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Thread: 1st post: just had an ESA medical after 11 months wait regarding chronic pain-advice

  1. #11
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    Just thinking Botox injections can be used to numb pain sometimes, wonder if they could be used in your case? Not sure whether they could do them with the face being a very specialised area regarding nerve pathways. I once had temporary teeth caps fitted while I waited on the real ones being made. Because the nerves were still present in the teeth but exposed under bad fitting caps , each time I went out in any slight wind it was murder. Made worse by the fact the walk from the car park into work was like walking through a wind tunnel, and this was in winter. But I only had to put up wth this for a couple for weeks.

    Hope your appoinment with the pain specialist goes well. The one I used to see, but she's now retired was terrific. She was really eccentric and thought outside the box. Nothing was off limits as far as she was concerned if it helped people deal with pain issues. Should add, nothing illegal or immoral. lol. So hope you get a good specialist. Just try to keep an open mind to what's suggested, sometimes it can take a bit of trial and error, trying this and that, or seem like a waste of time. but if you continue to work with them, hopefully some way to help will be found. Even just a little improvement will make a difference and help you regain the person you were before all this happened. Take care of you.

  2. #12
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    Hi again.

    Just updating you all on what happened.
    Got the call from dwp after 3 voicemails when I missed previous calls and the man at the end of the line informed me that I have only been award 6 points so cannot receive esa and have to go on JSA as of Monday even though my doctor provided a fit for work note for another 3 months.

    I asked him to send me full details of how the decision was made so I can get a reconsideration sorted but he said I can't actually inform them that I am wishing to have a reconsideration until I receive their paperwork which can take time.

    So what exactly do I do now?

    I had a look at the criteria for their assessing and believe I should have easily been given 15 points- bad days can mean I live on liquids as I can't chew for example and I don't go out if it's windy, rainy or cold as that affects it.

    When I write a reconsideration letter, do I point out the areas I feel they never supplied correct point?
    Do I ask my GP or try and get a consultant appointment ASAP (I know I have small time limits with these things) and ask them to state the areas they feel I should qualify?

    I am now eager to see what was actually written about my assessment but until then, it's JSA and moaning to see someone who specialises in JSA for those with disabilities. They have those right?

    Any help or advice for me and this next stage would be great

    Thanks

  3. #13
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    Hi there KAREN SV. Sounds like you have had a terrible time too! Nerve problems are so painful aren't they?

    I've been diagnosed with atypical or type two trigeminal neuralgia. They've said there's no surgery available for me as the nerves are so damaged so it's just pain management through counselling and medication.

    Obviously mediation has a load of side effects.

    I just had my first session with a pain psychotherapist which went ok. It's nice to have someone understand the way pain impacts on my life.
    I get low because I feel like my condition isn't taken seriously because it's something you can't see.

    I've been referred for group pain counselling with those with Type 2 TN like I have as well as session on my own to learn pain management skills.

    All this bother with ESA medical appeals don't help the stress but I kind of expected it to be honest. My condition isn't one that is well known so I have a little fight on my hands.

    I just need more advice on what I should do once u receive the letter refusing my medical

  4. #14
    I suffer from spinal sclerosis which is a narrowing of the spinal canal, this causes sciatic-type pain down the left leg and numbness in my right foot. I am always in some degree of pain, ranging from bearable in the morning (after sleep and prone position) to unbearable requiring analgesia
    I currently pain-manage using amytryptilline 30mg, paracetamol 500mg and Ibruprofen 500mg, sometimes Tramadol 50mg when the pain becomes too much, also Paroxetine x 40mg to counteract the anxiety/depression caused by chronic pain. The one drug that has helped immensely is the Amatryptoline, I am advised that this can be prescribed as much as 100mg daily ( I am currently at 30mg)
    Awaiting a pain-management appointment at my local hospital in April

    I am lucky in that my GP is approachable and understanding of my issues, and I urge you all to find a similar practitioner..use your vote!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ac123 View Post
    Hi again.

    Just updating you all on what happened.
    Got the call from dwp after 3 voicemails when I missed previous calls and the man at the end of the line informed me that I have only been award 6 points so cannot receive esa and have to go on JSA as of Monday even though my doctor provided a fit for work note for another 3 months.

    I asked him to send me full details of how the decision was made so I can get a reconsideration sorted but he said I can't actually inform them that I am wishing to have a reconsideration until I receive their paperwork which can take time.

    So what exactly do I do now?

    I had a look at the criteria for their assessing and believe I should have easily been given 15 points- bad days can mean I live on liquids as I can't chew for example and I don't go out if it's windy, rainy or cold as that affects it.

    When I write a reconsideration letter, do I point out the areas I feel they never supplied correct point?
    Do I ask my GP or try and get a consultant appointment ASAP (I know I have small time limits with these things) and ask them to state the areas they feel I should qualify?

    I am now eager to see what was actually written about my assessment but until then, it's JSA and moaning to see someone who specialises in JSA for those with disabilities. They have those right?

    Any help or advice for me and this next stage would be great

    Thanks
    I have just received my letter today from my assessment and it says about mandatory reconsiderations in it. I assume you just ask for it to be reconsidered and it says that they give you a month from the date of the letter. I have not got any information of how my decision was made (I was awarded contribution based ESA in WRAG).

    Are you going to sign on for JSA? If you do then you are saying you are fit for work I assume and it may harm your asking for a reconsideration.

    Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the system will be along to advise but I am just saying from my own point of view that you have a month from the date you receive of the letter saying about your decision as I received mine today.

  6. #16
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    Sorry to hear your assessment didn't turn out well after all, ahd hoped despite your isntinccts it would work out ok.

    Think you need to see their reasons why you've only scored 6 points. Are they sending this out or do you need to ask for this. I'm not exactly sure of the level of detail you need to give in asking for a MR? Hopefully someone else will read your latest posting will be able to tell you.

    but Karen is correct in that you have a month from date of letter telling you of the decision to return it, and would advise you send it back within sufficient time to meet their deadline timescale.

  7. #17
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    Thanks everyone.

    I did ask the gentleman on the phone if he can send details of who the decision was made and where points were awarded. He did say he would read them out over the phone but I asked for it in writing to look over myself, so I'm hoping that gets sent out.

    I know for a fact they never took into consideration that my condition fluctuates. Some days I cannot eat anything and have meal replacement shakes or cuppa soups yet the assessor said "you CAN eat soups"
    Also some days I cannot go out and I'm literally bed bound for the day with pain which hasn't been taken into consideration (especially cold weather days) or the fact that I don't go out alone in fear of fainting, which happens once a week and the GP and consultant are aware and said it's medication or pain related.

    So much hasn't been considered for me to only receive 6 points but this is where I can argue.

    I'm just unsure whether I ask them to review it as it is, or try and get GP notes or letters in time for the mandatory reconsideration.

    It's ridiculous because I used to work in a nursery and was told I was a liability with the fainting and drowsiness that the medication gave me so I left. What job can I do when I still haven't got TN under control?

    I also read online, in the atos regulations for esa medicals, that Trigeminal Neuralgia has to be assessed by a qualified doctor that has knowledge on this so I really want to know the credentials of the person I saw but I suppose I will have to wait for the letter refusing me esa

  8. #18
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    Act123. You are right, anything diagnosed as neurological has to be assessed by a doctor. I was.

  9. #19
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    I can't write a detailed reply at the moment, but wanted to pick up in the reconsideration point.

    Your task is to argue it is more likely than not that you qualify for higher scoring descriptors in some areas. Your arguments should be specific to the descriptors in question and based on evidence wherever possible. If you can get relevant evidence in time, use it - but the tight timescale for reconsideration often means you have to use the evidence you already have for best effect. Medical evidence is helpful for establishing symptoms and severity, but the most important thing for benefits (and where any dispute about entitlement often lies) are the consequences of those symptoms - what you can or can't do as a result.

    You cannot write a reconsideration letter to full effect without seeing the evidence used to reach a decision. Getting that evidence is the first stage.

    I wouldn't bother about factual errors in any assessment report that have no relevance to your arguments for more points - mentioning them only draws attention away from your key points. If you want to object to errors in the report, I would do so either as a complaint or when the decision has been reconsidered.

    Similarly, there's little point mentioning any procedural irregularities or objections you have to what took place. These points only have any relevance if they made the process unjust, which is fairly hard to show. Even if you successfully showed the process was unjust, it wouldn't stop you from having to satisfy the usual criteria for the award of benefit.

    I would make your request for reconsideration in writing. It must be with DWP before the deadline expires (not just posted before), otherwise you have the added requirement to show "good cause" for the lateness.

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