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TOPIC: ME/CFS - DLA & ESA Tribunal - Grilled Chop Test!!

ME/CFS - DLA & ESA Tribunal - Grilled Chop Test!! 9 years 1 month ago #17121

  • Daley
Just thought I would post some good news and hopefully encourage others facing what I have to be strong - even when u dont feel it.

This paragraph should be at end, but as its a long post and you may not get there this is my advice to anyone in same position.

Be strong - you have to fight for what you are entitled too. Took me along time to get over the fact that it was not fair that I felt so ill and still had to battle. Along the way this added severe depression and a whole list of other ailments. Contact ME Society - this is a must, £6 to join and so helpful. If u are reading this you have made the best decision and will have signed up to this site. I read as many of the DLA/ESA papers as I could, made notes, went over them, read the forums and took all into how I was going to present myself and my case.

I have had ME/CFS since 2003 and initially carried on trying to work. 2 years ago I had to 'give up' and went onto IB, after 6 months wanted to try and work and get some purpose back so onto JSA. 6 months of trying and condition getting worse then put onto the new ESA.

Applied for DLA and ESA, turned down for both, so appealed.

DLA - 1st Tribunal decision against. However, I had written to say further GP evidence on the way to be considered. Decision set aside.

2nd Tribunal Decision - against. As I had written to say I wanted to attend to ensure they had everything I wanted considered. Decision set aside.

3rd Tribunal Decision - yesterday. I attended with ME Society lady. Although I had to answer the questions the support was just so encouraging.

The outcome all seemed to hinge on whether I could grill a chop!!

For me ME means I can function too varying degrees in the morning but just forget me after midday. So when asked if I could prepare a main meal I explained that although it could take a while, and maybe not all in one go, it was possible that I could assemble a cottage pie - ready mash, ready mince, frozen peas in a morning for husband to put in oven for tea. However, the test was could I peel 1 potato, 1 carrot and grill 1 chop - the answer - probably on a good day if you wanted your Grilled Chop for breakfast - absolutely not if you were thinking for Tea!!!

ESA - Like it seems for most I scored '0' points. As the appeal was back to back with DLA alot had been covered. So after maybe 5/10 minutes they seemed to have enough info and asked us to leave room again. ME lady suggested that was probably as they had scored enough points. On returning found she was right, what a gem. Granted ESA.

Yes, taken home, helped to undress put into bed, where realistically I will remain for a good few days as I am drained - but I felt such relief that now they 'believe' me and wanted to give others hope. Fight - don't let the system win! (Yep this was typed for me and formed into proper sentences!!!!).

Re: ME/CFS - DLA & ESA Tribunal - Grilled Chop Test!! 9 years 1 month ago #17122

  • kathy1
Well done you for sticking up for yourself.

Forget the chops, get yourself a big chunk of sirloin now and enjoy it(even at brekki).

Kathy x

Re: ME/CFS - DLA & ESA Tribunal - Grilled Chop Test!! 9 years 1 month ago #17128

Hi Daley,

First of all: congratulations and congratulations.

I don't think we've ever had someone with DLA and ESA hearings on the same day before - particularly not after two set asides - I'm very impressed by your tenacity.

Can I just check: you were put into the work-related activity group for ESA and awarded lower rate care for DLA?

No rush for an answer - you certainly deserve a rest.


Re: ME/CFS - DLA & ESA Tribunal - Grilled Chop Test!! 9 years 1 month ago #17142

  • Survivor
One potato, one carrot and one chop doesn't sound like a meal to me unless the carrot and potato are rather large.

I'm interested in this, though, because until now I'd thought the test involved cooking something in the oven, not grilling it, and this seems to be paring the test down to the bare minimum, which doesn't seem to me to be what the test is about.

I'd be interested to know if this is a typical interpretation of the cooking test.

Re: ME/CFS - DLA & ESA Tribunal - Grilled Chop Test!! 9 years 1 month ago #17145

Hi Survivor,

The test is a main meal for one and it can all be cooked on the hob, at least according to some commissioners (upper tribunal judges) decisions.

It might be worth looking at the caselaw pack in the DLA appeals section to see where the law currently stands on the cooking test, if this is something that is relevant to you.


Re: ME/CFS - DLA & ESA Tribunal - Grilled Chop Tes 9 years 1 month ago #17158

Hello Daley,

I do admire your determination to fight for what you clearly are entitled to.
I have been through similar experiences for IB and DLA (renewals/refusals both at once, but not tribunals on the same day).

You mention The M.E. Society. Do you mean The M.E. Association?
I didn't know they were able to provide members with someone to attend tribunals.
I've never thought to ask them.
That's so great to have someone who understands the illness and its problems associated with daily living, and support at a tribunal.

It's such an amazing feeling of relief to see that piece of paper from the appeal tribunal, basically saying that you have fought the Secretary Of State and won!

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