Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • angel691
    • By angel691 30th Nov 16, 10:47 AM
    • 18Posts
    • 10Thanks
    angel691
    esa failed medical but cannot sign on. panicking
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 16, 10:47 AM
    esa failed medical but cannot sign on. panicking 30th Nov 16 at 10:47 AM
    I have suffered with anxiety on and off for years but have always worked. Last year someone I knew tried to groom by 14 yr old daughter and during the police investigation I was having major panick attacks, was on vallium and could not leave the house and the guy that groomed my daughter has harassed, threatened, got to my friends and family, got other people to threaten us so I felt I could not go out or trust anyone.

    in February I was admitted to hospital with chronic pain and was diagnosed with gallstones, prescribed morphine and signed off work until I had my surgery. As I was self employed I had to claim ESA and after assessment was placed in the support group.

    I had my gallbladder removed in April but surgery went wrong and I had to stay in hospital several days with infections and it was then discover I had a problem with my kidney and kept getting infections, agonising attacks of pain lasting hours and I spent a total of 35 days in hospital. I am still under a consultant I take morphine and 3 other painkillers to manage my pain and throughout this the guy has continued harassing me to the point of calling me while I was in the hospital telling me to die. He messages constantly letting me know he knows where I am or what im doing which obviously makes me extremely paranoid. My daughter has been self harming and seeing a psychiatrist because of what he did.

    because I am taking opiates my Dr won't prescribe me anything for my mental health so I am panicky and anxious all the time. I dont go out, can't travel on public transport, I get shopping delivered and my teenage daughter helps a lot. I dont even go to the Drs they come to me or I have telephone appointments. I am awaiting a further surgical procedure in January for the ongoing kidney problem.

    despite me telling the medical examiner all this I have been told I have failed medical and need to claim jsa.
    The guy harassing me lives in a hostel next to my local jobcentre and I told them I cannot go on public transport or out in public , the opiates make me so forgetful I can't function and my manic thoughts make it impossible for me focus and I often get confused, angry or upset because I cant do things or forget things and there is no way I would be able to get to work or be in a crowded public place or concentrate to do a job.

    they told me i have no choice, I have appealed but cannot sign on as I cannot attend the jobcentre so what do I do for money? I get my daughters benefits of £80 pw and that's it, I have to pay bedroom tax of £20 and £30 on gas and electric and my daughters bus pass for school will leave me £20 a week to feed us and support us. I really dont know what to do. Any help very appreciated.
Page 1
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 30th Nov 16, 11:23 AM
    • 1,001 Posts
    • 2,571 Thanks
    Bogalot
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 16, 11:23 AM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 16, 11:23 AM
    Change your phone number for a start. Only give it to people that you trust.

    Is there a Jobcentre in another location that you could sign at? You don't have to use your local one.

    You only need to sign on once a fortnight, could a friend or family member accompany you? I'm not doubting your health, but you need to get an income so you're going to need to find a way to get there.
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 30th Nov 16, 12:34 PM
    • 3,707 Posts
    • 2,696 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 16, 12:34 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 16, 12:34 PM
    Call the police. If this guy is harassing you in hospital its a great opportunity to gather evidence.
    For society to function well, people generally need to feel that they have a fair chance of success through their ability and efforts. The more entrenched hereditary elites we have, the less likely people are to feel that way
    • Bananas123
    • By Bananas123 30th Nov 16, 6:12 PM
    • 263 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    Bananas123
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 16, 6:12 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 16, 6:12 PM
    hello,

    i have just been found fit for work, told to go jsa, despite not being eligable... (if you are sick, you are not eligable for esa on the basis you have to have intent to look for work).

    they do it to people with mental health problems who have difficulty filling out the form etc.........

    (they have a law, where they "do not have to" consider evidence, that is not initiated by the claimant (or something)) (and even then, definitions/applications of words can be argued in court....)

    so if you have problems with dishinhibition, communicating etc the WCA is basically "enginnered" against you.

    ------------------------------------

    you need to get the tribunal going, do NOT "quit" or else you won't be eligable for backpayment.

    you should be able to get a hardship payment on the basis you have no income / refused JSA i think:

    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Hardship-Payment/How-do-I-claim-a-JSA-hardship-payment

    also i would consider applying for PIP or income support, if you are on income support you can get a crisis loan i think to be paid from it.

    The actual amount you get depends on your circumstances, but if you qualify and have no income you'll get at least £57.90 a week. You can claim Child Tax Credit if you claim Income Support and have children
    i can attempt to help you with your tribunal etc, but it would be better if you are capable for seeking professional help from the citizens advice burea etc (i have mental illness/ moron etc)

    -----------------------------------------

    if you have problems with initiating above etc, i would book an appointment with a G.P. and tell them etc.

    "you are having problems with social functioning (then explain) and need HELP securing income as it is causing you illness" (or similar)

    kind regards
    Last edited by Bananas123; 30-11-2016 at 6:18 PM.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 30th Nov 16, 7:21 PM
    • 1,053 Posts
    • 1,133 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 16, 7:21 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 16, 7:21 PM
    1) If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction contact your council asap to let them know your circumstances. They may stop your HB / CTr unless you explain why your ESa was stopped.

    2) Could you get any support from Victim Support / friends / family to get to/from a jobcentre?

    3) At the first JSA appointment you should tell the Jobcentre that you’re able and willing to look for work, otherwise you won’t get any JSA.Once you have successfully signed on, you can then submit a fit note and be excused job searching for 13 weeks. See http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/8248/

    4) When you have appealed to the Tribunal Service you can ask to be put back on ESa pending the hearing date. Since the decision is rarely changed by the DWP at MR stage, I would suggest getting this done as quickly as possible.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/while-youre-getting-esa/esa-money-and-benefits-during-reconsideration/
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5547618#2

    5) Check if you could apply for any grants - https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/

    6) Do get help from your local CAB with your ESA appeal
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/while-youre-getting-esa/challenging-an-esa-decision/
    http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/start-the-esa-test
    • angel691
    • By angel691 6th Dec 16, 1:06 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 16, 1:06 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 16, 1:06 AM
    Thanks guys I spoke to disabled advice who told me to claim jsa under special circumstances (which jobcentre dont tell u) this means u can ask for telephone appointments so I dont have to go to jobcentre and they said once I start the appeal (which they say takes about 4 weeks to get the esa mandatory decision) then u go back on esa assessment phase again til you get the appeal, which disabled advice are going to assist me with.

    Jobcentre tried to tell me i had to attend job club for 2 hours a day and still sign on but disabled advice told them i could not attend due to my illness and they accepted it, they also helped me apply for pip.

    With regards to the harassment etc I have reported everything to the police and call them constantly, the guy was arrested for sending my daughter indecent images etc and court case pending and his bail conditions say not to contact me but he gets sim cards from £1 shops so changes his number and police say they can't prove it. I am also getting support from victim support but the anxiety comes because I know he or his friends are more than capable or violence
    • angel691
    • By angel691 6th Dec 16, 1:16 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 16, 1:16 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 16, 1:16 AM
    The whole system is a joke how can a consultant and a gp say ur not fit for work and write a certificate then esa ignore that? Surely if I was in a workplace and had an accident they wouldn't be covered under employers liability anyway because a Dr says im not fit to work?
    • dadtobe
    • By dadtobe 6th Dec 16, 10:44 PM
    • 71 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    dadtobe
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 16, 10:44 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 16, 10:44 PM
    Did you get a copy of your report? What did it say?
    • angel691
    • By angel691 13th Dec 16, 9:19 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    • #9
    • 13th Dec 16, 9:19 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Dec 16, 9:19 AM
    Yes I got the report which I was gobsmacked tbh i was awarded no points. The assessor had given my medical condition as 'abdominal pain' which is managed by painkillers and on a average day does not affect me being able to work! what I said was I have pain in my right kidney due to constant infections, calcius in my kidney and the urologists don't know why. I said I am in pain constantly for which I am prescribed oxycodone, diclofenac, buscopan and cyclizine for the sickness. I told him I get 'attacks of pain 2-3 times a week and these can last anything from a couple of hours to 8-9 hours and during these attacks I am vomiting, sweating, double up in pain and cannot move or do anything and I was in labour 20 hours and I would rather give birth than have this pain!
    I also explained that even on my best day I cannot sit for more than 10-15 mins due to the pain in my back, I have to constantly move around, use a hot bottle etc...he recommended I be provided a wheelchair to enable me to get to the workplace although sitting is my most uncomfortable position.

    With regards to my anxiety i explained in great detail that i had suffered anxiety for about 10 years and what had happened with my daughter being groomed, threats and intimidation for almost a year, one person even in prison now for threatening me, 2 others given harassment orders and this had left me terrified to go out, i cant travel on public transports and when i am out i am so panicky and constantly looking around me i find it impossible to concentrate and cannot even string a sentence together or remember what i need to do.
    Due to the oxycodone and the anxiety that i find it impossible to concentrate for more than 10-15 ins as my thoughts are racing and i often forget appointments, things i need to do, have locked myself out, left the cooker on, lose things all the time and i only go out if i absolutely have to and then i get a cab straight there and straight home as when i have been on public transport i have felt hot, panicky, started shaking and felt like i couldn't breathe and had to get off the bus and that i have most things delivered and anything else i need my daughter or my family/friends do for me...his response - i have some anxiety due to some personal issues and i feel panicky when i go out close to home due to some harassment but i am not being prescribed any medication and this should not affect my ability to work, i am able to care for my daughter and attended my medical and was clean and tidy!

    I have sent my mandatory reconsideration saying heroin addicts are not expected to work as heroin affects their ability to function yet i am taking the same medication due to pain but they are saying it has no effect and that i am prescribed vallium for my anxiety but i am unable to take it due to the opiates and other medications and i was referred to mental health services for assessment in july and have just received my appointment for 4th January and that due to another 2 kidney infections in the last 6 weeks my appointment with the urologist has also been brought forward to next week. that attending a medical assessment centre where i know i am not going to be in any danger is completely different to going out in public and being surrounded by people i don't know.
    so i just have to wait and see, although disabled advice bureau did advise me most people don't get it changed on the mandatory reconsideration but once i have had that they are going to help me do my appeal.

    My GP has already written a sick note and a letter and i am hoping to have the report from the Urologist and at least have had my mental health assessment by time i get the mandatory reconsideration ready to start the appeal.

    I am just so frustrated because despite the anxiety i have always worked as a single mother and started freelancing so i could work around my bad periods and my daughter and of course i would much rather be working than stuck here feeling like this on benefits and i want help so i can get back to normal and i feel like they are just making me feel like a scrounger that just needs to pull myself together.
    • angel691
    • By angel691 14th Dec 16, 3:05 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    Also to note I am still having nightmares with the jc as although they have agreed I can sign on by telephone, they are saying I now have to attend jobclub for 4 hours a day for a week or I wont get paid! so looks like no money over xmas...just what I need!
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 15th Dec 16, 7:07 AM
    • 865 Posts
    • 737 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Yes I got the report which I was gobsmacked tbh i was awarded no points. The assessor had given my medical condition as 'abdominal pain' which is managed by painkillers and on a average day does not affect me being able to work! what I said was I have pain in my right kidney due to constant infections, calcius in my kidney and the urologists don't know why. I said I am in pain constantly for which I am prescribed oxycodone, diclofenac, buscopan and cyclizine for the sickness. I told him I get 'attacks of pain 2-3 times a week and these can last anything from a couple of hours to 8-9 hours and during these attacks I am vomiting, sweating, double up in pain and cannot move or do anything and I was in labour 20 hours and I would rather give birth than have this pain!
    I also explained that even on my best day I cannot sit for more than 10-15 mins due to the pain in my back, I have to constantly move around, use a hot bottle etc...he recommended I be provided a wheelchair to enable me to get to the workplace although sitting is my most uncomfortable position.

    With regards to my anxiety i explained in great detail that i had suffered anxiety for about 10 years and what had happened with my daughter being groomed, threats and intimidation for almost a year, one person even in prison now for threatening me, 2 others given harassment orders and this had left me terrified to go out, i cant travel on public transports and when i am out i am so panicky and constantly looking around me i find it impossible to concentrate and cannot even string a sentence together or remember what i need to do.
    Due to the oxycodone and the anxiety that i find it impossible to concentrate for more than 10-15 ins as my thoughts are racing and i often forget appointments, things i need to do, have locked myself out, left the cooker on, lose things all the time and i only go out if i absolutely have to and then i get a cab straight there and straight home as when i have been on public transport i have felt hot, panicky, started shaking and felt like i couldn't breathe and had to get off the bus and that i have most things delivered and anything else i need my daughter or my family/friends do for me...his response - i have some anxiety due to some personal issues and i feel panicky when i go out close to home due to some harassment but i am not being prescribed any medication and this should not affect my ability to work, i am able to care for my daughter and attended my medical and was clean and tidy!

    I have sent my mandatory reconsideration saying heroin addicts are not expected to work as heroin affects their ability to function yet i am taking the same medication due to pain but they are saying it has no effect and that i am prescribed vallium for my anxiety but i am unable to take it due to the opiates and other medications and i was referred to mental health services for assessment in july and have just received my appointment for 4th January and that due to another 2 kidney infections in the last 6 weeks my appointment with the urologist has also been brought forward to next week. that attending a medical assessment centre where i know i am not going to be in any danger is completely different to going out in public and being surrounded by people i don't know.
    so i just have to wait and see, although disabled advice bureau did advise me most people don't get it changed on the mandatory reconsideration but once i have had that they are going to help me do my appeal.

    My GP has already written a sick note and a letter and i am hoping to have the report from the Urologist and at least have had my mental health assessment by time i get the mandatory reconsideration ready to start the appeal.

    I am just so frustrated because despite the anxiety i have always worked as a single mother and started freelancing so i could work around my bad periods and my daughter and of course i would much rather be working than stuck here feeling like this on benefits and i want help so i can get back to normal and i feel like they are just making me feel like a scrounger that just needs to pull myself together.
    Originally posted by angel691
    What you should have done with the MR is concentrate on yourself and why you think you should be in one of the groups, not compare yourself to someone else. No 2 people are the same and what affects one person may not affect another. Most MR decisions don't change so prepare yourself for tribunal. I would advice you get CAB to help you through this process. Good luck.
    • angel691
    • By angel691 19th Jun 17, 1:31 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    Just to update I had my tribunal Friday and won. Wca gave me 0 points but tribunal gave me 23 and said I shouldn't attend another medical for 2 years. Now just to wait for back dated pay, which knowing dwp will take months ☹
    • Finefoot
    • By Finefoot 19th Jun 17, 1:53 AM
    • 605 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    Finefoot
    Good! Hopefully that nasty bloke has moved on as well.
    £1650 so far this year reclaimed from Lloyds bank.
    • angel691
    • By angel691 19th Jun 17, 3:26 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    Unfortunately not, he got 6 months in prison, and a 2 yr injunction, served 3 & got out in april and messages started coming again from various numbers & accounts but im on venlaflaxine now for my anxiety and am much more stable and able to cope with it. Just keep reporting to police and hope they prove its him eventually and he will get bored of going to jail more than I will of blocking him and calling police ☺
    • Profligate
    • By Profligate 19th Jun 17, 7:00 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Profligate
    Just to update I had my tribunal Friday and won. Wca gave me 0 points but tribunal gave me 23 and said I shouldn't attend another medical for 2 years. Now just to wait for back dated pay, which knowing dwp will take months ☹
    Originally posted by angel691
    Really pleased to hear you got this outcome at tribunal, Angel.

    It no longer surprises me when I hear about someone who gets lots of points at tribunal after being initially declared 'fit for work' at the WCA.

    But the disparity between points awarded , and the injustice of the first decision (and the consequences of it), does still shock.

    I hope a weight has lifted and this award brings you some respite
    • angel691
    • By angel691 19th Jun 17, 8:30 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    I have heard lots of stories and even the judge said the medical is not fit for purpose. Shockingly while I was at tribunal there was a guy who was recovering from chemo who was found fit for work! All I wanted was time to get myself stable, I never intended to be on benefits forever and my mental health problems alone have never stopped me working but this last yr has been hell for me and luckily the judge saw that.
    The stress this has caused made my mental health worse as I was almost evicted because I was unable to pay my bedroom tax and the reduction in money and being sanctioned by jc for being unable to meet their demands, I had to rely on food banks and fuel vouchers several times and not being able to afford taxis meant I barely went out.

    I'd advise anyone to go to citizens advice or disabled advice soon as they get that form as dab said to me 80% of ppl who do it alone, fail.
    Even called was today as I was due to send in a sick note and they already have my tribunal notice, have amended my claim and I will have my back pay in a week
    • tazwhoever
    • By tazwhoever 19th Jun 17, 10:45 PM
    • 692 Posts
    • 175 Thanks
    tazwhoever
    I'm confused because shouldn't the WCA be done correctly and no missing anything out? Then when it goes to tribunal it gets overturned. Seems like WCA assessors​ aren't following the policy/law?
    • angel691
    • By angel691 20th Jun 17, 6:16 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    angel691
    On my assessment he barely acknowledged my mental health problems even though I went into a lot of detail about how it affects me day to day. He described my kidney problem as abdominal pain. He missed off a lot of things said and a lot of wat he said was not said at all. I think they should be videod or taped so there's proof because dab say this misreporting is common. But when ppl have asked to record them they are told no.
    • tazwhoever
    • By tazwhoever 20th Jun 17, 7:51 PM
    • 692 Posts
    • 175 Thanks
    tazwhoever
    I'm confused because shouldn't the WCA be done correctly and no missing anything out? Then when it goes to tribunal it gets overturned. Seems like WCA assessors​ aren't following the policy/law?
    Originally posted by tazwhoever
    Is there an answer to this question?
    • Muttleythefrog
    • By Muttleythefrog 21st Jun 17, 2:46 AM
    • 9,958 Posts
    • 18,419 Thanks
    Muttleythefrog
    I'm confused because shouldn't the WCA be done correctly and no missing anything out? Then when it goes to tribunal it gets overturned. Seems like WCA assessors​ aren't following the policy/law?
    Originally posted by tazwhoever
    I can probably answer your question. The WCA should be done correctly. The criteria assessed.. the descriptors... are in themselves probably not that wide of sense but assessing their applicability has been a tragic problem. The private contractors.. initially the much maligned ATOS Healthcare.. simply cut corners and seemed to have institutional failures as widely exposed by former employees, claimants, undercover work and inquiry. The HCPs doing the assessments are it seems not always cream of the crop in their respective professions either and probably among those most likely to flout professional standards or patient care... I don't say that lightly.. I've heard it described by medical professionals such as nurses as the 'pits of the profession to do disability assessments'. In terms of short cutting there is for example often a failure to read the evidence in advance (a breach of laid down protocol) and the focus of the assessments seems to be on speed and efficiency over accuracy or truth. Common complaints (some repeated above) seem logical in that context.

    There are more general problems that some claimants by their very nature will struggle to accurately communicate their problems relevant to the WCA and that these assessments are often 'fish out of water' events in that they're very unusual circumstances presented compared to the typical day of the claimant. As example.. many years ago in my WCA assessment I was described as having poor rapport and eye contact.. this runs counter to my normal interactions with people of short durations I'm exposed to... in contrast I should present as upbeat, engaging, humorous and sociable (all of the things which create the deception of someone genuine engaged and healthy)... and my eye contact should be good.... however if presented with a deceitful and manipulative aggressive personality with a name and profession different than a FOI request revealed would examine me and this person rarely looks up from a computer monitor then yes I will show poor rapport and poor eye contact... so the observations were probably correct but the inferences could be wildly wrong.

    The understanding of the law as such is probably poor as a result of training and institutional biases... and the same seems true of the DWP Decision Makers who seem to typically just go along with the assessment report and sometimes it seems even repeat standard legally flawed carp... I'm using reference to some degree to the same problems arising in PIP assessments which seem to mirror very well problems with the WCA and for entirely unsurprising reasons. In the end it seems appeal tribunals may be the most open possibility to establishing truth and accurate assessment.

    I note the tribunal judge here was quite contemptuous in reference to the assessment report as has been reported by others including one judge describing it as "trash". (It's worth reminding ourselves we are talking about professionals who normally will probably be very diplomatic and inoffensive in their language..so when they criticise evidence in this way they probably do so with some exasperation). I think claimants would generally accept that in stranger stranger short duration assessments there will be some inaccuracy.. but I think all should expect that any should come about for honest reason. When someone manages to trigger no scoring/qualifying descriptors in an assessment or in 2 DWP DM decisions and then goes on to qualify for ESA via tribunal then you can only assume something has gone badly wrong - if that was rare it might be tolerable but it clearly is not rare, has not been rare since ESA was launched, and here is another case... the difference between zero points and 23 is a lot of error of judgement somewhere and I'd take a solid punt I know at which end most, if not all, occurred.

    I've only just read the above thread today btw.. so well done Op... sounds like you've been through the mill... hopefully the backdated payments will soon be made and provide a moment of accomplishment!
    Last edited by Muttleythefrog; 21-06-2017 at 3:07 AM.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,023Posts Today

6,707Users online

Martin's Twitter