Hi Guys n Gals
I know I didn't start this thread but I thought I'd update you all on my ESA after posting so much about it.
After becoming thoroughly pee'd off at still not having my assessment 15 months on from the beginning of my claim I wrote a large complaint letter to the head of DWP at Caxton House in London.
I decided to go straight to the top of DWP as I knew they'd have to log this complaint officially, I'd written at least 4 times previously and all my letters had been ignored.
I requested an ex-gratia payment for payments outstanding between June 14 and March 15 (as I'd only ever been paid the assessment rate) and gave reasons as to why I met certain descriptors, therefore being entitled to benefit.
I sent my PIP award also highlighting the cross over descriptors (mobility etc) and asked them to obtain a copy of the PIP report for further evidence. I also explained the emotional and financial stress they were causing and how it was adversely effect me and my family.
Within 5 days I received a call from the regional complaints team to confirm receipt of my letter and also to say that they had investigated the delay and requested Maximus send me an appointment ASAP.
Within 2 weeks I had my appointment details, which I attended last week.
Due to staff shortages they made me wait 2 hours for my appointment,they said they'd tried to contact me to tell me not to come in but I hadn't taken the call. It came to light when I got home that the reason for me not answering the phone was due to them calling 30 mins before my appointment, pointless when I set off 10 mins before the call!
The assessment took just over an hour, fortunately my partner was able to step in and discuss things with the nurse as I was losing the will to live and fidgeting like a child with ants in my pants due to the pain I was in! It got a bit awkward when she discussed my depression and suicidal thoughts as I'd never really talked to my partner about my demons, I wish she'd of given me the option to discuss that privately, but I just blurted it all out and then had to go home and explain it all to my partner so he understood where it all came from!
The fatigue hit hard and after a bad tummy (I guess this was stress as I'd only had a drink of water!) I slept for 3 hours when I got home, it left me mentally and physically drained.
I called for an update on my claim yesterday via the regional complaints team as they seem really nice and actually want to help.
I was told that I didn't need to go to assessment as the decision maker had overruled the original decision for a face to face and I had been awarded the Support Group. Why DWP / Maximus failed to call me to tell me that before I attended an unnecessary assessment I don't know, its almost like they are making extra work for themselves.
Until I have the letter in my hand and the money in the bank, I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but a verbal Support Group confirmation has really eased the stress I've been feeling.
I'll let you all know when the official letter arrives and I've finally breathed a sigh of relief!