Even more benefits 'fun'

So, the ESA tribunal was adjourned three months ago, not heard a single word from the Appeals court since that day. Today, after living for seven months with 25% less 'income' than I had before being yanked from the 'Support Group', I have been informed by letter that from this day forward I will receive another £80 a month less, EIGHTY POUNDS, stripped from me just like that. 'Means tested, overpaying, blah, blah, blah'.

My situation hasn't altered since 9th December 1994 and yet they have found another piece of small print to punish me with. My financial state has been pushed to the brink by eight months of stress. And now, with winter on the horizon, I am being pushed over the financial edge. My MP will 'no longer get involved in individual cases' (what's the point in representing me then) and I have nowhere left to turn.

Just. Bloody. Wonderful.

19 Replies

  • Hi Baron, I'm about to enter that circus, my appeal is on 23rd Oct, let's see if they'll put me in the support group, I won't be going back to work if they don't it's just not an option, have to do without money if that scenario arises, I've got a husband still working 'though but we're only a few years off retirement and I was counting on working for the next few years, just shows that you can't count on anything, hey ho, merry-go round here I come. Hope you get sorted soon xxxx

  • Thanks a lot, much appreciated. Good luck to you too, I hope you get the result you need!

  • sorry i have no answers that can help unless maybe you contact the news and see if its newsworthy

    it might just well be as its coming up tp xmas and the government are shuffling and disability stories can be quite affective maybe


    i hope that you get it sorted to your benefit (nno pun intended)

  • Have they given you a breakdown of why they made the latest cut? Surely if it is their mistake and a historic one you can challenge it. They are not supposed to put you at a critical financial level, there used to be a limit on what they were allowed to take back not sure if anyone has protection these days.

    Good luck to everyone on the not so merry goround

  • Indeed they have. In March this year I was removed from the 'support group' to the 'income based' group as I had been in that group for the 'maximum 365 days'. On Friday I was informed that I was being moved down to the 'contributions based' group as in that group for the 'maximum 365 days'. March to October? 365 days? The year has changed since I was at school. No doubt I will soon be moved further down to the 'bleeding you dry' group and on to the 'sucking blood from a corpse' group

  • Lol! Glad to see you can still scrape up the humour in a god awful situation.

    I can assure you that we still do have 12 months in a year in our Scottish schools, so maybe it's a southern thing ;)

    I hit the ' you must beg from the family' status after having expired my 365 days on contributions.

    I am very lucky to have found a job I can manage most of the time. It's 25 - 28 hours a week, with lots of regular half term and end of term holidays! To me it feels like a full time job, I am always ready for the breaks and I still have regular time off for appointments and when I'm not well enough to go in, down side is that I am on a temporary contract each term, so there is no guarantee of a job each new term, no sick pay or holiday pay.

    The upside is that I don't have to jump thru hoops with the dwp any longer. That was so stressful it made me ill and having to highlight all of your 'quirks' over and over again was humiliating and depressing.

    I hope you get sorted soon for your sanities sake!

  • Holy moly, you wouldn't believe this,but I think I jinxed myself. The postie just dropped an envelope from ATOS. I have to go for a medical, if I don't my benefit will be affected. Except I'm not getting any!

    What in the name of all that is holy are they doing? Grey hair city. Yes I can pick up an empty box, yes I can set an alarm clock and turn a tap and use a keyboard....

    I might not turn the alarm on especially if I am tired, I forget to turn OFF the bath taps, and I'm no good on the computers at work because of the operating system. I made a banner last week and it came out on 42 sheets!! More like wall paper than a project banner.It gave us all a giggle tho.

    Seriously I thought I'd seen the last of them. Sad faces today :(

  • Jesus wept! They really are the most cretinous, inept bunch of blood sucking, energy sapping idiots that it's been our unfortunate 'pleasure' to come across aren't they.

  • It took me 6 hours to fill my last ESA form in and that with the help of a guy who does it for a living, he made me face up to my limitations and see things realistically not optimistically, I was depressed for days afterwards and I expect to be after the tribunal, this after working and paying taxes all my life.I'm 60 now but can't draw my pension for 2 years coz of the government changes, unfortunate. The government want these forms to eventually be filled in on line, great if you have to use a computer at a library or if you have problems using a computer!!!! I dare say if you manage to fill one in yourself it's more proof you can work!!!!

  • Yes they are, you really could not make this up. Sometimes I think I'm in a twilight zone!

  • Go to the Citizens Advice Bureau and make an appointment with a welfare rights specialist, they will be able to help.

  • My wife had a double SAR 13 years ago leaving her with short term memory loss and very little drive, the support was amazing everybody was so helpful . We went onto direct payments after I caught a carer fast asleep with the tv on and the wife was out shopping on her own . A very bright lady who had just received her BA with honours from the OU. Since then the stress of caring and coping with all Gov departments and cut backs has risen to almost biblical proportions .Only recently one lady stood out amongst all the non caring jobs worths , she asked the right questions, not what she could do but what she would forget to do especially under stress or when tired . To that lady I send my thanks and hope you all find at least one caring angel .

  • This is the secret to filling in those forms you have to focus on worst case scenarios and not how you get round your problems the solutions to coping with your shortcomings should be your aid to improving your quality of life not a reason to not pay you the pittance you are entitled to. I can so easily get on my soapbox.

  • Hi Baron,

    Thank you for your post. I am really sorry to hear this all-too-familiar story.

    The advice about seeing the Citizens Advice Bureau above is very good, they can help to put plans in place and get appropriate support as necessary. Can I also suggest you contact our helpline on 0808 800 2244 or helpline@headway.org.uk to talk things through.

    Depending where you live, there might be support available from our charity or other services we know, and they will be able to discuss this with you.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi

    What gets me is that my GP and neurologists have said I cannot work . I would say that they should know they are highly qualified.

    I had a SAH caused be a ruptured aneurysm nearly 7 months ago and still no assessment, it makes me wonder if they are hoping that by the time I see them I will be cured (would be a miracle) I have worked all my life and for that I am entitled to £60 a week and reduced housing benefit, I really don't even have food in my cupboards 2-3 days a week and have to eat bad quality foods with nasty fats in them, I only want what I am entitled to and what I have paid for for all those years of tax.

    So basically they are saying my doctors are either wrong or liars when they sign me off every 8 weeks. Would make an interesting legal case, the doctor says you are unfit for work but the DSS think you are.

  • A letter to me from the DWP tells me that my consultant is not qualified to determine whether I am fit for work, his/her expertise lies in their ability to treat my condition, the DWP employs the people( ATOS) who can say if we are fit for work! Which is why I suppose so many have their cases overturned on appeal!!!!!

  • Industry takes health professionals advice seriously. The DWP just likes to offload the blame on atos while all the time they are not having to pay out. I was told by the DWP that Atos are so far behind in their assessments and that it basically does not matter because they will pay me back pay, (tell that to my landlord). An utter disgrace. All this time they know of these problems but do nothing about it (conveniently I might add)

  • An update. Saw a 'Welfare Specialist' yesterday at the CAB. The advice consisted of (on 5 occasions) 'Why don't you move in with your girlfriend?) and on two occasions 'Why don't you move to a one bedroom place?

    Firstly. I have been with my partner just shy of a year and there are two children involved. Why the hell should we be pushed into something we are in no hurry to do?

    Secondly. One bedroom home? Where are they then? Certainly none around here.

    Oh, and, 'even if your tribunal is successful, you are unlikely to be reinstated on the amount you received previously'.

    So, the CAB think I should move, force my relationship forward, and that the prior eighteen years of benefit count for nothing at all. Oh and magic up a one bedroom place out of dust probably.

    Whoopee do. That was a helpful hour

  • none of them GOV atos dwp could care ess the mental upset scared alone no help begging charities for help and most them to busy with othes they just want us all 2 have no benifits i worked 3 jobs wtf for all it is scared brown letters of joyfull i crnt open due 2 one hand teeth do help if they care 2 make me work hope they dont mind me undressed asi need help for that 2i feel for you all this is not nice 2 any of usid love tell them stick it but i carnt id not have anything 2 py bills i got cab in end 2 do form i wait pip thing now joyfull not im ill enough with out all this and your all in same boat i no take care

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