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Thread: wca telephone assessment

  1. #1

    wca telephone assessment

    Hey guys, I know this has been asked a billion times and I'm sorry if it seems monotonous to look at these posts a lot but I'm in despair and just need advice (and a little comfort) I've had my telephone assessment cancelled and rescheduled about 5 times now and had a letter saying they are calling on Tuesday (23/03) I'm totalling terrified and wondered what I can do to get my point across about my mental health. I'm assuming they are going off the form I filled in about a year ago maybe more but back then my panic disorder was no where near what it is nowadays and I had Covid in October and still have no taste or smell and its sent me into a depth of depression I Didn't even know existed. not being able to identify smells that comfort me (my kids clothes, nice foods cooking etc) has made me feel even more isolated and lost that I already was because of my uncontrollable panic attacks. I'm assuming not being able to smell dangerous things or nasty foods could also be a factor i could tell them but I don't know. people say they only go from the form so am I in a position to tell them how I am now? even though with the pandemic the only doctor interaction I have had is the odd phone call and the medication I take (which does nothing it seems) any advice would be amazing. I'm sorry again if this is repeats of so many posts. hope you all are doing well and I cannot wait to see the light at the end of this thank you everyone

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Firstly, they don't "just go from the form", they go from both the form and the assessment - and any other evidence you provide.

    They are very aware that, especially because of delays due to covid, what is on the form may be out of date.

    Think about it - If they only went by what you put on the form then there would be no point to doing an assessment anyway.

    Always remember that a WCA is all about if you can work or not.
    So you have to get across to them why you can't do any work.
    Not what conditions you have so much as why the affects of those conditions stop you from working.

    So while the loss of your senses of smell/taste must be horrible (I enjoy cooking, and eating, and would hate that), in itself it doesn't really prevent you from working - and so although you should mention, and make a point of, the negative mental effects that loss of smell/taste has - you are still better concentrating on why your overall mental health prevents you from working.

    It's annoying that they have cancelled/rescheduled so many times.
    You could complain about that, but I'm not sure it would get you anywhere and for the sake of your mental health it may be better to just shrug it off as rudeness.

    Try not to work yourself up about the telephone assessment - If as you say you have read some of the other posts here you will have seen that the worrying is worse than the reality.
    Last edited by nukecad; 20-03-21 at 16:49.
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the advice, I have wrote a few things down and hope I can get across to them the condition I've been in is not desirable to be able to look for work yet. It's mainly my panic attacks they are quite severe it's weird to explain the confusion I get from them make me do strange things for example I was in a car with my dad and an attack started and I literally jumped out the car whilst it was moving and I have little recollection of it other than my dad telling me about it. The reason I claimed uc on beginning was because of things like this. I feel like I do potentially dangerous things and because I have memory issues because of the panic I feel I'm going to find it difficult to get across to them on the phone. Don't worry I'm not wanting sympathy of anything like that. I like to deal with these things on my own usually but I just want to be able to be in the best position possible to get my point across. Thank you again for getting back to me, it helped.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattattack444 View Post
    .... for example I was in a car with my dad and an attack started and I literally jumped out the car whilst it was moving and I have little recollection of it other than my dad telling me about it.
    Tell them that just as you have explained it there; if you can also work out just what triggered the panic attack then that may be even better.
    Maybe your dad now only puts you in the back seat, with the child locks on the doors so you can't open them? (Hint).

    That would indicate that it would be unsafe for you to do any work because you cannot control your actions during a panic attack.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  5. #5
    funny you should say that, a few times afterwards i tried sitting in the back but it was worse my condition started from an MRI scan that triggered claustrophobia (before that i didn't have any mental issues with anything) so claustrophobia has been the core issue with how my condition has spiralled. the panic attacks initially triggered when i was in a situation where my brain i guess thought i couldnt escape but more so the past couple of years the attacks have just become ingrain and just random even though ive tried numerous things to try and get myself out of it. CBT is a waste of time, 3 times I've had therapy and nothing has worked. thank you a bunch for your replies its calmed me down a bit about tomorrows call. i feel in a better place to at least get my words across.

  6. #6
    hey guys, i just wanted to update, my assessment didnt go well, the lady said that although i got enough points to get onto the support group, they feel i would be better off on the lower rate and interaction with the job centre. i was distraught to say the least. i had my assessment recorded and as much as i hate to open up about the way i feel about things to put it bluntly i cried on the phone explaining how im feeling and how the physical symptoms of my panic disorder affect my daily life listening to the recording myself i cannot see any reason they would think i am in any position to think about work. i put in for a mandatory reconsideration 6 weeks ago but not heard anything yet. they have given me an appointment for this monday coming (12/07/2021) to sign a work commitment and record jobs i want to do but literally the thought of this has sent me down a path mentally i havent felt in a while. i really wish they knew what they do to people when all they care about is giving you less money. for anyone with upcoming assessments this is not to scare you or anything as obviously my case is unique to me but just be mindful of the potential outcome good luck to everyone

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattattack444 View Post
    the lady said that although i got enough points to get onto the support group, they feel i would be better off on the lower rate and interaction with the job centre.
    Who said that?

    Was it the assessor, or was it the DWP?

    If it was the assessor then it's not her decision to make.

    If it was the DWP then it's outrageous thing to say, and a Tribunal would rip them to shreds if they can't give a very very good justification for overruling and reducing an assessors points scoring.

    Have you actually had a decision letter from the DWP yet?
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  8. #8
    hi sorry for the belated reply, as of now (20-07-2021) still no reply about my MR and its been about 8 weeks now. it was the decision maker that told me about the points and recommendation. the appointment i had didnt go ahead because i had to cancel on the day because my dad tested positive for covid and i was at his house in contagious period. nothing has been sent to my UC journal and received nothing from the DWP about anything. i dont even know where i stand anymore it a nightmare especially since ive had my money reduced.

  9. #9
    i had a reply today saying that they are sorry for the delay and that MR can take 6 months onwards so i just need to wait. this doesn't sound reasonable to me at all considering the ordeal i am already going through with having to face the prospect of looking for work when I'm not even able to leave my house at the moment because of my mental state.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    There is actually no time limit set for them to complete an MR.
    It's a scandal that is being challenged repeatedly.

    The latest published figures are from April 2021 when it was averaging 7 days for them to complete an MR. (But add a week or two for letters to get through the post).
    Obviously though some MR's are quick and some take longer.
    8/9 weeks is getting on the long side.

    You will not be asked to look for work unless you have been found 'Fit-for-Work'.
    You haven't been found FFW so put that one out of your mind.

    I've been in the 'lower' ESA WRAG group for 10 years, I've never been asked to look for work, they just can't do 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.

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