Employment and Support Allowance | the thrill of being put in the ‘Support Group’ | 5 July 2012

The ME Association received this email yesterday evening and we have the sender’s permission to quote her:

A few months ago, I bought your recent ME management files/ESA guide as I was going through the hideous process of IB > ESA.

After 6 solid weeks of absolute despair & terror

– 30hours to fill in the ESA form along with many highlighted copies of *relevant* ME sheets & my own 5 pages of good day /bad day /reactions to pressure & stress.

– Plus two self-made Mind Maps explaining ME Management (pacing & autonomy v no autonomy) and pointing out only the SUPPORT group gives me that autonomy & ME symptoms day to day…

– I repeatedly quoted Hansard on “reliable/repeatedly/without undue fatigue” in EVERY answer & refering to Pretty v UK Article 3 EHRR 1 para 52 (state making natural illness/disability worse)

– I even added Klimas quote on the importance of exercise (for those who CAN & WANT to on “good days”). I did that so as give me *freedom* to do things on good days.

I was terrified of being called to ATOS & all the hell of interviews knowing how vulnerable the process has affected me so far. I insisted it must be recorded & that a copy would be sent to my attorney brother.

Anyway, just now I got another dreaded brown envelope.

To my shock … I’ve been awarded transfer to ESA & put in the support group.

Basically, by writing what I wanted to write & making my case in as much detail as I could (assuming I’d go to tribunal) … I achieved the rare situation of being migrated, bypassing WCA.

For now at least.

I really think people must approach it like a court case – fight for your life at form-filling stage. Do not be restricted by the boxes.

Thanks so much for being there – your guide to filling in the form & presence as an organisation have literally been a life-saver.

Our Guide to Filling in the ESA Form is priced at £3 and can be obtained in office hours by phoning 01280 818 964. Please have your debit or credit card to hand.

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