ESA Medical

Sorry I’ve been rather quiet of late but the sun has been shining and I have been nearly (and I almost don’t dare say it for fear of cursing the situation) up. This is a good, and somewhat miraculous, thing. However, the one dark cloud on the horizon is that I have my ESA medical on Monday. For readers from abroad, this is to determine if I’m entitled to benefits on the grounds of incapacity to work. So this is a plea, if anyone has been through one of these can you give me some pointers of what to expect? I’m absolutely terrified of it. I already have a sympathetic friend lined up to accompany me but this doesn’t mean I want to go.


10 Responses to ESA Medical

  1. Bippidee says:

    I hope it goes ok. I had one a couple of years ago (at the Cambridge centre). I can’t remember that much about it – I was meant to have another one towards the end of last year, but it says on the letter that you won’t be asked to travel to a centre that is further than X by public transport, and they all are for me, so they said they would arrange a home visit, and I haven’t heard anything since!

    I don’t know if it is at all different since I had mine, as mine wasn’t for ESA as it was before ESA was brought in, but from what I have heard it hasn’t changed much. You basically get asked lots of questions about what is wrong and how it affects you, how you spend your time, all the usual stuff you might get in a psych consultation, except the Dr won’t be a psych. They also told me an address at the beginning that I was meant to remember for the end, but I had forgotten it, and I was told to count backwards in 7s from 100, which made me cry because I couldn’t do it and I used to be good at maths. Looking back, bursting into tears because I couldn’t count probably helped my case as being a mentalist that couldn’t work though! I can’t really remember anything more about it, sorry. I hope it goes ok though. xxx

  2. John says:

    Hi Ana I hope it goes well for you at the ESA medical. I’ve not had one but my mother did. Hope that this helps.

    IMO the ESA medical is designed to be failed and it’s a very poor test of peoples ability to work as it takes very little account of mental illness: merely physical.

    The tests fall into two groups, physical and mental, weighted as above. The physical tests are around your ability to perform the following:

    Standing and sitting
    Bending or kneeling
    Picking up and moving things
    Manual dexterity
    Remaining conscious

    From a mental health perspective the areas of concern are:

    Learning or comprehension in the completion of tasks
    Awareness of hazard
    Memory and concentration
    Execution of tasks
    Initiating and sustaining personal action
    Coping with change
    Getting about
    Coping with social situations
    Propriety of behaviour with other people
    Dealing with other people

  3. Alison says:

    Good luck with the appointment on Monday… I know saying good luck is silly, but just be yourself… you physically had to leave a demanding and future uni course because of your illness, I think that kind of says how ill you are.

  4. Stacy says:

    It is certainly a stressful experience and I felt even more disfunctional than usual during it because I felt so under pressure. I remember that I forgot the date and even the day of week and ended up in tears over it. Of course this probably isn’t very encouraging. 🙂
    In the states it practically doesn’t matter how badly you do on this particular exam, they won’t approve you anyway. In the states it’s normal to be denied 3 or 4 times before they require you to get an attorney to argue the case for you in court. Then once you’ve paid a buttload to the court appointed attorney then they approve you. The attorney’s make out well though because they take their very high fees out of your retroactive disablity settlement before you even see your money, leaving the disablied person only a fraction of what they deserved. It’s a crazy system! Hopefully it’s better run over there.
    Be sure to take some time to regain your sense of self after the test. Remember it’s not a measure of your value as a person.

  5. aims says:

    I haven’t heard of this test Ana but I’m sure you’re going ‘pass’ if there is a ‘pass’. Try not to lose sleep over it though.

  6. Good luck for the medical – and remember that no matter the outcome you can always appeal…

    I’ll be interested in how yours goes, as I’m expecting to be going to one at some point soon (only sent the questionnaire off last monday).

    Take care,

  7. Nurse Converse says:

    Haven’t got any advice I’m afriad, as I’ve never had to do it. But I do wish you all the luck in the world 🙂 xxx

  8. La reve says:

    Only saw this sorry. Good luck.
    Don’t want to put you off but they do take into account whether you dress smartly and can talk in sentences,whether you took public transport and goes against you so draw from that what you will.
    My experience was bad, diagnosed with bipolar seeing shrink every fortnight, cc weekly and had been admitted to hospital two weeks before medical and four times in previous 6 months and got zero points and failed. appealed and given 24 points. appealing again to be put in support group. However not all areas of country seem to be so harsh.
    You have to score points which is hard if can’t explain exactly why day to day living is difficult.

    La reve x

  9. Bippidee says:

    Hey honey,
    Just wondered how it went?

  10. Edith Sitwell says:

    The bed bit of the physical where they ask you to lift your legs etc – do you have to do it in bare feet?

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