Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Medical Professionals letters of support for DWP

May not be the right forum but just wondered has anyone's GP or Specialists refused to provide a letter of support to present to the DWP, stating they were told not to get involved and the GP said the DWP must now request exactly what they need directly to them.

I requested copies of my medical records as evidence but this has taken so long to process that the DWP refuse to wait and are making a decision without! I don't think I stand a chance?

Stress of DWP causing health deterioration, so fatigued, suffering chronic pain, can't concentrate and the thought of having to 'fight' again when I know how ill I am is so distressing, feel so weak, ground down, it is never ending.

One of the Specialists said do these people not realise they are making claimants ill? (I could not agree more) If only they believed what we say would be a starter!

I did receive a support letter from one specialist but I have not seen her for some time now, so it may be dismissed?

37 Replies
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Hi

DWP have forms to send to GPs if they feel thay need further evidence thay are charged for this .

Most GPs are only able to confirm you illness not on how it impacts you day to day .

Often your prescription list will be enough medical evidence for them to make a decision

I have known GPs just print out past information like treatments ,meds and appointments which DWP are not interested in .

Thay are more likely to contact Care Manger or Support Worker for further evidence

The Information on your application form is the most important you can provide

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I was told the same by my GP and physiotherapist . Basically they would be inundated with people needing letters of support . It is frustrating , I know .

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Thank you for replying the DWP told me they would not request further information/evidence, the onus is on the claimant, who do we believe?

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Thank you for replying. The DWP told me under no circumstances would they request further evidence from the medical people, the onus is on the Claimant, so who do you believe? Very frustrating.

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Sorry for the double reply???

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The DWP are a total nightmare , I firmly believe they are looking to cut as many people out of PIP as they can . I would say that there is no way on earth that they will look to obtain evidence to help prove your claim . They are not on our side in this , it is wrong , but that seems to be the way it is :(

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Thank you I could not agree more and the DWP seem untouchable without a long, long, stressful battle. Even solicitors are reluctant to help, even if we could afford to employ them!

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Policy for our surgery is to only give you a print out of conditions diagnosed and prescriptions.

As mentioned above, you gp or other health professional may not know the details of how you are affected daily. Especially if you have a surgery with several gp's so don't see same person each time, and only essential medical notes are usually entered on the system x

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My GP said that unless requested by the DWP he no longer does reports for his patients who are applying for PIP. He said when it was DLA he felt his opinion was valued but since it changed to PIP he feels his opinion mix disregarded even patients who have require a wheelchair to get around for 10 years and stood no chance of recovery had been refused PIP and had to attend a tribunal to get what they were entitled to. He felt that system was intrinsically flawed. He said my repeat prescription form was evidence enough of what medication I was in and as I was a user of Patients Access I could print a list of my main illnesses and when they were diagnosed from there.

I was a transferee from DLA to PIP about 2 1/2 years back and unfortunately had just moved house. The GP who had known me for 35 years and did a report for my DLA had retired and moved out of the area, my new GP had initially scandal notes as my paper based files had somehow got lost in a storage transfer holding place a d my Pain specialist has also retired and his clinic has been disbanded. I honestly thought I was up the proverbial creek without a paddle as the only report I had was from a private acupuncturist In had only seen 3 times. I gathered what evidence J could even past letters confirming I was having physio, hydrotherapy etc and that I used to attend a pain clinic and Instated why those visits had finished. I did a diary lot of a typical week and the problems I faced, included a letter from my husband who helps me and we them off thinking Indidnt stand a hope. It did help I had a very early appointment and was in the middle of a flare when I had an assessment but I did receive standard rate care so don't give up hope. Good luck.xxx

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Thank you for replying, so sorry you had to endure so much stress, I don't know about you but I feel like a common criminal trying to prove I am innocent? The system does not appear consistent either, even though there are advisory notes etc. there appear to be many different results!

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Totally agree there seems to be no rhyme or reason why one person gets it and another doesn't. I have to admit my assessor was fair but I scored points where I expected to get none and very few points where I expected to gain maxium but overall it came to the same result. I know people who can hardly move get 0 points and others who appear to have very little wrong who have got quite a few and supporting letters sometimes make very little difference it is how the assessor interprets them. Especially with ESA I also seem to think age comes into it and they seem reluctant to give PIP for the first time to a person nearing retirement age as they seem to realise that that person could carry on having it after retirement and get mobility whereas if they refuse and the person waits until they are much worse to reapply if over 65 there is only Attendance Allowance which has no separate mobility component. I think we just want someone to believe us. I can't think why anyone would give up a good job to have to exist on benefits. Anyway hope you re one of the successful ones.x

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Thank you, you have 'hit the nail on the head'. It is so sad that all we want IS for them to believe us- couldn't make up 24 hours of chronic pain!!! All the best. XXX

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Hi, I was refused a letter by my consultant. She told me she didn't have time for doing letters. Luckily I was awarded Pip despite this but I think it's disgusting that they don't provide a support letter, it's stressful enough going through the process. Good luck with your application.

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Thank you, pleased you were awarded your dues anyway, I could not agree more. I feel like a 'criminal' now when asking for medical support! I was told they were told not to get involved, some NHS system and I used to pay for them anyway!

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Yes, I had just moved house and had to get new doctor. they would not supply DWP with any info, I also missed the medical due to ill health, result... I have lost all my benefits. I am fighting it, or rather my MP is.

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So sorry to hear that, good luck, don't let them 'win'! Pleased your MP is involved, publicity is needed to show what we are having to endure!

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My GP is really helpful and has written me a covering letter to be sent with initial documents as well as giving the DWP information afterwards. Good luck sending gentle hugs 🤗

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My Dr categorically refuses to give letters of support . I had to approach the locum he did but at a cost of £80. My Dr is decrepid and of the really old fashioned school and with a first name like Vivian you get the gist !!

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so sorry for you to have to pay all that money! Good luck XXX

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I found 1 of the best thing you can do is write a diary of how every thing effects you and we you do have a good day and over do it how you pay afterwards I think the gp are feed up with dealing with this and the same with all the other people they no it's wrong and we're getting treated really poorly and it is makeing us sicker I think a letter from a friend or family member is probley as good it seems like they don't read it anyway and the amount of lies that are told are unreal if this was a criminal court where these people had to explaine there reason of messing us around in this way the cases would be thrown out and we would win and they would be charged for waste the courts time the hole system is wrong and a very few people have messed this up for every 1 all I can say is stay strong don't give up and fight them all the way I wish you all the best of luck in this and take care and go win x

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Thank you so much, I often feel like a criminal, having to justify everything and then be told I'm 'lying!' I have written diaries from the onset, not sure if they read them and a couple have been lost on the way to the relevant department. I can't give up but wish there was more support available. To be fair in a previous GP letter, the DWP appear to have disregarded what he explained I could not manage on a day to day basis! My carer also sent a letter, obviously seeing what I could not cope with etc, also I fear disregarded? All the best xxxx

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No probes I have been thru it all for years and have had such anoth of the way they treat us I did go to the mp and he backed me up and they still never listen now I not play there games anymore they wanted me to go for a medical the other week but I phoned them and said I was to unwell to come if they wanted to come see me here they could but I heard nothing back from them so no doubt there be stopping my money again I won't go into a rant about them because just gets me worked up wish you loads of luck hope things get sorted if you ever want to have a chat then feel free if I can help I will like I said I been fighting with these for years so learnt a bit take care mate and all the best x

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Thank you Mark8 xxx

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Hi Collie-Dog my dr was the one who suggested to me to apply for PIP. She said she would help me by writing them a letter if I write down for her how I am limited. I did this and at my next appt I asked her did she have a chance to write the letter as I was going to be posting my application soon. She said she doesn’t write the letter to be sent with the application but they will contact her and she give them access to my medical records. They seem like two very different things to me. So I don’t know what she has done. Had my face to face assessment a week ago (on a mild pain day) so I don’t know what my result is yet. I would have liked to have a copy of a letter from the GP but that didn’t happen for some reason. I know GPs are super busy so it’s probably for this reason.

So sorry to hear your health is deteriorating because of all the stress. I Hope it all turns out in your favour soon.

On a related note, I signed a petition on Change.org recently requesting that DWP give DLA and PIP for life for chronic conditions. Now wouldn’t that take so much stress out of our lives, thereby reducing our pain and fatigue and overall health!

Gentle hugs ((🤗)) 💐 🌷 🌹

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“Improving” our overall health I mean. And reducing our stress, pain and fatigue. 🤦‍♀️

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Good luck XXXX

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I haven't applied for PIP thankfully. It sounds like a complete nightmare for everyone. I don't think the DWP can refuse to allow you to have information from your GP. I have recently got a letter from my GP for another issue. It wasn't a problem getting it but I did have to pay £20 for it. Can't you get a letter anyway and ignore what the PIP advisor says?

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Thank you for that, it is sad that everyone is not the same, different areas allow various help! I don't like paying for GP letters but it was better than not being allowed one. It is our GP that will not provide a support letter now, as they have done previously. The medical records have taken so long to process that the DWP will not wait any longer, so if the decision is negative, I may receive them before the Tribunal date, as there is anything up to a 12 month waiting time, I don't know why the DWP is not compelled to clear up the background before any more stressed people are added to the list? Tribunals are not part of the DWP but why are they not telling the DWP to stop inundating them with all these ill, vulnerable people? All the best XXXXX

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Horrendous isnt it. I'm going through it too, so I totally relate Collie-Dog. I think I've had a nervous breakdown over it to be honest. I was lucky in that my GP has written a supportive letter, enclosing his previous 2 supporting letters from my previous claims. They totally ignored my mobility issues last time, but gave me care component. I just cant cope with the stress of it all. I feel like a criminal on trial too, waiting to be condemned. Hugs to you, stay strong x

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Lots of hugs to you too I sometimes think criminals are treated better than us claimants. I believe they are innocent until proven guilty! Good luck I will stay 'strong'. XX

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Hi Collie-Dog,

Yes, I know the problem. To be fair, the doctors feel it's not their job and they're too busy dealing with medical stuff to play being DWP's civil servants.

Fact: doctors are paid by the State and are contractually obliged to write the requested report.

I found the best answer was to use ESA form 113. (Google ESA113) It's designed to give a very simple 2 page summary of your conditions and how they affect you.

My recommendation is to print the form and fill it in yourself. That will save your doctor the effort, as well as ensuring it says what you want it to say. You then give the completed form, with your suggested wording, plus a blank copy and a stamped self-addressed envelope (cos you need to keep a copy of the signed report).

Best to take the signed report to your Jobcentre and ask them to send it for you. Do NOT post it yourself, as the DWP sorting centres tend to lose 3 out of 4 things you send them.

By the way, Collie-Dog, be aware that DWP policy is to ignore doctor's input, as they say that doctors are biased in favour of their patients and that doctors aren't trained in gathering the information the DWP needs.

In my experience, the initial submission and the Mandatory Reconsideration phases are just stalling by the DWP, so don't get over-stressed. It's only when I've gotten to the Tribunal Service that I've got anywhere.

Good-luck and stay chilled,

John

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Thank you for your advice Johntheguy, it is much appreciated, I had not heard of ESA form 113 but will do that as you suggest now. It can't make things any worse. I agree the DWP appear to be wasting our time for as long as possible despite any information we toil to gather for them. My 'grouse' is they don't seem to be accountable to anyone no matter how they treat claimants. I have had experience of lost evidence but no explanation as to why! One was actually the second page of a GP's letter of support, several years ago. I kept a copy so that ploy did not work! All the best and Thanks. XX

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Anything you post to them is torn open and scanned into the computer. Then, providing they didn't lose some of the pages or omit to scan them, it gets forwarded to the computer of the person it was intended for.

It is essential, therefore, that every page has your national insurance number in big print across the top. Even then there's a good chance it'll all go astray.

Take all mail to your Jobcentre who'll be happy to scan and send it.

If you want the inside story on the DWP and benefits system, you can download the Decision Maker's Guide (uses by DWP employees) or the Assessor's Guide (used to conduct the Work Capability Assessment) off the Internet. These items actually tell you some of the dirty tricks.

Also worth googling DWP Freedom of Information, to discover things like the DWP instructing it's decision makers to fail 80% of Mandatory Reconsideration process.

The more you look, the murkier it gets 😡.

Have a great weekend,

John

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Benefits and Work site saves you time and effort in dealing with DWP. It is worth a look as they have much case history to call upon and campaign for openness in decisions.

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My GP told me the exact same thing not allowed to get involved . I had to go to court to get my benefits back and a copy of the GPS form was in the appeal pack and tone honest the information she supplied to dhss was hopeless not at all helpful I did win the appeal though.

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These days GPs are not allowed to write letters of this nature in surgery time as it is not deemed a clinical necessity. They therefore have to do it in their own time and charge for doing so. In my experience, even when they do write a letter at patients' requests, DWP will often disregard it and send in a form requesting the supporting information they need (often exactly the same info the poor claimant has already paid for!) although I haven't worked in a GP surgery since PIP came in so I don't know how often they ask for supporting info now.

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This is terrible ! ... when I put in for pip I received a letter during assessment phase informing me they are contacting one of my health professionals on my form for further evidence so if they ignore the health professional why would they contact them it's all confusing xx

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