Proved by MRI I have osteo arthritis both hips knees other possible complications due to arthritis tennis elbow plantar faschiatis.

I have bulged discs bottom of my spine proved by MRI which surgeon refused operation on even though from time to time when sciatic nerve traps am totally incapacited as a result.

I have high blood pressure and under active thyroid conditions controlled by medications.

I take maximum dose of tramadol and Gabapentin for pain and sleep.

As a result of all the above and other life events I have now been diagnosed with anxiety and and depression for which I also take regular medication.

I have a long history stretching back to at least 2003 with lots of supporting documentation BUT I do work full-time for a charity supporting vulnerable people with mental health issues.

Recent assessment with ATOS ORIGIN and attended by self which may have been a mistake as I feel the assessor has actually lied about what I am and am not capable of and has taken absolutely no account of periods of sick I have had to take from time to time over the last 10 years which may last up to 5 weeks where I am unable to speak to anyone feed self get out of bed just totally run down and depressed I guess.

Combination of all of the above I am in constant pain (pain relief ineffective) most of the time tired really difficult to bend down,which I evidenced in the assessment but the assessor just lied and said I could bend down without any difficulty. difficult in sleeping because I cannot lay on one side or the other.

I scored absolutely no points on the assessment and as result DWP have turned me down.

I sent a 3 page letter to the DWP to explain my difficulties particularly when things are at there worst. NO REVERSAL OF THEIR DECISION.

I am wondering whether to take to a tribunal please can anyone provide any assistance or advice as to what I should do and whether it is worth a go??

Best wishes


18 Replies

  • I am so sorry you feel so poorly, I can't help with your claim but maybe your thyroxine dose is not adequate which is giving you depression and anxiety along with your other problems of course (a vicious circle). A surgeon will not operate on bulging discs, you may need to see someone who can give you exercises to help, my husband has an inversion table where he hangs upside down for his bulging discs. Do you take tramadol for your back? Tramadol can act as a mild antidepressant but is highly addictive and should on ly be used for two weeks. I know how painful sciatica is as I've had herniated discs and also have a bulging disc and have been on tramadol. Sorry I'm not much help but do hope someone can help further. Is your thyroid optimally treated by the way? X

  • Welcome to the forum, LU11.

    I'm sorry your claim has been turned down. I think it may be worth appealing the DWP decision but it is probably best to get help from an advisor to help you do this. The links below may help you do this.



  • Benefits & Work are excellent :-)

  • Hi Lu, I'm sorry to hear your news.

    BBC and C4 documentaries have shown that regardless of chronic illness &/or disability, the powers that be want ESA &/or PIP to be denied.

    So, unless you're literally in a coma, your application will be denied. The instructions and guidelines have been handed down by this Tory gov, the Tory-LibDem gov and the previous Blair (Tory-lite) gov.

    Your only alternative is to appeal the decision. Try and find an adviser to help you through this unsettling maze.

    However, the powers that be have also stopped funding many of the agencies that previously guided the chronically sick and disabled. Obviously, the funding was stopped in order to prevent the chronically sick &/or disabled from receiving the help and guidance that they need in order to get through these demoralising, worrying, confusing and distressing times.

    This country now has a callous Tory gov, with a cabinet full of multi millionaires who only care for their non-dom brethren and multi million pound tax avoiders, evaders and bankers. And there is no Labour Party any more. New Labour is NOT Labour. Brian May was correct when he said something similar on Question Time. If New Labour cast off their New (Tory-lite) coat and return to being Labour, they'll get votes. But, if they mimic the Tories, they won't.

    The number of food banks will also rise in the next 5 yrs, as will the number of homeless. A Tory voter gleefully asked me on 8th May, "what's a food bank?" She didn't know. After I got over my shock, I explained. And she then replied, "this gov has already been good for me and my boyfriend - our stocks and shares have already risen."


  • Hi Londimium

    Thanks very much for taking time to respond.

    I’ve watched both documentaries you mentioned.

    Stocks and shares LOL .

    What gets me is the numbers of people who voted for more of the same but I am guessing the elderly in the main who are not doing so bad under current governments (big voting blocks).

    I am just speechless and pretty hopeless regards the future of this place.

    Food banks should be outlawed.

    Thanks anyways and best wishes to you.



  • They got the votes because they used fear tactics. They kept saying that if Brits didn't vote for them, they'd get a coalition of Labour and SNP, and that SNP would divide and separate the UK. Many labour voters then gave their vote to the Tories. The tactics of fear are divide and rule. And Brits fell for it. But when they become chronically ill they'll see what it's like... unless they're non-dom, have stocks and shares, and offshore accounts.

  • You are probably right Londinium in your assertion that some Labour votes were lost on account of the SNP situation. but my contention is that Ed himself lost far more! As for the other Ed, he was such a good prospect as shadow chancellor that his own constituency gave him an overwhelming vote of confidence... did it not? All I ever heard during this election campaign was a consistent 'don't vote for the others because they'll make your lives much worse...' and then totally failed to tell the electorate how they would make lives better. Thankfully, because I was born in Holland (in spite of having lived most of my life in this country, paid all my dues during my working days, having served in HM Forces, and to date have spent the best part of 20 years preserving an important piece of this country's heritage that nobody else gave a damn about) I am not allowed to have a say in who gets to spend my taxes, so you really can't blame me! But that doesn't stop me from having an opinion...

  • Zephyrbear,

    Not some votes. It was many votes that were lost. The SNP situation? What situation? I wasn't swayed by all the scaremongering, but I could see that it was an effective tactic. Scotland would still be there, where it's always been. And I can still get a train and visit. Everyone was scared of the SNP situation? What situation?

    To vote for further cuts against the poorest classes, whilst the richest remain non-Doms, have offshore accounts and pay nothing? Well that beggars belief.

    There is no shortage of money - if the richest paid their taxes and stopped sponging off the poorest.

  • At the risk of hijacking LU11's post, for which I apologise, the SNP situation you obviously couldn't see consisted of the fact that Nicola Sturgeon fully intended, and certainly would, have used her position within a Labour/SNP coalition to get as many advantages for Scotland at the expense of England/Wales and N-Ireland as she could irrespective of anyone's ability to pay, and the poorest would have been forced to suck that particular mop! As for Ed's reassurances that he would not be considering a partnership with the SNP, they were about as firm as a wilted cabbage... Unbelievable! I do agree with you that the richest (and that definitely includes the non-Doms) should be made to pay more into this country that gives them such a cushy ride. Unfortunately, they are the ones that can afford the accountants who can get them out of doing so, and it is those loopholes that should be closed. But then again, Labour had 11 years in which to do so but did nothing either, so go figure!

  • I am not elderly but I voted for one and the same simply because there was no alternative!! Under Labour it was spend, spend, spend, and I feared we would end up like Greece. You are right about the multi millionares, however you just need look at Tristram Hunt who wishes some day to be leader of the Labour party - now there is a silver spoon!!! This is not a political forum, but in my opinion, ( & my son's who works with the EU in Brussels), at present there is no viable alternative. I am not speechless or hopeless and have still high hopes for this country. The person who didn't know about food banks wants to be put in the stocks and pelted with rotton tomatoes !!! that is a concern!

  • To suggest the elderly are doing well from this gov is a total laugh

    Millions of elderly depend on interest from savings because that is their pension ....FLS has trashed interest rates and any hope of income

    We will not get the new flat rate pension and just as many women only get £66 pw because they had no option but to stay home and care for kids ,sick spouses or elderly parents

    Quite where the claim of "dignity in retirement" is going to come from is a big fat ?....

  • Hi Lu, I'm afraid your voluntary job is the real problem here. If you are fit enough to work, in any capacity, you won't get PIP. You really need to make the decision of whether you want PIP or to keep your job. Be careful in your choice though; PIP will give you a steady income, but your job is giving you interaction with others and a social connection. Unfortunately you've now put yourself at a disadvantage for any further action, since your job has already been declared. The only thing I can suggest is to give the job up, wait a few months and apply again as having a change of circumstances. But you will need to be thorough and give a full account of how everything from drugs to illnesses impacts and now prevents you from even doing your job. It's something of a grand performance, if truth be told. Playing your sickness to the hilt is the only way to convince. And you must be careful to sell your life at its worst; they will not look kindly on you having good spells and bad; that's also a disqualifier.

    It's a tough choice to have to make, but while you have that job, you ain't getting PIP!

  • Hi Chancery

    Thanks for taking the time to respond and your very honest reply.

    Please could I ask is your reply based on personal experience? Or do you work in the benefits/legal sector?

    Only reason I ask is that of all people who have responded yours has been the most helpful as closely matches some of my thoughts on whether or not to proceed with a tribunal and although counter to many others opinions on here is closest to mine.

    It would be very much appreciated if you could let me know as am trying to make a decision based on broad range of opinion and experience and as you can probably appreciate it's a real tough one.

    Best wishes and thanks again.


  • Hi Lu. Yep, I've been through the mill myself. I receive PIP at the enhanced rate, but no mobility. The nurse who took me through it was very thorough, but also very informative about how it works - she had obviously decided I should get it and she did her damndest to help me.

    As Silver Avocado says below, you really do have to be incapacitated to get it. I was 'lucky' the day I went that I had been got up early and my medication doesn't like that, so I was poorly when I arrived, and looked it. I get travel sickness, again because of medication, and I also have panic attacks, again because of medication. All of that combined to make me pretty much a disaster on the day, so it was bizarrely helpful (the only time in life when feeling crap is helpful!)

    That said, I couldn't possibly do a job (see above!) so you can see where they are coming from here. My partner also gets carer's allowance for me because I really can't cope well on my own. Ironically, most of this is because of medication, but it still impacts and that's what they are really looking at. Although, again, I have to point out that if I didn't take the medication I'd be completely incapacitated so I really don't have any way out here.

    I had no idea PIP existed and someone on another forum told me about it. I applied on an off-chance, not expecting to get it, but found the woman who 'did' me very helpful. As I say though, I was pretty much a village idiot on the day, so that helped. It's NOT the time to be showing how well you can cope. In fact, you need to tell them about all the ways you have to adapt life TO cope, and in my case, they are many.

    I also discovered how these things work in another way - I also applied for assistance with better housing and was refused - twice, and no matter how ill I proved I was, and how much it impacted, they weren't interested. This is because I had no serious mobility issues. If I had had them, but been much healthier, I would still have been given housing priority in a blink. It makes no sense, but that's how these things work.

    You've fallen foul of this type of bureaucracy; no matter how ill you are - and you have more illnesses than me - the fact that you go out to work immediately disqualifies you: if you are competent and organised enough to go to a job, you don't need PIP. So, unfortunately, it's really reduced to the job or PIP for you. And, as I say, you have now set yourself up at a disadvantage because they will suspect you of giving up the job just to get PIP, so it's going to be so much harder for you to sell them on it.

    What would be helpful, if you decide to go down that path, is to get some new evidence to back up the reasons for giving up the job: consultant's letter, doctor's letter, something, to show that you actually have deteriorated. It will make giving up the job seem more plausible.

    I know it all sounds so manipulative and you must feel resentful at being pushed into this position, especially as you are genuinely ill, but this is who they are. You're just going to have to make a tough decision then follow through. Very best of luck with whatever you decide.

  • Lu, Chancery is right in everything she has said.

    I use to work for DWP before I was retired on ill health at 55. Due to my Hypothyroid. I was turned down for DLA three times, even though it was the same company that retired me and said I would never be fit to work again. I eventually got the decision in my favour at a tribunal.

    I have recently received a letter telling me I will have to go for an interview for PIP despite being granted DLA indefinitely.

    If you can't find anyone else to help you don't forget the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) can help.

    Don't give up at the first hurdle, most people were turned down for DLA initially, I always believed this was in the hope most would not take it further. I believe this is also what I happening with PIP.

    Good luck :-)

  • I suspect that Chancery is right. This is based on my recent experience of going through the PIP process. I am largely housebound, and often bed bound, and was turned down for the personal care strand, and received the mobility strand.

    I actually think I was quite lucky to get it, even tho I am a million miles away from being able to work at all. I think if you can regularly get dressed, eat, and make even very short journeys to the corner shop or whatever, from what I've seen you would get nothing.

    I am just at the limit of being able to live alone. Getting food for the day is a full time job for me, with with things like washing and dressing very far down the list. It seemed to me you have to either be bad enough to require a carer for things like toilet, or have all the lack of personal care that I do, PLUS be blind or some other very clear disablement. I think anxiety may count.

  • You're right, Silver Avocado. Ironically, I'm opposite to you. I get the enhanced rate for standard care, or whatever it is (I actually can't remember - how embarrassing is that?) but I get nothing for mobility, this despite the fact that I can't go on a bus by myself - not if I want to get off at the right stop, or fall flat on my face once I get off!(Medication-induced ataxia) But I can get out every day "to my local shops" (they are big on that) and am not bed bound in any way.

    I think a lot of it is also sheer luck on who you get to do your assessment. I was lucky with mine in that the nurse I saw was sympathetic, and also as I said to Lu, I was pretty ill on the day so she wasn't hard to convince that I had motion sickness, for example, as she could see it for herself!

    It really is a lottery...

  • You could have a look at fightback4justice.co.uk who I hear from another forum are very helpful when PIP claims are refused. I was under the impression that PIP was replacing DLA and claimable on your need even if you do work.

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