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  #1  
Old 31st October 2013, 15:19
jenny4 jenny4 is offline
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Default Second ESA Medical Assessment With Doctor?

Hey... I had my first ESA medical assessment yesterday. I took with me proof of my mental health diagnosis for SA, GA, ADD and it was also mentioned on the letter that I have difficulties with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. The assessor explained that only a doctor can assess Dyspraxia, so she had to terminate the interview. It was going well up to that point, but now I have to wait for another appointment to go back and be assessed by the doctor... yet more anxious waiting! I was just wondering if being called back for an assessment with the doctor has happened to anyone else here? Will I have to go through the whole interview process again or will this next appointment be just to assess the Dyspraxia? I was too anxious to ask questions at the appointment yesterday and just wanted to get out of there! I've had a migraine since... these things are really stressful!
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  #2  
Old 31st October 2013, 19:44
artistformerlyknownasAAAh artistformerlyknownasAAAh is offline
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Default Re: Second ESA Medical Assessment With Doctor?

I have an ESA assessment coming up and would like to know what to expect.
The whole process is enormously stressful and designed to put people of, I could never have done it without the help of my dad.
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Old 1st November 2013, 02:23
zygapophysis zygapophysis is offline
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Default Re: Second ESA Medical Assessment With Doctor?

Hiya,

I totally understand how stressed you're feeling. I've been through the Atos ESA assessment too and I found it very stressful.

With regard to the second assessment, it sounds like it's because the assessor you saw wasn't trained to test for Dyspraxia. Atos employ a variety of people, and they're not necessarily that knowledgeable about the illness a claimant may have, but will be trained in assessment by numbers and using the notorious software system. So, like I say, it could be that your assessor simply wasn't trained to test for Dyspraxia. I may be wrong, though. I would have thought that the questions you've already answered in the first appointment would be logged on to the system and that the next one will focus on any unanswered questions and the Dyspraxia, but there could be some repetition.

This site:

http://thefullfacts.com/esa/forum/index.php

... may have a definitive answer. Even if it doesn't, you could always register and ask on the forum, as there are some very helpful and knowledgeable peeps on there. Lots of useful info, too, about various aspects of the ESA assessment process.

Your local MIND may have an advocacy or advice service, and they're pretty well versed when it comes to Atos medicals. They could help with the next stages of your claim, including an appeal should you need and decide to make one. Bear in mind, however, that now the end of October has seen a change in the law regarding ESA appeals, and now when someone appeals they won't continue to get the basic rate of ESA whilst the DWP reconsider their decision (which could take weeks). It's only when the DWP return a second decision - either upholding their initial decision or finding in your favour - that you then can appeal (should you need to) to the tribunals service, and at that point you'll receive the basic rate of ESA until your appeal is heard. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, for now focus on the next assessment. If you have any documentation about your diagnosis with Dyslexia or Dyspraxia take copies with you. Always think about your worst symptoms, and describe those. If they do go through the mental health descriptors again, and ask about your daily routine and seemingly innocuous questions about watching TV, going to the shops, make your answers about how you are on a bad day, when you can't concentrate on things (like TV) because of anxiety, or can't leave the house to go shopping because of SA. If you have someone to accompany you to the Atos centre that would be good too. I hope that helps a little, not that I've been able to give solid answers to anything!

Feel free to ask any further questions you may have.

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Old 1st November 2013, 14:31
clawhammer. clawhammer. is offline
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Default Re: Second ESA Medical Assessment With Doctor?

^ Good post.

Dyspraxia is on the list of conditions for which you have to be assessed by a doctor.

For conditions such as anxiety, depression, etc., you can be assessed by a doctor, nurse or physiotherapist.
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Old 1st November 2013, 16:34
jenny4 jenny4 is offline
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Default Re: Second ESA Medical Assessment With Doctor?

Thank you so much for your helpful post, cheekysneaky.

I've joined the full facts, just waiting for the moderators to approve my membership. I only have limited access to the site until they do.

You're right my assessor wasn't trained, and she did apologise for having to terminate the interview and mentioned that she could see it had taken a lot for me to attend, and that it was a shame, which led me to thinking I probably would have passed the assessment. I was highly anxious, visibly shaking, etc... it was a bit of an ordeal to be honest. I was in there maybe 30 minutes, so quite possibly had gone through much of the questioning. I knew I had to be honest and not hide how bad things really get, which is hard to do because I think many of have learned to hide our conditions as it's hard to get by in life otherwise. I even sometimes play things down at the doctors, so it's no wonder I've not always got the help I need. It's a tough process to unlearn this self-protective behaviour. I did manage it at the assessment though, which is why it was so difficult, but to have to go through it again is a bit daunting to say the least. I'm worried I'll get an unsympathetic doctor who might come to a different decision than the first assessor.

I was diagnose with all my conditions by Dr Hollis the hospital in Nottigham, so I took the diagnosis letter along with me as proof. The letter also mentioned about the Dyspraxia and as soon as the Atos assessor read this she explained she'd have to terminate the interview as a doctor would need to assess me for that. I've never properly looked into Dyspraxia until now to be honest, as my anxiety has been the most crippling problem. However reading more about the Dyspraxia from various forums, I can identify with many of the symptoms. It wouldn't be obvious visially, but I have real difficulty with my short term memory which affects lots of things in my life. For example, if I have an appointment in the afternoon, I might remember in the morning, and get distracted, then forgot all about it and miss the appointment! I did this yesterday, so now have to make an apologetic phone call to the surgery to reschedule... I haven't actually done it yet as I'm so anxious about it!!

So yes, I'm trying to prepare for the next appointment by reading about Dyspraxia, as I feel if I walk in there without any knowledge, I'm likely to fall into traps due my lack of awareness. I do wonder if my self-conciousness about walking, writing in front of others and eating in front of others might be down to the Dyspraxia as well as my anxiety though. I think sometimes, we learn to cope with our difficulties from childhood naturally, without really understanding those difficulties, and I think these leads to feelings self-conciousness and anxiety when were in certain situations without knowing why.

Thanks again for your help cheekysneaky. Nice to see you around the forum again!
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