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    • Hi there,    I have had a little read of the forums and I'd be grateful for any advice or recommendation on this matter as to be honest my head is in a total spin and I can't think clearly.   About 6 weeks back I got caught using my grandmother's freedom pass. I was massively struggling financially and desperate for a job. I was obsessed with getting a job to the point I thought of little else. I have autism and have been suffering with anxiety and depression also. To be transparent, I haven't had a 'clear head' in a while and lack a bit of an understanding of the bigger picture at times. When I used the pass, I genuinely thought it'd save me money getting to the interview (I had about £10 to my name and just was petrified about my life prospects) and put the pass back at my grandmother's and there would be minimal issues. I knew you could get prosecuted for not having the right ticket and knew I shouldn't have done it but I didn't actually understand what that entailed, if that makes sense?   I was caught on the way to interview and crumbled apart completely. As I was approached I panicked and attempted to produce a card I hadn't used. Safe to say the experienced inspector saw through that and once that happened I confessed to it not being my card and it being that of my grandmother's. I explained that I'd been made redundant in the summer and that I've always had a hard time finding jobs. I said I used the card because of my poor finances and that I just wanted to try and get the job and everything would get better after that.    He took my statement, cautioned me and I honestly don't remember the rest as I felt completely emotionally overwhelmed. Amazingly I did get the job and started the next day. Shaken up by what happened, I have consistently used my own oyster card since, eventually confessing my poor finances to my family who agreed to help me through the first pay day. Days later I received a letter from TfL which asked me to provide any mitigating reasons for them not to pursue prosecution. I accepted that what I had done was wrong, apologised profusely and promised to never do it again. I explained everything about my consistent struggle with employment, how I would lose my job if I was to be convicted, and that I only now understand the consequences of Freedom Pass misuse. I also described in detail my poor mental health and how it was worsening since the incident. I submitted this letter and received a response through email from one of the prosecutors who asked for further evidence of the mental health conditions and disability I was alluding to. This was towards the end of last month. I panicked and just didn't know how to reply, but I have since requested my medical records which I haven't got back yet. My anxiety and depression has gotten much worse, I was signed off sick from the new job i got, then subsequently let go from this job because of my sickness. I was prescribed medication not long after the initial incident and will be getting a higher dose soon. I am having constant panic attacks as I am terrified for my future life prospects. I struggle already finding and keeping a job because of my disability and coping with depression. I just feel a criminal conviction will be one barrier too many for me to find anything. My previous roles and work have all centred about some law and some finance which required Enhanced background checks. I emailed the prosector team member who emailed me all of this info and also explained that my anxiety over this incident had caused me to be off work sick and that I had subsequently lost my employment. I mentioned that I was remorseful and apologised again, and offered to pay a fine that TfL felt appropriate along with any other fees necessary in order to settle out of court. I said I have requested medical records and asked if there was a deadline to submit further evidence. I heard nothing back. Today I received a single justice procedure notice for entering 'a compulsory ticket area without having with him a valid ticket'. it's clear they intend to go on and prosecute me and i feel sick and cannot sleep even though I'm utterly sleep deprived.   The statement given by the RCI is in my opinion fair and accurate, I have no qualms there.  From what I can make out from the paperwork, it's the £4.90 that's in dispute (the cash value of the fare) which I've gotten from the RCI's statement and there's a mention of a fine (which would be reduced up to 33 % if I plead guilty) costs (mentioned as a 225 contribution) compensation (mentioned as £0.00) and victim surcharge with no value mentioned. I honestly feel my life is in ruins worrying about this and thinking about how bad things would be with a conviction. Sorry for the too much info but I feel like I'm very much at the edge at the moment. I know it may seem like my health getting so bad is an overreaction to the incident but I think that is the impact of my autism (I have a tendency to over worry and obsess) and my depression. I honestly can't think straight and the reason for my post is because I do need some direction in how to respond to this? I received a decent tax rebate at the end of october as well as full wages from my last job and would be in a position to pay. I just can't take the conviction hit.  Any ideas on my next steps, I still haven't sent further evidence as I'm still gathering it but should I start there? I have 21 days to enter a plea. I'm still awaiting my medical records but have a picture of my prescription, my 'fit note' which signed me off work, and have screenshots from my tfl account that show that I have been using my own oyster account since (Although now being out of work and most of the time find it hard to leave the house - these journeys are sporadic). I haven't consulted my doctor fully about why my health has gotten worse but I may talk to her in the hope that she may also write a letter if this would be helpful?   Apologies for the novel and again, any help, advice, and kind words would be appreciated. I recognise what I did was wrong but I am desperate to not pay for it for years and years to come.  
    • Send them an sar then threaten them with the ico if they dont remove it.
    • Please will you send the utilities company a subject access request. Do it tomorrow. Don't hang around. You will need this information to make any headway.   Secondary, you have posted quite an extensive story in a solid block of text and this is very difficult for people to follow. It discourages people who might otherwise be prepared to give you very useful support and advice. please would you avoid posting your stories or your responses in solid blocks of text. They need to be properly punctuated and spaced and generally speaking presented in a way that you would yourself like to have them presented to you if you were going to to help out on the thread.    
    • I think that he is trying to imitate Delboy Trotter.
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im really confued as i didnt attend the medical but sent off a form explaining why , i then recieved a letter back saying :"we have looked at your reasons for not attending a decision maker says you are capable of work from the 15.04.2010 " (this box was ticked)

then underneath is says "this means we have decided that you are no longer entilted to which were :

 

Box One : Incapacity Benefit And National Insurance Credits

Box Two : Severe Disablement Allowance

Box Three : National Insurance Credits

The Box They Ticked For Me Were Just

:

The 3rd One "National Insurance Credits"

This is the only box ticked so i dont understand am i losing my incapacity and servere disability allowance

cos it says first "u are capable of work from the 24.04.2010

but then says this means we have decided that you are no longer entitled to national insurance credits !

 

Im confused as i claim incapacity and servere but these boxes werent ticked

so what do they mean im no longer entitled to national credits ?

im worried if they mean that ill no longer get any benefits

anyone plz help me thanks in advance

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Hello there. I'm sure someone will be along later to advise you on appealing, etc. This sounds awful for you and I understand how it feels.

 

Are you able to tell us why you didn't attend the 'medical' please>

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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hi

i dont leave the house , my doctor has me down as agrophobic , i lost a partner due to a motorcycle accident and its sparked off many things im just paranoid 24/7 that ill lose someone else and the outside world isnt what i must have thought it was ,i couldnt go to a medical (i never have) the journey would be a nightmare , and i dont talk properly i get panic attacks and i look and act pathetic , inside im telling myself "u look stupid pull yourself together etc" but it doesnt work i work myself into a frenzy ,

 

so is it defiantly that they have stopped all benefits ?

why didnt they tick the incapacity benefit box ?

why did they just tick the box that says "You are no longer entitled to National insurance credits"

 

its confusing

thanks

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ive just rang them now and they said they werent happy with my "excuse" for not attending the medical and have stopped my claim , they gave me a new number to make a claim , but they said they cannot as my claim is still on there system as live ,

so i went back through to incapacity benefit and they are sending me the appeals letter , the income support section said that they cannot make a payment (lower income support until decision has been made) until they see the appeals parton the system

im agraphobic ive told them that my doctor said for them to get in touch with him if they need to i dont know what else to do :(

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Feeling you cannot leave the house is a horrible conditon and I dont feel they take mental health problems seriously. I suppose its because a person could try and blag this as an excuse, why they would want to and have that label, is not something a person with this condition could understand, its horrible.

 

I understand how distressed this must make you feel, there are some good advisors on here who will answer.

 

I am the same as you and dont know untill the last minute wether I will get out the door, its almost a kamikazi type mission and if get to apointments I come accross a prat due to panic, or feel I do.

 

They can under certain circumstances do these medicals at home.

 

Their attitude is wrong, you should remind them its not an excuse but a disabling condition and feel agrieved they dont take it seriously.

 

Hope some good advice comes along how to get such further medicals at home. I am lucky I got to an work focused interview recently but after a minute they sent me home, they said they could see all they needed:confused: Dont know wether thats good or not:D But they said they respect how I am at the moment.

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hi

thank you for your reply , its nice to hear that others actually know what i am on about , i managed to get to my doctors once and there was a stand in doctor because my doctor was ill , i got myself in such a panic she took my blood pressure (which had rocketed) kept on at me about how worried she was that it was so high , i lost it and shouted "i need to get out of here , the reason my blood pressure is high because look at my notes ,they are right there on your screen !!"

my heart was thumping , i couldnt breathe and said some rather nasty words to her (of which i am so ashamed of because she clearly did not deserve such treatment from myself) and i walked out sobbing ,

 

im ok in my own routine , i even will go to my adoptive mothers house (a few doors away) now and again , or sometimes walk on the field with my dog but thats it ,

but when its an appointment and i "have" to be there i feel control has gone , i feel safe in my enviroment and that is my house ,

i hope this gets sorted out

and thank you ever so much for your reply

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Judging from the details you have given about how your condition affects you it might be fair to say that your ability to understand would have been impaired by severe stress and anxiety.

At some stage of the process before the medical appointment you would have been asked to tell them if there was any health reasons preventing you from attending. This might well have been on the ATOS letter informing you of the medical centre and date to attend (if my memory serves me). I would not be surprised if you either missed reading or understanding the question. Therefore I recommend that you appeal and give these reasons.


I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/127741-benefits-advice.html"]see this post[/URL] by Joa, great advice and links! I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.

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Hello again. I agree with Loopinlouie that a medical at home is the way to go and hope they will see sense about this.

 

Is there a charity that supports people with your problem? Many charities are very upset about the Atos system and I just wondered if there could be any support there?

 

My best, HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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when they sent me an appointment out i rang them and said about my condition etc and got told "sorry we do not do home visits anymore you will have to make an appointment or your benefits will stop" so i made one and asked my GP what to do and he told me to tell them to contact them if they needed to , they wouldnt have none of it on the phone they just kept on saying i HAD to make an appointment , they make me feel like some silly 18yr old , im 33 yrs old and like the person who replied said "its not something someone wants to be tagged as"

my money is due this week i asked what should i do and they said they cant do nothing until the appeal form has been sent in , and then i have to do a new claim ,

im sitting with my laptop with this appeal form i downloaded from the jobcenter internet site and i dont know what to say to them ,

im so confused ,

and thank you all for being so kind and taking time out to reply , you dont understand how much it means to people who need your help THANK YOU

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I'm sorry I can't advise you further, but I'm sure someone will. The swines.

 

HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I know you have trouble going out, so wondered wether a call to welfare rights and conversation with advisor would allow them to ring the relevant dept on your behalf and request at home medical and help with appeal. Wonder if any helpers are able to come to someones address, they used to.

 

They normally prefer to help at their office, but know I a few times panicked have been calmed down by the advisor dealing with me by phone.

 

Worth a try.xx

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hi

i dont leave the house , my doctor has me down as agrophobic , i lost a partner due to a motorcycle accident and its sparked off many things im just paranoid 24/7 that ill lose someone else and the outside world isnt what i must have thought it was ,i couldnt go to a medical (i never have) the journey would be a nightmare , and i dont talk properly i get panic attacks and i look and act pathetic , inside im telling myself "u look stupid pull yourself together etc" but it doesnt work i work myself into a frenzy ,

 

so is it defiantly that they have stopped all benefits ?

why didnt they tick the incapacity benefit box ?

why did they just tick the box that says "You are no longer entitled to National insurance credits"

 

its confusing

thanks

 

 

Firstly as you've already found out yourself, your reasons for not attending the medical have not been accepted & your claim for Incapacity Benefit & probably Income Support (see below) have been disallowed. If you disagree with this decision then you need to appeal against it. Give the DWP another ring & ask for a GL24 leaflet. From what you've put about your illness, could you get a doctor, specialist or advisor etc to provide you with something to back you up? (& I don't mean just another sick note)

 

As for why they've ticked the National Insurance Credits box. Unless they've ticked the wrong box I think you'll find you have not been receiving payment Incapacity Benefit (IB), just National Insurance Credits. IB is a contribution based benefit & if you had not paid enough contributions in the 2 tax years prior to your claim, then you won't have been paid it.

 

Instead you will have been receiving Income Support (IS). IS is a means tested benefit & being on IB is one of the qualifying conditions.

 

You mention both IB & Severe Disability Allowance (SDA). SDA is an old benefit that is administered by the IB section. You cannot receive both IB & SDA together. Do you mean the severe disability premium? If so this is an extra component of IS & is paid to those who are long term sick.

 

As your IB has been disallowed then your IS will stop as well. If you appeal against the disallowance then you can receive IS at a reduced rate whilst the appeal is on going.

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im really confued as i didnt attend the medical but sent off a form explaining why , i then recieved a letter back saying :"we have looked at your reasons for not attending a decision maker says you are capable of work from the 15.04.2010 " (this box was ticked)

then underneath is says "this means we have decided that you are no longer entilted to which were :

 

Box One : Incapacity Benefit And National Insurance Credits

Box Two : Severe Disablement Allowance

Box Three : National Insurance Credits

The Box They Ticked For Me Were Just

:

The 3rd One "National Insurance Credits"

This is the only box ticked so i dont understand am i losing my incapacity and servere disability allowance

cos it says first "u are capable of work from the 24.04.2010

but then says this means we have decided that you are no longer entitled to national insurance credits !

 

Im confused as i claim incapacity and servere but these boxes werent ticked

so what do they mean im no longer entitled to national credits ?

im worried if they mean that ill no longer get any benefits

anyone plz help me thanks in advance

 

 

Hi

you have had some excellent advice already :)

but there is a difference of failing to attend your medical and failing your medical.

You have stated that you didnt go and IB have not accepted your reasons why you didnt attend.

You must has Jabba states appeal against this straight away to get this overturned if possible, but unfortunately whilst they are considering this you CANNOT get your I.S at the reduced rate.

You can get the reduced rate of I.S only on appeal against failing the PCA.

That is a different thing altogether.

I am sorry to have to tell you this but you will not get any IS untill they accept your reasons for not attending.

Jabba has offered good advice you need to get some back up to explain why you didnt go,

IB then can reconsider and when they have your I.S should be put into payment again with a new date given for your medical.

Good luck

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unfortunately whilst they are considering this you CANNOT get your I.S at the reduced rate.

You can get the reduced rate of I.S only on appeal against failing the PCA.

 

Yep well spotted, my bad advice. It's amazing how much you forget when you are not involved with one particular benefit for a couple of years.

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They only ticked that National Insurance Credits box on my letter as well.

 

I did know it was a mistake because it's exactly what I expect from them.

 

Incompetence and uncaring stupidity.


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 banksarggg,

 

after reading your problem I felt instant sympathy for you. I am in a very similar position at the moment. I have mental health issues, and couldn't attent the work focused interviews required when you are receiving ESA. I find it very difficult to leave the house alone, and was told by the JC that this wasn't an acceptable reason for not attending. To cut a long story short, I am waiting for the "decision maker" to decide my fate and tell me whether or not I am ill enough to receive enough money to live on.

 

Just like you and Loopinlouie, I never know from day to day whether I will actually manage to leave my house without the criplling fear, intense nausea, hot flashes, dizziness and intense paranoia (to name but a few). There seems to be a huge misunderstanding of mental health issues in general, but when it comes to the benefite system and ATOS in particular, its a b****y nightmare.

 

You have come to the right place for support. You will get some great advice here. Please don't ever think yourself pathetic, or tell yourself that you should just pull yourself together. You have a genuine and life affecting illness, that you have no control over. What ATOS and the DWP are doing to you is not your fault, and you are not alone.

 

Keep your spirits up and dont let the b*****s get you down.

 

Hugs and best wishes, Squeezyweezy xx :)

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Quite so, squeezyweezy. Don't get mad, get even.

 

HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has replied , you all have made me feel a lot better as i dont have any family and because of the way i live my life , i have very few friends , ive felt completly alone and didnt want to discuss it with the friends i do have as i dont like to bring anyone down with my problems ,

i didnt wait for them to send me the leaflet GL24 i downloaded it printed it off and sent it yesterday ,hopefully they will have it today , i put down asking if they would look at there decision again and said i was sorry and that maybe i didnt explain my reasons fully to them and then wrote out as much info as possible as to why i didnt attend , i also pointed out to them that when i know ive panicked before ive left the house , i know not to go further with any plans on that specific day and thats not on a whim i make that decision i make the decision i feel is best at that time , and also it would not be fair on there staff to have to deal with me in such a way as i tend to come across as aggressive and that i am ashamful of etc etc

 

i hope it doesnt go to the appeal im praying they will change there decision ,if they dont ill go straight to the appeal

 

i feel for others going through all this , as someone has pointed out we dont want to be like this , id love to go out and be "normal" .

 

THANK YOU all x

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Fingers crossed for you. Please let us know how it goes.

 

HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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hi new to the forum but i joined specificly to reply to this thread

 

i suffer from the same condition and was refused benefits for the same reason

 

i appealed and won my case but it took nearly 6 months

 

when you fill your forms in ,request a home examination and get a letter off your gp supporting the request, also look on the internet for a local disability support group who will help you fill out your forms and help with any appeals and problems that might pop up

 

it is a terrible condition and a lot of people treat it as a joke they have no idea just how crushing and life altering it can be,the fact that your at the appeals stage is still nothing to worry about you do not have to attend the appeal ,mine actualy took place in my home,3 panel members a clerk and my own representative attended,they went out and sat in there car to discuss the case and i won my appeal,2 weeks after i got another medical request lol ,my rep rang them and explained id just finished winning an appeal and it was sorted asap ,all in from filling in my IB40 it took about a year to sort out with 6 months on reduced benefit :mad:

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hi

thanks to all who have replied and Bribones it was very sweet and thoughtful of you to reply it means a lot , they made me do a "new claim" this time a "ESA" claim and asked me to fill it out a small form (thought it would have been those huge ones) and also insisted i get a medical certificate from my doctor which they wanted it backdated to 8 weeks (2 months !) luckily i had made an appointment with my GP as with my DR he is usually fully booked for 6 weeks , Doctors appointment nightmare as usual ,

So after i sent that in to the ESA (they told me nothing would be paid until i sent it in) i almost lost my house i was given a reposession order and if it had not been for my granmother who loaned me money i wouldnt have my house and there is still no guarantee as they have put a "hold" on the court case for respossesion order they want to monitor my payments (im a council tennant)

And after 6 weeks with no money and 2 crisis loans later they awarded me the new claim for ESA and i had a cheque for £732 backdated money ,im on a reduced rate i get £30 a week less as for my old claim i have put an appeal in but im unsure wether that will now make a difference as they have me on this new ESA one now , do they put you back on your old claim if your appeal is succesfull ? if anyone knows ,

What is strange to me is on the sheet "How your money is worked out" it says im getting "Severe Disablement allowance" which i had before ,

now if they give me this but then say "fill out this form for us to determine if you are sick or not" they contradict themselves and confuse the heck out of me !

They,ve sent me the huge form to fill in to determine if im fit for work or not and also im on a "13 week assessment phase" it said on the notes about claiming ESA that after the 8th week ill have an initial work focused interview with my persoanl advisor (whoever that is) (dont these people think at all , if i was able to go to meetings with this personal advisor id defo without questions go out and have my old normal life again and i wouldnt have a need to make the claim in the 1st place !

Im worried about filling out this form incase i dont put things right as im told if you dont put your illness in the way "they want it to be" it makes things worse

today would have been my partners birthday and i hate this time of year as the anniversary of his death is the beginning of next month ,its how all this started its 7 years because he died in a car accident it affects me daily ,if anyone i love goes in the car somewhere i get into the worse state possible thinking and even waiting for the dreaded knock on the door to say ive lost them and ive got to fill out that form and say everything about this over again :(

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not sure if youl revert back to your old claim but if you win the appeal you will get any money deducted paid back to you ,however i would check in case there trying to backdoor you by changing the claim details

 

the forms are a bit erm one sided i think would be the word as they mostly deal with what you can do physicly and not how your health is affected mentaly,i think its high time they brought out a seperate form for mental health problems,they dont realise that half the time its them that causes the problems by adding stress to already difficult conditions ,ie attend this or wel stop your money ?? i bet that cheered you up,there is no structure in place to help you or advise you and the doctors are 2 faced to say the least ,when i got my appeal docs back half the stuff hed wrote hed never even asked me about,id still advise looking into a group or association to help you out with the forms ,we have one up here called disabilty north and there a great help and support resource.good luck with it and i look forward to seeing you win

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on one of my medicals they had asked my doctor how im affected by my disability or mental health in day to day things , they said he did not say enough to back me up and which i wrote back to them saying "if every single patient were to go into there doctors and tell them about there day he wouldnt be able to see 10% of patients , the doctors are limited to each patient as my doctor said he see,s 50 patients a day !!

so the benefits asking our doctors about how we are day to day is absolutly stupid , and you are so right in one way or other they look for anything to disallow our claim and thats most prob the reason for putting in stupid questions ,its nearly as bad as half way through the claim form they ask "are you registered blind" !! its disgusting

thanks again for your help

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