The purpose of the assessment is to understand how your illness or disability influences your everyday life. The assessment is carried out for the DWP.
The length of the DWP Health Assessment depends on the individual case, and it further depends upon the type of assessment and your medical conditions, although it says that you should allow two hours for the assessment but it may take less.
To be awarded Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) a claimant must total at least 15 points unless you’re in one of the categories of people who are exceptions, and the points can be added up from several different activities from both the physical and mental disabilities.
The conditions that automatically qualify you for disability are sense and speech problems, such as vision or hearing loss. Respiratory illness, such as COPD or asthma. Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism or retardation.
Every month about 60,000 ill and disabled people have their needs assessed for benefits but some are so anxious about the method that is used, they’re using mobile phones to surreptitiously record those interviews, but using that evidence to reverse a decision is not straightforward.
And this is what you need to take with you when you attend one of these assessments:
You’ll need your appointment letter, which is quite straightforward because most people have to do that when they have appointments.
So, now comes the more complicated part. They want proof of identification. This is, of course, to catch you out. They want a driving licence, and then they would say that if you’re driving then you don’t need help, if you have a passport, why are you going on holiday if you’re so ill?
On another note, how many people have a passport or a driving licence? Or, if you don’t have those you have to bring three types of identification – that’s stressed you out even before you get there.
Now they want you to take evidence of all your medication, such as tablets, liquids and inhalers, and you have to take any medical aids that you use. By now, friends of mine would be loading up a lorry to get them there!
So, now you’ve gone from giving them information to essentially moving home with all your aids. They even want you to bring your mobility scooter, walker, walking stick, wheelchair to name a few and nebuliser. I’m sure I’ve missed a few out, but I’m sure you get the picture.
And for those that use a commode and a wet room, should they bring those as well?
There is no conceivable way these people who are ill could bring these things to the assessment centre because normally they’re not near to where they live, and another thing they say is that if you have an assistance dog, to bring that with you as well. Well, clearly if you’re blind and need an assistance dog you would have to bring it with, otherwise, dumb arse, how would they get there?
And these are the type of people who are doing our assessments, doesn’t give you much confidence, does it?