Another application?

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Another application?

Postby Ckirsty » Tue May 07, 2013 8:16 pm

Hi
In December 2011 I attended an ATOS medical . Following this I was placed into the WRAG group. I appealed this decision, was turned down, and now awaiting a Tribunal date. Now I have received another form from Atos which I must fill in. This is the original form which was completed in 2011! Apparently because it was deemed by my ATOS that I may be able to work within 18 months , I need to start the process all over again. This is despite me not being in receipt of ESA benefit now, that ran out in April 2013, a year after I was placed on it.
I am distraught and furious at this. How on earth can I be waiting for a Tribunal to decide if the ATOS decision was wrong, and at the same time maybe have to attend another medical with the same incompetent company? I suppose in my favour, the stress it has all caused me has aggravated my condition, I also have Pernicious Anaemia , and undergoing investigations for a unstable heart rate. Is it any wonder?
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Re: Another application?

Postby anonymouse » Wed May 08, 2013 10:46 am

Hi Kirsty,

Its such a silly system isn't it! I did a tribunal case for someone yesterday and they had a duplication in their case. This meant that one decision was in appeal and the other at Tribunal. However the Tribunals Service wouldn't deal with the appeal obviously, but the DWP didn't agree and said she couldn't appeal because her case is at Tribunal. It actually meant no one would deal with the Original wrong decision because they couldn't agree.

So four tribunals took place, the promised her a revised decision and she never got it, she had won these tribunals too! Needless to say because she was placed in the WRAG her payments stopped a year ago under the 365 day rule and no one knows what to do with her case!

In my case I received an ESA50 just after getting a decision so I rang to ask if this is correct and the woman on the phone said "oh it's correct, we can make you fill one in and go to a medical every three months if we want to!" In this arrogant voice! (I better not describe my feelings about her in public)

So because the system is taking ages to go to decision then appeal then tribunal it means you can be appealing against several decisions at once, its completely stupid. The case I did yesterday started in July 2010 and she still hasn't been placed in the right group. The paperwork is swamping the DWP, ATOS, Tribunals Service, GP's, Specialists, other healthcare professionals, citizens advice, charities and of course, the bit they always forget, the claimants!

Practical Advice: I'm guessing the form you have is an ESA50, if so its a review, they can do this every three months. However a WCA by ATOS is not certain, they do and can, decide they have enough evidence, yes most go to a WCA but some don't. If you health hasn't changed then this is the key, you need to show your case is exactly the same to give you the best chance of being given a WCA. Have you got your original ESA50? If not you can ring DWP and ask for one to be sent to you, it can take a while to come out to you so watch your new ESA50 deadline, if it comes close ring them, explain and ask for longer to fill it in (remember to record time, date, persons full name, if not record the whole conversation). If your case has changed or you want to make a better job read The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013, Regulation 15, 30, 31, Schedule 2 and Schedule 3. This will show you what you have to prove depending on which group you need to be in. (Descriptors)

Limited capability for work means WRAG
Limited capability for work related activity is Support Group

Get help from CAB if you can. Any other questions throw them in here for us all to answer, its all stupid and you have a lot of sympathy. Also search "ESA50 Guide" in google for some guides from different groups.

I wish you the very best of luck
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Re: Another application?

Postby Ckirsty » Thu May 16, 2013 3:32 pm

Thank you Anonymouse, for your reply and advice, I really appreciate it.actually,I was worried that duplication would occur, so rang a contact , who Zi was given, as a result of my complaint to my MP. I asked her if this new form being completed would affect my Triunal hearing and result, she said not. However since reading your reply I'm not convinced. I asked her why, when I'm not in receipt of any ESA benefit , should I need to go through the whole process again? She told me it was preserve my NI benefits. When I told her I have 40 years of contributions, and therefore had no need of any more, she couldn't advise me why I needed to complete the form, only that I should!
Crazy? It's disgraceful .More and more taxpayers money is being misused over this controversy. If 'everyday normal' people like us can see that, then why can't the government?
I have already been to a CAB bureau to discuss my tribunal, but to be honest they were no help at all. They could see that I was capable of putting my own case forward and so could offer no further help.
Along with other people on this forum I have multiple disabilities, in addition to Fibromyalgia , I also have ostio arthritis, vestibulopathy,pernicious anaemia, hypothyroidism , and lymphodaema , following cancer surgery. Any normal person could see, that however much I wanted to work, it simply isn't possible. My husband, also my carer has to go everywhere with me. Should one of these so called Government officers ever find any one willing to employ me, would they also pay my carer a salary too?
Crazy, crazy,crazy!
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Re: Another application?

Postby countyfan » Thu May 16, 2013 4:39 pm

Ckirsty,

I agree this ATOS thing is crazy. I have become so suspicious now I am getting neurotic about things. I am only just at the beginning of claiming ESA though, heaven help me if it drags on indefinitely like yours seems to have.

I actually took my form to the local ATOS offices, as I had included so many GP's, Consultants and therapists diagnoses that I didn't want to risk them getting lost or being seen in the postal system. Apparently they go first to a receiving place and are opened by others people who are not actually by ATOS employees!

The other thing which I am confused about is the change to Universal Credit. No I am on contribution based ESA (Have 35 years of NI contributions) Now this is supposed to only last for 365 days. However after the assessment there are 2 different groups right? The WRAG and Support. I understand that the idea is that, if they think you could be fit for work at some time in the future, then you are put in WEAG, which will hopefully help you to find a suitable job! If however you are so bad that it is unlikely you will ever work again, you are put in the support group. What I want to know is, if you are on contribution based ESA but are put into the support group, what happens after the year is up?

If you, or anyone else, knows the answers to my questions I would be very interested .

Thanks :-)

PS I too have Osteoarthritis, had a spinal fusion in Feb 13, suffer from depression/anxiety, heart disease/raised cholesterol (Having 24hr BP and ECG next week) as well as the ubiquitous Fibromyalgia and now I keep having blackouts, which GP is not sure whether its panic attacks or signs of MS or some other neurological thing!
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Re: Another application?

Postby Ckirsty » Thu May 16, 2013 4:54 pm

Hi Countfan
If you are placed in the support group the one year rule doesn't apply. In my case I was on contribution based ESA, was placed in the WRAG group so my payments ceased in April this year, as I had been on them a year at that time. My understanding is that if the tribunal agree with me and I am then placed in the support group my payments for ESA will be backdated to April 2013. It seems though that I will probably be called for another medical before the tribunal has been heard. I'm told that tribunal is unlikely to happen before September, by which time I will have waited 11 months for the hearing. Crazier and crazier!
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Re: Another application?

Postby countyfan » Thu May 16, 2013 6:23 pm

Did you just see on BBC 6 O' clock News, a doctor employed by ATOS who had spoken out about the goings on at medicals and how they are a sham?

Maybe this will make the Government re evaluate the necessity of sending everyone for these needless medical assessments- I accept that it is necessary in some cases but there are some people who are obviously too sick ever to work!

Keep on fighting... :roll:
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Re: Another application?

Postby anonymouse » Sat May 18, 2013 12:37 pm

Hi Folks, it is a crazy system. I can confirm the 365 day rule applies to people in the work related activity group (WRAG) on contribution based ESA only. Then if your elligible for income based ESA you will go onto that but if not then you wave goodbye to your money unless you can prove you should have been in the Support Group all along.

The system works for the government in theory, the money they pay ATOS is less than the money they want to save. So they have more pennies and it doesn't effect their budget if the wrong people get refused benefit.

The problem with the system is this:

Liars will lie to the DWP & ATOS but the will lie to Health Professionals as well and generate all the evidence they need to claim, if they say they can't walk you can't test for it, if they did the liars would drop to the floor in fake pain. So, they have the evidence, reports etc, they do the same in the WCA by ATOS and so get benefit (ESA & DLA)

Honest people will tell the truth to DWP & ATOS but they will tell the truth to the Health Professionals as well and not generate all the evidence they need, you would then be tested and you will try your best to walk a few metres for them even though this causes agony, makes your pain and condition worse etc etc. So then they say, well you can walk a little bit, which is more than the liars can walk, so your condition isn't as serious (We all know if you do something once for ATOS in a medical they will find you can repeat the action over and over again for 40 hours a week in a job even though you can't) so we won't pay you any money.

This way the liars get money and the honest don't. The only way the liars get found out is if someone reports them and an investigation team videos them covertly and prosecutes them for fraud, otherwise they are our spending their money. This means the government have saved money, one group has been refused benefit, the other has been given benefit. It doesn't matter to the government if the liars get money and the honest people don't, so the system works for them!

Unfortunately ATOS & DWP have been exposed so many times on TV and in other media, the Internet is full of stories and evidence against them as well and often in comes from employees that have spoken about it too. It will make no difference, they will continue with the Harrington reviews etc.

Appeals & Tribunals

They can review you every three months if the want to (the law allows them to) however an appeal and tribunal for the original decision could last about three years. In this time they could review you 11 times, refuse your benefit 11 times, that's 11 decisions you have to contest. The system wasn't designed to cope with this (they thought the appeal and tribunal process would be quicker, but they underestimated the volume) so the DWP get muddled up with which review is at which stage. It is at this point where they can't work out what is going on in your case and which one of the 12 decisions is at appeal and which are at Tribunal. This is when you get told things like "you can't appeal as you have appealed once and your case has gone to tribunal" by the DWP and the Tribunals service tell you we will only deal with the decision by DWP on [date] and not the decision made by DWP on [Date + 3 Months], they are correct and the DWP are wrong. However it can not cope with 12 concurrent decision appeals at the same time so the system breaks down and you suffer, losing your benefit, loosing your entitlement in law to appeals and Tribunals. You will then get bogged down so much in paperwork your case will take about 40 hours a week to manage meaning you can only fright your case if your capable of fighting your case. If your not capable of fighting your case you loose. Simply: you have to be capable of proving yourself incapable (which is impossible).

Meanwhile the government are saving money and everything is grand for them and will protect ATOS who deliver their saving!

Anyway, rant over, but that's how the system doesn't work, why it will never change and why it pays the Fraudsters and robs the Honest Disabled people to do so, Robbin Hood reversed!
Fibro, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Psoriasis, Migraines, Light & Hyper Sensitivity & Joint Subluxation but apart from that I am perfectly healthy & battling for ESA & DLA. - Twitter: my_fibromyalgia - Facebook: myfibromyalgia
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