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ESA assessment

Hi all

I’m totally stressed and had a massive cry due to ESA. I’ve been called in for an assessment. I phoned to clarify that I was recording it. 

Had a 5 minute argument with some woman with her saying I wasn’t allowed to and at one point saying it was illegal. 

I poonted out that that I was in fact allowed to as long as I had 2 machines and could provide a copy of the assessment. Again she argued I was not allowed to bring any recording equipment in.

After arguing for ages no you can’t/yes I can. She admitted they can provide taping it but she needed to request it and get a specialist doctor to record it. And they’d contact me if they were going to allow it.

Im really worried as the appointment is on the 23rd and it won’t be recorded.

Is there anything I can do?

I have both physical and mental health issues and stress causes me to do stupid things. I can’t be like this for 2 weeks


  • michfinchmichfinch Posts: 132Member Talkative
    Is there a Charity who can help you? Just a thought. I’ll ask for mine to be recorded and let you know what happens...
  • lala1984lala1984 Posts: 18Member Listener
    A disability charity does help me with my forms etc. 

    Ive emailed my contact but she’s off until next week
  • michfinchmichfinch Posts: 132Member Talkative
    Well finger’s crossed and I’ll let you know what ESA day as I have Epilepsy and my memory is horrendous. 
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Posts: 186Member Chatterbox
    Good luck with that michfinch. Yet another account of people being treated wrongly when you phone for help you shouldn't expect an arguement. It's blatantly happening to much . 
  • lala1984lala1984 Posts: 18Member Listener
    This is on the DWP’s own FAQ

    • You may be allowed to use your own recording equipment providing you give DWP/Atos notice and it meets DWP/Atos Healthcare requirements. This includes providing two copies of the recording in such a way to ensure that the recording has not been tampered with and is a reliable and accurate record of the assessment.
    I stated this to her and she still said it was illegal for me to bring my own recording equipment.

    I’m worried I’ll turn up and they won’t record it then I don’t know what to do. Can I refuse to be assessed? 

    She said the recording needed to be accepted and they have to get a specialist doctor to do it. That’s total rubbish, I know it, she knows it. Fed up with it all
  • lala1984lala1984 Posts: 18Member Listener
    Good luck Michfinch. Please let me know what they say to you regarding recording it 
  • clarkjohnsonclarkjohnson Posts: 186Member Chatterbox
    Good luck to you both I understand your feelings X 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,065Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    You can record you own assessment, with permission if you use the correct recording equipment, the person you spoke to is not correct. They do also record ESA assessments for you, if you ask. Having them record the assessment for you could delay the assessment.

    If on the day they don't record it and you refuse the assessment this could possibly go against you because they could return your file to DWP saying you refused the assessment.

    If i were you i'd ring the health assessment advisory again and tell them that you want to record it yourself using your own equipment and you don't want them to record it. Don't take no for an answer and be persistent. Good luck.
  • lala1984lala1984 Posts: 18Member Listener
    An update -

    I phoned again last week to see if I could record and was told my new appointment was cancelled and they’re waiting on a new date. Told him what dates I couldn’t do and that I preferred Wednesday mornings as that’s when someone can come with me 100%.

    Yesterday I got a new appointment for Monday 4th feb. Phoned today saying I couldn’t make it as I had hospital appointment and the note on the system was that I preferred Wednesday mornings.

    he told me he wouldn’t change it and I had to make myself more available.

    I replied my hospital was more important as it’s an appointment to keep me alive and I request wednesdays as my sister can come. Due to my mental health and anxiety I can’t go out alone. 

    He told me not to bother turning up and ill get a form after so i better so I better have a good excuse for not going.

    i started crying and hung up on him then had a massive panic attack that if I don’t go they’ll stop my money.

    this is really taking its toll on my health now. I can’t cope with it I really can’t 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,065Member, Community champion Brian Blessed

    The only problem here is if you fail to attend the assessment then you'll be found fit for work for failing to attend, then your ESA will stop. I'd advise you to ring DWP and tell them exactly what's happening.

    I agree, these assessments are very stressful and they're often far from helpful. I really hope you get something sorted. Good luck.
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