Benefits?

Has anyone had any experience of applying for benefits. I have Atrial Flutter, which starts at random, usually about every three days. It lasts anywhere between a minute or two up to 10 minutes, when I become, breathless, dizzy, unable to stand and leaving me tired (really tired) for hours, often with a blinding headache and palpitations. I also live with Aspergers, and am type 2 diabetic. The diabetes and atrial flutter are probably genetic (my dad was diabetic and my mum ag A Fib). I have had a small stroke (possibly 2) and as such, am a high stroke risk when my Atrial Flutter goes off.

I was working as a wedding photographer, but I cannot take bookings when I could collapse in a the middle of a wedding. My wife has just retired, and some extra money until it gets stabilised would really help. However, as stress is one trigger that I have noticed (tiredness being another), thee stress of dealing with the DWP and assessment is rather scary.

Thanks for any advice in advance.

6 Replies

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  • Not what you're asking, but have you been offered any medication or an ablation? Flutter can be harder to treat with meds than fibrillation, but flutter ablations are quicker, simpler, safer, and higher success rate than fib ablations. Mine only took about 40 minutes. (Fortunately I haven't had any experience of the benefit system!)

  • I was just wondering about anyone experience with the dwp. I have a preliminary diagnosis of a flutter but the cardiologist was not impressed with the GPs ecg and I am having a 7 day one next week. He has changed my beta blockers and blood thinners meanwhile.

    he did say ablation was the likely treatment if his diagnosis is correct.

  • See my thoughts from a few days ago lorna-doone18. Good luck!

  • I've got heart failure when I was on sick I applied for pip which I got low rate care for 2 yrs but I'm back at work so don't know if il get it again after them 2 yrs 

  • Many years ago I was a Welfare Rights advisor and I have recently been involved in applying for PIP for my daughter. She was refused the benefit so we appealed and won. She now gets PIP.

    The forms are a nightmare and you need to be a lawyer, doctor, psychologist and have a lot of time and patience. It is not for the faint-hearted!

    The stress of filling in the forms etc is difficult to cope with if you have stress related problems (my daughter has severe depression and a few other problems).So it is a good idea to get some help. Your local Citizen's Advice centre can help with this. You will need to contact them to make an appointment to see an advisor who  specialises in this field.

    Alternatively - and this is the route I took - have a look at this website:- benefitsandwork.co.uk/

    I paid the yearly fee of about £15 (may be more now) and got considerable help from the site and by using the member's forum for more specific advice. I have now helped a few people and have won every time so it was money well spent.

    You can download their guide to applying for PIP and this will take you through the application process and forms step by step with lots of good advice along the way. They also walk you through the  "face to face" medical you may have to attend.  

    Be warned though - the DWP ignore just about everything you do and say and will lie their way through the process making some amazing decisions and assumptions along the way. 

    The more professional back up you have the better. Letters from specialists, GP, etc will help. They may be ignored by the DWP's  Decision Maker (DM) at first but are very useful if you end up at an appeal tribunal because one of the members of the panel will be a doctor and he/she will be more inclined to read and agree with a letter from another doctor. (One of the other members is a lawyer and a third is a lay-person with experience in this field.)

    Think long-term and plan your application with  an appeal in mind. The DWP's  DM will make bizarre decisions that will leave you fuming and ready to storm their local office and join placard carrying demonstrations in Downing Street but, if you think long-term, you will be a step ahead of them.

    Last but not least....

    Filling in the form requires you to go through all your problems, medications, treatments, etc and doing this can be very stressful because we tend to deal with whichever problem is troubling us most at the time and not think too much about the others. The form-filling process means that you will have to look in detail at all your problems at once and this can be overwhelming. My way of dealing with this is to take just one problem at a time and deal with that, then wait a day or so and start on the next one. Don't procrastinate, make sure that you deal with a little a day so that you can handle it all.

    I hope this helps.

  • Thank you, that is very helpful.

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