I was talking the ESA reassessment I had recently in another thread. And I was awaiting for the medical assessment to arrive in the post. Now I have it, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss this in a properly labelled thread so others know where to find it, as I think it might be useful.
I have been moved from the support group to the work-related group. This is a reduction of approx £100 per month, and means I have to go to the job centre for interview to “prepare me for work.” The medical report makes for interesting read. And I thought it would be useful to share some of it with you all, so you know what you are/are not up against at these assessments. The assessment lasted 100 minutes - according to the report.
Apparently, I said I could walk 50 metres before needing to stop due to pain (correct).
Apparently, I also said I could “repeat this a few times” in the course of a day. I NEVER said that - quite the opposite, in fact, not least because I knew in advance that this was main criteria for staying in the support group. This one issue is why I am now in the work-related group instead of the support group. I made it known repeatedly that every step I took hurts.
It is noted that I do not use the top cupboards in the kitchen because reaching up is something I cannot do. I ACTUALLY said that I couldn’t use the BOTTOM cupboards in the kitchen because I couldn’t bend down! That said, the reaching up gave me 6 points - without this mistake on their part, I would have failed the ESA assessment through not enough points and been found fit for work!
I scored 0 with regards to how long I could sit or stand at a work station. I told the assessor repeated that I normally could not sit or stand at a work station because I had been told to have my feet raised whenever possible. According to the assessor there was no reason why I couldn’t sit normally for over an hour without moving away from the workstation. Presumably this was because I sat with my feet down during the assessment - but there was little choice to do anything else, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it to last 100 minutes. But he was told repeatedly by me that I would not/could not do this normally.
On the other hand, I was asked explicitly if I could go up just two stairs with the use of a hand rail. I said yes. He has marked it as “no!”
Apparently, I said I could pick up a 4-pint carton of milk, but I didn’t say that.
What I deduce from this is that the assessor should apply for ESA because he is clearly in a hallucinatory state and so HE is not fit for work!!!
Quite what I do next, I’m not sure. I’m awaiting a letter from my GP, in which I have asked him to outline my condition and the problems it causes When I get it I will decide whether to appeal or not. However, I only have 15 points - the bare minimum to be on ESA - so if I appeal, it could go the other way and I could end up losing the benefit altogether!
But the system is screwed. I got the bare minimum of points, but the assessor notes the following:
Uses aids to get dress.
Uses a bath lift to get in and out of the bath
_Has a raised a toilet. _
_Struggles to grip walking stick due to arthritis in hand. _
Unable to use computer mouse
Has to use phone on speakerphone as cannot hold to ear for long periods due to elbow pain
Poor grip of pen
Struggles to use shower gel bottled due to reduced grip
Cannot chop or peel food
Orders groceries online and due to mobility issues and reduced strength
Cannot raise either arm about head to reach for something
_Unable to manage steps. _
Lower limb movement are slow, stiff and painful
Had difficult rising from sitting in an upright chair
Stood up very slowly
Walked 15 metres very slowly
Stooped bent knee gait and a stick
Unable to use the step to mount the couch
Used his elbows to manouvre on the couch
Left and right hip bending considerably reduced
Left and right knee bending is slightly reduced
Unable to straighten knees
Hip movement limited by pain
Power in legs significantly reduced
Ankle movements reduced
Arm muscle power is significantly reduced
Thumb and finger grip is weak
Fist grip reduced
_All upper limb movement appeared slow, stiff and painful _
Significant disability is likely in mobilising and reaching activities.
And yet, despite all of that, I still only scored the minimum points to be on the benefit and to be viewed as unfit for work.
I hope this info is of use to others who are preparing for their own assessment in the future.