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Thread: ESA WRAG group but have AS need help

  1. #1

    ESA WRAG group.Waiting to be called for medical.Need advice.

    Hi All
    I am 29 & have been ill and suffering from a number of health problems since 2005 when I had to leave university as I couldnt complete my nursing degree due to my health.I have Asthma,IBS,Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,Clinical Depression/Anxiety,Kidney Problems(Pain,recurrent infections,swelling & urinating blood),Widespread Muscle Pain and lower back and pelvis pain for which
    I was diagnosed in Nov 2013 with Non-Radiographical Axial Spondylitis.Its basically Ankolysing Spondylitis that doesnt show on xray.This is a chronic degenerative inflammatory arthritis of the spine,pelvis,neck and can affect other joints.Its really affecting my lower spine,pelvis,hips, neck and knee.I struggle to walk,move,bend and have a limp now.Some days I cannot move or walk due to pain.

    I have tried many medications and in the end as a last resort was approved for expensive Anti-TNF drugs which are biologics that supress inflammatory markers and my immune system to try reduce the inflammation and pain.I started the injections on Monday.As well as this I am on a huge number of tablets including several painkillers,antidepressants,sleeping tablets and anxiety meds.

    I recieved a letter this week stating I was to attend a medical.I didnt understand as my sister had helped fill in my ESA50 in mid Nov.I hadnt heard anything & assumed that all was ok as normally has been.I rang ATOS to be told I wasnt booked in for the above date.After lots of phone calls I infact found out they had mixed up my details with someone else and sent the letter by mistake.One of the advisors spoke to me like I was dirt and a scrounger.I got no apology for the mistake.

    I was also informed by one of the advisors that one of the GPs at my surgery has sent back info in dec 18th but from the information they recieved that I would be getting a medical assessment when they had any appointments available.I cannot undertand this.I have never been asked to go in due to my conditions & cant understand why I have been now when my condition is worse than previously was.
    I asked what my GP had written and was told they didnt know.And to ask my GP surgery.

    So im left in limbo now.I have my reports from my rheumatologist.I have contacted my GP surgery for a letter asking for more details on my health problems and for the list of medications and how it affects me & asking for a home visit if a medical assessment is needed but my GP is off sick and another one is doing the letter that Ive not dealt with.
    I have also contacted NAAS(arthritis charity) for a supporting letter.
    I also tried to contact my consultant but he is on annual leave and his secetary believes he doesnt write letters or reports for the DWP.

    So I am housebound at the minute and struggling to walk.I have severe pain in pelvis/lower spine and hips and Im limping and using crutches when needed.I cant move alot and I dont sleep well.
    I have many strong painkillers to take and sleeping tablets daily as well.On top of this my father passed away in December and I was so ill I was unable to attend his funeral.
    Ive not been over the door now in nearly two months.My friend picks up my prescriptions,my injections are delivered,my shopping is delivered and my friend puts away for me.I stuggle with bathing sometimes but can do it in shower more easily but cant use my bath.I cant even turn in bed somedays.
    I live in a flat two floors up and this is another reason for not being able to get out too.

    Ive been treated for depression since 2001 and take daily medication for this at a high dose.I was attending counselling for my depression and childhood sexual abuse and flashback/panic attacks for quite sometime but as my condition got worse I was too ill to attend the centre in the city.Ive had several suicide attempts too when ive been very low.I

    Ive also struggled with my kidney problems for quite a few years with pain and blood in urine.A CT scan revealed a part of my right kidney was calcefied.Im due to follow up in June as had to cancel follow up in Dec due to health/fathers passing and wasnt able to attend.
    Im so stressed out and upset waiting for this.I am not fit to work at the moment and no one would employ me just now in my condition.If I could I would be back working or completing my nursing degree that I had to leave due to my health.Its just so upsetting.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I should do?I dont know what information the GP gave them or why they would need to see me when they accepted my last questionnaire and as ive said my condition has worsened and been diagnosed now.Should I send more information to them for them to reconsider and if so what? My sister does my paperwork for me.
    Many thanks all.

    P.S I have checked an I am in the WRAG group but only ever had one appointment which was done via the telephone as I wasnt fit enough to attend in the jobcentre.
    Last edited by Lotus1984; 31-01-14 at 23:12. Reason: Paragraphs

  2. #2

    Medical after year on please

    I am 29.I was on IB from 2008-2011 & then moved to contribution based ESA & the income related ESA.I had to leave university due to my health in 2008. I was recently diagnosed with Non-Radiographic Axial Sponyarthoraphy which is basically Ankolysing Spondylitis but a different term used being used more frequently by consultants.

    This is a long term chronic condition that involves inflammatory arthritis in my spine,neck,pelvis,sarco joints and hips.It also affects my ribs and knee.I also have asthma,pcos,ibs,recurring kidney infections/stones,psorisas & depression/anxiety/ptsd.

    I take many medications including a high dose of anti depressant,painkillers,sleeping tablets,inhalers & have recently started biologic injections for AS in spine etc.

    I have filled in many ESA50 & IB questionnaires and never been called in for a medical. I recently recieved a letter to say I had an appointment for one.When I called to check up on his I was told I wasnt booked in.That there was no appointments available for me yet but that from my questionnaire and the info provided from my GP I would be getting an assessment.I asked why.They couldnt tell me.I asked why they had sent letter.They had no idea.Finally after two houra of phonecall and rudeness I was told atos has made a mistake and letter was infact for someone else and sent to me instead.No apology was given though!!!

    I was told I would still need an assessment however when they have any appointments available.My problem is at the moment Im unable to walk or move or bend properly due to the nature of my disease.Its very painful and debiltating.I have a limp and use crutches on/off.Mostly housebound.(thank god for my balcony for fresh air).

    My GP is off sick and im unsure if it may have been a locum who filled out info on me as my GP knows me very well and the issues I have so i wouldnt have thought there would have been a problem if it had of been him.

    Anyway now I am very worried and upset.Waiting for this medical.I know that I will struggle to get to it and will cause me a great deal of pain and discomfort.And also I suffer from depression/anxiety/ptsd.I find crowds and going out hard to deal with.Partly due to my condition having left me housebound alot of time and partly due to past sexual abuse and flashbacks I have along with my long term depression.I find social interaction really hard and would really struggle to go to this.

    So im looking for advice.Should I ask my GP for a letter detailing my conditions and that I would need a home visit.I can now also provide my consultants reports as I have copies when I didnt previously when I sent in my esa50 questionnaire in Nov.It cant hurt right?hopefully they can do a home visit or perhaphs reconsider?

    Thanks in advance

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Be very careful with this letter you've received, if there's a place date & time in there ring them up the day before to confirm what you've already been told otherwise if you don't attend they can stop your benefit.
    What you've been ask to attend isn't a essentially a 'Medical' it is a Work Capability Assessment (WCA), more concerned with what you can do than your Medical Conditions.

    Did you send any other information in supporting your ESA50 ?, if not, I would suggest you send copies of everything you've got (summary of conditions, meds list & any letters or reports you may have) immediately to both the ATOS & DWP addresses on letters you've received, also take copies of everything if and when you attend that WCA appointment.

    Try and keep your posts shorter, what you need to say here to gain some advice is getting lost in the extent of them, great detail of your condition(s) isn't required.

    NB: You will need your GP to fax an explaination of your condition to Atos if you require a home visit for your WCA.
    Last edited by Jard; 03-02-14 at 14:59.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    As Jard says, the legal tests for benefits relate to the effects of your conditions. It is best to focus on the relevant legal tests in any application or assessment.

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