Medical Testing Work Capability Assessment
The Work Capability Assessment is one of the medical testing services carried out by the Health Assessment Advisory Service. This assessment is mandatory for all disabled claimants filling in the ESA50 form. If you don’t go, the DWP will automatically take it as a sign that you are fit to work and cancel the claim. This is a stressful process for the claimant, so it is important to understand precisely how this system works.
How To Get An Appointment For Your ESA Assessment
Unlike many other medical testing services in the UK, the assessor will contact you to make the arrangements once they have received the form. They will give you the date and time of the appointment and expect you to attend.
If the date or time is unsuitable, perhaps because of travel or other appointments, you need to make this clear on the phone. They will also inform you of the location of the center. Again, if it is a problem, tell them then and there.
It is possible to get the appointment via email or phone calls are a problem. a particular contact with the Health Assessment Advisory Service with this request.
What Do You Need To Take With You To Your Appointment?
It is important to be prepared before heading to the appointment. This means making a list of all the things that you will be asked for on arrival and make sure to bring them all. The first thing will be identification.
A passport or driving license are the two commonly accepted forms. If you do not have either, check with the center to see what else you can use. You will also need to provide a recent bank statement or utility bill with your name and address.
Finally, don’t forget to bring evidence of medications and aids, such as walking sticks or hearing aids. You may also want to carry a list of the medical testing services you use as references.
Things To Remember About Traveling To The Appointment
Traveling to a meeting can be as stressful as the appointment itself, especially if the center is a long way from your home. Claimants are expected to make their arrangements and find a way to the center – either via car, public transport or taxi.
Costs of fuel, taxi fares, and bus tickets can be reclaimed providing you have evidence. However, they will only pay taxi fares if it has been agreed upon before the appointment.
If you feel as though you can’t travel to the appointment, it is possible to ask for these medical testing services to be carried out at home. The only potential issue here is that they will ask for a doctor’s note explaining the circumstances.
Make Sure To Ask For Appropriate Support And Aids For The Assessment
The assessment will be carried out in an unfamiliar room that is not necessarily tailored to your needs. It is important to communicate these requirements with the center when making an appointment.
This way you should try and ensure that the room is as comfortable as possible. This can be as easy as asking for a certain style of chair and a first-floor room. You can also make sure that the room is open if you suffer in enclosed spaces or ask for an assessor of the same gender.
This also means asking about the emotional support that can be provided and other people that are allowed in the room. If you have trouble with speech or hearing problems, ask if a signer or interpreter can be there to help.
You can also ask to take a relative, carer or friend to help with any anxiety or to help you remember answers. If you feel you are not able to go through these medical testing services alone then don’t.
Explaining Your Disabilities And Issues In A Beneficial Manner
This extra support is important for claimants that may have trouble explaining themselves and expressing how their disabilities affect their lives. It is important that claimants are as honest as possible with medical testing services like this, but some may end up unintentionally forgetting details or misspeaking.
Claimants are expected to be able to back up everything that was written on the original ESA50 form. Taking a copy of the form with you can be a helpful prompt.
Explain what the condition is like on a good day but also make sure they understand what the bad days are like. There may be instances where they ask for demonstrations of ability. If you can’t do them, tell them. There is no point pushing yourself too far and suffering as a result.
Don’t Expect Too Much From The Assessors.
This is one of the most important pieces of advice here. Claimants cannot expect an assessor to be on their side.
Ultimately, they are working for the government, who themselves are trying to cut spending. They will try and catch you out with their questions and make assumptions that may not be true.
When they ask how long you waited, they are trying to see how long you can sit for. If you were uncomfortable and had to get up, then tell them. When they ask how you got there, they will assume that it is a regular thing you can do.
If the bus journey was exhausting or stressful, then tell them. Any question about activities, hobbies and other medical testing services used is a test of ability, not the disability.
What Do You Need To Do Once The Assessment Is Over?
The end of the assessment is not the end of the process. Just like many other medical testing services in the UK, they may be a long wait to hear the results.
The assessor is not qualified to make a judgment on the ESA claim. They will only make a recommendation to the DWP. They are also unable to tell you what their opinion is or what to expect.
The next point of contact will be the DWP with the final assessment and claim details. If you want a copy of the evaluation report to dispute the recommendation, you can receive a copy from the DWP.