2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

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2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby darkcyde » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:18 pm

Hi all - it's been a while since I posted, but I have been on from time to time checking in on posts. I hope everyone is as well as they can be?

I'm writing because after 2 years of being in the 13 week assessment period for ESA, I have finally been sent an appointment with ATOS.

I've already had one medical for my DLA (for which I was awarded high rate mobility, medium rate care) which was carried out as a home visit....I didn't even have to request one, they just gave me a home visit.

Well, this is now for my ESA, and they want me to come into the Medical Center.....which is an hours drive away, and they don't have parking so it's parking in a multi storey and then a 10 minute walk.

I phoned up and requested a home visit like I had before, but was told I needed a letter from my GP supporting this. So I called my GP and she agreed to send of a letter.

I phoned Atos back to inform them, and they told me that the letter would go to a "health professional" who would then decide if I get a home visit, or if they would send a taxi to collect me!! I hope the GPs letter is descriptive, because it's not just my mobility....my stomach issues mean I cannot be too far from a toilet otherwise things can get messy, and this is the whole reason why I do not go out much if at all.

The stupid thing is that all I get from the ESA is my insurance stamp paid....that's it! I would rather paid the stamp myself (equates to about £10 - £20 a month) and be done with it, but we receive Housing Benefit, which is in my name.

My question is, can I still get Housing Benefit if I refuse to attend the medical, my ESA is subsequently stopped and I pay the NI myself? It would have been so much better to have the HB in my wife's name so that my situation doesn't effect it. The Council have an 8 week lead time on processing applications, so we cannot afford to cancel it and re-start it in her name as we'd end up months behind with our rent.

Any thoughts anyone?
Diagnosed : ME/FM, CFS,CPS, IBS, ADHD : Medications : Mirtazapine 45mg, Paracetamol 4gram a day, Omeprazole 40mg, Dompperidone 30mg, Morphine (tabs) 120mg, Morphine (liquid) 100mg twice a day
darkcyde
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby Penpen » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:49 pm

Housing Benefit is awarded using the household income so yes you can still claim. You have DLA coming in in your name so I wouldn't worry. Phone the council and talk to them. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby darkcyde » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:55 pm

Just been googling and there are reports of people having their HB stopped when their ESA stopped.....not sure if that was due to some other reason, like they annoyed them so much an order was put out to stop all benefits, or what

Really not sure what to do......I think firstly I need to wait to see if I get a home visit.....I don't mind having the assessment, as they'll be able to tell straight away that I'm serious - high doses of morphine should mean me taken seriously straight off the bat.....what employer is going to want someone in their building who's constantly strung out FFS!!
Diagnosed : ME/FM, CFS,CPS, IBS, ADHD : Medications : Mirtazapine 45mg, Paracetamol 4gram a day, Omeprazole 40mg, Dompperidone 30mg, Morphine (tabs) 120mg, Morphine (liquid) 100mg twice a day
darkcyde
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby robbiecramp » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:58 pm

Do not be put off by what you read on google if you tell truth and if you speak to council ask them for a letter confirming what they have told you and if they refuse ask for there name and then ask to speak to there team leader and tell them what you asked and what they advised or told you what the situation would be and say I would like a letter detailing this so if anything goes wrong I have it so unless you are fobbing me off there is no reason why you should not do this. Once you have done that you can then decide on your esa assessment which you can request can it be done at centres where they are dealing with PIP claimants these are like doctors surgeries and leisure centres so maybe you may get seen locally

hope that helps
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby zappa20 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:50 am

Bit of a Hobsons choice unfortunatley. Both failing an ESA assessment or failing to attend the assessment will stop your HB temporarily.

When an ESA benefit is stopped, the council are simply advised ESA is no longr in payment and assume the person has started work,until you advise them differently. HB is paid to households by reason of nil or low income and isn't dependent on any other passported benefit, so should be easy enough to get it restarted fairly quickly in your name. They may ask to see evidence of bank statments etc before restarting it.

As for your ESA assessment if you've just been awarded DLA high rate , and medium rate , you probably won't have a problem in being awarded ESA. They don't always accept doctors letters when home visits are asked for, can depend on what he's written and whether you manage to attend other appointments which come up eg hospitals , GP's etc. They might offer to pay for a door to door return taxi service.

I'd be inclined to try and attend, if you can. If your household circumstances should change and you'd then be eligible for ESA payments , would think it would process quicker than starting a totally new claim.
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby darkcyde » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:37 am

Hi all - zappa, some really good suggestions and advice....thank you, and to others too.

I think if I don't get the home visit, I'll obviously have to attend, I think I will feel a little more confident about it now.

How do I stand with regard to denying their requests for me to do stuff......extreme example, if they asked me to skip rope, and I refuse....is that marked against me, or that i wasn't able to carry out the test? I'm not going to do anything that will have a detrimental effect on my health, because if I do it once they'll take it that I can do it continually.
Diagnosed : ME/FM, CFS,CPS, IBS, ADHD : Medications : Mirtazapine 45mg, Paracetamol 4gram a day, Omeprazole 40mg, Dompperidone 30mg, Morphine (tabs) 120mg, Morphine (liquid) 100mg twice a day
darkcyde
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby zappa20 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:55 am

They won't ask you to skip with a rope or anything like it lol. But may do some physical checks which could include being asked to get up on an examination couch.If you are unablee to do so due to pain, tell them you can't.

Note you have high rate DLA and asume this is for mobility, or should say lack of mobility. The mobility descriptor for being awarded ESA support group is being unable to reliably and safely mobilise more than 50 metres, with or without whatever aids you need. Which I assume you likely fit having high rate DLA. But you must stress you are unable to self propel yourself in a wheelchair eg lack of upper arm strength, pain or fatigue . Otherwise they will asume you can mobilise safely using a wheelchair. it's often a stumbling block for some in being awarded this descriptor.

You'll be asked a number of questions regarding daily life activities etc. A lot of assumptions are sometimes made from the information you give in this respect. so while being honest with any fluctuating condition like fibro, it's important to stress where you can't repeat a task eg due to fatigue, pain etc. And how many bad days compared to better days you have say in a week. Make sure the assessor is taking note of this and not rushing onto the next question having ignored your comments. Also best to take someone with you who can take notes and also give you some moral support. After all no one likes assessments.

If you google ESA Assessors Handbook 2013 and follow the link to the pdf file on the www.gov.uk website, this document file gives you an understanding of what an assessor is looking for in the questions asked on both the form and actual assessment. it's a large file but has an index to help you find the areas which apply to you.

Best wishes
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby darkcyde » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:18 am

I use a mobility scooter to get around rather than a wheelchair, which I did try but couldn't move.....and crutches that were assigned to me by the physiotherapy dept. Should I go on the scooter (bit of a silly question as without it it would be impossible for me to attend) and take the crutches too?
Diagnosed : ME/FM, CFS,CPS, IBS, ADHD : Medications : Mirtazapine 45mg, Paracetamol 4gram a day, Omeprazole 40mg, Dompperidone 30mg, Morphine (tabs) 120mg, Morphine (liquid) 100mg twice a day
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby darkcyde » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:11 pm

Ok, so after getting my GP to send a letter requesting a home visit, I cancelled the first appointment whilst this was taken into account.

I almost immediately got another appointment (at the Health Center) sent through, and in the run up to this I heard nothing about a home visit.

So I steeled myself ready to go to the appointment only to receive a letter cancelling the appointment a few days before saying they will contact me again to arrange another.

So this is where I am at the moment.....wondering if I'm going to be asked in at all to be honest!

Just though I'd update everyone.
Diagnosed : ME/FM, CFS,CPS, IBS, ADHD : Medications : Mirtazapine 45mg, Paracetamol 4gram a day, Omeprazole 40mg, Dompperidone 30mg, Morphine (tabs) 120mg, Morphine (liquid) 100mg twice a day
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby denys » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:36 pm

Hopefully you will get the home visit as requested :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby darkcyde » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:37 pm

Well, a little while has gone by and I've received an obvious brown DWP envelope.

Opening it filled with the usual dread....... Ive been found unfit for work AND been placed in the Support Group without ATOS coming back with another appointment.

So finally I can stop worrying and stop bothering my GP for endless sick/fit notes!!
Diagnosed : ME/FM, CFS,CPS, IBS, ADHD : Medications : Mirtazapine 45mg, Paracetamol 4gram a day, Omeprazole 40mg, Dompperidone 30mg, Morphine (tabs) 120mg, Morphine (liquid) 100mg twice a day
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Re: 2 Years of Waiting for Assessment...

Postby denys » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:30 pm

What fantastic news so glad for you :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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