Back on the DWP merry-go-round

Well, I suppose it was too good to be true but after my latest medical assessment I've been put back in the work focused group. So it's back through the appeal system, crazy, what a waste of time and money not to mention the stress it causes me.

I know it's tick boxes and it's not personal, I'm left feeling like a liar and a cheat and it's that that stresses me. I won't lie and try to hoodwink people, so yes I can walk with a stick and wash and dress myself and make meals and cups of tea, but I can't do anything repeatedly and safely and that's not asked at the assessments.

So if it ever gets to me applying for a job, my skills are, can maintain eye contact, move an empty box across a table, move from one chair to another without assistance the list is quite long really, just find me a job that needs me to do those things, but with a half hour rest every hour, and I can't concentrate and it needs to be a quiet environment and within walking distance of home coz I couldn't cope with buses every day.

I can also lift a jug with a litre of liquid in it and it doesn't matter if I can't pour it or if I spill it!

Enough, you get my drift, I'm beyond anger now, but if I must I'll jump through, well climb, the hoops.

Hope you all have the best day you can Janet xx

24 Replies

  • Good grief, not again! I seem to be reading about this sort of thing every sodding day! You know I've been through it too, and if I can help in any way, just give me a yell


  • Thanks Andy, at the tribunal they recommended I wasn't re-assessed but did warn me that the DWP may ignore that, and they have. So, no problem really, I'll just play the game, I retire in July next year, so not long to go now, I've just got to keep a lid on the stress.

    Like others though, the problem is the scars are in my brain, p'raps I should ask for a picture of my brain scan so they can see the scars!

    Janet xx

  • Under the current rules most of the people coming back from Afghanistan with truly horrific injuries wouldn't be classed as being in the support group

  • When I first saw these criteria, I was astound because I couldn't relate them as being applicable to any of the businesses that I have been involved in over the last 40+ years.

    The most bizarre is the moving the empty box with one arm test. Even in roles where they move empty boxes - refuse recycling you have to do it at speed. Which isn't part of the test.

    Everybody accepts that todays job market is very difficult, let alone competing with able bodied people and with variable symptoms. It is fair enough to weed out those playing the system but there must be a middle ground without making ridiculous decisions against genuine people

  • Absolutely crazy!!!!!!

  • I really feel for you Janet, the system is so biased against people with brain injury or cognitive issues, especially when you need all that cognitive power just to understand how best to respond in the assessments.

    It is very interesting to contrast how some employers are using techniques such as

    "capability procedure" to get rid of employees they see as unfit to work in some roles, I've seen this done in order to replace ageing employees at the top of pay scales with cheaper, faster young employees.

    I'll bet there is a huge gap between what the DWP considers as fit to work and what employers consider as capable of working acceptably.

    Maybe employers need to contribute towards what a valid assessment should entail in order that the process is unbiased and 'fair' ?

    Take care, Dev

  • Thanks Dev, much appreciated. The silly thing is , my last employer kept my job for me for over 18 months but then we both realised even if I felt able to work I wouldn't pass their risk assessments! I understand but the DWP doesn't seem to .

  • Sorry you've got this nonsense all over again, Janet. I'm 'lucky' to have been written off years ago owing to mental health issues but I remember how wearing it was like it was yesterday. When daily life's already a big challenge and these un-informed zealots come knocking, it can all feel so overwhelming.

    Sorry there's nothing I can do/say to out of touch with the system but I'm sure the DWP will be forced to capitulate once again.

    When you consider all the stress it causes you, and the futile wastefulness of their resources it's deserving of criminal charges........... Idiots !

    Try & keep positive m'dear and don't allow them to bring you down. xxx

  • what happened about the statement from headway about ATOS not doing assesments for people with brain damage

  • Who knows, when I rang ATOS to see if I really had to go since the finding from my last tribunal, they said they only do the DWP's bidding, they'd asked them to do another assessment on me and to pleases turn up else my ESA would be stopped.

    So like I say, hoops here I come!

  • Labour Started this for a good reason Dr Death Ian Duncan Smith carried it on ,The DWP Know just about all the scroungers have been weeded out and what is left are genuine people with genuine illness who cannot work and even if they can do a little bit are a liability every MP knows about the problems with ATOS and DWP

    So the question is, If every MP on both sides of the house know the problems why don't they all do something about it??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • I can only presume that some people will give up so they save money, personally I won't give up, I've worked all my life and paid into the system and I'm entitled to help , I'm not scrounging. They've already moved my retirement age from 60 to 621/2 and I had intended to work that extra, so I'm in it to its conclusion. I'm just sorry for the stress it's causing all those other people fighting this.

  • And that's precisely why why we all have to fight! We have done NOTHING wrong and if as a collective we all fold under the demands and give in... they win. The country saves a certain amount of money every year at our expense, Starbucks still pay £3.25 a year, MP's still have three or four houses and don't pay for their own food, soldiers lose their jobs and every one is happy.

    Oh, wait...

  • The DWP is an ongoing battle, thye may back off for a while but they never let go.

    I had to take an appeals Tribunal Judge to task about 3 years ago becase she lied about the appellant and she lied about me too. I only went along to support my partner who was the appellant and yet the Judge lied about me with a damaging and libelous statement to the DWP.

    I took it as far as the Lord Chief Justice and the Ministry of Justice Lawyers.

    An appalling and thoroughly unprofessional bunch of people who deemed the Trinbunal Judges lies were not bad enough to warrant any disciplinary action against her.

    Why is there a line of acceptability for a Tribunal Judge to lie about the appellant and also lie about the person who went to the hearing just as support?

  • Ah bless that sounds horrible for you. I am trying to work from home - my second week now. Going ok. Hope things improve for you.

  • I'm in the exact same boat, the DWP classed me fit for work in February, I had a hip operation in March and been on crutches ever since. My neurological issues have worsened, so much so I'm back and too to The Walton Centre with various appointments. In the mean time I was awarded PiP at the maximum rate and minimum for mobility. I wish these department's would communicate so there's less stress for individuals.

    I empathise with you totally. I hope you get somewhere and keep us posted.

  • Kirk5w7 I really feel for you,it's not fair,I'm disabled and had DLA,I got it for an indefinite time,yet I got another letter a few wks ago,so like the other one I went to the citizens advice and they filled it in for me,they no what to tick and they are brilliant ,so I would go and see them,I'm now waiting on a reply,if I don't get it the citizens advice said they would help me appeal,so I recommend you go and see them,good luck,Lynda

  • Thanks a lot Lynda, you are very lucky your citizens advice filled it in for you, my daughter volunteered a while at our Oldham one and they were not allowed to fill forms in for anyone but it's fine cos I've been through the appeals system once and got the appeal upheld, it's just a matter of going through it all again, I've not improved in the interim so I think they were just checking, at least I hope that's so xx

  • Can I ask what it is that you have got,I had a seizure while riding my horse and had a subdural haematoma so was rushed to kings college in London to have brain surgery,I was so lucky cos they said to my hubby that I might not survive ,I also have fibromyalgia ,my balance and speech isn't that good,the DLA and DWP try and get you any way they can,I'm hoping this form is just a review ,any way good luck on yours hugs Lynda

  • Hi again Lynda, I had viral encephalitis in 2012, coma for 3 weeks and in hospital/rehab a total of 3 months. Had to learn to walk etc, fed by peg for 2 months. Tracheostomy the works, expected to be in a PVS if I survived, battled back from all that. Lesions left on my brain but doing remarkably well, left with balance problems, severe fatigue, need to rest at least every half hour, worse when weather is damp dull. Have peripheral vision problems on right hand side so constantly bumping into things, though not so bad in familiar surroundings.

    Mild short term memory issues, lack of concentration and multi- tasking is a no-no just causes shut down.

    Need bright light or I don't see detail, and noisy and crowded environments are hell!!!

    All in all doesn't sound good does it? But you know, I'm ok with it now, just want to be left alone to get on with it and improve if I can.

    We bought me a treadmill to see if that could help with the exercise issues, I can't do anything that requires me to move my head repeatedly up and down or side to side, and it's great, means I can get the walking exercise in now without braving those wet, windy days.

    Now I have to convince my husband a resistance pool in the garden would give me swimming, and him of course, exercise every day without the cost/ stress of dealing with public transport, don't fancy my chances but never say never eh ?

    Got more than you bargained for there I suspect but, thanks for asking, and it'll be Ok, I'm sure you will be too Love Janet xxxx

  • Omg you poor thing,I know it's hard,it's hard for me,ppl really don't realise how you feel sometimes or understand,you try and do your best,when I was classed as disabled I cried,I said no I'm fine but I'm not really,you have to live every day like it's your last,easier said than done,I get good days and bad days,life is cruel,I need to ask do you have a dog,I'm a spiritualist and can see a dog with you,I no it's a random question lol Hugs Lynda xxxx

  • No I don't have any pets xx

  • Do u have a dog or your mum have a dog in the spirit world,it was black and white,sorry to ask u but I'm definitely getting a dog who is around you xxx

  • My grand mother had a dog, it was black and white but we are talking about 50 years ago now, I loved that dog and remember pleading with my mum to bring it home with us one year after a holiday.

    It's not the first time it's been mentioned to me by a spiritualist, but I can't even remember its name now :-( xxxx

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