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TOPIC: health Assessment

health Assessment 01 Feb 2019 08:25 #13610

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hi,
im on UC. and i suffer from a few health issues, im 61 and i am currently handing in sick notes as i have severe nasal polyps,and blood clots in my lungs.and bad leg. i failed my esa assessment last year, got zero points, but now my work roach as said i should be receiving a letter to addend a health assessment , which i have to addend, will this be the same as the last Assessment i had at the same place, or will it be a job center one, only thing that as changed from the last one is the blood clots,
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health Assessment 01 Feb 2019 09:11 #13611

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london, because you are now on UC and have been handing in fit notes, this will trigger a work capability assessment for LCW (Limited Capability for Work) which is the new name for ESA. So yes, it is the same people (Maximus) who will assess you.

1. You will receive a form called the UC50 (or it could be UC35) I think it depends on new claims or current claims. But it will be one of these.
2. GET HELP to fill this form in from CAB (make an appointment the moment the form arrives) and get an appointment with your GP. Before you go, look at ALL the descriptors on the form and which areas you would meet the criteria for. You may not meet them all but you will fall into some areas and not others. So don`t try to score points in areas you know you would fail on. Concentrate on the areas you do. Like mobilising, sitting and standing, fatigue/weakness etc.....
3. You have ONE month to return the form in the envelope they send. Add extra pages to the form if you need more space and remember to write your name and national insurance number at the top of each page and staple it to the corner of the pages of the form. Write in the smaller boxes things like "Please see attached sheet 1 `sitting & standing`
4. Any medical evidence you can gather from the past year will be recent, although you can include historical (long term) evidence if you still have health problems from ten years ago that still affect you now.
5.Your main focus should be this: Mobilising - Please tell us how far you can mobilise - Here you would CROSS REFERENCE the exact problem you have and the difficulties you have mobilising. This isn`t so much a walking test, but one where they want you to explain the difficulties you have with pain, breathlessness, having to stop after walking 20 metres or needing to sit down before you can RELIABLY move again. Point to why this happens and how often.

I have just failed my assessment (again) and am in the process of Mandatory Reconsideration. So failing on `0` points is not new london. So put your last experience behind you and look at this as a fresh claim. Believe in yourself and if you end up failing again, you APPEAL it. Because having LCW in UC means your conditionality will reduce and you won`t be expected to look for work, but will be in the work related group.

Edited to add: Forgot to say, when filling in your form, use a pencil because you may make mistakes and if you use a pen, you can`t erase them. If you have access to a printer, type your extra sheets and edit them and then attach them to your form as above. Hand writing things down first though is a good way to practice what you want to write and then once happy with it, copy it over in pen or type it out.
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health Assessment 01 Feb 2019 10:05 #13613

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Just read this over on Benefits & Work website relating to how `old` medical evidence can be:

QUOTE: Qusetion
Mel wrote: I'm currently completing my ESA50 for my renewal. Is there a time limit on how old the medical evidence can be? Thankyou.
QUOTE Answer
There's no specific limit but new will always be better than old.

- 1-6 months is very good
- less than two years should be acceptable
- older than two years can still be relevant but you will need to explain why, for example; a report on a condition that can only deteriorate can be used to put a stick in the ground for how you were.

The above will carry more weight for physical conditions than mental health ones.

The only exception is if you are hoping to be awarded ESA via the Substantial Risk Regulations, where up to date evidence is really required.

Your primary goal here is to give reasons why you meet the criteria for an award and convince the DWP decision maker of all the facts. Sometimes they won`t understand the effects of someone`s disability or health condition and won`t apply logic other than what the assessor wrote about you `on the day`, but they are supposed to consider the effects of your condition `over time`. And not just a snapshot of you.
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health Assessment 01 Feb 2019 10:13 #13614

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thing being i had an appointment with my work coach a few days ago, and i told her that my doctor said i can not have any more sick notes.after the January one,as this doctor said i will be fit for work, i have a different doctor every time i go to the surgery or get a phone call. this doctor said my polpys and blood thinning tablets,for my clots should not stop me working. but my work roach says i must carry on handing sick note in. and i should receive a letter any time now for my assessment.which will be in march / April time.
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health Assessment 01 Feb 2019 12:00 #13618

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If the doctor(s) you are seeing london are saying they feel you are `fit to work` regardless of your problems and implying they can`t or won`t supply you more fit notes, I`m not too sure you actually need them anyway when a LCW assessment is about to be sprung on you. But I truly don`t know for certain, I`m only trying to remember my time on JSA and I know Universal Credit is different when it comes to declaring sickness.

If this isn`t the case, you could ask the work coach you see if s/he could `switch off` any job search conditions while you are being assessed on your fitness to work, it would be at their discretion, but work coaches can do this depending on your circumstances for a limited time. I was on the phone the other day to the ESA helpline and spoke to a chap in their call centre and he said if I was to claim UC, when I go for my verification interview, I can hand in a fit note. (This is because I`m going to be asking for a mandatory reconsideration soon and possibly appeal). But I think what he was saying was, when you claim UC and you are either in that `assessment phase` for LCW, or are disputing an ESA claim being stopped (as I am), they would still recognise this as an ongoing dispute as long as I was handing in fit notes. The problem I have is, if I claimed UC and won my ESA back, I would lose £29 a week from my old ESA legacy claim even though I would still gain the LCW regime of UC and wouldn`t have to apply for jobs. It`s the looking for jobs I am contesting, not so much the money loss.

Don`t fight this alone London, ask CAB for help to fill your form out because they know what words to best use and the regulations the descriptors use. Even if the GP refuses to supply you with more fit notes (which I would also contest given UC are now asking you to be assessed on this) and he`s not willing to give you support. What you do here is, ask your surgery for access to your medical records and to print out anything you feel is relevant to your case. You can also ask your GP for a Patient Summary. This gives details of your illnesses, medications, hospital attendances etc....and it`s free.

Edited to add: If this LCW goes pear-shaped london, claim PIP instead. This is a benefit for people IN work as well as out of work and would give you some extra income based on your limitations/health problems. The criteria are slightly different (Daily Living and Mobility) but again, ask CAB for help if you do claim it.
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health Assessment 03 Feb 2019 22:56 #13664

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london123, 0 points is the usual, that is the score I have had the most often even though sometimes I have also passed at the first attempt with MR or Appeal. Also sometimes when you have a re-assessment 12 months after the previous one they make a decision without actually booking a medical or seeing you - this has just happened to me - placed in WRAG of ESA as I was last time after having a medical following about 4 years in the Support group.

It would have been helpful had the GP kept giving fit notes until the assessment was over. What if they now find you have LCW and this rules out job search with you placed in Work Related Activity Group? This creates the bizarre situation of a doctor saying you are fit to work and the DWP saying that you are not required to. However, I agree with comply or die that you probably won't be required to submit fit notes once that decision has been made but also am unsure if this goes for UC. If life wasn't stupid and confusing enough. This sounds like a locum to me, I have had a few of those and I find them a wee bit too detached for my liking overall. As I recall you had some kind of accident recently. I aren't being tactless or trying to alarm you but surely this is possible that it could happen again if you are still suffering from the same illnesses. If as you say, you see a different doctor each time then hopefully the next one will do the sensible thing and play safe saying that you are not currently fit for work. Next visit I would just say that they are asking for fit notes and most GPs will provide them as a routine. I wish they would look at peoples' age and have a better understanding of the benefits system and how hard it is even for younger fully fit people to negotiate never mind somebody approaching retirement age.

As for supplying evidence, what comply set out is obviously right but I submit items of evidence relating to mental health issues going back by as much as 15 years - my argument is I still suffer from these problems. There is an attitude at the DWP that every assessment is taken from scratch which is just ludicrous for someone with a long term condition. So don't worry about adding something older if it is still relevant.
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health Assessment 04 Feb 2019 14:53 #13691

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It`s an absolute minefield london and as Verc pointed out, your recent `scare` is not to be dismissed, even if you are taking medication to control it. I`ve been to see my GP because I`m (again) at Mandatory Reconsideration stage with my ESA (award recently removed AGAIN) in fine form, as usual from DWP twisted logic. I`m not yet on UC so I will be appealing under the `legacy` ESA system, so won`t be claiming UC unless I`m dragged kicking & screaming onto it. No doubt I will be claiming UC at some stage this year, but it won`t be until AFTER I submit an appeal (if my MR goes down the swanee) as most do. But at least I can get a fit note and go back onto the esa assessment rate until an appeal is heard, so that will go someway to assist me until the dark days are gone. Then and only then will I be deciding on UC whether that`s my only choice, or if I`m back on ESA again and managed/migrated over, which I would prefer.

Verc wrote: There is an attitude at the DWP that every assessment is taken from scratch which is just ludicrous for someone with a long term condition. So don't worry about adding something older if it is still relevant.

Agree. The nurse who assessed me recently stated on my ESA85 report that they used my PREVIOUS ESA50, a FIT note (which I`ve not had for three years?), an ESA113 and FRR4. Most of which are medical forms they send to GP`s or other consultants. I doubt these were up to date in my case. My GP has just told me that he will assist if I go to appeal, so in the meantime, I`m on my own with mandatory reconsideration and using my own initiative to convince a decision maker that they got it wrong. I fully expect it to fall on deaf ears.
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health Assessment 05 Feb 2019 00:03 #13713

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And sorry to hear about your assessment comply, good luck with the MR, not much else you can say about them, I only ever got one in my favour after a long and detailed letter from an occupational therapist who was based at a voluntary centre connected to the NHS. Usually it is just a delaying stage most people are expected to get through without any money and hence - as we have banged on about many times here - folks are then forced to apply for JSA or even worse now UC and still well erm not get any money. It clearly has been deliberately set up this way.

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health Assessment 05 Feb 2019 08:41 #13719

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Thanks for that Verc. It`s always good to read other`s experiences and how they get on. I just have to print off the few pages that I typed up for MR and post it off either Friday or Monday 1st class recorded and then wait for the reply. Just hope it doesn`t take two months or more because I want to get my appeal rolling onwards to be able to then go to my GP for that all important fit note to then be paid the esa assessment rate. Once that is in payment the appeal can take as long as it wants.

In the meantime, I`m seeing a few other medical people who will be recording my mental health and having a health check with a registered nurse (shame they don`t assess people this way at Maximus) but then again, they live in their own little world well away from reality.
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health Assessment 05 Feb 2019 10:43 #13723

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Comply: "I`m not too sure you actually need them anyway when a LCW assessment is about to be sprung on you. But I truly don't know for certain,"

I am also wondering about this Comply as see myself in that position very soon.

With me being on UC, i am now wondering once I've exceeded the 30 day sick period.... what happens then.Are people still in payment while on UC until they have been assessed at gestapo centre ?


Verc wrote: I wish they would look at peoples' age and have a better understanding of the benefits system and how hard it is even for younger fully fit people to negotiate never mind somebody approaching retirement age.Totally with you Verc.And wish joke shop and dwp would wake up and smell the coffee regarding all you mention.It would save the country millions in lawyer fees/tribunal costs etc which effectively dwp have a historic league of losing.
Maybe the tories have given up on saving money. :whistle: :evil:

:)
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health Assessment 05 Feb 2019 12:06 #13729

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jobber asked: With me being on UC, i am now wondering once I've exceeded the 30 day sick period.... what happens then.Are people still in payment while on UC until they have been assessed at gestapo centre ?

Yes, your UC payments would continue jobber. What would happen here is, you hand in your fit note(s) for the 13 week assessment phase for ESA (or LCW under UC as it`s now named) and then you would fill out the UC50 (or UC35?) not too sure which but one of these. At this point, I `think` you would just carry on regardless with your job search, but this is all down to the discretion of your work coach and dependent on what`s wrong with you, so if you were to have all job search `switched off`, this would be a conversation you would have with your work coach, although I`m sure there is a UC regulation which states that job searches be switched off in some circumstances, but I can`t sit here and say that`s the case here until I see the regs.

You know what happens after you fill out the form and then attend a FFW assessment. But yes, your UC payment would stay in payment. If you were found NOT to have LCW, you would just go back to where you were, so no payments would be affected. If you disagreed with their determination that you didn`t have LCW, you can put in a Mandatory Reconsideration. Now under the old legacy ESA system (which I fall under) your do NOT get paid ESA because they have deemed me fit for work. So because I`m not claiming UC (standard rate payment) I don`t have that to kick in again as I would have to make a new claim for UC because I`m not on any other benefit expect ESA. So I don`t have the UC net to fall back into, if you know what I mean.

So you could go ahead with a MR and still be paid UC. :)
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health Assessment 05 Feb 2019 12:40 #13730

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www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/339714/response/836093/attach/html/4/2151%20UCKM%20Initial%20actions%20when%20a%20claimant%20reports%20sick.pdf.html

Some of the above wording repeats itself as you read down the page but is relevant to this discussion. jobber, this snippet was taken from the above link which should answer your question relating to switching off work related requirements/job search::

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Take account though that the FOI link may have been answered relating to the UC Live service (and UC is Full service now) but the regulations are still the same. Just take from it what you need.
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health Assessment 06 Feb 2019 15:22 #13819

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I read this over on another forum (just posted yesterday) and thought the second part interesting re-having an esa assessment, claiming UC while this is happening and then UC not recognising it?

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This is why I`m not going near UC until my mandatory reconsideration/appeal are over with because claiming UC now could mean any positive outcome with my esa could then mean a new assessment under UC rules, when I`ve just went through it all under the old `legacy` rules. Not only that, but the LCW element would also be lost under UC.

It`s a minefield this losing an esa award and trying to work out how UC will identify someone as having LCW if they start a new claim for UC while they are still fighting to regain their legacy award back. :unsure:
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health Assessment 06 Feb 2019 17:39 #13834

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universal credit is a nightmare. theirs so much negative feed back about it,on line and in the papers,they will eventually have to scrap it.
(i hope)
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health Assessment 06 Feb 2019 17:54 #13837

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We all hope so london. I`m in a situation where I could claim it tomorrow, but not touching it with a bargepole unless I was to lose my esa at appeal. Only then will I claim UC. Given the re-introduction I had three years ago when I claimed JSA while waiting on an appeal outcome was bad enough. Do this, do that, you haven't used this or you should have done that.... your made to feel like a bloody child again.
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health Assessment 06 Feb 2019 19:12 #13839

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Cod.
How long do you think your appeal will take. I thought when you appeal you still get some allowance or did they scrap that when they got rid of incapatcity benefit to force people to claim jsa/us. ?
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health Assessment 07 Feb 2019 06:58 #13847

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Comply, i am wondering if they are going to fail your MR by default as to be highly difficult so to send you straight onto UC ?

Maybe the paymasters have spoken.And their brief being "to stop all new and any existing renewal claims for esa no matter what."

Just crossed my mind that this would all tie in with their deluded ideas of "lets have everyone on uc."
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health Assessment 07 Feb 2019 12:56 #13859

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Catwoman wrote: How long do you think your appeal will take
I`m still at Mandatory Reconsideration stage Catwoman and no payments can be made while this is ongoing. My only income would be to claim UC but I won`t be doing that until I have a decision (either after MR or Appeal) about my claim. If and when I need to make an appeal, when I receive a confirmation letter of my appeal from the Tribunal service, I can then ring ESA and ask for the ESA assessment rate to be re-instated, but I need fit notes from my GP for this to happen, the fit note needs to be dated from the day after my ESA was stopped. So for example, if my esa got stopped on the 21st of a month, any fit note I get should be dated from the 22nd of that month because the esa assessment rate payments would be backdated to that date. The assessment rate is £73.10p a week (so pays the same as JSA/UC in weekly terms)
I have read that once DWP have conformation of someone appealing their esa, that the esa assessment payments start up again automatically, but my advice would be to always phone them to make sure they know you are wanting to re-claim the assessment rate incase the system didn`t pick upon it.

Jobber wrote: Maybe the paymasters have spoken.And their brief being "to stop all new and any existing renewal claims for esa no matter what."
It could well be jobber. But even if they don`t change the decision in my favour, I then appeal it and claim the assessment rate money. Then the appeal can take as long as it wants because I will have `some` esa money reinstated and also my housing benefit and NI credits. So if I can sit tight for a bit, I know it will be worth it.

As for UC,I will possibly be making a claim this year sometimes anyway just because of the migration that`s happening. But I would rather be on ESA when this actually happens. If I`m not, then I will just go ahead and make the claim. But I know it will be a useless struggle and I will end up applying for LCW again not too far into my claim. So my concentration right now is based around holding onto my legacy claim (and my sanity) while this is all going on.
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health Assessment 07 Feb 2019 17:42 #13891

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Reading the UC online claim page, the very fact that someone may fail a work capability assessment while making a claim for UC (they ask you if you have health issues or a disability) or is already ON UC would have to meet their `requirements`:

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So in order to keep receiving UC payments, you are expected to uphold your Claimant Commitment agreement and what`s written and `agreed to within it. What I can`t get my head around is, even though they say they recognise someone`s health condition(s) or disability, there is a default position where they will put you down for 16 hour a week jobs and will just go along with the fact that you have been found `FIT` so will undoubtedly manage these actions without question. A decision to remove an ESA award which is arguably questionable in many cases because the system is set up to fail people and then they don`t identify the type(s) of work that person might do, or work they might get. It`s as if they are handing you back to the gladatorial arena to face whatever is thrown at you when they expect you to hit the ground running.

People like myself who have not been in the workplace for a `long time` (due to health issues) should not be considered to be `work ready` and it`s my view that job searches should not be applied until we can be assessed on our readiness to actually GET a job. It seems a bit loony to expect people who have spent a while on ESA to just be ready at short notice to find work or attend interviews etc...
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health Assessment 07 Feb 2019 17:54 #13895

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comply or die wrote:
Reading the UC online claim page, the very fact that someone may fail a work capability assessment while making a claim for UC (they ask you if you have health issues or a disability) or is already ON UC would have to meet their `requirements`:

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So in order to keep receiving UC payments, you are expected to uphold your Claimant Commitment agreement and what`s written and `agreed to within it. What I can`t get my head around is, even though they say they recognise someone`s health condition(s) or disability, there is a default position where they will put you down for 16 hour a week jobs and will just go along with the fact that you have been found `FIT` so will undoubtedly manage these actions without question. A decision to remove an ESA award which is arguably questionable in many cases because the system is set up to fail people and then they don`t identify the type(s) of work that person might do, or work they might get. It`s as if they are handing you back to the gladatorial arena to face whatever is thrown at you when they expect you to hit the ground running.

People like myself who have not been in the workplace for a `long time` (due to health issues) should not be considered to be `work ready` and it`s my view that job searches should not be applied until we can be assessed on our readiness to actually GET a job. It seems a bit loony to expect people who have spent a while on ESA to just be ready at short notice to find work or attend interviews etc...

same here i haven't worked for several years due to health issues, im nearly 62 years old. but they will still be trying there best to get me in some shity job. im looking for 16 hours a week max. only thing i would be worse of if i got a job doing 16 hours a week.after rent ect, my roach must know this, but never brings it up.if i ever get an interview i will make sure i fail it.
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