PMRGCAuk
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PMR and ESA support

Following the post by Carrollee On Thursday about claiming the state benefit ESA (UK claimants), can anybody confirm that they have successfully qualified.

Do please message me privately if you would rather not disclose your personal situation. I need to challenge the medical

Assessment and would be grateful for any evidence of others being approved for ESA so that I can appeal the decision to cut my benefit and force me to apply for work. I'm over 60 so should be retired but have no private pension scheme to fall back on.

Chrissie aka zebedee44

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Hi

PMR as far as GPs are concerned is cured and you are back to normal once on meds so very unlikely you would get ESA for this alone. It is also a fluctuating condition so again this goes against us .

You can appeal but the aim is to get people back to work not full time but for some hours .

Same as PIP doubtful you would get for PMR

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Thanks for your reply. I did qualify for PIP before PMR was diagnosed and I was unable to move. The nature of PMR makes it very difficult to manage the fatigue and breakthrough pain and added stress of returning to work after five years since redundancy.

I live in an isolated rural Welsh village and even the travelling to any place of work would be enough to leave me in a weakened state. I find it very unnerving!

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benefitsandwork.co.uk/emplo...

should find all you need here

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Thank you Rose54. I also found that site very useful but my brain fog is now making it very hard to make sense of anything while I am so stressed.

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I too doubt if PMR will qualify you for ESA. I was granted Contribution based ESA but only after my heart attack. And I was awarded £0 !!! Because although the Contribution based ESA is not means tested they took my Armed Forces Pension into account and deemed I didn’t need any more money! If that is the case then why do Ex Forces people need to work! Beyond angry at their decision

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I know exactly how you feel--23 years ago I had a kidney removed due to it being cancerous and , at the same time, my wife was 2 weeks into recovery after a hysterectomy. With 2 young children at the time (12 & 10 who were moving up to different schools,requiring a different uniform) and having 5 temporary jobs (relief College Lecturer, taxi driver, sports steward, H & S advisor and office/Warehouse work to fill in the gaps) I was offered £44 per week on Income Support (with reductions of both rent and Council Tax as well as free prescriptions). A week later I was informed by post that the decision had been amended to award me Sickness Benefit at £65pw (with no Council Tax or rent relief and full price prescriptions)-- a staggering LOSS of £20 pw. And all because I was in receipt of a lowered rate pension from HM Forces.

I was humiliated and very angry--- 22 years of serving my country for this!!!!! Fortunately, I got in touch with SSAFA (and through them RBL and a Forces Benevolent fund) and not only was I given support but also some financial help.

Never be too proud to ask!

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It is so unfair isn’t it. I also did 22 years and felt so let down and unsupported. I did contact the RBL but they just confirmed it was correct that I couldn’t get extra money on top of my pension. Even though I was paying out for prescriptions and trips to the hospital 3 times a week so was definatley out of pocket just for being sick! Luckily for me my husband is working and so we did/do get by. (Because of him working I wasn’t entitled to any other type of benefit). But it made me think about single ex Forces people, no wonder you see them homeless on the streets!! An absolute disgrace!

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Hi Carol, are you old enough to apply for Attendance Allowance or do you already get it?

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Hi. I’m 60. I don’t know what the age is for AA. I know my mum gets it. But she is 89. I don’t think I would qualify. It’s 18 months since my heart attack and my. Vasculitis is under control with meds x

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Hi Carol, you have to be 65, I am sorry I was making you older than you are.

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No problem. Thanks for thinking of me. Some days I feel over 65! Does that count 😀

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I qualified but I have other conditions too. The PMR was the straw that broke the camels back.

My best advice to you is to get help to go through the mandatory reconsideration and appeal process. Age UK or the Citizens Advice Bureau would help for free. Turn2Us also have a helpline. Its all in the wording of your appeal and knowing what the DWP are looking for.

They are only interested on how your disability/sickness affects your functionality. No amount of evidence of other people getting the benefit will help you. They are only interested in you and your difficulties.

I found the internet advice site Benefits and Work excellent. They have guides for every stage of the process. Including how to appeal etc. It does cost its about £15 a year but its money well spent. I am certainly keeping my subscription going in case I need to go through the WCA or PIP assessments again.

If you do sign on for JSA make sure they know you are going through the appeal process so that they don't give you loads of conditions to get your benefit. Also if you are on a low income and you need means tested benefits, the Jobcentre might put you on Pension Credit instead if your age qualifies you. Its different from retirement qualification age. Again seek advice from CAB or Age UK.

Hope you get on OK. It is a most stressful and degrading process. The stress of this alone on top of the steroids made my anxiety disorder so much worse and I didn't have to go to appeal!

Sandy xxx

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My mental health suffers every time I go through this process and now I can hardly form a comprehensive argument so will take support wherever I can get it. The benefits advisor at MIND can see me this week.

I have found a report in an old posting on the PMRGCA U.K.which draws attention to clause 29 (2)b states that if your health is unstable you are a danger to yourself and others around you if made to work!

The assessor has ignored the fact that I have no control over my pain and energy and am on steroid s and opiates. In addition to anti depressant . I'd love to work again, I miss it. It Is notmy choice to be claiming support but I would find it very difficult to return to and maintain a job

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You are so right, Sandy. The stress is rendering me almost beyond comprehension.

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At least the old incapacity benefit did what it said on the tin. You were assessed in your capacity to work. If you suffer from "referred" stress anxiety and/Or depression because you can't rely on your body to provide the capacity you need to work thats is difficult to overcome That means you cannot be confident that you can effectively be employed in a role with all the responsibilities that entails. Which employer will take you on if you cannot function effectively in the workplace?

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I had to double my anti depressants and anti anxiety meds as a result of the process.

I had my own business and loved what I did. Like you I cannot see me being able to work for some time yet.

Lets hope Mind are able to help with your mandatory reconsideration/appeal.

Good luck xxx

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If you want to use 29(2)b you need to get your gp or consultant to write a letter asking for you to be put in support group under section 29(2)b. Hopefully the MIND adviser will have experience of this. xxx

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I have received the Assessors report today and she has put "muscularskeletal" condition for my PMR so she clearly had no understanding of its nature. And she told me she was a physiotherapist.

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Chrissie

I hope this mistake gives you grounds to complain about the assessment as a whole, as she clearly has no idea, as you say. She is stuck in her Physio role of dealing with musculoskeletal conditions and has not even bothered to find out that you have a systemic vasculitis which happens to affect your muscles.

Hugs to you, for what good they'll do!

xx

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Getting through on the phone is the first challenge. And it all has to be done in such a hurry. One month to submit evidence for a mandatory reconsideration, then they can take as long as they like to reply

I'm drained before I even start and brain fog is making it very difficult to compose an intelligent defence

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