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ESA Medical

Discussion in 'Social Security / Disability Benefits' started by Fiona30ni, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Fiona30ni

    Fiona30ni Registered

    Hi
    I have had Lupus now for just over 10 years and 2010 has been my worst year. Was in hospital for 2wks in July and been off work from January. Been claiming ESA and had to fill in ESA50 Medical questionaire. Now have been asked to come for a Medical next week. Does anyone out there have any experiance in dealing with this as you know Lupus has it;s good days and bad.
     
  2. daisy246

    daisy246 Registered

    Hi Fiona,

    Have only just seen your thread and want to wish you luck with the appointment if you haven't had it yet.

    Daisy
     
  3. nitediva

    nitediva Registered

    Hi

    Not wanting to alarm ou in any way but the assessments are quite tough here is a part of a post I have posted on this subject before.

    I am in the process of the initial assessment, I have sent off my "form" and waiting to be called for a "medical" I know someone who used to be one of the assessors and he has given me an insight into what happens. It is a number crunching excercise You on cctv from the moment you pull up in the car park whilst you are waiting in the waiting room and everywhere else.....talk about big brother watching you.

    If i should fail the "medical" which is not a medical but a functional assessmemnt then i will be taken off sick pay and put on to jobseekers which has run out for me as I am not entitled to income based JSA

    So I can truly empathise with you and understand the added stress of finances when this condition is exaserbated (sp) by stress and living conditions.

    L xx

    ps

    If you would like more informtion please PM me and i will be happy to take ou through what infomation i have

    L x
     
  4. cally

    cally Registered

    I have been to a similar type medical and I can only give you a little advice:

    Make sure you take any walking aids with you and use them from the moment you get out the car. If you have trouble driving make sure someone drives for you. Remember that you might be having a good day but it might be the case that the other 6 days out of the week are awful. So I would always act as if it is my 'average' day. If you can't normally write well, open a tin, etc then don't try and force yourself for the sake of the assessment.

    I hope it goes well for you,

    Cally xx
     
  5. Em1

    Em1 Registered

    Hi
    Let us know how it went today, I know you were worried!
    xx
     
  6. greenhaggis

    greenhaggis Registered

    Hmmm, I'm not sure I would act as my average day as on dissability forms you are supposed to say what you are at your worst, even though they don't explain that on the forms in advance thats is what you should put down as your written statement of health !

    I would also remember the oldest trick on the book....do not fall for it please! If a pencil, pen, paper, book etc falls on the floor....'do not not go to pick it up your self...especially if it is the assessor that has done the dropping....they are often waiting to see if you can bend and pick up an object with ease!!!' always and and I do mean always ask someone else to pick something up for you as you are unable due to pain...and make sure you tell them the reasons why!

    If they can film you on CCTV with out prior knowledge (not sure theat legal) and use it as a case history, then go for it with your own ammunition as long as it is legal.

    Good luck :)
     
  7. daisy246

    daisy246 Registered

    Hi Fiona, Just wondering how your medical went. Have you heard yet? Daisy
     
  8. Fiona30ni

    Fiona30ni Registered

    Thanks greenhaggis for the advice.
     
  9. Fiona30ni

    Fiona30ni Registered

    just to let you know had medical today and was not as bad as i thought. Dr was ok said i was on enough drugs to tell anyone i was ill but time will tell. Will know outcome in 3-4 weeks
     
  10. daisy246

    daisy246 Registered

    Hi Fiona, Glad you think it went ok. Sounds like you had a sensible doctor which will certainly make the wait before learning the outcome much more bearable. There have been so many horror stories on five live phone in shows recently that your experience is quite heartening. Hope it turns out well.
     
  11. Ooohmekneeshurt

    Ooohmekneeshurt Registered

    Fiona,

    Get ready for a rollercoaster. I've been through the ESA system twice. I jest not, the first time nearly killed me. Not because the 'interview' was tough, it was not a medical, but the administration was woeful. My view is that the 'medics' are there to STOP you getting the benefit, and you have to be very VERY careful about what you say. There is no doubt in my mind that they try to catch you out. So DONT say your condition varies, as one day you might not be able to walk, but the next you might be able to walk 200m without stopping. They will only put down the 200m, and ignore the fact its a good day; thus you will lose 6 points on that question alone.

    It is a points sytem based on your abilities; 15+ points and your claim should be approved. I would not suggest anyone puts things down they dont suffer, but you do need to consider your conditions on a bad day. Also, it really is easy to fall into the trap of forgetting how you ended up doing things that previously you did differently before. I no longer eat potatos or carrots etc, because I cannot peal them, so its only rice or pasta. I can no longer kneel down.
    One forgets about the little things,............ SO DONT.

    My original claim they said scored only 6 points, and so I did not qualify; without changing anything I showed them my score (on their system) was well over 30; plus they had ignored some pertinant issues; like luekopenia. I must have had bad 'medics' (I actually seriously doubt one had any qualifications) they had no idea on some of the Dx or ther meds.
    I have pulmonary fibrosis they actually said that I'd be cured from this and other issues within 3 months AND put it in writting to me. As many know here, its an incurable and progressive disease. I have a shed more other issues which they ignored or played 'stupid' on. My consultant was embarrised as its a very poor refelection on the profession.
    I appealled, got all the medical support evidence I could,.................. and then they did not even turn up to the Tribunal Hearing.

    All of this was considerably stressful, and had a direct adverse affect on my health, worse still,this took nearly 12 months to sort out and during that time I had no benefit from them. I had to borrow to live, and I have a child living with me.

    I'd love to sue them, but I'd get nowhere. I'd love to tell them how to treat disabled people, but would they listen?

    All I will say is be honest, tell them in detail about what you can and cannot do, get the medical references to support your Dx; and hope that you get treated better than I did.

    I have to say, at the moment I am sick with worry about all of these public spending cuts. Even with the benefits I get, I will have days when I have to turn off my heating for many hours a day. I cannot afford to heat and eat; and of course I know that a lack of either opens me up to even greater risk than those I have with the several Dx I already have. Its only November and I will not be out of the woods until April.
    But I am frightened about what may be ahead for me once these cuts bite in.
     
  12. TracyJN

    TracyJN Registered

    You're not alone with your worries; I have had to cut my working hours again so I now only do 16.5 hours a week which allows me to work a day then rest a day. The whole situation with reforming benefits etc is frightening and as we all know often people with our type of illnesses don't look sick and sometimes have good days. All this worry must make our health worse. So unfair.
     
  13. Fiona30ni

    Fiona30ni Registered

    Got my result from medical, Passed but have been put into the Work Related Group which means having to attend work focus interviews which I do not think I am up to as the stress would flare up the lupus and I cannot guarantee an employer good attendance. Was thinking of appealing any advice anyone.
     
  14. TracyJN

    TracyJN Registered

    Hi Fi, on the one hand I am glad you passed but on the other hand it's not such good news, not that I fully understand the new system yet! Could you get a letter from your GP supporting your appeal? x
     
  15. KarenM

    KarenM Registered

    Hi Fiona

    I am glad that you did manage to at least pass the medical. The work related activity group, is I believe limited to one year, then you are moved over to Job Seekers Allowance, work related group I believe you have to attend 6 interviews, if you fail to attend, without good reason, I think they stop the benefit. I have read somewhere that you are allowed sick days. Bear in mind this group is aimed to get you back into work. This is just my very loose understanding on it. If you wish to appeal, you need to act quickly, you only get a month to appeal from date of your decision letter. I can tell you that when my turn comes I will vigorously oppose any decision other to be placed in the support group. I was retired from job because the company doctors deemed me unfit to carry out any employment, and this was before my diagnosis. I would advise you get advice from a Welfare Rights Specialist if you are considering appealing.
     

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