ESA Medical

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ESA Medical

Postby Debbie B » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:08 pm

After a terrible day yesterday due to nerves re: the above I could not believe this morning that I got the letter in the post. It is only 2 weeks away, and to be honest, I dont think I can live through this.

It is at the unearthly hour of 9.10 am and I need to be there for 9 as it states in the letter. I find it so hard to get going in the mornings and having to be up 6.30, struggle to get going, have to catch bus, where I will probably be shaking like a leaf, I just dont know how i will cope. I know I will not be able to settle or sleep the night before.

This evil illness is just worsened by stress/worry anyway and this ATOS place (does it mean they don't give A TOS??), just dont seem to realise the enormous strain and suicidal feelings some people can have. Not everyone can be "positive" or just "go with the flow". I certainly have NOT got the strength for appealing against their decision (which will inevitably happen).

But I have not even had my James Paget Assessment yet, so how can I go there armed with PROOF of what I have, when I havent been seen by them?

Please help someone, all I have done yet again today since receiving this letter is cry, get into a total state, write too much (I keep a diary which most days gets out of hand with the sheer amount of writing I do), and cannot seem to function.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby Ldyalb » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:40 pm

Take a deep breath.

I know how you feel, I panicked like mad when I got a phonecall to book mine as they wanted me to go somewhere that was a 3 hour trip there and 3 hours back by bus. I said no and am now going somewhere which is a 10 min drive away in a different county.

You can request a home visit but will need your GP to support you with that. There's no guarantee they will grant you one but it's worth a try if you're a long way from the assessment centre.

I think the best thing to do is to call them and request a later appointment and/or a home visit. Explain that the mornings are very bad for you and you really struggle to wake up and are very stiff and fatigued in the mornings. Say that you won't be able to make that appointment but could make one after lunch as it gives you time to wake up properly and gives time for some of your meds to start working.

Mine is at 11am which is ok time-wise for me as I can still get up at about 8:30 - 9 o'clock. If they'd offered me a 9am I'd have probably had to turn it down too as I'm really not good in the mornings either.

Don't panic though, just do some deep breathing (cup your hands around your mouth and nose and breathe - it encourages you to breathe slowly and deeply and will help calm you) and when you feel a bit better give them a ring and re-arrange.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:47 pm

Debbie, with how you say this upcoming medical is making you feel, plus what you said yesterday, it really does sound like you're in desperate need of some help to deal with all these worries, thoughts and feelings. I know you said previous things haven't help you, but it might be worth going back to your GP and see if there is something, such as a different approach with talking therapy, that might help you.

Did you receive a phone call about an appt for your assessment to arrange where and when it will happen, or is the appt that you've been advised of the one that was just allocated to you instead of speaking to you beforehand to see what might be a suitable time for you?? If it's one that was just allocated, contact the number on the letter and see if it can be rearranged to a more suitable time for you. At the same time you could also ask about the possibility of a home visit instead of you going to their centre.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby Debbie B » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:59 pm

Thank you both for your replies. I have tried to phone re a better time, but just keep being put on hold. Another day where I wanted to do things like housework and I have just like yesterday, sat here paralysed with fear and writing too much, crying, speaking to my fiance. He is furious as on the claim form for ESA he wrote it FOR me with instructions to contact HIM re any appointments/letters and not me since it kickstarts my anxiety and I cannot cope with it. They have blatantly ignored this, and obviously don't believe me when it says how i cannot get going in the mornings, yet give me the earliest appointment they can muster up just to panic me further. All becausde I want a paltry bit of money, when i worked/paid taxes for years and now I want help, I cannot get it. Yet some people who have ten kids can get £61,000 benefits a year what I read earlier. How is this fair? And that Big Issue seller last week, the money she gets. I did not get a phonecall, just this letter.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:15 pm

You'll have been in a queue until an adviser was available to take your call.

I doubt it will have been a case of doing this because they don't believe you, why would they pick out yours for this kind of treatment?? Surely all claims would be treated in this manner if they were looking to see who sounds more believable and who sounds like they're making things up.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby Ldyalb » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:10 pm

I agree with Flup.

Get your fiance to ring them and he can explain that he specifically wished for correspondence to be addressed to him, and not you as it's hard for you to deal with. They're not singling you out specifically - almost everyone has to have a medical unless they can prove that they're dying (and sometimes even they get a medical) or have a very serious, progressive illness with no hope of recovery. It's something we all have to do for ESA.

I wouldn't listen too much to the likes of the Daily Mail et al. According to them parents of non-disabled children just have to fill in a simple form (since when has the DLA form been simple?), claim their child has 'naughty child syndrome' aka ADHD (which is a very real, unpleasant disability) and they get a free car. They also think that every disabled person in the country gets £125 a week DLA and a free Mercedes plus free housing, no council tax, bills paid for etc. And none of them had to have a medical or submit any evidence from their Dr and they all get it for life with no questions asked, plus a Jacuzzi for their dog. Which simply isn't true. These cases of people on massive sums of money from the taxpayer are usually exaggerated.

Just focus now on your ESA claim. Go see your GP and ask him to support you to get a home medical. Don't have the medical alone either, have your fiance or a friend present to help keep you calm.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby Woodentop » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:02 pm

I had to cancel my appointment as I couldn't be there on the day and time they wanted ( I didn't tell them why I couldn't be there - that's nothing to do with them ). Straight away on the phone they gave me another date and a choice of several times so I was able to choose one that suited me better ie later in the morning. They are requesting you to go, but they can't dictate or assume you have nothing else to do.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby MCT » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:33 am

Try & have your fiance push for a home medical if at all possible. If they say no please try and persuade a friend or member of your family to give you a lift to your appointment.

Anyone attending Atos appointments should be aware that they will ask how you got to your appointment and if you say you took public transport they will make a lot of assumptions about your health, mobility and how you cope. They will ask how far it is from your house to the bus stop (ie you can walk x metres to the bus stop), how long your journey took (assumes you can sit for x amount of time) and walk x metres from the bus stop to your appointment. Just like they will ask what TV programmes you like to watch and if you say Eastenders from that they will assume that you can sit comfortably for 30 minutes.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby Ldyalb » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:06 pm

It is definitely best if you can avoid going by public transport. Mine's only a 10 min drive away from my house so it's not too bad (hopefully). When they ask you about stuff you do (like watching TV) explain what limitations you have with that. So I said on my form that I often watch things on i player, rather than live, because I struggle to follow a programme without a break; esp BBC ones which don't have adverts. I also said that when I watch TV I have to regularly shift position to remain comfortable, do some stretches etc.

If you can do something like watch Eastenders for 30 mins but are then unable to sit still and watch another programme afterwards because of stiffness etc make sure you tell them. They're supposed to take into account activities that you could maybe do once, but then wouldn't be able to repeat.
'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy' - Anne Frank

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Re: ESA Medical

Postby Woodentop » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:46 pm

I think that whichever form of transport you use to get to the appointment they have got you because the fact that you can travel at all means you must be fit in their eyes. When they sent me my appointment they also included instructions on how to get from my home to the assessment centre. I never expected anything from ATOS would make me laugh out loud, but that did. I was instructed that if travelling by public transport I should walk to the bus stop 10 mins walk from my home, travel to the centre of town and change buses ( so presumably stand at a bus stop for goodness knows how long ). Travel either to the train station and do the 20 minute train journey and - this is the best bit - the train station at the other end is a 30 minute walk from the assessment centre! ( that probably translates into an hour in my case as they were probably going on someone being fit ). If I chose to do the journey by bus instead, the bus would take me from the centre of my town and when I arrived at the bus station that too was a 30 minute walk from the assessment centre. Is it any surprise I chose to go by car, as I knew how to get there without their instructions. As I was kept waiting for 45 minutes - way past my appointment time - it was a good job I had got the car, otherwise I would have been out just about all day by the time I got home. These people are on another planet.
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Re: ESA Medical

Postby Ldyalb » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:09 pm

Yeah they gave me instructions too but said it would take 10 mins to walk to my bus stop. It's about 10 houses away. Even my 72 year old father who needs new knees can walk it in a few minutes.

They also gave rubbish directions to their assessment centre. My Mum went on Sunday to see where it was - a completely different part of town to where they said it was. If we'd followed their directions on the day I'd have been late.
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