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DWP maladministration


Aurora82
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My boyfriend suffers from depression and has tried to kill himself twice. He stopped taking his medication as he felt this was exacerbating the situation. He has been for CBT and is making slow progress but he still suffers from insomnia and anxiety and although his therapist is happy with his progress, he concedes he would struggle with work.

 

Yet in December, the DWP reviewed my boyfriend's claim, sent out a medical officer, who sat with us for 10 minutes, didn't listen to us and as a result, his Incapacity Benefit was stopped in January and he is still waiting on the result of an appeal 5 months later. He has not been able to claim anything, and we're living off my wage, but can barely afford the rent (which we are struggling with as HB and Council Tax Benefit has also been stopped because his qualifying benefits are suspended).

 

At first DWP told us to claim Income Support, then said that was wrong and he should instead be claiming ESA. So he put in a claim for that which was rejected and he was again advised to apply for Income Support. We're still chasing the appeal, and the DWP are doing nothing but passing the buck.

 

The whole situation's setting my boyfriend back and he went to see his doctor for help. The doctor told him that there was nothing he could do, and showed him a note on his file from the DWP instructing the GP to take no action as my boyfriend was the subject of an investigation!?

 

I appreciate they can deny him money, but to prevent him from seeking medical help??? I'm disgusted by the whole thing. How can the DWP dictate that a Medical Officer is more qualified to comment on my boyfriend's mental state than his own GP? I understand they need to be impartial, but the report totally contradicted everything that was discussed. Its like looking at another person's report.

 

 

I'm taking this to the public service ombudsman, but wondered if anyone else had experienced this?

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The DWP cannot prevent your boyfriend from seeking medical help. If his GP is suggesting this, he or she is confused. But this is somewhat understandable because:

 

This problem has arisen recently in relation to ESA claims. The DWP (full disclosure: my employer) has been sending out letters to GPs informing them that a customer has been found to have no LCW (Limited Capability for Work) and GPs have interpreted that as an instruction to them that they should issue no further medical certificates. This is not correct. The DWP does not have the power to tell a GP not to write sick lines.

 

And they absolutely, 100%, do not have the power to tell a GP not to treat a patient.

 

One final thing - from what you've said, your boyfriend is not "subject to an investigation". That would imply that he had done something fraudulent. He's simply a benefit claimant who is appealing a decision, something he is entirely within his legal rights to do. The wording of these letters (like the one received by his GP) is unfortunate, and if I had the power to change that wording I would, if only because it causes me and my fellow BDOs so many headaches.

 

Usual disclaimer: I am a Benefit Officer for ESA, but I have no access to your boyfriend's files, and can only give general advice. I don't work with IS or IB, and don't know all of their rules.

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The wording of these letters (like the one received by his GP) is unfortunate, and if I had the power to change that wording I would, if only because it causes me and my fellow BDOs so many headaches.

 

Agree with that, some of us get the ear bashing before others.

 

@ OP

 

Has your boyfriend received any paperwork in relation to the appeal? Why was his claim to ESA disallowed?

 

With the large number of ESA claimants failing the WCA and being found to have no LCW, there has been a large increase in the number of appeals (no surprise) which has impacted on the Appeals Tribunal Service who now have a massive backlog of appeals to process. Some appeals are taking 6 months before they are heard.

The advice I give in relation to benefits should be viewed as general advice and not specific to your individual claim circumstances. I cannot give specific advice on your claim as I cannot access the claim.

 

If you find the advice useful please click on my scales.

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Apply for Income Support: Reduced rate; while waiting for the appeal.

 

Write to DWP and get all forms that your BF had filled in also get a copy of the original Medical report & translation texts.

Andrew

ASI Industries = As i in does tries!

 

As i in does tries!: My definition.

I will try, i may never succeed in the goal, but at least by trying i have a greater chance of success than never trying at all!

 My opinions are my own & occasionally may offend, but it is not my intention to cause offence in the first place!

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