More benefits 'fun'

And so after my ESA was slashed by 25% due to my year in the 'Support Group 'expiring, I appealed. In both the medical and the appeal I received 0 points, making me question why I was granted the benefit in the first place if '0' was my valuation. Next. Tribunal...

I waited a month for a Tribunal date. The day arrived, my partner booked the day off work to accompany me. An early start, 9.30 at my local court, intimidating at the best of times.

Part one. A short wait in the waiting room, punctuated only by a clerk who couldn't have been much older than 12 informing me that, 'sorry I didn't realise you were here'. Wonderful. Ten minutes later I was called into the 'Tribunal'...

Part two. My partner and I walked into the room where I expected to find a long table with a representative from the DWP, a tribunal assessor and maybe a doctor on the other side from myself (all of which I'd been told would be there) only to find one person, just one. The assessor. Oh and the juvenile clerk hiding away in the corner. Then, the shocker...

'Sorry, the tribunal has been adjourned, we phoned you an hour ago to advise you not to come today'. The DWP have so far failed to forward any evidence. I'm surprised you came'.

Deep joy. One stressful journey, one totally wasted day off work for my partner and Christ knows how much longer to wait. When I arrived home I checked my phonre messages. There was indeed a message from the court, left five minutes before I walked into the tribunal. Yes, FIVE MINUTES. I was in the waiting room at the time, and the clerk was informing me that he didn't realise I was there. Coincidence? You be the judge. Downright lie/lies? Hmmm...

It is now two months since that particular pantomime and I've heard nothing, nothing at all. And so it goes on. And on...

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  • My ESA has just finished, had my 12 months and I've been waiting for a tribunal date for 3 months now, 12months since I appealed against the category I was put in, now I'm going to apply for DLA which I know I won't get but we'll play the game and tick that box, they keep asking me why I haven't applied, like I need the stress! My niece has multiple sclerosis and she can't get it , not disabled enough obviously! Ah well, I'd work if I could, have done all my life up to now!!!! Bureaucrats!!

  • It rhymes with bureaucrats, yes

  • i honestly don't think i could cope with that on top of my brain injury, so in some respects i am lucky that i am in a wheelchair and have the physical injuries too as i makes benefits claims easier

    its hard enough getting family to understand the debilitating effects brain injury has on you let alone some faceless system

    it makes me angry when there is so much abuse yet its genuine claimants who suffer :(

    hope they sort it to, and harassing them all the time works (apparently) people tell me to do it, but i can't

    just one more thing, isnt there usually a certain amount of weeks that they have to give you an answer in or something?

  • I'll be honest, I genuinely have no idea how the system 'works'. Eighteen years I've been brain injured and until January 2012 nobody ever questioned the validity of my claim, I was even 'signed off' permanently in 1995 by whichever body was in charge of claims at that time. But now (and for 18 months) I've been fighting a system that seems to think a genuine brain injury can be spotted in a medical that consists of twenty questions and a brief medical along the lines of 'can you lift your arms? Can you walk twenty metres?' At no point was I ever asked about coordination, memory, epilepsy, frequent migraines, etc, et bloody cetera.

    I'm just one person, it staggers me to think of how many genuine claimants are being put through this stress, both emotional and financial. I wrote to my MP (Conservative) and told him that anyone, MPs included who back this farce should hang their heads in shame.

    He didn't reply...

  • Just got the post and, guess what, got a form from ATOS to fill in for limited capability to work again, so guess I can look forward to another "medical assessment" again when I return it, when will they realise that being able to pick up a 1 litre jug doesn't mean you can pour from it without spilling, and of course that makes you employable!

  • Letter from the DWP for me today requesting details of a small foreign pension I receive. Details they've had every year and details they requested three months ago.

    Add to that the same letter they sent me twice, three weeks apart and the levels of ineptitude start to reach staggering highs. Oh well, time to start filling in boxes with the same old paragraphs...

  • Sometimes I wonder if they do this to prove a point that we ar capable of form filling and are therefore employable. I am glad I am not still on this merry go round. It's bad enough trying to live a new life and adjust to the new you without having to fight with the benefit people. I'd much rather not have had the injury in the first place.

  • the above post and replies makes me think we need to have petition started with change.org - check them out and reply back here with your thoughtson it. One of us - N Murphy may be able to help as he has used that website himself or perhaps one of todays contributors would be up to it.

  • the above post and replies makes me think we need to have petition started with change.org - check them out and reply back here with your thoughtson it. One of us - N Murphy may be able to help as he has used that website himself or perhaps one of todays contributors would be up to it.

  • Their sheer incompetence know no bounds!

    The evening before my Tribunal a woman calling herself 'the tribunal' called to ask if I would move my original time for the tribunal from 1600 to 1040, told her no I couldn't do that.

    Then the morning of my tribunal a woman rang again calling herself 'the tribunal' to inform me that the judge? Had decided to adjourn it as they didn't have enough evidence to make an informed decision????????????????

    So then, 7 years on IB, followed by the fraudulent work capability to transfer me onto ESA, where they had enough evidence to say that I am fit for work, yet in the 7 months it took them to come up with a fictitious date for my tribunal, they never thought to get the information they needed to make a decision.

    Instead, they have sent me a letter, which took less than 12 hours to arrive? requesting I allow them to ask my Dr for my medical history??

    I have lodged a formal complaint against them with the tribunals service, and I will be exhausting it, what they are doing, is juggling figures around so that it doesn't look as bad, what they have also done is rattle the wrong cage, I fully intend to make them suffer financially for this, as that is the only punishment they care about. If they thought I was angry before they have absolutely no idea how much trouble they're in now!

  • If you want to combine our powers, do feel free to get in touch. I too will fight this to the bitter end

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