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TOPIC: ESA Tribunal on Monday - need some advice please

ESA Tribunal on Monday - need some advice please 4 years 1 week ago #113147

I have an appeal for IB to ESA Monday morning. I was placed in the work group but know that will be impossible for me, it's the wrong group entirely. I wrote to the DWP to explain how my conditions (about 30 of them at last count) affect me. People with just one of my illnesses don't seem to have a problem yet I have around 25-30 (the majority of which are certainly not minor problems) and I don't understand the DWP's reasoning behind their 'fit for work' decision.

I've read through all the documents (no doctors notes even though I ticked the 'yes you can get hold of my dr's notes' box). Does this mean they haven't followed through and obtained my dr's notes? That would explain a lot.

It was like reading a report about someone else, some of it was about me, some was wrong and some was unrecognisable.

For instance the medical assessor put:
"Sat in chair 85 minutes". What she omitted to include was that I was constantly moving about, shifting, sitting on one side, holding my head in pain and vocalised pain many times, including saying I was in extreme pain and feeling sick and exhausted.

"Client was not anxious". Again what wasn't recorded by the assessor was that I was often sat forwards in the chair, clutching my hands, shaking and even cried at one point whilst talking about my mental illness and how my health problems affect my movement and general state of mind.

There were dozens of points I've annotated and don't want to forget any of it - but I don't want to come across as angry or arrogant or anything that would put up the judge/doctor's backs. This is a huge deal for me.

Any advice would be very welcome.

The reason I didn't bring this up before was because I didn't understand until I read the guides here that I had to read through the paperwork before the trial. I was told it was 'just a copy of everything that I already had for my records'.

A few things have changed (worsened, plus more diagnoses) in the 15 months since I completed the form and since my medical in February. Am I allowed to bring these to the judges attention?

Thank you - I'm in a bit of a mess over this. I actually feel like a criminal, not someone who's particularly vulnerable.

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I collect illnesses the way some people collect clutter.
Last Edit: by Gordon.

ESA Tribunal on Monday - need some advice please 4 years 1 week ago #113152

beans

To try and answer your questions;

If your medical records or an ESA113 are not in the evidence pack that you received then the DWP have not contacted your GP for further information.

I am afraid that the Tribunal can only consider your health as it was at the time of the Decision you appealed, any deterioration in your conditions since then cannot be looked at.

The primary responsibility of the panel is to see whether you meet the criteria for the Support Group, so whilst it is important to show where there are errors or omissions in the medical report you will not win your case by doing so.

A couple of things for you to consider (taking your post literally);

You indicate that you had problems sitting during the assessment, the Sitting and Standing Descriptor consider your ability to do both, so you also need to show that you have problems standing, or you will not score points for this.

In a similar vein you talk about our anxiety, you need to relate this back to the Descriptors as in isolation it will not result in an award.

The point I am making is that you will only be placed in the SG if you meet one or more of the criteria.

Qualifying for the Support Group

Best of luck with the hearing

Gordon
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ESA Tribunal on Monday - need some advice please 4 years 1 week ago #113157

Thank you Gordon.

I have had a look at the descriptors and I have problems with 9 through 14. It might be worth going through the review again to see what the assessor wrote and try writing it myself to give to the tribunal. Would that be worth doing or am I way off the mark? So sorry for the question, I get very confused due to brain damage.

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Last Edit: by Gordon.

ESA Tribunal on Monday - need some advice please 4 years 1 week ago #113163

beans wrote: Thank you Gordon.

I have had a look at the descriptors and I have problems with 9 through 14. It might be worth going through the review again to see what the assessor wrote and try writing it myself to give to the tribunal. Would that be worth doing or am I way off the mark? So sorry for the question, I get very confused due to brain damage.


I would go back to the ESA Claim guides, for example in regard to Support Group Descriptor 9, the example answer is;

1 Because of a brain injury which has affected my ability to process sound, my concentration and my short-term memory

2 I have problems with moderately complex tasks.

3 I have problems both with understanding and remembering instructions.

4 For example, I need to have tasks such as using a washing machine or sending an email explained but I will repeatedly ask questions about something I have just been told because I ‘hear’ the wrong words or they get drowned out by background noise. So, I have to be physically shown how each step works as well to help me process the information. I also don’t follow sequences of directions well and need them broken down into very small steps or I will miss parts of the explanation and then do it wrong.5 Even after learning things like using a washing machine if I try to do it again the next day without anyone there to help I will do things like forget to put the soap in or put it in the conditioner slot.

5 My condition affects me like this all the time.


You should obviously adapt these for your specific circumstances.

Gordon
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Last Edit: by Gordon.

ESA Tribunal on Monday - need some advice please 4 years 1 week ago #113192

Hello Gordon

I wanted to let you know that your advice has worked - I won my appeal! I spent the weekend going through the points I mentioned above and I wrote down how things are for me. When I got to the tribunal, the clerk asked if I had any more evidence and I gave him three printed copies. Ten minutes later, the judge came into the waiting room and told me there was no need to go into the tribunal because she and the doctor had read my notes and I'd won my appeal on the strength of that. That was just after 10am, it still hasn't sunk in yet!

Thank you for everything, I couldn't have done it without your reply and I'm very grateful to you.

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ESA Tribunal on Monday - need some advice please 4 years 1 week ago #113193

That's great news beans, thanks for letting us know. I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that it often takes DWP some weeks to get round to taking action and giving you your back pay!
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