I was interested to read a post by Flanners about trying to get benefits. I do hope that you are getting some help to sort things out. My sister is disabled she was born with Spina Bifida. She worked for many years was made redundant and then a second time. each time it was due to department changes and cuts. Because of the type of disability she has she has claimed DLA and Mobility allowance and what ever else she was eligible for. She continued to look for work but as people know that has not been easy in the last 10 years let alone when you have a disability. She has continued to do voluntary work. I have seen her lose confidence, self esteem, and with age her body is now dealing with the effects of her disability. So now she is hit by the changes to the benefits system. When she filled in the last form she was rejected for whatever benefit it was. Probably because she had no idea about the ' right way to fill these forms in'. Not because she was trying to cheat, but as some people are aware because it is done on a points system and not looking at the individuals personal circumstances. She was rejected and went to appeal. The panel was an ancient judge and a Dr who flitted in and out of the room. My sister felt humiliated by the situation and the questions. When asked about her ability to walk a certain distance she said she could do this but it depended on the circumstances. She mentioned the fact that in the winter time if snow and ice are around it makes mobility extremely difficult for her. She used an example of the winter a couple of years ago. she was told that it wasn't relevant because her application was from June 2012!! unbelievable! I don't think the panel would even consider the fact that my sister continued to look for work after redundancy but continually came up against the problem that e.g she can't climb stairs or carry trays of tea etc etc. Her secretarial skills are excellent I must add. oh and of course they don't consider the fact that she does voluntary work each week. Next up is next year her main benefit will be reassessed. My Mum and my dad who is 80 this year are supporting her and well you can imagine the worry for them. My sister was born with a disability through no fault of her own, she has tried to fit in with our 'able bodied' society and for much of her life has contributed to it by working. Yes some people take advantage of the system and it is right that we prevent that, but there seems to be a total incompetence in the way the government is approaching this. Any one of us can be hit by illness or disability, I now have RA, luckily I am married, so I do have support. To any one out there trying to battle through the benefits system get some support to do it, don't try and navigate it on your own. All the best. xx
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