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Fenris

Incapacity Benefit/Income Support Appeal

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Hi,

 

People on this forum seem to know quite a bit about quite a bit, so I was wondering if anyone has any advice on the following:

 

In December 2007 I started claiming Income Support due to severe depression. I did apply for Incapacity Benefit but was rejected on the grounds of having not paid enough NI stamps in the two years previous.

 

In July 2008 I had to go for a review. I saw a "doctor" (who works for the govenmnet; you can see where this is going!) who spent about 15 minutes asking me questions. I wasn't examined in any way and, as far as I know, there were no notes from my GP; just the form I had to fill in.

 

Now, other than the depression I also have a few other health problems; mainly I'm hard of hearing, have Restless Legs Syndrome and suffer IBS (something which is related to the depression). These were only briefly discussed.

 

In August 2008 I received a letter from Norwich Job Centre saying that I was no-longer entitled to Incapasity Benefit and that I should claim JSA. As there were, and still aren't, any jobs in my area (West Norfolk) and the main reason for my claiming IB/IS in the first place was because I was on the verge of comitting suicide because of the pressure I was under from the JSA to get a job, I decided to appeal. Meanwhile, Norwich Job Centre compeletly stopped my benefit money. How kind! As you can imagine, this did not help my depression one iota!

 

So, at this point I'm the lowest I've been in many years. I finally get to a tribunal in early October 2008 where I am subjected to harrassment of the worst kind. Another aledged doctor asks me how long I can stand at a bus stop for! I tell him that RLS occurs mainly in the evening and that, although affected whilst sitting down, doesn't really affect me whist standing, unless for long periods of time. He then asks me if I can stand at a sink to wash-up. This is pointless and frustrating questioning. He then moves on to my hearing problems. He asks me if I can hear him, which I can. I explain to him that I'm generally OK on a one-to-one basis as long as I can see the speakers lips. He then decides to treat me like a moron and covers his mouth whist talking to me! I'm hard of hearing, not stupid! Anyway, this continues and his questions become less and less relevent and he doesn't even start on my main reason for claiming IB/IS. After about 30 minutes of this interogation, I break down and have to run from the court room. I'm unable to go back in so the case is adjurned.

 

In the meantime, I have to contact my local MP because I've been living off my overdraft for 3 months. He writes to Norwich Job Centre and manages to acheive somethng I couldn't: a response! They say I'm entitled to benefit, but at a 20% reduction of the full amount which, at that time, was about £65 a week. I get a back-dated cheque early December 2008 for all the missed payments.

 

Now, in December 2008 I should have been moved to the long term sick catagory, thus bumping my benefit upto around £85.00 a week. As of now I'm still only getting the reduced rate of just over £51 a week which I'm stuggling to live on.

 

Long story short (too late!) the case keeps being put back and put back. I was supposed to go last Tuesday, but because they keep moving it I got my dates muddled up (thinking I should be going on the 23rd which was the date of the last appeal in June that they then moved to 21st July) and ended up missing it! I'm now rescheduled for 1st September.

 

My questions are these:

 

1) Even though I'm still in the appeals process, should I be receiving the reduced rate of the current long term sick benefit level of (as of now) £92 a week? Or are they within their rights to continue at the lower rate?

 

2) Is there any help I might be able to get with fighting this appeal? I've been to the Citizens Advice who were less than useful. I have a friend who is in the same boat and she was able to get an advocate from CAB, but it seems not to exsist where I live. I feel I need some legal advice because the Job Centre keep walking all over me!

 

I'm finding this whole thing extremely wearing and was ready to throw the proverbial towel in last week. They seem to think that drepression, a mental illness, is just "feeling a bit down" and that it's OK to pull someone's life appart in this mannor. I'm at the end of my teather so if anyone has any suggestions of how I should proceed I'd be most grateful!

 

Thanks in advance,

Fenris.

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hi hope your ok the tribunal 95% of the time will go with u they are independant people...that doctor sounded a right u know what....anyway im sure the tribunal would of picked up on him been very forward towards you...dont feel threatened i went to one on the 9th of this month it wasnt a doctor that turned up but a dwp representative anyway he did the same to me asked stupid outrageous questions...fort i had lost due to his arragance but turned out i won...dont know how but they do see them as idiots that go over the top with questions..

you deserve your entitlement until it is established what u will get and what rate..ring the dwp and explain that they cannot cut a benefit unless they have good stong grounds as to why they are changing them anyway.

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1) While an appeal is ongoing, you will be paid at the lower rate you are receiving. It's not really a question of whether they are "within their rights": this is what the law says they must do. If your appeal is successful, you will receive the backdated amount.

 

2) I agree with Emma1973 - I think you should seek legal advice, or at the very least, the help of a welfare rights adviser.

 

I'll clarify point number 1) here. If you think the DWP has wrongly applied the law in your case, you have every right to complain. And you certainly have the right to ask for a written statement of the reason why they reduced your benefit.

 

As kinkylee said, a high number of appeals are successful. But really, I strongly believe you should seek in-person advice from someone who knows the precise details of your case.


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Thanks for your responses.

 

The problem I have is that JC Norwich (who're dealing with this, despite the fact I live on the other side of Norfolk!) won't respond to my letters, so I gave up. The only reply I got was when I got my MP involved.

 

Furthermore, I don't know who to contact for advice, other than a solicitor and, as I'm only getting just over £51 a week, I can't afford one. I know they do half hour consultations for free, but it's going to take longer than that to sort this out I feel!

 

As for the lower rate, what I'm trying to find out is if I should be getting the 20% decution on £92 a week as that's what I should have been receiving from December '08.

 

I'll check out the links Emma provided, but it'd be interesting to know if any other member is/has been in this situation so I can see the wood for the trees! :)

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Furthermore, I don't know who to contact for advice, other than a solicitor and, as I'm only getting just over £51 a week, I can't afford one. I know they do half hour consultations for free, but it's going to take longer than that to sort this out I feel!

:)

 

 

Is Legal Aid not an option for you? Me and my partner are both on benefits and get legal aid, which has come in handy given the amount of times we've been in his office lol. If it's not then a welfare rights advisor may be the next best option. The missus has a tribunal on the 10th so I will certainly post the outcome.


Be good to yourself, when nobody else will

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Is Legal Aid not an option for you? Me and my partner are both on benefits and get legal aid, which has come in handy given the amount of times we've been in his office lol. If it's not then a welfare rights advisor may be the next best option. The missus has a tribunal on the 10th so I will certainly post the outcome.

 

Good question, to which the answer is, I don't know! I used a solicitor a few years ago during a legal wrangle with my ex-landlord (who was a... think of the worst swear-word you can and apply it! Kept letting himself in at all hours until I changed the locks. Not a nice man.) and tried for legal aid but was refused. Don't know why as I was on JSA at the time. But it might be worth a try. Thanks for mentioning it as I wouldn't have thought about it otherwise. :)

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If you are claiming Income Support on the grounds of an Incapacity Benefit appeal then you just get the hardship rate which at the moment is £51.45 if you are a single person,

 

I think you are talking about the disability premium, you get that when you have claimed IB for a year, but as you are claiming on an appeal this does not apply to you. Unfortunalety you stay at the same rate

 

But if you win your appeal you will get all arrears of the DP from when it was due to you and the arrears of the 20% they have taken out of your benefit while you appeal being sorted .

if you are getting DLA then you are entitled to the disability premium now

 

good luck with your appeal

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Thanks for the clarfication Mikey; I couldn't find any info on this anywhere. I suspect it's on one of the many govenment "information" websites, but they make it so difficult to find anything!

 

Anyway, I have an apointment with Law For All, a legal aid charity, on the 11th so I'll see what happens then.

 

Thanks again to everyone who's posted and I will post back sometime after the 11th with info of what happnens in the hope it'll help others in this horrible situation.

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Hi, im new here and not sure if this is the right place to post, but i hope someone can help.

I missed my medical for income support on Monday, because I couldn't face going into town where the medical was to take place. I have problems getting out of the house (Not because of any phisical prob)

I phoned the medical place to explain but i had to leave a msg on the answer machine, but theres no way i could explain why I'd missed it, so I left my number.

Anyway, I get a letter from jobcentre plus asking me why I'd missed the medical and if my reason isnt good enough, then they may stop my benefit.

Thing is I'm a very private person and theres no way I can explain the reason why I missed my medical in enough detail because i get too stressed out.

I've had my benefits stopped before for the same reason, I couldn't talk about things to the Doctor at the medical. I appealed and won, but the whole process is something I dont think I can handle again. I just don't know what to do to be honest, what are the chances I'll have my benefit stopped again? hope someone can give me some advice, thanks

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if Incapacity Benefit tell Income Support that you have failed to attend your medical then your Income Support is suspended and can be closed because you have no condition of entitlement

 

You cant claim I.S on the appeal rate on these grounds as your failed to attend your medical not actually failed the medical as happened the last time but this is differnet

 

 

You need to phome IB as soon as you can and tell them why you failed to turn up for the medical, this will then go to a decision maker, if they then accept your reasons all will be ok and your I S would be reopened and paid

 

is there anyone that can phone for you, you would have to be there to give your consent though for them to talk to IB on your behalf

 

or perhaps the CAB could help you, you wll have to make contact with IB as soon as possible if you can

 

you can write to IB with your reasons for not attending but this takes time, or phone them up and they will arrange an appointment for you at a local jobcentre who will fax your statement up, that would be quicker too

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE

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Thanks Mikey, Looks like I'm in for a whole lot of pain :-/

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I know its hard but please do try and ring them again and tell them why you didnt attend,

 

it they shut your claim and you have to claim ESA you will have to have a lot more medicals or interviews on that benefit

 

are you SDA or IB ?

 

it you are on SDA you can fail to attend two medicals before your IS is effected so you need not worry as much but if you are on IB then you need to contact them if possible

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Hi Mikey,

Im not sure which it is to be honest, im on income support with the disability premium, been on it for well over 5 years, but not sure if that makes it SDA

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oh yeah sent the form off this morning 1st class btw

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I think you would be IB credits only with I.S

the disability premium is due to you after a year,

 

hope they accept your reasons, sure they will, but if they dont ask for a reconsideration

good luck with everything

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I missed my first medical last year because I just couldn't face it. I wrote to them after the event and told them I'd been away. I know, little white lie and all, but I really didn't think I'd get away with, "I didn't attend because I was scared stiff"! Lol!

 

If you find it difficult to talk to people (and I can totally understand that. I've been to a few "councellors" who do nothing more than make me feel small and keep asking me how I feel. How do you think I feel?!) write a letter. I never talk to people on the phone if I can help it because I always get turned around and end up getting upset and often hysterical because no-one actually listens to what I'm saying. A letter means you can calmly put your point across and you don't need to become angry and upset. Besides a stamp is cheaper thana 10 minute phone call! Well, until RM bump the price up again.

 

Law For All tomorrow. Conviniently there are roadworks outside the estate (yes, you read it correctly, it's located on the chaviest (is that a word?), estate in King's Lynn. Oh, lucky me...) where LFA is located and I have no idea how to get to it. That'll set me up nicely when I arrive 20 minutes late because half the estate is being loaded onto a skip and I can't find the damn place and I'm sweating like a stuck pig!

 

Ahem... Anyway, will post to let people know what happens. Provided I can find it!

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Update: Well, that was a complete and utter waste of time. Saw a nice lady but she basically said there's nothing they can do to help. They don't go with their clients to the tribunal and, even if they did, they couldn't help me because it was too close to the date of the tribunal. She said she'd send me some paperwork to help prepare for the next hearing. Since I've already been to one I do know what to expect, so not sure what use the paperwork will be but I'll see when it arrives.

 

So, that's it; on me Jack again. Sorry folks, can't give you any advice other than to get legal advice as soon as you know you're going to a tribunal.

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Thanks for that Emma. I did look at Mind the other day but I can't see where to ask advice.

 

Anyway, I've contacted Rethink by e-mail to see if there's any advice they can give me. So we shall see.

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Here is my dealings with the DWP/ATOS and Appeals

 

 

I failed my medical in april due to some so called dwp doctor.

 

Anyways to cut a long story short, i have chronic depresion and anxiety and also bad psoriasis on my hands, They gave me 8 points for the mental health part of the test and my benefit was stopped without warning, 5 days after the payment date the letters came saying i was fit for work.

I phoned them up and they said that if i had a problem with the decision i had to appeal, so i did.

They have now put me onto ESA and i have to start all over again with my GP getting mecical notes and all the stress and anxiety i had when my GP first signed me on the sick.

I waited 8 weeks for a payment from ESA, and to top that the council had stopped housing benefit and i was getting a lot of stress from this due to them wanting rent paid ect, After 8 weeks HB/CT is sorted but i have been left in arrears of 10 weeks worth of water rates and getting hastle from this now.

I had a work focused interview yesterday, was very nervous but it was a in and out interview, See you in a month every month.

Yesterday my appeal paperwork came through, OMG it looks like they have had some ping pong between the DWP and ATOS, then i noticed near the end the DWP had send back my report to ATOS and it had been amended to suit.

4-5 things this DWP doctor wrote on the forms was scorred out and No problems put in its place.

So the DWP have not said they cannot make a decision and it is going to the Tribuneral.. This i am not looking forward to, I find it very hard to talk to people i dont know and get very nervous and shakey.

 

Anyways thats my story, i just wish i had got someone profecional to help me with the appeal and maybe i wouldnt have needed to go to the tribuneral

 

Skip

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Im in a similar situation.

 

I had a medical in april with some kind of assessor, not a doctor. She asked me a lot of basic questions and wanted very specific answers - what do I eat for breakfast, what specific TV programs do I watch, if I read and what genre of books I read, what time do I get dressed, can I use a mobile phone - that kind of thing. There was very little questioning into what problems my depression actually causes.

 

I explained that I have had several major breakdowns over the last few years as well, and that they usually last a month or so of me being in a black pit with another few months on top of that of recovery. Ive had these numerous times since 1997.

 

2 months later, I got my outcome letter and was shocked to see what score id gotten. I appealed immediately, and a few days later got back the actual Q&A form from my interview.

 

I was surprised to see the answers she'd given. Practically every question was answered by the same few answers with a few twists on what id actually said: he can use a mobile phone, he occasionally does his own shopping, he can prepare his own meals etc. Every question. I explained to her that I cannot lead a normal life due to the way my depression crushes me, but none of this was taken into consideration and I was judged on some very basic questions that have little to do with how depression effects people. I almost cried when I saw she had put that I simply had a mild self esteem problem and was fit to work. No mention of my breakdowns, no mention of the problems I have, nothing.

 

Ive now been off IB for a few months and have no income. Ive finally heard an appeal decision from the JC (theyre sticking with hers) and its now being sent to a tribunal. Im really worried about having to do this and scared im going to go into panic mode. Im already very depressed about the whole mess, and dont know what to do. I also have an appointment with the Shaw Trust that im worried about.

 

Im not sure if im entitled to IS while the appeal is going through or not. :Cry:

Im really worried about the whole situation and its sent me back into a black hole of self doubt and anxiety. I have a horrible feeling im going to get rejected again and have to live off my parents; if I lose, it makes no difference, I still wont be able to work.

 

What are my options? :Cry:

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Im in a similar situation.

 

I had a medical in april with some kind of assessor, not a doctor. She asked me a lot of basic questions and wanted very specific answers - what do I eat for breakfast, what specific TV programs do I watch, if I read and what genre of books I read, what time do I get dressed, can I use a mobile phone - that kind of thing. There was very little questioning into what problems my depression actually causes.

 

I explained that I have had several major breakdowns over the last few years as well, and that they usually last a month or so of me being in a black pit with another few months on top of that of recovery. Ive had these numerous times since 1997.

 

2 months later, I got my outcome letter and was shocked to see what score id gotten. I appealed immediately, and a few days later got back the actual Q&A form from my interview.

 

I was surprised to see the answers she'd given. Practically every question was answered by the same few answers with a few twists on what id actually said: he can use a mobile phone, he occasionally does his own shopping, he can prepare his own meals etc. Every question. I explained to her that I cannot lead a normal life due to the way my depression crushes me, but none of this was taken into consideration and I was judged on some very basic questions that have little to do with how depression effects people. I almost cried when I saw she had put that I simply had a mild self esteem problem and was fit to work. No mention of my breakdowns, no mention of the problems I have, nothing.

 

Ive now been off IB for a few months and have no income. Ive finally heard an appeal decision from the JC (theyre sticking with hers) and its now being sent to a tribunal. Im really worried about having to do this and scared im going to go into panic mode. Im already very depressed about the whole mess, and dont know what to do. I also have an appointment with the Shaw Trust that im worried about.

 

Im not sure if im entitled to IS while the appeal is going through or not. :Cry:

Im really worried about the whole situation and its sent me back into a black hole of self doubt and anxiety. I have a horrible feeling im going to get rejected again and have to live off my parents; if I lose, it makes no difference, I still wont be able to work.

 

What are my options? :Cry:

 

The DWP should have put you onto a lower rate of IS/IB, thats what i have been told this week.

When the DWP stopped my benefits they put me onto ESA, which i am still on at the moment..

My advice would be to get advice from the CAB asap and also tell your doctor about this

 

Telephone the DWP up and ask if they can reinstate ur benefit at the reduced rate or make a new claim for ESA.... You will need to send in Medical Notes again for ESA

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They put you on esa without you asking first?

 

Or did you have to find out your options (yourself) then apply?


Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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They didnt mention anything, I had to ask what benefit i caould claim while my appeal was under way.

They said i could either claim JSA and look for work or ESA with medical evidance of being unfit for work

 

I wasnt untill my father told me from the local CAB that the DWP should have put me on a reduced rate of IS/IB untill the appeal was concluded

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