365 days on wrag money stopped

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Re: 365 days on wrag money stopped

Postby macca » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:30 am

Hi, when i took this fight on for my wife i set about assembling a 22 year picture of declining ill health. I included details of an osteoarthritis diagnosis at the age of 20, hip replacement at 27, pain management program attendence at 31, ill health retirement at 33. I tslked sbout how her whole picture of health had declined and then focused specifically on the support group mobilising descriptor. Through the fight for ESA we had gone to tribunal and they had awarded 9 points against the mobilising descriptor. That is just one position away from scoring top points for that descriptor. So we moved on from the position that the tribunal had established. My wife had a full musculoskeletal assessment which confirmed 3 problematic areas in her lower spine including wear in the sacroiliac joint. That lead to a referral to a Pain consultant who confirmed the Fibro diagnosis. We also then paid her GP to give her a full physical assessment and compile a current report. That report documented the lower spine problems, and upper and lower limb functional impairment on the left and rigjt hsnd side, as well as lower limb muscle wasting. So importantly that all supported the claim of severely impaired mobility but the confirmed impairment in upper limbs also ruled out the the prospect of self propelling in a manual wheelchair. We also had the award of a disabled persons travel pass in her favour and the criteria that she had to meet to get that which again all pointed towards impaired mobility. I even used Atos's own report from 2004 when she first applied for incapacity benefit which confirmed lots of physical problems even then.
I also looked into the governments Hansard records and found a question asked by an MP of the government surrounding their recognition of Fibromyalgia, and Maria Miller's clear answer that the government will recognise its debilitating effects, so i quoted that in our approach to DWP

So in summary despite Atos giving her a fairytale assessment in 2011 which suggested she had nothing wromg with her i was able to paint a clear medically documented and GP/Consultant supported picture of ill health over a 22 year period. I also took the time to document how the health problems actually affect her everyday life and i think that is very important as opposed to just listing diagnosed problems as the staff at DWP won't always appreciate what a particular condition is.
macca
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Re: 365 days on wrag money stopped

Postby macca » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:35 am

I hope that helps. The overriding message is spell out in crystal clear language how your condition had worsened, how it affects your life on a daily basis and use any and all medical support documentation even if you think you've sent it before.

Macca ;-)
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Re: 365 days on wrag money stopped

Postby Woodentop » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:59 pm

Hi, not been on here for a long while but I'm hoping someone can help.
Have been on assessment rate ESA ( contribution based ) for the last year while waiting for tribunal ( was told the tribunal wait would be at least 40 weeks and it's now gone over that ). Received a letter this morning from DWP to say the ESA was stopping as of 8th Feb because the 365 days are up. I didn't realise that this applied when you are on the assessment rate.
Phoned DWP only to be told by a very arrogant individual that it was my fault for choosing to go to tribunal and if I failed the tribunal I wouldn't have any money anyway!! He basically was treating me like I was the lowest of the low and it reduced me to tears.
He is now sending me the forms to apply for income based ESA, but I've since read the post on here from ann1e about applying over the phone and the fact that they should have given me notice that it was going to stop. I wondered if this would apply to me?
Sorry for the rambling post -I wasn't having a good day today anyway before this happened and now I'm shaky, tearful and unable to think straight through the fog.
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Re: 365 days on wrag money stopped

Postby zappa20 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:51 am

Sorry to hear an extremely rude unprofessional DWP staff member answered your call. He'd no right to speak to you like that. And you could if you want make a formal complaint about him, ifyou feel up to it. His job is to provide an unbiased service to the general public not get personal. Don't let it put you off ever calling them back to ask somehting as next time you might get a nice person on the other end of the phone.

Normally they do send a letter to say ESA payments will stop, but not 100% sure whether that applies to those also on assessment rate. The system is pretty chaotic so often the first people know is when a payment isn't made.

Sorry I can't advise 100% on whether you can fill in an ESA3 on the phone. Would think you probably can but there will be a lot of questions to answer on your household income etc, so you'd need to have that info handy. If talking to them makes you anxious you might prefer to fill in the form at your won pace, if your circumstances allow.

Hope you're feeling a bit better about your bad experience soon.
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Re: 365 days on wrag money stopped

Postby Woodentop » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:16 pm

Thanks Zappa. I did phone the DWP back and actually spoke to a human being! He was lovely. Apparently I should have had a letter about a month ago and the records don't show that one was sent so they have actually broken the law. He also admitted that they are just call centre staff so have limited ability to do anything ( great when it takes an age to actually get through ) but he said he would pass it on to the powers that be and they would call me back. A lady phoned at 8.30 this morning and having had a bad night I was barely awake and sooo foggy, but she was very good and explained that when I chose to go on assessment rate ESA it was before the government brought in a new ruling in April that contributory based ESA had to stop after 365 days and at the time many people were suddenly left without benefits. She is sending me the forms to apply for income based but I don't think I'll get it as my husband has a small pension and a few hours a week job which would take us just a bit over the amount that the government say we can live on ( just like to see David Cameron living on it ) I just wish now I'd chosen to go on JSA instead. I have no idea when the tribunal will be - I'll probably be lucky if it's even this year! Feeling pretty hopeless and helpless at the moment. :cry:
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Re: 365 days on wrag money stopped

Postby zappa20 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:32 am

Glad you got a decent person and some explanation. If your husband's income takes you over the limit then even if you'd claimed JSA it would still have been time limited before needing to be evaluated for income based.

If you don't already get it , then you could consider DLA. And possibly Carers allownce for you husband if he looks after you 35 hours per week. Albeit CA isn't apid if work/icome is more than £100. But jsut the entitlement even if you don't get it might make you eligiblefor help with other things. They don't take income into account with DLA. So might be worth looking to see if you'd be eligible.

Hopefully it wont' be long till your appeal.
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Re: 365 days on wrag money stopped

Postby Woodentop » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:57 pm

I have tried for DLA 3 times, the last time being about 2 years ago. On 2 of those occasions I went to tribunal and had the most awful experience on both occasions. I'm truly dreading the ESA tribunal when it finally arrives. Received my forms for ESA this morning ( all 49 pages! ) but won't even try because as I said I'll be just over the limit. It actually says on the front re- assessment which is ridiculous when I'm not even in a group yet. I really think that when the government brought in the 365 day rule, they didn't think about all the people on assessment rate waiting for appeals. But then again, we know they don't even care and are completely ignorant about the amount of money people need to live on.
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