Thyroid UK

Claiming disability benefit? Don’t ever dare shake hands

Just read this and thought I'd post - just in case any of you make a claim sometime...

Claiming disability benefit? Don’t ever dare shake hands

Peter Bradshaw

Bethen Thorpe greeted her assessor the traditional way and promptly had her support axed. It seems people with disabilities now have to kiss cheeks instead

Do you shake hands? I do – with people I’m meeting for the first time, and often meeting up with people I already know really well. But the classic handshake is now not the single accepted greeting, and even with strangers you must awkwardly negotiate the possibility of the kiss on one or both cheeks, or bro shake with optional shoulder bump.

But I’ve been trained to think of the unhesitating handshake as simple good manners. The same, I suspect, is true of former pub landlady Bethen Thorpe from north London, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in October 2014. She had to apply for disability benefit, filled in a 35-page application form, and then travelled to Chelmsford, Essex, for an assessment meeting. She was turned down because she shook the DWP assessor’s hand, which was taken as evidence of her fitness for work.

Rest of article here:

theguardian.com/commentisfr...

18 Replies
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Unbelievable.... and very depressing.

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I just wish it really were unbelievable. Sadly, all too easy to believe. :-(

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No surprise. I was turned down because they said I was able to manage my finances without help - because I could spell 'world' backwards. And I took a break to be in a dark place for a few minutes, because after half an hour I was fatigued to the point that my vision was going flashy, they wrote that down as "toilet break". And being able to hold a disposable plastic cup of coffee at 1pm proved I don't have morning stiffness.

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Just shows the depth that our benefit system has dropped to in sidelining the truly sick whereas lazy layabouts get it all

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When I walked into my second appeal hearing for ESA the first thing that was said to me: You've been to a lot of hospital appointments ........... So you must be very mobile and well. Then later I was written up as non-compliant because I'd said some CFS workshops weren't very useful.

I was penalised both for doing too many treatments and for doing too few. It's all completely Catch-22, and everything you say (and that doctors and carers say)is interpreted with the logic of a school bulky. I have always cried after reading the reports they write because they are so horrifyingly misrepresenting, and then been haunted for months. I now just file them without opening them.

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The handshake probably came under 'behaving appropriately in the meeting', which is something that counts against you getting benefit. The volunteer that accompanied me told me he'd helped a woman that cried all the way through, and ran out at one point into the lift and he had to go out and comfort her to coax her back into the room. She also got classified as behaving appropriately for a work meeting! So I don't think anyone can 'pass' that part of the test.

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Words fail me.....

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I can't even come up with the right words for this. !@#$%%^

What scoundrels make these rules??????

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Perhaps coming up with the right words counts against you as well?

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LOL, yes, I believe it would, but on second thought I think I might come up with some serious invective.

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Shocking! That's what happens when they stop listening to doctors. I ruffled a few feathers when I went with a friend and we were sent to the waiting area. My friend couldn't site on low chairs and I insisted one he could cope with was brought and then taken into the interview!

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When you pay by results this is the result.

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Totally believable I'm afraid to say. As a personal addition to this myself and my partner have lost our right to benefits this year DLA for both and my partner lost his ESA for which he was in the support group. He has Chronic Multi Organ Sarcoidosis yet another nasty auto immune disease and never cured only managed. This one is even more poorly treated and understood than our Thyroid issues. The outcome of this is a £700 loss of monthly income leaving us to survive on my State Pension and a small private pension as he was medically retired from the Civil Service. Needless to say Christmas is cancelled as is my birthday (25th December) my frustration is not helping either with the social/commercial side of the holiday period. I am close to shouting Bah Humbug to the next poor soul who wishes me a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Sorry for the rant!

As a positive Atos or whoever has taken on the contract for DWP now has a vested interest in failing all on first assessment so demand a re-consideration then fight on appeal. A friend on mine with MS did this and eventually won her benefits were re-instated. Good Luck!

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Hi HypoTrish, Have you looked into proteolytic enzymes. They attack inflammation and scar tissue and very safe. I've looked up a lot of information and take them myself. You can look up Jon Barron's formula or watch Wm. Wong on You Tube or check out Serrapeptase at Amazon. This also explains a bit.

taoofherbs.com/articles/88/...

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Thanks Heloise I will look into this

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For serious conditions you may need very high doses and I've tried several types but I feel they work. My husband drained tons of mucous when he took them although it was for the scar on his hand which prompted it originally. There is no harm in trying since there seem to be no bad effects at all.

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They know that most of the people applying are really unfit for work and that nobody would employ them anyway. The very reasons they give are so obviously scraping the barrel for reasons and justifications. However by putting them as fit for work they then have to go on the dole(sp) The money paid to people on the dole is a lot less than DLA and that is the criteria.

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Yes, the ridiculous thing is you could never find someone to employ you based on the criteria. With a thyroid issue, unless you are 'lucky enough' to struggle to lift your arms or to grip a small object, the only criteria relevant to fatigue are that you must be able to walk less than 100 metres and sit or stand for less than an hour.

When I originally got bumped back to the Jobcentre I was there for 4 weeks and they never seriously suggested I apply for a job, they knew I was never getting one and it was all a box ticking exercise.

I'm now in the appeals process, since April 2016!! My last hearing was in January of this year, and I'm waiting for a higher tier court My health has now improved to the point where I don't think I'm eligible, so not sure which way I'll turn when my date finally comes up.

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