Illness & Benefits Problems

13Jul

DLA Appeal

Just back from my DLA appeal hearing in Chesterfield. Very nervous about it and not sure I could put my case forward properly.

It was a success - high-rate mobility and low-rate care. Elated!

10Jul

Problems with Atos recording assessments

Last week I had a phone call from Atos Nottingham telling me that DWP would no longer allow WCAs to be recorded. When I suggested that I would make my own recording I was told curtly that Atos were cancelling my case and sending the papers back to DWP.

According to Benefits & Work:

"Confusion surrounds the issue of recording ESA medicals, with some claimants telling them that they have been informed by Atos that the DWP have now brought the practice to an end and others saying they have been told that all the recording machines are broken.

"The reality seems to be that some of the machines have indeed been damaged as a result of being constantly packed up and sent by courier from one examination centre to another. In addition, the number of requests for recordings has been much higher than expected, in spite of the failure of the DWP and Atos to inform claimants of the option.

"These factors have resulted in frequent cancellations of medicals because of a lack recording equipment. It seems the DWP have now authorised Atos to buy more recorders but also decided that medicals can no longer be cancelled if the equipment isn't available.

"As a result, an increasing number of claimants are being told that they have to attend their medical without a recording being made, even though they have asked for one."

This issue has raised a lot of comment in the blogs and forums, and the consensus is that DWP are trying to block off information needed to inform appeals.

Jayne Linney's blog site has more from a user's point of view. She has also set up a petition for supporters to add to. Please do.

Pre-amble

What Went Before

  • I've had ME/CFS for more than 6 years, steadily deteriorating
  • I made a claim for DLA in July 2011; it was turned down and (as of June 2012) my appeal has yet to be arranged.
  • I've been turned down for Housing and Council Tax benefits (HB/CTB) and am trying to get sufficient information out of Mansfield District Council in order to appeal that decision.
  • Mansfield District Council are trying to get rent arrears that I can't possibly pay.
  • I'm now facing the reassessment of my Incapacity Benefit (IB) and, hopefully, transfer to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Links

ME/CFS

I've had ME now for about 6 years, steadily getting worse.

Action for ME I am a member of this support group
The ME Association The other well-respected organisation that helps and supports those with ME

Disabilities and Benefits

DLA & ESA Advice and help Benefits and Work
We Are Spartacus Spartacus is a major campaigner for disbility rights.
DLA & ESA Campaign Advice Jane Young is one of the guiding lights of Spartacus.
Atos Work Capability Assessments Jayne Linney's blog site describes the problems she is having with Atos over recording equipment for her medical (or WCA) assessment.
DWP Appeal Video This is the video issued by DWP to help folk appealing their ESAs or DLAs. Grayling and DWP are trying to stop it's circulation.