Help with ESA appeals tribunal

Suzyhall Member Posts: 9
Hello to everyone I am new to group, will try and keep it as brief as poss but it is a bit of a saga! about me, 43 with 3 kids havent worked for last 8 years due to illness and my hubbie is now my carer, have scoliosis of spine, degenerative discs, pelvic seperation, rheumatoid arthritis affecting all joints apart from knees, high blood pressure, psoriais, treatment anti tnf therapy (enbrel) self inject weekly, methotrexate self inject weekly, amitriptyline, tramadol, morphine patches and co codamol for pain relief, ramipril for hugh blood pressure.
I had to give up my job when I developed RA 8 years ago and have been on IB and DLA ever since, I was migrated from IB to ESA last sept and after completing atos questionaiire was put in WRAG without a medical, I immediately appealed asking to be placed in support group and had letter shortly after saying no change and would be sent to tribunal, that was a year ago and only this week have I had my appeals bundle and letter from tribunal, I have sent tribunal letter back saying I want to attend in person even though the nearest centre is over an hour away from me!! and am awaiting tribunal date, so i now have to gather as much evidence as I can and I could really do with some help, I have no representation but did write to my MP yesterday so dont know if he will help. Studying the last medical report in my bundle the assessor stated that I had a significant disability and was not expected to be able to work within next 2 years however did not accept I should be in support group even though I meet the criteria by putting no in the walking, standing and reaching questions, I understand you only have to have one of those to qualify and I have atleast 3! backed up by letters from my consultant confirming my condition and medication, I also asked for exceptional circumstances to be used due to 1) side effects of pain medication make me very drowsy, sleepy and unable to react or concentrate properly leaving me and everyone else at risk, 2) I often fall due to weakness in legs so who would help me if I fell during work related interviews/activity bearing in mind none of the staff are allowed to pick you up or support you etc so again making me a risk to myself and others and lastly 3) methotrexate and anti tnf therapy both lower your immune system and I am classed as immunosuppressed therefore leaving me at risk of infection and even a common cold can cause serious complications (as I have sadly discovered!) so am advised to keep away from public places where possible, also if I do have an infection of any kind I have to stop the medication until I am better so that then affects my joint pain! So I would have thought that was a pretty good case but obviously they dont agree, so can anyone advise me on what to say in my evidence that might get through to them? or am I flogging a dead horse and should be grateful I am atleast still getting esa ?I have also been told on another forum that if I go to tribunal and I lose I could risk being found fit to work and lose all my benefits
thanks in advance and very best wishes to you all that are fighting !!


  • Suzyhall
    Suzyhall Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Further to this I have had advice on another forum that they dont give stuff about your illness or the medications you are taking and I need to concentrate on the descriptors and get as much evidence as I can about me for instance not be able to walk 50 metres without stopping and being in pain etc, where do I start? I did answer No to these questions on the questionaiire so should have met the criteria for support group, so do they think me and my consultant are lying? How do I prove otherwise, I have told them I need stick or crutches etc.
    HELP !!!!
  • janie68
    janie68 Member Posts: 1,186
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    What you have described is a long list but I 'm not sure whether the support descriptors apply. You may not be able to walk 50 metres but they will assume that you can use a wheelchair instead. So, you need to say if it is the case, that you can't use a wheelchair, ATOS mean a self propelling one. I can't use a self propelling one, so I or rather my hubby worte on the form why I can't use one. ATOS do a lot of assuming! Unfortunately, you have to state the very obvious to them, read the support descriptors then say why they apply to you.

    There is a website who are very very good at tribunals, ESA & DLA, you do have to pay but it is worth it completely. I can send you the link if you PM me.

    Good luck. janie
  • lourhys10
    lourhys10 Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi just wondering if your tribunal has been done and the out come of this as i too find myself in similar position i also have scoliosis of spine with spinal disc herniation and perthes disease which i have had many operations and a titanium hip surface done in 2008 i have received operation on back in 2007 and recently 05/03/2013 seen my consultant to be told i have another herniated disc but they don't want to operate yet due to the fact that they only get one chance so now waiting to lose bladder and bowel control. i had assessment done in December 2011 by atos then was informed in march 2012 that i failed and been put in work related group i appealed against this to be rejected again i went to cab and they was no help told me not to appeal all the way to tribunal unless i was bed bound and could not communicate at all otherwise all benefits would be stopped at the time i didn't want to risk this has i am a single mom of 9yr old and have no family or friends to turn to now march 2013 i have just been sent for another assessment Feb 2013 and received phone call from dwp stating that they need to ask if i can use wheelchair because my points are too low i stated that i have no use of this because of extreme pressure and pain it would cause me on my back and that due to not being able to sit for long or stand that a wheelchair would not be a viable out come my outcome from this is not looking good and would appreciate any advise