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Everything posted by SussexLady

  1. Thank you Mikey. I went to se my GP last night about my carpal tunnel syndrome (right hand/arm now completely useless, am typing (slowly) with left hand only. Mentioned how I had failed to get enough points and IB cut off in Feb and told I am "fit for work", and her eyebrows shot up into her hairline! She said "That is wrong, very wrong, whatever were they thinking?" and said she would speak to the senior partner to see if there is anything the practice can do. But I know from reading on this and other forums, they never, ever speak to GPs. It's made me realise that ONLY GPs should conduct those medical exams for IB. She's known me 17 years, that IB doc met me for 5 minutes. So I am not going to claim ESA now, nor if I lose my appeal. I will live until my savings run out in ten or so years time, then end it. Better that than long, drawn out misery struggling in poverty. Thanks to those on here who tried to help. I appreciate it.
  2. Hmmm. but it's ok for the rich to ask how to "hide" money from the taxman by doing all sorts of clever things with their money to evade tax liability. Message received.
  3. Hi Aviva Your first sentence is the first useful piece of information I've had. Now you have told me they want to see 3 months statements I will move the money today so I can start claiming in November. Your second point: I could say the money was previously under my mattress and someone persuaded me to bank it. Third sentence: I don't know my neighbours, I don't sit around chatting in pubs or cafes, I spend 90% of my time alone, and not one person in my life, not even my close friends or my family (all distant) know that I have ever claimed benefits and I would never tell them. Only the DSS staff know and how would they know how I live? Do they spy on everyone's private life, find out what their bills are and wonder how they pay them, etc? I will only get £20pw ESA benefit anyway. If the DSS work out that living costs more than that will they investigate me? Yes I have posted the other question. I am planning NOW in case I do not win at the tribunal in December. According to people's posting on here and other forums these tribunals are often hostile and as the govt has told the people that hear them to remove 1.5m from IB, even though I am too sick to work I still might not win my tribunal. And if I need 3 months notice to move my savings its is just as well I am asking now.
  4. Ain't life a b****? The last few days I have been clicking on and reading then closing down numerous PDFs all found on the official govt benefits website. I most definitely read that ruling on one of those. But when I began this thread it never crossed my mind for a single split second that anyone would need me to name the exact domument. If it had, I would have taken note. All I can say is that the PDF was something to do with ESA. Probably.
  5. Thank you everyone and sorry to Antone for flying off the handle. From your responses I think I need to make it clear which I have omitted to do that the DSS (or whatever they are called these days) do not know that I have this money. So it's not like I am going to say to anyone, "oh, last week I had 64k and this week I only have 16k so can I have my benefit please." They do not know I have this money and the only way they could find out would be by getting access to my b/s or possibly via the tax office as I do declare the savings on my tax return. I am guessing that they don't do this with every person who puts on their appplication that they have 16k in savings, do they? The form says I have to "prove" all savings over 5,500k. If I can hide 48k somewhere then I can show them I have 16k in such a way that does not show that used to be 64k can't I? E.g. I can place 16k in the post office or a building society account and hand them the statement. I could even put it into premium bonds and photocopy them. I am thinking that they would only find out that I once had more if they investigated me at random. Having 64k in savings, I never borrow money. So no, I don't have any debts that I can repay. Repaid the mortgage years ago with proceeds of sale of 2nd property. I cannot drive, so buying a new car is out of the question. There are no repairs that need to be done to the house. I'm having two trips away this year both in UK all paid for already. Besides which, it's not that I want to spend this money and lose it forever. The contrary! I need to protect this money carefully because as I become progressively older, more infirm etc it's going to have to spread a long way over a long time. 64k is not much. My friends earn between 22k and 30k so its only 2/3 years' earnings and it will have to supplement my income for the next 30 years. Nobody can genuinely live on benefits! For example, totting up all my household bills then dividing by 52, the house costs me £103pw to run. This does not include food, toiletries, clothing, replacing household items when they conk out like fridge, boiler, TV; let's add £50pw for those. On top of that I currently pay £6 on taxis and £3 entry to the pool, 3 x weekly, because gentle swimming is the only form of exercise I can do. That's £27pw. So my total weekly outgoings are about £180. If I hide 48k, declare 16k, I will be eligible for £60pw, from which they will deduct £1 for every £250 I have in savings, leaving me with £20pw. How can I pay £180pw out of £20pw? I dip into my savings. If I get back onto IB I get £85. Still not enough, but better. When I am 65 I will get a state pension. Again, I will have to supplement this out of my savings, every week, every year. 64k isn't such a lot when you think it through. If we assume very frugal living, no holidays or major expenses, if I have to draw £100 every week to supplement my benefit or pension, that's £5,200 taken out yearly. In just ten years, £52k is gone. If during that 10 years I have to have my home modified or pay for medical treatment or house repairs or something else, that 64k could very easily be gone in just ten years. If that happened, I cannot imagine for the life of me how I could even pay my bare household running costs of £103, let alone buy food. The whole scenario just fills me with utter despair. I'd rather kill myself than be one of those impoverished old ladies huddling round a one-bar electric fire.
  6. Jack - Failed PCA (if pca means medical?) foreign doctor with very poor English who conducted my yearly examination on behalf of the govt. seems to have written down something other than the answers I gave him. Each year I got something like 15 points then suddenly he gives me 3. I no longer qualify for IB, even though my GP says she will sign any certificate to say I am unfit for regular paid work. The govt are not interested in the judgment of a GP who has known me 17 years just the foreign doctor with poor English who saw me for 5 mins. I understand that the govt has told the people who conduct these medicals to get 1.5m people off IB maybe that is a part of it I don't know. The kind lady on the benefits helpline advised me to "Spend or otherwise get rid of anything over £16,000" to qualify for ESA. As far as I am concerned, as I am completely unemployable (nobody wants me) as a result of my illness, I am "morally entitled" to IB, which is NOT means tested. I am only being means tested now as a result of the doc's mistake. It's not my fault the doc has made a mistake. I immediately appealed and asked for another medical and this was refused. It does not look like I am going to get any answer to this question of what I can buy with my money to get rid of it. Everyone just wants to talk about benefits. And scroungers etc. If I was a reckless trog who blew all my money on beer and fags and playstations, I would qualify and no questions asked. Because I live a very frugal lifestyle and keep and nurture my savings, planning for my old age and probably disability, I am pilloried as a scrounger.
  7. Thanks for the responses. Because we don't know if we are going to get a nice or a nasty, we have to prepare in advance. I will write down all the things I have wrong with me (is there enough paper in the world?) and read the list over and over on the train journey there. During the medical I was so taken up with standing and sitting and raising my arms up and down like a semaphore signaller that I forgot to tell her about my stress, depression, anxiety, social phobias, sporadic sleep apneoa, unstable blood glucose leading to sleeping fits, weeping fits, etc. On top of that I now have carpal tunnel syndrome and am waiting for an operation so my wrist is in a splint. The reason I went onto IB in the first place was that I was on JSA and applying for jobs and constantly being turned down either because of my physical mobility problems, which are obvious as soon as they see me (I walk with a stick), or once I had filled in the medical disclosure. Repeatedly applying, being interviewed and being rejected shredded my self esteem and left me feeling worthless and depressed. The JSA clerk said "this is stupid, you should be on IB". That is how I came to be on it. Unemployment in my area is especially high and so employers always pick the cream of the crop not someone like me who is probably going to take time off sick, be unreliable and be a zombie part of the time, etc. They have plenty of able bodied to choose from.
  8. I have finally found the clause in the t & cs Your Room Cancellation Insurance This policy wording along with Your Confirmation Email/Certificate forms the basis of Your contract of insurance. Together, these documents explain what You are covered for. The policy wording contains conditions and exclusions which You should be aware of. You must keep to all the terms and conditions of the insurance. So I guess that is it. They "told me": "Your Confirmation Email". That's it then. Always read the small print. Thanks folks.
  9. Judging by what I see on these boards these tribunals are horrible. Eeek! Apparently they deliberately try to rile you up and when you get really cross and tell them to eff off, they say you are perfect for a job on PCWorld's complaints hotline!
  10. Erika - that is not what it says in the printed document I have before me. It says you have the right to be recalled. End of.
  11. Hello Antone Sorry to say but I think you have a coupla things wrong here. You said... "The benefit system is intended as a last resort, so I'm not sure that it's in principle all that bad to ask you to spend your own money to support yourself...I'm just pointing out how it's seen by the government." If this were the case, and if this is "how the govt sees it", how come when I was on Incapacity Benefit I discovered that (1) Any amount of unearned income from any source, which (I asked and it was confirmed in writing) includes lodgers in ones own house and rent from another property let to tenants, does not affect Incapacity Benefit at all? This is the govt's own rules. You can be getting say £2,000 a month from rents and you are still entitled to IB. (2) One can ALSO earn up to £92 pw and work 16hrs a week without it affecting entitlement to benefit, IB or ESA. I'm not making any moral principle judgement one way or another, I am just saying that the comment you made is wrong, and it is NOT the government's view that benefits are always only a last resort. Hence your comment: "if you did have £100,000 and used it to buy a second house to let out... you'd now have income from the property that would be considered when deciding your benefit claim." Is also completely wrong. I had a let property, declared it, and was still eligible for IB. When I sold that property, I paid off my mortgage and ended up with a lump sum. I told the IB advisor that I now had a lump sum in savings and was told that it is ignored and irrelevant to IB. The problem I have now arose because they have moved me from IB to ESA. ESA rules are slightly different in that if you have £16,000 or more in savings, you get absolutely nothing. Lastly, I find it insulting that you have put me into a category of non-taxpayer and everyone else as the taxpayer. I worked fulltime from age 16 and 3 weeks until I had the accident at work in middle age that causes me to be unable to work. I've also paid tax on my property income (when I had it) on the interest from my savings and I pay tax on just about everything I buy and in council tax. Please explain how that makes me NOT a taxpayer? Even if you Antone are a taxpayer today, you weren't until you got your first job, and you might not be after you are 65. And Antone, if you walk out of your office one day and get hit by a car mounting the pavement, you could end up in the same situation as me, and I wonder if you'd still be on your high horse then, throwing out moral judgements against benefit scroungers, of whom you would be one?
  12. Email arrived from them this moment saying that the hearing has been postponed! That is GOOD news. Now, how to prepare myself and my case? Will there be a doctor on the tribunal? Will there be a medical exam? Will they ask me questions to try to trip me up so they can try to "prove" I am fit for work? I feel very intimidated by them!
  13. Well this tribunal is going to happen and all I can do is be warned, prepare, take advice .... I am feeling desperate to get someone to come with me. I have very few friends and of them, none can come with me because they live so far away, are working full time, or are unsuitable (i.e. foreigners with poor English). I've asked at CAB, the local indie advice centre and even at M.I.N.D. for some advocate to come with me, but no one can come. I am racking my brains to think of anyone who could help me... I used to be a union member and now I miss having the support and representation that I had ... I cannot handle stress very well. I clam up, get tongue-tied, then blurt out the wrong thing, sometimes the opposite of what I mean!
  14. Hi Fenris I am glad to have your support on this. I am in fact so dumb that I didn't realise that IB is higher than ESA and so IF I won at the tribunal I'd get more. But IF I lose at the tribunal I won't get ESA backdated to this week, of course! I rang the tribunal clerk and asked her twice to confirm whether their rules say they can hear the case without me and twice she cannot/will not tell me. She said its up to the judge ... but I am not allowed to speak to the judge! So I asked if my reason for postponement was sufficient, or did she needs me to send some documentary proof of where I will be on that tribunal day. (I decided to show the holiday booking, she does not yet know that it is a holiday that stops me) and to my surprise she said no, but then followed this up with "It's up to the judge". To tell the truth all this talk about "judges" and "tribunals" for some stupid reason keeps making me feel that I am somehow being dragged up in front of the beak for some wrongdoing! Is that why they use this language? I also told her -- "I've taken legal advice". I omitted to say this was from strangers on the internet lol
  15. I am bewildered where Mungypup got that erroneous idea about Atkins. I have here a copy of his 1972 book, the first book he wrote on the subject. And it is a diet for everyday eating. No diet can work if you only do it when eating out.
  16. I've decided to live off my savings and NOT apply for ESA. I hope that I win at the Tribunal and get my IB backdated to February and go back on IB. Fingers crossed.
  17. I just found out that we have an entitlement to immediately ask them to calls us back, to that the govt pays for the call rather than us @ 4p a minute. This may be useful to know especially if you are paying for a call package which excludes 0845 numbers.
  18. I just found this: http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/jcp/stellent/groups/jcp/documents/websitecontent/dev_015666.pdf Which says it is for every £250 savings, £1 is deducted. I have more than £16,000 in savings. I know that sounds a lot to some on here who are much worse off, but when you are in your 50s and are sure that you will never get a paid job again, that isn't such a large amount to last the rest of your life. I might have to get my home (owned) adapted for my disability, or move into a bungalow. I might need to buy an electric disabled car or something ( an elderly friend just spent £3,000 on a hearing aid!) I might need to supplement my state pension week by week for 20+ years. I don't want to be that pensioner who half starves and freezes to death because she dare not switch on the electric fire! Does anyone know if I can legally put some of that money somewhere that "they" cannot include it in the assessment? Some kind of investment or something I don't know about where I can stash away the bit that is above £16,000? I'm not thinking about committing a fraud on the benefits system, but you know like accountants tell you clever things to do with money to reduce your tax liability - does anyone know of a way for me to keep my capital but tie it up in such a way that they cannot take it into account? If I had say £100,000 I could buy a flat and let it. I'd still own an asset worth £100,000 but it would not count as "savings" in such a way as to disallow benefits. (I only have a few thousand, so buying property really is out of the question. Any ideas?
  19. Just want to check that I have the facts right, can anyone confirm? Savings up to £5,999 ignored. From £6,000 to £16,000 - for every £500 in savings, £1 is deducted from the weekly benefit you receive Over £16,000 in savings - no ESA entitlement until savings are diminished to under £16,000. Is this the same for JSA?
  20. Thanks for that link I read it and it says they can go ahead, but that was in 2006. I also live in a Chavtown Fenris lol. I will chase it up tomorrow. I am having trouble finding any agency who will send someone to be with me at the hearing. I find it so scary. Three powerful people on one side, little tongue-tied me on the other. I don't have a friend who lives near enough who isn't at work that day.
  21. Fenris: How odd! Quoting direct from the letter in front of me: "If you do not attend, the tribunal will decide the appeal in your absence." Are there any rules about holidays (a) if you are on benefits (b) if like me you are living on your own savings and are waiting the outcome of an appeal?
  22. Thanks UKBix. The CAB put me onto an agency in my town that gives advice on benefits and I have just spoken to a guy who seems to know a lot! He didn't have much time as he was manning other phones but his advice was to claim ESA. They cannot supply anyone to come to the tribunal with me. We ran out of time before I could ask about the holiday/change of date but I can phone him again tomorrow. The benefits people (I forgot to say) was claim ESA and if I win the tribunal the ESA will be stopped and I will be returned to IB. Do you know anything about the savings problem? The advisor told me ESA is means tested but IB is not (just as I thought). If you have more than £16,000 in savings you get no ESA whatsoever, apparently. Between £6,000 and £16,000 you get £1 for every £500 deducted from yor your benefit.
  23. This thread really shocked me. I cannot believe the restrictions on recording! My suggestion would be to go in with a pad and pen, and each time they say something, reply "Please wait a moment while I write that down". Then write it down. If they complained, I'd say, "I'm very sorry about this, but I am not allowed to record this on audio, so I have no choice but to write it down instead." Any flaws in that strategy?
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