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Thread: Do the office based assessors read the info provided for ESA ?

  1. #1

    Angry Do the office based assessors read the info provided for ESA ?

    I had the misfortune to be pip'd and ESA'd on the same day. Sent the forms off only to be sent an assessment date by return of post to some place 80 mile round trip no transport public or otherwise available for ESA. So I rang them and asked if anyone could read or understand the consultants letters and the MS nurses input.
    I have multiple health problems including progressive MS which results in overwhelming fatigue which is made worse by heat/hot weather and stress and any exertion I also can not find my way around strange places.

    The reply from a very condescending little madam on the phone...……. was of course the assessors are highly qualified professionals so you have been sent the soonest available appointment.

    Err hello young lady there is an assessment centre with 10 miles of where I live so why wasn't an appointment made for there? In the post today arrives a new appointment a day later than the previous appointment at the nearer centre!

    Answers on a postcard please what are the highly qualified office staff qualified as or in?

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    The people making appointments do just that - Get told you've sent your ESA50 back and to make an appointment, they never see your ESA50 or anything else.

    It does say on the ESA50 that if you need/want special arrangements or a different appointment then you have to contact them AFTER you have received an appointment letter.

    BTW - I'm sure there is a special training training course in being condescending for phone jockeys.

    PS. There is a basic rule (which they routinely try to ignore) that they can't make you travel more than 90 mins each way (door to door, public transport) for an appointment.
    There is also a rule about how long you would be away from home overall, but that's a bit more complicated.
    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.

  3. #3
    Oh I pointed out there was no public transport and even if there was it would take at least 3 hours with multiple bus changes. But it seems perfectly acceptable to them that it's my fault I can't get there thus I loose a chance to reschedule any further appointments.
    Assessors = assassins in my book.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Greater London

    I had a similar problem a while back, they gave me a bit of a runaround, although I won the race because they actually ended up doing a paper-based review and I didn’t have to attend a face-to-face.

    Like you I’m an MSer, I told them repeatedly on my ESA50 that I could not use public transport and have no access to private transport I also told them that I was unable to use stairs and they still sent an appointment for an assessment centre on the third floor, the accompanying letter stipulates that you must be able to use the stairs in the event of an evacuation, I can’t, (this was part of my claim) so I rang and asked for another appointment at a different assessment centre and explained why they sent me another appointment for the same assessment centre on a different date, so I rang them yet again and explained that yet again I’ve been given an assessment at the assessment centre on the same third floor that I wasn’t able to attend “oh we’re very sorry” they said we’ll will give you another assessment they gave me another assessment elsewhere then days later cancelled it and gave me another, I rang them yet again to remind them that I was unable to use public transport and I have no access to private transport and they would have to provide a taxi for me after my gp faxed them a request for a taxi I got a letter saying they had done a paper-based review and that I would not need to attend a face-to-face assessment. All the cancellations were theirs so they couldn’t hold it against me.

    What bugs me is if they are not going to read the form and go straight for a face-to-face assessment then what the hell is the point of the form? It’s been suggested that they only bring people in for a face-to-face assessment if there is something ambiguous on the form but so many claimants with unambiguous conditions are still brought in for face-to-face assessments. It just defies logic, especially when people have been repeatedly assessed, If someone has an unambiguous condition and has been assessed three or four times over a number of years is there really any point in reassess them yet again!

  5. #5
    I'm actually wondering what would happen if I sent in an email complaint before my assessment regarding the lack of understanding of my condition and the effect it has on me, because if they had any knowledge then an assessment would not be required and if it was a home assessment would have been acceptable to me.

  6. #6

    Is your GP in a position to provide a letter, where they would be able to explain why you would not be able to attend an assessment centre and that a home visit would be advisable? I say this as I had such a letter for PIP from my GP, sending this with my ESA paperwork, which appeared not long after my PIP assessment.

    I was fortunate, that with numerous medical conditions and support of GP letter, not only was I not made to go to an assessment centre, they did a paper based decision for ESA the last time.

  7. #7
    I've only seen my GP twice since the practice was taken over and she told me that if I or anyone else wants a letter regarding benefits then we have to pay for them as she has a living to make.

    All the information is actually in the letters my consultant neurologist has sent to the practice as is a repeat by the MS nurse. So I assume that the desk jockey's know more than one of the top neurologists in the country.

    As far as I am concerned Maximutt are potentially going to cause me harm.

    Anyone have any idea how I would stand if I sent an email complaint to them? My last assessment was paper based back in 2012.

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