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1. Migration from IB to ESA Support Group without 7 years 6 months ago #105955
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Migration from IB to ESA Support Group without Medical – Plus Some Tips for Completing the ESA50
Six weeks after submitting my ‘ESA50’, I was notified that I had been placed in the ESA Support Group. Like many others, I had an anxious wait until the result came through and I was, of course, much relieved by the decision. I am sure that I would not have received this positive outcome had it not been for the ‘Benefits & Work’ ‘team’ and the subscribers to this website. Like many before me, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to ‘Benefits & Work’ for the helpfulness of the information on the website and especially for the thoroughness of the ‘Members Guides’ – particularly the ‘Guide to the Work Capability Assessment’.
Despite some Forum members seemingly cautioning against being over-inclusive in one’s ‘ESA50’ submission, I decided instead on the alternative, ‘Blitzkrieg’ approach. Not only did I attach 6 pages of closely typed A4 text in response to the free-text boxes relevant to my claim, but I also attached a 16 page medico-legal report from my medical consultant, albeit that it was over ten years old. I had also taken the precaution of seeing both my consultant and my GP earlier in the year, to brief them both on my condition (since I rarely see either of them and unless I had briefed them, neither would have had any idea of how I coped day to day with my disability). Whether or not either of them was approached by ATOS in relation to my claim, I have no idea, but I have requested a copy of my ‘ESA85A’ in order to try and get a clearer idea of the criteria on which my award was made.
So, for the potential benefit of others and at the risk of stating the obvious, I would like to suggest the following as one possible strategy for completing the ‘ESA50’. 1. Fully familiarise yourself ahead of time with the ‘ESA50’ and with the supporting documents on this website relevant to your situation; 2. If you can, use the online version of the ‘ESA50’, since this will allow you to easily fine-tune your submission over time; 3. If you can, start this process before you receive the ‘ESA50’ through the post, as completing the form can be a lengthy process; 4. If you haven’t done so already, touch base with your GP and any medical specialist(s) involved in your care and brief them on your situation (it may be helpful to write this down first and to leave a copy with them); 5. Be as inclusive as you can when completing this and your ‘ESA50’ and don’t be squeamish about disclosing information of an intimate or personal nature; 6. If you find that you cannot fit all the information you wish to in either the online or paper version of the ‘ESA50’, securely attach as many A4 sheets as you need to to your submission; 7. Similarly, if you have any medical reports relevant to your application, attach copies of these as well; 8. If you don’t have anything in writing, try and make sure that your GP and any significant others involved in your care and whom you may have named on your form, are ‘onside’; 9. If you have done your homework and are prepared ahead of time, don’t send your form back by return, but rather wait a week or more before posting it back; 10. If you can afford it, send your form back by some form of tracked delivery, preferably one which requires a signature and make sure you keep your receipt somewhere safe; 11. Finally, keep your fingers crossed and try not to worry too much whilst you wait for the brown envelope from the DWP to arrive.
My apologies if I have repeated or unwittingly plagiarised, in part or in full, information previously posted on this website or elsewhere, but I hope that this contribution may prove useful to anyone who may be about to complete their ‘ESA50’ or who may be coming to the ‘Work Capability Assessment’ afresh.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mr Tiredout
1. Migration from IB to ESA Support Group without 7 years 6 months ago #105956
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Well done on getting into The SG without a face to face assessment.
Thank you for your very positive comments regarding B&W, they are appreciated.
You have listed some very useful tips in your post.
If your forum name is also your real name, you may wish to change it to maintain some anonymity.
This can be done quite easily by following the instructions on this FAQ
My full name is showing, how can I stop it?
Last edit: by bro58.
1. Migration from IB to ESA Support Group without 7 years 6 months ago #105957
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It certainly sounds like you deserve "success"from your thorough efforts.'Preparation is the Secret of Victory".
However there have been cases cited on here where despite alll the evidence in the world included with The EAS 50 a dreaded Face 2 Face has nethertheless been called.
Similiarly there have also been cases where scanty evidence submitted has resulted in a decision without a Face to face.How can this be explained?
This sounds very much like random selection ie : They are not really reading the 10s of Thousands 16 page documents and indecipherable hand written box panels very much at all still less having time to professionally assess them-its my suspicion that a certaiin quota are being approved No medical eg 20% according to workloads and the remainder targeted for Medicals.
Again according to the ebb and slack of ATOS Doctors availability.After all they can always call up the successful ones at the next face to face in 6 months to a year.!
There might even be a quota to "fail"a certain number despite the evidence which would explain another anonymly-strong cases that are found fit 4 work.
Are we deluded in thinking its all a fair and logical process caringa nd concerned with reading and ho humming over every word of our submssions?
Last edit: by bro58.
1. Migration from IB to ESA Support Group without 7 years 6 months ago #105958
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Thanks for all the tips gjp46. I am about to embark on the process you've just been through! Have had the form through last Saturday, have got until July 15th to submit it and have all the guides in front of me as I now start the lengthy process of completeing the form. Well done you. Wish me luck.
Last edit: by bro58.
1. Migration from IB to ESA Support Group without 7 years 6 months ago #105962
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There are people of a similar opinion, in that there is a certain amount of "pot luck".
We will never know for sure.
However, there is one thing for certain, if you don't provide relevant evidence, then it most certainly cannot be taken into account.
Besides this, the more in depth information that is provided in the first instance, the easier it should be to be successful at reconsideration/appeal.
1. Migration from IB to ESA Support Group without 7 years 6 months ago #105981
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I am sure that in a process which involves so many assessments and if we are to believe, with assessors under financial (or other?) incentives to get through as many applications as possible, ‘mistakes’ will undoubtedly be made and dare I say, corners may perhaps be cut. Frankly, I view the Government’s approach to welfare reform, as at best mean-spirited and at worst downright persecutory. May be I was just lucky or may be just ‘got the nod’ this time round, but as I see it, there is an element of divide and rule at work here, since in effect everyone applying for ESA is not only being pitted against the system (corrupt or otherwise), but also being perversely placed in competition with each other (i.e. who can submit the ‘best’ applications). If I were an assessor and my integrity perhaps left something to be desired and I was having a bad day, or maybe I was underperforming on my targets, perhaps I might be inclined to make less effort, ‘lay aside’, ‘downgrade’, or otherwise ‘make things difficult’ for the illegibly handwritten, or the beautifully presented ‘War and Peace’ submissions –both of which may be perfectly valid applications and both entitled to full and appropriate consideration. To treat such applications in such a cavalier way would, of course, at best be unfair and at worst, downright corrupt, but in an undertaking as colossal as the ESA, some unfairness, whether intended (conspiracy theory) or incidental (cock-up theory), is surely to be expected. Indeed, the reported success of the appeal statistics would seem to support this, albeit that the rate at which original decisions are being overturned is, to say the least, alarming.
However, returning to one of the implications of your post, that the assessment procedure may be something of a lottery, if not a conspiracy, this does not invalidate the requirement to provide as much relevant information as possible, not least since as ‘bro58’ suggests, “the more in depth information that is provided in the first instance, the easier it should be to be successful at reconsideration/appeal”. For me, I wished to make sure that I had all of the bases covered (or at least as many as possible), without being untruthful, so that there was as little scope as possible for ambiguity, misunderstanding, or challenge. I also have some medical knowledge, so where the opportunity arose I made sure that I used the appropriate medical terminology. Whether or not this gave me any advantage or not, I will never know. However, in submitting my ‘opus magnum’, I did have half an eye on the possibility of a medical assessment or an appeal and my submission was intended to try and ‘head that one off at the pass’, so to speak. We know the system is flawed. Indeed, the disability forums are replete with stories of outrageous injustice, so we are all in the same boat. Nevertheless, this does not, in my view, remove the requirement to present one’s case as comprehensively as one can. Indeed quite the contrary. I may have been lucky with my “success”, but I know that the decision to place me in the SG was correct and I would have vigorously challenged any other decision. I think that my determination was implicit in my application. I have read the ATOS handbook as well as the B&W one. I know that I could and would have fought my corner if it had come to it. The aim of my post was to offer hope to those who may yet have to undergo the ‘Work Capability Assessment’. There is indeed, no substitute for thorough preparation and hard work and it is important that this is clearly understood. Furthermore, it is important to take the application process seriously and at face value, however one’s application may be treated, once submitted. My use of the term ‘Blitzkrieg’ was deliberate, since it could be said that we are engaged in a war here, or perhaps less hyperbolically, a ‘game’ (of chess?), or may be at worst, to follow your line of argument, a serendipitous game of chance. I am reminded of the words of R. D. Laing in all of this: ‘They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game’ (R.D. Laing, 1974). So ‘play the game’ and do so to the best of your ability and who knows, you may just win and if you don’t and you fall at the first hurdle, you will at least be well prepared for the next round!