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TOPIC: Support group descriptors

Support group descriptors 9 years 4 months ago #31219

I'm very anxious about ESA because if I am put into the work-related activity group when I'm moved over from Incapacity, I'll lose all the ESA due to the means test.

Am not sure how to interpret the descriptors for walking in the support group test. Can you qualify if you cannot walk OR cannot move with crutches etc OR cannot manually self-propel your wheelchair more than 30 metres? Or do you have to say yes to all of these to qualify?

It looks like the former as I understand it but this seems a bit generous on behalf of the DWP as then presumably anyone who gets the higher rate mobility component of DLA would qualify to be in the support group for ESA?

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Re: Support group descriptors 9 years 4 months ago #31316

  • kathy1
Hi Anna,

I'm a bit unsure about this descriptor as well. In my case, there would be part of a day ie the first part for a good few hours were i would be completely unable to move any distance without severe discomfort. Then once I get myself moving and loosen the stiffness etc I would then be able to walk around 40 metres without severe discomfort.

When this is possible a simple stop would not reduce the severe discomfort so if I choose to walk on which I often do, severe discomfort would still persist. In addition continuing on and just pushing myself to continue and overdoing things will increase the degree of pain I experience and this can be with me for several hours. Also, overdoing the walking while in pain would then have a bearing on my breathing so I end up suffering from severe discomfort due to pain and severe discomfort due to breathing and often have to use my reliever.

I know that the guidance is that if your are affected for part of a day it must be deemed as the whole of the time provided it occurs with reasonable regularity. I think there is also the case that you can be consisdered for the support group if working would be detramental to your health.

With regards to DLA mobility, the distance used as a guide is around 50 metres which is actually less that the distance of 30 mtres on the ESA50 so I would say that getting HRM would not automatically qualify you for ESA support group because many people on HRM actually work both P/T and F/T.

When it comes to me completing my ESA50, I will be stating that I cannot walk more than 30 mtres before severe discomfort, but I will go on to explain all the rest in the further information page.

Kathy

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Re:Support group descriptors 9 years 4 months ago #31329

You only need to meet one of the criteria for the Support Group, although your case will be stronger if you meet more.

Bare in mind that the level of proof you may to provide will be higher and that the ATOS people will be trying to trip you up the more.

For example, the will have measured the distance from the car park to the waiting room, and probably the nearest bus stop as well, they will certainly have measured the distance from the waiting room to each of examination rooms, you should check for steps at the main door and inside. I am sure you get the idea.

Stephen

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

Re:Support group descriptors 9 years 4 months ago #31423

Hi
When I had a medical, the doctor stated that although I had a severe problem walking, I could manually propel a wheelchair and I was refused the support group. I am now awaiting for an appeal.
I am unable to walk 30m due to Fibromyalgia and Spondylosis and also unable to push a wheelchair due to pain and fatigue but ATOS said I have no upper limb problems.
It does seem that they are taking the decision that you have to meet all the walking criteria. Not sure how they will look at it when I get to the appeal.

Regards
Marisa

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Re:Support group descriptors 9 years 4 months ago #32088

  • kathy1
Hi Marisa,

Good luck with your appeal. Regarding your upper body strength and their implication that you could manually propel a wheelchair and therefore you can be discounted from the support group.

Did they see you propel a wheelchair or are they simply basing their reasoning on the fact that you may have been able to reach up, put your hands behind your head, squeeze the Dr's had etc at the medical. If this is their only reasoning for inplying that you could propel a wheelchair then it would appear that the decision maker is in total ignorance as to how a person with Fibromyalgia would be affected by REPEATED activity.

Its about time someone somewhere gets these standard, clinical medicals improved for people with FMS and other fluctuating conditions and come clean and state what is true, ie they are a total usless way of establishing the proper facts.

Kathy

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Re:Support group descriptors 9 years 4 months ago #32109

Hi Kathy

Thanks for your reply and kind words.

I attended the medical in a manual wheelchair which a friend had to push. The doctor just asked me to try and push my hands together and did a grip test. In his medical findings at the back of report he stated that I was unable to put hands behind my back and shoulder movement was reduced but in the descriptors for awarding points he stated there were no problems.

Regards Marisa

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