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Thread: "Medical Evidence" and other questions re. appeal

  1. #1

    "Medical Evidence" and other questions re. appeal

    Quick summary:
    July 2016: Fit-for-work decision
    July 2017: Sent in late mandatory reconsideration
    June 2018: Received mandatory reconsideration notice (decision unchanged)
    July 2018: Appeal sent in and accepted

    I have opted for a paper based hearing. After going through my case files, one thing that keeps popping up and have noticed throughout is they ask for Medical Evidence. I've also realised from reading around places like this that medical evidence can often be the clincher and can get it overturned before appeal.

    My condition is OCD. I already sent in like a GPs summary which states I have 'known longstanding OCD' and mentions a few of my symptoms. It has not done the trick so far, and I am not sure how well it will prove to the judge who looks at the appeal.

    I want to know, how can I get some proper 'medical evidence' for my condition, and quite soon. I have severe OCD. I don't go more than a few minutes without rituals. How could I possibly prove this? How could I get evidence of this?

    Since the decision two years ago, I never signed on any other benefits and it was a real struggle. I live at home with parents and siblings who are not that supportive. My OCD is a major source of arguments at home. The past two years have been a nightmare. I live in a house where walking on egg shells is an understatement. More like walking through a mine field. I am anxious about even leaving my bedroom for fear of big argument. I feel like I have been psychologically abused for years. I am afraid of my own family. I did not pay any keep to my mum for a good while. She gave me a lot of stick about this and was always on my case. Because of all of the arguments, stress etc at home, and having money issues, the OCD got even worse. I have not had a haircut or shave in over a year. I have left the house on average of every 3 weeks.

    Even if I was to get medical evidence, since the decision was two years ago and my condition has worsened since then, how would that work? I could not get evidence for two years ago, could I? I have heard the judge makes the decision purely on how I was at the time and if the decision was correct at the time, so how relevant is what has happened after that. I mean, a lot of the rituals I had two years ago, I have now and some have gotten worse. So my condition is the same, just worse, I suppose.

    How exactly does the judge make the decision? Is he looking at my esa50 form, addtional pages, mandator reconsideration (I wrote 9 pages detailing my rebuttal and how my condition affects me) and is he looking at the descriptors and determining if I meet the criteria of the descriptors?

    If I send in no further evidence apat and all the judge has is everything the DWP used to make their decision, does my case stand a chance? Won't the judge just look at it and go, 'they know what they are doing, they have followed the law correctly, decision was correct, etc?' How does the judge make his decision, what is he going by exactly?

    Sorry for so many questions, I would much appreciate if anyone could chime in on any or all, just whatever you can answer, even if just a particular point. Much appreciated thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    1,681
    I know very little about OCD (hopefully someone more knowledgeable will come along to help) so excuse any ignorance but had a quick google and found this link:

    https://www.helpguide.org/articles/a....htm#treatment

    I suspect that you are right and medical evidence would be very helpful. Often they would want to see that you have tried treatments even if they have been unsuccessful. So, my question is, has your doctor referred you for any treatments? If they have then the doctor should have a report from whoever you saw. You can ask for a copy to send to the tribunal. Don't worry if the treatments were a while ago.

    If you have not been offered any treatments from your doctor then you need to make an appointment and ask what help is available. You might need to be a bit 'pushy' but it is your life and you do not want to continue living it as you have described without trying everything that is available.

    I notice that you have asked for a paper review. Please reconsider this. It might be very traumatic for you to put yourself 'on view' if your rituals occur frequently but it could be very helpful for the panel to see how your OCD affects you. Would this be possible? Have you someone who can go with you?

    I'm sorry that I cannot be more helpful.

    PS. You might also be eligible for PIP - a non means tested benefit for help with daily living and mobility. You can do some googling about this benefit. Just something to think about. I always recommend that you seek help from CAB/welfare advisor for help completing the form. Your rituals may mean that you take much longer than the average person to complete daily tasks and this would be taken into consideration for PIP activities but seek some help for completing the form.
    I try my best

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    England
    Posts
    421
    Hello Hughie1

    I echo the good advice given to you by pmlindyloo.

    If approaching your doctor seems daunting, have you thought about writing to him/her first and telling them about your OCD and how it affects your life.

    Follow this up swiftly by an appointment to ask for help. This may mean being referred onto mental health services but they will likely have far more experience in your issues.
    Being proactive like this may help things at home, as your mum could be genuinely worried about your health issues.

    This will also create evidence to show that your OCD is bad enough that you desperately want to try to overcome your health issues.

    I would also say please reconsider attending the tribunal. Your chances of success are far higher if you do, purely because they can ask you a question if they have one. But cannot, if you are not there.

    Yes attending attending is daunting. How do I know? - because I had to attend my PIP tribunal. I have both physical and mental health problems.

    It wasn't easy, but life isn't easy when you health problems. I knew I should be awarded PIP, that's why I attended.
    The panel are very considerate and if I was ever refused a benefit again, I would attend again.

    How much do you want to be awarded your ESA hughie1?

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by pmlindyloo View Post
    I know very little about OCD (hopefully someone more knowledgeable will come along to help) so excuse any ignorance but had a quick google and found this link:

    https://www.helpguide.org/articles/a....htm#treatment

    I suspect that you are right and medical evidence would be very helpful. Often they would want to see that you have tried treatments even if they have been unsuccessful. So, my question is, has your doctor referred you for any treatments? If they have then the doctor should have a report from whoever you saw. You can ask for a copy to send to the tribunal. Don't worry if the treatments were a while ago.

    If you have not been offered any treatments from your doctor then you need to make an appointment and ask what help is available. You might need to be a bit 'pushy' but it is your life and you do not want to continue living it as you have described without trying everything that is available.

    I notice that you have asked for a paper review. Please reconsider this. It might be very traumatic for you to put yourself 'on view' if your rituals occur frequently but it could be very helpful for the panel to see how your OCD affects you. Would this be possible? Have you someone who can go with you?

    I'm sorry that I cannot be more helpful.

    PS. You might also be eligible for PIP - a non means tested benefit for help with daily living and mobility. You can do some googling about this benefit. Just something to think about. I always recommend that you seek help from CAB/welfare advisor for help completing the form. Your rituals may mean that you take much longer than the average person to complete daily tasks and this would be taken into consideration for PIP activities but seek some help for completing the form.
    i had treatment I think 3.5 years ago. I was receving the treatment at the time I was first on ESA (the decision to find me fit for work was a second year decision). I sent in this report but all the report basically says is along the lines of, I completed twenty weeks treatment and found it helped a little. Does not refer to specifics of my rituals, etc.

    With regards to the paper appeal. I orginally chose the paper appeal due to the fear of attending. Because my OCD is largely invisible, especially in front of strangers, I was afraid they would look at me and think 'he looks fine to me.' Also, I spoke to the courts yesterday and the guy, who was informative and polite, said to me if I opt for a oral hearing I would be looking at mar/apr next year due to the backlog. He said a paper hearing could be heard in weeks. I don't like the idea of waiting all that time and having this hanging over me like that.

    To be honest I just don't know what to do. The 14 day deadline to change my hearing from paper to oral was today. I spoke to the courts again today and asked the girl if I changed to oral would I be able to change back to paper if I change my mind. She said, not technically speaking, but if I called up and changed my mind about attending, then it would go down as a oral hearing but they would put 'does not wish to attend.' She said I could most probably change to an oral hearing after the 14 day deadline but that is providing the judge has not looked at my case yet. And she said he could look at it any time from now. I just don't know what to do. The reason I enquired about the oral hearing was it would give me more time to submit more evidence. Where as the paper hearing could be looked at any time and, thus, would give me less time to provide more evidence. I really don't know what to do. I always find myself stuck in these dilemmas, not knowing which decision to make, afraid I have made the wrong one, leaving it to last minute, etc. If I could choose to oral then change back to paper I would likely have changed to oral. But I don't like the idea of it still being an oral hearing but they put down 'does not wish to attend' as I fear that could somehow go against me.

    I also don't feel comfortable with leaving this decision in the judges hand per se and wanted to try everything I could to get the DWP to change the decision themselves without it going to appeal. I have heard appeals can cost them money. Don't know what to do. Any input from anyone would do, especially based on personal experience.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by buble48 View Post
    Hello Hughie1

    I echo the good advice given to you by pmlindyloo.

    If approaching your doctor seems daunting, have you thought about writing to him/her first and telling them about your OCD and how it affects your life.

    Follow this up swiftly by an appointment to ask for help. This may mean being referred onto mental health services but they will likely have far more experience in your issues.
    Being proactive like this may help things at home, as your mum could be genuinely worried about your health issues.

    This will also create evidence to show that your OCD is bad enough that you desperately want to try to overcome your health issues.

    I would also say please reconsider attending the tribunal. Your chances of success are far higher if you do, purely because they can ask you a question if they have one. But cannot, if you are not there.

    Yes attending attending is daunting. How do I know? - because I had to attend my PIP tribunal. I have both physical and mental health problems.

    It wasn't easy, but life isn't easy when you health problems. I knew I should be awarded PIP, that's why I attended.
    The panel are very considerate and if I was ever refused a benefit again, I would attend again.

    How much do you want to be awarded your ESA hughie1?

    Good luck.
    i was not aware I could write in to my doctor. I went to see my doctor recently about getting sicknotes to get put back on the assesment rate esa during appeal. I asked him what he could do for me, if anything, to help my case. He basically just gave me a medical summary which just said "condition: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder." Not helpful at all to be honest. He also asked me to 'be quick, got a busy waiting room' at some point after he had given me the sick notes and prescription.

    My mandatory reconsideration was 9 pages and this spoke about my OCD 'and how it affect my life.' I could show them that, maybe?

    I was referred to mental health and had 20 weeks about 3.5 years ago. I did ask the lady via email when I was sending off the mandatory reconsideration if she could give me something to help my case or write a report or something. She said she had restrictions and just basically resent me the original letter I received after completion which just says I completed the therapy and reported improvements.

    I used to go to GP often where they would check up on me to make sure I was on the right prescription. At one point they gave me a self-referral slip with a number I could call to be referred again. I have that somewhere still. My worry is, with me having chosen paper hearing the judge could check it soon and I do not have the time to get re-referred again and then get this report/evidence from them. I assume they would have to be seeing me for at least a few weeks or something before they could write something up, no?

    P.S. please read my reply to poster above with regard to attending hearing vs. not. Thanks.

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