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Sarah Stewart

Advice sought please re ATOS/Permitted Work etc

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I am 61 in March and get my state pension in March next year. I am on

Incapacity Benefit (since 2008 when I retired on health grounds) and

have my first ATOS assessment in June this year.

 

I have been doing 10 hours a week permitted work - working from home,

selling stuff online - and send in proof of income and expenditure to

them every 6 months.

 

My question is.... if I fail the ATOS test, would I then not be able to

do the permitted work? I assume I would go on to JSA or something if I

am deemed 'fit for work' but I am very worried that I would have to stop

doing the permitted work at that point, or they would not give me any

benefit whatsoever...

 

My main hope is that seeing as how I have a degenerative lung condition

in both lungs and I am coming off benefits in March 2014 anyway, they

will leave me alone and let me just carry on till then on the IB. Do they take age

and the fact that I am nearing state pension age, into account?

 

If you have any knowledge of what happens in these circumstances, if I

fail the test in June ... do you know how I am fixed - would I

not be entitled to any benefit whatsoever, if I continue the part time

homeworking? I have no

idea what benefit I would go on to, if I was forced to seek work or how

much it is. I guess the fact I am doing 10 hrs a week permitted work may

go against me, would it? I really want to carry on with it though as I can

manage it and it gives me a focus each day.

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Your lung disease is degenerative and, ergo, can only get progressively worse. This means that if you do not pass your assessment (you may well pass) then you can immediately put in a fresh claim for ESA. Unless you feel that you are fully fit and able to work then JSA is not an option. It does mean starting the whole rotten process again and submitting (un)fit notes whilst in the assessment phase. As for the Permitted Work Scheme, you can do this on the assessment phase, in WRAG or in Support. No worries.

I have no idea about pension credits or how all that works and can only speak solely from an ESA perspective.

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Your lung disease is degenerative and, ergo, can only get progressively worse. This means that if you do not pass your assessment (you may well pass) then you can immediately put in a fresh claim for ESA. Unless you feel that you are fully fit and able to work then JSA is not an option. It does mean starting the whole rotten process again and submitting (un)fit notes whilst in the assessment phase. As for the Permitted Work Scheme, you can do this on the assessment phase, in WRAG or in Support. No worries.

I have no idea about pension credits or how all that works and can only speak solely from an ESA perspective.

 

Many thanks for that reply. There is no way I will feel fit enough to go back to work - but I am rather worried that that won't stop the ATOS people thinking differently and saying I am ok. If people with missing limbs can be passed as fit and those with terminal illnesses, that makes me think that my chances of passing are slim.

 

It is that scenario which is frightening me right now - if they say I am fit to work... I will appeal of course. Once an appeal has been made, do the IB payments continue as normal, whilst in the appeals procedure? Or do they cut those payments once they have failed me? I am worried about failing the test and being left in a position where I have little or no income yet prohibited from doing the permitted work either. Sorry if I have misunderstood you.

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I was slightly flippant regarding feeling able to work. I have Chronic Bronchitis at the Severe stage so have a slight understanding of a progressive lung disease.

Remember you my well pass. Ok?

Now, assuming you don't...

You, rightly, appeal. (Apols, I missed out that step!). This puts you back onto the assessment rate and is a passport benefit so HB and CTB et al is still in place. During this phase you can still do your permitted work. All those things together gives you an income. As for IB, I know nothing about it I'm afraid. I've only ever been on ESA.

Then, in the unlikely event your appeal fails at Tribunal, you can immediately put in a fresh claim for ESA and start all over again.

I hope that's a little clearer. Don't worry about JSA, you can't be forced onto it.

Now, what about DLA? Are you in receipt of it?

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I was slightly flippant regarding feeling able to work. I have Chronic Bronchitis at the Severe stage so have a slight understanding of a progressive lung disease.

Remember you my well pass. Ok?

Now, assuming you don't...

You, rightly, appeal. (Apols, I missed out that step!). This puts you back onto the assessment rate and is a passport benefit so HB and CTB et al is still in place. During this phase you can still do your permitted work. All those things together gives you an income. As for IB, I know nothing about it I'm afraid. I've only ever been on ESA.

Then, in the unlikely event your appeal fails at Tribunal, you can immediately put in a fresh claim for ESA and start all over again.

I hope that's a little clearer. Don't worry about JSA, you can't be forced onto it.

Now, what about DLA? Are you in receipt of it?

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond again.

 

I am not on HB or CTB, all I have is the Incapacity Benefit and a small pension from my ex employers. I don't get DLA as I am not registered disabled and by the looks of the form, I am not entitled to be.

 

 

What is a passport benefit? Is it one that entitles me to other benefits? Thanks for clarifying the JSA bit, I was worried if I failed the test, they would insist I start on that right away and apply for jobs. Bit silly when I reach pension age after 9 months from the date of the test!

 

Don't suppose they look at it like that though. It is all figures, statistics and targets for them.

 

I was also wondering what the Universal Credit thing would do to all this.

 

Do I understand you rightly that whilst I am appealing against any decision, I would continue to get IB or ESA or something? Is the payment rate for money whilst under assessment any lower than the rate paid PRE assessment?

 

Sorry for all the questions. Hope you are OK with your bronchitis; progressive lung disease for me is something I have had for 50 years so it is quite well advanced compared to when it started.

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:Hello Sarah Stewart:

 

:RaeUK:'s a whizz at understanding the Employment n Support roundabout, she's had a lot of practice! I'm going to supplement what she's already told you and I'm going to keep to this thread. It's easier and it keeps the Site Team happy.

 

1. Your incapacity benefit will continue to be paid, at its current rate, throughout the reassessment period until such time as a Jobcentreplus decision maker determines your eligibility for employment n support allowance following a work capability assessment.

 

2. Should you need to appeal a decision that you don't have limited capability for work you'll be able to claim assessment rate employment n support allowance, currently £71 per week, pending the outcome of the appeal if your doctor is prepared to provide Med 3 (un)fit notes.

 

3. How long's a peice of string? Another contributor's suggested that it's twice as long as from the middle to one end. :-) Seriously, there's no way of knowing. Atos, Jobcentreplus and the Tribunals Service are all months behind schedule.

 

4. No. It's an assessment of physical and mental function at the time of the assessment.

 

5. For so long as you're on incapacity benefit or any rate of contributory employment n support allowance you'll be able to continue with permitted work, at least until universal chaos descends. Not sure what happens after that. Some claimants feel that Atos assessors use permitted work against them.

 

A passport benefit is an income based benefit that automatically entitles the recipient to other income based benefits.

 

Until universal chaos, housing benefit and council tax benefit can be claimed on grounds of low income.

 

Hope I've not missed anything.

 

Sincerely, Margaret. :panda:

 

What makes you think Atos'll come a calling in June?

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:Hello Sarah Stewart:

 

:RaeUK:'s a whizz at understanding the Employment n Support roundabout, she's had a lot of practice! I'm going to supplement what she's already told you and I'm going to keep to this thread. It's easier and it keeps the Site Team happy.

 

1. Your incapacity benefit will continue to be paid, at its current rate, throughout the reassessment period until such time as a Jobcentreplus decision maker determines your eligibility for employment n support allowance following a work capability assessment.

 

2. Should you need to appeal a decision that you don't have limited capability for work you'll be able to claim assessment rate employment n support allowance, currently £71 per week, pending the outcome of the appeal if your doctor is prepared to provide Med 3 (un)fit notes.

 

3. How long's a peice of string? Another contributor's suggested that it's twice as long as from the middle to one end. :-) Seriously, there's no way of knowing. Atos, Jobcentreplus and the Tribunals Service are all months behind schedule.

 

4. No. It's an assessment of physical and mental function at the time of the assessment.

 

5. For so long as you're on incapacity benefit or any rate of contributory employment n support allowance you'll be able to continue with permitted work, at least until universal chaos descends. Not sure what happens after that. Some claimants feel that Atos assessors use permitted work against them.

 

A passport benefit is an income based benefit that automatically entitles the recipient to other income based benefits.

 

Until universal chaos, housing benefit and council tax benefit can be claimed on grounds of low income.

 

Hope I've not missed anything.

 

Sincerely, Margaret. :panda:

 

What makes you think Atos'll come a calling in June?

 

Hi Margaret

 

Thank you very much for adding to the information from RaeUK. I really appreciate it.

 

I will try not to worry now I have more information!

 

The reason I think my assessment is June is because that date was given to me about 18 months ago when they said that it would be the time my assessment would be due. I have not had any other assessment (no interviews or clinical examinations) and I have been on IB since 2008.

 

What I have had, is of course the form filling and since I started doing the permitted work in June 2011, the 6 month proof of income and expenditure that I have to send in to them.

 

So I am assuming that Atos will be knocking on my door in June... although it would be wonderful if I didn't hear anything and I was just allowed to continue as I am, till I come off benefit in March 2014 and get state pension.

 

It is good that the IB will be continued all the way up to the decision being made; I get about £85 per week (they take off about £10 or something because I get a (small!) pension from my ex employer. So really if the assessment rate is what you say, I won't worry about going onto that rate.

 

There would be no difficulty in getting a letter from the doctor and my chest consultant so I am not worried about that.

 

Who knows, if everything is so very far behind, then my assessment may be months behind too - and with only 9 months to go till I get the state pension then the longer the delay the better, LOL!

 

I don't get any other benefits - I just get the work pension and the IB.

 

Thank you so much for your answers and thanks again to RaeUK.

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Thank-you Starryeyes for riding your white charger to my rescue once again ...

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I don't get DLA as I am not registered disabled and by the looks of the form, I am not entitled to be.

 

You don't need to be registered as disabled. You must just have a health condition which causes you to have care and /or mobility needs which have lasted for at least 3 months and will last for at least another 6.

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You don't need to be registered as disabled. You must just have a health condition which causes you to have care and /or mobility needs which have lasted for at least 3 months and will last for at least another 6.

 

THanks - I appreciate your letting me know that. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I do not have to have carers and can go for limited walks so I won't qualify for DLA. The health condition of course limits my mobility and will do increasingly for the rest of my life but I can still walk on the flat for short periods.

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:RaeUk:

 

Each to their own niche of experience and expertise.

 

Shall know where to come next time I'm :???::???: by a disability living claim pack!!

 

Sincerely, Margaret. :bounce:

Edited by **Margaret**

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:Hi Sarah:

 

Assuming you weren't exempt from the personal capability assessment there'll have been at least one assessment, but clearly not one that needed a trip to Atos. The June 13 date is their recommendation for a review of your claim.

 

Fingers crossed that your retirement pension beats their backlogs. :-)

 

Sincerely, Margaret.

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:Hi Sarah:

 

Assuming you weren't exempt from the personal capability assessment there'll have been at least one assessment, but clearly not one that needed a trip to Atos. The June 13 date is their recommendation for a review of your claim.

 

Fingers crossed that your retirement pension beats their backlogs. :-)

 

Sincerely, Margaret.

 

Hi Margaret

 

I am not exempt from the personal capability assessment, no, but there has not been any assessment so far since I obtained the benefit in 2008; they have sent me forms from time to time asking me what I can and can't do and once I started the permitted work from home, I have had to furnish details of income and expenditure (ie what income I have had) from that self employment each six months.

 

I just assumed that the date of June 2013 when it was quoted as the date my benefit would be reviewed, as being the date Atos would come calling. Are you saying that that review of my claim is not necessarily an appointment with Atos for a test? Not knowing how the procedures work I am just making assumptions perhaps. How much notice does one get with regard to the Atos test?

 

Thanks for the good wishes.

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:Hi Sarah:

 

'...... they have sent me forms from time to time asking me what I can and can't do ......'

 

One IB50 + further medical evidence (possibly an IB113 from your doctor) + one IB85A (in the absence of a trip to Atos) = one personal capability assessment. At the bottom of an IB85A the atosser who wrote it had to give a recommendation as to when a return to work could be considered. The June 2013 date will've come from the atosser who last assessed you but it's only a recommendation. They're not set in stone and frequently get disregarded for one reason or another. Should you be interested in reading your previous IB85A(s) they're available, free of charge, via written subject access request to your local benefit delivery centre.

 

Moving forward to possible reassessment for employment n support allowance if they get around to you before state retirement pension:

 

After a 'caring sharing' phone call from Jobcentreplus you'll receive an ESA50 form to complete. It's a very different form from an IB50, but there's plenty of advice around on CAG and other sites. Unfortunately Work n Pensions have decreed face to face assessments after an ESA50 for almost all reassessees who've never had one. :sad: They're after me at the moment. Atos have to give us at least seven days written notice, it's usually more, unless we agree to less. So, June 2013 may or may not bring you a date for a trip to Atos but if you get reassessed it'll probably be a face to face interview. The main forum has a sticky about coping with them.

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?287253-esa-medicals

 

Sincerely, Margaret. :panda:

Edited by **Margaret**

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Many thanks Margaret. I have looked back in my files and the June 2013 date was in a letter sent to me in June 2010 - referring to an IB50 that I had filled in. No doctor's or consultant's letter was included with that form... they said in the letter "Your case is due to come up for a normal review" in June 2013. "We may contact you again after that date or you may be asked to fill in another questionnaire or be called for a medical examination".

 

Of course all that was before the most recent changes in the law but that is where I got the June date from. I just assumed it would be the Atos appointment.

 

Thanks again - maybe it won't be Atos in June after all.... I can but hope! Thanks for the link for further info too, I shall check it out.

 

Sarah

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