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Medical Time!


wishface
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Had to book my appointment with the dreaded Atos medical peeps today. For the 29th. I wanted it to coincide with the end of my sick note (September) since I don't see my GP renewing it anymore than I see myself passing the test. I've made my peace with that (it's the most practical way to proceed).

 

My problem is that I am REALLY dreading this. I suffer anxiety/stress as it is, and having to travel there and wait in a really rough environment (if the place is anything like my local jobcentre) is causing me serious strife. It's not even the medical itself, it's everything else around it. I don't have anyone that can go with me so I'll be there on my tod waiting...doubtless there appointments will be backed up (like most surgeries these days).

 

Is there any way I can get the arrangements changed, even if the appointment can't be. If the medical could be conducted at my village surgery that would be better.

 

Also what are the arrangements for the process (the lack of knowledge doesn't really help either). I gather you can appeal and still claim during the appeal process. But how long does it take for the decision to be made after the medical, do they write to you in advance of any cutoff point top allow you to make alternative arrangements (applying for JSA). How does that affect making an appeal, if they stop your money in the meantime.

 

Thanks in advance. This is really doing my head in as I'm sure all too many people here know.

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Also in my experience the medicals themselves were never overcrowded and all was quite civil. I was just shocked that the guy who told me not to bend because of the pain i was in wrote the opposite in the report.

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Wishface, please have a look at the link in my sticky. You see Atos, you score however many points they want to give you and if you don't get enough, you appeal to the DWP, using the procedure on their website.

 

If the Decision Maker upholds the number of points, then you go to a tribunal and it's best to attend. That's what most of the sticky is about.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks, but I'm not really concerned with the tribunal stage at this point. I'm curious about how the process of handling the decision is made, as I said. Are there breaks in the ESA payments if your medical fails and you choose to appeal?

 

Also what are my rights if I say I can't handle attending their medical centre. I don't mind the medical per se, it's the travelling and waiting around.

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Here's a link to the appeals page on Directgov. If you read down my sticky, it's in there.

 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/BeginnersGuideToBenefits/DG_10013949

 

You can request a home assessment if you have a qualifying condition. Loan Ranger posted the list yesterday, I think it was.

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
forgot the link.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Audio record the assessment without telling Atos you're even thinking about doing it.

 

Trust me - if you don't record it, you'll wish you had later on.

Not possible. I don't expect to win at all so it's really a moot point.

 

But my question is not being answered: how does the process work between medical and appeal. Do you get a letter a couple of weeks later saying we stopped your benefit from the date of the medical? What happens then if you appeal, do they restart it fromt he date of the appeal? What? This is what I'm trying to find out.

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You have your ATOSH assessment. DWP score it. 15 points and over you qualify for ESA. 14 points or less you don't. In the latter case DWP write to inform you that you do not qualify for ESA and stop your benefit. If you feel hard done by you appeal. As soon as DWP receive your appeal request ESA is reinstated at the assessment rate. You will need to continue sending [un]fit notes. DWP re-check their scoring. If they think they are wrong they amend if not pass the case to the Tribunals Service. You will receive correspondence from the TS about what to do next. This phase can take up to 9 months.

Best wishes

Rae

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IF I appeal, and subsequently ESA is restated (which i'm surprised the government haven't stopped since they are quick enough to stop payments permanetly for any other reason) is it backdated?

 

Also if an existing note covers the timeframe for the appeal, will they need to have a new note or will that cover it (the same as it would normally, presumably)?

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If your appeal is successfull, the ESA premiums will be backdated to the date the assessment phase (13 week) ended.

As far as I recall, you just keep sending [un]fit notes as usual until your appeal.

Best wishes

Rae

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Your benefit is not stopped from the date of the assessment but from the date of the letter that tells you you have failed.

 

If you win your appeal you do win your money back that you would have had over that period.

 

If you have an existing medical certificate it should cover you but you need to check with the benefits office to make sure. You cannot leave anything in trust of them if you see what I mean.

 

I know how you feel, it's scary. I am worried for my own future since this nightmare began for me in March this year.

 

I believe what I have said is true but others will advise I'm sure. Stick with us, we need each other.

 

dj

Benefits rules are complex, and although I do try to inform and support people, I may get it wrong because the rules apply to individual claimants and their particular circumstances.

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Hi Rae, you pipped me to the post as it were.

 

dj

Benefits rules are complex, and although I do try to inform and support people, I may get it wrong because the rules apply to individual claimants and their particular circumstances.

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Ok, but now i'm getting a slightly different message:

 

you seem to be saying that youdont' get money during the appeal; instead, if you win the appeal, it gets backdated.

 

Can I get some confirmation on this because I'm getting confused.

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Not possible. I don't expect to win at all so it's really a moot point.

 

But my question is not being answered: how does the process work between medical and appeal. Do you get a letter a couple of weeks later saying we stopped your benefit from the date of the medical? What happens then if you appeal, do they restart it fromt he date of the appeal? What? This is what I'm trying to find out.

 

 

 

If you can get access to a mobile with a half-decent audio record facility (borrow one?), it's sufficient to use that.

 

Why do you think you won't win? My point is that Atos will manipulate and twist the report that the DMs see. In my case, stuff was cited on my report, which related to things I never said, because I was never asked them! Unfortunately for them, I recorded the whole thing, so I know exactly what was said and what was not. The transcript of that session has already been drawn up for when I need to use it.

 

That's why I recommend recording the session (hide the recorder in a shirt pocket, or something) - because Atos WILL tell lies about you to suit their own agenda.

 

Your question regarding the process between medical and appeal - Kelcou accurately sums that one up in the post after ours.

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Yes you do get money during the appeal time. As Rae said, at the assessment rate of ESA (with your sick notes).

 

dj

Benefits rules are complex, and although I do try to inform and support people, I may get it wrong because the rules apply to individual claimants and their particular circumstances.

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You ring them up to say you are appealing and ask how you are to get money in the mean-time. They allow you to have ESA payments at the assessment rate up until the appeal.

 

I have heard of people claiming JSA in that period but I don't know why.

 

I'm actually an Incapacity Benefit case, they stopped it but I do get 80% of my IB until tribunal. £52 per week.

 

dj

 

dj

Benefits rules are complex, and although I do try to inform and support people, I may get it wrong because the rules apply to individual claimants and their particular circumstances.

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If you can get access to a mobile with a half-decent audio record facility (borrow one?), it's sufficient to use that.

 

Why do you think you won't win? My point is that Atos will manipulate and twist the report that the DMs see. In my case, stuff was cited on my report, which related to things I never said, because I was never asked them! Unfortunately for them, I recorded the whole thing, so I know exactly what was said and what was not. The transcript of that session has already been drawn up for when I need to use it.

 

That's why I recommend recording the session (hide the recorder in a shirt pocket, or something) - because Atos WILL tell lies about you to suit their own agenda.

 

Your question regarding the process between medical and appeal - Kelcou accurately sums that one up in the post after ours.

I don't have recording gear I can use. It doesn't really matter though. I don't think I'll win as a mixture of pragmatism and the fact that none of the descriptors really apply to my circumstances from what I can see. I don't see myself scoring anywhere near 15 points.

 

I don't really want to go back to claiming JSA - part of the reason i started claiming what was then IS (inliue of IB credits) was because of the stress I felt signing on at the time and being compelled onto the welfare provider scheme of the day (ran by a company called Careerfinder in a building too small that stank). I said to my GP at the time I wanted to get some help simultanously and not just claim benefit and sit back. But to date that help has been very lacking. I'm still waiting to hear back from one group and if I go back to JSA i know that will clash with my claim under the criteria of avilability for work. I had a similar issue when I said to them i wanted to do the ECDL, thinking they might be supportive.

 

I'm just looking at the situation realistically. of course if i pass I then will end up being sent to Working Links for the second time (saw them at the start of last year). They were equally hopeless. Either way it's a rather no-win situation given the way the system works.

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Just got the details through telling me they pay travel expenses into my bank account and not (unlike the JC) from petty cash on site. This doesn't help me at all, I can't afford to wait for that to be processed. Presumably they don't need to actually keep the bus ticket, only a facsimile.

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Not yet, just came through my door. Will contact them later. I am really not happy about giving my bank details to anyone, let alone this lot. Plus they also want proof of ID I don't have (though they are content to book appointments and tell me to attend).

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