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

July 5, 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.

4 thoughts on “Employment and Support Allowance | the thrill of being put in the ‘Support Group’ | 5 July 2012”

  1. Thank you for that.

    Can anyone provide a link for ‘Pretty v UK Article 3 EHRR 1 para 52 (state making natural illness/disability worse’

    I am having trouble finding it.


  2. Thank you Tony – I will try and go an find the wording.

    I think the argument for autonomy is a very important.

  3. “52. As regards the types of “treatment” which fall within the scope of Article 3 of the Convention, the Court’s case-law refers to “ill-treatment” that attains a minimum level of severity and involves actual bodily injury or intense physical or mental suffering (see Ireland v. the United Kingdom, cited above, p. 66, § 167; V. v. the United Kingdom [GC], no. 24888/94, § 71, ECHR 1999-IX). Where treatment humiliates or debases an individual, showing a lack of respect for, or diminishing, his or her human dignity, or arouses feelings of fear, anguish or inferiority capable of breaking an individual’s moral and physical resistance, it may be characterised as degrading and also fall within the prohibition of Article 3 (see amongst recent authorities, Price v. the United Kingdom, no. 33394/96, §§ 24-30, ECHR 2001-VII, and Valašinas v. Lithuania, no. 44558/98, § 117, ECHR 2001-VIII). The suffering which flows from naturally occurring illness, physical or mental, may be covered by Article 3, where it is, or risks being, exacerbated by treatment, whether flowing from conditions of detention, expulsion or other measures, for which the authorities can be held responsible (see D. v. the United Kingdom and Keenan, both cited above, and Bensaid v. the United Kingdom, no. 44599/98, ECHR 2000-I).”

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