Feeling really stressed

I hope everyone is managing in this heat.
I feel really stressed today.
I think I know why it’s that dreaded esa reassessment. I can’t relax I keep crying haven’t got the will to do anything.
I have never felt like this with other reassessments. I have had a few.
Should I mention this to the Parkinson’s nurse when I meet her for the first time next Friday?
I can’t understand also with my long term health conditions why they keep asking me back. None of my illnesses will get better only worse.
I am sorry to rant on.
Jane

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Hi @Bub1
Please don’t worry about the esa assessment and do mention it to your pd nurse as I’m confident that you will be given good advice and reassurance.
Once given a definitive parkinsons diagnosis I’m pretty certain that you now are only required to have one assessment as the condition is degenerative and will not improve.
I believe parkinson UK had a court ruling on this fairly recently and your nurse or a moderator should be able to provide more detail on this issue.
Or indeed try the helpline even if only to reduce the anxiety.
You have enough to be anxious about so please consider just living in the moment right now just as it is and repeat that tomorrow and so on.
The past is just that past.
Today is here right now so be kind to yourself and enjoy today.
I wish you peace and contentment my friend.
Tommy :pill: :pill: :pill:

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Hello Bub1, I agree with Tommy trouble is when you are feeling as you are just now, your rational head which would probably normally tell you it is sensible advice, can feel like it has deserted you. I am wondering if you should make an appt with your GP who may be able to help in the short term until your situation is a bit clearer. If you don’t want to do that how about having a chat with your pharmacist - never used it myself but Rescue Remedy seems to have quite good press (if not contraindicated) or something similar. Hopefully you are not feeling so bad today.

Thanks @T1 for pointing @Bub1 in our direction. Unfortunately that is not always the case. And it’s quite a complex topic so do bear with me.

When someone is successful in claiming ESA they will be placed in either the Work Related Activity Group, or the Support Group (the support group is the higher one). Only when someone has been placed in the support group will they be assessed under the Severe Conditions Guidance (which is when it is decided if they will never face a reassessment).

Very broadly speaking, the rules a person with Parkinson’s would need to meet to no longer face reassessments are:

  1. The level of function would always meet Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (this basically means they will always be in the support group - Parkinson’s is specifically named as a condition that is likely to meet this criteria)

  2. The condition will always be present (if there is no likelihood that the condition will get better)

  3. No realistic prospect of recovery of function (this should only be based on currently available treatments)

  4. Unambiguous condition (this is where the clear diagnosis of Parkinson’s comes in)

So if someone is in the Support group (or the equivalent in Universal Credit), and meets all four of the above criteria then they should accepted under the severe conditions criteria and be exempted from future reassessments. And put in simple terms, someone with Parkinson’s who is placed in the support group should meet these criteria.

However (and unfortunately), this criterion is still relatively new and so the people making the decisions may not be familiar with it. Therefore, some people with Parkinson’s who are placed into the support group, will not always be correctly exempted from future reassessments.

Our suggestion for anyone who finds themselves in that situation is to make a complaint to both the department and their MP. There is then a small chance that someone higher up will override the decision. For those who are not placed in the support group, appeal the decision all the way to the tribunal. 74% of decisions are overturned at tribunal, the odds are in their favour - it will save them from huge amounts of stress in the future.

Lastly and more specifically to you, if you are not sure if you’ve been exempt - look at your decision letter and it should say when your next assessment is due (usually three years). If it gives you a length of time; you have not been exempt, in which case we would encourage you to make a complaint.

Apologies for the lengthy response but we just to offer as much clarity on this as possible.

Best wishes,
Reah

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Hello Reah, I was most interested in your response because it so happens I have a review on Monday but fit the criteria you list. I rang this morning to ask about this and spoke to a very nice advisor who said and I quote ‘I have never heard of anyone being exempt…’ all claimants have to have regular reviews. If the outcome of this review does not exempt me from future reviews I will certainly complain as you recommend.

Hi @Tot,

I’m glad you found the information I shared useful. If you need any assistance with your complaint, just give us another call via our helpline and one of our advisers will help you.

Best wishes,
Reah

Thank you all, good advice.
I will bare everything in mind for next week.
I will be starting another topic shortly about what happened at the weekend.

Meant to ask would you complain to the DWP Decisions Maker?
I have COPD and last year the HCP said review in 18 months. I wish I had known I would have complained then. Thanks Reah for your help.

Hi @Bub1,

You have quite a unique situation, therefore, I think it’s best you speak to one of our advisers about this. They can offer you more help and support once you explain to them what you’ve shared with me. Do give us a call on 0808 800 0303.

Best wishes,
Reah

Thanks Reah.
I will give them a ring in the next couple of days. The reason being, is that I have parkinsons nurse tomorrow and my fridge freezer decided to die so had to go and get another one.
Jane

Me again, I have just rung the helpline and the benefits team are not back in until next week so will ring then.

Tot how did you get on on monday?

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Sorry to hear about your fridge. :frowning_face:

Managed to get one to be delivered tomorrow afternoon after 1pm. My appointment in the morning is 10.15am and my son is taking me by car so that is good I couldnt go by public transport anyway.
My sons friend has borrowed us a fridge that was just being used to house water bottles all in working order so have managed with that.
Thanks Reah. Hope you are ok?

That was really kind of your son’s friend to loan you a fridge, must be a huge relief for you! And I’m good thank you, lovely of you to ask. :relaxed: