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Thread: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

  1. #1

    Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    Hi everyone,

    Just wondered if anyone had any experience of the medical assessments you have to go through for getting incapacity benefit/employment support allowance? I've just been sent a questionnaire to fill in to switch me from incapacity benefit to employment support, but it keeps going on about having to attend a face to face medical assessment. I can't get out to attend the assessment because of the agoraphobia ( duh this is why I'm on the benefit DWP idiots!) I have stated on the questionnaire that it would have to be a home visitand am getting a doctor's letter to back that up, but they've ignored all that in the past. JUst wondered if anybody had already been through this situation?

  2. #2
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    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    We have quite a few posts about this though I do try and discourage them as it can cause conflict on here.

    If you use the search facility at the top then you can look for such things as "medical assessment" and read those posts.
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    Nicola

    “Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbitt

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    Don't worry about it at the form filling-in stage, apart from writing that on the form, as you have done

    When they contact you for the medical it's then you send them a letter from your GP saying that due to your condition you are unable to travel to a medical.

  4. #4

    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    Hello Cheekyone, yeah if i were you i would probably ring someone associated with the assessment stage and see if you can talk to an adviser and ask what kind of evidence you need to send in. . xxx

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    dont send a letter get your gp to fax them
    god bless
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  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    Quote Originally Posted by london View Post
    dont send a letter get your gp to fax them
    god bless
    Yep, that's what they ask you to do once you get to that stage, in my experience, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it - you don't need to worry about that now. Just get the form filled in and send it off asap!

  7. #7

    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    I have always attended mine at the centre with someone with me. My theory being I want them to actually see me in a right state of panic and anxiety. If they were to visit me in my own home I would come across as relaxed and competent. Stick me outside the front door and its a different story entirely. One occasion I couldn't make it to the appointment and had to have my GP fax them to back me up on why I failed to attend - I was in far too much of a state of panic that day. They are assessing you to see if you are fit for work, or fit to attend their work related activity programs etc. I personally like to have them see with their own eyes what a state I get into, and allow them to then judge based on evidence rather than just mine and my GP's word for it. Last time I was in tears before I even reached the centre, it was a 20 minute drive away from home. So I was clearly extremely distressed by the time I got into to see them. All I can tell you is I passed!

    Just something to consider. I honestly cannot tell you which is the best approach for you.

  8. #8
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    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    Quote Originally Posted by smalltrace View Post
    I have always attended mine at the centre with someone with me. My theory being I want them to actually see me in a right state of panic and anxiety. If they were to visit me in my own home I would come across as relaxed and competent. Stick me outside the front door and its a different story entirely. One occasion I couldn't make it to the appointment and had to have my GP fax them to back me up on why I failed to attend - I was in far too much of a state of panic that day. They are assessing you to see if you are fit for work, or fit to attend their work related activity programs etc. I personally like to have them see with their own eyes what a state I get into, and allow them to then judge based on evidence rather than just mine and my GP's word for it. Last time I was in tears before I even reached the centre, it was a 20 minute drive away from home. So I was clearly extremely distressed by the time I got into to see them. All I can tell you is I passed!

    Just something to consider. I honestly cannot tell you which is the best approach for you.
    A very interesting point!

    I think either way doesn't make much difference probably. And a letter of support from your GP isn't 'just' his or her word - it's considered very important legal evidence if you need to get as far as a tribunal if your claim is turned down.

    I had a home medical a few weeks ago (I can get around to quite a few places at the moment as long as there is no stress at the end of it, but my condition has been very cyclical for quite some time now - six months ago I barely left my bed for a month).

    Well, the idiot assessing doctor, despite having my postcode, went to the right road but it happens to be one that stretches across two villages, and he went to the wrong one! His English was appalling and trying to guide him (a very simple process from where he was) was almost impossible. By the time he got here moaning that my building doesn't have a number (many buildings in the UK don't you imbecile - that's why we have postcodes too!) I was a quivering wreck in my own home. He made a few snarky comments and I almost chucked him out, but for the rest of the interview was almost in tears, and generally in a right state.

    I have a list of the criteria they assess you on and had written out ten pages of A4 giving examples of everything, but he never even asked about most of the things you are meant to be assessed on! At the end I showed him my notes and asked 'but what about this?' and gave him one example of how I fit the criteria. I think it's 'being a danger to yourself because of your condition' (I often have accidents due to my condition and medication and, for example, almost burned the flat down a few weeks ago) - he just dismissed it, "oh everyone has accidents".

    I cannot wait for them to fail me, if they do, because I'm going to go to absolute town on ATOS and their joke 'doctors' who don't even know what they are meant to be judging you against.

    He didn't stay long or ask me much and that is either because a) he's determined to fail me, or b) he quickly saw enough on his home visit to know that it's not worth him trying to fail me.

    Sorry for the long post Another reason I like them to visit me at home is because I could show him how I struggle even with daily tasks in my home. E.g. he asked me who does the correspondence in our household, wouldn't believe me when I said 'usually no-one' and I could then show him five years' worth of bills etc stacked around the flat that I haven't been able to deal with .

  9. #9

    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    Thanks everybody for your advice and support. Eight days a week, could you tell me where I can get the criteria they are assessing against please? The benefits enquiry line told me not to send the doctors letter to ATOS but to the DWP itself, not sure how that's going to work out, but I'll let you know! It's been really helpful to be able to ask people on here about an issue that was concerning me a lot and making me quite anxious. I'm not quite sure why the admins want to discourage open discussion about this. What conflict does it cause? I'm quite happy to accept anybody's comments on the issue, but I really can't see why it is inflamatory. Yes I'd read the previous forum posts on the issue, but i actually wanted personal feedback and a chance to interact with people who have had similar anxieties. I very rarely post new threads and do feel quite discouraged by the official response. Thanks again though to those that have helped.

  10. #10
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    Re: Agoraphobia and incapacity benefit/employment support allowance

    We have had quite a few of these threads end up in arguments as there are some members on here who are unable to get any benefits and are forced to work despite their illnesses/problems etc so conflict occurs when other members seem to be able to get them easily.

    We as admins are entitled to stop a subject being discussed if it gives up more hassle long term hence my comment.
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    Nicola

    “Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbitt

    Please help keep NMP running and donate to the running costs: http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/donate




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