Thursday, February 4, 2010

ESA Apppeal

Thank you for all your help and lovely comments on last post sorry I did not get back individually, I have been quite stressed out by the whole thing and not slept for about three days. Feeling dizzy etc.

Yesterday I rang a legal advice line and spoke to someone who told me what to write and appeal on, she says I have good chance but that majority of times they don't read your appeal and just push to tribunal. I couldn't face the thought of going to CAB- I get social anxiety and is particularly bad at the moment. So yesterday I spent several hours writing a three page letter of why the medical decision was wrong. My mum has written a letter about how my condition effects me. I have sent them my enhanaced CPA and my DLA award letter.

I am under an Early Intervention in psychosis team who said they will write a report and a copy of the report for DLA and send that off to benefits office to support appeal I asked if they can send it to me but they wouldn;t - I presume it would be too upsetting to read and they know how I worry about things and do risky things to cope etc.

Anyway posted it today so should get ESA reinstated whilst appealing.

It has really taken a lot out of me, can't sleep or eat and have work focused interview tommorow wich I can't face at mo. last night I took out a corkscrew as I wanted to drill hole in head to release the stress and anxiety I feel. I decided to ring crisis team but hung up when someone spoke. They have never been or will ever be of any use to me- CRISIS or not.

Feel a bit better now appeal letter off, but worrying about the appeal, specially as legal advisr says I would need to go and give my case in person to stand a good chance of success. I was thinking of going back to uni in septemebr but this incident has proved to me I can't handle stress or the slightest knocks, they push me over the edge- I'm uselss really.


la said...

Don't underestimate the stress of this - it's not 'the slightest knock.'

I know it's hard going to the CAB, but it's much, much harder fighting this on your own.

I want to say that x10.

The people from the CAB are experienced in the way these things work. And they're detached. They can fill out forms without crying because it's not their life they're writing about.

Could you make an appointment, ask someone supportive to go with you, book a taxi etc?

The goal isn't the usual one of appearing stable and put-together. Put it this way: if you look/act like a proper basket-case it's not going to work against you. Obv I don't mean pretend. But it's more important that you get help with this and go to the tribunal if you need to than how you will feel for one afternoon.

Sorry, I'm not phrasing this right at all and I honestly don't mean to be dismissive. I hope I'm making some sense.

You're already thinking about jamming a corkscrew through your head NOT going to CAB. How much worse could it be? If you had a panic attack - well, they'd write down that you have panic attacks. As long as you have someone there to mop you up, you'll survive it.

It's much easier to get through a half-hour meeting with a stranger than months of worrying. Maybe you could even do some of it by e-mail?

I hope your letters work, I really do. But if you go to tribunal, please, please don't think you have to do it alone.

Honest-to-God, it's easy for me to say this to you now, but I do know how much of an ordeal it is.

I like to think of myself as a nice person, the kind of person who doesn't wish particularly gruesome car accidents upon strangers, but my experiences with the DWP have gone some way to alter that.

On a (somewhat) positive note: And even if your appeal fails, you can always re-apply.

Good luck x

La-reve said...

Thanks La
I don't think I can re-apply for 6 months if I am unsucessful.

I hope my letter works but not hopeful. I found a list of the points scoring and put why I should have scored more points.
Did not write everything I couldn;t bare any more

Will see what they say and if go to appeal then I will see CAB. CPN is writing them a letter as well.

I am not crying but in detatched mode that I get where can't do anything just stare and worry and get stressed and anxious

Worse thing is I have law degree and worked for soliciors where I would stand up in court and make representaions but now the thought of standing up in front of one judge fills me with terror. How far I have fallen.

Kate said...

Hi Lareve,

I'm sorry this is so distressing for you and I can sympathise. My supervisor suggested I put a claim in for ESA too as I haven't been on top form lately. Just looking at the forms made me cry and I AM a CAB adviser!!

Re. the tribunal. You can take a representative in with you who can comment on your behalf.
The wierd thing is that the medical doesn't really take the descriptors into account. They just observe you and ask you about an 'average day'.
We're trying to fight this as it has led to the majority of clients 'failing' although the majority do get the award after a tribunal.
The tribunal WILL take your health problems into account and from what you've explained you have an extremely strong case plus back-up from your CPN etc.
Don't be put of by CAB. We're all lovely!! Make an appointment to avoid the queue. Take someone with you and check whether they actually have a specialist mental health adviser in your area (I will try and check this for you although I'm not sure where you live - is it Notts area?)
You're right about the 6 month wait for reapplying.
Anyway, don't worry about all this at the moment. It can take months for an appeal to be arranged. In the mean time, try to relax and let your supporters deal with the nitty-gritty.

All the best and if you want any (long-distance) advice, you're welcome to mail me.
Take care.

La-reve said...

Thanks Kate

Yes I am in CAB once with partner for employment tribunal but advisor wasn't all that helpful.

Having said that I know a lot of people they have helped.

I don't know the whole thing is making me ill. I will prob be back on ward at this rate. can you claim ESA in hospital?

Hope your claim goes well sure you know what to put. x

Kate said...

Lareve - yes you can make continue to receive payments in hospital. It used to be for a period of up to 52 weeks but I have a feeling they've stopped that and it's now for the duration of your stay. You wouldn't be expected to attend an assessment or a tribunal during this time either.
DLA, on the other hand does get stopped after 28 days but it's reinstated as soon as you're discharged. You also need to tell them about any days you have leave since payments will cover these.
Let's hope it doesn't come to this!
I mentioned your situation (anonymously of course) to a colleague today and he said he'd had a few simular cases - all of which won at appeal.
Please try not to let this tip you over the edge. It infuriates me that they're conducting the process in this way. It's entirely counterproductive and seems to be making people more ill and afraid of getting better or doing any activities they think might jeopardise their claim. Grrr!

Differently Sane said...

Glad to hear you're appealing, and wishing you luck with it.

Can't really add much, as you seem to have had far better advice than I could give you, from people who know far more about it than me.

Take care,