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HomeBlogTwo regulations ‘could hold the key to winning ESA appeals’

By John Pring  

20 November 2012

Two little-known government regulations could hold the key to helping thousands of sick and disabled people who have been unfairly found “fit for work”, according to a new campaign.

The grassroots, user-led group Black Triangle believes that persuading GPs to write letters to tribunals quoting one of two employment and support allowance (ESA) regulations could make it much easier for claimants to win appeals against the results of their work capability assessments (WCA).

Black Triangle says thousands of people are currently at risk of serious damage to their health because – as a result of their WCA – they are being forced to carry out work or work-related activity that they are not well enough to do.

Black Triangle believes that persuading GPs to refer to regulations 29 or 35 – which date back to 2008 – could even save lives.

The two regulations state that a claimant should not be found fit for work (regulation 29), or placed in the work-related activity group (regulation 35), if such a decision would pose “a substantial risk” to their “mental or physical health”.

Black Triangle is calling on disabled people preparing for their appeal to ask their GP to fill in the gaps in a short draft letter.

The letter states that the physical or mental health of the patient would “more likely than not” be harmed if they were found fit for work, or even found to have “limited capability for work” (the work-related activity group, for those expected to move gradually towards the job market).

Dr Stephen Carty, medical adviser to Black Triangle, drafted the letter after consulting with a barrister and senior figures with links to the British Medical Association (BMA).

He has already used the letter to help five patients who were facing appeals.

He said: “All I did in a 10-minute consultation was fill out on one side of an A4 letter the diagnoses and how the ESA decision posed a risk to the patient’s physical or mental health.”

He said the process was “very easy, very quick and very effective”, and that two of the five patients had told him that submitting the letter had led to the decision being “overturned immediately without the tribunal even taking place”.

Black Triangle believes that if a disabled person was found fit for work, despite one of the new letters being submitted by their GP, and then experienced a deterioration in their condition, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) could be liable for damages.

Carty also believes that the letters could offer legal protection for GPs, who could otherwise be sued if they failed to alert the DWP to the risk of their patient’s health deteriorating if found fit for work.   

A spokeswoman for the Medical Defence Union, which offers GPs medical legal advice and insurance against being sued for clinical negligence, said the campaign was “not something we can comment on as it is [in] relation to a doctor’s clinical judgment which is not something we have a view on as it is up to each individual clinician”.

Carty, who works as a GP in Leith, on the edge of Edinburgh, was behind the campaign that led to the BMA calling for the WCA to be scrapped and replaced with a “rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm”.

He has previously joined disabled activists in pointing to links between the WCA and relapses, episodes of self-harm and even suicides and other deaths among those who have been assessed.

Only last week, the latest report by the WeAreSpartacus campaign group produced extensive evidence that disabled people were still experiencing humiliating and inappropriate treatment because of the failings embedded within the WCA system.

John Pring

Editor: Disability News Service

Author: Longcare Survivors: The Biography of a Care Scandal

Tel: 020 8446 5900, 07776 206595

Email: john@disabilitynewsservice.com

www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Twitter: @johnpringdns

Skype: johnpring

The Fed Online

Comments
  • martyn ounstead November 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    we are going hungry and live in cold homes if were lucky enough to have a home and its the CONdems who are to blame.

  • Roger Jenkins November 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    What do you make of the latest Harrington report? He is making it clear that ESA and the WCA are here to stay. He also seems to be saying that the problems are with the courts not speaking to DWP over appeals, rather than the original decision made by Atos and the DWP. Worst of all, he is openly critical of social media and press for ‘continuing to portray the WCA in a negative light’. No longer a friend of ours, it seems…..

    • JJ November 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      He never was a friend of ours. He’s a government stooge who sold his soul to the Devil a long time ago

      • JOANNA May 6, 2014 at 12:06 am

        Please can someone help me I hav a esa tribunal case this week, there no way I can attend Andy letter to get help was handing in later doctor wrote a letter for me and added reg 29 but seems I still have to go I don’t no what else to do please help me

    • Chris December 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      I would suggest that he is no friend of social media purely and simply because he is scared of it! i.e. scared of what the everyday people think of all this!

  • john eccleston November 29, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Hi im currently in receipt of dla for a severe walking disability, which ive had since breaking my leg 2 years ago, since then i have returned back to work, but am now finding it too painful to carry on any longer and wish to make a claim for esa, i am self employed most of my daily work involves driving of which i cannot manage any longer and heavy lifting which involves the use of machinery to assist, i no longer have my vehicle and also cant drive because of pain i also have severe allergic asthma and am frequently hospitilised , i am concerned that considering the nature of the work that i do, i have a scrap metal buisness, they may disallow my claim for esa and also my dla

  • mr d j smith November 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    i’m a fulltime carer for my son who has kidney failure,asthma and special needs but it seems my son is fit for work now hes 17,i had my benefits stopped cos i take my son to hospital ect and jsa said i dont do enough to look for work.is there any help for carers out there??i’m also appealing against my sons dla being stopped

  • Chris December 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    There used to be a time where a Doctors word was sacred!
    I’ve heard reports that when somebody has tried to give written evidence of their illness it has just been dismissed (usually by a nurse)! No disrespect to nurses but how can they over-rule the word of a doctor?
    It absolutely beggers belief!!

    • Ian Stubbs March 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      This has happened to me …..

    • Alex Mc Guinness June 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      I am a nurse and can not understand this either. My wife has had her ESA stopped. She gets nothing as apparently I earn too much! My wife was made disabled following a rta several years ago…Apparently, a so called nurse at ATOS cured her, and found her fit for work. All without even seeing her. One question I’d love answered is how these so called nurses keep their registration. A nurse has to complete so many clinical hours years in three to stay on the register. What is clinical about working for ATOS?

      • Alex Mc Guinness June 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

        I am a nurse and can not understand it either. My wife has had her ESA stopped. She gets nothing as apparently I earn too much! My wife was made disabled following a rta several years ago…Apparently a so called nurse at ATOS cured her, and found her fit for work. All without even seeing her. One question I’d love answered is how these so called nurses keep their registration. A nurse has to complete so many clinical hours in three years to stay on the register. What is clinical about working for ATOS?

  • John Brougham Greaves January 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Hello
    I had an appeal December /04/2012 to change groups from work to support group
    the resault I failed basicly says I did not meet any of the 3 discriptors.
    with my appeal papers I had a letter off my GP saying that I am unfit for work for atleast 12 months and also contained with my notes leter off my HIV consultant .
    THIS whole process I have found exstreemely stress ful I felt intimedated sitting in front of the judge and felt like I was been treated like a child .
    I have just read the notes given with letter saying I only have one month to appeal against this decision and if I needed longer I could appply for an extention. I feel I have been unfarely treated. your advice would be much appreciated .when sitting faceing the judge i was asked a series of questions which i felt the the responces I gave have been used against me to damage my appeal .
    I have appeal on January /9/2013
    overpayment of income support while at college 2009/2011,
    when I applied for a student loan I asked if this would affect any of my bennefits?(income support,DLA, incapacity bennefit)I was informed in that same telephone conversation that they would check out the benenefits ,the advissor did not see a problem. I have since been told that their advisors do not do such checks!
    on receipt of student loan I naturally thought I was legal to carry on with the course and recieve my benenfits plus student finance,bearing inmind this was an HND photography and digital imaging course, all moneys recieved from student finance was used to buy relevant equiptment to be able to use for this course.
    2011 I was notified by department of work and pentions that I should have not been in reciept of income support and student finance.
    In my DLA papers it states I am in reciept of savere disablement premeuim and the law although complex states you are entiled to both
    I have had one support worker say the latta then months later say the law is so complecated he and I have lost faith and I have no intention of attending this appeal on the 9th January ,I am not well and the stress of all this is making me worse I donot know where to to turn to now the local CAB has to much of a work load and takes ages weeks to get back to me on time I left a messege with local CAB 2 weeks ago as yet the benefit advissor at the local CAB as not got back to me.the last month I have been illl with one virus after another so I can not even visit my GP (BBC radio 4 have advised if suspected niro virus or such like should keep away from GP and hospital).

  • michelle January 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I have found that tribunals are increasing finding claimant unfit under reg 29 and 35 at the moment, I think they are also sick of seeing the same people back over and over again. Even if its not suggested in the submission etc,

  • Anthony Turtle January 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I can understand how a GP can take 10 minutes to make a decision on a patient’s fitness for work. After all, GPs see the patient more often than hospital consultants, hospital consultants pass their findings back to the GP, so the GP is well informed.

    AtoS HCPs see a claimant for 10 minutes and decide without consultation with consultants or x-rays or blood tests and can diagnose that a claimant is fit for work. I sometimes wish HCPs were hospital diagnosticians, that way my daughter would have known she has ME about 9 months ago!

  • rogerharris February 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I had 30 transient mini-strokes since last november.. brought on from trying to train myself to be physically fit for this new “system”…Every one i have i never know if thats curtains for me. Although luckily they appear to be reducing as I went on an all bran and veg diet. i have to admit some part time work helps, but part time work has little relation till the real world of work.

    how are they going to find a transient stroke in a WCA ? this system, does not care. its about work you till you drop dead or end up cabbaged in a wheelchair..

  • Marina Hartley March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Hi everyone today I have been to CAB re; appeal to be told I should have had a response from DWP/Tribunal which I started last year. CAB found out from DWP my appeal is due before tribunal very soon. I’m now researching my appeal, I have through your site given my GP the letter re’ reg 29/34 awaiting response, in hospital next week for op. so need to get everything in order now. So if you haven’t had any response re; appeal write to DWP/tribunal for update remember to put your Nat.INs. number on. Thanks for setting up this site the more people who go on the site and share any info the better.

  • Helen Jackson March 7, 2013 at 8:49 am

    If my gp fills this form for me should i make a copy of it before sending it in. I have heard of lots of letters and forms going missing

    • JJ March 7, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Yes – and pay the extra 70p for recorded (not special!) delivery 😉

  • Jeffrey Boot March 14, 2013 at 7:04 am

    I had my assessment on the 29th January 2013 , im sorry but its a stitch up , i have damage to my spinal cord , and my c5 and c6 surgically fused , i waited so long for the operation that my condition became irreversibily damaged , my score on the ATOS assessment was 0 , every one that as seen me knows my condition can be worse on certain days , now i am told all my money stops on the 6th April 2013 , fortunately i paid union subs when i retired in 2004 , and they will represent me , but this is an assessment that is flawed from the start , my investigations if they are true , is ATOS , get £100 for every assessment and well over £300 if they take someone off disability and say they are fit for work , 2 doctors one private and the other DWP at the time both came to the same conclusion , i would never work again , but a physiotherapist from ATOS knows better .

  • Iain April 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Never ever can the torrie party be trusted with the British people again our Lib dem party

  • linda April 13, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    ok

  • Mark C May 2, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Thank’s for the info and letters. My doctor agrees that I have serious health problems but due to the influx of people asking for medical letters he has said that he will charge £25 I haven’t got £25 My primary care is with a specialist doctor and specialist nurses they no more about my health problems so I was wondering if I amended the letters so that instead of GP I put my specialist Doctors name would that be allowed. Any help would be appreciated and thanks every one 🙂

    • Rose Sangare May 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Mark, I am aware that Doctor’s charges vary a lot for these letters – I am lucky enough to have a very supportive GP who wrote a really good letter for my appeal, but guess what? It was completely ignored in favour of my original Atos medical report by a guy that doesn’t know me from Adam, as was a report from my Osteopath. If your specialist will write a report for you for free, I would definitely go down that route as I think we owe it to ourselves to put the best case we possibly can.
      I am waiting to get a date for my tribunal and have had very good support from my local CAB but they have told me my prospects are not good as the majority of people are not winning their cases, which I have to say is discouraging to say the least, but will fight on despite the stress as it’s all so outrageously unfair.
      Wishing you, and everyone in the same situation, the best of outcomes.

  • John Robertson May 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I am attending a tribunal on 20th may 2013 for my esa appeal and feel helpless as dwp state i need to provide medical evidence to support my claim and my GP is refusing to provide any evidence. I even offered to pay the GP for the cost of providing evidence and they refused to help. Attending money matters but up till now they are have been no help whatsoever. If my appeal fails at tribunal then i’ll have to make a fresh claim and attend another assessment and go through this all over again.

    • Charles Loft October 31, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      I would write to your GP claiming discrimination against you, as they continue to provide evidence for insurance and private health benefit schemes. I’ve had the same problem with my own GP, fault of the local Tory dominated LMC committee, but only in relation to the initial claim. They will provide letters etc for appeal/tribunal. I certainly haven’t heard of refusal to provide additional evidence for appeals before, very worrying indeed if that turns out to be the case. Take the letter saying your benefit claim has been rejected or you have been put in eg WRAG instead of support group to your doctor and demand a support letter on the spot. Explain why eg WRAG is a problem, for instance loss of ESA after just one year, and refuse to leave the doctor’s room until they provide a support letter for you. They may just go to another room, but basically stay there all day if you have to!

  • Aon May 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I was found fit for work 0 points, my ME Nurse wrote a fabulous letter pointing out reg 29 & 35 & other stuff i sent that with other letters of support with my appeal, it wasnt overturned so i am waiting on tribunal.

    I am on the £70 a week amount until it comes through, my GP is charging me £25 for a *report* on what is in my medical records who knows if this will be a good report.

    I have to pay £20 a month council tax as well as normal bills

    This has all left me so stressed and even more ill than i was, and wonder what is the point of it all 🙁

    Where is it all going to end?

    • M Hartley June 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Hi, I have just read your comments DO NOT give in it has taken me 13 months to be told I am in the support group this decision was made last October.(Disgraceful) I quoted regs; 29 & 35, letter from doctors plus a lot of research on the net. I have had to fill in another form and waiting to hear what payments I will receive.
      please keep going, keep asking questions of the DWP the point of going on is turn a negative to a positive say no to Disability and yes to Ability. You can do it .Good Luck

      • Anon June 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        Thankyou

        I was having a *down* day when i wrote that

        I have no intentions of giving in ill go to the end & start again if need be it just peeves me that those who are ill and need it have to fight so hard whilst others just seem to get it no problems.

        I have WR coming to see me & help fight my corner they helped me with DLA & i won after 4 attempts of nothing

        Cheers 🙂

  • ANN June 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    sisters just back from appeal won her case on reg 35 of the esa
    first my sister and i have heard of this the judge and doc came to this decesion
    so keep trying people best of luck to you all

  • IAN July 2, 2013 at 11:29 am

    hi to everyone
    i too have had esa stopped,dwp have said that due to having full use of upper limbs i am fit for work.and that i can propell a wheelchair.i suffer from peripheral nerve damage to leg and am in constant pain.i am employed and have been off work for nine months,but i work in the construction industry on the tools not in an office,how am i supposed to use a wheelchair to do my job on building sites,let alone from a health and safety point of view.
    the mind boggles

  • william July 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

    hi just won my appeal and reg 29 and35 were applied/can you tell me what diffrence it makes from the normal 15 points if any.and is there a diffrence in benifits between esa .and what i am on?thank you very much william.reply please

  • Laura July 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I too have been ‘awarded’ 0 points – I have M.E/ Endocrine probs + Spondylosis, tinnitus etc. Some days ok, some very weak tired depressed etc. Am appealing, with some help from a kind and legally informed person – I will definately try the regs 29 and 35. I provided scads of evidence – a report on me from the Sussex CFS service plus recent hospital appointments re Parathyroid gland, Vit D deficiency and Endocrinologist… in the Decision Makers Notes, this was all summed up as that I was ‘under the care of specialists and having ongoing investigations’. When I was called by an anonymous employee of the DWP to tell me verbally that I’d got 0 points, I was very shocked and upset (as you would be) and said, ‘But I’m in the middle of complex tests…’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘But working people with jobs have to go to hospital. They’d just take a day’s holiday to go…it doesn’t prevent you from getting a job.’ Have since recovered my wits (and sense of outrage at this iniquitous law!) and have picked apart their insulting excuse for reasons for failing me – presented in my Appeal Notes
    . But I do hear the Tribunal is all down to evidence… I wonder, if convicted multi-murderers can get softer sentences by appealing to a European Court of Human Rights, can we appeal to the ECHR? Because I knew I’d failed, the moment I walked in the Atos room. I saw Disbelief written all over the examiner’s face. As far as they were concerned, the fact I’d GOT THERE was proof enough that I can find and keep a job!
    Sorry for the rant – keep up the good work – and all you other souls affected – Never give up! 🙂

    • Luke July 22, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Laura,

    • Luke July 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Laura,
      I know exactly what you mean. I too walked in to the ATOS centre in Southampton & was greeted by someone who looked as though she made a tidy salary from ruining peoples lives. I have mental health issues (Paranoia, Depression, Agrophobia, Aural & Visual Hallucinations & Epilepsy) but the fact that I WALKED in, was on my own (no choice, I live on my own & everyone else was at work), didn’t look untidy or have hygiene issues & can understand my illness(es) (i.e. not delusional) all went against me. As I said in my appeal just because I can rationalise my condition doesn’t make it any easier to live with. I know my Paranoia, for example, is irrational but that doesn’t stop me from thinking that everyone is trying to kill me.

      Anyway, excuse the rant (it just makes me so stressed & angry), I do hope everything is going well for you at the moment & I want you to know that you have my full support (for what it’s worth). Keep fighting, it may seem hopeless but if we don’t they will keep trampling us down more & more.

      • darkberri August 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        Again Atos gave me a score of 0, iv been fighting for 18mths, and have been sucessful, only with the help of my GP also 7 yrs of counselling and medication for Anxiety and Depression.
        Now iv received a letter from DWP informing me of their decision to appeal my award…..
        What next. .?

  • Anne Dunn July 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    One week after skull surgery I went for an atos interview the guy lied through his teeth and nothing on my report is anything I said so angry the way I’ve been treated

  • Stepping Razor Sound Plate July 22, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Atos are scared of me & I can see right through their tactics of enslavement.

  • Stepping Razor Sound Plate July 22, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Citizens arrest for atos for breaking discrimination laws. The proof is in the recording of the assessments. Shall we take it further atos & dwp!!!

  • ian July 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    thats great if your doctor will do a letter at my gp`s practice it is there policy ” not to suply letters ” there excuse is that they say they dont get read and they are a waste of time ….

    funny that when one of the doctors and a nurse from the practice also work for ATOS …..
    what chance do you have ….?

    also my local HMCTS have the worst record in the UK for backing up ATOS decisions …..one hand washes the other and all involved are makeing a damn good living off of the misery of the sick and disabled ….

    am about to go threw this pantomime with ATOS for the third time and am appealing against being put off dla mobility …… ( they used the ATOS results to put me off of it aswell even though i had complained to the DWP that the origional ATOS desision contained false statements and lies…..the inhouse complaints board found for atos so no surprise there then )

    these failings in the DWP ATOS/UNUM HM,CTS are not due to incompitance …..but outright criminal actions and should be prosicuted as sutch

  • Jonathan July 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I have epilepsy which consists of grand mals and petit mals and absence seizures. I scored a 0 on my last medical assesment and have been in appeal since January of 2013. I recently got a copy of my appeal which they are sending to the tribunal. I read it and it says i told the assessment nurse that I no longer have grand mal seizures which I never once did as I still have them. The marks on my face attribute to that. This appeal is so full of BS and is wrong and written in a way that makes me look like a cast member on shameless. I am at my wits end and falling behind with money now. I will try one of these regulations, but to be honest I am at the point of cracking as the stress from it all is upping my seizures. I have an appointment with the local CAB this next week and will go from there. If I saw my appeal as they have written it, I would probably not grant it.

  • Lj female September 5, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I took the GP letters provided by yourself to my doctor today. She pointed out that she was ‘already aware of this’ She told me that a sick note/medical certificate declaring me unfit for work would be enough evidence and she told me that the majority of people who appeal win. I tried to explain and push for her to do the regulations letter for me, she asked me to leave it with her and she would discuss it with her colleagues first. She told me to come back later, that she would leave my sicknote etc in an envelope at reception. She told me she would also like to keep a copy of the GP template letter, I thought perhaps was a positive sign. Seems it wasnt. I opened the envelope on the way home to find a piece of paper tited ‘BMA Negotiating for the profession The work capacity assessment’ It talks a little about the Atos -ers assessment. Then highlighted by my doctor was is sentence ‘It is not part of the Gps role to provide any opinon or recomendation on the patients capability to work as part of this process’. Hmmm! I was gutted, couldnt continue walking home as was so upset. I have mental health issues, namely severe Social anxiety disorder, history of severe depression and anxiety, self harm and addmission to hospital for these things in the past. I was recovering but with certain stressors in the past two years and this Atos -ers stress on top I am back in deep depression having a mental health crisis/breakdown. I cannot cope. I have been assessed by a mental health gateway worker 3 days ago and hes referred me back to the mental health services for further assessment which he said i could be waiting weeks. Anyways…What can anyone do if GPs are so reluctant or seemingly scared to provide you with assessment. Does a sick notr note denote a Gp providing an opinion on your capability to work? Does that not contradict the above sentence that my GP highlighted? The facist system is so full of contradictions that its own regulations can be discarded by other guidlines and regulations. Theyve made sure of that. Theyve created a system that DISABLES people, then that is blamed on the disabled and vulnerable, its actually typical Narcissistic behaviour called scapegoating. I may have mental health problems, but I AM NOT stupid. I WILL NOT be trodden underfoot, and I WILL NOT be silenced. These fascists seem to think disability equates unintelligence, especialy when it comes to mental health issues. Our intelligence is not in question and has nil bearing on our disability and vise versa. Its a disability assessment, NOT an IQ test. And I highly question the intelligence of Atos! And has anyone noticed these benefit TV programmes depicting us all as criminals and lazy lay abouts? These shows usually on BBC, the channel we pay the government to watch..! These shows focus on benefit fraudsters mostly and do not accurately represent the majority of people claiming benefits for genuine reasons. But that to I believe is by Government design, to persuade/brainwash the herd to follow their fascist agenda. To anyone who thinks life on benefits is that easy or comfortable, its not. Not for those of us claimimg for geniune reasons. Its not easy, its not comfortable, its HELL, its degrading, its soul destroying, its liberty killing, its NOT a choice! For most of us. We would love our liberty, and we deserve to be treated with basic human respect and compassion like everybody else. Life on benefits, with a disability, is a FIGHT for survival, and although I feel most days like laying down and giving up. I will fight, I know the truth, I know my rights.

  • debbie September 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Hi, i hear a lot of people saying on this forum that they would never attend an ATOS wca without it being recorded. Sorry if this sounds silly but im in the process of filling out the esa50 and would like to know exactly what i have to do in order to get a recorded atos wca. Do i request it on the eas50 form? Do i attach a letter to the esa50 requesting one? what do i do to get one. DO i have to take the recording equipment? or do they (the atos examiner at the wca) bring it. Sorry i dont have a clue about this but i dont want people to lie about me in the wca, and want evidence if they do, someone please help me

    • Charles Loft October 31, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Buy a £10 portable digital voice recorder and record the ATOS WCA meeting yourself. The main point to consider from my own experience is that the WCA at ATOS does NOT usually cover the grounds stated by the DWP for possible failure of the WCA. Whence at appeal if you haven’t been asked about pertinent medical or job capability assessment points at the WCA, how can it have any validity. Good Luck

  • Caz malls September 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Just been told that GP’s in Dorset and Somerset will no longer be allowed on a matter of “legality” support anyone going to appeal for ESA/DLA/PIP.
    It stinks!

    • John Brougham Greaves October 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      “We are the vulnerable we are an easy Target, as one we are just a mere Number, together we could change the out look!.

    • Charles Loft October 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      Needs a legal test case against them on the basis of discrimination. They provide support letters for insurance claims and private health benefit schemes, so why not for DWP benefit purposes? I would well raise the point at a tribunal hearing that as your GP won’t on an extremely extremely dubious and wantonly false ‘legality’ basis provide medical evidence for you that the DWP case against you be dismissed until such time as your GP complies and does provide this evidence. How on earth can you support your appeal without your GP’s compliance?

  • C. Jones October 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Complaint against DWP and ATOS.

    Last year I had a medical for ESA. The ATOS GP awarded me 12 points, yet the DWP decision maker reduced the 12 points to 6 as explained to me by my CAB representative.
    I appealed the decision in Feb 2013 and was awarded 18 points at Tribunal, with a recommendation that I should not be contacted for 18 months.
    Here we are again, just 7 months later and the whole ugly process has started again.
    Not that life has been DWP, stress, flare ups etc free since the Tribunal in Feb.
    I have been contacted by DWP to see if I really want to move to ESA or stay on Income Support (this no doubt helps IDS fiddle figures). I’ve had letters telling me the Job Centre will be contacting me about Interviews etc and now I’ve been sent a new ESA form.

    I would like to know the name of the DWP decision maker who reduced the points I was awarded by the ATOS GP and I would like to know the reasons why he/she did this -in writing please.
    I would like to know why the DWP feel free to casually ignore the Tribunals recommendation that I not be contacted for 18 months and which person/s decided to ignore the Tribunals recommendation (full name/s).

    Back to the ESA form.
    I could not get an appointment with CAB until Mon 16th Sept. My ESA form needed to be returned by the 26th.
    Plenty of time.
    The day after CAB filled in the form for me I was trying to read through it, checking to make sure nothing was missed and I noticed they hadn’t signed to say they were filling it in on my behalf.
    I sent them an email asking for a new appointment and told them why, but the following day my phone/internet went off. This is a regular occurrence as BT records will show.
    The phone was off in Jan for 10 days and hasn’t worked properly since, despite several engineer visits.

    I was unable to take the form to CAB in Haverford or ring them (obviously); I was waiting for BT to come and sort the phone out, not knowing when they would come as they couldn’t ring to let me know.
    We can’t get mobile phone signals here.
    I was also expecting a Social Worker out to do the annual ‘Young Carers’ review as my aspergers son is also my Registered Young Carer.
    I was quite anxious about the ESA form so wrote a recorded letter to ATOS, your employees at St Agnes Road, Cardiff to explain the situation and ask for a time extension. They are the ones who sent me the new ESA form.
    They didn’t bother to reply or acknowledge the letter.
    I also wrote to the Job Centre in Haverford West with the same information, asking them to contact me by letter if they would allow me extra time to get my ESA form returned.
    I had no reply or acknowledgement from them either.

    You threaten people with sanctions if forms are sent late, but totally ignore all contact from people who are trying to get help, support or advice if/when forms may be late.
    You totally ignore problems like no telephone or not being able to leave the house for whatever reason, including pain, illness and flare ups often caused by DWP stress.

    Whenever I have to attend a medical I have to overdose on pain meds and take diazepam just to get there. I suffer panic attacks, depression, tension and anxiety making my symptoms far worse for weeks beforehand. Overdosing is NOT doing my body/health any good, probably the whole DWP/IDS plan.
    At the tribunal I was so full of diazepam I should not have been driving.

    I have recently started a course of Steroid injections into my joints to try and get some pain relief, and also so that foul DWP cannot say I am refusing treatment.
    I am now suffering with numerous nasty side effects , side effects regularly denied by doctors, and even MORE pain.
    I took tablets given by the Pain Clinic that turned me into a zombie and left me unable to function in a basic way, just to satisfy the DWP.
    YOU are the cause of much pain and additional illness and I’m sick of it.
    You totally disregard medical reports and evidence and try to discourage GP’s from supporting patients – something that works very well I might add.
    I am now seeking legal advice – if I have to make a case to the ECHR so be it.
    I do not know anyone (incl CAB) who has ever heard of a DWP decision maker reducing the number of points awarded by an ATOS GP – these GP’s are hardly push over’s, even the hate spreading media acknowledge that much.
    You believe you can completely ignore (recorded) letters from disabled people.
    You ignored many from me over the last 3 years and I only got a phone response when I twice tried to make a complaint of maladministration!
    You people are as unfit for the purpose as the ATOS medicals are.
    If you can’t do your jobs give them to people who can, because you are another waste of tax payers money, tax I also paid for approx 30 years.

    After a 3 yr battle and a complaint I was awarded low rate care DLA ‘because I can’t cook a meal’ – you totally ignored the fact that I can’t get out of bed or turn over; can’t bend period so can’t dress or use the bath etc etc.
    I asked you to look again and you stopped the DLA, coincidentally at the same time as I failed the ESA –this was despite reports from Social Services and OT.

    My lovely (ha ha) Polish GP told me I could NOT have the DWP requested Med 3 as it was illegal for her to give it to me.
    She wiped the floor with me for making a self referral to Social Services/OT and said I must follow procedure!
    DWP told me to make sure all problems were accurately recorded by GO – I took a list and asked her to record them, she didn’t bother.
    Another GP wrongly prescribed un-needed medication because he was taking a personal phone call during my app and not listening to me.
    I don’t have the luxury of changing surgeries as I live in a fairly remote, rural location.
    The practise nurse took it upon herself to stop one of my pain meds because she decided I was overdosing….
    They really DO work for you and against their patients – how much are you paying them?

    I would like a proper, written response to this email.
    I would like the information I have requested to be given me in writing, in full, without weeks of delays.
    You will get a recorded copy of this email just so that you can’t pretend you never got it.
    And while you are considering all of the above, consider this also.
    You sent a ‘GP’ (I use the term very lightly) to my home to do a medical for a DLA tribunal. The tribunal requested the medical report, YOU chose the GP.
    His report resulted in the Tribunal rejecting my appeal.
    The report was completely phoney and made up by the GP with little input from me.
    I reported him to ATOS, your employees, who upheld my complaint.
    They said they would and had contacted you about the results of my complaint and the invalid medical report.
    You didn’t bother to contact me or the Tribunal service, despite several letters from me about the matter, many recorded.
    I also reported the ‘doctor’ to the GMC -they reported that he is no longer allowed to do ATOS medicals, but of course he didn’t even get a black mark by his name. I couldn’t even find his name on the GP Medical Register…..
    So, you also send out unfair, lying, unfit GP to do medicals and then ignore the results of your actions even when complaints are supported by ATOS.
    Is this a case of discrimination against me by DWP?

    I intend to find out.

    I know you’d like me to kill myself, I think about it often, I’d like to end it all, but I have an autistic child to get ready for adult life and WORK, one who is extremely intelligent but having great problems dealing with teenage years.
    I will fight my hardest to make sure his NEEDS come before your WANTS.

    Sincerely and very angry,

  • Lj femaleim October 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    This is a bit of a follow up to my post above from sept 5th. After the doctor refused to give me much evidence besides a sicknote and a copy of the referal letter refering me back to mental health services, and was to scared to fill out the Btriangle letter for me, I put together my own detailed argument in my appeal form. Several pages long. I made sure I stapled it all together including the medical cirtificate. Put my NIN, name, date and page numbers 5 of 8 for example on every page. Basically I took every precaution and detail I could think of. As part of appeal I stated that I believed regulations 29 and 35 applied to myself and explained why as fully as I could. I sent it all off witg a week left to get it in, sent registered, recored and kept the proof of postage. I also kept copies of everything I sent including the sick note incase they somehow lost it even though I attached it to the back of my appeals form. So…a week later I called the job centre to see if they had received it all which they had and was told that a case was being built against me, that I would be now be receiving the assessment rate and a payment had been issues which it was. Next day brown envelope letter confirming the info. A week later another brown envelope arrived asking me if I could provide more evidence they would reconsider their original decision. Next day another brown envelope arrives with a letter that I have since read like 30 times incase Im misreading it or dreaming….They reconsidered their decision in my favour, on the grounds of regulations 29 and 35 they find I have limited capability for work and limited capability for work related activity. To be reassessed in 12 monthes. Thankyou black triangle campaign. Now while naturaly Im thrilled with the new outcome and feel I must be lucky that they dealt with my forms etc efficently, quickly and without hicups, It still all has made me very ill. It was still all very unnecessary and I still cant relax. I keep waiting for another brown envelope through my door and panic just thinking about it. And while theyve said reassessment in 12 monthes Ive a feeling it wont be 12 monthes but sooner before this hell starts all over again. It leaves you with some kind of post traumatic stress literaly where you have a panic attack everytime something comes through the door and if its a brown envelope you almost hold it at a distance from you while you open it, peering inside it carefully as though a bomb is in the envelope about to BOOM! and explode your world to bits. Its awful. Anyway I wanted to update and say to people that even if your doc is refusing evidence or to sign the black triangle template letter, if you do believe the regulations apply to you it may still be worth stating it in your appeals form and arguing your case and senting it all off together attached to your appeals form. You never know.

  • Ljfemale October 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    This is a bit of a follow up to my post above from sept 5th. After the doctor refused to give me much evidence besides a sicknote and a copy of the referal letter refering me back to mental health services, and was to scared to fill out the Btriangle letter for me, I put together my own detailed argument in my appeal form. Several pages long. I made sure I stapled it all together including the medical cirtificate. Put my NIN, name, date and page numbers 5 of 8 for example on every page. Basically I took every precaution and detail I could think of. As part of appeal I stated that I believed regulations 29 and 35 applied to myself and explained why as fully as I could. I sent it all off witg a week left to get it in, sent registered, recored and kept the proof of postage. I also kept copies of everything I sent including the sick note incase they somehow lost it even though I attached it to the back of my appeals form. So…a week later I called the job centre to see if they had received it all which they had and was told that a case was being built against me, that I would be now be receiving the assessment rate and a payment had been issues which it was. Next day brown envelope letter confirming the info. A week later another brown envelope arrived asking me if I could provide more evidence they would reconsider their original decision. Next day another brown envelope arrives with a letter that I have since read like 30 times incase Im misreading it or dreaming….They reconsidered their decision in my favour, on the grounds of regulations 29 and 35 they find I have limited capability for work and limited capability for work related activity. To be reassessed in 12 monthes. Thankyou black triangle campaign. Now while naturaly Im thrilled with the new outcome and feel I must be lucky that they dealt with my forms etc efficently, quickly and without hicups, It still all has made me very ill. It was still all very unnecessary and I still cant relax. I keep waiting for another brown envelope through my door and panic just thinking about it. And while theyve said reassessment in 12 monthes Ive a feeling it wont be 12 monthes but sooner before this hell starts all over again. It leaves you with some kind of post traumatic stress literaly where you have a panic attack everytime something comes through the door and if its a brown envelope you almost hold it at a distance from you while you open it, peering inside it carefully as though a bomb is in the envelope about to BOOM! and explode your world to bits. Its awful. Anyway I wanted to update and say to people that even if your doc is refusing evidence or to sign the black triangle template letter, if you do believe the regulations apply to you it may still be worth stating it in your appeals form and arguing your case and senting it all off together attached to your appeals form. You never know.

  • Luke October 29, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Follow up to my post on 22/06/12:

    Got the date of my tribunal through a few of weeks back & immediately made a doctors appointment so I could send in the most up to date evidence I could supply only to be told by my GP that the best she could do for me was give me a sick-note for a month at a time. I asked her to fill in the BTriangle template letter & she refused saying that she can’t make decisions for the DWP, so I took the sick note & posted it (normal first class as I can’t afford anything else) with a short note of my own asking for confirmation of receipt. This was nearly a month ago now. Why is it that when I first had my break-down my then employer received every sick-note I sent by first-class post & I receive every letter from the DWP but they don’t receive any of the evidence I send them? Handy, huh! I haven’t bothered with anything else as I can’t see the point anymore. I can’t see any way out of this other than the CONDEMS path which will in all probability kill me. You may think I am being overly dramatic but when your paranoia is so bad that you can’t leave the house without being physically sick & so scared that you hyper-ventilate and run back home to bury yourself in the bedclothes, looking for work, signing on etc. is going to be pretty much impossible. I don’t want to be like this, it is not an easy option & I don’t live the “life of Riley” (I can barely afford to feed myself). Cameron & Osbourne wouldn’t give a monkeys if I killed myself (like 2 of my friends have ALREADY done over this) in fact they’d probably celebrate the savings made. The whole thing stinks of prejudice & a deliberate will to malign those who are at the bottom of the social ladder. As for the medical “assessments” I have received my friends dog could do a better & fairer job. The willingness of my GP surgery to do nothing to help me in terms of providing evidence is nothing short of scandalous. I hope that come Nov. 5th (the date of my Tribunal) my solicitor, who will be coming with me, will have all the necessary facts to back up my claim although the system for getting that evidence is made deliberately difficult in order to stop mentally & physically frail people from proving their case (although I always thought the burden of proof was on those saying I was lying, innocent until PROVEN guilty & all that). I hope this not my last post…

    • AL November 1, 2013 at 12:34 am

      A little advice never never never send a letter with your sick note. I was told that post is opened by the postmen and sorted. Sick notes to the sick note dept and so on. All letters go to the reading room and the sick note usually gets lost en route. So if like me you politely write please find enclosed, blah blah, that gets read and they think hm funny no sick note. Oh well!

      If you want to send multiple items send seperately. Ring them up and ask for a stack of envelopes. If they say oh I’ve never done that before, you say oh haven’t you? It’s OK all the other advisers do, it’s fine. It means stuff gets to the right place and no nonsense.

      Please don’t waste your money on stamps. Oh unless you have to pay for the call. If you do then perhaps you can get a friend to pop into the Jobcentre and ask there. Our guys are nice and will usually give you a handful. Always be polite and if you are lucky you will get politeness back. I find there are humans working there too.

      Don’t let yourself get down. Hopefully with representation your appeal will go fine. Then all you have to do is concentrate on getting yourself well. Norman Lamb has raised the profile of mental health so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t think you need always live in fear, change is possible. These long drawn out appeals are such a drain on a persons limited resources. Don’t forget the world needs sensitive people too. Good luck!

  • David Calvert October 30, 2013 at 9:56 am
    • jay October 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      “Few would argue that there have been some improvements in the ESA50”

      Are you sure about this?
      I can’t think of any improvements, perhaps you can state what they are.

      • David Calvert October 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        From the ESA50 OF 2009 there has been some improvement, but clearly not enough.

  • Malcolm November 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Can anyone help? I am awaiting tribunal to get on support group. I can no longer receive legal aid. My income related ESA has stopped since my partner works part time but cares for me. What help can I get? CAB have been no help. They just blame the Government.

    • Luke November 13, 2013 at 8:47 am

      I don’t know if they operate outside of Southampton but I found SARC very helpful as they specialize in benefits and appeals. Or there are some (not very many) solicitors prepared to do pro-bono on ESA appeals. Hope this is of some use to you. Best of British!

      • Malcolm November 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

        Hi Luke, thanks for your advice. I contacted SARC by phone and they won’t help as they only concentrate in and around Southampton area.
        My human rights well lets just say I don’t have any. Would a letter to Prince Charles or the Queen have any effect? Just explain to them what is actually going on and make them aware of the Government? They probably don’t realise anything and why should they? After all they’re fit and healthy. I’m really struggling every day. Not just me but the whole of England is struggling.

        • AL November 13, 2013 at 9:50 am

          I think if you still have a partner and they are working, then they are responsible for you. I find that scary. Being sick and disabled is a huge strain on relationships anyway and now they are making vulnerable people even more vulnerable by making them a financial burden on their partners too. As I understand it, you don’t deserve an income of your own, just what your partner will give you. I reckon lots more partners will just walk away. If things are getting tough, why should they stay? couldn’t they perhaps have a better life with someone else who’s fit and healthy? (I’m only saying what many of us worry about) I’m afraid we do need to start telling what the reality is. It also leaves those who don’t like being single with the horror of saying to a potential partner, You don’t mind keeping me do you? Or being means tested? or running me about? I don’t eat much but I do like a bit of pocket money and don’t get any ideas about me being anything other than decorative because I’m a bit rubbish at cooking and cleaning ect and anything else you might like in a partner. Who thought up this rule of stopping contibution based benefit? Did they think through the implications? We paid and now we have been abandoned. Ugh, hate to say it but really it’s not fair!

          • Malcolm November 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

            I really didn’t think I would get a reply back asking for help. This has given me confidence to explain what is going on with me fully.

            I suffered cancer back in 1998 called Hodgkin’s Disease. This didn’t stop me from going to college and wanting to work. However, 2006 after misdiagnosed I suffered Cancer Non Hodgkin’s in the eyes. 2007 I had radiotherapy that damaged the eyes. If GP had done the job properly I wouldn’t have had it in both eyes only in one. I suffer with mental health issues since and dealing with Cancer, and not knowing if it can come back and not supposed to be stressed it’s all too much for me.
            The amount of arguments myself and my partner have gone through I really thought she would leave me.
            I used to be living alone and after losing the first Tribunal against the Incapacity Benefit they said I lived alone and got public transport I was fit for work. I really was annoyed, I saw local MP but didn’t help me get the Incapacity Benefit re-instated. I then applied for ESA and I was classed as unfit for work. But they put me on Income Related, Work Related Activity Group. ATOS had classified to say I was unfit for work for two years. I wasn’t able to live alone and the Housing Association tried to push me in Residential Care. Even the Police told me I shouldn’t be living alone. I then met a partner who said I should live with her, so I did and I told the DWP as I didn’t want to cause trouble and I was awarded ESA but no money could be paid only get ESA on medication and still pay my pension.
            We had huge amounts of arguments I really thought she would leave me or if I should leave her. I have saved the Government huge amounts of money, the council don’t pay us any housing benefit as my partner has her own home. That’s a saving of £300 a month could be more. Then a saving of Disability Severe Allowance that’s a huge saving. Then a person can get a one bedroom flat that a person actually needs. If I had to go to Residential Care I can’t imagine how much this would cost the Government. I wrote all this and more to IDS, PM, Labour leader and whole of other people yet it’s fallen on deaf ears.
            I did think my partner would leave and I thought this wouldn’t happen to anyone. But it does. I have put a e-petition online but no one has signed. People are ignorant as my friends are all working and they don’t share the link on their Facebook or Twitter as it doesn’t interfere with them. But anyone can be ill at any time and if they’re not entitled to ESA then they’ll lose out on many things.
            I only receive DLA £296 every 4 weeks.
            I have 5 disabilities, two lots of cancer, severe pain in the eyes and mental health issues. I am on Sertraline as I thought about suicide. I don’t see the point in living. I’m trying to get on the Support group of ESA although, I won’t benefit in short term I believe in long term I would benefit from this. To be put in Work Group of ESA Income Related I never had an interview at the Job Centre until late July this year. I been on the ESA since last April. I was told to go to College and learn something new. I tried to go College but they wouldn’t accept me because I got to be looking for work.
            I then tried to get legal advice from a Solicitor I’m not allowed legal aid as it’s been stopped. I would really like to fight for Disabled Human Rights as I’m sure what the Government is doing is affecting our Human Rights. But no Solicitor will help me. Therefore, I can’t fight Human Rights nor can I get help for Support Group I got to fight this myself. Is it any wonder why I feel suicidal?

            • AL November 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

              I’m so sorry. I hope what I said didn’t hurt. It sounds like you have an amazing partner to support you but it’s a tough road for both of you to walk. You have to be strong for each other and tell each other how important they are. You are bound to argue just to let off steam. It’s the situation not you as people. If you are like me you will catch yourself ranting and think. Is this really me? Dont stop telling people. Try an email to Dennis Skinner his constituent spent 11 months on appeal battling cancer. He might be interested to know there are others who aren’t dead being shoddily treated too. Don’t give up. Don’t give the Govt the satisfaction of driving you to end things. You cannot let them save money by ending our lives. United we Stand

            • Luke November 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm

              Sorry to hear that things have got so bad for both you & your partner. On the legal front try getting in contact with organisations like MIND or ReThink (only really know about mental health ones) as they can give you advice on who to speak to or according to a solicitor I know there is a list of Human Rights lawyers around on the interweb (when I find out more I’ll post it here). Don’t give Cameron & co the satisfaction of splitting you & your partner up or ending it all, it’s part of what they want. Together we stand

  • Malcolm November 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Al , I don’t know why you think you hurt me but you haven’t. I won’t commit suicide because I want to fight this even if it means alone with no help from Solicitors. Today I heard Government are now on track as people on JSA is all time low. Truth be fair its not. Probably never will. Government way of thinking for anyone on JSA get them working asap once they get work no more JSA. But JSA is means tested meaning unemployed people can’t get the help as their partners income comes in effect. Same as ESA. Meaning its lies, lies and more lies.
    What scares me the most is if I lose ESA I can’t get JSA meaning I can’t get help for employment. What can a severe sighted person do? This has happened so suddenly of losing vision. If I lost vision as young child be easier to adapt. Much harder to adapt when in 30’s.
    I will email Dennis Skinner. Let you know the response. However, no where close am I living where he is. Does this matter?
    I love to tell my story to everywhere I hope I get listened to. It takes one person to make a change it takes millions of people just to say thank you. I will fight and continue doing so I got time on my hands and I got nothing better to do than fighting this. If I didn’t fight I would be 6foot under. I sure get depressed but I sure as anything I stay focused and I know what I want knowing how to combat the Government that’s tough.
    If anyone has ideas let me know, I’ll try my best to win the Government.

  • AL November 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Don’t know it if matters if you are his constituent. He seems a decent sort and he might listen to your story. Don’t know what he can do but he does ask questions and unless I’m sucked in, I reckon he cares. Email your local bod too.

    RNIB used to be brilliant helping people adjust to sight loss and you may have a local branch too. Will they help you? If you fall into their remit they should offer all sorts of help. So many helping charities are running out of money you need to find one who still has the funds to help. In the old days, when I dealt in disablity RNIB had lots of money and offered excellent training, support the lot. Sight loss requires specialist help and I suspect they understand the mental side of it too. Can’t help to ask. It may need a social service referral I don’t know.

  • Annos November 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    • Malcolm November 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Income Support does exist but cannot get this due to my partner working 20 hours not 16 hours. It’s unbelievable, my partner works too much for me to get ESA and for me to get Income Support and also she can’t get Carers allowance as she earns more than £100 per week. She looks after me voluntary all I do is pay for the shopping from the DLA. I can’t afford any mobility aids for my vision.

      I am in contact with RNIB and I got to admit they’ve been really helpful they’re offering myself and my partner counselling and they have contacted Social Worker for us however, the Social Worker can’t get us the money back but he’s helping me with little devices around the home and he takes me out see how I cope in the streets using the cane.
      The huge problem for me is when I lost a lot of the vision in both eyes I had a eye consultant telling me I’ll get better, 2007 he crossed me off the list. I tried to get registered back then but he said no as he thought I’ll get better. Summer 2012 I went to see another eye consultant who tested my peripheral vision and did a nerves test. Nerves test came back negative, the peripheral vision I can only see a pin point out of the eyes. 6/76 I been tested for. The problems that I’m faced with each day are horrible tasks sometimes I cannot even be bothered to get dressed, I just have the mood to do anything. Each day it’s a struggle. I know I should be happy with having a life after beating cancer but I’m not. I feel really selfish and I can’t get myself motivated.

      RNIB are going to issue me with Counselling that will help unfortunately I’m on a waiting list of approximately 3 months. In the meantime I’m on high dose of Sertraline and just waiting for the Tribunal hoping to get on Support group although, as I said it won’t make a difference to me. The Government have got me by the balls and I’m in a slump. I’ll let you all know what Dennis Skinner tells me. But too be honest I’m not holding my breathe. My local MP have done absolutely nothing to help. They just blame the coalition. But my local MP has got two houses and he spent £45,000 doing up both houses and he’s not been given the sack. This makes me so angry how can they do this to themselves but give little help towards people like me/us?

      • AL November 14, 2013 at 12:30 am

        Yes it’s the coalitions fault, vote more wisely next time huh?
        Try to be nice to yourself. I have some very nice fluffy lounging trousers, PJ’s to you. I wear them because they are comfy and warm for when I’m writing and it helps me to fit the stereotype scumbag profile that people are comfortable with. The J/Witnesses caught me one day, took one look at me and said ‘Ah your not very well we should let you rest. Poor thing!’ Apart from thinking Do I look that bad? It was very convenient. Accept how you feel. Life isn’t fair. For goodness sake don’t beat yourself up over clothes. If you stop showering then you will have to take yourself in hand. You have had a rough time you need to adjust and it’s not easy. You are bound to be angry but try to realise it’s a waste of your energy. Use your energy to achieve something useful. You are not alone in this, so see if you can find others like you locally so you can support each other. Tell people to sign the wowpetition on line. When you get your counselling you can be prepared. Know what areas you are struggling most with. My experience of RNIB is they are a very professional outfit. They will understand. Don’t forget underneath all your upset and anger and disability, you are stil a decent human being and that is worth everything. If you come up with a plan cunning or otherwise tell us if we can help. Sometimes we need a hefty shove to make us stand up for our rights. I’m feeling kinda shoved just don’t have a plan yet.

  • Malcolm November 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I got to admit wearing pj’s helps cold callers. Just last week I had a knock on the door I answered it wearing pj’s and they told me sorry to disturb you I see our not well just about windows and doors. He said he’ll call another time I told him not bother and he said ok he won’t.
    I feel I am treated so much nicer here its nice to let the anger out without hurting anyone. Makes a nice change. Its just nice being treated with respect and care and people here show that. The names people call me it does knock me back. After all we only human just because we are different we still have feelings.
    Tomorrow I see the eye consultant I am hoping to be registered either partial sight or severe. I tried many times but unsuccesful maybe that’s why I get treated unfairly from Government. Get registered I hope it makes a difference. I tell how it goes tomorrow.
    I emailed Mr Skinner a long email I went as far as asking if he can get me a lawyer? As I want to fight the Tories at their own game.
    I wonder what the response will be. I will be writing a letter to Prince Charles let the Royal family know what is going on as they may or may not know what we are going through. I think he’ll be most displeased of how we are treated and the Royals have powers over Government. I wonder if IDS and the PM got ill like me I wonder how they would cope. Can anyone imagine IDS wearing dark glasses and a cane? I bet he would give themselves a helping hand but leaving those that need it out. One rule for them another rule for us. Yes I’m angry but I am doing something I don’t hide I come back fighting.
    I never voted Tories. I didn’t trust them same as LibDems. This coalition doesn’t work. LibDems had rules Tories had other rules now they using same rules does anyone have the balls to say or do something?
    Where I live there’s no support where I can go the funds have all gone. Centres are closed, voluntary sectors can’t help those that need the help. Where are we supposed to go? Lottery funds supposed to help but not around here. Where is all the money going? Someone is getting rich and its not us. The banks that’s who and the BBC all these corporations that’s who. Is it any wonder why small shops are closing? We haven’t money because the Government don’t give us money. With that we can’t go out and buy their prices meaning their business fails. The Government made this happen. Shoplifting is on the rise simply because no one can afford costing the owners more. What do the Government do? Nothing as they’re not affected. The PM got asked once did he know the cost of a loaf of bread? He couldn’t answer why is he the PM if he doesn’t know the real world. We need a leader whose in touch with the real world who understands the financial hardship we need to find that leader as then we’ll get the right support. The rich at present are getting richer this needs to be stopped. If bank fails let them go under don’t put money in a bank that’s failed and don’t let managers get huge fat bonus. The Government let this happen. I would be that leader but I don’t know how to become a MP. If anyone has ideas or to help me that be great. I would put a stop to this. I would try make this nation be great again. I be for Britain not for EU. If they have problems let them sort it themselves. Nothing to do with us. If major catastrophy happened we would help those. We need to get back services that people need.
    I am fighting to make a difference but I can’t do this alone. Everything is wrong with our country people complain but do nothing. At least I try.

  • Annos November 14, 2013 at 9:26 am

    We already knew this.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/11/14/came-n13.html

    Make no mistake, Labour will do same!.

    • Malcolm November 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Just letting you know I’ve heard back from Dennis Skinner he has contacted my local MP where my local MP has said nothing he can do however, with having two MP’s maybe there is something they can do. Maybe not. So far I’ve heard nothing back from the local MP and I suspect I never will either.
      Last week I had seen the eye consultant very fair man. I liked him, better than the other consultants I’ve seen previously. He wants me to go for tests even brain scan as to see what is causing the problems with the eyes so he can register me as he needs to put on the form a diagnostic. Having radiotherapy isn’t a diagnostic. Just waiting to hear the appointment hopefully very soon. Also he hadn’t any of my medical reports as I moved area therefore, this is hard to prove that I have had radiotherapy without proper paperwork.
      Yesterday I was close to suicide I was walking near a bridge where I could have jumped and landed on a railway track. I obviously didn’t do it but I got to admit I was close to doing it. I stayed on the bridge just peering over, I didn’t climb on the wall I just stared, I came back away from it and walked home. First time really feeling of doing something like that hurts me so much.
      Today I heard the Cooperative bank are in deep trouble, how can a man get so much of an income whereas people like us are treated this way? Makes me want to throw up so sick and I don’t know about people here but I’m sick of this all. Banks fail but they get bonus after bonus and it just continues, banks should just close down and give the money to us. But the Government are just corrupt surely can people open their eyes and arrest the Government over this? Apparently not. If we did something like this we’ll end up having to pay back the money being owed. Treating us like a criminal. It’s disgusting!!!

  • AL November 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Malcolm, I think politeness says that your MP should at the very least acknowledge Dennis Skinners input. That’s something. I think it’s only in private conversations that they slag each other off name calling and so on. Probably. I doubt David Cameron tells Nick Clegg in public, that he is a Idle F**ker, Just discretly and behind his back.

    Sounds like you are making progress. Keep battling. Write your letters, whatever it takes and don’t abandon the rest of us by jumping. That simply isn’t cricket. And as a gesture it will be ignored anyway. Except for being registered as a reduction in people claiming benefit and proof that the cuts are working.

    I see my continued aliveness as being at the very least a thorn in the side of Govt and I do have a commitment to those at the DWP, ATOS JobcentrePlus and the NHS etc to keep them all in work. I work hard each week at staying alive and keeping them all busy. It’s my duty. I don’t like to be pecieved as lazy. Part of my duty is to remind potential quitters of their duty too. You don’t beat cancer just to quit because life sucks. You do it to prove that you are ready and able to fight anything, including a silly man made system designed to make life suck for the weakest and most vulnerable people in society. Keep plugging way.

    • Malcolm November 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Yes I agree completely with what you say. I’m not lazy myself and I believe that 100% genuine disabled people aren’t classed as lazy that’s perhaps where the Government think we can achieve work. Become lazy and they get everything. But do they? Well it works for the MP why not make it work for them? So far I’ve not had any kind of communication from my local MP and I don’t expect I will either. I know it’s early days and plus it’s the weekend but it does seem to me that all MP’s don’t care. Why should we care about them? They’re after our votes at the end when push comes to shove would they come round and discuss this with me and see what then can be done? Then if I/we vote for them they wouldn’t care about us. That’s the way I really feel. All one sided as they know they got a lot to lose all about the perks but it’s all about real hitting life reality that MP’s and the Government know nothing about. No one knows what it’s like to suffer cancer, anxiety, dialysis, mental side of things, blind, loss of limbs it goes on and on. As long as the Government are stable in their jobs then they don’t care about anyone else. I love to see how the PM would cope if he had any disabilities, his family did and he got disability allowance now he’s died the rules have changed. All in it for his favour not exactly in ours. I think people felt sorry for him but in reality there are many families in that situation each day and they hardly survive as they cut off their benefits, isn’t it funny that he was the PM and he was entitled to everything why? Because he’s the PM there are no rules bounded although, there should be. Then the rules changed again. How would he cope if his son was still alive? Those rules wouldn’t exist because he would have a huge fight on his hands. He possibly would lose his job. Tories have never cared about the Disabled. Labour was going to put these rules in place as well but I’m sure it would be a little different if we saw an MP and they would do something about it. It couldn’t go ignored, the funny thing is around here all I have is Labour MP nothing about Tories MP. If this was the case then maybe the Tories MP would say it’s coalition nothing we can do. I’m fed up of hearing that, how about a solution to every problem? There is a solution.
      I’m thinking of fighting to go into the Support group. Now the thing is I don’t know how much National Insurance Contributions that the Government has put in for me. What I’m thinking is going to Job Centre asking them what kind of job I can do for a living? If I cannot get in the Support Group. Then I get on the JSA and once there is no job for me then I apply for ESA again therefore, I should have enough money for Contribution ESA therefore, really fight hard to get in the Support group and although, money may stop whilst waiting if I get in the support group then I be on Contribution whilst unfit for work. Therefore, problem sorted. Therefore, everyone should see how much they have paid and work out how much you need to be on contribution. For those who have money stopped then you have nothing to lose to do everything you can to fight the system. This is the only flaw I see and work with. If anyone has any other ideas please bring it forward. Ask questions if no one understands and I’ll try my best to make it straight forward as I know it’s nothing easy when it comes to money from the Government. Here it is again.

      Those who are in my position that is unable to get money due to partner.

      1. Find out how much money the Government have put in for National Insurance Contribution.

      2. Go to Job Centre enquire which job you can do and maybe get off ESA and get on JSA.

      3. After sometime on JSA and no job is found get back on ESA and you should be entitled to Contribution ESA.

      4. Once on Contribution ESA write a letter to DWP requesting really hard you want to be on Support Group state that you have tried to look for work and show this on the letter, state you feel you should be on Support Group.

      5. If you need to go to Tribunal there is no Legal Aid unfortunately meaning you have to do this all yourself however, show evidence of everything and what you’re going through your GP should work hard for you and if you’re lucky enough to be on Support Group you will get on this with Contribution based in place meaning a good sum of money for you and your partner can work and it won’t interfere with her/his earnings.

      I admit it’s a long fight and struggle but this is the only way it can be done. I wished I did this in beginning but I knew nothing about anything like this until it was too late.

      What I did was:

      Filled application form for ESA I got put on Income Related ESA and then I put a letter of request to state I wish to be on Support Group ESA. I’m now waiting to hear about the Tribunal. I knew nothing about Income Related and all other kinds of ESA. I didn’t even know there was Support Group until this year. No one from DWP or Job Centre had told me about anything, for example if I had a partner her income would be affected. I didn’t know that until I had a partner who I lived with. This should be told straight away as it’s hiding information that turns out to be a shock. It’s really distressing to say the least. No wonder people are committing suicide simply because they’re not told about this in beginning and to be on Income Related straight away because you not paid enough it’s damn right shocking, it’s not anyone’s fault that your ill to work. It’s so wrong on many levels. Not only do you have to deal with the illness or the disability but mental side as well and no one looks at the mental side of things this seems to go unnoticed then beating ATOS to say unable to work for two years or how many years so leaving partner carrying this amount of money side of things it’s too hard to even think about.

      I know I’ve talked a lot and covering same old ground but I do hope I have or am working to help people gain something back in their lives. This is why it’s important for me to keep going as I love helping people. I hope this information does help someone.
      Take care
      Malcolm

  • Steve February 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Got our court cast on Tuesday, Lin is in bits about it, I’m hoping we get a win coz the whole system is just a joke.
    Lin got reg 29 in 2009 she got worse and still no points. Now we are at court again. Sooooooo wrong

  • michael hegarty March 4, 2014 at 12:25 am

    all this thing about getting people of benefits is a joke and just against the law the mps should all take a big pay cut and sack some of them they pick on the poor al the time al because the bankers got gready they never punished them we did not cause the banking crisis they did if it wasn’t for the poor there wouldn’t be rich people. all this about were all in this together .load of b——-t mps are nothink but liers . they should hang there heads in sham as for picking on disabled people call that democracy they need to be beaten at the next election give some other party a go . ukip for a start there for the people not you con/lab/lib you lot live on another planet to much red tape am surprised companys are still here company be being strangled by red tape health and safety as well you load of pen pusher

  • bob May 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Won Tribunal appeal recently using regulation 35 (risk to health). Moved from wrag to support group.
    Did not use a representative, it is possible to win if you have the necessary evidence and keep going to the end of this lengthy process., the independent tribunal.

  • michael molyneaux June 10, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I have just had my appeal turned down they want to get all these that has not worked for 35 40 yrs and do some thing about that this place stinks

    • AL June 10, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Have you applied for their reasons, and the Record of Proceedings? It may help you understand why this happened and you are entitled to it. Also if you wish to appeal their decision they will need to have made an error in law. Your representative, if you have one, will be able to advise you if you get the information. If you want to appeal you have to act fast, you get thirty days I think. You can ask for an extension if you have a good reason for not getting your appeal in within the alloted time. It’s pretty tough hey? All that stress for nothing. I really sympathise. It nearly finished me.

  • jane1 September 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Hi All I transferred from IB to ESA. Was sent for a medical in April 15, filled in ESA50 Nov 14. I had total hip replacement in sept 14. |I was found fit for work even though 4 weeks after medical i was due to go in hospital for total hip replavcement of the left hip. They said they could not take this into consideration. I have other medical issues to. Sent all the relevant paperwork to. I was not strong enough then, But have another medical coming up in oct 15 as I had to reapply for esa for 2nd hip as they classed it as new condition, will be appealing if I fail this one, Any advice you can give me. will be printing off letter on here to hand assessor. Also |I am still sending in Sick certificates. Had 2nd hip replacement in May 15

    This is a brilliant site.

    • JJ October 1, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Hope your GP sorts you out with our template letter.

      Solidarity X

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