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  1. Hi, I have a question regarding my credit file & 4 Lowell accounts which were closed as a "goodwill gesture" due to my ongoing mental health illness. Due to them constantly contacting me via telephone and threatening letters, I contacted them first email to request they stop contacting me via my telephone and also to try and setup some kind of affordable repayment plan to clear these accounts. I also explained my health circumstances and my very low income. They requested I complete a income/expenditure and some proof of my illness. I replied with my doctor's report and explained I will send a income / expenditure form once I have some advice from the National Debtline. One of the accounts was being administered by BWLegal who had issued a warrant of control which Lowell advised would be stopped and they would take over the account. A few weeks later, Lowell wrote to me to explain all accounts have been closed and no further action will be taken to collect any outstanding amounts. (Although they didn't inform the bailiff who turned up at my door and left a card, but having spoken to him he is now aware the debt has been cancelled, so all good) Should all these closed accounts (all equal around £1500 combined) be updated as "closed" on my credit file? Obviously I realise defaults / and the 1 CCJ remain on file for 6 years, but should the other accounts be listed as closed rather than as still active with there outstanding balance? (which they presently are) Lowell closed the accounts about 6 weeks ago, which did surprise me but obviously took a weight of my mind. Due my present circumstances I obviously won't be applying for any credit etc for some time, so I'm not too bothered about my credit file status but I like to make sure information on it is kept up to date nonetheless. Any advice appreciated, thanks
  2. Disability benefits should go to "really disabled people" not those "taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety", a key Theresa May aide says. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39097019
  3. Hi I'm just wondering if anyone has ever been to County court with a service provider as they have gone against the Equality Act 2010. I'm just about to send 'letter before action' Thanks
  4. Hi I am in ESA support group and have just been awarded PIP last week. I live alone and no one claims carers allowance for me so I believe I am entitled to SDP. On the Gov website it says you don't need to apply as it will be added automatically. My question is does this actually happen?
  5. I booked disability assistance in Stansted Airport. The driver and his colleague of the disability vehicle taking disabled passengers from the plane to the airport building acted unprofessional and reckless. When the car started driving (and speeding!), the driver left the door opened right next to where an elderly passenger sat, she was petrified. After some commotion the car stopped and they closed the door. Then the car started speeding again and then suddenly braked throwing me to the floor, I was wearing a spinal brace at the time. They were saying they drove into a chain that was supposed to have a sign on it and it didn’t, trying to justify that it wasn’t the driver’s fault (although, had they not been speeding, I believe they would've seen the chain and even if they had to break I would not have fallen). Despite the incident, I was not allowed a doctor, any medical help, not even a first aid box for a plaster, etc. When I asked to speak to a manager, I was told the manager wasn’t there. I wanted to log a complaint, but they wouldn’t allow me in any way to record the incident, for various reasons they made up. Absolutely everything was refused, apart from a glass of water. I was travelling alone, and I remember severely shaking at one point. All of this should be on CCTVs. I had refused to leave the airport until a complaint/incident was logged and a first aid box was given. The guy said there were no first aid boxes around, or to that effect, and there was nowhere to log the incident or complaint. As I refused to leave, he then paraded me around the airport in the wheelchair while he (non-enthusiastically) kept asking random employees for a plaster and how to log this incident, this took a long time and it was obvious he was trying to get me tired of this so I would drop everything and leave. It was a humiliation of the first order and I can’t begin to express how stressful this was. In the end, I wasn’t’ going to leave the airport, so he had no choice but to get me a plaster, which he found on a colleague, and apparently logged a report on their computer in the disability office. Still, I wasn’t allowed a copy of the report or a reference number. I was assured that someone would contact me about this. No one ever contacted me. As the result of this incident and how I was dragged around the airport my prebooked transport was already gone. This was not a difficult hour of the night and the airport would not help me with getting home. I had money for a bus that went to Victoria station in London, so I got that, but I have a huge memory blank of how I got home that night, I think I was so stressed or in shock I have a memory loss. For many months I was so stressed about this incident that I couldn’t even fly to my cousin’s wedding in Europe. I couldn’t face contacting Stansted airport to chase up this incident either as when I would think about it I would go breathless and my heart would go into palpitations and out of rhythm (I have a medical heart condition). Some months later, when I could get myself to do it, I wrote to Stansted airport to find out about that complaint someone was supposed to get back to me about. I learnt I was mislead in the airport and there was no complaint on the system. Then I sent them a fresh complaint by email, they accepted everything that happened, but blamed me for it as apparently it was my fault I didn’t put a seat belt on in the disability vehicle. (Note: as a result of my heart condition I often feel dizzy and faint so I can easily overlook things like seatbelts. I book special assistance in the airport to help me physically with basic things like mobility and seatbelts. I don’t understand why this is my fault). The complaint was also not accepted properly because I emailed them just over 6 months after the incident (-apparently what I logged in Stansted airport was an incident not a complaint – a technicality I didn't know about, and apparently I had 6 months to log a complaint – another technicality no one told me about). I felt like I was a victim of some sort of Stansted airport mafia. I found it impossible to complaint to Stansted airport. What can I do about this please? Is there anywhere else I can take my complaint to? Or is this all at the discretion of the airport? I feel the incidents that happened in Stansted airport, how they were handled, and how passengers like me are presented with barriers to complain about such events makes Stansted airport a very dangerous place for disabled passengers. Any advise or feedback is most welcome.
  6. Hi all New user finding his way around the forums, so apologies if I am in the wrong area here! I have a Tribunal case coming up against a former employer, and they have requested an 'impact statement' about my disability which needs to be submitted this week. I wondered whether anyone has access to a template of any kind that I can work from, as I have no idea where to start? Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  7. Hi all I currently get PIP and ESA. My father passed away in July this year,so I took over the tenancy and did a quick benefits check online, that is when I came across SDP. I have never heard of SDP before.So I rang the DWP in July this year and applied for it.I got it backdated to May this year, after doing more research I now believe I may be entitled to having my SDP backdated further. I was originally on DLA middle rate care and low mobility as well as Income Support before I was transferred over to ESA and PIP.I was transferred over from DLA to PIP last March.I was also transferred over from Income support to ESA in May this year. I had been on Income Support and DLA since the early nineties,but never got SDP,I now know I was eligible since no one has ever claimed Carers Allowance for me,and although I had lived with my dad for over 20 years he was on high rate care DLA and Income Support to.So he was on a qualifying disability benefit so i would be classed as living alone. I have been in touch with the DWP and the lady on the phone told me I would not be able to get it backdated any further.Would that be right or is she wrong.
  8. My uncle has learning disabilities and has worked for a major supermarket for over 20 years. The company has now introduced minimum service levels and say he is not reaching these. One problem is getting cages out and the other is customer service. A mystery visitor gave a damning report of his interaction with my uncle who apparently blanked him. The manager says that he does know what to do but doesn't always do it. The company have offered my uncle a different job doing the trolleys but our family doesn't want him to take it. The company have also brought in an in work support advisor from a charity to help support him and given extra training. My question is can they change his hours and duties as they say he is not achieving these new criteria? There are not as many hours available to all staff as there were last year due to the supermarket not taking as much money as they did. Is it discrimination if they change his job? Thank you for any help.
  9. Hi All, the main crux of my post is to ask if anyone knows why the DWP just simply ceased the Severe Disability Premium? In February 2017 the DWP confirmed my entitlement of SDP together with ESA, Disability Income Guarantee and Limited Capability for work for work (support group). Two weeks ago I received an identical letter from DWP stating; "We have looked at your claim again following a recent change. This is because of: a change in money coming in. There has not been any change, to any of my entitlements, at all. The last, previous contact I had from DWP, before Feb '17, was a notice, dated August 2016 to inform me that I failed to be awarded PIP. I had previously been in receipt of DLA since June 1992. Only the tightening of the criteria of PIP and my failure to take medical evidence to the ATOS assessment caused the failure of any PIP award. I went through 'Mandatory Reconsideration' within the 1 month time limit but, because an SAR to the Hospital Trust, for my medical notes took longer than 40 days, which prevented me from appealing within 30 days, the CAB are supporting a Tribunal Appeal. I'm only waiting for a trial date. It just seems odd that the SDP of £62.45 has been ceased which has drastically reduced my income? Kind regards, Will
  10. 'Why I went to court for my disability payments' READ MORE HERE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39745403
  11. 'Why I went to court for my disability payments' READ MORE HERE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39745403
  12. Hello I recently made a Planning Application to the local Council to make some adaptations to our house for a disabled person. On the application form/guidelines it stated that the application was exempt from application fees, if the application was for use of a disabled person. The application was made and adequate proof was provided to show that the person was disabled. The Council accepted the application. However, after a week they called to say that as the Disabled person was not currently living at the Planning Application site , that the application was invalid and the fee would have to be paid to progress the application. I had a look into this and the following rules apply: P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; } The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) Regulations 2012 In that regulation, a “disabled person” means— 4. (2) (a)a person who is within any of the descriptions of persons to whom section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948(1) (welfare arrangements for blind, deaf, dumb and crippled persons, etc) applies. In those rules can be found : P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; } Exceptions – access and facilities for disabled persons 4.—(1) 4.—(1) Regulation 3 (the requirement to pay the local authority a fee) shall not apply where the local planning authority to whom the application is made are satisfied that it relates solely to— P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; } for the purpose, in either case, of providing means of access to or within the dwellinghouse for a disabled person who is resident in, or is proposing to take up residence in, that dwellinghouse,or of providing facilities designed to secure that person’s greater safety, health or comfort. I pointed this out to the official and they have now reinstated the application for free. So, Contrary to what you may be told by your Local Council, if you are making a Planning Application for a Disabled person it is free!. even if the Disabled person is not residing at the Application site. Which makes absolute sense, if you consider that a disabled person may want to see if he or she can alter a property for their use before purchase. Hope that helps someone uphold another regulation that the Council seem unaware of. nn
  13. Hello I am looking for some advice but couldn't work out how to create a new post? I joined a gymtec gym in May 2013 on a 12 month contract but became unwell late 2013, early 2014 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I wrote to my gym cancelling my membership due to developing a disability and being unable to use the gym due to severe muscle pain, limited mobility and fatigue. I included a copy of my consultants letter confirming diagnosis and also informed the gym I was struggling financially due to divorce proceedings and now supporting myself and my step daughter on only my income. I heard nothing but cancelled my direct debit the following month in April 2014. I the recieved a letter in Jan from CRS on behalf of Harlands to say I owed £186 for unpaid membership fees and associated charges. I wrote to the gym stating I wanted to deal with them and explain I cancelled and why I did and included a copy of my original letter and the consultants letter. I've heard nothing and had another CRS letter threatening CCJ. I've emailed the gym again and stated clearly I had a material change in circumstances that prevented me from using the gym. What should I do next? Have CRS ever obtained a successful CCJ for gym membership? I can prove I am disabled and this condition developed and was diagnosed during the contract corresponding with my cancellation I can also prove I was struggling finacially at that point too due to the divorce. I was hoping to get some advice from Slick as he seems to be the guru on all things Harlands/gym related The threat of legal action feels very intimidating but can they really do anything? Thanks
  14. Rather than disturb the flow of a live thread, which appears to be suffering from an uncoordinated and scattered approach for over 6 months as it is, I thought it would be generally more expedient to start a new thread that would not intrude or encroach on any one individual's personal issues and battles. I was prompted into starting this post by the link posted by Honeybee early this morning: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...3-esa-medicals The post in the link relates the experiences of a claimant, Leemac, who describes how the whole assessment system is fraught with obstacles that are seeming deliberately designed to result in the claimants being unsuccessful in their claim. There appears to be no depth to which those responsible for those assessment will not stoop to in their determination to deny the claimant a fair crack of the whip. It seems to me that in order to be successful in a claim a claimant must have above average mental agility and dexterity. It's as if the mere fact of qualifying renders the claimant ineligible, especially where mental disabilities are concerned. Leemac writes about his experiences in 2010, over 6 years ago. Reading recent posts would indicate that Leemac's challenges then are still being experienced today. The arsenal of dirty tricks, deception and downright lies appears to have gone from strength to strength while the position of the claimant has, if anything, become even more tenuous. Surely the time has come to make a determined effort to face up to and defeat this inhumanity once and for all. There are many who contribute to this site with a wealth of personal experiences and examples of what works and what does not. All this should be collected and collated into a definitive and determined counter attack so that we are prepared, ready, willing and able to assist positively when called upon to do so. We have done much to help combat the worst excesses of sanctions, UJM, placements, and the like, let's set about with a will to face this scourge faced by the most vulnerable and which, for sheer inhumanity and brutality, outweighs all others. Please use this thread to air views, ideas, proposals and examples of how best to progress and beat this thing. For a start, perhaps we could: a. compile a list of all the various types of invalidity or disability benefits there are. Define ESA, PIP, DLA etc. b. how many types of assessment forms there are, how and where to go about getting them.
  15. 18th May this year I was awarded (like it's some kind of competition??) standard daily living rate, and enhanced rate mobility. This ''should'' kick start other payments into effect, namely ''severe disability premium''. However, due to the unique way in which the DWP acts with impunity and is answerable to no-one, the SDP hasn't materialised, no biggy really as it will be backdated to May anyhow, so in essence the DWP have a savings account for me. I tried to ring JCP today on the standard 0345 number, went through the lethargic condescending ''briefly tell us why you're calling'' nonsense, got to the department I needed, only to be cut off............................ Not once, but, for the last 9 days, weekends excluded. It's as though they just don't care!
  16. Hi there, I'm writing hoping somebody here can help advise me on my current situation. Up until July 2016 I was claiming working tax credit and qualified for the disability element, having only to work over 16 hours a week. This is because I transferred onto working tax credits from ESA. I had had a long period of worklessness due to poor health following extensive cancer treatments. I have had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, and the toxicity of the drugs have left me with permanent chronic conditions. My lung capacity is now below 50% as I have pulmonary fibrosis. My hormones and immune systems have been compromised, I have testosterone injections every 10 weeks and take thyroid medication and due to my lung disease am prone to respiratory infections. It's believed I might have suffered some damage to my heart as well, as it's highly elavated, over 100 bpm average, which they think might be due to radiotherapy in that area, and because my lung capacity is so slow. It was recognised that I have a reduced functional capactiy, i,e, I am able to work part time but unable to work an 8 hour day or 5 day week on a permanent basis without risk of negatively affecting me health. However in July this year I moved in with my girlfriend, who with an annual salary of around £34,000 took us well over the threshold for tax credit eligibility. As we were now living as a couple I contact tax credits to tell them, and signed off. However at the beginning of December my girlfriend and I split up. I have moved back to my own town of Torquay to be close to my work. I have just moved in to a new property on 21st December. However I have been told my tax credits that I will not be eligible for the disability element any more as I am not in receipt of ESA, PIP or DLA. I explained to them that I was previously on tax credits with the disability element, and that I came via ESA but they said it had to be current and my previous claim is irrelevant. They told me I need to get ESA or PIP to requalify. I now don't know what to do. My work have been brilliant and have given me extra hours so I can work 30 hours and qualify for tax credits under the 30 hour rule. However my contract is for only 18.75 hours and these extra hours are for six months only, at which point the service in which I work is closing and we are being put into redeployment, when I will go back to 18.75 hours again. Obviously knowing I am entitled to the disability element I want to make sure that I get it back again so I am ready for the hours drop in August 2017 . I am also concerned about the long term effects these extra hours might have on me in terms of tiredness, malaise and reduced immunity. Does anyone know how I go about appealing this? Tax credits said I cannot claim for it without being on ESA or PIP. I cannot apply for ESA as I have a job and have no intention of giving it up. I don't see how I can apply for PIP as I do not have any mobility problems, but rather a reduced functional capactity. I have the support of both my doctor and the consultant hemotologist at the hospital who treated me and have previously won a tribunal when they stopped my benefits whilst transferring me from income support to ESA . I don't have any real concerns about winning another tribunal as all my conditions are provable, permanent and degenerative I just don't know what I will need to apply for and appeal against? My current thinking is to apply for tax credits as a healthy person doing 30 hours for now as I need to get the money coming in, then apply for PIP and appeal that rejection as far as a tribunal. But if someone else has any experience of this it would be very helpful. My last appeals process took a year and I don't want to have to go through all that again!
  17. Dear All, Hello. My disclosure is due today in my discrimination case. I am self-representing.I have done a word document with heading(claim information) and then I did a list of the documents just numbered 1-20. Can you please advise if this is sufficient or I need to do something more sophisticated (like the lawyers would)? Does anyone have a template perhaps? Thank you. Alesha
  18. I live alone and are in receipt of ESA and PIP, daily living and mobility components both at the standard rate. I have been receiving these benefits for the last three years. I was recently informed that because of the above i should also be in receipt of a severe disability premium. I have never been informed by DWP about this premium and knew nothing of its existence until recently. I have now applied for this premium and have been granted it by DWP but there is a dispute over the length of time this premium can be backdated. On the DWP website it clearly states "You don't have to claim disability premium, it's automatically added to your income support(ESA) if your eligible". I was never informed by DWP of my ability to claim this premium. I am also informed that the award of a premium is effective from the day the qualifying benefit for the premium was awarded. I interpret this as i became entitled to the severe disability premium immediately i was awarded PIP on top of my ESA and the DWP should have informed me. Has anyone any experience of a similar situation to this or any advice please? Thankyou.
  19. Hello everyone, Recently claimed PIP and was awarded standard daily rate with no enhancements. I was thereafter informed that I should tell the Tax Credit office to check if I was claiming the correct amount now that I am getting PIP, so I did. The lady on the phone just took the details of the date the award started and told me I would hear within a few weeks. So I had a quick google to see if I could find anyone else's experience of claiming the extra element, and came across the rules for claiming it: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140109143644/http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/tc956.pdf So it all seems pretty straightforward, but my query is regarding "Condition 2". The list of descriptions where "at least one" must apply is clear, BUT how does the Tax Credit assessor/reviewer know which one(s) apply to me? I guess they'll look at the report from the PIP "consultation", but out of the 8 descriptors, only half were actually tested (and two others would have been "informally observed" I'm guessing), and the other two weren't tested at all. I certainly couldn't do two of the ones tested on the day, and I cannot do one of the ones NOT tested. I have no idea what the report actually says (still waiting, I wanted a copy for my records) but how can Tax Credits make a decision on Condition 2 if they don't have all the info? (either because the PIP consultant didn't include it, or she mistyped, or she made an error, or I just wasn't tested for that.) Or am I overthinking this, and they will award the element anyway because of the PIP award? Thanks
  20. The Government is planning a major overhaul of disability benefits assessment - a system that has been described by critics as "cruel". http://news.sky.com/story/government-to-overhaul-cruel-disability-benefits-system-10638235
  21. hi all, hope you can help. My mum is sight impaired and receives enhanced rate PIP for both mobility and daily living. She is fiercely independent and is still looking to work, she claims income based JSA and receive 2 disability premiums. Her DEA at the jobcentre has said she should be claiming the 3rd premium as well BUT she is confused about the eligibility criteria. Her home is on a joint mortgage with her brother in law (and sister but only BIL on mortgage) and she receives council tax support on her half of the council tax. As a joint owner my uncle is on the council tax register/electoral roll and pays his share from a joint bank account they have for house finances (mortgage, CT, maintenance costs etc). My parents divorced many many years ago and my aunt and uncle bought out my fathers share of the house so my mum did not lose her home. The fear she has is that although she lives alone, I stay there for maybe a week a month with the kids, (she lives in a fairly rural community) and my aunt and uncle stay a week or so every couple of months. Will all this be interpreted by the DWP as not living alone. I admit from an outsider it probably looks dodgy lol, but mum is straight on the line for these sort of matters and says she will end up in prison for fraud if she fills the form in. Any help please
  22. Hi, I am reaching out to you as I'm absolutely exhausted with the WCA saga and I would be grateful for any help, advice, guidance, support. I'll try and keep this short... Main medical conditions: - Postural Tachycardia Syndrome - its a rare conditions, but an accurate description of symptoms is listed here: potsuk dot org/symptoms (please note: to diagnose POTS the heart rate has to increase by 30bpm after 10 minutes of standing, upon test mine increased from 65 to 140, so its obviously a more aggressive form of POTS). - Ehlers-Danlos syndrome & Hypermobility (symptoms: ehlers-danlos dot com/what-is-eds/) - Previously had spinal fusion for scoliosis, in recent years the titanium rods in my spine broke; had a two-stage anterior and posterior corrective spinal fusion operation to take out the broken metals and extend the fusion, - Major abdominal complications post spinal fusion op (just uploaded video here: youtube dot com/watch?v=P4GraSbCCy4 - eating food is not fun for me) - Divarication of recti of at least 8cm. - Depression - Other less significant conditions The WCA saga (main points only): I had returned the ESA questionnaire and a bundle of medical records in total weighing quarter of a kilo by recorded and signed for delivery. The Health Assessment Advisory Service and DWP claimed they didn't receive the bundle in time, even though they signed for it, and my benefits were stopped (including housing). I tried to dispute this, 3 separate advisers at HAAS and DWP intimidated me accusing me for not accounting for their internal delays despite having submitted my form in line for the deadline - it was as though they've been taught intimidation techniques from the same script. Anyways, after a battle that got restored. I feel sorry for those who did not send their forms recorded and signed for... Due to various issues I registered formal complaints. In a complaint response HAAS wrote that medical records prior the year 2015 might not be considered, claiming its a DWP requirement for the documents to be 'recent'. This meant my medical records might not be accepted due to a 'bad' date and I did not have enough time to get my conditions to be re-diagnosed. (Note: this is contrary to their own WCA handbook gov dot uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535065/wca-handbook-july-2016.pdf providing that medical history should be considered). Anyway, the WCA went ahead. As expected by this point, the outcome was work activity group with compulsory JobCentre appointments under the threat of benefit sanctions etc. My GP wrote a sicknote, only to find out that DWP does not accept sick notes from sick people and their is no way to formally register sickness, so you have to go to Jobcentre or loose benefits. I attempted to go to the JobCentre, my heart rate became unbearable and I ended up in the A&E on the drip. This happened twice. DWP told me I could submit for mandatory reconsideration, but would not grant me an extension for the deadline, nor would they allow me to access my medical report before the deadline to submit for the reconsideration. Effectively I was forced to submit a blind and a very week mandatory reconsideration request simply because I had no idea what I am disputing or asking them to reconsider. Naturally, I don't expect a positive outcome from that. After eventually receiving and reading my medical report it became clear to me that the WCA was purposely conducted in a manner that would lead to a certain (unfavourable) outcome; I conclude so due to the excessively biased nature of the medical report. I find the assessor covered up my physical medical conditions and struggles, with some very significant medical history either left out or very subtly hidden at the back in the notes. The assessor went as far as to deny the symptoms of my conditions, making serious allegations and negligent recommendations. The effects/symptoms of my condition are not being recognised by the assessor (who apparently is a doctor). The assessor effectively denies all the symptoms and even alleges that I don't have any such symptoms (in relation to POTS) and that I only have an increased heart rate. It is even recommended in the assessor's report that I can "remain at a workstation standing unassisted by another person...for more than an hour before needing to move away in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion", which to me as a POTS sufferer (I faint from such activities) is just unthinkable. The assessor forgets to mention the broken metals in my spine altogether. Frankly I think the report is an outrage. I believe aggressive practices are in place to disallow positive WCA outcomes. I also feel discriminated. After getting my share of bullying from the DWP and their party of association I am starting to think it's not possible to get ESA anymore, unless you have a solicitor or the law behind you. I'm just really tired now... Any help is much appreciated.
  23. Hi, I am currently on ESA Support Group and also have an award for DLA which doesn't technically need to be renewed until over five years from now. I have the right to buy and could buy my current home for about 35k. I have some savings and may also be able to borrow some money from relatives to add to my deposit. I cannot find a single lender that's willing to lend me any money toward this on a secured basis whatsoever. Iroonically they all seem to be falling over themselves to lend me money on credit cards on an unsecured basis but not enough to buy the property. It seems to me they're basing this refusal to lend on their 'affordability criteria', ie- that this lending is un-affordable because I'm not in receipt of any income from paid employment. I find this utterly laughable because at current rates the mortgage would cost about £100/month and could be fixed for between five and ten years.... Also that the mortgage interest would be paid by the DWP under SMI anyway. I suspect this is indirect discrimination, in that they are applying this rule to all applicants and it's indirectly discriminating against disabled people who are much less likely to have income from work owing to the disabilities that they have. I just wondered if anyone here could indicate as to the likelihood of this being deemed indirect discrimination under the Equality Act if it were taken to court and any recent judgements that may be relevant, case law etc?
  24. Hi. Back in January of 2014 in readiness for my partner moving in as I was pregnant, I informed HMRC that he was moving in on a specific date in May 2014. And then on that date I wrote again to tell them he had actually moved in. I viewed this as a change of circumstances. Our single claims were shut down and a new joint claim was set up. In the meantime my baby was born, my son moved out and various other changes happened prompting a deluge of letters from the HMRC. Consequently I didn’t notice until it became time for the annual review of the 2016-2017 tax credits award that I hadnt received the disability premium for two years. I hadn't noticed that the statement 'you have a disability' had been omitted. I told the HMRC and after much letter writing and phone calls I have now been told that at some point I filled in an application form for joint tax credits and neglected to tick the box saying I get DLA. The HMRC already knew I was disabled from when I claimed on my own I was given one month’s payment of disability premiums but I have to fight for the rest. I have submitted a mandatory reconsideration request which is on-going. They say I didn’t tick a box which, if I didn’t, was probably because DLA doesn’t count as income. It could also be due to the fact that I am registered blind and severely partially sighted and would have been struggling with the form. Also when I received the the updated award notice I would have been checking for changes relating to my relationship status, not my disability. Similarly when my baby was born and the award changed again, I would have been checking to see if all the details related to her were correct. Does anyone have any advice on the likelihood of getting two years’ worth of disability premiums paid back to me? Thank you
  25. I have mobility problems which only really affects me when the weather starts to change. At this stage I need to use crutches and have access to a cab to take me to and from work paid for by DWP under the Access to Work Scheme. I have recently started a new job (only 3 weeks) within a physio therapy centre however they do not have any disabled access. When I was offered an interview I noticed that the building only had stairs and prior to being offered the role, I did comment that I had mobility problems and that the stairs would be a problem for me. After being offered the position, I spoke to my Team Manager during the first week and informed her of the my mobility problems. She asked whether I would be able to manage and I said that I would see how it works out. Unfortunately I was unable to attend work the second week due to the pain in my back and mobility problems plus my cabs had not been arranged for me to get to and from work. The third week (21/12/15) I attended work and had a meeting with HR and my Line Manager. We discussed my mobility issues and they suggested that I was assessed by their in-house Occupational Therapist to see how they could assist me further, which I agreed to. On 22nd I was assessed by OT however unfortunately after examining me and getting me to undertake a few exercises eg. leg raises etc I was unable to walk and had to be assisted by the OT and his Manager into my usual cab. Due to this I have not been at work since. As the OT had to write a report, he said that it would be advisable for me not to go up and down the stairs often however at the moment I am working on reception and the offices and staff room are upstairs therefore it is unavoidable. He also suggested that I stand every half an hours to stretch my muscles. Although both myself and the company are aware that they need to make 'reasonable adjustments' there is not alot they can do. I am really considering my options here as when I am at home, although my mobility is an issue, I can get around and sometime do not use my crutches. However my symptoms worsen when I return to work due to having to climb up and down the stairs. This is of great concern to me as it feels like 10 steps forward and 10 steps back. Any suggestions, comments or advice would be welcome. I am due back in work tomorrow and do not know if I will be able to attend.
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