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Disability allowance appeal tomorrow

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Furball, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Furball

    Furball

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    Just wondered if anyone has gone through this.

    I was told by my local benefits office to claim as they could see I was struggling . The form was sent to my house which I filled in ( that wasn't easy as my head fog doesn't help) , I must add that the form had little relevance to ME which is a concern considering how many people suffer from it. Of course I was refused to which my benefits office said " that's standard procedure, you should appeal" .... I did & eventually I received a date to appeal in a court.

    The main point I want to put across is that the form has little relevance to ME suffers & as 250,000 people suffer from it in the UK I think that needs to be addressed. Also, if several Doctors ( including the social services nurse ), everyone you have seen & hundreds if tests are saying that you are not well & incapacitated why does a bureaucrat have the power to dismiss all that evidence!?! They only person who hasn't met you is the decision maker?!

    We are not people who " don't want to work" or spongers, we are people who have been stricken down with an illness that has ruined our lives. I find it quite staggering the attitude to ME.

    Anyways... Anyone been through this & can provide advice?

    Thanks

    Furbie
     
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I succeeded with my ESA appeal tribunal - the form has little relevance to anyone, basically, and the govt is trying to turf deserving people off sickness benefits to save money.

    At your appeal, I'd advise stressing what you can't do repeatedly, when you choose and without ill effect, because that's how the criteria are meant, in law, to be applied. It doesn't say this on the form.

    For example, if you can't walk 50 yards any time you want but have to wait until you have built up enough energy to do it: if you can't do it again within a reasonable amount of time; or if you can do it only but it makes you feel ill or exhausted, then you can't do it, according to DWP's own (hidden) criteria.

    I was too sick to attend the tribunal but I've heard that they dismiss people's claims if, for example, you've said you can't walk upstairs but you do so to get to the tribunal. If you need to do more than you can routinely manage to attend the tribunal, tell them so and tell them what effect you expect attendance to have on you.
     
  3. Furball

    Furball

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    Thanks Sasha, yes the repeated thing is a key issue with me. This week I've been out once since Friday & that's me done.... I'm feeling quite ill at the moment so I know the hearing will pretty much wipe out the next 3 days or so after.

    I think the process of " having to prove that you're ill" is slightly sick as I'm no expert but the experts are saying that I'm not in a good way! It's strange that these medical experts opinions / facts are ignored. The ignorance is quite astonishing
     
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Best luck with your appeal.

    Thou Im not in your country. I had to appeal 3 times to get onto disability payments.. and that was thou I had the back up of several medical professions about how sick I was and that I couldnt work. Its a case of try to get what you deserve and keep trying till u succede.
     
  5. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Furball - Tania's message has made me realise I was assuming you're in the UK - if not, what I said might not apply.

    For sure, tell them the effect that attending the tribunal will have on you.

    I used the info on this site, recommended by another forum member:

    http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/

    to both complete my ESA and DLA forms and to handle all stages of the appeal process. I got DLA without any argument whereas I was first put in the ESA WRAG and appealed to go into the Support Group, which I won at tribunal.

    Well worth the money (about £19?) for the sub. You still have time to read it! It will help you understand how best to explain your limitations in a way that the tribunal can take into account.
     
  6. Furball

    Furball

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    Thanks to both of you. Yup, I'm in the UK :)
     
  7. Purple

    Purple Bundle of purpliness

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    DLA (Disability Living Allowance) is about how much care you need from another person (the care component) - whether you are receiving this care at the moment or not is not wholly relevant - it's the need that you have, and the mobility component is dependent how far you can walk. This is separate from ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) that assesses your ability to work. There is some overlap but it's possible to receive DLA and be in work. Best of luck!
     
    justy likes this.
  8. AbbyDear

    AbbyDear

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    Good observation Furbie. It sounds like you at least have your docs on your side.

    To me it make matter worse, that many, if not most, doctors do not understand the condition while others do not even know about it at all. They then try to cure you with their favorite protocol... or simply trying to "top off" some of the low markers - which is not much more than treating symptoms like all the drug enthusiasts out there. They will dismiss things done in the past, and demand you do them again on their watch... and if one does not improve, then patient is to blame... this is how I feel - I suffer with this condition, destoyed every aspect of life, I deplete savings paying for medical services/products, I deplete savings due to lost job due to condition, headed for finincial ruin and homelessness (I have no support at all), and on top of all this, I feel they blame me for not improving... I fear what their opinion has on the outcome. Maybe they can not admit failure... but it is not necessarily their failure, but the severity of the illness. I just wish they could come to grips with the dire situation and support us.
    Anyhow, good luck Furbie.
     
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I'm in the US so I'm not sure how things work in the UK but, I can share the frustrations of fighting for this right.

    I wish you good luck.
     
  10. anna8

    anna8 Senior Member

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    Hi fur ball I,m going through the same thing at the moment, I,ve got an appeal next week which I feel so stressed out about I feel sick, I,be just come back from the hospital and that was a nightmare, so I think I,ll just scream for 5 min to see if that helps.
     
    Nielk likes this.
  11. Furball

    Furball

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    Ain't that the truth! The amount of re re tests " Just incase"

    The thing with ME that I struggle with is that it's hard to adapt as there is rarely stability. If I were missing a limb , I would lean to cope & adapt but with ME your physical or mental limits are constantly changing probably making you harder to be pigeon holed ,as all aspects of life like to do.

    I'm going to go there with nothing but medical facts & conclusions & ask why does a civil servant with little knowledge on the illness make decisions .
     
  12. Furball

    Furball

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    I wouldn't get too stressed about it Anna. If there's one thing I've learnt with ME it's that humour is a must! Some of the symptoms are laughably bizarre from being too tired to eat a sandwich as all your energy went on making it to having the mind of stoned Goldfish . It is frustrating yes, but sometimes laughter helps. Most opinions of it ( in the UK) seems to be incredibly backwards. The sheer fact that ME has a huge spectrum of suffers with different causes,symptoms etc shows that it's not taken that seriously. " just put them in the box marked ME... That'll do!"

    Once again.. Thanks for all the advice & I'll be sure to let you know why they said no..... I mean the outcome ;)
     
    anna8 likes this.
  13. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    They say they're less interested in what's wrong with you (MS, cancer, whatever) than in the limitations that that imposes on you (can or can't walk 50 metres, can or can't reach for something on a shelf, etc.).

    I'd really urge you to read the stuff on the benefits and work site - I think it would be to your advantage to know what they're looking for. If you get into an argument about whether civil servants should be making decisions on sickness benefits, you're not going to win it - that's a matter for legislation and an appeal tribunal can't overturn that.

    If you focus on what you can't do reliably, when you choose and without ill effect, it sounds as though you've got a good case and that's what they want to know.

    FWIW, tribunals have the reputation of being fair and the rest of the process leading up to that has the reputation of being scandalously unfair. The tribunal probably wants to be on your side, unlike what you've encountered so far. You can help them to make the right decision if you give them the information that they can work with.
     
    helen1, justy and anna8 like this.
  14. anna8

    anna8 Senior Member

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    Thanks fur ball,
    Good luck with your appeal if I find out anything that I think could be helpful,apart from screaming!!....I'll let you know!
    oh i.ve got some help from the citizens advice, they were helpfull, and there could go to the appeal with you, if staff are available!
     
  15. Furball

    Furball

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    Point taken Sasha, I'll look at it now.

    I guess a court room is not the place to vent frustration .

    Thanks for reminding me what's key here :)
     
  16. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    There is an important clause, one folk don't often know about - the exclusion clause.

    It states that if the illness/impairment is of a nature whereby it would be to your detriment not to be awarded the benefit, then it can be awarded...

    (I've copied and pasted the info. into a word document on my pc so I can recopy and paste here.)



    Exceptional circumstances
    29.(1) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2) applies to the claimant.
    (2) This paragraph applies if - -

    (b) the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reason of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were to be found not to have limited capability for work.

    Obviously, the doctor or other medical person needs to believe that M.E is a real
     
  17. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I don't know if that clause applies to DLA or not, but no harm in knowing about it.

    I went to the CAB for help filling in the DLA form. They told me, in no uncertain terms, that as I had managed to get myself to their office, I was not entitled to it.
     
  18. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    My bolding there - my understanding is that its not your detriment they're talking about, it's someone else's.
     
  19. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Then they don't know what they're talking about and I'm disappointed to hear that coming from CAB. I've found my local office to be hugely helpful.

    The big things about ESA (and DLA as far as I can remember) are:

    Can you do the thing (walk 50m, reach for something etc.):

    1. when you want
    2. repeatedly
    3. without ill effect

    CAB should know that.

    It's to DWP's shame that they don't make this clear on the form - it's the law.
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  20. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Furbal. I have succesfully claimed DLA and neeb awarded higher rate mobility and middle rate care. I didnt need to go to a tribunal - in fact i didnt even have a medical.

    I put this sole;ly down to the advice i gleaned from the benefits and work site that Sasha linked to earlier. You have to pay a years membership fee and then you can download the guide to claiming DLA on physical health grounds (or mental health grounds, or both)

    The key with DLA is that it is to do with what help you would need (not what help you do recieve) for every day living. The important thing is to fit your illness to the form, not to try and for the form to your illness. I spent weeks filling mine in. At every question i wrote an extra bit expalining in more detail what i could and couldnt do, what help i needed and giving examples, also giving examples of how long every day/week/month i would need this help. For example, i can walk, but to do so repeatedly (even in one day or the next day) makes me so exhausted that to get around outside on longer trips i need a wheelchair. I cant self propel due to fatigue so therefore need help getting about. I would LIKE to go out daily - therefore i stated i needed help dailyt o go out.

    Another example is that i couldnt at one point shower, wash my hair, dry myself, get dressed, style my hair, shave my legs, put on make up etc every day in order to look as presentable as one would need to for a job. Therefore, even though i do not have help doing these things i said i needed help every day for 15 mintues to do them.

    Another example - i cant drive very often alone, or for long. Therefore i need help getting to appointments such as doctors (1 hour once/twice a month, as i need someone to drive me, wait for me and drive me home) the same goes for hospital appts (3 hours every 4 months approx) it also meanms i need help to access leisure facilities, hobbies, socil life etc. So i gave them a list of all the things i would LIKE to do, and how much help and for how long the help would be needed for. Eg swimming once a week for one half hours.

    I feel anxious about going out alone as i often cant cope with the fatigue, so need someone with me for physical and emotional support, again list how long and how often. If you have children you can say how much help you need to eb able to parent your children. For example i need help to take my kiods out for trips or t ballet lessons etc.
    I strongly recommend you read the advice on filling in the form and make some notes about how and why and how often you would need help for (to be able to do what healthy, able bodied people can do)

    Peggy sue - i respectfully suggest that wht cab told you is outrageous and untrue. I know you said on another thread that you havent been out alone for years - that would entitle you to an element of care. and you are certainly entitled to apply. If you use the Benefit and work guides you may well recieve some benefit - and you can be in work and still recieve it.

    Good luck tomorrow!
    Justy x
     
    roxie60, anna8 and Sasha like this.

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