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  1. Hi and thanks in advance. I have been absent from work for a while and have been diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety the depression has been related to a previous diagnosis and treatment for cancer. I have made some strides mentally and feel that I am now in a position to return to work and have been advised by supporting organisations that I should be entitled to certain reasonable adjustments. I have formally requested certain adjustments from my employer but they have all but declined my request and seem to be following their sickness process which does provide some short term adjustments e.g phased return. I had an appointment with OH and provided them with a supporting letter from my Psychologist along with a return to work plan detailing adjustments I had requested. During the appointment I got the feeling that the Occ Nurse was simply following what my employer deems as reasonable and her suggestions more or less mirrored their adjustments. I decided to retract my consent for the report to be sent to my employer until I had the opportunity to read it. They have now declined this request and simply stated that they don't have to show me a copy of the report before it is sent to my employer and that they would inform them that I had not consented to the report being sent. At no point during the call was I told of the consequences of retracting my consent. My questions are: 1) am I entitled to see a copy of the report before it is sent to my employer the session was carried out by a nurse. 2) I would have thought that Occ Health would assist with suggesting reasonable adjustments based on my disability and needs but there didn't seem to be any interest from nurse in this regard. How do I get medical support for the adjustments I feel will give me the best chance to return to work and be productive. I simply want to give my employer the opportunity to arrive at a fair decision based on my needs in line with any processes they have around treating disability in the work place. Many Thanks
  2. Hi folks, I'm new to the forum so please excuse any mistakes . My problem is re Incapacity Benefit changeover to ESA Support Group and Occupational Pension. I was medically retired from my job in January 2003 . Sometime between 2001 and 2003 my SSP from work ran out I went onto Incapacity Benefit (based on my Nat Ins contributions), initially short-term and progressed onto the Long-Term higher rate which I was on until Dec 2012 when I was transferred onto ESA Support group (Contribution based). I completed the ESA form and there was no section or questions on that form asking anything about any Income or Pensions, as many of you will know, that form is purely about your health I had previously informed the DWP in writing in 2003 that I had an Occupational Pension. I was awarded the ESA without any Assessment and put into the Support group (Contribution based). From Jan 2003 I began receiving an Occupational Pension from my previous employer . Also in 2003 I claimed DLA and was awarded the highest rate in both Care and Mobility, this was a long term indefinite award. When I claimed the Incapacity Benefit and then began receiving my Occupational Pension , I informed the DWP about the pension in writing and it was never taken into account (to my knowledge) as Income and did not affect my Incapacity Benefit and I never received any correspondence from DWP regarding this pension at any time. The pension in 2003 was around £60 per week and each year it has gone up by approx between £1.50 - £2 per wk. It is now £92 per week. I received a letter this week from DWP stating that from June 2013 I have been overpaid ESA because, I quote, I did not inform them that I had an Occupational Pension and they now want me to pay back nearly £500 so-called over payment. This letter is worded rather accusatory , one section for some obscure reason is in bold print stating ' You are now in a minority of people who have received money you are not entitled to' (!). The facts of the matter are, the DWP have known since 2003 that I have an Occupational Pension, as I informed them at that time and I assumed that when I and many other people were transferred onto ESA, it would still be the DWP dept that dealt with it, they would have records of my previous Incapacity Benefit claim and they would therefore KNOW already that I was receiving an Occupational Pension !. I realise that I am not covered under the DWP's Transitional Protection rule as my Incapacity Benefit claim began AFTER April 2001. But I have been reading up on this and think that I should still be 'exempt' from having my pension taken into account under PENSION DISREGARDS PRIOR TO ESA CONVERSION , where section 45465 states (1) If the claimant was entitled to Incapacity Benefit immediately before conversion (2) Incapacity Benefit was not reduced by pension because (2.1) Claimant got DLA Care at the highest rate (which I did). I am not positive about this and I also would have thought that DWP staff themselves would already be aware of this (but nothing they do surprises me). To add insult to injury, they want me to pay an extra £50 CIVIL PENALTY because they have decided that I was overpaid because I Negligently made an incorrect statement (WHEN !) or representation of information about my claim without reasonable excuse without taking steps to correct it !'. That's total nonsense as they have known for 14 years that I have a pension, they have never communicated with me about it in all that time or asked me to provide any info. It's unbelievable. It seems to me that SOMEONE at DWP has obviously 'discovered ' the pension info recently and I am expected to pay for their oversight/incompetence. Sorry this is so long-winded, I need to know if I am correct and I AM exempt before I type a letter to DWP stating my case and asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration stating that I believed I am exempt due to the fact that prior to the changeover to ESA I was in receipt of DLA Care at the highest rate . So PLEASE, if anyone can advise me on this I would eternally grateful. Thankyou in advance, Vix.
  3. Hi Guys, Please help I am so stressed and anxious and making myself sick. I have been on Incapacity Benefit since 1997, i was medically retired from the NHS. I cant remember exactly when i converted to ESA but was placed in ESA support group then when the 365 days were up (maybe a couple of years ago) they re assessed me to see if i was legible to continue, the outcome i believe was as i was in support group i would continue getting CR ESA. that carried on then in march i recieved a letter stating as i get £74.36 a week occupational pension x 2 I have one for £13.23 and one for £61.11 and that was to come out of my ESA. And that I may have been overpayed ESA. I looked up online about CR ESA and pension and it says that if you have extra money over £85 they would take 50% over the £85 as i get under that i assumed i was ok. I phoned in DWP in march and I asked them about this they then said I was on Both IR ESA and CR ESA so that rule doesnt apply to me. Then Today I have been sent a letter from DWP inviting me to an Interview under Caution about my ESA and my pension. can anyone advise me i am so nervous as far as i'm aware they new of my pensions as i sent them P60 in the past. please help. Regards
  4. Hi, I'm new to this forum. I have been off work with stress due since mid May and felt I was making good progress for a return to work. In early June I had a meeting with OH and in discussions we talked about a pilgrimage I was going on in Spain on 25/6/16. In their report to my employer this was recommended as a good thing for me to do in my build up to going back to work. At 5.07 pm on the 24th of June I received an email inviting me to attend an investigation along with a letter with the wrong address on it for the next week about the build up of why I was off sick. I tried to contact work and my union straight away but it was too late in the day for any phone answering. This threw me massively and I struggled to enjoy my sanctioned break as I was having to constantly check my emails for a new investigation meeting date. I received an email last Friday from HR telling me that she is now away for 2 weeks and it will occur on 20/7/16. Since then my mental health has deteriorated and I have been to my Doctor who feels that I am more poorly than before and has upped my medication and given me more Diazepam as I am suffering from panic attacks and my hands have begun to wobble quite frequently. I have been a full time member of teaching staff at a college for 8 years with a track record of outstanding observations. I no longer want to work at my place of work as I don't feel safe there. I have contacted my Union in order to get a settlement agreement and reference. I feel that my employer has failed in their duty of care for me. What are your opinions on this? Any advice or support is would be much appreciated. My emotions run from anger, betrayal, tears and fears for my future.
  5. Hello I have a occupational pension which I take out annually but the DWP then break it down into an income...the occ pension runs from October to October and I desperately need to take out this years one 2013 - 2014 before the cut off date on october the 3rd next week!! but Im very worried that the DWP and housing benefits will regard it as an income from the april to next april rather than and income from this october 13 - 14 and I will owe them loads of money for overpayments from april this year...I know it sounds confusing and no one seems to be able to answer my query can anybody help, Thanks .
  6. Hi All, Basically its like this. I work at a military establishment with a woman who is starting to drive me nuts, basically. She has obsessive compulsive disorder - don't get me wrong, I fully respect she has the condition but she's making my working life that much more unbearable. She's even confiding in a work colleague that she went to see a psychologist because she said that I stress her out at work and to hear that second hand from a work colleague was not too pleasant to be honest. I have had a problem with pen chewing and putting things in my mouth, chewing my nails etc. as far back as I can remember and there seems to be no signs of it letting up - despite my best efforts, I find myself relapsing and every now and again, which has become a bit more occasional of late, find a pen or something else in my mouth, be it my fingers for biting my nails or whatever. However whenever I have been at a workstation using the keyboard or been somewhere else and this is usually some while after I have bitten my nails, for example, then she is there cleaning the desk area and I am made to feel like a dirty person - don't get me wrong - I fully respect her condition but I'm being made to feel that I can't even put my hands near my mouth or pick up a pen in fear she's going to put in a complaint and I think that I am going to be on the receiving end of something unpleasant and the fact that she has a mental illness will work against me. Furthermore, she is rather cold toward me in the office and I feel the tensity in the office is going to reach a peak before long. We have been open and honest about our feelings in the office as well. I can't help what I do at the end of the day and as I explained, since I've been a nipper, its been a recurring problem for me. Can someone offer me some advice as to what the best solution is as I will not take kindly to an official complaint from my supervisor as I feel I've done little wrong and am trying hard to work on a problem I've had difficulty in resolving in the past. Regards
  7. Today I contacted the Pension Service to advise them of a change of circumstances and that we now receive an occupational pension payment every three months in arrears. The annual amount is only £360. This is paid quarterly in arrears so about £90 per quarter. They wanted to know the amount after tax. We get Pension Credit plus housing & council tax benefits so actual income is way less than the tax threshold so don't understand why they want to until we have had our first payment before they acknowledge change of circumstances? You try and do the right thing and end up being shot down! Please advsie.
  8. My daughter has been off work for the last 2 weeks with mental health problems. She was taken on at work with the employer knowing she did have bi-polar. The chief psychiatrist has said she needs a phased return to work through an occupational health therapist but when I rang the employer they said they did not have occ health and it would have to be managed through the HR Dept who have not been very empathetic through this time. It is a large employer. My question is does anyone know if she can demand Occupational Health or are the employer doing anything wrong not having one. The doctor insisted it was through Occ Health and not HR. Many thanks to anyone to who can help.
  9. My husband suffered an injury at work in October. He has been unable to work since and has recieved SSP which will run out this week.His employers (a public school) have not accepted liability for the accident and to be honest have been quite nasty. He works 3 days a week as a general maintenance man. He read somewhere that he could have holiday pay rather than SSP so he asked for 2 days from last year and 4 days accrued for this year. He received the following reply. Holiday entitlement can be requested at anytime during the holiday year but it is the employers decision when it can be taken. It would be quite unusual to pay holiday entitlement unless the contract has come to an end when we would of course factor in any accrued holiday not taken' Is this true? I cant see any reason for refusing other than making life difficult for us.
  10. Every year I receive a letter from the Job center plus asking for any details with regard to my Occupational Pensions as some of my benefit entailment is means tested and every year as per the letter give them wriiten permission all the details to contact my pension provider which in this case is a Local Government Pension as at the time of the letter I have no knowledge of the annual increase but I do reply with written permission for them to contact my pension provider along with all the information they would need . Last year I received at least 5 letters asking for the same information and this year the same number of requests and I also follow the letter up with a phone to the office dealing with this matter, but I have been called for a interview with the compliance officer at my local Job center as I was unable to attend the appointment on that day given so I contact the compliance person and discovered that they still wanted details of my pension for this year, I explained that they had all the details and if they wanted to they also had the permission to contact my pension provider, to which I was told that it was my job to give them the details, and it was not their job to contact them so why put on all the their letters a space for my permission to contact the pension provider .Apart from P60 and the copy of my annual pay advice and my written permission for contact the pension department what else can I do ,as the increase in my pension this year is the grand sum of £2.00 per month and I wonder how much all this work has cost them or us let alone the stress it has caused me, I am being to think have no ideal what they are doing is there anybody whom I can complain to stop this what is becoming months every year of stress.
  11. Sorry if i have posted in the wrong place but i'm desperate for help. Basically, my elderly parents (70 and 78 years old) have recieved a letter stating 'investigation for benefit fraud' and have to attend an interview next week. They are out of there minds worrying about it and racking their brains as to what its about. They both recieve Attendance Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Benefit. Nearly two years ago my brother moved into their house after leaving his wife, i believe my parents have not told the council that he is there as my father does'nt think they need telling. Possible problem no: 1. Possible problem no: 2, my father was left some inheritance about 18 months ago that i know is in excess of £17,000. My father thinks it could be the latter as i have explained that i'm sure there is a threshold in place that is set by the DWP. Unfortunately, my father was under the illusion that he was able to have this inheritance and that it did not have to be declared. He genuinely thought it wasnt a problem and now is so scared about what will happen to them. What we would like to know is whether they will lose their benefits, i.e, HB and CT and what about their Attendance Allowance? Also, we are scared that they will have to go down the legal route and appear in court, thus recieving a criminal record and ordered to pay back thousands leaving them hard up (the inheritance would be left for us and not spent by them). I would be ever so grateful for your advise on this. Thank you.
  12. Hi. Does anyone know how long it generally takes for an employer to arrange an occupational health visit? I have been off work with health problems and my employers have had all the info they requested - a GP report - to arrange an appointment for me with the Occupational Health dept since NOVEMBER. I feel they are being slippery. They don't answer emails until my union rep has sent at least 3, and the last time, they said they would deal with my directly and the visit would happen soon. That was 6 weeks ago, I have sent them 3 emails which they have not answered since then.
  13. Hi All, As this is my first time on here i am not sure if i have posted in the correct place...so MODS please move if needed. I sent a letter to a company called Cabot Financial requesting that they send me proof of Default Notice that has been marked on my credit file. The original debt was for the Clydesdale Bank where i went over my overdraft because i lost my job. I was unemployed for 7 months and couldnt repay, however, once i got a new job i repaid the amount in full. The value was for £1226. My issue is that the default is listed under Cabot and not the Clydesdale bank and i have NEVER received any default notice from Cabot. I requested that they send me this as i want to try and have this default removed from my account. The default date was 2 years ago. ..since then i have struggled to get any credit at all and i have to wait another 4 years (6 years of punichment is rediculous and the law should be changed). Anyway, i received the following letter back from them: "We acknowledge receipt of your request under section 77/78 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 ("CCA"). There is no need for us to provide a copy of your credit agreement under the CCA for Current Accounts and Overdraft Facilities, as Part V of the CCA does not apply to these types of accounts.The exclusion of Current Accounts falling into Part V of the CCA is set out in section 74(1)(b). I can confirm that your payment of £1226.00 received on 5 March 2012 settled the outstanding balance and the entry on your credit file should now show as "satisfied". With regards to your request for a copy of the original Default Notice, Cabot Credit Management, formerly the Cabot Financial Group ("Cabot") does not hold a copy of the same on file. For clarification, this notice was issued by Clydesdale Bank,theoriginallender prior to theregistration of the default entry with the credit reference agencies (“CRA’s”). For your information, I can confirm that the default entry was registered by Clydesdale Bank on 31 January 2011. Upon assignment of your account to Cabot, Clydesdale Bank removed their entry and this was replaced with an identical entry in our name. Furthermore, I can confirm that there is no requirement under the CCA for Cabot to provide you with a copy of your Default Notice. I note that you have also requested the Deed of Assignment. This document is confidential between the original lender and us and as such, is not available for disclosure. However the Notice of Assignment was originally sent to your postal address on 22 July 2011, which is sufficient evidence to justify our ownership of this account. I trust we have set out our position clearly. If you have any further queries in relation to the above account, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0845 026 0463. The Customer Assurance Department is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday." My query here is how can a company whom i get into debt with, place a default on my file, then remove it because the debt has been paid by an agency, then the agency places a default on my file when i have never had an agreement with them...surely this nulifys my obligation when they have paid the debt for me? Can they actually just go and replace a default with their own? I will be sending them a SAR for all information but i think i will come up against a brick wall again like this letter. Any advice?
  14. Hi, I really hope someone can offer me some advice please! First, a bit of background: I have a somewhat difficult relationship with management at my workplace, I think I am seen as 'trouble'. Partly because I have an illness that falls under disability rules so I have higher absence than they would like, but also because I successfully stuck up for myself when they have attacked me, with the result that many of my colleagues have asked me to attend disciplinary hearings with them and/or have joined the union that helped me. Recently there has been a bit of an undercurrent of 'niggling' at me - picking fault with my performance, falsely accusing me of making inappropriate comments,'accidentally' dismantling the adjustments to my desk so I have to find someone to help me reassemble them when I come in... low level stuff, but to me it feels like borderline harassment and it is unsettling and upsetting. Today I had to go and attend an occupational health assessment. The reason given in my 'invitation' to attend was a general 'so we can see how we can help you'. The reason given by occ health was 'to see whether you are fit to work early shifts again' (I currently do not work early shifts as a reasonable adjustment) but I think the real reason was to try and make trouble for me. This was my third OHS assessment and the third different company. The last two were pretty understanding and even helpful. This one took place in our office and was horrendous... At the time the appointment was arranged I had not had any absence since the previous September although I went off sick on Monday and so actually was off after all when I attended. What I have is a condition called bile acid malabsorption and an unspecified digestive disorder that may just be really disruptive IBS, but tests are still ongoing. But I get severe pain, bloating, chronic diarrhoea and acid reflux. And I also have a chronic anal fissure due to constant diarrhoea, which I have had several surgeries for but my surgeon says now cannot be considered for surgery until the underlying health issues are identified and treated. TMI, I know, sorry for having to share that. TBH I am getting a bit fed up of having to share it with more and more people every time my bosses fancy humiliating me. Anyway... Firstly, the occ health claimed I had said I was suffering from... well, I don't know what. I had literally never heard of whatever it was I am supposed to have said. So straight away she accused me of inventing a diagnosis. Then she asked me to tell her about the consultants I am attending with and what tests I had had, but kept interrupting me with the result that she didn't actually hear half of the medical history at all. At one point when I mentioned having an X-Ray she told me I was being ridiculous and that they wouldn't do an X-Ray for digestive issues, but I'm pretty sure it'll be on file somewhere...Then started telling me that if I hadn't had such-and-such a test then the consultant probably didn't really think there was anything wrong with me! She called the consultant's office at one point to question why the next appointment was so far off. At that point we discovered that a referral I was waiting for - to see a dietician - had not been made by my consultant, and his notes said I was going to ask my GP to refer me. So then she accused me of 'lying' about the referral. She discounted my symptoms, told me I was 'too fat' to have chronic diarrhoea, and said that in her opinion I just need to lose weight. I tried to explain that my weight has ballooned as a result of the illness as the fissure causes pain on exercise and because continence issues mean I am scared to walk. She ignored this and started to lecture me on a healthy diet. I tried pointing out that because of the bile acid malabsorption I had been on an ultra-low-fat diet until recently, but she ignored me. She told me that continence issues weren't relevant, partly because I had acknowledged that this has improved lately (it has, but that doesn't stop you worrying) and partly because I work in a friendly office. Like somehow it'd be okay to s**t myself in public because I get on okay with my co-workers?!?!?! She finished by telling me I needed to accept that illness is the way it is and make the best of things. Which is what I've been trying to do, attending work when I am in no fit state half the time and just trying to hang on to the smallest modicum of dignity and self-respect. Before I left she got me to fill in a form saying she could speak to my GP about me this afternoon. She said if I didn't sign I'd appear unco-operative and that might be held against me - as if I was a criminal!!! After I left I called and told my doctor why I'd signed and she said to call HR and withdraw my consent and that she would decline to speak to them. Anyhow, occ health reckons I'm okay to work mornings, she considers that it is no longer bad enough to constitute a disability and that she is reporting to my employer that I lied about diagnosis and about the dietician referral, even thought I didn't. Which is fine, whatever, I've got no energy left to fight it anymore. They've won, I guess. The union said they don't necessarily need the truth, as long as they've got a report that appears to back them up. I'll get booted out, and end up on benefits because who'd give me a job now? I just don't know what to do. Is there anything I can do at all? Many thanks for your help, and even for reading all of this.
  15. Hi Folks Not really a problem A member of the Hamster family is to start a new job. He has to have an Occupational Health Check. What does this entail? H
  16. My better half has had planned sick leave from her work as she had to have a back op. She is coming to the stage where she is nearly ready to return to her duties. I must add that she is very eager to return. The problem is that the GP and the consultant have advised that she have a phased return as she does not have full movement and her job involces a lot of bending and reaching up!! They have advised that she be seen by the firms occupational health department to assess exactly what she can and can't do and plan a phased and proper return to work plan. Her employers are disagreeing with this and say that she can do a sit down less strenuous job for 6 six weeks and then return to her normal duties. The thing is that no one knows whether she will be able to return fully to her normal duties (which she has been told is her employers expectation). She is of course worried that if she is not able to carry out her normal duties after the six weeks if this would make her vulnerable to dismissal because of not being able to do the work that she is employed to do. I would have thought that it would be in they're best interests that she have an occi health assessment and input before she goes back. Your advice will be much appreciated.
  17. If a line-manager refers you to see a Occupational Health "advisor/doctor/specialist", regarding a (potential) medical issue/restriction, can you insist on the gender of the "advisor/doctor/specialist"? i.e. If I'm male, can I insist on a male advisor/doctor/specialist, if I'd find it easier to talk to a male? If you can insist, what legislation exists? (Employment contract is silent on this issue)
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