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squirrelly Whirley

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  1. Hi Abigail3434, I had a problem with the DWP payment setup when I was awarded ESA and PIP. I got in touch directly with my MP at their main office locally. The Welfare Rights Worker was able to phone the relevant department and solve my problem, more or less instantly. (No faffing-about listening to Vivaldi) RESOLVING PROBLEMS LIKE YOURS are the sort of thing your MP is there for. (Just in case they need reminding) Good luck
  2. Hi Nystagmite, Yes, I went to my tribunal with a new welfare rights officer. They've been helping me in filling in the documentation.
  3. I've gone through the first level appeal for PIP at Tribunal (twice - the first tribunal was disallowed for legal reasons). On receiving the latest tribunal's refusal, I got home and immediately reapplied for PIP. I'm honestly beginning to have doubts as to whether it's worth it - I feel my one piece of supportive evidence has been turned against me. My long-term condition involves chronic heart failure and type-2 diabetes. I would maintain that my condition has not improved and in some areas has certainly got worse. The tribunal said that my condition was insufficient to qualify for either the daily-living or the mobility components of PIP. In the course of the tribunal, I admitted telling my doctor (of nearly 30 years) that I was unable to walk for long, before stopping to catch my breath. The interpretation of this was that I had put words into my doctor's mouth. I can't see how I can have led my doctor in the course of an everyday examination. When you see your doctor, it's reasonable and expected that you would tell him what's wrong, and he would then do what he could to heal you. My PIP medical was a year ago. Getting to this point has meant enduring a lot of stress and a large drop in income. My heart-rate has never slowed, meaning I have been even more exhausted than usual. I'm bowled over by the negative outcome.
  4. I can only tell about what I have experienced and from chatter with disabled friends around the UK, some of whom are still touchy about the whole proceding. From feedback from friends, and the postings on the few UK-based websites around the internet, people and their carers are left with a very bad taste in their mouths. As far as I know, everybody is being seen, even those who were assured years ago that they would be on benefit for life. Friends who can be plainly seen to be disabled seem to have their application for PIP accepted, while those whose disability is less apparent seem to encounter problems . The governments own website say that, on appeal to tribunal, about 66% of appeal are successful, (though friends suggest the amounts paid to these individuals is less). I hope this success is because people everywhere are better informed that they have been in the past. That they're more likely to engage the services of experienced welfare rights workers or the Citizen's Advice Centres, who have been able to identify and match-up conditions to more stringent points-based criteria set by the government. Also through the use of supportive and relevant evidence from consultants; GPs; practice nurses; social workers and specialists
  5. Hi dillon21. I had my medical last June (almost a year ago). I failed to score enough points at the medical with a group called SALUS here in Glasgow. My PIP benefits stopped at the end of July. Over that period: I've had the medical (this took 3 weeks to arrange) Gone through the Mandatory Consideration (this took 4 weeks) Gone through the first level tribunal (this took about 3 months to finally get a date for the panel) Because the judge ignored my GPs report, I've been granted another tribunal hearing. The previous decision having been set-aside. I now have a new date for early May Reports from friends across the UK about how long this process takes agree with my own experience (for both PIP and ESA). I conclude that the entire system is somewhat backlogged, with too many people awaiting their medicals, and appealing the results of these decisions. Hope my own experience can be of some use to you.
  6. I failed the PIP medical (by a mere few points). I'd gone through the Mandatory Reconsideration and had posted the paperwork to lodge an appeal before the imposed deadline. On chasing this up, I found that the appeal paperwork had not been received by the tribunal. Thankfully, I had help from a welfare rights worker at my local housing association, who contacted the tribunal and managed to fax them a copy of said paperwork. It's really lucky that I chased this up. They will now process my application and get back to me with a date (hopefully not too far into the future). Please, please, please keep on top of your paperwork. I'm sure it's very rare for important letters to disappear in the post, but it does happen. If you have someone to help you, ask them to confirm that everything is proceeding as expected. If I hadn't asked my welfare rights worker if they'd received any news, I'd be none the wiser and my appeal would be going nowhere.
  7. As I understand it, if you have over £6,000 in savings, the DWP will taper the benefits you receive down to zero. If your savings exceed £16,000, all benefits would stop entirely, and you'd be expected to live on the interest accrued. (This info is more than 4 years old, but I don't think it has ever been updated in light of the pitiful interest rates offered by banks). As you say, you have no other savings, so this gifted amount falls safely below the lower threshold amount where you would be compelled to inform the DWP. Hope this helps.
  8. I would agree wholeheartedly with this advice. When I went through my appeal against the 'fit for work' decision, I had used legal aid to get medical evidence from my doctor and consultants, and had engaged the help of a Welfare Rights Officer (WRO) at my local housing association. I won both my ESA and PIP appeals. In addition to claiming the correct rate of ESA and PIP, my benefits were backdated. My WRO further suggested a number of benefit I could legitimately claim, these were all backdated to 2013.
  9. As I understand it, having savings of £6,000 or above, is the point at which your collective-benefits start being tapered-down towards zero by the DWP. As stated by estellyn, your benefit is reduced by £1 for every £250 (or part thereof) above this amount. If you have savings exceeding £16,000, any benefit claim would be rejected. This is the point at which you would be expected to live off your own savings. If you have made any major-spends over the past year, I can only think that would be what the DWP are fishing for here. Beyond the necessities of life - food, bills, transport etc, I find that I spend money on very minor items on an "as and when" basis. Since these items generally cost less than a tenner, I don't keep trivial details on every last penny. If the DWP press you to provide this level of detail, tell them they're being unreasonable.
  10. I waited 14 months for my PIP medical. I had a photocopy of my doctor's note (which the DWP had lost) and a list of my 12 meds listed on the back of an envelope - the latter was mostly for my own reference. The nurse took the photocopied doctor's note but refused to take the envelope because it didn't have my name and NINO on it.
  11. I stay in Glasgow and have a Council Tax bill for £243. I receive both ESA and PIP While I can't remember our local council paying my council tax bill, my rent on a LHA house has gone to zero (though until about 2012, I paid less than £10 pcm).
  12. Whether to detect a mental or physical condition, I've always held that the HCP-led medical assessments are woefully inadequate, and is dependent on the medical-experience of said HCP. Everybody presented for the medical, has a unique medical condition. Unfortunately, we are tested under the flawed methodology that requires that everybody fits into the tight-criteria of a static computer-based questionaire, This is as opposed to a personalised, and necessarily more-involved medical which takes account of individual symptoms. It's little wonder that so many are found 'fit for work'. The testing-metrics are skewed to deliver the opinion the DWP require - to find as many as possible fit for work. Personally, I have chronic heart failure. For my consultant to detect this requires fairly advanced technology in addition to his own skills, knowledge and experience. I've been prescribed strong medicines to suppress my symptoms. Whatever data is gained by (say) a psychiatric-nurse, who has no cardiac-nursing experience, must produce information that is extremely limited. Time will tell if Maximus will improve upon the performance and accuracy of ATOS in conducting the medical.
  13. All fun aside, the DWP are not supposed to discriminate against anyone based on their race, creed or colour. In an employment situation, we can add age and sexual preference. Maybe you could ask this woman to print out a hard-copy of the DWPs equality documentation, and you could offer to go through this with her.
  14. Hi bydand, Do you have a welfare rights worker? Some Local Housing Associations directly employ Welfare Rights Workers, or they can be found through the Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) or your local social work department. They may be able to successfully plead for more time for you to structure a strong case. I have recently succeeded in gaining both ESA and PIP , though I was forced to take both to appeal. My own experience with the CAB was poor because there seemed little experience with appeals. They did however tell of legal-aid funding to gather medical evidence. I feel certain that my success at appeal was squarely due to the medical evidence provided by my doctor and consultant. If you speak to your doctors before they write the medical report's covering letter, be sure to ask them to include how the stresses and strains of returning to work would affect your medical condition in the immediate, short and long-term.
  15. I would insist that whatever you do choose to wear, it MUST include fairy-lights and tinsel. You can discretely plug yourself into a free wall-socket when you are signing on. This will be sure to impress. Be sure to carry a few pine-fresh car-fresheners to exude that sense of clean, snowy fjord air.
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