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Surprised at cost of doctors letter

cloundydaycloundyday Posts: 1Member Listener

Hi Everyone

This is the first time I have ever been on a discussion website.

Yesterday I received a letter to attend an assessment for ESA. I suffer from anxiety and depression as well as other problems. I don’t use public transport for long journeys as I have a fear of traveling to places I don't know. My last assessment I attended the center arranged a taxi for me. However this time I was told that I needed a doctor’s letter stating why I don’t use public transport. Can’t believe it cost me £50 for a letter, which I thought was a bit steep.  I am just hoping it’s worth it.

Has anyone else had the same problem obtaining a letter from their doctor for either ESA or PIP? It seems that trying to get these benefits are getting harder and harder.

 






Replies

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,391Administrator Scope community team
    edited August 30
    Hi @cloundyday and a warm welcome to the community. 

    £50 does seem very steep, my partner recently requested a doctor's letter and was charged £30.
    Unfortunately, as doctors are under no obligation to provide them it can be really difficult (and costly!) to obtain a letter from your doctor and the amount they charge seems to vary widely as well.
    One bit of advice is to be very specific to the doctor with what you need them to include in the letter. 

    Best of luck with your ESA assessment. :)
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,327Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @cloundyday   Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.

    I am one of the team of community champions. We guide, advise and help new members who join the community.

    Please can I make a suggestion.. If you have mental health issues. Please can I ask is there any one who is supporting you with your mental health issues.?

    If you contacted a  mental health charity. They will support you at the assessment. Also take you there as well. You might and probably will need to pay them a service charge for fuel and car parking.

    Many charities do this now.

    I used this one last time.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    Get help with floating support and an outreach worker. Advice on wellbeing and health.  Advice on your benefits.

    Do take members of our community with additional disabilities and other problems.

    Something to consider.

    The cost of a Doctors letter is expensive in my opinion.  I would not pay that. I would just book the taxi pay it for my self.  

    As I am the same as you. Have and do not go by bus have anxiety around unfamiliar  places and people.

    Please can I advise put some money away some funds.  For the cost of a taxi.  Understand I do this all the time..

    I lost my car on the last one and so be it and the end of the day your needs come first not them.

    I will never be dictated to  told to you can not do this. Rather pay the taxi and get there. Not the cost of a Doctors letter.

    If I can help with anything else. Please get in touch.

    Wish you well for a positive outcome.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman



  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Posts: 1,309Member Disability Gamechanger
    I did ask my GP for a supporting letter for PIP recently and was told it would be £20....I thought fair enough.

    But my PIP notes read `dont pay for any letters...if we need them, we`ll get them`

    So I didnt!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,837Administrator Scope community team
    Welcome to the community @cloundyday, I hope the claim goes well!
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • worried33worried33 Posts: 302Member Pioneering
    I suggest asking the GP what they will put in the letter, explain the sort of evidence you need, and if they have a medical opinion that would be supportive and they prepared to put that in the letter, consider paying for it, if not then politely decline.

    Also they may be open to negotiation.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Posts: 1,309Member Disability Gamechanger
    Never pay for any evidence. PIP notes tell us this
  • david235david235 Posts: 170Member Pioneering
    You have the option to pay for a doctor's letter - but it is questionable how helpful many GP's letters are. You might pay £20 or more for something that really adds very little to your case.

    If you are under the care of any hospital consultants, you will typically be sent copies of their letters to your GP. Often these contain useful supporting information and they are sent to you free of charge!


    If a decision on your case really requires information from your GP then your GP will be asked to provide a GP Factual Report that DWP will offer to pay for. Generally speaking, though, DWP will not go out of their way to prove your case.

    You have a choice - if you want to pay for medical evidence it is open to you to do so. If you can get a brief letter that confirms diagnosis/diagnoses, a very brief history, cardinal symptoms, current treatment and prognosis, that could potentially be useful. Anything more elaborate probably is not helpful. You hear of people paying a fortune for copies of scans to be made or sending in years worth of medical notes - none of this stuff is likely to be looked at and sending in loads of irrelevant material can hide the valuable parts of your claim. Your doctor's belief about your entitlement to benefit is irrelevant - the assessor and DWP decision maker will reach their own view on that.


    It is rare that any dispute about entitlement to benefits is about a factual medical question (the notable exception here amongst current adult benefits is a claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit). It is far more common for a claim for PIP, ESA or the LCW/LCWRA parts of UC to fail because the claimant did not give a clear account of how their health problems and disabilities affect their ability to carry out the activities for the relevant benefit.

    Indeed, you don't need a diagnosis to be awarded PIP - after nearly 26 years of illness and the involvement of two professors at the National Hospital for Neurology, we have concluded that we can only explain two discrete and relatively small parts of my overall health problems, with the rest having to be described as a very vague syndrome. Medicine simply does not know what else to make of me!
  • BBGsthenameBBGsthename Posts: 2Member Listener
    That seems a bit excessive as I had one done a month ago and it cost £18!
    I live in London.

    It was actually just a list of my ailments and the name and amount of medications I’m on with a brief explanation of my ailments.

    Perhaps your letter was more in depth?
    Still seems exorbitant to me! 😳 
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Posts: 1,309Member Disability Gamechanger
    david235 said:
    You have the option to pay for a doctor's letter - but it is questionable how helpful many GP's letters are. You might pay £20 or more for something that really adds very little to your case.

    If you are under the care of any hospital consultants, you will typically be sent copies of their letters to your GP. Often these contain useful supporting information and they are sent to you free of charge!


    If a decision on your case really requires information from your GP then your GP will be asked to provide a GP Factual Report that DWP will offer to pay for. Generally speaking, though, DWP will not go out of their way to prove your case.

    You have a choice - if you want to pay for medical evidence it is open to you to do so. If you can get a brief letter that confirms diagnosis/diagnoses, a very brief history, cardinal symptoms, current treatment and prognosis, that could potentially be useful. Anything more elaborate probably is not helpful. You hear of people paying a fortune for copies of scans to be made or sending in years worth of medical notes - none of this stuff is likely to be looked at and sending in loads of irrelevant material can hide the valuable parts of your claim. Your doctor's belief about your entitlement to benefit is irrelevant - the assessor and DWP decision maker will reach their own view on that.


    It is rare that any dispute about entitlement to benefits is about a factual medical question (the notable exception here amongst current adult benefits is a claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit). It is far more common for a claim for PIP, ESA or the LCW/LCWRA parts of UC to fail because the claimant did not give a clear account of how their health problems and disabilities affect their ability to carry out the activities for the relevant benefit.

    Indeed, you don't need a diagnosis to be awarded PIP - after nearly 26 years of illness and the involvement of two professors at the National Hospital for Neurology, we have concluded that we can only explain two discrete and relatively small parts of my overall health problems, with the rest having to be described as a very vague syndrome. Medicine simply does not know what else to make of me!
    I have no certain diagnosis either....my title is `idiopathic spastic paraparesis........consultant`s own words were this...`idiopathic means we dont bloody know!`
    There you go...straight from the horse`s mouth!
    This after 20 years makes me befuddleed!
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