I originally went for the assessment 11 months ago. The waiting and the uncertainty has been a huge stress, having to go through details again and again, as if they they don’t believe me and want to catch me out. The biggest worry though has been feeling like I could be being watched or judged. There are stories in the news about assessors secretly filming claimants to catch them out and I think that’s disgusting. It causes such high anxiety for me that I often don’t like to be out on my own. Or even out at all. No understanding of m.e whatsoever. I may as well have been talking to a child.
I lost count of the times I had to say there is no average day as things vary and change so quickly.
I felt like she was simply ticking boxes and there was no degree of variation allowed for answers and she did little to try to understand that or even pretend to understand.Having been kept waiting for almost 2 hours, i had to request somewhere dark and quiet as the waiting room was too bright+loud. This was ignored in the report.
The questions were irrelevant to m.e.
The “physical examination” consisted of asking me to raise my arms and legs. I did it and said i was in pain whilst doing it and the report said i did it without problem. I refused to crouch during the exam but the report said i did it without problem.
When trying to explain my symptoms and daily struggles it was like talking to a brick wall. She didnt write down what i said but just ticked the boxes so the extra info was ignored.There is no room for variation or individual problems.
The report came back full of mistakes but when i complained that the lady had made up that i crouched/did certain things i was told simply that she is an independent assessor with no need to make it up so why would she lie.
My stress, depression and anxiety levels are through the roof. I didn’t know at the time of the assessment but i was pregnant, i have had to go through mandatory reconsideration and multiple meetings with various job centre staff all whilst pregnant, disabled & in a lot of pain. My tribunal was just after my son was born and I was so ill afterwards that I couldn’t look after him for days. My family had to come and help, changing their plans/taking time off work and looking after him as well as me.
I have since been told that my tribunal waiting time has pushed me over the time allowed to have ESA so i don’t qualify now anyway. Belfast office also said that as i have ‘chosen not to work’ my husband should be supporting me, not the benefits system. I’m not entitled to anything else because i am married. My husband is on a very low wage yet we are constantly told we are entitled to nothing else.
Had i known that ESA would cause such stress in my life and affect me on a daily basis i would have not even bothered. Its too much. I cry every time i think about having to go through the process only to be told i cant get anything anyway.