So, on the 25th of January, 2012, the decision was made (after a Work Capability Assessment) that I was deemed 'fit for work', despite being in chronic, daily pain. I hadn't been able to work for well over a year, and was devastated at the result. Some of you may remember this, as I wrote a blog on it.
Anyway.... 15 months later, my Tribunal Hearing date came through, and today I went to Walsall County Court to have my story heard. Finally! I was nervous, and anxious and thought to myself 'why am I putting myself through this?'. But, my boyfriend and wonderful representative kept reminding me, that I was doing it as I needed to right a wrong.
And ladies, I did!
I won my case, and I couldn't wait to come home, get onto my laptop and tell you all that I won! I WON! I WON! And I urge anybody going through this awful, stressful, flawed system to keep going and never give up, as there has been a positive story here in The Midlands and there might just be with you too.
The Judge said that it was more than apparent that I should have scored points on the assessment day, and that they were wrong in their decision. He said that throughout his time as a county court judge, he has had 7 girls with Endometriosis sat before him; all of which had scored 0 points in the Assessment. He then went onto say that it was impossible for us, as Endo sufferers to score points, due to the nature and variability of our illness, and that this was wrong and something needed to change so that this stops happening to girls. Which in itself, is amazing! And I do not intend on giving up the fight here and he urged me not too. I wrote to my local MP during this whole process, and had positive replies, not only from him, but from other members of parliament. So I shall continue to write to whoever will listen and tell them how flawed the Work Capability Assessment is for Endo sufferers.
If you are going through this process, try not to lose heart. There are things that you can do that definitely helped me through my case. Write to your local MP. Go to the Citizens Advice. If you are appealing, keep mentioning that no-where throughout the silly questioning that we have to endure does it ask about pain. PAIN? PAIN?!? What about our Pain?! Harp on about it until the message finally sticks. And fatigue. And stress. None of these factors are taken into account, even though they are supposed to be.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. I won my case, and you could too. Just stay positive, and don't give up. Stick it to the man! Common sense will prevail!!!