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  1. Go on then, Yes I am bored with this persona now. It's been great, and lots and lots and lots of really nice people have spent time answering my posts. Errr waste of time really as they were all made up!! Great that I had the RIP thread closed down Be back soon, just hopping back over to MSE where I have a few going over there at the moment. Yes very nice people on here, very patient and understanding. However why has it taken so long for people to realise that they have been taken for a ride? Bye Bye xxxxxxx Andy&Flo
  2. Yes that interests me too! For the Tribunal to agree that my dad should be in the support group, 4 times since 2010, yet the DWP/ATOS always call him for an assessment every 6 months or so, and find him fit for work, I would be very interested to know how they decide who should and who shouldn't go for an assessment. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the illnesses either as you make that point. Additionally I have read many times that they (ATOS/DWP) don't even read what you put on the ESA50.
  3. Hasn't that been the intention all along? The Support Group equates with the old IB. The 'new' category of 'The Work Group' was only brought about to mop up those that aren't that ill enough for sickness benefit but not yet well enough to be working. A half way house sort of thing. That is how I see it. Instead of under IB, you were either ill or fit, under ESA you still have those two categories plus one in the middle. Isn't that why the government are trying to get those in the work group back into work? Maybe I am missing the whole point of ESA, but it seems quite clear to me what is happening. The only argument I have is that they are not being careful enough in their decision making into which group people should be put. The system seems a good idea but it is being failed by bad reporting.
  4. Wow!!! what a result!! There wasn't a crisp new £50 note tucked inside the ESA50 was there?? Just wondering. If that is a record, then my dad's case must surely be then, 6 months in the support group then ZERO points at the next 6 monthly assessment!!
  5. LOL!!! of course why didn't I think of that. No seriously even with a SAT NAV, we are talking about someone who still wouldn't be able to get there - they would need physical guidance - turn left here etc.
  6. Pardon? Please do not be so rude!!! That is what I said in my post. The GP does get a letter from the DWP telling them not to issue anymore sicknotes. Yes there are alternative actions, but all I was doing was warning the poster that the GP might argue with the poster based on that letter. How many times have I heard it said that the GP takes the letter to mean NO MORE SICKNOTES even though they still can if the decision is appealed against. I should know I have been doing this for my dad since late 2009 and yes his GP did refuse to issue sicknotes after the first failure. It took a telephone call and a letter to get the GP to change his mind!! In future if you want to reply to one of my posts, please do so with respect and consideration!
  7. Where are they and who do they work for? I have tried the CAB - never heard anything back from them after they had promised to make an appointment, tried DIAL and their general opinion is that the DWP will do what they want when they want, and the latest, AgeUK who quite honestly are now avoiding ringing me back after 4 telephone calls made by me over the past 3 weeks. The local authority don't have any due to the cuts - they were all made redundant. The only one person that I have come across over the past 3 years who actually does something is my dad's psychologist!! She gets my mum in with dad every week and tries to help, but even she is now at a dead end.
  8. ATOS are indeed contracted by the DWP, which makes the DWP their managing agent. Anything that ATOS do is done in the name of the DWP. If I accept what you say that they are autonomous, then once DWP had the file back from ATOS why were the comments not cancelled then? ATOS and the DWP are in it together in everything they do. I have yet to find the DWP decision makers go against any of the ATOS reports when making decisions - despite my dad having every decision so far (4 Tribunal decisions since September 2010) for his ESA claim, overturned and placed in the Support Group.
  9. Wow, you are singing the praises of the DWP!!! I still think that asking the DWP to help maximise the amount of benefit payments just doesn't sit right for me. How can you have one part of the DWP trying to cut back on awards by being ultra strict in making decisions yet you are saying that another section will do everything possible to ensure that people can screw the state for as much as they can get!!! It's no different than asking HMRC to advise on the best possible tax avoidance schemes that could save millions in tax payments, yet the other part turning over every stone to make sure that the government get the maximum tax that they can collect! In my mum's case the visiting pension service (brought in by the Attendance Allowance office in Blackpool) even made an appointment which I cancelled. I simply don't trust the DWP in any of it's guises - experience has taught me that even their 'medically qualified' advisors are so useless that I wouldn't want them anywhere near me if they were the last people available to treat me. To be honest, since the last farce with AgeUK, I will make it my job in future to fill out the forms - I couldn't make any more of a hash of them that the so called expert Welfare Rights people have in the past. Even DIAL, who I approached last year about my dad and the ridiculous ESA 6 monthly re-assessments just told me that they couldn't do anything as the DWP can decide what to do and when to do it.
  10. Was he? I don't think so, On one of the ESA85's that came with the appeal pack for my dad, they had inadvertently copied the page " Harmful Information - not to be copied" On that page contained a one sentence, five line comment that described my dad as argumentative, arrogant, awkward and deceptive. The DWP did apologise for allowing it to be copied and after obtaining permission from ATOS (it was written by the assessor) the page was 'blacked out' and a copy sent to my dad to show that the comments had been removed from his file. It does make you wonder just what is recorded that is kept away from the claimant. In the past I knew someone that worked for the DWP and in conversation outside of the office, they always tended to describe JSA claimants as '****'.
  11. Yes it is a whole new world to me is this benefit malarky. I accept that some conditions are variable. As in the case of your late father's partner, the DWP state that: People with asymptomatic diverticular disease found during investigations for other abdominal conditions have no functional restrictions and pursue normal life styles. Similarly those with intermittent symptoms or episodes of acute diverticulitis, that respond readily to standard treatment are unlikely to have any long term functional restrictions necessitating help from others. The abdominal pain experienced is usually intermittent or episodic and does not affect the function of the lower limbs or restrict walking. Most people who undergo surgery for complications can be expected to recover after some weeks or months. Most adults with a temporary or permanent colostomy can be trained to manage it themselves within days or weeks. People with poor manual dexterity, visual impairment, abnormal cognitive function (e.g. dementia) may need colostomy care from another on a long-term basis. and an award of DLA albeit at the lowest rate was made, yet in my mum's case the DWP state: Disabling Effects People with this level of functional restriction would normally have lower limb joint deformity in at least one joint and restriction of movement in that joint. They would also have pain on weight bearing and joint swelling (except for the hip). Joint pain may wake the person at night even with the use of painkillers. Where the knee is affected it is likely to be unstable and give way leading to falls. They may be on the waiting list for hip or knee replacement surgery. Mobility A person with severe restriction would normally need physical assistance from another person in getting around. The use of a walking aid may help prevent falls but it would not improve physical walking ability. The person would not require guidance or supervision outdoors. Care A person with severe restriction would normally have joint deformity with pain and restriction of movement. Knee instability is likely to be present and hence an increased risk of falls. However, the use of a stick may help reduce the risk of falls and may also assist in rising after a fall. Such a person would normally need assistance from another person with dressing, bathing and attending to toilet needs. Help is likely to be needed with rising from sitting, getting out of bed, the bath and in using stairs. No supervision or watching over needs would be present.
  12. They are both worn out due to their individual medical problems + having to look after each other as well when I am not there. Both have given up asking for help from anybody, and it is only me that is trying to sort things out for them. It feels like that I am trying to push water uphill!
  13. Please be aware that the GP will also have had a letter from the DWP telling him/her not to issue anymore sick notes as you have been found fit for work. Some GP's may argue with you that they are not allowed to give out anymore certificates.
  14. What you think or what a Welfare Rights worker thinks and even after completing a self assessment, means nothing! The only person who will give those decisions will be the DWP Decision Maker, based on what ATOS reports. If everything went as it should and everyone was awarded a benefit based on a self assessment or what a WRO thought, the Welfare budget would go up!! Personally and from lots of experience, the decisions bear little regard to what is actually the case.
  15. There is good and bad in all walks of life. I too was offered by the DWP for someone from the visiting team of the Pension Service to come out to help with the completion of the AA claim form for mum. After a lot of thought, I decided that someone independent would be better placed to give that help. I felt that it was like asking the hangman if I could help by putting the noose over my head instead of him. I asked AgeUK, which turned out to be a farce, the experienced Welfare Rights lady sent a trainee who didn't have a clue what the criteria was for AA!! She just couldn't grasp the idea that any of the needs claimed for had to be tempered by what aids and adaptions were or could be available. She attempted to put down that mum had difficulties standing for more than a few minutes in one spot, I had to point out to her that 'perching stools' could be used so that there was no point in mentioning that particular problem. Suffice it to say the claim was refused. Maybe the Pension Service visiting team could have done better, I don't know, but for me they were too close to the DWP to offer any real help.
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