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Thread: ESA Appointment Farce - Any advice please

  1. #1
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    ESA Appointment Farce - Any advice please

    Hi, can anyone offer me any advice please ?

    I have been disabled for years now following a RTA as a teenager - reconstructive surgery to my right ankle/foot.
    In May 2012 I had an operation on my left foot and was discharged without any follow up from my surgeon.
    Over several months and battles I am now getting the treatment that I need from another Hospital.
    Since May 2012 I have been unable to work and have been on ESA basic amount.

    I received a letter to attend a medical from ATOS in October, which I attended. My husband has to come with me (and take time off from work) as I have fequent use of my wheelchair, and have problems with mobility.
    We had to set off at 6am in the morning to get to the centre. After being sent away after waiting 2 hours, as ATOS we unable to find my details on their computer. Two days later we received a letter from ATOS to say my appointment had been cancelled as they had received further information.
    All went quiet , and I still received the basic amount of ESA.
    Two days ago I received a letter from ATOS asking me to attend another appointment in 2 weeks time, at a centre which isn't accesable for disabled people.
    I called ATOS yesterday and spoke to a lady who put me on hold, and then she cut me off after 15 minutes of waiting.
    I rang up again and explained to another staff member that I had previously come for an assesment and had been turned away. She said that they had received medical reports through in October and this is why the appointment was cancelled.
    I said to her that my situation has not changed and further medical documents could be obtained from my GP, Hospital.
    She said that they would not do this.
    I was then transferred to appointments and explained that I needed to cancel the appointment that had been made for me as this centre is not accessable for diasbled. I also have a hospital appointment on this day.
    I went on to expain to him that my husband would need to take time off work to come with me,as I have no other means of getting there. He cannot just take time off without giving notice. He then went on to make me a further appointment and told me if I did not attend my benefit would stop. I again tried to explain to him that I rely on my husband to get me around. This didn't seem to worry him!
    I have previously been refused a home visit, and have been told that he doubts if they will pay for transport to pick me up as the centre is over 60 miles away.
    The Atos rep also explained that if I didn't attend this appointment my benefit would stop and they caould not re-arrange this again. If I didn't attend I would be sent a letter asking me to state exactly why I couldn't attend. A decision would the be made to stop my benefit.

    I am not being awkward, but my husband cant just "drop" everything to take me to the centre. Without him I am unable to get around.
    As they have my previous medical reports, I don't see why they don't ask for more information.

    The stupid think about all this is that my benefit is due to stop in May anyway as I am on contribution based ESA, and I have been told that I can only get ESA for 1 year. I am not entitled to any other benefits as my husband works.

    Please Help !!! I can't take much more I am already fighting for local NHS trust due to the treatment I received. I will also lose my house soon , as we will be unable to pay the mortgage due to me being not able to work. I do not need further hastle from ATOS !!! Any advice please?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member susieboots's Avatar
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    Oh bless you, this is terrible. Sadly I don't have any advice to give you on this, however, I know you will receive replies from people who will have beneficial advice for you. I just want to wish you good luck and please keep us posted on developments. Very best wishes, Susie

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    Quote Originally Posted by susieboots View Post
    Oh bless you, this is terrible. Sadly I don't have any advice to give you on this, however, I know you will receive replies from people who will have beneficial advice for you. I just want to wish you good luck and please keep us posted on developments. Very best wishes, Susie
    Many thanks for your kind words. I will keep you posted on the "battle with ATOS".

  4. #4
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    wow theres so many things wrong with that PAEDW - firstly they are not allowed to ask you to attend a place which isn't accessible for the disabled! they should know that by now, for that reason alone you should be exempt.

    and the fact you have no one to attend with you is another valid enough reason so i dunno why they are behaving like this - oh wait i do know - they are Atos after all. urghhh what a bunch of bastards

    but at least they finally confirmed something for us:
    Quote Originally Posted by PAEDW48 View Post
    I said to her that my situation has not changed and further medical documents could be obtained from my GP, Hospital.
    She said that they would not do this
    hoo-hoo, so much for them claiming that they DO contact your GP first. my arse they do!
    if she had said that to me i would have said "thanks for finally admitting that to me, i always assumed you didn't" lol

    sadly in a situation like this there is only two things you can do - either try going, with your husband if you can or someone else - or don't attend. yes your money will be stopped but you will have the right to appeal and simply explain your reasons why. place is not accessible for the disabled plus you had no one to go with you... choose the latter if you can manage on just your husbands income alone (although you may be able to get the assessment rate whilst appealing) hope that helped

  5. #5
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    The only way you could continue to get ESA would be to be put in SG, from what you say I doubt you would, but you can always try.
    To get a home visit you would need the support of your GP.
    I'm not sure why ATOS asked you to attend an assessment 8 months after your initial award in March or what they are doing now, my advice would be hang it out till May to get what benefit you can.
    Have you thought about DLA?

  6. #6
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    Yes I do get DLA - I have a car to help me get around. I am now also getting worried that if I do not attend / fail the assesment they may try to stop my DLA which will mean I will be unable to leave the house, as I can't use public transport.
    I am not entitled to any other benefits as my husband works.
    We are now in the situation where in a few months we will be losing our home as we cannot survive on just one income. I have always managed to work up until now.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAEDW48 View Post
    Yes I do get DLA - I have a car to help me get around. I am now also getting worried that if I do not attend / fail the assesment they may try to stop my DLA which will mean I will be unable to leave the house, as I can't use public transport.
    I am not entitled to any other benefits as my husband works.
    We are now in the situation where in a few months we will be losing our home as we cannot survive on just one income. I have always managed to work up until now.
    I'm sorry to say that you may well have your DLA claim re assessed. You are not alone in facing severe hardship by these cuts to us all.

  8. #8
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    Other than getting into the Support Group can't suggest much to continue receiving ESA CB. All I can suggest is ensuring mortgage and priority bills are paid first and everything else like loan repayments etc are put at the bottom of the pile. There's some good advice on making low budgets go further to be found in one of the sections of the MSE forum.
    Last edited by seriouslyfedup; 03-29-2013 at 05:47 AM. Reason: typing errors

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