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Thread: How to get through assessment and what grounds for support group?

  1. #1
    Jamesyharrow
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    How to get through assessment and what grounds for support group?

    Hi all
    Sorry for all the questions but as stated I do suffer from severe anxiety and depression and I'm anxious to find answers to questions, some may seem trivial I know so I apologise.

    I've got to get my ESA50 form back by 18th March but I'm so anxious about filling it in as it reminds me of all the trauma I've had with being forced out of two jobs hence why I'm not working.

    If anyone can help with any tips on it which may get me in a support group I'd be grateful plus any tips on what to do at assessment as I'm really anxious about even getting to it and the lack of sympathy I may get.

    I know in a previous thread I wanted to try and work voluntarily so no pressure on me but if I got into a support group it maybe even better as id not have to worry about money so much. I really don't know if someone with depression and anxiety would get into a support group though.

    Please help and sorry for troubling you.

  2. #2
    Jamesyharrow
    Guest
    Also how long are people waiting to get an assessment?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    779
    Contact your local CAB to see if they can give you an appointment to help you fill in the form. Or contact a Welfare Rights Adviser - your local authority should have one - again for help with filling in the form.

    I would not worry about going to an assessment just yet. Just concentrate on the form and getting help filling it in. Good luck. People can give you plenty of advice about the assessment, if and when you have to attend one.

  4. #4
    Jamesyharrow
    Guest
    I'm just so scared of assessment and the work related interviews forcing me into something I can't do due to my mental health condition ie anxiety and depression

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2013
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    Whilst you are on ESA, you cannot be forced to apply for jobs or take employment even if you are placed in the Work Related Activity Group after assessment.

    As rich-ward says, take it one step at a time. There's two things to face in the next three months or so - an initial Work Focused Interview and the ESA50 form. I'd endorse the suggestion to get help with the form.

  6. #6
    Jamesyharrow
    Guest
    Thanks Flymo. It's reassuring I can't be forced into anything. I've also got the assessment don't forget after the form filling!

  7. #7
    Jamesyharrow
    Guest
    I've read so many horrid experiences on the Internet that it's made me think twice about it but as long as I can't be forced to do anything then it helps to know that. Thanks for your understanding and sorry for my messages. Anxiety is such a horrible thing

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesyharrow View Post
    I've read so many horrid experiences on the Internet that it's made me think twice about it but as long as I can't be forced to do anything then it helps to know that. Thanks for your understanding and sorry for my messages. Anxiety is such a horrible thing
    Worth bearing in mind, thousands of people fill out ESA forms, and attedn assessmnets every week. and are awarded ESA with no probgmes whatsoever.

    You are more likley to read someone's horror story online as people who encounter a difficulty tend to post on forums looking for advice. The majority of people who are successfully awarded ESA with no problmes tend not to post about it online.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Jamesyharrow;55824]I've read so many horrid experiences on the Internet that it's made me think twice about it but as long as I can't be forced to do anything then it helps to know that. Thanks for your understanding and sorry for my messages. Anxiety is such a horrible thing

    Hi,
    I suffer from exactly the same thing as you do and was absolutely terrified at the thought of going for my assessment, thank goodness my daughter took me, so would advise taking somone with you for support. To cut a long story short, I had to wait for over an hour before they saw me, amazingly the lady was very understanding, by then my hands were red raw through me scratching them which I do when I get really anxious. I, not sure if you would want to, cancelled my appointment which was supposed to be next week and got in within a week, so didn't have to worry for so long. I got my letter yesterday and have gotten in the support group. I was like you absolutely terrified of going, but so glad I did. Good luck

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seriouslyfedup View Post
    You are more likley to read someone's horror story online as people who encounter a difficulty tend to post on forums looking for advice. The majority of people who are successfully awarded ESA with no problmes tend not to post about it online.
    Anyone being taught statistics is often reminded that a self-selecting sample is rarely representative. In other words, those choosing to express their opinion will, in general, over-represent the problems there are. If you took a randomly selected sample, you'd probably get a significantly lower proportion of complaints.

    As seriouslyfedup rightly says, those posting online about ESA and PIP assessments are rather more likely to have had a bad experience than the overall pool of people who have been assessed.


    sue20's comments show how well an ESA assessment can go for someone with mental health problems including anxiety. Though my health problems lie entirely in the physical domain, my PIP assessment was fairly and sympathetically conducted, with the assessment report accurately portraying my position.


    Anxiety can magnify irrational fear to an incredible level. I do not to suffer from the kind of extreme anxiety you describe, James and Sue, though I understand it can make even normal everyday things seem absolutely terrifying. Anyone would find assessment demanding, so I appreciate it seems impossible to cope with when you have anxiety issues.

    You aren't alone. Hopefully you won't need a face to face assessment - that's where getting help filling in the ESA50 and sending good quality supporting evidence are useful. If you have to have a face to face assessment, I endorse Sue's advice to take someone with you who knows you well and can support you. For now, I hope you can take one step at a time rather than getting too concerned about steps some way away that you might not have to face at all.

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