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TOPIC: Epilepsy Appeal

Epilepsy Appeal 3 years 3 months ago #116083

Before I begin, I should like to thank you all at Benefits and Work. Your excellent advice and the comfort that you have given me has been, and is, invaluable.

I should be grateful for some help with this problem: how do I proceed at the Appeal Hearing when the ESA50 assessment of my disability is negligible?

I have uncontrolled Epilepsy and have been put in WRAG. I am appealing to get moved to the Support Group.

I have read B&W's advice that criticising the DWP decision in an appeal is no way forward but.... There is just one question on the ESA50 (Q.10) that refers to Epilepsy (and a very narrow one too). The contract with ATOS stipulates that epileptics are to be invited for a medical assessment; this did not happen in my case. The report of the Disability Analyst takes no account of the medical evidence of my consultant and my G.P.

Question Ten (ESA50) asks about problems "staying awake when conscious" with the options of: weekly; monthly or less than monthly. Seizure numbers are just the tip of a very large iceberg. The severity of anyones epilepsy cannot be gauged by this one question. I mostly have three types of seizure but each type has its own variations meaning that I have eleven different sorts of seizure and each one has its own consequences for the other questions in the ESA form. Furthermore, there are other aspects of epilepsy which do not involve seizures but are just as debilitating.

If the contract between the DWP and ATOS stipulates that epileptics are to be invited to a medical assessment and this is not done, then isn't it fair to conclude that the decision in my case was made without all the information that the DWP itself believes is necessary?

I am sorry that this is so long but this problem has been burning a hole in my head for months now. What can I say at the appeal hearing if I don't criticise the DWP's decision?

Thank you for your help.

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Last Edit: by Gordon.

Epilepsy Appeal 3 years 3 months ago #116084

AtomicClonic

I am afraid that your biggest problem is that Question 10 does not have a Support Group equivalent, so you can not be placed I the SG on your epilepsy alone, other than your meeting another descriptor, your only route into the SG is through the Exceptional Circumstances.

You would need to show that there is a danger to your or others if you are found to be capable of Work Related Activity.

There is no clear definition of what WRA consists of, but it certainly includes your attending WFI's, attending meetings with a advisor on the Work Programme and going to training, however, it also includes items such as writing a CV.

Have a look at the ESA Claim guides for a more detailed explanation of the EC's and the other ESA Descriptors.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/esa

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Epilepsy Appeal 3 years 3 months ago #116090

Thank you, Gordon, for your prompt and clear reply. It seems mad that someone who suffers from tonic clonic and complex partial seizures should be expected to undertake WRA but there it is. I think that the Exceptional Circumstances will apply in my case as well as the descriptor relating to Awareness of Hazard or Danger.

I now know the way forward!

AtomicClonic

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