DWP/AtoS JUDICIAL REVIEW ~ URGENT CALLOUT for Evidence ~ Mental Health Resistance Network

PLEASE SPEAK OUT!

MHRN need these stories urgently so if you can help, please contact us as quickly as possible:

Members of the Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) have been working with a solicitor towards making a claim for a Judicial Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) which is the assessment used to determine whether we will be granted Employment Support Allowance or sent back to work (if there is any work to be found!).

MHRN are just focussing on people who claim on mental health grounds.

 

MHRN are now at a critical stage in this process as they are very close to being able to make the claim for Judicial Review.

However, before they can do this, it would help if they could find stories that will show the court what sort of problems the WCA causes. So they are looking for people who have been through the process and would be able to tell us about their experience.

If people wish, MHRN can present their cases anonymously when they use their evidence.

Although it would be very good if people were prepared for MHRN to give their names to the DWP so that the DWP could check their stories, it is not essential.

There are two types of experience that we are particularly interested in (in the solicitor’s words):

(i) Cases where a person claims ESA without producing any medical evidence and is refused benefit, but then wins on appeal when medical evidence is obtained.

(ii) Cases where a person claims ESA without producing any medical evidence, is
refused benefit, does not appeal (perhaps because they can’t face it), and then bad things happen (for example they go into work and become ill, or have a problem, or can’t get work, or whatever).

Ideally, the case is recognised down the line as a problem because a CAB or law centre makes a new application with medical evidence and benefit is awarded.

In other words:

1) you have you claimed and been turned down for ESA but were successful on
appeal when you produced additional medical evidence

or

2) were you turned down for ESA and did not appeal but reapplied with medical evidence, and were successful.

You can send your stories to: mentalhealthresistancenetwork@gmail.com

Or you can write to the solicitor whose address is below:

Ravi Low-Beer – Solicitor
Public Law Project
150 Caledonian Road
London N1 9RD
Tel: 0845 543 5944
Fax: 0845 345 9254

OR you can post your story in the comments thread below and Black Triangle will forward it, although we would prefer it if you contacted them by telephone directly, and they will deal with your case professionally. THANK YOU and PLEASE SPEAK OUT!

http://www.nsun.org.uk/news/mhrn/

Comments
  • tony May 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

    i would like to take part in this could you send my email to them ,i have had medicals since 2008 and had to appeal every one of them all successful , im in the middle of an appeal now just waiting for the date of my trial.

  • bridget price May 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I have emailed but am posting here cos I’d like to read other people’s stories so perhaps they would like to read mine

    In my case the squabble was over approximately £160 and ended up costing about £3000.

    I have had ME since 1972 and depression on and off since 1978. On September 2010 I made an application for ESA. Prior to that I had never made a claim for any kind of disability benefit.

    I work part time and have managed my illnesses for years. At the end of the summer of 2010 I became more ill and had to reduce the hours I worked to less than 16. This was a temporary situation due to additional personal stress. There was work available I was just unable to cope with doing it. The personal matter resolved itself in February 2011 and as my depression is linked to SAD, it could have reasonably been predicted that with this sorted and days getting longer, by March 2011 I would have been able to return to my usual hours.

    I was paid ESA at the assessment rate of £65 per week from the start of my claim. Had my GP been believed, for the last two months this would have risen by £20 per week thus costing £160 extra.

    Instead the whole ridiculous charade came into play.

    Following the result of my assessment by ATOS on 7th January, if they had written a report which accurately reflected my work capability, I would have received the additional £20 a week and there would only have been the extra cost of the ATOS assessment (I believe £750) and of the decision maker’s wages.

    However the report written by them was a grotesque travesty of falsehoods. (To such an extent that when I showed it to a person who knows me they were convinced the names had been mixed up!)

    This inept piece of drivel caused me such distress that I had to phone the Samaritans for the first time in my life. I had to get help from my GP in order to sleep. I was unable to work at all for two weeks and had to let my employer down completely.

    Later I had to utilize a large amount of my GP’s time getting repeat sick notes, extra medication and back up for my appeal. I also got a great deal of help from The Citizen’s Advice Bureaux.

    Instead of recovering by March I did not recover until midway through July.

    Reeling from the lies and injustice, I wrote extensively to DWP (including many ‘Freedom of Information’ requests as well as information and explanations pertaining to my own case) wrote to my MP several times, wrote to Professor Harrington, wrote what was pretty well a thesis to the Tribunal service, wrote, phoned, emailed and generally harassed ATOS in the quest to ascertain why they had brought dishonour upon me.

    Finally, 14 months after the initial assessment, having had a year living under the cloud, I was exonerated.

    By now the tally of expenses had added up to assessment cost- £750; four and a half months of additional payments of ESA to me because they had prolonged my illness- £1530. The tribunal costs which will have been particularly expensive due to the large amount of literature I had generated in my defence. And also the services of all the people mentioned above.
    Realistically about £3000!

  • seymour pantry June 2, 2012 at 5:12 am

    THIS IS FOR THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE.

    Seymour Pantry THIS IS FOR DAVID CAMERON,THE PRIME MINISTER, WHY HAVE YOU ALLOWED THE POLICE THE POWER TO FREE RACISTS ATTACKERS WHO’RE (arrested for section 18/20 wounding with intent to cause grevious bodily harm) WITHOUT NO-CARE FOR THE VICTIMS. IF DAVID CAMERON IS EVEN TRYING TO STOP RACISM, START BY HELPING THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE VOTED FOR YOU. ERADICATE RACISM 2DAY.

  • Ellen June 3, 2012 at 1:30 am

    The process places undue stress upon people who are specifically vulnerable. Usually nearly everyone is initially refused ESA. despite being obviously unfit for work. The person, if they are motivated enough (not good if your depressed) has to appeal. this results in living on a reduced rate of benefits until the appeal is heard. At they appeal, they usually say they havent recieved the medical evidence you submitted. (whereupon you bring out your copies of the ones sent). you are then granted ESA after around 6 months of poverty and distress.
    If you are bipolar and particularly susceptable to stress, this may have caused and escalation in your manic symptoms, resulting in hospitalisation or suicide.
    Or if the situation is so stressful the person, unwell, in an attempt to get as far away from DWP as possible, finds work of sorts, resulting in thousand of pounds of debt, insovency, and again potentially death. (I got into 18k of debt in this scenario.)

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