FROM INCAPACITY BENEFIT TO NO BENEFIT

I’ve decided not to bore everyone with the details of previous altercations with the DWP,  but believe me there have been many and probably just as many with the housing benefit section at the council. I’ll just concentrate on whats happening now.

In November my partner was called in for an assessment medical and subsequently received a letter saying nil points, as so many people on incapacity benefit have. He sought advice from a welfare rights centre, which is incidentally very underfunded by the council, and was advised to appeal against the decision, which he did. We then received a letter saying that they’d look into it again before sending it to appeal. We fully expected a drop in money and we were advised the appeals were taking up to 8 months to process. The amount of his claim didn’t change until Tuesday of this week when he went to get it only to find out there was nothing in. We’d had no letter, nothing, so we’re supposed to live on fresh air then?

Cue another trip to welfare rights centre, where they are so overworked with all the welfare changes that they are beginning to make mistakes which doesn’t instill confidence in the service does it? Not their fault I know but it all adds to the stress. They did manage to contact DWP but they seem equally under stress and though the fella on the phone was apologetic, he didn’t seem to know what we should be getting either and said he’d have to phone us at home the next day after he’d sought advice.

This is where the headache becomes mine and I have to begin searching the internet for help. OMG what a performance. More next time.

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2 responses to “FROM INCAPACITY BENEFIT TO NO BENEFIT

  1. Hello, I’ve been reading about your battle with DWP and can relate but I hate to be the barer of bad news but even if you win the appeal, it does not end there.
    Here is our story:

    My wife has always suffered from back ache, ever since a car accident from before I met her in 1995 but nothing to severe as to incapacitate her. That is until 2009 when back pain was unbearable and on Christmas morning her legs were in pain and they had swollen up and turned blue. All tests were done to test blood flow but came back fine, so after an MRI she was diagnosed with “Degenerative Disk Disease”. She decided to have spinal surgery in an attempt to correct the problem but all the symptoms persisted.

    My wife is now aged 40, I am 38, we have 4 daughters of which 2 of them live with us and are still of school age. Before her symptoms appeared, my wife was attending Glasgow University and therefore had to drop out. I had to leave my job because I felt unsafe working for my employer from a legal point of view. So since my wife was going to be home all the time and the job market being in a poor state, I took advantage and completed 2 years of college and now about to attend Edinburgh University in September, to increase my qualifications and improve my chances of work in the future.
    As well as claiming ESA, she also claims DLA. She has low carers allowance and high mobility. A care worker was assigned to her and arranged the house to be more disability friendly.

    ESA sent my wife to be medically assessed and awarded her zero points, so as result they stopped her ESA benefit. She appealed the decision and after showing the photo’s of her feet and legs and all supporting evidence, they refused her appeal but just as she was about to send a complaint about the appeal, a letter appeared, explaining that they made an error in law. They had not considered that she may be suffering from Erythromelalgia also known as “Mitchell’s disease” ( in short, a rare incapacitating genetic disorder) and overturned their decision.

    Her doctor (unfamiliar with the disorder, as with many practitioners) then looked up the symptoms and agreed on the possibility and then a specialist familiar with the disorder confirmed the likelihood, and sent her for another MRI.

    All sounds final and finished?? No it is not! ESA class this as a new application and as a result they sent her to another medical assessment and this time they awarded her 6 points (not enough to claim ESA). So again they stop her benefit and again she has to appeal. it just goes in circles, so if she wins again, then again ESA will class it as a new claim and send her on yet another medical assessment to doctors that have a zero understanding of her condition.

    We must continue to persist, these traps are designed to make you give up so they can pat themselves on the back when they lose another name of the list. Changes have to be made, its the poor and the ill that are being targeted in their efforts to save funds. My wife is dreading next year when DLA changes to PIP and a dual battle commences.

    • So sorry to hear of your situation. Unfortunately I know this isn’t a rare one. I actually do feel close to giving up as in financial terms we will be no better off than being on JSA due to the changes they’ve made. I like you am doing a degree to try and better my chances of work. At the same time I have looked for a job but there is little out there and as yet I’ve failed to get anything. We are dreading the PIP change too as no doubt although at the moment OH gets low rate care and mobility he probably won’t qualify. It’s high time we had some politicians who knew what a fight it was to live on such meagre incomes and until we do I fear they won’t rest until we are well and truly downtrodden. I wish you all the best in your fight with DWP.

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