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Found 180 results

  1. DWP site has been revamped and the A to Z of medical conditions has a new link which is below: A-Z of medical conditions - DWP This is a very good informative site http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/s...al-conditions/ Once on this page use the A-Z to find your condition then look to right of page and click the link once there look to left of page and you will see a heading called CARE AND MOBILITY CONSIDERATIONS click that and it will give you an idea of what you can expect to get according to the variation of you condition. Is also a very good resource of information. Originally provided by pompeyfaith
  2. Hi,hope someone can help,last oct(2012) i missed an apointment for a medical assesment because i got my dates mixed up.April(2013) I attended my reschedulled appointment but the medical asseser said she wasnt qualified to give a decision on my condition and i would have to attend again and see someone who could I got an appointment for 10am 24/10/2013 about a month/6 weeks before the date,then i think it was about the 6/10/2013 I recieved what i thought was the same appointment,and a "cancellation of app" letter,but the app was for 20 mins later,now because i misread the letter and didnt attend the app there stopping my benefit. they have told me there is no appeal,but i can request that they reviewe my reasons for not attending, can anyone tell me if the 2 missed app ruling still aplies if there not consecutive,or any other advice would be helpfull ] Thanks
  3. I have just had a return to work interview where I was off sick for 9 days in total. I have been told by my manager that due to company procedure that due to me being off sick on more than 3 occasions in a 12 month period they will not be paying me the days I was off sick. Their company procedure states that: "The Company reserves the right to limit the number of absences in any 12 month rolling period to a total of 3 periods of absence. At this time the Company will review the application of the sickness scheme and reserves the right to withdraw the entitlement to OSP at any time" I had followed procedure and had contacted them keeping them updated of my illness and I went to the doctor on the 3rd day of me being off sick and I have a doctors note for the period I was off apart from the 1st 2 days. My question is, where do I stand, are they allowed to not pay me anything? What do I do now?
  4. cauncey2599

    Dvla medical

    Hi had my medical today to get my licence bavk and i rarely drink now so the dr said i should be fine with the gamma levels on my test but on the questionaire i said i take coke one or twice a year and the last time was a quater of a gram 4 weeks ago so im wondering if i will pass my medical on the drinking side of things but will i get asked to go back for a urine test?i know i will pass the urtine test if i need to....but do people think i will need to do one on the basis iof being a cocaine user once or twice a year
  5. I am considering setting up an E-petition when its back after the elections calling upon the government to recognise Ergophobia or fear of working as a recognised medical condition. I am interested to know of any experiences from people who may have this condition or know someone who has and gauge peoples perception of how they view people who suffer from this condition. Unfortunately the mental health community does not recognize work aversion / fear of work as an illness or disease and therefore no medically recognized treatments exist. Can you imagine the hell sufferers of this condition go through each day in order to survive, not only do they have to cope with limited finances, hounded by the DWP and stigmatised as work shy and lazy, there is no help available to them should they mention their illness to the wrong person and could find themselves in severe financial difficulties. The quicker this illness is recognised, the faster these people will get treatment.
  6. I had 3 medical people unlawfully enter my home today ( they walked right in ) without being notified or informed in advance by any of them or my GP . From what I understand they believed I am at some risk ( without being able to tell me why ) other than my GP's concern over my well being. ( again another mystery ) I requested they leave - they did not and questioned me despite my inability to speak without a struggle / pain ( something my GP knew ) and then gave me ultimatum which boiled down to being forced to see a social worker ( which I assumes means I am now detained ) I still have no idea of how this suddenly happened , but I am not happy about it one bit. Can any one suggest what my rights are in regard to this , and what I should do ( I'm in scotland ) thanks, mikv
  7. Now I have all of the old paperwork out, I have found a forgotten clerical medical pension that I have that seems a bit dodgy to me. Brief history of the policy; Originally taken out with United friendly in the 80's, who were then bought out or merged at a later date with Royal London. This is /was a mutual with profits. In 2007 I was contacted by an independent financial advisor who said he would take a look at the pension as I was considering transferring the pension to an occupational scheme. The advisor advised me to transfer the existing funds (admittedly not much at the time) into a clerical medical personal pension plan as it would be 'a better option' and 'pay a better amount in the long term' Firstly, CM have never contacted me for a review from 2007 to 2015 (considering the volatility of pensions this seems dodgy) Secondly, as far as I can make out the transfer fee was £4k Two things stand out in the small print on the initial review documents; Assumed growth rates: "Compared with your current plan, the new Clerical Medical plan would reduce your fund by 17.8% Minimum transfer accepted You do not have a particularly large transfer value to invest for your retirement, and so you need a plan which will accept a low minimum stand alone single premium Unfortunately, this plan has one of the highest on the market Policy Fee You should choose a plan with a competitive policy fee Unfortunately this monthly policy fee for this plan is above average compared to other plans on the market. One off installation fee You should choose a plan that has a competitive stand alone administration fee, if at all Unfortunately, one of the highest fees applies to this plan. I went with his advice at the time, and forgot about the pension as I later joined the company scheme anyway, and just never paid anything else into the private one, but over the last couple of weeks I have been tracing things including this and after reading the small print it seems like I was really stiffed on this policy. Luckily I still have all of the paperwork for this one, including 'independent review paperwork' with the name of the advisor should I have any grounds to take this further. Why would someone strongly advise a policy that costs 4K, and loses 17.8% ? I wasn't aware that pension policies charge a monthly fee either (£40 per annum), or installation fee (£100). Thoughts anyone ? Just to add to that, if you read the other thread http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?444060-Tibbett-and-Britten-group-workplace-pensionpost I made about the Tibbett & Britten pension scheme, this is the scheme which I was considering transferring the funds to, and it was a final salary scheme, so I guess it was a foolish thing to do by not transferring into a company scheme at the time, but the way things turned out the final salary scheme was wound up in 2012, so in hindsight a stupid decision, and bad advice at the time has actually turned out to be a decision that has worked out I guess. At the point of sale though it was stupid advice, and a stupid move for me to believe that advice.
  8. Hi CAG, Not posted for a while but decided I would share my experience of the ATOS Medical I had this morning. Like I'm sure most of you have/will, I did a fair bit of research on what to expect and prepared myself mentally. I got very little sleep last night and was a nervous wreck on the way there as I suffer from severe anxiety in high pressure situations as well as the main issue I was there for which I won't discuss. I can full on understand people who don't normally have anxiety to be anxious as the day of the ATOS medical is one im sure we have all come to dread in the build up. Anyhow, Location: Manchester, Albert Bridge House Appointment Time: 10.00am 11/02/2015 (I went on to ESA in March of 2014) Arrived : 9.45am - Name Called: 9:55am - Was expected to be kept waiting but I wasn't...... Initially. My first note is that the bloke on the reception desk seemed pretty rude. Didn't seem to care, very to the point, slid a clipboard under my nose to do with ID, i had to sign it and then show my ID's. He then disappeared in to the back room for a minute and I had read that they sometimes keep you waiting purposely to see if you can. As I was just about to go and sit down because I was sick of waiting he returned and told me to take a seat. Maybe he was just a bit of a rude person, maybe it was part of the game, or maybe it was a combination of both. Now what my just be paranoia to me, but at an ATOS medical, I know you are pretty much judged from the minute you step foot inside, cameras everywhere, lots of staff wondering around pointlessly, but this is where I may have been being paranoid or misinterpreting something to be to do with me.... A few minutes after sitting down, the same bloke who dealt with me on reception popped out the back, looked me up and down breifly and then returned to the bit behind the reception. A few seconds later a female voice, said rather loudly "WHAT? HE'S FAILED THEN HAS HE? HAHAHA" Bare in mind I am the only person in the waiting room at this point, coupled with the fact the bloke had just come out and give me the once over and seconds after returning to the back office that was said, maybe it is paranoia but it just seemed an odd thing to hear when the day is simply about passing or failing. I was called through to a room just around the corner, maybe 20m away. I was for some reason expecting a room with about 3 people in it but it was just me and her.. She made a swoop behind me as we got to the door, so i would have to open it. It wasn't overly heavy so I pushed it slowly open. (I had read that they walk behind you on purpose so you have to open doors). There was barley any time for small talk on the way to the room. I was told that seemingly innocent questions are all part of the medical, so I was expecting some seemingly normal questions to be part of the medical. There we're none. As I entered the room she asked "Have you been waiting long?" to which i replied "about 11 months). That's me not being a smart arse and trying to be funny, but my little way of confirming what we and they already know, that ATOS is a shambles. She watched me sit down and asked me 4 questions before telling me she wasn't qualified to deal with my condition and so she would get somebody else, who was, to do it. She sent me back to the waiting room, I asked how long i could expect to be waiting and she said somebody would be with me very soon. To me this was all part of the game they play. From the most mundane waiting room I've ever sat it.. I've seen more atmosphere at the Etihad and that's saying something. 10-15 Minutes later I was called by another lady who took me to the room at the very far end of the corridor) most ofthe rooms on the way we're empty but I was taken maybe 50m to the far end, again, all part of the game i'm sure. This lady asked me the exact same initial questions as the first lady had and I immediately knew this was to catch me out or see if my story differed. I have seen enough detective shows to know this is how interrogations are often done. Thew first lady I saw was never going to do the medical, she was simply weighing me up. I was in for around 30-40 minutes for my medical with the second lady during which she asked about my condition, my medications/treatments, how it affects day to day living and because my condition is much worse on some days than others i mentally put myself in the mind frame of my worst day. I was thinking back to a day last week where i was bed bound because of the pain. With every answer I used the words Reliably Repeatedly and Safely, which I had seen on this forum as well as various other guides to the medical. Now the lady was very nice. She seemed understanding, she seemed to listen to my answer as she typed away. This could have been genuine but everything was telling me, it is this persons job to find me fit for work and I felt i was being lulled in to a false sense of security so she could try and trip me up, so after every question she asked, I paused, re-asked the question in my own head rather than just blurting something out which could and almost certainly would he used against me. She then told me we would do a physical test now. She asked me how far we had parked (my dad drove me) from the venue, which i told her about 100m and although I had walked it, I was already feeling the tension build in my lower back and was in discomfort. She told me I didn't have to do any of the things she asked me if I did not want to. The upper body stuff i was ok with because even on my worst day i can move my arms/hands. When it came to the lower half, bending over and anything involving using my back or legs i refused. She asked me to get on the bed, and again I refused as it was fairly high. Now there and then i could have, no questions i could have got on to that bed, but on my worst day there was not a chance i was getting on to it without screaming when i catch my back in an awkward position and feel the shooting pains up my back. My bed at home is at a height where it is fairly simple to just lower myself on to it when my backs in a not so bad way. The bed in the room she asked me to get on was certainly around 2ft higher and it was more of a climb on than a get in if you follow me. As with all my questions on the spoken part of the medical I kept saying, most of the time I can do this but if you ask me to do it x amount of times there will be a point where the tension in my back and the spasms get so severe I just can not do it Reliably, Repeatedly and Safely. She concluded by asking if there was anything i would like her to see. I gave her a letter from my GP stating all my dates, medications, treatments and referrals to specialists. I also gave her a copy of my MRI scan (dated 2012) and told her my condition is significantly worse now than when that MRI was done, and to include a note stating this when sending it to a decision maker. All of the GP's and Specialists I have seen since 2012 keep referring to the 2012 MRI scan results and it annoys me no end, that somehow now I'm assumed to be in that exact same physical state. She told me that was the end of the medical. That it would take 2-6 weeks to hear from the DWP with the decision and it is not her that makes the decision, it will be passed to a decision maker. She told me to go and wait in the waiting room while she took copies of the GP letter and MRI scan. Now on the way back up to reception (50m away), I noticed her walking much faster and I immediately knew that this was to see if i would try and keep up with here. She had told me that the medical was completed down in the room, but at all costs remember this. The medical is underway from the second you step in (reception staff are often, and i think in my case, all part of the game, and the medical will end when you leave the area, I still felt like i was being watched as I made my way out of the building and around the corner. Now this little story of how my medical went is in no way to scare or unnerve you when it comes to your ATOS Medical. It is simply an idea of what to expect. I'm sure some medicals will be similar, and i'm sure some will be almost identical. There's no changing the fact that the ATOS Medical is a huge thing for us all, and we have all done some research. The key is to remember this research come the medical day. As i said earlier I felt like I was being set up to stumble but I just stayed focused, re-asked the question in my own head and stuck to the words of Reliably Repeatedly and Safely. with every answer. To summarize: 1.) Reliably, Repeatedly and Safely. 2.) You are being assessed from the second you walk in. 3.) You are being assessed until the second you walk out. 4.) However nice they seem, be clear they are there to find you fir for work 5.) If you don't understand a question - ask them to repeat it. 6.) Re-ask yourself the questions in your head before answering 7.) If they keep you waiting at the reception upon entering, take a seat - they are testing you 8.) If you cannot open a door, do not try and open a door, make the assessor do it. 9.) Get the names and professions of all the people involved in your Medical - Use a voice recorder if necessary 10.) If you do not feel comfortable doing something, do not do it. 11.) Reliably, Repeatedly and Safely. (This isn't a dupe, drill this in to every answer you give if your condition fluctuates. I am fully expecting to get 0 points for simply turning up. Yet if I hadn't turned up my ESA would have been stopped. It's a catch 22. I hope in anyway this story can somehow prepare you and your answers and your general understanding of the medical. I was a bag of nerves last night, felt sick through anxiety and got very little sleep, but if there was one positive to take from today, I felt amazing once i'd got out of there. Not physically, my back had already locked up on me from the walking, sitting standing, and I am in a fair bit of discomfort as I type this, I am pretty much written off for the day.. After the day loomed closer for the last 6 weeks (when i got my date for the medical) and the nerves and anxiety grew stronger I felt amazing that it was over and done with. Adam
  9. Hi Hopefully someone on here can help me. I am on ESA and have been trying to get my medical done at home. I do not have anyone to come with me and cannot for reasons of safety travel to it alone. I have written to ATOS several times and asked them to contact my doctor, including on the initial review form they sent. I have been sent three interview dates for their offices, none of which I could attend. I then wrote to the DWP and asked them to make it happen. They simply ignored my request. After the last appointment I missed I received a letter telling me it is my responsibility to obtain confirmation of needing a home visit from my doctor and if I miss another appointment then I will have to furnish proof why I couldn’t attend or my benefit may be stopped. I wrote to my Doctor asking for a letter supporting a home visit and he wrote back informing me it is the responsibility of the DWPt o fullfill their contractual obligations with him and write to him themselves for the information as otherwise there will be quite a large fee for the letter. If they write it is free. They have sent another appointment at the Medical centre. My question is this - will my benefit be stopped automatically when I can’t attend, what can I do to stop this happening and do I have the right of appeal? Is my Doctor right in his advice to me? I intend to write and cancel the appointment but would like to know what I can do to ensure they do not stop my benefit. Do I have any legal rights that are not being met? How do I proceed. I have made it clear I am more than happy to for them to examine me, but it must be done at home in order for me to be able to do this. I am completely at a loss and have no idea what I will do if they stop my money as I am too ill to claim JSA I could not look for a job and so will not fulfil their criteria.. Many thanks for your help and apologies if I ramble. Also apologies if this is covered elsewhere but I tried searching for the info and couldn't find it. Best wishes Gerry
  10. I had to return my licence to the DVLA 7+ years ago for medical reasons. I would now like to reapply for my licence as I feel that I am no longer subject to the medical condition. I don't have the letter which confirmed the receipt of my licence by DVLA. I don't have record of my licence number. Also I don't recall that the suspension was a fixed period. Can anyone advise me what is the correct process for applying for a new licence?
  11. Any ideas how a recording my daughter took of assessment could be used for appeal/reconsideration scored zero points. Am awaiting report to arrive.
  12. Hello Everyone, My friend has her first work programme appointment on the 24th June 2013 and was unable to attend due to being very anxious, being sick and had panic attacks! I rang Ingeus and spoke to her Employment Advisor, he was busy when I rang so I left a message that is was important he call back because it was to do with my friend's appointment and that she was unable to attend that day! He did call back and I duly answered the phone call, I told him why my friend was unable to attend and if she can have another appointment date and that I will come with her, I've explained about her anxiety and panic attacks and also told him her advisor at the Job Centre knows of her circumstances as I've had to cancel an appointment she had with her job centre advisor before, I requested that my friend will need a private room as she will not cope being in a room full of people! All what we asked was granted and I also told Ingeus advisor to send me a letter to confirm my telephone conversation with him! Today a letter arrived there was no mention of speaking to me nor mentioned about requesting for a private room all the letter says! 'We have attempted to contact you by telephone but was unable to reach you. We have therefore arranged an appointment for you on such a date etc, etc. I couldn't believe what I was reading' Good job I wrote a letter confirming my telephone conversation with him on the 24th June and mentioned everything we spoke about, I've kept a copy of course and sent the letter to him! I need to write a letter to him about the letter I've received today not mentioning anything of our telephone conversations, my brain has gone pickled at the moment and I want to be careful how I write the letter! He has lied and also not stating the fact of out conversations has anyone come across this sort of problem with Ingeus it will be good to know about them a bit! Thanks helen
  13. Hi there I will try to keep this as brief as possible. I was off sick from work and visited the company Doctor. I was then emailed the report as was my employing manager. It stated the letter was private and confidential and at the bottom of the email it stated it was restricted. This email has now been used in a potential disciplinary investigation against myself. I received the disciplinary papers with this email included, yet some of it had been redacted although not very well as you could still see certain parts of the email, however the nature of my illness had not been redacted at all. I have also been told that the other person involved in the disciplinary has been given the exact same pack that I have which means that they have not only access to my medical papers but also my home address. I work for a well known large company. I believe there is potential for two issues here. Any advice is gratefully received.
  14. Hi, I wonder if somebody can help with the most up to date knowledge, as I can only see lots of blogs but from 2012/13 and I guess the law has changed. I had my medical Atos on 23.12.14 and I called up today the DWP because of something else and the guy said that I had failed my assessment but he said I scored 15 points and I read everywhere that you need at least 15 points! Anyhow, he said that the ESA was stopped from the 20th which is not very nice and I have not received the letter yet neither has anybody called me. Does anybody know what to do next? As I figure, you can appeal their decision and meanwhile claim JSA and if this is unsuccessful you can go to court?? Anyhow, I read, that if you make a new claim for JSA you will not be getting anything for the first 7 days? How is this all going to work, I find this rather disgusting, I waited 7 months for this decision and was on the assessment rate and I am now living below the breadline, how can I cope with waiting again for JSA and not be paid for the first seven days? Can anybody help please. Many thanks.
  15. Hi all, I had an Atos Medical booked for a few weeks ago but got a letter from them last minute saying my medical had been rearranged to 16th of Feb. I suffer from depression and anxiety and am not looking forward to this at all. Does anyone know what to expect? What will they ask or expect me to do? Im really worried and anxious about it and would love to hear form anyone who has attended one, especially for depression. Thank you!
  16. Hello, I am ever so slightly angry with dvla, I was banned for dd 8 years ago, I was banned for 4 years but only in the past 12 months have I tried to get it back! I went for my medical, and they asked if I smoke cannabis, I told them that I used to, but stopped around 5 months ago, my medical was sent to dvla and they revoked it for persistent drug miss use in the past 6 months, really I had smoked it once in 6 months are they for real. Second 6 months later I go back for another medical, do you smoke cannabis, no I do not smoke cannabis, medical sent to dvla, comes back revoked due to persistent drug miss use in the past 6 months. Now I honestly do not smoke weed any more, however there is a group of us meet up every 2 weeks to have a lads night, playstation etc, we all used to smoke weed, but only 2 of us do now, is it possible that I am failing due to passive smoking, I got a job in the understanding I will have my licence in the next 2 months, I told this to dvla, but they still revoked my licence, and I lost my job!! I am a very fit man, I have passed 3 offshore medicals in the past 2 years, and my own doctor said I was fit to drive, is there anything I can do, ??
  17. Hi, Back in 1996 I was mis sold 4x insurance policies by Lloyds bank. London & Edinburgh - Commercial Overdraft Repayment insurance LTSB General Insurance - Health Cover 5 Star Ambassador Insurance Co - Private Medical Insurance Royal Sun Alliance - Hospital Income Plan Consolidated M&G - Accident Protection Plan All policies were sold by Lloyds. If anyone has any additional information on these policies it would be appreciated. At the time I run a small business with two employees with my father as a partner. After ten years of trading and being with Lloyds I simply applied for a bank overdraft facility extension (£5k-£10k, but ended up being made to sign up for 4x policies - these were made a condition of the overdraft being granted, with pressure selling present by two Lloyds bank manager who came to our office 'for a chat'. I protested - and asked if there was anyway the overdraft could be put in place without the Policies, but the answer was a emphatic 'no'. All policies started and were cancelled within 3 months of each other. After the policies having ran for 5 years, and when the managers had moved on - I asked a back off staff member if I could cancel - to which the reply was 'of course', a further discussion revealed that the policies were never actually 'required' for an overdraft. A few months later I moved my account to another bank, who put in place a £10k overdraft, and never once asked for one insurance policy ! Both my father and I remember having a bad taste in both our mouths after they left ! But we trusted Lloyds bank, and buried our cynicism. Only when the PPI saga emerged did I realise we had been mis sold, and we had in fact been milked by our bank for as much as they could get, not a very good way to build trust as a customer ! I am now in the process of dealing with Lloyds bank, but it is proving difficult as I have no bank statements or original contracts, I do how ever have my Sage Accounts nominal records and original Inland Revenue Tax Returns (along with my Year End Accounts) - which verify the ledger year end figures on the nominals. The nominals show all the payments made, and the IR Returns verify theese amounts paid. I also have a prinout from Royal Sun Alliance confirming 3 of the 5 years 'Hospital Income Plan'. On another forum a few posters feel my 'complaint' of mis selling is invalid. My father and I both remember the long winded and rambling meeting, and us looking at each other when they had gone sensing something wasn't right, clutching a bunch of papers that insured everything including my right toe nail. We felt we'd been mugged off to be honest. The policies were wholly unnecessary and not what we asked for, we simply wanted an extension to our overdraft.
  18. Does anyone know how to claim Medical Retirement?
  19. Well after waiting 12 months I failed my PIP medical. NO account has been given to my mental health state (which is why I am in the ESA support group) the only reference they make is that I CAN relate face to face with a person, outside of that there is NO other mention. I scored a big fat 0 on every count (I am totally gutted). I expect there are no other avenues open to me I am truly, truly distraught. The examiner noted I showed no signs of anxiety, (I was in bits) I could not find things in my bag, I had taken in the wrong medication packets, there was torn tissue on the floor from my nerves, I could not remember things (I was in pieces inside) what do they want you to do/show! I even went all the way home with my heel not in my shoes, I was so distressed I did not notice until I got home. They have also ignored a letter from my CPN - they make me feel as if I am living a lie. 12 months anguish to be disbelieved.
  20. I used to be on the disability rate of Income Support. i got an ESA50 form on 19-4-12 to apply for ESA. i sent that back on 17-5-12. on 19-7-12 i was accepted into the Work-Related-Activity-Group of ESA. i appealed that, by filling in forms & getting my GP to send a letter saying i need to be put into the Support Group. On 25-10-12 i was excepted into the Support Group of ESA...the letter also said i may need a review on/by 25-11-13. On 27-9-13 i got my 2nd ESA50 form to fill in...which i didn't expect because i'd only been on ESA 14 months & in the Support Group only 11 months. even though it was a hassle spending days filling it in, i did it & sent it back on 23-10-13. i waited to a letter from ATOS or DWP, but i never heard anything! my ESA [sG] payments came as normal, so i assumed they'd decided to keep me in the ESA Support Group. on the 7th of May 2014 [exactly 28 weeks after i sent the ESA50] i got a letter [dated 2nd May] from ATOS saying... "We have been asked by DWP to carry out an assessment in relation to your benefit claim. We have arranged an appoinment for you at 2.35pm on Monday 19th May. If you don't attend, your benefit may be affected. If you would like more information about why you need an assessment please contact the DWP office that deals with your claim." Is this sudden assessment the very slow reaction from the ESA50 form i sent last October? or some other reason? i've been unable to work for the same reason since october 2006, so getting forms/assessments this often seems a waste of everyones time! the only medical i ever had was on 9-5-07...which was 5 months after i started getting Income Support. I suppose i was lucky i wasn't asked for a medical when i changed from IS to ESA. I have various physical issues that cause me pain, but alot of my disability claim is due to mental illness. either way i look at it a physical exam [or whatever they're going to do] will not tell them what's in my head or what pain i feel! I couldn't tell you how many months it's been since i last went on a bus or to town. just the thought of shopping or seeing my parents in town is daunting, let alone this medical! I can't lose my benefit money, so i'm guess i can't get out of having this medical? the fact i only got 12 days notice of the medical isn't great...no time to get an appointment with my GP...although i guess that wouldn't help. it also didn't help that i got this letter on the 1st day of being ill with some kind of "bug", which is why i'm only posting about this now. i should mention i photocopied the 1st & 2nd ESA50 forms & the "evidence" i sent with them. should i take that with me to the assessment? the ATOS medical appointment letter came with the WCA AL1C [07/13] Face-to-Face Assessment leaflet. that raised some questions i hope someone on here can help me with. it says take current medications with me to the assessment. i'll obviously take my Antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills & painkillers, but i'm guessing things like anti-histamines for Hayfever aren't required? i'm abit worried about my anti-anxiety pills dosage. on the pill box it states the dose i'm meant to take...the minimum dose for that medication. however i have to take alot more than that dose in stressful situations...like a medical. that's not because i've grown tolerant or/& abuse my med's...it's simply that the minimum/low doses don't work on me. [btw i have told my gp, but he just tells me to "try & stick to the perscribed dose"] :O so should i be honest at the ATOS medical about that? surely if they know anything they know i'm on more than the minimum dosage because i'll have to take enough to calm me that it makes me drowsy, etc. i really don't know how much sense i'll make at this assessment due to medications! the leaflet says i can claim travel expenses for public transport to/from the assessment. i'd usually get a £3.90p Dayrider, but i wondered will they want to keep the bus ticket? because i'll obviously need it to get me home again. i could get a Single to town & then another Single to get home, but that costs more. it says they can only pay travel expenses into a bank/building society, so i'll have to give them my building society's name, sort code & account number. i don't know about anyone else but i don't like the idea of giving them that stuff. seems dodgy for such a small amount of money! the leaflet says they can't pay into a Post Office account [which i don't have but many people do] or pay cash. why? the leaflet says to contact ATOS "if you would like to request an audio recorded assessment or would like to audio record your assessment yourself. Please contact ATOS asap to allow arrangements to be made." should i have my assessment recorded? if i should, will phoning ATOS on Thursday 15th or Friday 16th be enough notice for them to sort audio equipment for my appointment on Monday 19th? if it's not enough notice should i re-book so i can get it recorded? if ATOS do the audio recording do i get a copy of it to keep? i know i can take someone with me, but if i don't will that affect thier assessment of me? my parents will be on holiday & i don't trust anyone else. should i just tell ATOS that? there's a small chance i could get a lift to [& maybe from] the assessment. i know that would mean no travel expense refund, but would getting a lift to or/& from the appointment sound better, even if the person who gives me a lift doesn't come into the assessment building? the leaflet says i can get a copy of the report ATOS will do [at the assessment] from my Jobcentre Plus office. i'm guessing it's a good idea to get a copy to see what ATOS have said about me? the leaflet doesn't say when to contact Jobcentre Plus. i assume after i've seen ATOS, but when? on the ae day? or later? last of all i wondered what happens after the ATOS medical. how long will it be until i get a letter [or phone call] from DWP or ATOS to say whatever the medical results are? if you've read my whole post i'm very grateful. i'm sorry for the long post, but i'm really worried & keep thinking of questions. any answers/advice via this thead or via Private Message are gratefully received.
  21. Hi, does anyone know if claimants have the right to have a PIP medical recorded in the same way as ESA? If so, can you please point me towards the relevant regulations to quote at Crapita. Thank you
  22. PENSION DISPUTE WITH CLERICAL MEDICAL (PART OF THE LLOYDS TSB GROUP) AND THE HANDLING OF THE COMPLAINT BY THE FOS AND FCA In 1993 I transferred my final salary scheme fund to a pension fund with Clerical Medical (CM), a Lloyds affiliate, under a Section 32 Buyout Plan. I had been provided with a ‘Product Guide’ by CM with a BSI kitemark on the cover which stated- ‘CLARITY APPROVED BY PLAIN ENGLISH CAMPAIGN’. The relevant clause in the ‘Product Guide’ stated:- ‘If the transfer payment comes from a scheme which was contracted out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) where a ‘Guaranteed Minimum Pension’ (GMP) was to be provided, then you will have to invest enough money in the With-Profits Fund for us to provide this guarantee. However, once you have provided for the GMP, you can invest the remaining amount in our Account, in the funds of your choice.’ On that basis I signed a Contract which stated:- ‘I request that any amount not required to provide GMP and any other fixed benefits is applied to the investment funds as shown below:-’ Clerical Medical’s acceptance of the fund was under a Section 32 Buyout Plan, which according to subsequent legal advice I received, was subject to Government regulations under British law:- ‘I must confirm at the outset that your Clerical Medical pension is not a personal pension, but a Section 32 Buyout Plan. Although this plan is not a final salary scheme, the pension funds held in this plan are the result of a transfer from an old occupational scheme as you note in your letter. A portion of the fund is made up of contacted-out benefits from that employment, known as Guaranteed Minimum Pension or GMP. As the name implies, GMP guarantees to pay you a certain level of pension income in respect of the contracted-out portion of your pension funds.’ All very clear, plain, straightforward and simple. However, when I retired, CM insisted that a further document which had only been available on an ‘on-request’ basis totally contradicted the issued documents and the contract I signed in good faith, and maintained that they could use the ‘Investment Funds’ to supplement the payment of the GMP, resulting in a significant financial loss. According to the above legal advice the only term at the discretion of CM was to quantify and define that portion of the fund containing the ‘contracted-out portion’, and on that basis CM had no legal right to use the other portion of the fund to supplement the payment of a GMP; I understand that non-compliance with Government regulations under British law would be classed as a criminal offence. The FOS ‘decision’ upheld CM’s view yet, based upon the above legal advice, the FOS in my opinion appear to be condoning a criminal offence. According to the FOS:- ‘…our ombudsmen have a statutory duty to reach a decision they consider to be fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.’ The FOS Independent Assessor also stated that:- ‘… whilst Ombudsmen have to take account of the law they are not bound by it.’ In my opinion I find it difficult to believe that ombudsmen have the authority to allow a firm to commit what appears to be a criminal offence and how such an offence can be considered to be ‘fair and reasonable’! The actual statement by the former ‘Economic Secretary at HM Treasury’ was:- ‘Accordingly the Ombudsman is not required to follow the approach which a court might take to evidential matters although he must “take into account the relevant law”.’ If you take the law into account then surely there is only one option – you must abide by it. The FOS subsequently sought legal advice at the insistence of my former MP but refused to provide a copy of Counsel’s assessment claiming legal privilege; I finally acquired a copy after 3 years under threat of the FOI Act. On receipt of Counsel’s assessment I complained that the FOS had misled and misinformed Counsel and did not provide him with a copy of the ‘Product Guide’, but the FOS refuse to comment. The assessment stated that:- ‘Naturally, if my instructing Solicitor has any queries arising out of this Opinion, seeks advice on any other aspects of Mr …..’s complaints or wishes to discuss the matter, she should not hesitate to contact me in Chambers , by telephone or email’. The assessment also stated that:- The FOS ‘General Counsel’s Department’ were ‘Solicitors for the Intended Claimant’. Yet I was never consulted, and my requests that a corrected assessment should be obtained where I am fully represented and allowed to ensure my evidence is taken into consideration have been continually rejected. The FOS website clearly states that:- ‘As in any organisation, things can sometimes go wrong, if this happens, we want to know about it, so we can try to put things right.’ Yet when my current MP raised my concerns with the FOS, the Chief Ombudsman simply refused to provide answers because he maintained that their final decision ‘…marks the end of our complaints handling process’. My MP stated:- ‘As your Member of Parliament I can ask the regulatory authorities to review how they have handled a case and reconsider if the correct outcome has been reached. I am not in a position, nor should I be, to insist or force the authority to come to a different decision’. Surely an MP has every right to insist that a Government agency responsible to Parliament review their ‘decision’, particularly if there is evidence that they may be condoning a criminal offence. The response from the ‘Chair’ of the Public Accounts Committee was that they are ‘precluded from investigating individual cases’ despite the fact that between 2010 and 2012 there were 3,771 complaints against CM related solely to ‘Decumulation, life and pensions’. Furthermore, when I retired CM refused to allow access to my pension fund unless I signed a disclaimer absolving CM from all future claims, which also caused both considerable financial loss and significant stress. I was obviously not prepared to sign a disclaimer under the above conditions as I was still attempting to pursue my complaint via my MP, the FOS, the FCA and other routes. The FCA subsequently issued a directive which declared that the contract was unfair and instructed CM to remove the disclaimer clause, but CM again refused to compensate for the loss of income and unnecessary stress. The ‘decision’ by the FOS, who must follow FCA regulations, was that it was my fault because it was ‘fair and reasonable’ for a consumer to sign a disclaimer which the FCA had declared was ‘unfair’! The ludicrous part is that had I previously signed a disclaimer I would have been unable to raise this complaint! Complaints to the FCA are rejected because they do not consider pre 1995 contracts even though they inherited the role of earlier regulators, and because it is considered to be an ‘individual’ complaint. Yet the FCA website showed that between 2010, when CM ceased selling new policies, and 2012 there have been 3,771 complaints against CM related solely to ‘Decumulation, life and pensions’, Also, according to the FCA:- ‘The FCA’s Supervisory activity focuses primarily on the manner in which and the extent to which firms it supervises are acting in accordance with the provisions of the relevant handbook, rather than the application of “British Law”.’ Yet again it would appear that an agency appointed by the British Government does not have to apply British Law! The usual trite comment is that an individual pensioner can always take legal action against a financial conglomerate although, of course, they are fully aware of the fact that it is way beyond the means of most pensioners, and no individual within the Lloyds TSB group will be personally financially liable. Has anyone else had similar problems as in my opinion the whole episode has been little short of disgraceful.
  23. Just making a few enquiries on ESA, my son has a medical next Monday 1st and no doubt they will kick him off the ESA even though he had a medical certificate covering him for 6 months under anxiety and depression. He is awaiting referral to the mental health but has not got an appointment yet. Basically he doesn't need more stress and worrying if it has to go to appeal, and he will have no benefit at all until the appeal comes up if it does go that far, housing benefit etc stopped is this the case, surely they cannot leave someone with nothing or can they?? Please help, these are very nasty people. Regards Mashmalow
  24. I'm so confussd. I completed a form last august think it was a esa50, loads of pages. I didnt hear anything then this week I have recieved an appointment for a medical. I thought atos had been suspended? Part of my condition is spinal related caused by an accident. I dont really want to go into to much detail. I have experienced one medical, when Ifirst became sick, about 2 years ago. The whole proces was a lie, I had to go to tribunal. I refused to attend, but was awarded esa wrag. The thought of going through this process again fills me with horror, as I dont trust them. I have enough meidcal paperwork, which they have copies of. My appointment is forthe 20th october, i cant get anyone to go withme, as I have several hospital appointments in the same week. I havent rung atos yet, as i cant face it. I'm just so shocked as I thought atos had gone. Can I write to them with a current medical letter, explaining the current condition my spine & pelvis is in or do i have to attend this farce, to be told nil points because Ican use a phone!! Sorry for the rambling, but I'm nervous, confused & angry. Thanks in advance
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