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  1. Hi, I have been looking at the various info in the various threads and was hoping that someone could confirm or even advise if I have got the process correct. Some 12 weeks ago I had an ATOS 'assessment' which was to move me over to ESA from Incapacity Benefit and have today been notified that I have been placed in the ESA WRAG Group. I know having read all the guides on filling in the forms that I would/should score 15 points on one condition alone thus meeting the Support Group criteria, so I now intend to seek a reassessment of the decision. So my steps should be: Phone and state that I wish to appeal the decision, request a copy of the Atos Assessment, a copy of the score sheet relating to the criteria I was judged on and a copy of the decision makers statement clarifying the reasons for the decision. Are these three separate documents ? The one part that I'm a bit confused about is the rates of benefit if I continue to the appeal and if they change from the moment I phone up to Appeal. Any advice is more than welcome. Thanks
  2. Hi, this is my first thread on here although I have been signed up for some time now and follow many of the threads and articles with interest and often finding extremely sound advice. Now I find myself in a position of needing specific advice for a problem of my own. First, a bit of background is needed to understand my situation. I started with my employer back before I needed to shave in June 1999 and remain with them to this day. However, in August 2000, I became seriously ill with a rare blood disorder that required very aggressive chemo threatment. I was off work for over three months, but finally, before the end of November 2000, I was able to return to my job. Over the following 7 - 8 years, I carried on working full time, although with many periods off work for chemo or serious flare ups of my illness. The company I work for have been amazing since day one, treating me fairly and with kindness throughout. Unfortunately, my conditioned continued to worsen with severe damage to my sinuses, short term memory loss, diabeties, seizures, sleeping problems, hearing loss and more. So in the October of 2008, a few months before the birth of my daughter, my employer suggested that I speak to my GP and hospital consultants about getting signed off on long term sick leave to give me a chance to recover. The GP and my consultants all agreed. I was, for the first time in my life, no longer working. My position with my company was, and remains to this day, open for me should my health improve to the point that I am able to return. Being off work meant that I was only paid the standard SSP amount although my company have been continuing to pay employee contibutions in to my pension fund. After a six month battle, the Job Centre Plus finally acknowledged that I as entitled to Incapacity Benefit, which meant with the SSP and some housing benefit and tax credit, I was able to afford the cost of living whist off work. Now, as of two days ago, the whole situation has changed. Following a 'fitness to work assessment' in May, I was then out of the blue sent a letter telling me that I WAS able to work, based on the decsion of someone who had not even heard of the name of my illness until that day and against the judgement of healthcare professionals, some having dealt with me for over a decade. I contacted them by phone to try and understand the reasons for the decsion. I was told that because I am able to walk up to 100 metres, lift an arm above my head, open my own post and climb a single flight of stairs unaided, that I was fit to work in at least some capacity. I tried to explain that it was only on the 'good days' in terms of health that I was able to do anything at all. The bad days, I am pretty much confinied to bed with even the simple task of getting to the toilet exhausting me but they seem unable or unwilling to grasp the concept. Effectively, I have been told that I have three options: 1. My employermake changes that mean I can do my job despite illness - impossible. As a sales rep, my job involves covering two counties which there is no way I can do when on the does of pain killers and other drugs that I have to take on a daily basis and the fact that I cannot tell from one day to the next if I will be well enough to come in and work for a set period, if at all. 2. Quit my job and apply for job seekers allowence. Basically, make myself intentionally unemployed, lose my ongoing pension payments and apply for jobs despite the fact that no one in their right mind is likely to consider employing a worker who cannot give them any indication at all of when they could work. And I would be gambling that the advisor I spoke to was correct in that an exception would be made in my situation if I were to quit, whereby they the 'intentional unemployment' would not be considered as such. I only have his word on that and nothing in writing to confirm it. 3. Carry on without the incapacity money and pray that I am able to live on such a drastic drop of household income with a family to support but with the knowledge that if I do get well enough, I have a job waiting and will continue to receive pension payments. I continue to have chemo at regular times throughout the year, I take tramadol or morphine 3 - 4 times a day to keep the pain under control alongside anti inflammitory medication, anti sickness tablets and antibiotics daily to compensate for the supressed immune system resulting from the chemo. On an average month, there are maybe 5 or 6 days at best that I can even function to anything like normal levels, with more days that I simply cannot function at all. None of which seems to have been taken in to account, despite being clearly stated in writing and at the assessment. I apologise for the rather lengthy comment but I am desperately in need of advice on how to proceed and understandably, very worried about my financial furture - all stress that I really don't need on top of everything else.
  3. Please help me; you could not make this one up. My tax code was changed twice last year 2013/2014 without notification from HMRC. I meant to ring them but was busy having obtained a newjob and forgot about the matter. I was recently sorting out a difficulty with tax credits and looking at my wage slips I remembered that I had meant to ring HMRC about my tax code.. I rang HMRC on 09/05/14 to find out why my tax code was changed and an HMRC adviser told me I had two underpayments of tax. One of them in the 2011/2012 tax year and the other in the 2012/2013 tax year, because I received Jobseekers Allowance inthese years. I asked the adviser to send me the P800 calculations because I had not received them, or a coding notice at the time of the code change, and I had also not received any Jobseekers allowance because my wife was working and we claimed working tax credits. I found work in 2011/2012. The adviser sent copies of the P800’s to me. I rang HMRC (30/05/14) having received the P800 copies and found out that the second underpayment was caused by an estimation of income. For this P800 calculation I have DWP correspondence proving I did not receive JSA. I told the adviser again that I had not received Jobseekers Allowance for 2011/2012 or 2012/2013 but had signed on as unemployed for a short time before starting a new job in 2012/2013. For the 2011/2012 calculation, however, the advisor told me they had P45 information from the DWP. I again told the adviser that I had not received any jobseekers allowance in either of the years and lost my rag slightly, cutting the call short before I said something I might regret. I never received my copy of that P45 information when I signed off either. It was then I remembered that in 1996 I made a claim for incapacity benefit. I received income support for this claim because DWP said I had not paid enough National Insurance Contributions to receive IB, although I believed I had. This was because the 1996 claim linked with another producing a continuous period of interruption of employment. A DWP adviser at the time told me that linking rules had changed. Later I found out that was a lie. Following the state's campaign of getting the sick back into work, in 2008 I had to register as unemployed, and in 04/ 2011 it was then that DWP realised that I had been entitled to Incapacity Benefit from 16/06/96 to 05/02/08 all along. Their letter to me said because of revised Inland Revenue records, so they paid the twelve years arrears as a lump sum less what I had received in income support for the period. DWP also paid me £100 in compensation for,”… such persistent error and over such a protracted period of time that it caused gross inconvenience in the pursuit of benefits, or pursuing a justified complaint about relevant matters…”. They apologised profusely and admitted that, “… dealings with the department, whether or not an error occurs, can often be frustrating and stressful.” No **** Sherlock! The changes in my tax code to pay back the alleged underpayment can only be because of this, as I had no other income that year other than the job that I started in November 2011. When HMRC added the mystery Jobseekers Allowance (IB ?) to my taxable wages for 2011/2012 it took me over my personal allowances and the alleged underpayment occurred, which they started to recover without telling me in January 2013. I received about £1450 in IB arrears and compensation but the relevant P800 calculation says I received £1995 inJobseekers Allowance. Can HMRC legally do this? I would never have paid tax on this benefit if it had been paid when it should have been because I never would have exceeded my allowances in any tax year from 15/06/96 to 05/02/08. DWP gave me £100 in compensation, for persistent and protracted error, and HMRC have taken nearly four times that from me, over what you could say is part of the same persistent error. I feel that the state has stolen from me. I earn just over the minimum wage and as far as I am concerned the IB payments represent income that should have been spread over twelve years. I could really do with the money back because I was assaulted just before Christmas, sustaining a nasty fracture with complications that I am still suffering from, and have been on SSP for 5months. Would someone please advise/help me? Although I have tried to do my own research I really do not know how to proceed. I am so angry, tired of trying not to get worn down and after having spent the last two weeks battling the working tax credits system my already medicated mental health is suffering again. I rang HMRC again today (02/06/14) and they say they can do what has been done. I feel that it isnot my fault that there has been a mismatch of DWP and Revenue NI records. If HMRC are allowed to do this it is ratherunfair. If the correct benefit had been paid in the first place then the lump sum arrears payment would not have been necessary and therefore no tax bill would have been generated. Many thanks for reading my post. I will be grateful forever and a day foranyone’s advice about my predicament with HMRC.
  4. Hello All I am need of wisdom to help me through the Incapacity Benefit to ESA migration. Back in January I filled in the huge ESA 50. Sent this off. Then I heard nothing until May when I was called into ATOS to have a medical. They kept me waiting some 40 minutes before I went into for the examination. The examination lasted some 50 minutes I waited a couple of weeks and then requested the ATOS report which I received. I heard nothing in writing and I kept telephoning and asking what was happening. Now some considerable time later I received a letter which stated that I had been migrated to ESA and I was to be placed in the work related group. I read it again and again and then I went through the ATOS report. This summerised that I had chronic illness's and unlikely to recover and unlikely to work in the next two years However I did note that the ATOS person had put I was capable of walking more than 100 metres without stopping etc. Thankfully I had my wife with me and at no point was this distance discussed. At no point did I say I could walk that far. I am furious. I wish I could do 10 - 20 metres without pain and shortness of breath. I am also being written to by 2 different DWP centres which is confusing things and I received a letter with a decision which was dated in the letter 30 days previous. I have asked the question why is that and also about the totally wrong and misleading distance recorded by ATOS I have followed telephone DWP advice and submitted a GL24 reference the date and the distance. How will this proceed now please sinkinghelp
  5. Hi everyone. this post is regarding the title. Having been in recepit of p/credit as of today,19/07/12 i have enquired as to if you can cancel i/benefit and receive p/credit in full. Yes you cancel i/benefit, but you are still liable for a medical test the same if you receive p/credit in full. The moral of this is it`s no short cut to avoid being selected for the ATOS medical. This dreadfull penny pinching goverment is against all law abiding citizens, penalising us for not being able to work at all. They sit in their ivory towers, thinking of their fabulous pensions to come,whilst making us suffer to the point of desperation. Just hang on in there and accept the test and see what the outcome is. The goverment states that a single person over 60 should not be expected to live on less than £140.00 p/wk, some joke eh. Either way we should not be worse off whether it be incapacity or pension credit. One word of warning though,if you claim p/credit in full, you will not receive N I contributions at all. Cheers, Askboy:|
  6. I am currently waiting for my Incapacity Benefit to ESA assessment - form submitted 4 weeks ago. However an old work friend has told me to apply for my RBS Bank pension on ill health grounds. I am 52 and I was aware I could apply for my pension early at 55 albeit a lower amount than at 60. I worked for the bank for nearly 26 years and I had to leave in 2005 on heath grounds. Anyway I have been told that at the banks discretion I might be able to apply for my pension now on ill heath grounds and that my pension that was a final salary scheme (currently classed as a deferred pension) and if successful pension is paid out as if you had worked and reached normal retirement age i.e. 60. If correct , this would mean I would be paid out more under ill health than if I just applied early when I reach 55. I know their are taxation issues but I am only claiming IB & DLA and no income support or other benefits - would take some pain and worry out of the whole ESA saga. Any advice would be appreciated Stig
  7. Hi people, I have just submitted a appeal to my ex employers dismissing me on incapacity. 1) I asked for a health and safety review to make sure I was still ok to work on. I was sent for a occupational health review instead (these are different? ) Work knew from day one I was disabled but refused to believe it. 2) They stopped me from working on medication I was taking prior to a operation based on the occupational health physician report.This was decided on medication I was taking, not on my medical problem. I have been taking the same medication with my immediate supervisors knowledge (they had not told higher authorities, who found out and then stopped me working). The medication can cause drowsiness and although it did not affect me at the time of taking it I was not allowed to work. I did not receive 10 days wages due to this (over £600). 3) I had a operation 10 days after this suspension. All was ok with company until 12 weeks after the operation. I was asked to go to a fitness for work medical with the same person as in point 1. I was not fit according to my GP and myself so I tried to cancel it. I was told I had to attend and I did. The person claimed I was fit and as a result of the report he claimed I was being factious and me SSP was stopped. (HMRC later told them to recommence after a investigation) I was still on sick, and submitting notes all this time. 4) I had to fight to get them to write to my GP and surgeons to prove I was telling the truth. They only wrote to 2/3 people I signed medical access forms for. Still on sick and 3rd surgeon decided to operate on me again as other operation in point 3 did not work. 5) They decided that unless I was back to work ASAP after the operation I would be retired on incapacity grounds. (Even though they still said they believed the person claiming I was factious) They said that as they did not beleive my sickness that they did not need to retrain me within company. 6) A partial surgery was performed in April 13, this is still causing me pain, and not full movement to my affected area but right now I would claim a 60% improvement on presurgery. 7) Fired on incapacity grounds. The HR person basically looked on their jobs website on the date of the meeting and said no to the jobs that he thought I could not do. This was all the vacancies he looked at, and no offer on retraining within the company. I had even gave them a vacancy I could do within the company that would require little training, which was refused. They have not followed their employment manual regarding procedure, basically did not believe my disability. Then when it suited them fired me. I realize they do not have to keep me employed, but surely following procedure is expected. They will only pay me for 3 weeks severance pay. But in a few days I will have been there 5 years. I am awaiting my appeal response. I was told in the letter firing me that it would be held by someone who has looked at a grievance I held with the company. I have told them no to this, so I am unsure if they will upheld the appeal or just throw it in the bin. Sorry for the long post but any help and advice would be welcome.
  8. I scored 0 points and have received Incapacity benefit for 5 years. I just got a sick note from the Dr's and I'm mailing off my appeal today, I note that it has now changed to ESA and that the standard letter with 0 points is common from the first review. usual stuff with the sounds of it, she asked me a bunch of questions about my mental health then when I got the report five months later (I got kicked off at the start of the year 2ndjan) it was well in all honesty a load of BS. She didnt note one of my symptoms, decided that I had imaginary anxeity etc and my dodgy thoughts were nothing to worry about. Is there anything I can do? I have seen a Citizens advice bloke at my doctors and he says taking a doctors report to the appeal should help. Oh will i get reduced rate while the appeal is ongoing or will i get paid same? Thanks for reading.
  9. Hi I need some help Ive claimed income based incapacity benefit for the last few years, recently I received a A! income support review from the benefit integrity department and it referred to my 'income support' Now a few weeks later Ive received a letter saying there has been a change to my 'income support' and the amount has been reduced to £71.00 which is the basic rate income support. What I dont understand is why do they keep referring to my incapacity benefit claim as income support? it seems they have mixed up the 2? I should be getting the full rate incapacity benefit like I have for the last few years David
  10. my boyfriend has been on incapacity benefit since breaking his back 16 years ago. He has not yet been assessed on ESA but if he moves in with me will he lose all benefit? I work fulltime. He is a proud man and it is destroying him to think he'd be totally reliant on me and can't can't support his daughter.
  11. Hi Many weeks ago now I got a letter and form asking for me to complete it saying I should be getting a phone call to discus my Incapacity benefit and the change over to esa, well this happened and I was told I would hear more after they had decided what needed to happen.. I am Disabled and in a wheelchair with ME & Fibromyalgia since '97 and bed ridden for many weeks at a time needing 24/7 including personal care. This I told them then weeks on from that I got a letter from my GP saying I had to make an appt for a form from the Benefits office to be completed by my GP.. We went through the form at length and he said that as I was in a wheelchair he couldn't see there being any problems with the claim, he didn't have to do a medical or anything like that just a chat about how my disability affected me on a daily basis and how much care I neeeded from my husband daily/nightly etc... We are now 4 weeks on from this and I still haven't heard anything, is this a normal amount of time or should I ring them up to discuss it? I am at a loss what to do for the best as I don't want to rock the boat if you know what I mean.. Many Thanks for your time in Reading this....
  12. Hi i'm new to the forums and hope I've posted in the right place, my problem is I've just failed an ATOS medical and have been told they are now taking my Incapacity Benefit off me. I was awarded this benefit about 8 years ago after an appeal and for 3 years and numerous queries told i don't get any extra money. Then out the blue I decided to phone again because i had an official form to fill in so needed to know for sure how much I received. DWP told me yes, you get Incapacity, no we haven't paid you it for 3yrs so I got 3 years backpay, then they took it off me, another appeal I got it back, once again no rise in my Income support, For the last 3 years they again have been saying NO I don't get Incapacity Benefit, It never shows up on any breakdowns they send me, but after the ATOS medical they are now taking it off me and are stopping all my Income Support as I won't get ESA. I get around £28.00 a week on top of my Income support (because you are sick or disabled) but was getting this anyway before the Incapacity, can anyone make sense of just where the Incapacity is, I never received any letters stating it was changing/stopped but should have an award letter somewhere.
  13. Hi there - I am looking to find out if this is possible? My husband has been on Incapacity Benefit for a number of years and in receipt of the low DLA. He is looking to start studying a degree part time. Would this interfere with his benefit and is this allowed? Thanks in advance!
  14. Hi, I am due a payment of Incapacity Benefit on the 23rd July, I have for some time though been receiving it a day early in my Post Office Card Account in my case on a Friday. Yesterday was different however so I called and asked if there was a problem with my payment to be told sorry it wasn't released for payment until Tuesday 17th July. My calculation of the BACS system would mean that I would still receive it yesterday or am I wrong and the DWP are right that I should get it on Monday. The person I spoke to at the DWP did not fill me with much hope when she said that I should get it Monday, I emphasise should and not definitely will. The other thing that the advisor said to me which seemed strange is that my payment looked like it had been released later than usual and that she had received calls from some people in a similar predicament. My problem is not that I have to wait until Monday but rather I don't know if I will receive the payment then. I wonder if there is anybody here that works for the DWP or knows how the payment system works who could give me a bit of advice as to how long it takes from a payment being released to crediting an account. Thanks.
  15. The number of incapacity claimants is set to be cut by up to a million as a result of tougher medical tests, means tests and re-examining existing recipients, a report has claimed today. The study by a Yorkshire university says that 600,000 people could be pushed out of the benefit system altogether by Government reforms which will lead to an increase in unemployment figures. Full story from the Yorkshire Post here :- http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/million_may_lose_incapacity_benefit_1_3947218#fibromyalgia
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