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Everything posted by Max1968

  1. I'm just going to leave it Bazooka because the JCP manager has already shown his/her incompetence in dealing with my first complaint so not worth burning my bridges. The advisor asked me also to contact employers I have sent unsuccessful applications to for feedback as well, even though the likes of you and I know damn well employers aren't going to waste time giving people individual feedback. I had the odd generic email along the lines of "you don't meet the criteria" have just copied and pasted those comments onto my Universal Job Match account mixed in with the usual info on any applications I make already the page is looking a mixed up mess so my advisor will only be wasting her own time now having to trawl through my UJM account with extra information to read. by giving me more instruction she has only given herself more work to do. They live in fantasy land. 70% of jobs online now are done through agencies and if a company doesn't give you an interview the agency is hardly going to contact that company to ask to give you feedback. A mate of mine runs a company who recruits through an agency. That means the job is listed along with most other details bar the companies name. That is done he freely admits because they get applications but because the company name is not there anyone who does not receive an interview has no idea who to contact for feedback. After all if you received 50 applications for a job would you want to give 49 of them the reasons why they were unsuccessful?!
  2. Thanks Bazooka I'll probably leave it now as I got a new advisor, who bizarrely is being as nice as pie to me! Tried writing to my MP when I was in the middle of the ESA saga and he was pretty useless to be honest so I got what I wanted which was a new advisor so I'll leave it there. It is interesting though how they start making quite bizarre suggestions because I have now been on JSA for a while,. I was asked today to put the dates for my last job from 2013 to present rather than have my leaving date in 2015,. I asked as to why and my advisor said it would take care of the two year gap in my employment for when I have been ill and now unemployed, so it now reads that I am still with my last employer on my CV! I did say that as soon as any potential employer contacts my old employer for a reference they will find out I was made redundant in 2015 but my advisor says at least it gets your foot in the door as in her opinion it's that gap that is costing me interviews. She says they advise everyone to do it now the DWP are asking you to lie on your CV and I assume any application you make which is staggering really. I'll do it anyway and if anyone asks why I'll just say the DWP told me to!!!
  3. Not sure if this is the correct forum so apologies if not but I was wondering what others would do/if anything, with regard to a complaint I made recently about a JCP Advisor. I have been on JSA now for over a year but have been suffering from a vertigo condition (saga is in another thread!!) so I am limited as to what jobs I can apply for. Those that I have applied for and there are over 300 of them, I have been unsuccessful. I had a pretty good advisor to be honest who appreciated my limitations but suddenly out of the blue I was moved to another advisor who was as far as I know newly qualified. On my first meeting with the new advisor I knew I had a problem. I am partially deaf and the advisor had a foreign accent of which I found it difficult to understand. He also looked down continuously when talking thus I could not even lip read him. I kept mentioning my difficulty but he didn't make any effort his end. He was having a nightmare, getting dates for the next signing wrong, being unable to work out when I had last signed and he even went on to criticise my CV at one point so I explained to him that the gentleman who had written my CV was sitting three desks away as he was employed by the DWP as their Careers Advisor so if he had any concerns the Advisor was the best person to talk to. I doubt this went down too well!!! I asked if it was possible to see my old advisor in the future and this gentleman said he would book me in with her the following week so all's well ends well........ Not. The following week I was back again with this new advisor. I politely asked as to why I was back with him and he mentioned that I was with him, end of story. I then stated, once again politely, that because of his accent I struggled to hear him due to my hearing impairment. He then replied "That's not my problem, it is YOUR problem". I'm not easily upset but that I have to be honest rocked me, I was stunned. Maybe it was the stress but moments later I had a vertigo attack and had to sit down for 45 minutes. I wasn't going to do anything about it but thought how can they speak to anyone like that, let alone about a disability, so I wrote to the DWP to complain because I think too often we all just accept the shambolic way they treat claimants. Unsurprisingly they have replied and this fella has denied making such a comment, of course I didn't really expect anything else although if he had said that he had made the comment and apologised I would have accepted that. So I am now not sure what to do. Leave it because I guess it's just my word against his or continue with the complaint? Fortunately they have moved me to a new advisor anyway, although not my original, and she was as nice as pie when I saw her so maybe someone has had a word, although I doubt it. So I guess I will not see this chap again, although he will certainly be in the same office. Half of me says leave it, but the other half says carry on and don't accept their denial. So I was just wondering what others would do? I have attached their letter. Have removed personal information and names. Apologies for the coffee stains, I suspect I spluttered it out when reading the letter!!!! Complaint 1 001.pdf Complaint 2 001.pdf
  4. Thanks Bazza. They are all like robots to be honest bar my usual advisor that I am now apparently not seeing. I'm seeing The Wicked Witch of the West next week and would love to do an Exorcist style projectile vomit over her but that's one symptom I fortunately don't get!!! I ironically have an Interview this afternoon with The Ministry of Justice for a position as an Admin Assistant at a Court helping out tribunals etc. Ironic eh!!! Deliberately applied for may I add and I am looking forward to asking them that due to my condition are they able to make allowances for that condition? Of course my Tribunal said that all employers would make allowances so they surely will won't they?!?!?!? Sarcasm overload, sorry!!
  5. Fascinating conversation yesterday with an NHS representative at a Job Fayre I was instructed to attend by the Job Centre. Very nice she was and extremely sympathetic to my trials and tribulations with Vertigo and the DWP, although she is going to keep me in the loop with any potential roles for me within their admin sector she mentioned something that I hadn't really thought of before. She says the biggest difficulty I would have as someone with a fluctuating condition is this. Say you are sick Monday, attend work Tuesday, sick Wednesday, attend Thursday, sick Friday. Ok that's an extreme example but she explained that this would not be considered one period of sick absence but three within a certain time period. Not sure what the period is but it's not very long. Three sick periods within that time brings in a disciplinary warning through no fault of my own so therefore four or five periods of sickness due to my vertigo (even if they are one day each) could result in me being sacked for a lack of attendance,. She says that the added problem is that this goes on your CV and of course the next job you go for you need a reference, which is your last employer. Why does everyone seem to realise that a fluctuating condition is as disabling as a permanent one except the DWP, Job Centre and Tribunal Service?!!!!! BTW I did forget to mention in my rant in the previous post that whilst signing on Monday I had a massive vertigo attack at my advisors desk. He led me to a seat and told me I could stay there as long as I liked. I was there for 45 minutes sitting and spinning and "no-one" came over in this time to see how I was. What is the matter with this country?!
  6. Well had my two weekly signing again this morning and he hadn't changed me back to my usual advisor. I asked why and to start with he denied that we had even had that discussion last time out. I politely explained that I could not hear him properly to which he replied "Not my problem, that's your problem". He then explained that it's weekly now rather than two weekly. I know what must have happened. I been signing on for a year now since I failed my ESA Tribunal and they have probably moved me on to a new, more aggressive advisor because the other one wasn't hitting her targets!! Do they have to have a qualification to work in a Job Centre?!?!?!?
  7. Thanks Tommy. I had to laugh this week upon my two weekly visit to the Job Centre. For some reason I was passed on to a new Advisor. Maybe the usual one was getting grief because I have been on JSA for a year and they probably have targets!! Anyway this new chap was nice enough but not being from the UK his accent was quite difficult, especially as I am partially deaf so plenty of "sorrys" and "pardons" from my side. He then started knocking my CV so I told him that the chap who designed the CV was sitting two tables down talking to a client so I politely said "best talk to him then". Interestingly enough my CV was then classed as perfectly fine!! After looking at my UJM account he then tried to say his goodbyes until I told him that I hadn't signed on as yet. He then claimed that it wasn't my signing day because the previous Monday was a Bank Holiday. I of course stated that I had signed on two weeks prior so this "was" my two week signing day. To and fro it went until I asked him to clarify with one of the other advisors. He chose the one I secretly call The Wicked Witch of the West and she was not amused that she in fact had to advise him that I was in fact correct. It then took 10 minutes and about 20 signatures for the digital signing plate to accept my signature!! Then he started waffling about weekly visits rather than two weekly. Ok fair enough I thought and he proceeded to look up an appointment for me. As politely as I could I asked to see my old advisor and I made some waffle about her knowing my circumstances etc. To his credit he did swap me back to her and said that I had an appointment in two weeks (not weekly then) at 9.20, although he wrote down 9.10. Back and forth we went again with him looking blankly at his screen until finally he seemed to work out if I should come in at 9.10 or 9.20 (I'll attend at 9.10 in case!!) I then finally after about half an hour left. The funny thing is that I, just for a laugh, applied for a job as a Job Centre Advisor and couldn't even pass the online test and yet here was a chap who probably had qualifications galore but could hardly speak the lingo and had no common sense at all being advised what to do by his own client!!! You couldn't make it up!!!
  8. Quick question all. After the negative Tribunal decision being the final end of this exhausting Saga I now have a full file of paperwork from the Tribunals Service, DWP and so on,. Just wondering with others whether they just shred it all or keep it in case you claim again in the future? To be honest most of it makes me angry just looking at it but I don't want to throw anything away that I should really keep on file?
  9. Oh it's a nightmare Nystagmite. I would honestly rather have a condition that lasted all the time in many ways. As it is now I can cope alright at the moment but in 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour, a days time I could be lying in bed spinning. That's the problem I don't know when or where it will hit and for how long it will go on for,. It could be seconds, minutes or hours. Two days ago I went to walk to the shops got into the village and one hit big time, it was like trying to walk on a bouncy castle with your eyes closed. There was me clinging on to a railing in the half squat position, people must have thought I was drunk. Fortunately it only lasted 10 minutes but the motion intolerance afterwards was terrible. Hence why I have been pretty much housebound for the last month. That's what I suffer in between attacks a motion intolerance where when you move your head everything moves, if you walk you can feel the movement and if I look left I have double vision, look right everything is still, look middle and it's half way between the two. That's there 24 hours a day. To describe it I tell people to look at a clock or a picture on the wall. If you move your head up and down or side to side that clock or picture will stay still because that's how the brain links to sight, in normal people. With me that clock or picture moves!! That gets better a bit between episodes but goes back to square one once I have an attack, even one that lasts only seconds does the damage. Sometimes I get warnings with a loud rumbling tinnitus but that's only seconds not hours so that's the difficulty where , when and how long it will hit for. Sorry for ranting I just feel so angry. The DWP and Government aren't interested in helping disabled/ill people back to work, they just want to get people off benefits!!!
  10. Thank you... Interestingly enough this does pose certain "legalities" that I have wondered about with regard to getting employment with this condition.. For instance considering this vertigo has occurred in the 90's, 2008 and now pretty much two years solid (bar 6 months or so between December and June this year when I did have an improvement), when do I legally have to tell any employer about it? With most application forms whilst it doesn't ask about specific conditions it does ask you to let them know about gaps in employment, so in my case I just put down "unemployment and illness" which is probably why I haven't received any interviews!! However if I for example wrote "travelling" for those two years and then was offered the job surely I am hiding my condition especially considering there is a high chance of phoning in the first week to say I can't come in for three weeks because the ceiling is spinning!!! Obviously at some stage they will have to find out that it’s potentially either a long term or a reoccurring condition and if you have hidden that information from them then surely legally they can then just sack you? Then of course when you go for another job they ask you for a reference which is always your last employer!!! You can be totally honest at an interview (if you are lucky enough to get one) but as you say it isn’t a case of large letters on a monitor it’s potentially several weeks/months off and potentially having to lie down in the staff room for half the working week!! One doubts that you would succeed at the interview!! The employer “will” find out as well. When I was working a few years ago and damaged my back I was off work for two weeks. When I went back in I did it again and was off for a further week. The employer asked me to sign a form giving them access to my medical records just so they could see if I really did have a bad back so any employer will find out. Funnily enough I was made redundant about two weeks after that, funny that eh!!!! So again, when on earth do you tell a potential employer? Then also it’s the legality of say falling down the stairs at work. Whose fault is that? , me for working when I know I shouldn’t be? The employer for employing me? Or the delightful DWP and Tribunal Service for saying I am fit to become a trapeze artist if I so wish?!?! Oh I do wish it could be possible to fall over first day at work and then be able to sue the DWP but I am sure others have tried – and failed!! N.B - One side point I forgot to mention was that my JSA Advisor told me Monday that as I can't currently drive I could look into Access to Work. She bizarrely believes that if I can't get to any job by bus or train then I could be able to claim Taxi fares to and from work. Surely this isn't right and if it is how bizarre because a Taxi journey to and from a place of work would probably cost the Government more per week than ESA would!!!!!
  11. Well got the decision in writing today and it was what I expected. I think I'll just stay on JSA and just add to the 300 odd job applications without success rather than reapply for ESA and go through nearly two years of that humiliating, degrading cloak and dagger experience again. To be honest the fight has gone out of me.
  12. Thank you Nystagmite so as long as I get sick notes from my GP once I receive the confirmation from the Tribunal that I have failed I can reapply for ESA and go through the whole process again? The Tribunal Judge kept going on about the fact that employers MUST make allowances for employees with medical conditions but surely this only applies to employees who get a medical condition whilst working for an employer. I mean if there are any employers out there who whittle 50 applications down to two and then choose the wobbly vertigo guy who can't guarantee he will be in on Monday over the A Level chap who is 100% fit then I haven't as yet found them!!!
  13. Well the retaken Tribunal was a nightmare and was more like the Spanish Inquisition. Totally different to the first when they didn't ask me to take my DWP papers out. This time it was turn to this page, turn to that page and so on. I was actually surprised that they didn't have an obstacle course awaiting me!! Really attacked certain parts of the package trying to tie me up in knots I was surprised it wasn't Perry Mason rather than a Tribunal Judge up there. How they can class themselves as Independent and then be so aggressive is beyond me. She kept saying that I only had 2 vertigo attacks a week when I saw the consultant so why was I saying I had 4 or 5 and seemed totally uninterested that the whole claim from first phone call through to the DWP's decisions took months in which of course a variable condition can change. Advice for others - be very careful when you say things to your GP's and Consultants like "I feel a bit better this week" because your Consultant will write that down and even if you feel a lot worse two days after seeing your consultant or GP the DWP and the Tribunal will pick up on this and use it to their advantage. For example (this is very loosely put btw) my Vertigo attacks were up in September 2015, down in October 2015 (when I saw Consultant), up in November and December 2015, down in January 2016, up in February, March and April 2016, down a bit in May 2016 (when I had WCA), up again in June and July 2016 and so on. The Tribunal concentrated on October 2015 and May 2016 and tried to make out I was having an uphill improvement from October 2015 and May 2016 rather than ups and downs. This can twist you in knots 2 years down the line, so make a diary if your condition fluctuates. So the upshot of this is that I will almost certainly fail so what are my options? Since my vertigo came back with a vengeance a month ago (I have been on JSA since the last Tribunal in October 2016) I believe that I can reclaim ESA considering I think that my condition is actually worse last year between attacks, (eg my motion intolerance is worse this time around). So I believe that you can reclaim for the same condition as long as it has got worse? I believe that you have to wait six months though? So is this 6 months from the "start" of your claim (that first online request for JSA) so in my case that's December 2015 or is it from the final Tribunal decision so that could be in my case either late this week or next week possibly. I assume they write to you as my first Tribunal they called me in and gave me the decision. This time they sent me home but it was getting late. Would appreciate the advice, thanks.
  14. In dire need of some advice here. Looks like this vertigo isn't going away anytime soon and ironically I had an interview tomorrow. Problem is it's 25 miles away so I can't drive and the train station is several miles from the venue plus of course I can hardly walk in a straight line. The logical thing to do is cancel the interview but considering at the moment I am on JSA means I frequently have been completing Universal Job Match so the Job Centre know about the interview. Would the Job Centre check if I have been to the interview? It's an absolute mess because now I have the Upper Tribunal date for last years period of illness which is two weeks time, and yet now I am now in a position where I will need to reapply for ESA for this new attack of Vertigo which considering past attacks could go on for days, months or years. I really can't see what I am going to do bar maybe either selling/letting my house and moving back home because I just won't be able to survive especially if I get sanctioned for JSA and not qualify for ESA again, appreciate any help.
  15. Thanks Tommy but what do you mean re "leave to appeal" and EPS for 13 weeks?? Obviously my Upper Tribunal I am awaiting a new date for since its postponement (without me knowing - explained in post #364 ) is a re run of the previous Tribunal due to the "error of law" so whilst I know you can go onto ESA starting rate whilst waiting for the first tribunal I am not sure how you fare with the re run? Actually I am shocked that that postponement was back in May so I am wondering if they have forgotten or jus hoping I will have!! Re two periods of sickness I apparently took those last year (again unknown to me). I think they cheekily used it up when I was swapping over one for the other last year at some point because I tried to use it at some stage when I was very ill and they showed me some records that it had been used up. I didn't argue at the time because I just didn't have the energy. I see my GP again on Friday so will see what he says then but this is the problem I guess with fluctuating conditions. Most of the day today I was laid up in bed but this evening I am a little better so I guess I can't totally prove it has worsened, it's more of a case that it just comes and goes and you have no idea when and where it's going to strike but with the waiting times in the NHS it could be months I suspect until I see someone again..
  16. Well it's me again!!!! So after over 250 Job Applications resulting in three (yes three) interviews since I was declared fit for work back in September my vertigo is back with a vengeance! Went to sign on this morning and of course they are getting a bit frustrated now because I have been on JSA for more than 6 months. Saw a new advisor because my usual is off sunning herself somewhere and he said that I apparently was awaiting a new Tribunal for ESA,. I told him part of the story and he was confused as to why I hadn't gone back on ESA whilst awaiting this Upper Tribunal. This was quite interesting because it's the same office who denied you could do this when I did exactly that last July/August. Of course my vertigo had cleared up so I had decided to just keep on JSA but now it's back I am not really sure what I should do? Obviously I am awaiting this re dated Upper Tribunal due to the error of law outlined in my previous posts (when I get a date that is as it was postponed last month), which of course applies to how I was last May (that's May 2016) but now I am back off to the Doctor because of I will call it Phase 2 of this damn vertigo which has come back. Three interviews without vertigo so I don't rate my chances of too many now it's back so what are my options? Obviously as the man said I could technically go back on ESA waiting this new tribunal. Or is it worth making a new claim because my vertigo is now back? Although I do believe you can't make a claim for the same condition once the Tribunal finds you fit for work can you? Obviously I am in a bit of limbo anyway as awaiting a re run of the Tribunal due to that error of law. So confusion reigns and I haven't the foggiest on what my best course of action should be now? Any advice appreciated as always. If I were a race horse I suspect that they would have shot me months ago!!!!!
  17. That's what I thought Tommy. Certainly not defending the Tories but I think sometimes Rose Tinted Spectacles sometimes play a part in Political Parties of the past.
  18. No to be honest Carly I didn't and that's half the problem with the situation as it seems you have to be in some way involved in the system to see how disgraceful it is. I was honestly shocked when all this started for me because I really had no idea. Even now we don't see enough in the mainstream media highlighting this issue so the general public just don't see what is going on so as I say there isn't enough publicity about it. I have to say I wouldn't mind getting involved in someway in helping others now I am on the road to recovery myself health wise but I wouldn't know how and where to start,. Not sure how it was under Labour but I have read these forums and others from way back prior to 2012 and it seems it wasn't exactly plain sailing then either. In fact I had massive problems with a Job seekers claim under Labour when I was between jobs and the Job Centre staff seem as bad whatever party are in control. Personally I think they are all as bad as each other and this time around I didn't bother voting at all.
  19. Well after all the tomfoolery in politics this week I thought I would share with you a letter I have decide to send to the Prime Minister regarding the draconian WCA etc that has alienated hundreds of thousands of people including myself. Probably a waste of time and won't receive a reply but I think it's taken me two years to get that off my chest!! Dear Prime Minister, After Thursday’s General Election I suspect that there is some shock in the Conservative Party that the party’s targets to run the country with a big majority were not reached. As a lifelong Conservative voter I thought I would write to you and tell you why I did not vote Conservative this time. Back in April 2015 I was made redundant from my job as a Van Driver. Whilst in the midst of searching for a new job I was struck down with severe Vertigo (possibly Basilar Migraine) and Insomnia which made things extremely difficult for me. Vertigo, if you are not aware, is a condition which affects your sight and balance. Think of watching a film which has been shot with a juddering hand held camera. That is what my vertigo was 24 hours a day. On top of the constant feeling of dizziness I also had several major vertigo attacks a week where everything spins violently and the sufferer has no choice but to sit or lie down with eyes closed until it passes. These major attacks could last anything from minutes to hours, so this is not a temporary condition; it is a 24 hour a day battle to walk in a straight line and attempt to lead some sort of a life. Try spinning around several times and see how you feel for the next few minutes? This is how I lived for over a year. On top of the vertigo was insomnia which you will know is a condition which prevents you from sleeping. So severe dizziness for 24 hours a day and not getting any sleep, I am sure that you can understand that these conditions on their own do not promote a productive life let alone together!! I have had many tests at hospitals and seen many consultants, some of these appointments are ongoing nearly two years down the line and with constant cancellations I am just pleased that it all seems to be non life threatening because I would probably not be here now!! My GP (who has been a great support) decreed me not fit for work due to my conditions so I applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as the only option open to me. The starting rate of ESA is exactly the same as Jobseekers Allowance which is in the region of £70 per week. I have an outgoing monthly fuel bill of £100 per month, water bills totalling around £40 per month, Insurance payments, telephone and internet bills, food and other household bills and with due respect £70 per week does just not cover it. Even a Council Tax bill when being a single person and unable to work is still around £40 per month. It is a real struggle. However the real struggle comes when you attend the disgraceful, barbaric and draconian Work Capability Assessment where a Healthcare Provider with absolutely no knowledge of your conditions decides that if you can make yourself a sandwich and walk 50 feet (even apparently not in a straight line) then you are fit for work!! In my case the Healthcare Provider lied about tests that he had done (when he hadn’t) , puts words into your mouth, writes untruths in his report and treats you quite frankly like a piece of dirt on his shoe. I am a strong person and nothing really upsets me but I was left shaken and degraded by this unbelievably barbaric experience. I therefore then hear from the “delightful” Department of Work and Pensions and am officially deemed fit for work, although would you employ someone who is permanently spinning in their head, is permanently exhausted and might have to sit or lie down quietly for a large percentage of the day?! My option was a Mandatory Reconsideration which serves no purpose at all than some unqualified person in a suit deciding that the Healthcare Provider in a one hour assessment can overrule the findings of a General Practitioner and several expert Consultants after a series of rigorous tests over many months. The DWP claimed that my vertigo was controllable and treatable although my GP and consultants provided evidence that the vertigo is “NOT” treatable or controllable. Whilst awaiting Mandatory Reconsideration you have to apply for Job Seekers Allowance and declare that you are fit for work, even though you are not!! When you appeal against the decision to an Independent Tribunal you can come off Jobseekers and go back onto the starting rate of ESA, although those at the Job Centre deny that you can so more lies and untruths. I then after a few months attended the Independent Tribunal with an array of evidence from Doctors and Consultants and even a Work Recruitment Service called The Shaw Trust who had refused to help me find work because in their words “No one will employ you because of your conditions”. Unfortunately for me despite this overwhelming evidence the Tribunal voted in favour of the DWP and their one hour assessment!! Did I mention that I had vertigo attacks at both the assessment and the Tribunal?! Even the Judge at the Tribunal told me afterwards “off the record” that she had some sympathy for me because she knew that nobody would employ me! After all why would they – why would they employ someone who can’t walk in a straight line and will have to at some point lie in a dark room over someone who is fully fit and well?! My only option at that point was to appeal to an Upper Tribunal if there was an “error of law”. It incredibly came in two parts where in a Statement of Reasons the Judge had got things terribly incorrect and also a medical practitioner who sat on my Tribunal was no longer registered with the General Medical Council, and apparently he legally should have been! So another Tribunal was arranged but upon visiting this Tribunal a few weeks ago I found out on attendance that it had been postponed!! I received the postponement letter four days after I had attended the venue!! More recently I have had some recovery with the vertigo and whilst not perfect it is easier to deal with although the Insomnia is still an issue; however I accept that I am now fit for work. I sign on for Jobseekers Allowance and await a new date for the Tribunal which only concentrates on how my conditions were a year ago. Despite now being fit for work and sending over three hundred Job Applications I have had two, yes two, interviews and no offers of work. Indeed I even applied for several jobs within the Department of Work and pensions because I feel that they could do with someone with a bit of empathy but I couldn’t even pass their online test let alone get an interview!! So now fit for work and still can’t find a job, so how on earth was I expected to find an employer when I was wobbling around and seeing double?! So why have I after a lifetime of voting Conservative changed my mind this time around? The answer is that as well as the incredibly depressing experiences outlined in this letter that nearly pushed me to take my own life I have had this vertigo condition before. It occurred when I was in my 20’s and it happened again 8 years ago. In my 20’s my parents helped me financially due to the illness. 8 years ago I was at the time self sufficient so I covered my period of ill health financially myself and did not claim any benefits. So this time around when I had no other option than to ask my Government for help did I receive it? The resounding answer is no, my Government have proved that they could not care less. For your information I also suffer from partial deafness, Type 2 Diabetes, Arthritis of my hips and knees, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and since this entire saga started I developed high blood pressure. It may interest you to know that I have never claimed any sickness benefits for any of these conditions. So in a nutshell when I need my Governments help one time only I was refused all help and treated like 1000’s of others who have had their sickness benefits slashed by these draconian measures which have led to hundreds if not thousands dying, some by taking their own lives. I have been treated like a benefits cheat, a piece of dirt on someone’s shoe, a person who does not matter at all and have had the DWP making up things as they go along just so they do not have to help one of their citizens in dire need of their Governments help. Do I want to vote for a Conservative Government after all that? The answer is a resounding no and I suspect all sick and disabled people in this country feel the same. With all due respect Prime Minister, you should be ashamed. I look forward to hearing from you.
  20. Hi Heckler, Yep I had the WCA recorded so they had to postpone that because they didn't have a machine for the first date. To be honest I have no idea if the DWP or Tribunal listen to the tape themselves but despite me questioning some of the HCP's report the Tribunal "gave weight" to a majority of that report. Basically they are saying "yeah the HCP got bits wrong but we agree with most of it." My biggest bugbear was that the HCP claimed that he had performed a balance test called a Romberg Test on me. Even I had to look up Romberg Test on Google when I heard the tape and he performed no such test. He also claimed that my leg muscles and arm muscles all looked fine and yet whilst I am not arguing that yeah hopefully my legs and arms do look fine how would he know without asking me to remove or roll up items of clothing. To be fair the state of my muscles have nothing to do with my condition at that time so if he had written "muscles not examined as not relevant to the condition" I would have had no issue with that. What I have an issue with is that whilst they trawl their way through an endless list they just tick the list off regardless of whether they have actually performed that task or not,. Then you get to the Tribunal and you say "He didn't perform the Romberg Test, but he said he did" and they say "but did he take your blood pressure, blah blah blah" and if you reply that he did then the Tribunal just say "Well the HCP got most of it right". It doesn't help when the Tribunal's Statement of Reasons itself has inaccuracies. They had a right pop at conflicting evidence from my GP on two letters that he had written and yet he had only written one, the other letter was written by another GP several months apart so it would have been conflicting because symptoms do change. Yet here was a High Court Judge clearly not able to establish who had written what despite names and dates being perfectly visible on the letters. I mean do they even look at and read the evidence?!?! Maybe I should have asked for my original Tribunal to have been recorded because the last thing the Judge said to me was "We find in favour of the DWP and find you fit for work, but off the record you have my sympathy because it's very unlikely that you will find an employer willing to employ you with your current conditions."
  21. Well the saga continues. After receiving a date for a re appeal through the Upper Tribunal due to the unregistered GP sitting on my original Tribunal I today attended the Upper Tribunal and when I got to the venue I was informed that my Tribunal has been postponed!!!! Letter sent apparently last Thursday and obviously lost in post!! Apparently for an Upper Tribunal they require a top level Judge and he/she had to take another case and the one that was going to stand in wasn't a top level Judge! It's like the Keystone Cops this mob!! I thought I would be awkward and claim £4.19 in mileage and car park fee!! 6 months ago I would have been fuming but I find it pretty funny and quite sad now. Dealing with peoples lives and yet the whole system from top to bottom is a joke.....
  22. Nystagmite - Bang on I couldn't have put it better myself. As a patient you have months and months, in some cases years, of doctors, consultant appointments, procedures, tests, the whole package and in the end of it all in my case it was never fully diagnosed. I was just fortunate that anything sinister was ruled out but it didn't help in my constant vertigo attacks. However the findings of a 1 hour appointment with a basically qualified HCP from Romania were preferred to the findings of my GP, several top consultants and endless pages of evidence that I was a liability to myself let alone anyone else!! And when my GP did speak up and write the Tribunal deemed that he was just writing to help my benefit claim nothing else, despite, as I reminded them, that the DWP ask you to get written evidence from your GP and consultants. Indeed if I were him I personally would sue the ******** off them for insinuating such a cast on his character and professionalism.
  23. I read that and also the story on another link. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38049391 It's absolutely disgraceful it maddens me so much. Vulnerable ill people missing out and yet we send millions abroad to teach South African children how to play Rugby or Argentinian children on how to play football!! Ok that may be too simplistic but you get my drift! I have recovered somewhat now with my vertigo (although far from perfect) but I am still awaiting treatment for my Sleep Apnea and am awaiting a re trial so to speak with a Tribunal due to their incompetence in allowing an unregistered GP to sit on my previous one. But since I lost that tribunal for ESA back in August I have applied for over 300 jobs and have received just two interviews and when they realised I was partially deaf and had been ill for over a year they dismissed my application pretty darn quickly! It's not quite as easy as the Government thinks it is!!!!!!!
  24. No didn't get the natty black and white duvet but I do cough occasionally at night, and do experience the odd weird body jerk where it feels like I have been zapped with an electric cattle prod and that "in my head" was what tends to wake me up. Having said that recently I haven't had as much trouble with it and that's since all this benefit stuff and the sleep apnoea tests were sorted so I suspect a lot of it could be down to stress and worry. No CPAP considered at the moment just have to see an orthodontist to get a MAD (mandibular advancement device) made so will see how that goes. A small octopus on my face (CPAP) doesn't really appeal!!! This is what the idiots at the DWP don't think of (or maybe they do) when you battle with them for months and months and that's the fact that with all the worry and stress you put yourself through you conditions can only get worse if anything!!
  25. Thanks for the kind comments and help all. Sent the below email to my MP, to be fair the guy has been a great help. Dear , Quite remarkably just over 24 hours after I received your email I received a letter from the HMCTS and as you will see from the letter (attached above) there did indeed seem to be an “oversight” with regard to the unregistered GP sitting on my Tribunal and that Tribunal decision has been set aside and I will be receiving a new Tribunal date some time in the future. I am extremely grateful and offer my thanks to you for looking into this situation for me, I do appreciate the time an effort you made. Regardless of what the future decision may bring all I ever ask is that the process is fair and done according to law and it is quite disturbing that it was down to the efforts of myself and you as my local MP to point this error of law out to the DWP and the HMCTS. How many other people, especially vulnerable claimants, have had their Employment and Support Allowance or Personal Independent payments stopped due to similar “oversights”? Indeed it is very unlikely that my Tribunal was the only one that this particular “unregistered GP” sat on. 100’s possibly even 1000’s of people could have been affected by similar situations and this is very concerning because a majority of people I suspect would possibly not even think of checking whether the medical professional sitting on their Tribunal is actually qualified to be there. I am hopeful that you may be able to mention this to the Departments involved to hopefully ensure other claimants are not judged unfairly at any stage of the process due to errors not of their own making. To be fair the whole process from start to finish is seriously flawed. For me to have to fight my own corner for more than a year, with appreciated help from yourself, whilst I am suffering health wise is grossly unfair. Why should unwell claimants have to spend all their time to look into the possibility of wrongdoing or errors made by the DWP or the HMCTS when what is needed is help and support? Surely at the best of times such a process should be made as stress free as possible but it is anything but. The irony of the whole process is that since I was apparently found “fit for work” I have actually applied for three administration jobs within both the DWP and HMCTS and not even got past the test stage and yet it is I that has picked up such an error of law that has been overlooked by themselves!!! I once again thank you very much for all your efforts in looking into this situation for me. Kind regards,
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