Hi, Welcome!

The community is a safe space for people living with and connected to arthritis to ask questions and share experiences. Get started by registering here and posting your first comment or question!

Sign In with a Versus Arthritis account

ESA medical this week, terrified

wrenwren Posts: 13
Hi, I'm just looking for any advice anyone may have. I claimed ESA as I was turned down when I tried to claim JSA- I can't hold a pen, I can't stand for long, I can hardly do anything with my hands due to arthritis. I filled in the form in the only way I knew how- took double painkillers and anti inflammatory, had a glass or 2 of wine, filled it in quickly before the pain got too much. Really, really regret it but I didn't know anything about the process.

My medical thing is this week and I can't remember anything at all I put. I dithered a lot as the medical note from my Dr just sais arthritis but I feel my depression is important too into why I can't work but I didn't mention it on the form as it wasn't on the note. I don't know if I can mention it.

My medical is friday, it's 3 busses away from me. I've not been sleeping, I've been having panic attacks at the thought of this travel. I'm going insane with worry. busses scare me so much, I can't hold on, I'm youngish so I don't get given a seat but if there are no seats I will fall as I just can't hold on. My grip is poor but mainly the sheer pain from holding makes me let go and I fall.

I wanted to ask if anyone has done this assessment, any advice at all. I don't have anyone who can go with me at all. No one who could drive me. I asked my GP and they don't offer help to people who need support with travel.

The other thing I wanted to ask is about PIP. I have the form to claim after being advised to claim that too, but I just can't fill it in! I can't hold the pen, I don't want to resort to drinking just to get it done. Any advice? It needs to be sent so soon. It also says in it I can do a diary of my day to day struggle but again I can't write. I don't have word. I don't know what to do right now, without any benefits I lose everything, I lose my home.

Comments

  • wrenwren Posts: 13
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi thanks for the reply. unfortunately i dont think i can get the home assessment, I spoke to my GP and they don't help with anything like that. And also I did change the date of the assessment, I panicked so much I made myself sick and called and postponed and they said they would only do that once.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wren, if you re-read your previous thread, I made some suggestions about where to get help for various things and how to use the buses . In addition, from any decent disability store (including online ones) you can buy thick-handled pens and also stuff that any ordinary pen will fit into to make it thicker. These are much easier to write with.

    Doubling up on painkillers and washing them down with wine is a dangerous thing to do and, as someone with arthritis in both hands, I can't see how it would enable you to write more clearly. However, don't worry about remembering what you wrote because your situation clearly hasn't changed so you don't need to remember – just tell them how it is now and it will be the same.

    From what others have said on here it seems most people are refused first time round and only get their award on appeal. I write this to encourage, not discourage, you. It means you needn't worry so much about this assessment and have more time to prepare fully for an appeal, this time getting help with the form-filling from eg CAB.

    Ringing our helpline people might be a really useful start, too. The number's written large, in pink, at the top right of the page. Why not give it a go?
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • wrenwren Posts: 13
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi thanks. the wine and painkiller thing is to help with the pain as i grip. its the main thing for me, the pain in my hands and wrists. to grip something well enough to even loosely hold is agony. i cant grip beyond that, i drop most things, but i can hold the pen close to the page and use the other hand to help move it. it sucks that its now this bad.

    i didnt even know there were things such as larger pens, or even disability stores. im so new to this and ive just been coping with what i have.

    i havent called the number as id thought it was more for coping with arthritis and things like that. right now my entire focus is on getting this benefit, ESA or PIP, just anything as it means i can get housing benefit and wont lose my home. its all i can think of, its stopped me sleeping for weeks now. everything i try and do, all i can think of is what i do when im homeless. its just a cloud i live under and covers everything else i do.

    i think my circumstances may have changed since the form, which is worrying me. i filled it in based on the exact day i filled it, which wasnt my worst day by far. it was almost late back as i was waiting for a good day! and i didnt understand some of the questions. like the food part- i struggle to cook to the extent i dont, i buy dry food. if its really bad some days i lie down and have the biscuits or crackers near me and eat that way, so i dont need to use my hands much. i cope, and i filled it in saying i didnt need help simply because i have no help.

    i know im not going to get this and im just its all so bleak. i want to have hope for the future but i know if i do become homeless im unlikely to survive.

    on top of this im now filling in my PIP form and ive just been burying my head in the sand and its due on saturday and im just i cant fill it in. all the advice is go to CAB but i struggle to leave my home at all.

    i dont know if its worth doing this anymore
  • wrenwren Posts: 13
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    oh i just realised you were the person who mentioned occupational therery as a thing. im still not sure what it is but i called my council, someone called me back after some time and told me it was the wrong service, i called the number they gave me for another service who called me back today and took somedetails but i dont know what may happen after this point at all. but thanks for mentioning it i didnt know it was a thing
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It sounds as if you're not on the right treatment, wren, if your hands are so bad. Is it RA or OA that you have? If RA then you need to ring your rheumatology helpline. If OA, you need to see your GP.

    These are the sort of things you need to make writing easier. https://www.abilitysuperstore.com/index.php/leisure-exercise/writing

    The helpline number is, indeed, for coping with arthritis but that can take many forms and our helpline people will deal with all of them as best they can. It sounds as if you really need help on several fronts so do, please, give them a ring.

    If you are not eating a good, healthy diet, your arthritis will be worse. There are lots of gadgets about to help with opening things etc and you will get a sense of achievement if you can get back to cooking for yourself. It doesn't have to be elaborate. In fact lots of fresh vegetables are better eaten raw.

    Burying your head in the sand is the worst thing you can do. Bite the bullet and talk to our helpline people. I'm sure they'll do their utmost to help you out of this hole.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • PositivePositive Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have realised that I haven't been on this forum for some time. My result of the medical for ESA was successful and am now in the Support Group.

    As far as the actual medical itself, just tell the truth. But do tell them how you are on your worst days, not your best.

    Also tell them how it affects you mentally. I was a little concerned about the result as I was telling the examiner how I managed to deal with things rather than what I couldn't do.

    If you have any questions about the medical do feel free to ask me.
  • wrenwren Posts: 13
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi. I went to the medical and had no idea how it went. But I just checked my bank and they've stopped my HB so I failed. So now I'm working on the PIP and trying to find a way to pay my rent this month. But I'm pretty sure next month I will be homeless. Just waiting for the official letter to say it was turned down.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Don't wait, wren. Take action now.

    I don't know if there's any connection between your recent interview and your housing benefit being stopped but I doubt it all works so quickly. However, I know nothing about these things.

    Please act now rather than just waiting for things to happen. Read up on benefits here https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/ and then ring to ask about your personal circumstances.

    And well done on getting to the interview. That's one big achievement under your belt. Make it the springboard for more.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • daffy2daffy2 Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well done Wren on getting to the interview. As SW says, be proactive about the immediate problem of your HB. There are all sorts of reasons why the council might have done this, including acting on wrong information, but if you don't ask you won't know. Better to raise the problem now than end up with rent arrears.
Sign In or Register to comment.