ESA Medical

Right gang, looks like I'm finally gonna have 2 have 1 of these stupid medical things. Why they can't just take the word of our Doctors, Rheumys, Neuros etc is beyond me. They aint exactly gonna lie as I'm pretty sure it could lead 2 them losing their jobs but there u go.

Is any1 able 2 tell me what 2 expect, the questions they ask, whether they physically examine u or not & whether or not they get u 2 do 'little tasks' 2 assess u're capabilities?

Just really want 2 know what 2 expect as couldn't sleep last nite due 2 worrying about it & I've got 3 weeks 2 go yet lol!

6 Replies

  • Hi Sher, they ask you a lot of question, but all the time the are monitoring, how you sit, if your still and comfortable, if you had problem taking off your shoes/boots etc, how you walked into the room, if you can perform the tasks with ease,

    Do not try to be positive about your condition! I did this the first time, and did everything they asked, even though afterwards I was poorly for days, (I got no points!) they look at what you do there in front of them! If something is hard to do, like bending over! getting onto the bed, taking your coat off, getting on/off the chair, etc then make sure you show that! don't put your brave face on! I am not saying don't be truthful or real, but I know I am learning that I have to be honest with doctors, as I find I am even being positive with my rheumy, and I wasn't till I got up to go in my last visit she said why are you limping, and I said oh its just my dodgy hip!!! She made me sit down again!!! I hope this makes some sense! I have got a right old lupie head on today!! Good Luck :)

  • I went armed with history and a letter from Lupus UK explaining the illness, also took my brother as he used to be a Union Rep for Nalgo so can be outspoken (politely and knowledgeably) l too was very worried and anxious as l am divorced with 5 children. Fortunately l had an understanding nurse, who understood all l was saying and recognised all my medication, she said it wasn't even necessary to do the physical examination and that she was going to reccomend l be added to a support group.Big relief the nurse knew her job.

  • Wish they were all like that, was retired from work 16 years ago on 9 different tablets and explained the pain and fatigue, she didn't want to listen to that. I got 0 points and am now going to appeal, have letter from my rheumy and a really good one from my GP, BUT STILL GOT TO GO TO APPEAL. Hope you get a good nurse. not a retired old spinster like mine. lol xx

  • Write down a list of all your hospital appointments, when she saw all mine , she said you wouldn't be able to work with all those anyway , she was quite sympathetic to my illness, maybe my guardian angel was with me that day. :)Also if the interview goes on for a long time , ask can you complete it another day if it all gets too much for you .

  • I told her about my rhuemotologist, my hip replacement doc, my renial doc and all my tablets, the tiredness, the pain even when I take pain killers, really don't know how she hears what she put in the report. Glad you got a good one Pattismith, and hope you Sher78 get a good one too. I will fight on. lol

  • Hi Sher

    You need to be as prepared you can be for this, I believe they are driven by their statistical agenda, rather than a persons actual ability to work.

    In addition to the above answers, it is worth considering taking someone with you, who knows how it is for you.

    I've had two Atos medicals. the first in Jan 12 and the second in Jan 13. I was turned down for DLA twice between these two medicals. Between these times I filled out a form for Atos.

    At no time did either agency contact my GP who I see fortnightly, and you knows the change and impact lupus has had. I am in the support group.

    In the paperwork with the DLA refusal were the notes from the first Atos medical, If I put it generously my answers were 'mis recorded'. This was upsetting and resulted in a flare which included hair loss.

    I choose to fight the DLA decision. I was awarded low rate personal care at tribunal about 6 weeks ago, at the tribunal they gave me the opportunity to say where the Atos responses were inaccurate. Even asked me why I felt it was important as I had been placed in the support group. I told them, because I had been mis-represented on an official document and the Lupus has had my automony in life, while it has cornered me, I had a better chance of improvement by removing as much stress as possible.

    The tribunal said that even though the criteria for decisions was different, they used the Atos info to inform the DLA decision.

    Determined to have my responses accurately at the second Atos medical I got a letter & the help notes from Paul Howard at Lupus UK. I read the help notes and was clear where and how I fit the criteria. I took my daughter with me and she was also clear about the criteria, this meant when ever I was too positive or forgot something, she stepped in to say how it is for me.

    The letter requested my medical was sound re-corded. That resulted in Atos cancelling two medicals and me turning up for a third, which they also cancelled. Even after my calling to check they had set up the recording kit. On the forth appt. I had the medical with a 'disability specialist', who had some knowledge of Lupus.

    I never received the letter outlining the result, when I telephoned I was told they couldn't re-send the letter! And I was still in the support group, due for reassessment in Jan 14.

    While I don't have confirmation in writing the financial security has lifted a level of stress I didn't fully realise I was under. As I would much rather be working and am well qualified and experienced. for me the certainly that I now have the room to fully focus on my health improving rather than having to remember or notate how bad it can be is great, a much healthier and appropriate road to remission.

    Sorry this is so long, and maybe the DLA stuff doesn't apply to you, but as one influences the other I thought it worth including.

    Good luck x

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