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Author Topic: Here we go again  (Read 524 times)
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hungrydaze
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« on: January 04, 2019, 01:11:47 PM »

Here we go again. A lovely New Year present came through the door this morning - yes it is a new capability for work questionnaire! Just what I wanted to start the year off with.

My last one was March 2017, followed by a "medical" 6 months later in the September, with a recommendation of 18 months before reassessment, so a bit short of that as it turns out. Fortunately the last form I filled out I did on the computer so I can print that out which is a bit less stress(but not that much). I also have my report from my "medical" to refer to if I need to alter anything. I do have an appointment with my GP in a couple weeks time so hopefully she will be kind enough to write me an up to date letter to support my case. I could really do without the stress and worry of a long wait like I had last time to see if I will be called for a face to face meeting. I honestly thought my form would be good enough, as it had been on the previous occasion to negate this scenario.

My condition has not improved in any shape or form since 2 years ago but how best to put across is making me think hard. I do not think my answers could be much clearer. Any tips would, as always, be warmly appreciated.

Thanks for listening. The fun begins once again 38

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agapanthus
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 11:00:26 AM »

I am so sorry that you have to do another of these assessments so quickly after the last one Hungrydaze. Are you in the Support Group? It is quite ridiculous to keep reassessing people who are severely ill.  When I was on ESA I had to do 4 assessments in 5 years with the periods of time extending a bit, but the last one was done in the year that I retired which was a waste of everyone's time and energy.

Yes, it is very stressful though as you say, having done one it sounds as if you can use your last one as a basis for this one, not forgetting to put in any updates of symptoms etc. Fingers crossed that your GP will be helpful with a letter. Don't forget to include other relevant bits of evidence, such as doing a personal diary over maybe a week or even a day. Also consider including letters or statements from people who know you well, or alternative practitioners. I did all of this and paid for letters from private Drs etc at times.

I know it's not much comfort but in one sense legally you have right on your side in that if your condition is the same, and you were awarded ESA last time, then there is no logic for them reducing it, and therefore it should be necessary for them to prove that it is reasonable to do so. There is some Upper Tribunal bit of law on this actually but probably not best to quote it at them at this stage but worth knowing it's there should it ever get to Reconsideration or Appeal (I would have to find it tucked away in my bookmarks or ask someone about that for you as I am no legal expert!).

There is a very good Facebook support group should you belong to FB which helps people with these forms - you can ask questions and they have a Buddy scheme (or did have) so other people will check your forms for you. It's called UK M.E. & Chronic Illness Benefits Advice Group. 
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hungrydaze
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 03:27:36 PM »

Hi Agapanthus, thanks for your reply. Yes I am in the Support Group and have been since 2013.

I still have my discharge letter from my Consultant even though that was 4 years ago now. It did state my ongoing situation, although I sent it last time without much joy. My condition is still the same as 2 years ago. I also see my GP on a regular basis which I hope counts for something as it proves I am in touch with the medical profession to monitor my illness.

I totally agree that it is ridiculous to keep reassessing people like us. Contacting your GP sounds a more efficient way to do things but then I guess that isn't the point of the exercise. I will certainly follow your advice and tips. Of course the next thing to be stressed about is waiting to see the outcome of the returned forms. Last time it was the best part of 5 months.

Thanks for your valuable support and advice  thumbsup
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hungrydaze
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 12:33:17 PM »

Well that's done. Just sent my completed esa50 form off. Unbelievable stress drafting and re-drafting over the last month. Now the waiting begins, hopefully a bit quicker than last time which was nearly 6 months!
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roger
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 03:59:39 PM »

Good luck, hd  fingerscrossed
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'Nothing is, but thinking makes it so'
hungrydaze
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 01:08:12 PM »

Thanks
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agapanthus
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2019, 02:53:43 PM »

Sorry for the late response hungrydaze, but it's good luck from me too. It would be wonderful if they put you back in the Support Group again without needing another face to face assessment. That would be the best outcome for you (it happened for me and for my son, so it is possible).
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hungrydaze
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2019, 03:05:55 PM »

Thank you agapanthus for your positive response. I do hope that might be the case for me as well. Just a few stressful weeks to look forward to waiting for the outcome.
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