could not walk more than 50 meters. They have taken me of ESA and placed me in the work related activity group and because I was on contribution based ESA. My payments have now ceased. Got my PIP on not walking more than 50 meters. I went to medical for my ESA it was awful. The said my evidence was not reliable and he stated that I could walk 100 meters but no more than 200 meters. I disagreed with his findings and was taken to a tribunal where they said my evidence was unreliable bearing in mind I was advised at PIP of how many meters I could walk and what aids I could get for the house. The tribunal was awful felt as though I was on trial not an appeal. I was asked how far I could walk and I told him I can walk no more than 50 meters with support of my husband or my family. I cannot go our with out the car as walking is to much for me. They kept asking me question after question. They stated that I had exaggerated about my disability. My grandson was very ill in hospital the week I had my tribunal so when I look back on the outcome it looked as though I had lied but I had not. My mind was all over the place and had no sleep days before the tribunal. Was advised they would keep me on the work related activity and I could not work and they would still pay my stamp but I will receive no benefit. Really dont know what else I can do being advised nothing I can do. It is really getting on top of me know. How can they say I have exaggerated my disability. I live with it on a daily basis.

8 Replies

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  • Hi Lippsy

    So sorry to read of your stressful experience with an ESA Tribunal. It's awful the way they make you feel!.

    I can only advise that you contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau because they will sort out for you why your money has been stopped and advise you what you can do now you've had the Tribunal and Medical. There's time for you to go or at least phone them before the Xmas hols. If you go take all your paperwork with you and they'll help with it all. Good LuckX

  • Hi biopsy hope your feeling better I am in a similar position to your self with similar spinal pproblems esa was refused after medical we went to appeal similar experience to you amounted to pure bullying I went to appeal with the help off the local welfare rights people and the next step after she studied to appeal report and listened to the recording off tribunal she is taking my case to higher level appeal on points off law she believes iffy I had went to welfare rights at the start I would have got esa first shot.

    However as I am now 63 year old she advised me to claim other things and with my private pension at enhanced rate I am now officially retired . G

  • it's irrelevant how far you can walk. I am a wheel chair user , severe dexterity issues and hearing impaired. They put me to tribunal too , but I was quicker out than in. However, I do work, be it from home on the computer . I chose to be in the work related activity group, hoping I could land a better paid job, alas, I am not seen as a full employer. I managed to land several interviews on my skills and CV not a single offer though for no one sees beyond my wheelchair and some even broke the law by not accepting me on the interview day just because I am severely disabled. The fact that I have a PhD and speak Several languages is good enough to land an interview, but mostly recruitment agencies are very much against putting disabled people forward. They know that 9 out of 10 we won't be hired out of presumptuous attitudes and thus they don't get their fees.

    It will all come down to what your education is prior to your disability. If you did work that involved physical input you might not be able to work, if you have some skills you can use like me from your bed on a laptop, there is work out there , be it very rare and seriously underpaid.

    I think what is necessary is that you show that you have tried to do something and have failed to achieve a satisfactory income. Whatever they threaten you with , you cannot be forced into labour that medically isn't possible and that worsens your financial situation. IN the work related group they will look at your situation, try to see if there is anything they can help you with and write your CV. They will make sure that whatever suitable position is paid sufficiently and protect you against abuse and discrimination.

    I seriously advise you to join them. It's only 6 months. If it appears they cannot help you after 6 months it ends. The work related group is a once /week 30 minutes appointment with friendly advisors. Nothing to be afraid about. I was gutted it ended they helped me with training mock interviews, revising my CV, looked actively for suitable positions and even contacted employers to have a chat prior to the interview so they knew what to expect when I rolled in.

    Hope this helps.

    S

  • I've already been down that road once and lost at Tribunal Lippsy so completely sympathise. It can be a horrific, absolutely brutal process. I cannot stress enough the one chance you have now of getting the decision overturned is to obtain an Occupational Therapy Report and re-apply. If you have a sympathetic Rheumatologist he or she might refer you to one via the NHS - if not, engage one privately. May cost £400 - £600 but will be the best money you ever spent. OTs assess you in your own home typically during 3 visits of about 45 mins each. Sounds daunting but in fact is not at all and mostly question/answer-based. Since they're the ONLY health professionals qualified to assess your physical capabilities and needs - and the only ones to do so in your domestic setting - DWP finds it impossible to argue with or dismiss their findings. You may also be eligible for a number of disability aids to help you with personal care and stuff around the house. These are generally supplied free by Social Services following your OT assessment.

    I've posted this advice before and, to anyone who immediately feels like replying they can't afford or find the fees for a private OT Report, I reply in advance "Can you afford not to?" when balanced against the permanent loss of benefits to which you're entitled if genuinely severely disabled.

  • Hi, I am in the same situation. I was given 15 points at tribunal and put in the wrag group, this was in May 2012.I sent a letter of protest as I was not in a fit state to take anything in at tribunal. They said that I could only complain if the judge had made a technical error. In August the same year I had my one and only interview at the job centre, where it was decided I needed to concentrate on managing my condition ( fibro, cfs and arthritis.) When I asked the man interviewing me if I should be in the support group he said no and that it was just for people who can not even get out of bed. I had had enough of all the stress of the whole process and decided to leave it.

    After being without my benefit for 18 months and struggling financially I decided that I should write explaining that I though I had been treated unfairly and that I wanted to be assessed. A week later the dreaded form arrived and was due to be returned by 23rd of December.

    A few days before the form arrived I was hit with the worst flareup of my cfs and was unable to do anything about the form till a week ago. I started to fill it in myself as I could not receive any help from welfare rights as they were short staffed so was passed on to CAB who gave me advice over telephone yesterday morning (22nd). I became too fatigued to fill out any more so my daughter did the rest. Had to post it special delivery yesterday. I am trying not to become too stressed about it be it needed to be done. If I were you send maybe wait a while and then ask to be reassessed. Someone else hopefully will have a better idea. x

  • Thank you for your answer. Just feel as though banging my head against a brick wall. I had scored 15 point at my medical. I have problems with my back shoulders and arms legs. I have received my PIP on the grounds that i can walk no more than 50 meters but the ESA say I can walk 100 to 200 meters. I have received my paper work from the tribunal and it said my statement was unreliable and that I had put it on about my disability. I live with my pains everyday. Because my husband is working but on the sick at the moment I cannot receive the income based ESA and cannot claim any benefit as it goes back on my husbands work from last year. Dont know weather to leave it till after Christmas and then reapply. Spoke to someone from the civil rights department which were not very helpful. Thanks again for your response

  • This is right , the only way you can appeal against them is if they have made a mistake in law or you can proved they haven't looked at all of the information prided at the time.

    your only hope is to wait for 6 months to apply again, but have the help from the experts. Don't forget the questions ask for you at you worse. To be honest with you , its a case never mind how degrading it sounds you have to them how things are. don't sugar coat it.

    Its like they get off on lessoning to people degrading them selfs.

    A few years ago I went from getting full DLA to the lowest level. The reason for losing it was I had a major stroke and lost 50% of my brain , sight and a bit of left side.

    Nowadays they put me in ESA work group with assistance and I have got go my DLA back up to full benefit as I can sleep for days and can't be woke up.

    You have to remember they want everyone off all benefits. REMEBER the lady in hospital who had been fighting for DLA last year. They turn down because there was nothing wrong with her, They were still saying the same as she was taking her last breaths laid in that hospital bed.

    THE ONLY WAY FORWARD IS A LONG ONE, ITS TO FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU DESERVE. BUT EMAIL AND SEND LETTER TO PEOPLE MATTER. THIS IS HOW THEY TAKE NOTICE.

    If 1 person wrote a letter to his MP it would help , But if that 1 person wrote to the PM it would get notice more. But if that 1 person wrote to the Queen then it would get even notice more. She is still head of the state.

    jeff

  • Thank for your feedback. Sorry haven't answered you. Haven't been to well with back and neck. I am getting worse with back and neck. But once again thank you.

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