Battle with benefits

I wonder if anyone has any advice. I have had AIH and PSC for 2 years and list my job. I had a DWP health assessment and got no points,unbelievable !!!

I am fighting the decision as my GP says I am unfit for work,but am having a nightmare with jobcentre. They have put me on jobseekers allowance and are sending me for job clubs and interviews which I can't cope with. They have no sympathy for my condition and I left there in tears on Monday. They are treating me so badly and say my benefits could stop if I don't comply. I am trying my hardest,but can't sleep because of it and feel very tearful.

I live alone and have no other income,sorry to complain but I'm really upset. I know there are people worse off but I feel desperate.

Thanks for any advise you may have xx

21 Replies

  • They are nasty, nasty, sure you have read all the must appeal the decision; this in itself is a real pain; more so, as they have put you on jobseekers....meaning...if you are on jsa, you are saying you are fit for work...and yet obviously you disagree with their decision re the medical! If i could swear on here i would! There is a website that i need to look up myself about this....others on here will remind you of it, as i need to join it myself; you have to pay a small fee, but i understand its well worth it; and they give you good advice; just appealing decisions, they can take ages to do, and the benefits system allows them to take as long as they like; months / years!! They do this in the hope that you will die whilst not give up.....its insane how you are being treated but doesn't surprise me as many others are treated just like this; many people who obviously are not fit to work at all; for the time being try to do as they say or else they will sanction you....but, if you are so ill you cant go; call them up..tell them you are going straight to your GP to get a letter to say you are too ill to attend. You have my deepest empathy and you are far from alone. Good luck; also get letters from any specialists that treat you/ from wherever you can. Also, look up and see if there are any food banks near you; i dont necessarily mean the trussel one (where you can only go about 3 times a year and have to get referred) ; but sometimes local churches have foodbanks; they are rare; but you might find one where you live and they may give you food more regularly ; its a hideous thought; but surviving on JSA is literally impossible. Do not apologise at all; they are in the wrong and totally out of order. x

  • Thank you so much for your reply,I sent my mandatory reconsideration off a week ago and have had 5 jobcentre appointments in 2 weeks and 2 more next week. Feel so out of it sometimes I have to take my 79 year old mother with me to listen as I can't take it all in. Thanks for your support. What really upsets me and gets me cross,is that before all this I worked full time for 29 years with very little time off sick,means nothing when you need help,does it ?

    Thanks again

    Sal x

  • I know how you feel. We are being assessed on Thursday re PIP's claim.xx

  • i feel so bad for you and the many others who are in the same position. thats good advice from susieanna and even get the doctor to come on a house call to you as all this added stress must be making you even more ill. this is the place where you go and pay a fee to get all the information you need. i hope it helps.

  • Thanx Grace re 'Benefitsandwork'; thats the one i need to get onto; thats horrific re that many trips to the job centre. Nothing you have contributed before seems to matter to the benefits system, they don't care; good idea re home visit if possible; though Dr's don't do these very often/ not quite sure. All these added problems literally make you sicker; good luck and never give up. xx

  • well try and get a home visit during the day as you are to sick to go to the surgery. get your aunt to telephone for you. good luck. its true its not what happened in the past that counts it must be an up to date letter from your doctor or consultant, as my friend who has tourrettes syndrome got no points however he appealed and they still wanted him to join some part of their programme where you go for training every so often to get you back to work but he appealed.but it must be an up to date letter confirming that you are suffering from what ever it is that we are ill with now as they need proof that you still have the condition. 👍

  • I had my benefits suspended while I appealed against a similar judgment.

    My advice to you is to do what I did. I wrote a complete medical history backed up with consultants letters and a personal statement. I then sent it to my MP. It then took approximately two weeks via a phone call to myself from a very senior DWP official to have my benefits restored, backdated and assessed as ESA on the support group. The irony for me was that the MP was a conservative !

    I also considered a formal complaint to the Nursing and Midwifery Council regarding the callous conduct by the nurse employed by ATOS who did the assessment. Its my belief that its unethical for a health professional to work for these companies who's sole purpose is to reduce the benefits bill.

    If you're not up to it - get somebody else to submit the above on your behalf as its quite stressful enough being ill without the added stress of so called health professionals who clearly have no empathy or sympathy having a say in how you live your life. Jim

  • for those who dont know : ESA - Employment Support Allowance. The support group means a higher rate. There is then no requirement to seek work.

  • Thanks to everyone for their help and support,it's good to know people care,will keep you updated,many thanks x

  • There is a large amount of free information available on the Benefits and Work website.

  • you have applied for pip? Personal independance allowance??

  • Yes,I was turned down yet again. As I manage to live alone people think I must be well,thanks

  • just because you live alone does not mean that you do not need help. infact people who live alone are the ones who need the help more as they live alone, i wish i could help you more.i live alone, and have to pay people to help me. just because you live alone does not mean that you are managing. it causes deep stress and depression when you cant get to the shops or clean your house or have a bath.or do whatever it is that you need help with. if you need any more help let me know and i will private mail you as this is not right and i will help you with your appeal.

  • Thank you so much,it's good to know people understand as my friends don't really understand,thanks again x

  • I had my pip assessment three weeks ago and still waiting for a response. I'm thinking its a no and they are just making me hang on! The whole thing took 30mins with a very grumpy nurse who didn't want to listen to me and I was rushed through the whole process. How long did you wait for a decision?

  • I had a pip assessment 2 years ago and failed as I was living with parents as I lost my house and job,can't remember how long it took. Sent my reconsideration off last week and keep trying to ring to check they have it,but cant afford the phone calls any more,only got as mobile !!

  • Appeal the decision as then when you get re categorised they will have to back pay to the beginning.

    If you cant go to the things they say go to gp and get a sick note.if he signs yoi off sick i think yhis may change things a bit.

    Go to citezen advice they will try and help.

    If you dont go to meetings put it in writing as well as ringing.get it any correspondance sent regigstered post as they cant say they havent had it they lost mine and luckily i kept a copy but i still had to send it all again.

    You have to let them know what you cant do rather than how you feel as how yoi feel doesnt get any points.

    Toilets breaks extra food breaks etc concentration are all things that interfere with a normal working.

    When they ask you if you can do things it is important that it means repeatedlywhich is when the fatigue comes in.there is now a a extra in the asessment which says you have to be capable of doing things safely and repeatedlyand they dont make this obvious.good luck dont give you will get there in the end ..

    I did eventually


  • That's why I despise this Government. I had the same problem about 2 years ago. I contacted my MP and within weeks I was awarded ESA support group and PIP at enhanced rates. I was amazed how much sway a MP has and since then she has sorted out every problem I've had. Obviously she is a Labour MP I doubt you would get any joy if your MP is a Tory. Whatever you do good luck

  • Esa has an overarching rule that if working is detrimental to your health you get pas sported to the support group. Your health sounds like your mental health is very fragile. I would go to a local adviser Citizens advice, Age UK etc have benefits advisers who can support you through reconsideration and appeal if necessary. There are people at the hospital or union reps that can support.

    The dwp site lists the criteria. Normal people need guidance to get the right wording to satisfy the underlying law. Keep a diary of how you cope during the day. Write down your thoughts. Write down about the disabling pain. It is very hard but this is what gets you the points. Do not lose hope.

    Get evidence, letters of support from friends and family. Focus on the difficulty you have. Get Adult social care assessments to support you. Get the help you need. You obviously need an advocate to talk for you. ASC can direct you to the help you need. Evidence is needed and up to date evidence.

    Anybody still on dla get up to date consultant referrals ensure you evidence the support you need in daily tasks. pip is very different

  • Thank you for pointing out about my mental health,it was fine until all this started. On top of it all it looks like DWP have list my Reconsideration appeal !!! Where will all this end. No one would employ me with my health record anyway. Thanks for taking the time to reply

  • u must appeal and if they say ur fit in letter ring up and ask for a mandertorty appeal u will get phone call back within 48hrs and u can explain better have all ur aliments written down and sypthons and what it does to u hope this helps

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