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  1. Hi, Me and my wife have been on ESA(joint claim) for roughly 4 years, it's been for stress and anxiety which we have both tried to deal with. We've asked doctors for help, and received nothing but referrals which took ages to happen, but eventually both have received medication and various types of therapy. Unfortunately, during these years other problems have also cropped up. I myself suffer from chronic migraines, I get 3-4 a month that completely put me out of action for a day or 2, and have headaches that impair my regular daily function at least 2-3 times a week, which I can just about manage with medication. However, 5-6 times a year I do have 'super migraines' which cause me to black out. I don't pass out, my body carries on, but I don't remember anything and just get little flash backs to remember what I do. Which, as my wife tells me, is always the same. I basically lie on the floor screaming in pain for hours until I end up in hospital for 2-3 days. I've been like this for just over 3 years, stress seems to be a big part of the cause of all these attacks. I'm currently doing some volunteer work 2 days a week at a charity shop, hopefully working towards being assistant manager (job I've done before, and honestly I find it calming more than stressful) but I need to be able to be flexible on my days because the attacks are random so I may need 3 days off when I should be there for 2 of them. Which is why full time work is a definite no right now, obviously though it needs to be 24 hours to be entitled to Working Tax Credits, otherwise we'd not be able to make enough to make sense signing off, the Job Centre have made me turn down 2 jobs for this reason last year My wife does not have the migraine issues, but she does suffer anxiety and stress a lot more than me. She also has asthma, osteoarthritis, and had an operation on her knee which did more harm than good and has left her unable to walk long distances, and really unable to walk small ones either without medication and a lot of bed rest following it. One of the days I work (wednesday) is a day my son is at nursery too, and I chose that day purely so it was a day she could just spend all day in bed without worrying about anything, to make sure she had some pain relief in case we wanted to go to the park for a bit on the Thursday when we're all home. Her anxiety stops her working with people, and even prior to the incident that caused us both to suffer with it more extremely, she was already diagnosed with social anxiety and worked on her own as a key holder cleaner, something she can no longer do because of her knee (no manual labour was the doctors orders) 2 times we've been called to ATOS, both times my wife (main claimant) scored the customary 0 points. 2 times we went to appeal, and 2 times we won (one took 13 months, one took 9). When we received our paper work, we score 21 points for the first failure, and 27 for the second one, almost all were related to mental illness, with a few due to the physical issues my wife now had. last week, we got told ATOS want to see us again on March 1st. My wife is in a state, she does not handle stress well obviously, and she's constantly crying and worried. Not only because of the appointment, but also because of how to deal with it. She's scared of saying certain things because we have a young son (4 Years old in May), and worried that being honest about the amount of help she requires from me, and how much she struggles from time to time might make them think she is unfit as a mother, despite our son being in perfect health. I've tried to calm her on this, but it's not working and she's not booked in to see her therapist again, and is taking tramadol at night (partly for her pain, but also because they knock her out so she can sleep) to get any rest Our biggest worry is the change in how claims are handled now if you appeal, because we don't know the full information on it, we just know that we cant appeal and get ESA back right away (with doctors notes), and that JSA would be the way to go, but it offers lower rates. Our main issue here is that due to stress, anxiety, migraines, issues with mobility, etc. When it comes to leaving the house, we rely on transport, be it public or via taxi. Taxi is usually the option as the bus is quite far from us, and my wifes anxiety causes panic attacks on buses (manages ok if the bus is empty though) but I use the bus if I go out on my own, or preferably I walk. But we do spend quite a bit on public transport, other than that though we have no luxuries. Internet/Phone/TV is a low package, which we only have because it's the main way we keep in touch with friends due to issues with going out. We have no mobile phones, except really old PAYG ones with no credit unless absolutely needed, and we have debts from losing our home when we first had to go on ESA, and the house was sold for less than the value we owed on it. So that is being paid off. At the end of each fortnight, after bills, food and everything else we have little more than about £5-£10 to our name which we use if we need to go somewhere unexpected (trips to hospital as my son has asthma too, and has had a few times when he has needed to go due to trouble breathing) Obviously, if we lose our ESA, and have to go on a lower rate, we're really going to struggle. We already have some bills we're slightly behind on, so have to occasionally shift stuff around to do double payments, but it's really hard. We've gone through debt advice, and how we are now is what's best and what honestly works for us. It's a bit sad that we can't go out nice places (unless a lovely friend or family members takes us and pays for everything), but for the most part we can't really cope with it anyway. So we're ok with that. Our other worry about being switched over to JSA, is our housing benefit and council tax benefit. Sorting these out before took our local DWP office 3 months. Which lead to us nearly being kicked out of the home, because housing agency didn't think we were really entitled to the benefit, we actually had to take a member of their staff to the job centre to get proof that we were and that the DWP offices were being unreasonably slow to respond about it. With the issues we've had before, the two previous (incorrect) assessment fails, the money worries and the stress of switching over we're both really panicked at the moment. Obviously, we're hiding it from our son, trying to be nothing but upbeat when he isn't at nursery, but when he goes bed, or goes to nursery, the curtains drop and we both get back to worrying, I've broken out in a rash and my wife as I mentioned is constantly crying. I'm sorry this has been long winded, not wanted to miss anything out. But we really need some sort of advice on what to do with ATOS, how should we handle an assessment by people who have falsely failed us twice before... what's best for us to do if we do fail? what is the procedure? and how long will be in limbo? It's all stuff we can't answer ourselves, and stuff that's terrifying us right now... perhaps it's silly, but it really is bothering us.
  2. Hi, I am currently in receipt of DLA (no other benefits). I used to claim ESA. I have just had a letter from ASOS which states that if I am claiming 'ESA, Income Support or Severe Disablement Allowance' I need to fill in their questionnaire. I'm confused as to whether Severe Disablement Allowance is the same as DLA? Do I have to complete the questionnaire for my DLA? Or have they just sent this in error as I used to claim ESA? Thanks, hope someone can help
  3. Hi guys n girls, New here! I've been searching online for some help with an issue and came across this site, I hope this is the right place to post this, If it isn't sorry for the mistake and if the thread could be moved to the appropriate section I'll appreciate it Here goes, Basically I made a big order from them around the 15th of oct, As it was over £100 pound I received next day delivery, Didnt like a few the items, Sent them back within an hour of receiving. They where meant to refund me a total of £76 back to my paypal account, But only refunded me £54.. When asked about why they didnt refund me on one of the items (a plain hoody) apparently it didnt pass there 'Quality Control'. I replied with that i literraly opened that packing and looked at it, And have proof of returning it within the hour of receiving as i had the receipt i got from the postie... This is when all the lies and BS started.. (These are the main emails out of a 30+ game of email tennis) I got a reply, They told me that as theyve already sent off the jacket, Once i receive it to send it back for a full refund.. I thought okay great! Two days went by, Didnt receive anything.. Then 4 days.. 4 days became a week and i decided to email them asking where my item was, To which I got this. 'Hello, Many thanks for getting in touch. I'm sorry to hear you have not received your rejected return. I'm happy to confirm that I've arranged for your refund of £24.00 to be made within the next 48 hours. We'll send another email to confirm when it has been issued. I hope this helps, but please get back in touch if you have any further questions. All the best, Alison S' Which hinted to me that they didn't even bother to send the item back in the first place..I thought okay cool, Fair enough they messed up, Atleast I'll get my money back in 48 hours..right? During the supposed '48' hour wait, I got another email off them saying I needed to add a card to my account, As i usually pay thorugh paypal, I asked them why they couldnt refund it to my paypal account as they usually do but they said something about how as its a 'Manual refund' its either done by cheque or refunded to the card, I thought okay fine! Added my card.. 'Hello, Thank you for your email Unfortunately as the refund was for a rejected item we were unable to process the refund to your PayPal account. I can confirm that the refund of £24 has been processed 25/10/11, please allow 5-10 working days for the funds to appear in your account. I hope this helps but should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me. All the best, Kim' After waiting the ten day period and still not receiveing the money, I emailed them again.. 'Hello, Thanks for getting in touch again, and I'm sorry you are still waiting for your refund. I'm contacting our Finance Team to cancel a cheque that was being sent to you. I'm happy to confirm that I've arranged for your refund of £24 to be made within the next 48 hours to the new card you have added to your account. We'll send another email to confirm when it has been issued. I hope this helps, but please get back in touch if you have any further questions. All the best, Sarah M' So now after making me wait the ten days, They are saying they where going to send me a cheque, Which seems suspect as they told me it was going to my account, On top of that, Why wait till then tenth and last day to apparently be 'sending' me a cheque? I asked them why it was taking to so long and why they changed there story from being a refund to my account to now apparently being a cheque, They didnt reply, I then e-mailed them again and asked them why they arent bothering to reply and they spun me this line of BS.. 'Hello, Having checked your account I can see that your refund for £24 was processed this morning, and that you were sent an email confirming this. If you didn't receive the previous email, this could be because the junk mail filter on your email thought it was spam, and deleted it. If you make asos.com a ‘safe’ sender in your email settings, you won’t have this problem in future. Depending on your card issuer the money can take up to 10 working days to appear in your account. Once again I apologise for the delay you have experienced in receiving your refund. Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to get back in touch. All the best, Courtney' This is utter trash, So I didn't have any problems with the previous 30+ emails they sent me about the issue and now all of a sudden they are trying to say it was sent to my junk mail and deleted, Which it clearly wasn't.. I replied with this a day ago.. Hi, Thanks for the reply - The issue I have is, Is that 10 days ago I got the same message as the one you have sent me, That I apparently was going to receive my refund within 10 working days. And I did not receive anything. And now you tell me its been processed this morning, So what exactly has been going on the last 10 days? Thanks. Been over a day since that and still no reply..Nearly two weeks and still no refund..They are clearly taking the P. Is there anything I can do or threaten them with? Any contact numbers as i cant find any.. Or anyone I could complain too? I was thinking to contact trading standards but I'm not sure if they'll handle something like this.. Any help would be much much appreciated, I know it was a long read, Sorry! Hope I can get some advice and feedback on this. Thanks guys!
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