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ESA assessment woes

(2 Posts)
Shambolical1 Mon 13-Nov-17 23:50:27

I have, amongst other things, secondary progressive MS (diagnosed 1986; I carried on working till autumn 2007 when I got a nasty virus which kicked my health onto a downward slope). I migrated from IB indefinite award to ESA (support group) without issue and last year migrated from DLA indefinite award to PIP, also without issue - though it was a very stressful process - next assessment due in ten years.

For the first time I've been called to a face to face interview for ESA, and I am completely terrified. It was a shock to get the call as I'd understood 'they' were no longer assessing people with lifelong progressive illnesses; it seems, however, that this was just pre-election bluster. As it's only been a year since the change to PIP, too, there's a big sense of 'Oh no not again'.

Initially they wanted me to go to a corner of London which would have involved getting to local station, train to terminus, getting from terminus to underground and getting from underground to assessment centre. This would be virtually impossible for me so I have rearranged it to take place at a suburban centre I can get to more easily by car.

Any trust I had in the integrity of the assessors has been eroded over the past couple of years with reports of ridiculous, obviously unfair and just plain wrong decisions being made and lengthy appeals processes. I'm so scared 'they' will decide I'm 'cured'; but there's no way I could go back to work; between the symptoms and the drug side effects there's not a lot of me left.

I'm dreading the interview, feeling I'm being put on trial, 'failing' somehow. I don't have anybody to come with me for support. Can anyone offer me some hints as to how to survive this? What, if anything, I should take with me? Any help gratefully received!

Babyroobs Tue 14-Nov-17 17:35:26

Sorry to read what you are going through. these assessments really do put people under a lot of stress. just be honest with them, ask for a home visit if you think this will be easier for you, tell them about your worst days and how it makes you feel. Don't be afraid to show you are distressed if that's how you feel. If you are turned down ( hopefully you wont be ) or don't get put in the group you feel you should be then get help to ask for a mandatory reconsideration and if that fails then take it to appeal. get help from CAB or a disability rights group. Good luck.

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