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TOPIC: ESA and mental health

ESA and mental health 8 years 5 months ago #57004

  • lolita
Hi guys,

First off, thank you, moderators and members, for this helpful site and forum. I was hoping that the information found here would get me out of a medical or would at least help with one and I have used all the info I could find here. It has been the best source of information I could find.

However, I am now after my medical (which took place on the 26th April) and just found out today from the Benefit Delivery Centre in Stratford (London) that I only got 6 points. I wasn't even shocked after reading all the stories here but I really cannot even begin to think how the person performing the medical could have minimised anything I had told him. He must have completely ignored everything I said and just filled in his form on the computer however he felt was right.

I wonder what is the point of the medical then if ATOS completely ignore the medical evidence, the medication you're on, the things you tell them, the sick notes from your doctor!

I have borderline personality disorder and generalised anxiety disorder and I'm getting worse with time. A few years ago I was still a very good student, I was self-employed for many years and even though my BPD affected my life then too, it was never as bad as in the last 6-7 years. It's become so serious that my anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia have literally immobilised me. I cannot use public transport at all, I hardly meet anyone, I only feel safe at home (You can imagine what the medical must have done to me) and I really am danger to myself and probably others.

After the medical I was so outraged by the amount of things I was not informed about in time that I became very agressive towards the receptionists (who were extremely unhelpful) that my friend had to pull me outside of the building.

I am worst toward myself- I am usually so depressed that I can't do anything.

I haven't cooked a meal for myself in years.

My marriage is over because of my illness and I am on highest doses of two antidepressants, which don't really help very much, but my GP and I have tried most already.

My panic attacks when amongst people get worse and worse and I avoid seeing my best friends, not to mention how I feel on the streets.

I am scared almost 24/7. I hardly eat. I harm myself intentionally and simply due to lack of concentration.

My life really is not worth living as it is and I have been without any income or support since February when my statutory sick pay run out.

Sorry about this much info about me but I am desperately seeking people in a similar situation who have perhaps managed to get somewhere with their claims/appeals/tribunals etc?

The decision about my ESA hasn't been made yet but with 6 points from the medical i don't suppose there is a slightest chance I could get ESA? On top of that, I can only get income-related ESA, as I only paid two years of the right NI (being self-employed before that, I paid Class 4, not Class 2 of NI, which disqualifies me from getting the NI contributions-related ESA).

My question is, has anyone been through something similar?

What are the chances of appealing the medical and being placed in the support group for ESA?

The worst thing is that I really have no help with feeling in the forms; it took me months to fill in the ESA50, which I sent in too late but they did receive it in time for the medical. Obviously, the doctor I saw didn't have any documents with him, and what I brought with me must have not made any impact either. The weird thing is that he knew that I was there because of my mental health issues but he did not have any documents. Isn't that strange?

To make it more fun, he also made me have the physical test, which was extremely idiotic, intimidating and pointless, since we both knew why I was there. I couldn't believe it.

I am so sick of it all and so tired. I have no money whatsoever and use credit cards.

Has anyone tried to get the crisis loan?

Also, is there any chance I could get Income Support now if I'm applying for ESA? I know that you can't have both but since my case was ineligible for National Contributions-based ESA, I am still trying to get them to allow me to try for the income-related one. This still hasn't been resolved and I have no income or help whatsoever.

Thank you so much for reading this and thanks a lot in advance for your advice.


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Re:ESA and mental health 8 years 5 months ago #57011

I haven't been through a medical yet but I just wanted to say I feel for you so much. I have mental health problems too recurrent depressive disorder being one of them. All I can say is please go and see the Citizens advice bureau or welfare rights officer at your local council . If you are in a housing association property they will also likely have a welfare rights advisor.
Take care

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Re:ESA and mental health 8 years 5 months ago #57014

  • RachelPotter
Hi lolita, sorry you're having such a bad time.

Can I ask a few questions...

do you see a psychiatrist or have a CPN?

if not, I would go to your GP and ask for both.

You should be able to get assessment rate ESA while you appeal the decision.

I went from 6 points to 18 at appeal, for mental health; it can be done.

I self harm and tribunal were very sensitive about this.

Take care,

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Re:ESA and mental health 8 years 5 months ago #57015

  • Catherine

Like Jenny, i am very sorry to hear what you are going through - i too recommend you going to Citizens Advice for support with your ESA and advice about crisis loans etc.

You may be able to get into the support group due to exceptional circumstances criteria, as recently suggested by Rachel to someone else with complex mental health difficulties. Do you think your GP could write a letter of support suggesting you qualify for the support group under exceptional circumstances guidance?

Hopefully a decision-maker will reconsider the decision if it does not go in your favour and you have to appeal, or you may have to wait for your case to go before a tribunal. You will be entitled to basic-rate ESA during the appeal as long as you keep sending in sick-notes.

Best of luck with it and look after yourself - people on this site will also support you the best they can.

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