On the subject of ESA I started preparing my appeal today (on the GL24 form) as the medical report finally arrived after two weeks. All they had to do was print it out and post it! They supply a rectangle 83mm x 120 mm (3.25' x 3.9') for spelling out why you are appealing to be filled in in BLOCK CAPITALS. I sent them two sides of A4 typed, and three supporting documents. Take that you bastards.
Back in June 2012 I got this: "" Mr X does have a Limited Capacity for Work Related Activity". That put me in the higher bracket for ESA.
This year my medical report says:
“The available evidence suggests that the client has a significant level of disability due to Anxiety and Depression, such that they would have a limited capability for work. Likely to reach threshold, personal action, getting about and social situations, no significant chance since last assessment.” [emphasis added]Despite there being no significant change I'm down graded to the Limited Capacity for Work. The details of what this means are a bit arcane but it does mean about £35 a week less in benefit. Just at the time when I'm faced with being evicted because I'm a prick to live with and the only good option I have, apart from moving the fucking countryside away from everyone I know in the UK and all my support systems, is to get a bedsit on my own. But then I am responsible for all the bills. If anyone will supply services to me. The prejudice against people on benefits seems to run pretty deep here. So I need the money, though I think as things stand I am entited to it. I'd love to live on my own but had thought I couldn't afford it. Maybe I'll just have to.
The medical report does seem have ignored or at best underplayed my answers to Qs 14-17 on the ESA50 which cover mental health. I clearly fit the criteria and they thought so last year (on appeal) and they ought to be applying the same criteria this year. In any case the I'll send in my documentation tomorrow and cross my fingers.
My doctor's supporting letter mentioned that I had a panic attack while asking her for the letter. And this was interesting because I didn't think of it as a panic attack. It seems I have panic attacks much more often than I had thought. Just about every day at the moment.
I'm finding the dichotomy of trying to convince the government that my health is poor and my behaviour unacceptable and trying to landlords that my I'm going to be a great tenant is very difficult to hold. It's creating quite dangerous tensions at times.