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Thread: Failed ESA medical (Northern Ireland - Atos)

  1. #1
    New Member JonJo383's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Northern Ireland

    Failed ESA medical (Northern Ireland - Atos)

    So today I got my ESA decision letter and it says I have scored 0 points for the LCW and I looked at the statement and it is lie after lie on the statement, I have Retinopathy of Permaturity, Cataracts and left hand sided weakness, even in the getting around safely box, I scored nothing in which I should have scored 15 points as I have trouble crossing roads due to short sightedness and cannot judge the distance at which speed the cars are coming, I feel at a loss, should I make an appeal for the ESA decision?
    Last edited by JonJo383; 07-23-2015 at 04:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Nobody can make your mind up for you as to whether or not you make an Appeal and I'm unsure what the Regs are in NI but over here on the mainland we have go through a 'Mandatory Reconsideration' (MR) first, instructions how you proceed should be contained in your decision notice/letter.
    But before you do that I would strongly suggest you get some qualified advice, as it doesn't do to presume too much about what you should score, as you really have to be able to justify your claim in this system now. Try some place like CAB, Welfare Rights or anywhere similar you may have over there to help you do that.

    Best of Luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    The rules in NI are slightly different as Stormont is still resisting the Welfare Reform Act.

    Generally it is always worth asking for a reconsideration and if necessary making an appeal, as you have been awarded nothing then you have nothing to loose.

    The reconsideration/appeal process seems to be the same as the mainland, but the terms used are slightly different.
    This process should have been explained on your decision letter. You only have one month to start the process.

    Firstly you ask the Department for Social Development to reconsider the decision, this will be done by a different decision maker.
    You should explain why you think the decision was wrong.
    You can send in any additional evidence you have at this stage as well.
    Remember this is not a complaint process; you have to convince the Decision Maker that you qualify for the benefit.
    Saying things like "the asessor was a liar" will not help here.
    If you want to complain that is a seperate process. (see below).

    If the decision still goes against you then you can appeal to a tribunal.
    This is independent from the Department for Social Development and will reconsider your case from the start.
    You again have the chance to clarify your situation and give any additional evidence.

    Just what the situation in NI is as regards payments whilst on reconsideration/appeal are I am not sure.
    (On the mainland you have to claim jobseekers during reconsideration but go back onto ESA assessment rate during appeal).

    As Jard says self scoring is often very subjective and you should realy get some help from CAB Northern Ireland or another benefits advice organisation.

    How to complain about the assessment - Northern Ireland
    How to appeal a benefits decision - Northern Ireland
    Citizens Advice Northern Ireland

    Good luck however you decide to proceed.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  4. #4
    This is the assessors guide. It may help you to read page 96 to see if you were fairly assessed according to the descriptor.

    Do note what it also says, that there is no support group descriptor for navigation. So even if you scored 15 points in this descriptor it would only get you into the WRAG group and not the support group.

    To assess whether visual difficulties qualify as a support descriptor, read on about activities 6 & 7.

    The actual support group descriptors for activities 6 & 7 are these. Being unable to read 16 point print is only if you can't read it despite wearing glasses or using a magnifying glass

    6. Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means normally used.
    Cannot convey a simple message, such as the presence of a hazard.

    7. Understanding communication by—
    (a) verbal means (such as hearing or lip reading) alone,
    (b) non-verbal means (such as reading 16 point print or Braille) alone, or
    (c) a combination of (a) and (b),
    using any aid that is normally, or could reasonably be, used, unaided by another person.
    Cannot understand a simple message due to sensory impairment, such as the location of a fire escape.

    You have nothing to lose in appealing but you must challenge the decision based on how your condition reflects against the actual descriptors. Take your time to find out all you can - just be mindful of the date you have to make the MR.

  5. #5
    Hi JonJo383, you say you have visual problems/short sightedness, is this backed up by any certificate from a specialist and if so have they had a copy

  6. #6
    New Member JonJo383's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Northern Ireland
    I could go to my optometrist and see if he would be able to give me a written letter explaining my condition, the only problem is I am not registered blind or partially sighted and I will not be as my vision doesn't meet the requirements.

  7. #7
    New Member JonJo383's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Northern Ireland
    I take back what I said that it is lie after lie on the statement, some of it is untrue such as I cannot cook a meal for myself nor can I carry plates as I have a weakness on the left hand side of my body and it would be hard for me to carry a plate as I could drop it, I cannot tidy my room either as it causes back pain for me, should I go to the Citizien's Advice Bureau and ask for them to give me advice on how to start a letter for a mandatory reconsideration?

  8. #8
    Visual impairment is common with a lot of people and they wear glasses, I don't know but I don't think the DWP would take visual impairment into consideration without some sort of medical evidence that this is not corrected using prescription glasses.

    Get some evidence it can only help your claim
    Good luck

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