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New ESA50 form has arrived
onice wrote: I suffer from social anxiety and can't answer phone calls unless I know who is calling (and it has to be immediate family, or a business matter)
The ESA form says that they need to phone to arrange a face-to-face assessment, but I won't be able to answer the phone unless I know it is them calling.
Can an appointment be arranged by mail/e-mail/text message/online? Or is there a phone number I can recognise as them when they call - that way I know it is them and will be able to answer.
What can I do?
You do not have to answer the phone !
If an appointment for a face to face is to be made, and they cannot contact you by telephone, they would have to inform you in writing.
You should get at least 7 days notice for any appointment.
onice wrote: Hello,
Questions 6 & 7 ask about ability to communicate (speaking, writing, typing, hearing and reading), this comes under Physical Capabilities.
Does this mean any impediments to my ability to communicate due to mental health issues (e.g. social anxiety) are not necessary to mention here? Anxiety does interfere with the ability to communicate and understand what is going on - however, should I just relegate these difficulties to the Mental Health section of the form?
I'm unsure on whether these questions are reserved for purely physical causes of limitations...
I'm afraid it has always been the case the claimants can only score points in the physical section of the ESA50 (questions 1-10), if the underlying problem is a physical one.
That doesn't mean that you cannot detail your problems, but you should not expect to score points.
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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- Posts: 40
- Topic Author
- Posts: 40
However, at other points in the system they say you can't get what you ask for (reports etc) unless they ring you back. Eventually they are sending some without ringing me. I don't give them my phone number as I'd be afraid to answer the phone at all then.
But if they do ever ring you, you can just say you can't deal with it on the phone, and ask them to write. They expect you to ring them if they are about to give you a bad decision, but if you did, you would not have the information you need in front of you, so you'd be at a disadvantage trying to discuss something you can't see.
Be aware that if you put a mobile number on the Appeal form to HM Courts and Tribunal Service, it is passed on to DWP, but I am glad to say they have just used it to send me 2 or 3 useful texts. I assume that if you put your landline on the form, they'd ring.
(And people with physical problems can get points in the mental health section for the mental consequences of their physical problems. It is an equality and education issue, imo.)
Be prepared for some dense comments from HCPs and DMs, like pretending you are claiming to have a hearing defect rather than difficulty taking things in because of slow thinking, and poor memory and concentration.
Also, I've found that they are only responding to the tick box without paying attention to anything else I've written. This makes nonsense of all that work on the form - it makes it look as if I am lying. But I hope there might be someone sensible at the Tribunal, and perhaps it will have a little influence at that stage... it gives a fuller picture of how my functioning is affected.
For all the talk about work places adapting for us, they still have Tribunals in which we are expected to take in what they say and dredge responses out of a slow brain without leaving relevant stuff out, despite problems with memory and concentration. I would find it much easier if they would write it down and allow time to digest it, or failing that, I hope they will speak slowly and give me time to answer.
Good luck with your ESA50!