DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

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DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby ZooStar » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:06 pm

I applied for DLA in January 2012 straight after my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fat Pad Disease.......and was turned down initialy on the basis of my consultants vague report. He filled it in as though filling it in for the average Fibro patient and didn't include difficulties I had told him about. Eg for self care he wrote 'pain can cause difficulty dressing' and that was it.

I appealed and as part of my reconsideration they requested a report from my G.P. I had informed them twice that I had been regularly seeing a different doctor at the surgery whom I felt knew and understood me better. I had asked the receptionist at the surgery several times to change doctor but they kept persuading me it wasn't necessary.

So of course my actual GP filled it in whom I hadn't seen since before my diagnosis and his report said simply 'was diagnosed with fibromyalgia on the absence of clinical findings, and 'claims' to have widespread pain.

HELPFUL!!!

I was then sent for an ATOS examination and thought it had going ok until the decision and report arrived. My claim had not been revised and the report listed my physical inability to complete tasks due to 'REDUCED EFFORT'

I have since been to the overworked CAB and managed to get a good report from the GP I saw regularly and a more in depth report from my Rheumatologist explaining that I have problems with self care. I am hoping that they will respect the additional supporting medical evidence.

My appeal is tomorrow and I'm extremely nervous!
I have a 17 month old daughter and I am concerned that they will dismiss my claims because of this. I have been rehoused by the council in a bungalow 10 miles from my home town. I assumed I'd get DLA and would be able to pay friends their expenses to come out regularly to me. However, I'm broke, and go to bed everynight wondering how long I can go on caring for my daughter with my ever worsening pain, fatigue and deteriorating joints. It scares me s******* as there is noone else to look after her, my family aren't around, her father was physically abusive to me, and my friends are struggling with their own situations enough as it is.

Fingers crossed!
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby Jo Owen » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:38 pm

Your appeal will be less stressful than you think. I too was dreading mine last November but the doctor and the lawyer were really friendly and caring. The DWP don't tend to send representatives so there is no conflict to worry about. Good luck xxx
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby millymoodoo » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:00 pm

Hi

I know its so hard not to but please try not to worry too much about it its not as bad as you imagine. I had to go to tribunal 7 years ago after being refused DLA and the panel were lovely with me, i was awarded dla and it was a unanimous decision. So just go for it and make sure you tell them everything. I will be thinking about you!!!

:goodluck2: :fingerscrossed:
Millyxxx :-)
Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them get up!!! When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!!! Everyday is a gift which is why we call it the present
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby Dianeb » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:07 pm

:goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2:
Type 2 Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Spinal stenosis, Peripheral Neuropathy, Chronic Pain syndrome, Sciatica, Flat Back syndrome, L5,S1 Radiculopathy, Anxiety and Depression, Agoraphobia
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby denys » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:08 am

:goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: try not to worry too much :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby ZooStar » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:46 pm

deleted for reedit
Last edited by ZooStar on Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby ZooStar » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:59 pm

Thank you for the supportive comments.

Prior to my appeal I went to see the CAB to go over my papers. I told him I had not received confirmation that the Tribunal Service had received his bundle which included supporting evidence from my GP and consultant. This was odd as I had received confirmation from them for a report I sent as additional evidence at least one week later. We rang them there and then and they said they could confirm they had received the papers from my rep a day after they received my documents (even though CAB sent theres from what we can see 10 days prior) They said it had been actioned but that they couldn't tell me what that meant but that I could assume that I would receive confirmation the following postal day - 1 day before my trial) The CAB here do not represent in person at the appeal but he drew up a submission for me.

I told him that I read some concerning accounts of peoples tribunals online and asked if in his experience of attending appeals (which he hadd done many of in his previous job with the CAB in the north) he had witnessed any aggressive questioning etc. He said that I shouldn't worry about those accounts online as they were most likely written by people who were just a bit bitter. He said very rarely do the DWP send anyone - normally only in renewal or suspicious cases, and that his experience of tribunals were they were kind, understanding and only asked necessary questions.

So, on the day!
The clerk told me they had no submission or supporting evidence from the CAB and when I showed him my copies he made a fuss that the submission wasn't signed and on headed paper (though his covering letter that was sent with the docs had both) the panel had not received my supporting crucial evidence which was sent 2 weeks prior. He also stated that a DWP representative was there.

I went in and the chair asked me about where I had lived in the previous 6 years??? He asked me why I spent a year living in London and he asked if it was for a relationship. I said yes. He said there was a hint of domestic violence is that right?!? wtf??? He handed over to the doctor who made some smarmy comments of 'did you not think to pick up the phone when your next appointment from rheumatology never arrived? No, I never because I was moving house and area and knew I would need to wait until my notes caught up at my new surgery. Then the disabled rep. Oh my gosh. She went straight in for the fact I have a baby. She asked me how many times I had to change her clothes at 5 months per day. She refused to believe that a baby may go a whole day in the same baby grow. My baby was breastfed so didn't vomit, and the nappies did a pretty good job at containing the poo. She laughed as though I was being ridiculous. She also found it hard to believe my child doesn't have a cot and sleeps with me. I couldn't get her in and out of a cot and it makes it easier to breastfeed at night with her in bed. She was very posh, very patronising, and told me everything I described with fatigue was just motherhood (my diagnosis of CFS is from 1993 when I was thirteen) I was asked about the help I had and told a depressed person wouldn't have any visitors. I was asked when my father died, which was there in black and white in their papers as though I may have been lying about that!? I was asked if my mother worked. I was told it was obvious I'd had a good education and asked about my GSCE'S - which I never completed due to glandular fever and fatigue.

What have any of these questions got to do with a year ago when I claimed? My father died 11 years ago, my relationship was over with my daughters father before my claim, questions about my education and my mum working? MY claim was all about how I struggle with self care for ME, I have help with my daughter (but that apparently means it's likely I'm not suffering from depression) Oh yeah and I was asked if the overdose I took 5 years ago was to do with a boyfriend.

In one of my consultants reports he mentions consecutive miscarriages that I'd had as they were investigating me for lupus prior to fibromyalgia. At the end the chair asked why I'd been so desparate to have a baby with a very condescending tone. He then asked me what benefits I was on and I told him income support. He then reeled of my rent and council tax and child benefit whilst looking at me to say, is this why you wanted a baby, and now you need some extra money because daddy's f****** off. You may think that is paranoid, but my friend who was with me and is very wary of jumping to such conclusions thought the same thing and said it to me before i said it to them!

The dwp woman was just foul and asked me even though I had told her I no longer drive if I'd informed the DVLA of my conditions, I repeated that I no longer drove and she said 'you have responsibilities'. I was told I can clearly communicate well in an intense atmosphere and asked to wait outside for a decision. I did not see the DWP woman leave the room! The clerk came and told us after 10 minutes they couldn't make a decision and had some paper cases to deal with and they'd send out a decision in the post. (I went in at 10:40 and came out at 12:30) I haven't received anything in the post and they won't tell me over the phone. Guess it will be tomorrow.

I feel if they'd have had my very strong medical supporting evidence a week or so before rather than 5 minutes before they may have not had such an aggressive approach. Anyway, it's done now, it was hugely demeaning, so many insinuations of lying and I can categorically say they are not impartial, yes they are meant to be, yes I'm sure many are, but this panel clearly felt they were there to ensure I was not an LTB single mum on a gravy train. No questions about my FMS, CFS or fat pad disease!!! I had to bring that up when they said they'd covered everything they wanted to ask and did I have anything to add!? WRONG WRONG WRONG. I had an excellent report from my GP stating how severe my problems were and from my consultant, but they just got a glance. I was interrogated as a crook and guess what. I feel I could be heading on a downer after this. The anger is difficult to cope with. It's not just for what happened with me, but for everyone, everyones getting shafted, while these rich people sit back congratulating each other on making the lazy sick and unemployed poorer and iller. AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH.
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby Iceskatemum » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:53 pm

Oh ZooStar what an awful way to be treated , if I had to go through half of that I would be in tears . When my pain & Fatigue levels are up as they are at the minute I seem to cry at the drop of the hat!!

May be no news is good news ........here's hoping.
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby moomoos » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:37 pm

omg, that sounds horrendous. I feel so sorry for you. I really really hope you get good news xx
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby Pinkprincess205 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:31 pm

Oh my god, that is terrible, i think i would of just burst out crying if that was me. All them questions is crazy, whats it got to do with fm. I do hope you end up getting a positive outcome, you deserve it.
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby crystalkaz » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:35 am

OMG..ZooStar. My heart goes out to you, what a terrible awful way they treated you.
:fingerscrossed: for a positive result for you.
:hugs:
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby millymoodoo » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:04 pm

Oh my goodness that is absoloutly awful they have no right to treat anyone in that way!!! I must have been lucky when i went to tribunal because they were lovely with me and i broke down several times just explaining how i was affected by my disabilities!!! I am so sorry you were treated in this way and i really hope you get a positive result!! At least it wasnt a definate no and this will give them time to read and digest the additional information :fingerscrossed: !!!

:hugs: Millyxxxx :-)
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby ZooStar » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:31 pm

Thank you again for the supportive comments.

I still haven't received my decision, although I did receive confirmation today the the tribunal service had received the submission and supporting evidence from the CAB. The copies they sent me were date stamped 23rd January. 13 days before my appeal. This proves they were lying on the phone when I called from the CAB on 1st Feb and they told me they'd received the documents the day after I sent in my own piece of separate different evidence on the 30th January by recorded delivery. I received confirmation of my documents on 1st Feb, 2 days after sending it in, which is why me and my rep were concerned about the main submission and called them at my appointment on the 1st. I'm really quite angry that the panel didn't receive them. In my opinion that doesn't give you a fair hearing as they gear their questioning based on what they have. I wonder too if it made a difference in the DWP deciding to attend or not.

Does anyone know if the office you attend send the decision out or if the Tribunal admin centre send it out (don't have much faith in them anymore). I'm so tightly sprung I may soon be in orbit!
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby denys » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:49 pm

Zoostar it appears by snail trail so sorry to hear you had a hard time at your appeal :( :( :( :( :fingerscrossed: you get the right decision
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Re: DLA Appeal Tomorrow - not expecting to sleep much!

Postby ZooStar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:23 pm

Have called the Tribunal Service again. They told me the Venue of the appeal received the evidence that they received on the 23rd Jan on the 7th February. 2 DAYS AFTER MY APPEAL!!

They are denying that I called them from my CAB representatives office with him and my carer present on 1st Feb to check the panel had been sent the papers. This was when they told me a pack of lies about when they'd received and actions my reps bundle.

They told me that the appeal decision was sent out in the post 5th Feb the day of my hearing and I will have to wait 14 days from then before they can send me a duplicate. If it comes to that I don't fancy my chances of getting it in time to request a statement of reasons should the decision be unfavourable.

It's bad enough having to fight the DWP without fighting HMCTS too. This is all aside from finding out whether the questioning I was subjected to was even legal.

All fun and games!
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