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So how many people are actually aware of the details of the new ESA?

(132 Posts)
CrapBag Mon 15-Apr-13 20:47:33

I have been on Incapacity benefit for a number of years now, for having M.E./CFS and not being able to work. I have just been assessed for the new ESA and have received a letter telling me that I have been placed in the work related activity group and I am expected to attend interviews etc with them looking at getting me back to work. I wrote to tell them I disagree with the decison, they haven't changed it so I need to formally appeal.

I phoned the DWP today to ask them why they have put me in the WRAG as I am not fit for work. She then told me that they have found me unfit for work based on my form and they agreed that I could not work. confused The letter doesn't actually state this.

The bit that really got me was when she said that they could come up with a cure in 2 years time so you can only get ESA in the WRAG for 365 days. Only people with terminal illness go into the support group (according to her). Yes there could be a cure, it could be 10 years away but you can only claim this benefit for 1 year, even though they agree that I am unfit for work. In 1 year my money will stop. She said I may be able to get the income related ESA but I said we don't qualify as my DH has a full time job. She said the government say that you don't need any more money after this. I actually laughed and said that my DHs wages don't cover our outgoings as its not a great paid job (not minimum wage, but by no means a good income). She didn't care obviously.

She said they have passed a new law that means you can only claim ESA for 1 year. But they do agree I am unfit for work, but I still have to attend interviews with a view to looking at returning to work!!!

So for everyone who thinks the government are doing the right thing. No they are bloody not!! A blind person isn't terminally ill, so do they not qualify? People with things like Parkinsons, MS are not terminally ill. Do they only qualify for 1 year as well?

I am so angry right now. angry angry

piratecat Fri 03-May-13 09:41:52


how are you, how did it go?x

piratecat Thu 02-May-13 12:17:34

good luck today let us know how you got on x

ItsYoniYappy Tue 30-Apr-13 12:35:21

Oh I actually feel quite sick at the thought of this now. Nice one ATOS. I am hoping that by some miracle they will look at my file before Thursday and I get a call saying I don't have to go. I know I am dreaming. I've wrote out the points I'm looking for and a few examples next to it.

ItsYoniYappy Tue 30-Apr-13 12:33:42

Mine was full of nonsense piratecat I wonder if they have my files mixed up but then I didn't have PTSD last June, I filled in my form in Feb 2012.

piratecat Tue 30-Apr-13 09:53:04

i got a copy of my esa85, with the full report. i rang to get it, but they wouldn't send it to me unless i wrote for it. f**ckers

ItsYoniYappy Tue 30-Apr-13 08:12:28

I was thinking the same Jackie obviously I know what points/descriptors I have met but I would like to see how it has been worded.

I seen a sheet yesterday for the descriptors for support group and meant to copy it to , I will go googling again today

JackieOHHH Mon 29-Apr-13 20:26:55

You can request the dwp send you copies of what they've got...
When I've applied for anything I've photo copied everything I've sent them, as they are renowned for losing forms.
I'd request it if I were you, ring them and ask for a copy of your form, it's also invaluable for when you re -apply or renew as you can see what you've written previously.

ItsYoniYappy Mon 29-Apr-13 20:01:39

DLA being allowed from 13/04/13

Gah keyboard issues

ItsYoniYappy Mon 29-Apr-13 19:52:37

Form was to be in by 10/04/13

CAB only appointment was 10/04/13

DLA being allowed from 1/04/13

Not been allowed the 28/2-12/4 - but if they get my letter (which seems to have crossed path with this one) explaining why my claim was late.

Anything is a bonus juts now tbh

ItsYoniYappy Mon 29-Apr-13 19:49:53

That doesn't make sense I will check my calander grin

Mr brain is like a sieve

ItsYoniYappy Mon 29-Apr-13 19:48:56

Unfortunately me being me, I didn't realise the form had to be in by a certain date (and felt I hadn't not a chance in hell tbh) so the form came on 28/02 and was to be back by 15/04, by the time I called CAB to advise them I had the form, I couldn't get a home visit until 15/03 so CAB said they would put a note in explaining why the application was late. They didn't, so I called to explain - DLA will look at it again but money is being started from 15/4/13 through to 12/04/15. 4 weekly (I think).

So they received it on the 17/04/13. Last week I had 3 letters one asking why DLA form was late and saying they would not proceed until they heard back.

Another letter saying they were writing to my CPN (I enclosed my ESA letter)

Final letter saying I would hear in approximately 8 week. confused

This isn't the new form, CAB wanted to get the form is asap as 'new forms' (PIP) were starting this month. Could you ask CAB Piratecat? I know it's terrible but I have no idea what she wrote on the form, she just asked me lots of questions.

My Mum and Dad are taking me on Thursday. Tbh it's not the best option but the only option.

piratecat Mon 29-Apr-13 18:03:36

Yoni that's good about the DLA, did you only just fill it in the other day?

I wonder if there is any point me trying. Or was it the new PIP you applied for.

You could take that award notice with you to the tribunal. Have you worked out how you will get there yet?

JackieOHHH Mon 29-Apr-13 17:33:37

Your DLA will start from the date you first claimed, so if it was a while ago it'll be a nice payment for you!

It's more evidence for your ESA appeal, not a huge help, but it's definatley a step in the right direction.

ItsYoniYappy Mon 29-Apr-13 14:28:14

Well some good news, I have been awarded DLA, mobility and care lower rates. No idea when it starts, wish this could get me out of ESA appeal but it seems not

ItsYoniYappy Mon 29-Apr-13 06:35:48

Lola that's just terrible, does the Blind Person Tax help at all?

I'm forgetting my appeal for today (hopefully) it's making me ill and I cannot change it,i.e. not go at all, so I need to quit worrying about things I cannot change.

ItsYoniYappy Sun 28-Apr-13 17:27:00

Thank JackieOOH That makes sense, if they changed time and venue I couldn't deal with it. I would have to have them cancel if they made a change and possibly go up on even more medication if the appeal date was to be pushed to May.

I will read the rest of the thread in a minutes, I'm off to give myself a shake.

My parents tell me to do this weekly.

Still have PTSD. They don't understand you 'cannot shake it off'! Tbh I have been doing things I don't do, i.e counting out pills in my head and thinking if I'm not here I don't have to deal with this.

Thankfully that's my feeling sorry self part of brain. My lone parent bit kicks in after that and tells me to quit it! Dc need me.

Lolapink Sun 28-Apr-13 16:12:00

Thank you nutraxfornerves. I hadn't heard of this. Crisp bag no we don't have an advocate to be honest I have given up fighting the system. My husband lost his cane the other day that was £70 for a new one, they aren't free. He also pays £40 an hour for mobility lessons. Luckily I have a guide dog which means my mobility is free.

NutraxForNerves Sun 28-Apr-13 16:00:39

Lolapink - Blind Person's Tax Allowance:

CrapBag Sun 28-Apr-13 15:55:56

Lola thats dreadful.

My advocate was talking to my nan at one point and the subject of my cousin came up, who is blind and doesn't work. He doesn't get the highest rate of benfits but apparently he should. My advocate told me to tell my cousin that he can help him and he should get in touch.

Isn't there someone who you can try and get in touch with, like an advocate and they can give you so much more help and information than you can find out yourself? He told me things that I didn't know about and his help is proving invaluable.

Lolapink Sun 28-Apr-13 15:52:00

Crapbag, can I just clarify one of your points. My husband and I are both blind he works full time. I lost my job before he moved in I had to claim job seekers allowance I wasn't even eligible for incapacity benefit. So very much doubt I would get ESA. My husband moved in 16 months ago, and because he works full time we are eligible for nothing.

CrapBag Sun 28-Apr-13 15:32:42

Oh he also told me to wait until I have the GPs letter and send it with my appeal as he said it is likely they won't match it with my paperwork and it will just get lost if I send it later.

CrapBag Sun 28-Apr-13 15:31:14

Soda I have just had my DLA reviewed as it is coming to the end of the peroid that I got it for. I got lowest rate care and I have been awarded the same again for an indefinite period. I think they have put that as they know it will be PIP from now on but I have just got in under the old DLA system.

Its a shame really as they have pointed out many things in the letter that I need help with but it isn't quite enough to give me anymore than the lowest rate care. They admitted that I walk slowly but it isn't enough to give me anything for mobility.

I asked my advocate about a supporting letter from DH and he said there is no point as the tribunal won't look at it. They would expect my DH to say whatever that supports me anyway which is what I thought. He did tell me to include the treatment I am about to get for my depression and the fact that my GP is referring me for GET. He said it helps to show them that I am trying things.

He also told me to use the word repeatedly a lot in my statement as I really have to get them to understand that doing any activity repeatedly is going to make me worse. He said I should put in about the emotional aspects of having this illness and how it makes me feel, he was reading through what I had already done and things I had out about looking after the children. He also said back up things you say with actual examples. Like if I am trying to use a sharp knife in the kitchen and I am having brain fog, I have dropped the knife before due to my clumsiness and it landed point down inches from my foot, stuff like that but he stressed use real examples.

JackieOHHH Sun 28-Apr-13 15:05:42


JackieOHHH Sun 28-Apr-13 15:05:08

You need to think about those statements above....
It sounds to me like you fit a) or b)... This is where benefits & work helped me, they help you to put that question into context for your day.
For instance on Thursday what would it do to you if they rang & changed the time or venue of your appeal? Yes you'd be pissed off but you don't get points for that, would it mean your day was made significantly harder or would it mean something even worse?
Answer the question honestly & be prepared to have to explain your newer as best you can.

ItsYoniYappy Sun 28-Apr-13 11:01:45

I cannot stop thinking about Thursday. I keep panicking then crying, my boys will be back soon so I will hopefully I can stop thinking about it. She kept reading out the following to me but I cannot think straight, I don't do change, moving house lead me to get PTSD but I have to forget that and think back to last year. confused

14. Coping with change

a) Cannot cope with any change to the extent that day to day life cannot be managed. 15

b) Cannot cope with minor planned change (such as pre-arranged change to the routine time scheduled for a lunch break), to the extent that overall, day to day life is made significantly more difficult. 9

c) Cannot cope with minor unplanned change (such as the timing of an appointment on the day it is due to occur), to the extent that overall, day to day life is made significantly more difficult. 6

d) None of the above apply 0

They don't apply as I don't make appointments, if the appeal was cancelled (an example) I would be majorly pissed off and tell them I'm not going. They can come see me.

I actually feel sick. I have to feel like this until Thursday. Argh! CAB filled out my DLA form, I don't care if I get it, I'm not pushing it. I don't even know what the form said. I just answered questions and by the time she had left she had spoke to me about my appeal, my debt, my DLA, some place I have been referred to and I didn't know if I was coming or going by the time she left.

Information overload. I also sent my MP a stinking letter about ATOS and how unwell they are making me and how their system stinks... in attempt to not go to this a appeal and he showed them it. I'm terrified.

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