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ESA Questionnaire

jules1001jules1001 Member, NewlyRegistered Posts: 2

I am new to this forum and would really appreciate some advice.

Whilst on a family holiday to New Zealand I was in agonising pain and had to be taken to hospital, they did an MRI scan of my spine and found that I had severe arthritis in my bank and damage to my discs 5/6. I brought the results of the MRI back to the UK and had to claim for ESA as could no longer work.

I have only been on ESA for 1 week and they have sent me the capability for work questionnaire.

I have been referred by my doctor to Orthopedics and was triaged as urgent and have already got an appointment to see a spine specialist for help but this is not for another month.

I am not sure what to write on the form, I am in agony most days and up in the middle of the night as it is too painful to sleep, I have severe problems with my left arm, shoulder and let due to the nerve in my spine which I understand is affected due to the discs that have shattered. I can barely walk for a few minutes without having to stop due to the pain, no painkillers are working for it and it is agonising. I am also becoming quite depressed from the pain and not even being able to brush my hair due to my arm being so weak and painful. I am fortunate I have a husband that helps.

Can anyone advise me on what to do, I am a bit scared to be honest I cannot afford to live as I cant work. Is it normal for them to send a form within 1 week of making a claim also ?

Thanks in advance


  • stickywicketstickywicket Member Posts: 26,004
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi jules1001 and welcome to the forum. You have lots of scary things happening all at once so no wonder you're worried about things.

    As regards ESA and capability for work, from what I understand it's the normal thing to ask for the latter when someone first claims the former. This might help https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance . In particular the bit that says "Work Capability Assessment

    You must have a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is being assessed. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.

    You’ll then be placed in one of 2 groups if you’re entitled to ESA:

    work-related activity group, where you’ll have regular interviews with an adviser
    support group, where you don’t have interviews

    Please feel free to ask more questions and, if you need support with the arthritis itself, come and join us on the Living With Arthritis forum :)
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • moderatormoderator Moderator Posts: 4,082
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi jules1001
    You are certainly having a rough time at the moment. As well as ESA, you may well be entitled to claim PIP (personal independence payments) which would give you a greater level of income and it is not means tested. https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/what-is-arthritis/resources/652-personal-independence-payment-pip

    It must be a very stressful tome for you at present, you can always phone our helplines on 0808 800 4050, they can talk to you in confidence and send out any information that you might find useful
    Best Wishes
    Moderator Sharon
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