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Thread: ESA Work Related Activity Group

  1. #1

    ESA Work Related Activity Group

    My mother is in the WRAG for ESA. Originally she failed her ESA assessment but after a long stressful appeal we managed to get it awarded. Around 7 months ago she got called up to the job centre, Work Focused Interview. My mother cannot bear to go to unfamiliar places or meet with new people, especially those she deems in an authorities. So as her only support network, I have to go with her. She gets herself in a terrible state in the days leading up to these appointments, her suicidal thoughts dramatically increase. Its a real tough time for not only her but me also.
    So her Work Advisor was really nice, and suggested volunteering. I found her a nice little charity shop close to home, as she cannot walk far due to Spondylosis & Sciatica, and cannot travel on buses due to anxiety and panic attacks when in enclosed spaces, or too many people about.
    All has been going well, initially I had to stay with her, then gradually she got familiar with the few volunteers there and she has been doing around 14 hours a week. Some days she just ups and leaves, because it gets to packed, or someone will say/do something that she takes the wrong way, sometimes its just the way she is feeling mentally and cannot cope. Sometimes she is far to much pain and cannot cope. The shop has been very understanding and let her come and go, with not much said about it.
    Getting out of the house has done her the wold of good. Everyone else in the shop is very understanding. My mother is the sweetest, caring lady you could ever wish to meet. But when she is stressed, in pain or feeling really low she can be a trembling nervous wreck or she will be angry and rude. If she cannot cope she will up and leave, if she stresses too much or is in a lot of pain she will be down right rude, tell you all what she thinks of you all and storm of.
    There has been years of alcohol abuse, which has left her with a fatty liver. The last two years she has stayed away from the alcohol, apart from a couple of lapses but now smokes cannabis more, (used to dabble with this for years on and off)
    There is diabetes, High BP, High Cholesterol, Spondylosis, Sciatica, Fatty liver, IBS. There is so much medication taken daily if you shook her she would rattle, and she holds off taking her pain relief as they make her sleep to much. There have been several suicide attempts, the last major one was 10 years ago where she jumped of a building, falling 30 feet (which completely finished her back off) My mother does not cook for herself, and If I did not ensure that she either has a ready meal or comes to mine for dinner then she survives on cereal and snacks. I do not trust my mother to use her cooker, the last time she attempted to cook herself a pizza she fell asleep. I went round there the next morning to find her flat full of smoke, she was walking around in a daze stating she didn't know where it was coming from! She smokes in bed, and has regularly set her bedding alight, without even knowing it. I go round to change her bedding as she cannot manage it and find burn holes!
    I have been my mothers carer and support worker (unofficially) from as far back as I can remember. With three children and a full time job myself it is not easy. I often wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up.
    So now the JC are insisting that she attends an hour long "Mandatory group Information Session" I have spoken to her work advisor and she tells me she has to go. even though this means that I will have to go with her as she has only known about this for two days and is a tearful, suicidal wreck all ready. She just keeps asking "why wont they just leave me alone"

    How do I go about getting her into the support group? Is it even possible? If she is re-assessed could she be deemed fit for work and loose it all together? I cant keep taking time off work to attend meetings with her, I cant deal with all the stress and pulling her through all of this. At this rate their attempts to get her back into work will result in me being out of work...and on benefits! We have the PIP form coming through soon, as they want her to change over from DLA, so she is stressing about this as well. Called the Doctors today, the only two Drs that know my mother and she will talk to are off, I feel like screaming. For once in my life I just want to be me, and not have to be the strong one that fixes everything

  2. #2
    Hello Michelle,
    Looks like you've got your hands full there, as for your mums situation she must comply or else get sanctioned. Have you tried contacting an organisation like MIND who specialise in helping/advising people with Mental Health issues, or any other Adviser like CAB or similar, this is the best way for you to go if you can.

    As for getting into Support Group, your Mother will need to show a deterioration in her condition and will need Medical Evidence to verify that, so your on the right track by contacting the GP's. Once that's obtained, you will need to contact the DWP and ask for a review of her case. Though again, this is far better done by a qualified adviser who should be able to match your mothers particular circumstances to the required ESA Descriptors.

    Best of Luck

  3. #3
    it sounds to me as if your mum should be in the support group already on the exceptional circumstances rule , since quite clearly she is vulnerable and a danger to herself .I would contact your M P to see if he or she can help. I hope things work out.. remember claimants only have to "prove" their case on a likelier to be true than not basis although you wouldn't think so the way DWP often acts...............

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