Updated 17th January 2016
You will probably have a medical assessment for your ESA claim. This can simply be the filling in of a form of questionnaire - or an actual medical examination by a qualified health care professional.
Basically the Assessment for ESA is in two distinct parts - after which the DWP will receive a report based upon your assessment or examination.
It is a straightforward procedure to see if you are able to do any work, and if so what type of work you are capable of. If it is decided that you should have a physical medical examination, this will not be invasive - though you will obviously be asked some questions about yourself and general health.
Before you are actually given an appointment for the medical assessment, it would be as well to sit down with a pen and paper, and make a list of the things that you feel are important to get across to the interviewer - relating to the way your illness is preventing you from doing any work, or preventing you from doing certain types of work.
It is best to write these down - for your own use - so that if you get flustered on the day of your medical assessment, you can refer to the notes that you have prepared for yourself. REMEMBER - these notes are for your own use, and you need not show them to the interview staff.
You should think about things like.....
Be realistic - you will be talking to a professional who has probably heard most of it before. That does not mean that you do not have real problems. On the contrary, the advisor will be better placed to help and advise you because of their past experience.
Make sure that you have some form or document that actually proves that you are who you say you are!!! - A passport of picture driving licence is ideal, but if you have neither of those, then your personal bank statements or your birth certificate for instance.
If you are taking any medicines - prescribed or not - then you should take these with you - together with any health aids that you normally use - hearing aids, spectacles, magnifying glass etc.
Your medical assessment may only involve you in attending the interview. BUT after that, the healthcare professional may decide that you should have a proper physical medical examination to assess your condition and how it will affect your capabilities for work.. Not the kind of examination your own doctor would do, for your own doctor will be trying to find the cause of an illness.
In the case of the ESA medical, the doctor is trying to find out if you can work, and if so what kind of work you would be capable of. So - for instance - if you say you have tennis elbow, he/she will probably ask you to move that joint and question you about it. They will obviously take into account, and question you about all of the things that you claim to have wrong.
It may well be that the health care professional does not even have to examine you physically - just discuss your problems so that they can see a way forward to help you back to some form of work - or confirm that you are indeed not capable of certain types of work.
The normal interview and assessment takes up to 45 minutes, and is based upon your information about why you cannot work or do certain jobs.
It will be a detailed question and answer affair, with wide ranging questions possible about how your living conditions, hobbies, activities, and help you receive. Also the problems you had at your last job.
You may then be told that the advisor thinks a medical examination is necessary, and they will ask you if you are prepared to have this. If you have any concerns about this medical examination, then tell the advisor, and they will answer any questions you have, or try to dispel any worries that you may have.
At the time of the medical, the healthcare professional will fill in a form about your conditions (You are not able to see what is written at this stage) and then send that for (ESA85) to the DWP. If you want to see that form, you will have to ask the DWP, and they will then send you a copy through the post.