I approached my 3rd Tribunal in as many years for ESA last week with quiet confidence but an amount of trepidation too. As I sat in that sterile and soulless waiting room, there was a huge feeling of deja-vu which continued as I entered the room and faced the Judge and Doctor. My previous track record was "Won One, Lost One" so I was pretty openminded as to the outcome! ATOS had previously awarded me 6 points for sitting difficulties so I need another 9 and it was my mobility score of 0 points that I was questioning. I suffer from lumbar spondylosis and fibromyalgia and for a man of 53, my walking is dreadful. I took my blue parking badge as extra evidence and started to answer the very pleasant lady judge's questions about my work history - I had worked continually for 35 years before these conditions took hold - and all was going well until this kid of a doctor, no more than about 27, started questioning me over and over again about walking aids, distances, OTs, courses - anything he could throw at me to try to catch me out. It was then that my anger exploded and over three years of frustration about this entire system came out! I remarked about his aggressive nature, how the tribunal was meant to be impartial but clearly was not and how dare he try to belittle me and my conditions. Once I started, it felt so good that I just continued to explain that I had brought up 3 children, worked all my life and how disgraceful it was that I had to sit there and justify myself to someone I didn't know, who knew nothing about me and who was clearly enjoying trying to wind me up. I respectfully told the Judge how disgraceful his behaviour was as did my father who had taken me and come in to support me. At the end, I picked up my mobility badge, threw it on the table and yelled.."now Sir, try to argue with that!!!" The judge then said that she had enough info, we scowled at the doctor, bid her farewell and left. You have no idea how good it was to finally tell these people how I felt - liberation indeed! Imagine how amazed I was when 2 days later, I received notification that my Appeal had been allowed and that I had been given my 9 extra points! I think this proves that with some fire in your belly and some determination too, these Appeals can be won! I urge all of you out there to take the same stance as I; go to tribunal with confidence and a forthright attitude - AND TAKE CONTROL!. Do NOT sit there like a quiet and scared little mouse - use your anger to get your point across and get your points increased to continue with your well deserved Employment and Support Allowance claims. Good luck to you all!!!
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