I started on my merry-go-round journey with benefits, about 2 and a half years ago. Like everyone, i've been put through hoops and made to feel scared and lost in all the bureaucratic jumble. DLA was was kinda straight forward. Initially I was put on a lower rate but was changed to the higher rate, almost immediately.
ESA(everyone shoved about) made us crazy. From the beginning i was placed in the work related activity group. Me, my doctors and even employees of the job centre, couldn't understand why. I started an appeal right away. My appeal,and all the completed paperwork, was lost TWICE. By the time the 3rd appeal was submitted, the 365 days of benefits was ended. It took 3 months for someone to get back to me, to say that I couldn't appeal and extend the 365 days. I wasn't trying to extend the 365 days, I was trying to get into the support group(submitted my 4th appeal). I was beyond mad. I just couldn't believe the level of incompetency that was being demonstrated!
On Tuesday I got a letter saying that the first decision was overturned and that I was being placed in the Support Group. Not only was I moved but that i was owed the difference in money, from the very beginning!
I don't know how long it's going to take to receive MY MONEY but there's a lot of bill collectors that will be happy.
My advise to all my fibro family is "Don't let the f**kers wear you down". They can be BEAT and sometimes the little guy wins...
love you all and take care,