Finally I get to have my say. Watch out tribunal panel, I'm a coming with both barrels loaded!!

Hi all, I first applied for DLA in October 2010, having been diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia in April 2010. Was rejected straightway . So I asked them to look again, got awarded lower rate care, so asked them to reconsider or put me forward for an independent tribunal. Was told that a tribunal date would be arranged in due course. Waited and waited and waited. Nothing. So chased them up, and was told I would have to wait approx a year as there is such a backlog! So it gets to about January 2012 and I receive a letter and claim form asking if I wish to claim again? Huh, I'm waiting for tribunal date! Anyway so I fill in another form, send in the same evidence as before, still lower rate care. Ask them to look again, lo and behold I get awarded higher rate of both! So call and why I get higher rate of both now on same evidence as my first claim but initially get nothing. Am told I have to wait for my tribunal date. Really? What is with the people at the DWP? Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing! They say stress makes our condition worse, god help me! So I finally get a letter 2 weeks ago telling me I have a date for my hearing, 20th June. Exhausted, in dreadful pain, emotionally beaten down, but am so ready to fight my case. My argument is, how can I be told I get nothing, then lower rate care, then have to go for a tribunal, then the same, then higher rate of both, on exactly the same evidence! I think it all depends on the luck of who opens your application. I am conserving every bit of energy I can muster so I can give it to them on Wednesday. I have a fantastic welfare rights advisor, who also happens to be my dad, a wonderful and supportive husband, who has been my carer for over 2 years and a mum that nobody wants to mess with when it comes to her baby. So I am pretty confident that between us all we can show the panel just how incompetent some of the staff at the DWP are. Wish me luck! Gentle hugs to all. JT

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  • well good luck ,you sound very brave i couldnt do it ,just being denied dla and then being denide after appeal was enough for me .

    i think i would have just kept my mouth shut if id been awarded high rate anything , lol xx

  • my argument is that I was awarded higher rate both, BUT only after a second application with the same evidence as the first. That is what I am fighting as it infuriated me that they dismissed my first application, and the stress that caused me did nothing to help my condition. Sorry you were denied any award but go for it again, you may get lucky with the person that reads your form. Good luck. JT

  • good luck, you go girl, let them have it with both barrels

  • Thanks all for your kind words. Chris, yes I know how lucky I am to have the support I have and I really feel for those who don't. I must admit as hard as it would have been, I would have fought this on my own as too many people, genuine people, get turned down. The DWP must hope that people like us take one look at the claim form and get scared . And it is a trying process, but I was just as honest as I could be. I am just furious with the way that I was treated initially that I knew I wasn't going to let them get away with it. Don't get me wrong, it will take all that I have to go and put forward my case, and I will probably suffer for it for a week after, but I will be damned if I am going to let them get away with it. A word of advice to anyone who is contemplating claiming, go for it. If you are entitled to it, fight for it. I was diagnosed when I was nearly 34 and have just turned 36, I don't want to be in a wheelchair, and have the energy of a 90 year old, I want to get back to work, socialise with friends and go on holiday instead of staring at the same walls day after day. I will come back on once Wednesday is over and let you all know how it went, finger crossed. JT

  • good luck hun you will get there xx

  • I dont think they will ever weed out the fakes from the genuine completely, some of the fakes are too good at it and the ones who are caught will get what's coming to them (hopefully). But please dont tar us all with the same brush. Isnt that discrimination? What amazes me, is that they dont approach you GP for evidence. Surely they are the best people to consult. They are the ones who see you at your worst, they see you regularly and they prescribe your meds. Mine wasnt consulted anyway. I asked him for a medical report and he said it would cost me £50. I live on £67.50 ESA a wk, so cant afford that sort of money. But good for you JT, give it to 'em, and good luck.x

  • I think it is disgraceful that GPs charge so much for letters, reports etc. The DWP did get a report from my GP, I'm sure they didn't charge the DWP £50. I claimed PPI insurance on a loan and had to get a medical report, I paid for that which I think is fair enough because that is a private thing, but to charge for a report to enable you to get benefits is disgusting. Did you explain to the doctor what the report was for? If not, it's worth a try. Explain how you struggle on the ESA and can no way afford to pay £50 for the report. Maybe they will be sympathetic to you. Good Luck. JT

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