Ouch Too

Forum => Welfare Rights => Topic started by: SteveX on 16 Apr 2014 02:12PM

Title: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Apr 2014 02:12PM
I went for a medical and I got a brown envelope today, I'm not entitled to ESA and my money had been cut.

IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?

there is nothing about appealing in the documents I got, I'm in a TERRIBLE state..  Please god help me before I do something very bad.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Apr 2014 03:26PM
Please...

I don't know what to do, is my rent stopped also?

Nowhere on the paper is appeal mentioned so I can't appeal?

So I either go sign on and be put through the stress and anxiety of JSA until I become so Ill I collapse and die?    ..I can't take this
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 16 Apr 2014 04:11PM
Steve  >bighugs< >bighugs<

I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. You guys across the water have different rules for challenging ESA decisions, so I'm not able to advise you about that, but please don't do anything drastic. There are lots of people about here who are familiar with the appeals process, and who can give you the guidance you need right now.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: ditchdwellers on 16 Apr 2014 05:29PM
Hang on in there.  Someone will be along soon who can advise you  >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Apr 2014 05:31PM
Ok..  I'm trying.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 16 Apr 2014 05:33PM
Hi SteveX, I'm very sorry you had this outcome - from October last year, the appeals process for ESA and certain other benefits was changed in that now you have to ask for a 'mandatory reconsideration' first from the DWP decision-makers themselves before any appeal to an independent tribunal can be considered.

Firstly you need to contact the DWP for an explanation of the decision and a request for them to look at this decision again (mandatory reconsideration).  Do you feel able to telephone them?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Apr 2014 05:35PM
Hi SteveX, I'm very sorry you had this outcome - from October last year, the appeals process for ESA and certain other benefits was changed in that now you have to ask for a 'mandatory reconsideration' first from the DWP decision-makers themselves before any appeal to an independent tribunal can be considered.

Firstly you need to contact the DWP for an explanation of the decision and a request for them to look at this decision again (mandatory reconsideration).  Do you feel able to telephone them?

Hi and thank you.

No, there's no way I could phone them, is there any other way?

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 16 Apr 2014 05:40PM
You could either write to them or visit the nearest JobCentrePlus office - or someone could phone on your behalf as long as you're next to them to confirm your basic identity details; any helpful friends or neighbours you could ask tomorrow?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Apr 2014 05:42PM
You could either write to them or visit the nearest JobCentrePlus office - or someone could phone on your behalf as long as you're next to them to confirm your basic identity details; any helpful friends or neighbours you could ask tomorrow?

I think the best bet is writing as neither myself or my mum are in any state to use the phone.
Their address is on the letter but no real instructions on how I do this.

Do I just post them a letter with my name and adders and say please reconsider or do I have to say more?

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 16 Apr 2014 05:50PM
I've found some very useful easy-read FAQs on mandatory reconsiderations on the open-to-public part of the Benefits and Work site:  it's probably quicker for you to look at these than for me to post them!

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/employment-and-support-allowance/esa-appeals/mandatory-reconsiderations#mr5

You mentioned your rent - an ESA nil-decision notice will automatically be sent to the Housing Benefit department of your local council, so you will need to inform them as well that you have been left with no income and are requesting a DWP decision to be looked at again. 

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 16 Apr 2014 05:57PM
.. and as to 'saying more', it would be useful for you to have a written statement of reasons from the decision-maker so you can pinpoint just why they withheld points on whatever descriptors - so when you ask for your MR, request that statement of reasons as well and then you can follow it up with more information and any evidence that you can obtain from docs etc
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Richard_D on 16 Apr 2014 06:39PM
Would it be possible to claim Housing Benefit to cover the rent due to nil income in the area where they are?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Hurtyback on 16 Apr 2014 07:45PM
Once the mandatory reconsideration has been carried out, if the decision is not overturned, you can then make a formal appeal to the Tribunal Service. At this point ESA payment will restart at the assessment rate - you will need to submit fit notes (used to be called sick notes) for this to happen.


Mandatory Reconsideration is supposed to take 2 weeks but there is not legal time-limit. You can claim JSA meanwhile, the fact that you have been found 'fit for work' makes this possible. You can ask to see the disability advisor, or even (once you have made the claim) phone in sick as you are allowed 2 periods of sickness whilst on JSA.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Apr 2014 08:19PM
Once the mandatory reconsideration has been carried out, if the decision is not overturned, you can then make a formal appeal to the Tribunal Service. At this point ESA payment will restart at the assessment rate - you will need to submit fit notes (used to be called sick notes) for this to happen.


Mandatory Reconsideration is supposed to take 2 weeks but there is not legal time-limit. You can claim JSA meanwhile, the fact that you have been found 'fit for work' makes this possible. You can ask to see the disability advisor, or even (once you have made the claim) phone in sick as you are allowed 2 periods of sickness whilst on JSA.

Thank you.

I am not going to claim JSA as to me thats like me admitting I'm fit to work, my mum is going to help me survive over the next couple of weeks thankfully, we have worked things out which will keep my bills paid for the next 3-4 weeks max.

I am working on a letter now asking for the reconsideration but I really don't know how to word it so I hope its ok.

I'm in total panic and my heart is pounding I can feel it hammering.  I know I expected this but the reality of it hurts a lot more than I thought, if it wasn't for my mum dashing around to comfort me today I wouldn't be here now and thats the truth. 

I don't know how these people can sleep at night for the stress and heartache they cause people.   >crying<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 16 Apr 2014 09:02PM
I have been somewhat out of action today so just seen this thread.

Dont lose heart.  >bighugs<The reason the Government put Mandatory Reconsideration in place was because so many people were winning appeals. They know the wrong decision can be made which is why the Decision Maker has to look at it again if you ask for that to happen.

When you write to ask for a reconsideration also ask for a copy of your ESA 85a which will tell you more about how the decision was made. Also if you can get to see your GP ask them about the ESA113 they might have been asked to fill in and if they did fill it in ask for a copy.

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 16 Apr 2014 09:49PM
Once the mandatory reconsideration has been carried out, if the decision is not overturned, you can then make a formal appeal to the Tribunal Service. At this point ESA payment will restart at the assessment rate - you will need to submit fit notes (used to be called sick notes) for this to happen.


Mandatory Reconsideration is supposed to take 2 weeks but there is not legal time-limit. You can claim JSA meanwhile, the fact that you have been found 'fit for work' makes this possible. You can ask to see the disability advisor, or even (once you have made the claim) phone in sick as you are allowed 2 periods of sickness whilst on JSA.

Thank you.

I am not going to claim JSA as to me thats like me admitting I'm fit to work, my mum is going to help me survive over the next couple of weeks thankfully, we have worked things out which will keep my bills paid for the next 3-4 weeks max.

I am working on a letter now asking for the reconsideration but I really don't know how to word it so I hope its ok.

I'm in total panic and my heart is pounding I can feel it hammering.  I know I expected this but the reality of it hurts a lot more than I thought, if it wasn't for my mum dashing around to comfort me today I wouldn't be here now and thats the truth. 

I don't know how these people can sleep at night for the stress and heartache they cause people.   >crying<

Hi Steve
sotrry Im late to this - just in from work.
Kizzy has given you the letter to do a mandatory reconsideration(MR) and you send that back to the office that it came from.  The biggest problem is that Mandatory reconsiderations can take 12+ weeks, can you exist with no money (unless you have DLA) until then.   If not the only benefit you can get is JSA.  Now I know why you don't want to claim that but if you make the claim and draft a claimant committment that states the limits of the jobs you could do.  Obviously I don't know your illnesses but it would be something alone the lines of "I agree to apply for an office job" the job would need to be one that allowed me to get up and move about at regular interval due to my muscle/joint pain.

Re Housing benefit  / council tax reduction contact your council and ask for a change of circumstances form, if you state on the change of circs form "I have been found fit for work and am asking the DWP to reconsider this decision, at present I have no income.


This is a basic draft of a MR

I do not agree with the decision that I am fit for work, the assessor failed to consider that I cannot deal with change, the extreme anxiety that I suffer brings on suicidal thoughts.  I have had to get my mum to help me with this and without her constant supervision and calming help I would have hurt myself today.  I struggle with social situations and do not feel I could cope with the workplace without becoming severely anxious.   When I become anxious I cannot even use a phone as I cannot concentrate enough to hold a conversation.

If you can reword that to your own situation it might help.
Then contact your doctors and tell them you've been found fit for work and can they give you a supporting letter

If you don't claim JSA before 28/4/14 you might not  get any money at all - I only highlight this as after 28/4/14 yoiu can't claim JSA unless you have a CV, an email and can prove to JSA that you are job ready,  this is obviously a tactic to stop folk like yourself claiming JSA on a temp basis but if youhave no money you need to do something to exist.  AND PLEASE don't think that suicide it the only answer, why let the  >bleep< win.

Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: devine63 on 17 Apr 2014 01:15AM
Excellent advice from Kizzy and Monic

Steve I'm sorry this had to happen.  >hugs<     

Please make sure you contact your doctor and / or whoever provides your treatment for your anxiety, they may be able to offer extra support the next few weeks.  They can also provide any "fit notes" which may be needed.   you might also want to ask whether the doctors would be willing to support you in a claim based on one of the special criteria (they appear somewhere on the welfare rights board).

One of the things we know is that Appeals on WCA decisions are more likely to be successful if you have an expert to help you with the process - so get the Mandatory reconsideration process started, but also make contact with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or disabled people's organisation to find someone who can help you.

regards, Deb
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Apr 2014 08:46AM
Thanks everyone.

I barely slept last night, my mind is spinning and I'm worrying so much that my stress level was at a new high and I was physically sick, I'm a little better now but my head is pounding like a blacksmiths hammer.

I am working on the letter and it will be done today but I'm not posting it until Tuesday as I don't want it stuck in a post office all bank holiday so it will be sent recorded delivery on Tuesday.

As for an expert going to the appeal, I will go with my mum, I couldn't cope going with someone I don't know.

Right now the thought of not a single penny incoming is terrifying me and I've even considered just giving up the reconsideration and appeal and going to sign on JSA just to get some income.  But I know full well I'm simply not up to it and a few weeks of signing on and the stress they give you will have me in hospital.  So I have no option but to battle on in the desperate hope of winning in the end.

I went through all this before, my mum and I went to the tribunal after I'd been given 0 points and I won, but the stress and anxiety was so high the instant they'd said I won, I burst into tears all the weeks of stress.  Now I have this struggle to do again and this time with no income at all to keep me going.

Considering I have a raft of medical issues stemming from birth and a heart problem, you'd think it would be illegal for them to pressure me so much, but I guess if all this added stress finally kills me  they'll save enough money for an MP to have a free lunch once a week and they deserve it so much more than I seem to deserve the little I got.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 17 Apr 2014 01:23PM
SteveX,

 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 17 Apr 2014 03:29PM
 >bighugs< >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 17 Apr 2014 04:37PM
Hi Steve, do you know, it is OK to burst into tears after having weeks of stress.  Quite a natural thing to do. 

It sounds as though you will have no trouble getting your GP to provide enough evidence.  Goodness me he must be horrified.  I hope that you can get to find out what he wrote this time that seems to have been ignored.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Apr 2014 04:41PM
Hi Steve, do you know, it is OK to burst into tears after having weeks of stress.  Quite a natural thing to do. 

It sounds as though you will have no trouble getting your GP to provide enough evidence.  Goodness me he must be horrified.  I hope that you can get to find out what he wrote this time that seems to have been ignored.

He doesn't know about it, I've not seen him for months and I rarely mention my problems to him.  I have white coat syndrome and avoid the doctors unless I have no option.   :(
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 17 Apr 2014 04:55PM
I think that this is one of the times when you have no option Steve.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Apr 2014 05:11PM
I think that this is one of the times when you have no option Steve.

My letter is done now, but I've already told myself when the reconsideration fails and I put in for an appeal, I will see him before that happens.  :(
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 17 Apr 2014 07:43PM
Hi Steve
Well done in getting the MR letter done, If there is any support worker / counsellor that you could get a letter of support from do that and then if there is no change you will have it ready for the appeal stage.

After a mandatory reconsideration has been looked at the dwp send you a letter telling you that the MR process has happened and the decision has not been changed (sometimes it does get changed and we can hope it will in your case)  You then have the right to appeal the decision, appeals are send to HM Tribunal Service who will then list it for a hearing.   Hopefully the MR will be  successful

Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: devine63 on 18 Apr 2014 12:14AM
Dear Steve

 well done on getting the letter completed and it sounds a good idea to send it RD on Tuesday.

I understand you will want to take your mum with you to any hearing if there needs to be one, but I would really encourage you to get a Citizen's Advice Bureau person to help too - if you start the process as soon as possible, taking your mum along if you need to, they won't be a stranger by the time you get to the hearing and they increase your chances of success considerably.

I also understand the "white coat syndrome" response - but is it possible you (maybe with mum's help, or ours) could write a letter about your difficulties which could be sent to your doctor?  S/he can be a lot more help if they know what you are experiencing (and they might be able to provide some helpful treatment, too).  In particular the doctor needs to know that you appealed successfully before and which criteria the Tribunal thought you met last time, as those are probably the ones your application this time should concentrate upon.

You can do it STeve!
regards, Deb

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 18 Apr 2014 01:08PM
Thanks.

I really don't want to contact anyone else, I know the CAB do really great work but I just don't want to deal with anyone else.
I am expecting the reconsideration to fail but I hope they will allow me to appeal, I know a tribunal is a terrifying ordeal as I've been through it before but I just hope that if I sit in front of a tribunal they will not be heavily biased like ATOS.  I hope they will judge me on the merits of my case and not 'ohh. this sucker is an easy target, lets throw him off ESA.'

as for what criteria I met at the last tribunal, I honestly have no idea and I never got any paperwork (or I've lost it, as it was 4-5 years ago)

I promise I will see my doctor but after the reconsideration. I have written a 4 page letter, I don't have much hope in the DWP paper pushers but we'll see.

Either way, I need the reconsideration out of the way asap so I can start the appeal and start getting a little income, I really hate taking money off my mum, she's totally awesome about it and says I'd have it anyway one day so I might as well have it when I need it but still, I can't help but feel guilty about it. 

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 18 Apr 2014 01:44PM
Stave, well done for getting the letters sorted out. I'll have everything crossed for you that the reconsideration process is quick, so that you can proceed to an appeal, should that be necessary.  >x-fingers<

Mums can be brilliant, can't they.  >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: devine63 on 18 Apr 2014 06:37PM
Well done Steve.  If you contact the Tribunal and ask to make a "Subject Access Request" under the Data Protection Act  you should be able to ask for copies of the papers from your previous Tribunal - if you get on and ask now (a simple letter should be fine, there will be an address on their webpage) then it should reach you by the time you need it for the Appeal.
regards, Deb
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 18 Apr 2014 08:36PM
I really hate taking money off my mum, she's totally awesome about it and says I'd have it anyway one day so I might as well have it when I need it but still, I can't help but feel guilty about it.

There's nothing to feel guilty about, Steve. The guilty ones are sitting in Cabinet, in the media and in assessment centres, asking questions designed to trip up sick and disabled people.

Relying on your close family for financial help is not a nice thing to have to do, but if your positions were reversed, you'd be moving heaven and earth to help your Mum, so please try not to feel bad about it.  >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 18 Apr 2014 09:17PM
Quote
The guilty ones are sitting in Cabinet, in the media and in assessment centres, asking questions designed to trip up sick and disabled people.

 >thumbsup< and a pox on the lot of 'em!

Good to read that you're still in the fight, Steve, we're all rooting for you >x-fingers<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 22 Apr 2014 12:13PM
Letter sent.

Would you believe it cost £6.40 to guarantee it would arrive tomorrow.  Six quid!!!! 

right now all I have in the entire world is £1.43p

I emailed the Samaritans last night because I was in a very bad state, no reply though
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: ditchdwellers on 22 Apr 2014 01:15PM
 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 22 Apr 2014 01:45PM
I hope the Samaritans get back to you today, Steve.  >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: feehutch on 22 Apr 2014 02:39PM
Hello
I'm new but just wanted to send some hugs too.  I find dealing with these things incredibly distressing too so I can really empathise Steve.  I hope the Samaritans did get back to you and you aren't left in limbo for too long.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 22 Apr 2014 07:57PM
I am so pleased that you found the courage to contact someone last night Steve.  Have they got back to you.  If not do you think that you could phone them?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 22 Apr 2014 08:11PM
I am so pleased that you found the courage to contact someone last night Steve.  Have they got back to you.  If not do you think that you could phone them?

Thank you all.

Auntie, yes I got an email this afternoon, although it was pretty pointless as they said they cannot give advice, only listen and talk.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 22 Apr 2014 08:14PM
That is what they do Steve.  But talking things over with someone does help clear one's mind and somehow you do find your own way to solve some dilemmas.  It might be as simple as realising that you know someone who can help.  Give it a go and see what happens.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 23 Apr 2014 10:27PM
 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 06 May 2014 03:03PM
It's two weeks today since my letter for mandatory reconsideration was sent.

I have heard nothing, zip, zero, zilch, not a sausage.

I know they got my letter as the post office tracking said it was delivered the morning after I'd sent it. But I've heard nothing.  I still have no income and I'm living on my mums money (which I hate, but I have no choice)

You would think the DWP would have the decency to send you a letter saying they received your letter and it was being processed.  Calling them is simply not an option.  I've no idea how long this takes..   I'm trying my best to squeeze my mums money as much as possible so I don't have to borrow so much but my bills have to be paid, I'm just living off the cheapest meals I can find now and making leftovers make another meal and not using my heating at all..  But I can't live like this forever :(

I can't help but feel if I was a criminal or drug user then I would be treated better and not left to starve and freeze.

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: ditchdwellers on 06 May 2014 03:20PM
 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 06 May 2014 03:56PM
 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: feehutch on 06 May 2014 05:32PM
 >bighugs< from me too, that's such a stressful position to put you in.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 06 May 2014 09:25PM
Hi Steve

 >bighugs<  Sorry but I think they have a minimum of 28 days before they can be pressurised into making a decision, you could try to make a claim for a crisis grant from your local council for help with the healting and if you can get a referral to a foodbank - you get 3 days worth of food from them.

Your only other option would be to contact your MP's pa and ask them if they could contact the DWP to find out the status of your reconsideration request.   It is election time so you might get some help there.   As for DWP resonding to receipt of your letter - sorry they don't send out acknowledgement letters at all for this, it would cost too much.
 >x-fingers< for a quick result
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 07 May 2014 03:58PM

Monic,

Quote
As for DWP resonding to receipt of your letter - sorry they don't send out acknowledgement letters at all for this, it would cost too much.

I am glad you posted that because I was not sure if they sent out a letter or not.

Steve,

It occurred to me that going to a food bank maybe feel like too much for you because you have to get the voucher then go to the food bank itself. This made me think the way things are you could do with some support 'on the ground'. Organisations like Mind help and support people in your situation and this could include someone coming to you.

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/local-minds/

People from these types of organisations are on your side and although it will be hard for you to ask for help it is worth a try  >hugs<

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 07 May 2014 09:18PM
Hi
re food banks - the one in my town doesn't need people to go and "pick up" a voucher to take to the food bank, what happens is the person contacts our service & we try to sort out benefits or find out why they need a voucher, if this is done over the phone we tell them how to appeal, what action they need to take and then we will email a voucher to the foodbank.  Person appears at the foodbank and says I've been referred here by the advice agency & the foodbank organiser checks if they have received an emailed voucher and hands out a parcel.

This system works in one town but another doesn't have the facilities to get the emailed voucher so the person has to come to the office to pick up a paper voucher to take to the foodbank.  I suppose I'm saying phone and ask how the referral process works but if you were in our area you would get a food voucher just because your money has stopped.

Please ask for assistance - there are several agencies that should be able to help you
 >hugs<
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 07 May 2014 10:42PM
Thanks everyone.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful or mean but I could never go to a foodbank, I would honestly starve to death first, I don't mean that in a nasty way and I have nothing against foodbanks nor the people that use them, please don't think that. 

Its just the way I am and the way I was raised, I could not go as I would be so embarrassed and so very ashamed.   

I know they do a wonderful job and they help a lot of people and thats really great (although sad they are needed in such a country) but speaking personally, I could never go to one.   I'm just very grateful that my mum is here and thanks to her I'm eating and paying my most important bills.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 07 May 2014 10:47PM
What on earth is there to be ashamed about?  They stopped your income and you know no good reason for it. 

People who use food banks are on nil hours contracts (it is not their fault that there is no work that week) they may have lost their jobs (probably a management mistake, not theirs) and have all sorts of temporary hiccups in their lives.  So have you a blip - absolutely nothing different or humiliating about that.  Part of normal life these days.  Take what is offered and enjoy the company whilst you are there.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 08 May 2014 01:33AM
Perhaps Auntie, I know they do good work and I'm happy they help people who need it, but I just couldn't do it.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Fiz on 08 May 2014 04:35PM
I am usually in rent arrears, not through choice but needs must and every now and again I catch up and pay off the arrears then they build up again. Fortunately my LA have been patient and I've not yet had letters about it, possibly they now realise I do always catch up with arrears and set things straight. But after feeling guilty and inadequate about this it occured to me that the LA submit statistics about people in rent arrears and people are noticing the increase in arrears correlating with the under occupancy charge (bedroom tax) so my being in arrears is hopefully helping bring into the public eye the effects of the charge. In the same way, people who are needing to use foodbanks are part of living proof of the affects of the welfare changes and they may well bring about change in policy and hopefully even in government. So recipients are doing a good job in my view, though I understand how uncomfortable it is. I have twice used the foodbank myself and I didn't enjoy a second of it, but needs must and in both times I had a child to feed or I might not have gone. Mind, I can do without food unfortunately easily.  >whistle<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 08 May 2014 08:58PM
Hi Steve

I do understand that you feel embarrassed to seek a food parcel but by doing that you are justifying the governments belief that there are no needy people, just chancers and greedy people who use food banks.

I have met several people like yourself who refuse to ask for a food parcel and all that happens is you make yourself ill, some people have died and after it gets to the papers there is an investigation.  The dwp line is "claimants are given information on their appeal rights and are signposted to local agencies who can assist them"  in other words - we told you where to get help & its not our fault you refused to seek or accept help.   Then the local social work gets a call and then they get abused for not knowing that there was a vulnerable person in the town who had not sought help.   If a person is a council tennant their housing officers will try visiting them but some people don't open the doors,   after 6 visits a housing officer manage to contact a person who had not eaten for 3 weeks & first stop for the housing officer was a crisis grant to get money for fuel and then a food parcel followed by a referral to welfare rights.   No one thought the person was in the wrong, they were just horrified that the person was so scared and embarrassed that they were hurting themself due to dwp errors.

Please don't let that be you Steve, help is there and I sincerely hope you are well enough to ask for it.
take care and I apologise if I have ranted or lectured you  >dove<
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 20 May 2014 08:15PM
Today marks FIVE WEEKS since I applied for a mandatory reconsideration.

Still not heard a word, living on money borrowed from my mum, but I can't keep doing that.
Phoning them is simply not an option, if nothing happens pretty soon they will have another corpse on their hands.

Five weeks waiting with ZERO money.   You wouldn't treat an animal like this.  ****k you tories, you evil *******s, You evil EVIL people.  :'(
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 20 May 2014 09:39PM
Steve
 >bighugs< >bighugs<
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 20 May 2014 10:18PM
 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 20 May 2014 10:59PM
 >bighugs<

If you are getting Housing Benefit you need to make sure they know you are no longer getting ESA and you have no other income.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: seegee on 22 May 2014 06:54PM
 >bighugs< Steve >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: lankou on 22 May 2014 06:57PM
Today marks FIVE WEEKS since I applied for a mandatory reconsideration.



Email your MP URGENTLY:-

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: devine63 on 22 May 2014 07:32PM
Hi Steve

I agree with others about getting on to your MP right now.   But also:
have you been to the CAB for a benefits check to see what other benefits you might be entitled to?
regards, Deb
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 30 May 2014 08:17PM
Today I got a brown envelope, I thought it was my decision letter so I was very very nervous about opening it and it took 3 hours and staring at it and 4 cups of tea to get the willpower to open it.

It was a letter confirming they got my mandatory consideration letter.. confirming?    how slow are these people?  it was send six weeks ago.. or thereabouts.  o_O
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 30 May 2014 08:44PM
Steve,

I have been worried that there had been a glitch and wanted to nag you to check the letter you had sent had started the ball rolling. Getting the letter and you opening it means we at least know the reconsideration is being done  >bighugs<

 >x-fingers< >dove<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 30 May 2014 09:15PM
Steve, I have no sage advice to offer, but please have some hugs in lieu of them.  >bighugs< >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: feehutch on 31 May 2014 10:45PM
Neither have I but I'm sending more hugs too x
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 02 Jun 2014 11:10AM
Thanks for the hugs.

Got a brown envelope this morning and it's my reconsideration, I've failed. 
Got 2 more points but that's still only 8/15.

I feel numb..  I also feel sick to the stomach, dizzy and nauseous.

I cant go through another tribunal, I just can't.    It's over, that's it.

Congrats Tories, you won.  I give in, I don't have the fight in me anymore.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 02 Jun 2014 12:06PM
Steve,

I am sorry about the awful news you just had  :-( >bighugs<

If you put actually go through the tribunal itself to one side for a bit, does waiting for the tribunal mean the DWP have to start paying you ESA again in the meantime?

If you have an income again you could at least get to enjoy some of the summer before having to do anything else other than put the tribunal paper work in.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Becca7 on 02 Jun 2014 03:47PM
Steve I too am sorry at the news you have had today  >bighugs< I can offer no advice but hopefully someone will come along who knows about this to help later today.

I hope you are ok as can be at the moment and are taking care of yourself.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 02 Jun 2014 04:36PM
I really feel for you, Steve, rotten  >bleep< system - it's obvious that the whole insertion of the 'mandatory reconsideration' stage was designed to encourage people to fall into despair and say to themselves, 'OK, I'll forget about claiming ESA, this is all too much'.  And who could blame you or anyone else in this situation for thinking that?

However, after the understandable first shock, you are still going to need income from somewhere - and Sunshine is right in that if you do start the appeal process, the DWP will have to pay you ESA.

I found a useful webpage here:

http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/appeals-and-mandatory-reconsideration

- this is the important paragraph for you:

If you haven't claimed JSA or another benefit during the mandatory reconsideration period and you then appeal, the DWP will put your ESA back into payment soon as they get your appeal request from HM Courts and Tribunals Service, and as long as you provide the appropriate medical evidence (fit notes) to cover the appeal period. If you have backdated fit notes to cover the reconsideration period you should get backdated ESA for that period.

It's something to be going on with rather than having to make a JSA claim at the moment, anyway.  Give yourself a bit of time to settle and then have a think about it!

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 02 Jun 2014 07:16PM
Hi Steve
You can still win this,   you need to complete the SSC1 form and attach a mandatory reconsideration letter to it, when this is received by the appeals service your esa should restart.   Then after that you can look at the information you will need to get to win your appeal.

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/sscs001-eng.pdf

Ok your panicking about the tribunal but that might not happen, decisions can still be overturned even at this stage
 >bighugs<
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 02 Jun 2014 07:19PM
Steve  >bighugs< >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 02 Jun 2014 08:15PM
Thank you all so very much.

Its good to know there are people out there that do care and do give a damn.  Thank you

Kizzy, thank you but I have White Coat Syndrome and haven't been to my doctors in like 2 years, I just can't do it, so fit notes are out of the question.  tbh I don't have the energy to do that anyway, I can't remember the last full nights sleep I had..  think it was in very early april.

I am currently writing a letter which I plan to post both to the local paper and to the DWP in which I pull no punches and describe just how ill and stressed this whole flustercluck has made me and just how I am in total despair and am in the lowest state of my entire life and it is ATOS and the DWP that have driven me this far.

You wouldn't treat animals like this, all the hoops you have to leap through and all the effing begging, pleading and explaining you have to do time and time and time again.  I know for a fact they won't give a damn and will toss my letter in the bin but even so, it makes me feel a tiny tiny bit better having told them what they have done to me.

I hope IDS and his ilk are proud of what they are doing to their countrymen.  Bastards, all of them..  bastards.

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: lankou on 02 Jun 2014 08:36PM

I am currently writing a letter which I plan to post both to the local paper and to the DWP i

Send it you your MP as well and make sure all three know who else it has been sent to.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 02 Jun 2014 09:13PM
Oh Steve  >hugs<  What a carry-on.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: devine63 on 03 Jun 2014 01:43AM
Hugs Steve

let us know if you would like some help with the letter

regards, Deb
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Fiz on 03 Jun 2014 10:38AM
I'm so sorry to hear this news steve  >hugs<

Do keep going. The tribunal will be months away, you may well feel much stronger then than you do right now, you can't possibly know so just take one day at a time right now and get that letter sent to the tribunal service saying you plan on appealing and then take some time and space to get over this disappointment.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: lankou on 03 Jun 2014 10:41AM
The tribunal will be months away,

I would not be too sure about that, due to "mandatory reconsideration" the tribunals service has had practically no new appeals since January. So they have had over 4 months to catch up with the backlog.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Fiz on 03 Jun 2014 12:50PM
If that's the case then that'll be a good thing, sooner the esa is fully reinstated the better
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: feehutch on 03 Jun 2014 08:16PM
I'm so sorry Steve  >bighugs<
Please don't give up x
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 03 Jun 2014 10:26PM
The tribunal will be months away,

I would not be too sure about that, due to "mandatory reconsideration" the tribunals service has had practically no new appeals since January. So they have had over 4 months to catch up with the backlog.

Lankou - I am doing appeals for decisions made in february so still a 3 month wait rather than a 6 - 9 month wait
monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: lankou on 03 Jun 2014 10:30PM


Lankou - I am doing appeals for decisions made in february so still a 3 month wait rather than a 6 - 9 month wait
monic

Which is a vast improvement.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 07 Jun 2014 11:44AM
Is there a month time limit for putting the appeal in after the  mandatory consideration outcome?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 07 Jun 2014 07:11PM
Yes Sunshine - you get a month from the date on the Mandatory reconsideration letter to complete the Appeal form, so hopefully Steve has done that, which would get his ESA restarted and the the case would go to a tribunal where hopefully the decision will be overturned.
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Jun 2014 05:12PM
Today marks 1 week since I got a letter of HM Courts to confirm my appeal was accepted and still I have no money.  It's now been 3 MONTHS since my ESA was stopped, thanks to my mum my bills have been paid and I have been fed but now her money is running short and she can't keep helping as she simply doesn't have enough.

I read my esa would restart (at a lower level) when the HM court got my appeal but now it seems that's not true.  I just hobbled to the bank and there is nothing in my account.

As from today my bills won't be paid anymore as we simply don't have it.

Words can't describe my loathing and disgust of the government for treating people like this.  We are supposed to be a civilised country?   Sure, providing you're well off. 

I'm not sure how long I can continue to read and post here as I've already contacted my isp and told them they will have to cancel my internet as I cannot continue to pay.

If I don't get to post again, I'd just like to say thank you to all the people on here who have helped me, advised me and sent me hugs.  Thank you all.

Take care, love to you all.

Steve
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Hurtyback on 16 Jun 2014 05:28PM
Steve  >hugs<  I do hope it doesn't come to that! Have you submitted fitnotes to cover the time that MR was being undertaken?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 16 Jun 2014 05:33PM
Quote
I read my esa would restart (at a lower level) when the HM court got my appeal but now it seems that's not true.  I just hobbled to the bank and there is nothing in my account.

It is true - but large organisations being what they are, the DWP obviously hasn't caught up with it yet.  There may well be a notification from HM court (confirming your appeal) sat on someone's desk waiting to be actioned.  Again, the only way to find out for sure is to contact the DWP (or keep returning to the cashpoint to check, but it sounds like you have difficulty getting there, so Option 1 is probably better even though it's a drag having to make the calls)

Giving up shouldn't quite be on the cards yet, as you are entitled to this money while awaiting the appeal hearing.  Don't cancel your internet connection just yet...



Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 16 Jun 2014 05:46PM
Steve, I hope it doesn't come to you having to go off line!

 >x-fingers< that you will get your payments restored soon.

 >bighugs<  >bighugs< >chocolate< >chocolate<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Richard_D on 16 Jun 2014 06:51PM
Steve  >hugs<  I do hope it doesn't come to that! Have you submitted fitnotes to cover the time that MR was being undertaken?

Is that what people are supposed to do during the Mandatory Reconsideration period?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 16 Jun 2014 07:00PM
Steve, I do hope that you do not have to go through with cancelling your computer connection.  But if you do remember, we will be here for you when this is all sorted out.   >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 16 Jun 2014 07:30PM
Steve

If HMTS have received your appeal its time to contact the DWP and ask why they haven't restarted your payments yet.  Recently my employers started senfing the appeal to HMTS & a copy to the DWP to try & speed this bit up, the only other thing that could be holding this up is if dwp are waiting on a backdated sickline but I think you said that had been done.

Don't surrender yet please  >hugs<
PPS you can always log on at the library
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Jun 2014 08:16PM
Thanks everyone

to answer some things:-

1: No, I've not sent any sick notes, I have white coat syndrome and avoid hospitals/doctors at all costs, I've not been to see my doctor since this fiasco started

2: I've not phoned the DWP, its not something I can do, writing a letter I can just about cope with, speaking with them on the phone no, no way.. I just cannot face that, I couldn't do it.

3: logging in at the library is sadly not possible, our local library was closed down a couple of years ago now. (huge shame, I used it for decades) There is one library in town but it would take over an hour to get there plus the expence of the travel which makes it not possible I'm afraid.
I'm just sitting here hoping they give me some money soon as things are very desperate.  They are quick enough to stop your payments when the atos scum say you are fine, but restarting it, oh no.. no rush, let the sod starve. 

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 16 Jun 2014 11:03PM
Hi steve could your mum make the phone calls for you? Also I think you need a sickline and I suggest you give mum permission to speak to doctors on your behalf. I dont think they can pay you without a sickline. I obviously cant really relate to your problems with medical staff but hope you are able to get the paperwork you need. Take care  >bighugs< monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 16 Jun 2014 11:26PM
Hi steve could your mum make the phone calls for you? Also I think you need a sickline and I suggest you give mum permission to speak to doctors on your behalf. I dont think they can pay you without a sickline. I obviously cant really relate to your problems with medical staff but hope you are able to get the paperwork you need. Take care  >bighugs< monic

I read they automatically restarted your esa on the lower rate once they got the paperwork from the HM Court.

This is false?  they won't start it unless I see my doctor and send them a note?   

Seriously??

If this is true then I'm royally stuffed.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Richard_D on 16 Jun 2014 11:57PM
Hi steve could your mum make the phone calls for you? Also I think you need a sickline and I suggest you give mum permission to speak to doctors on your behalf. I dont think they can pay you without a sickline. I obviously cant really relate to your problems with medical staff but hope you are able to get the paperwork you need. Take care  >bighugs< monic

I read they automatically restarted your esa on the lower rate once they got the paperwork from the HM Court.

This is false?  they won't start it unless I see my doctor and send them a note?   

Seriously??

If this is true then I'm royally stuffed.

Would you feel comfortable to see a GP with a Chaperone or family/friend  with you?

Are you  avoidant of seeing a GP because you are going in by yourself?

Would you feel more confident and able to go if someone was going in with you like a friend, family member or Chaperone?

Do you have any problems with talking to the staff in the reception area?

I have included a link to some Chaperone information, hope you don;'t mind.

http://www.medicalprotection.org/uk/england-factsheets/chaperones
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Jun 2014 12:07AM
Sorry, I just desperately need to know if I'll get some money or not as it stands.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Fiz on 17 Jun 2014 05:15AM
Steve, I have been turned down for ESA twice and been to Tribunal both times (and won) and both of those times I had to send in fit notes from my GP to cover the time up until Tribunal. It's only once DWP have declared you unfit for work by themselves or the Tribunal has declared you so that fitnotes are not needed unless things have changed in recent years.

I sympathise with the GP thing. I can only get there on a very good day or if I am in a lot of pain and know I need help to deal with the pain or to fight an infection but it's really hard for me. I would urge you to try and build up a relationship with a GP in the team by going on a regular basis. Maybe on a good day, try and check in with one? As others have said maybe take someone with you if you would find that helpful? I have only been seeing my GP since the end of last year and have seen her a few times now, she seems to 'get' how difficult I find it and of everyone that I have ever seen about my mental health really seems to understand the way I think and the fears I have and as I don't understand myself that amazes me. There are good GP out there and despite how hard it is to get to a GP, please do try and go.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Jun 2014 10:36AM
Thanks Fiz.

I've barely had 20 mins sleep all night.  I was sat by the phone from 5am ish until I'd built up the nerve to phone them at around 9:12 but the receptionist said my doctor is only giving appointments to emergency cases this week.  As much as I want to, I cannot class myself as that.

Not sure I can last a week, we'll see.  :'(
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 17 Jun 2014 11:40AM
Steve does that mean you have got an appointment with your doctor in a week? I hope so because it is important that you keep going with this  >bighugs<

This document  >attachment< is dated March 2014 so it is up to date information and as already mentioned people appealing ESA decisions do need to supply

Quote
What happens to my benefit? If your claim has been completely disallowed, i.e. you have been found fit for work, you will not be entitled to receive payment of ESA during the mandatory reconsideration period. You will need to consider claiming jobseekers allowance in the meantime or seek advice as to what alternatives are available (e.g. is there a partner who can claim). If you do not claim any benefit and you have been refused benefit following an unsuccessful work capability assessment, the JC+ will resume payments once they have received a request for an appeal response from HMCTS and backdate it accordingly. You will need to submit a medical certificate covering you for this period and any further period up to and including the date of the tribuna If you decide to claim JSA, you will continue to receive this benefit unless you inform JC+ that you wish to receive ESA once your appeal has been lodged. You do not need to make a new claim. Payment will continue up until your appeal tribunal decision. 

That reads to me like if your GP back dates your medical certificate (also know as sick line, sick note and fit note) to the point at which you ESA claim was denied then you should get weeks of back money. I think it can go back as far as three months because that is what I did because my statutory sick pay ran out and I had not know to claim ESA at the time I was still working before I left work. Getting that back money would mean you could pay you Mum back and also hopefully have some left over to use for other household stuff eg have some savings in case Sky (cat) needs to see the vet.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Jun 2014 12:05PM
No Sunshine, no appointment :'(

They said they only give them out 'on the day' as has he's only taking emergencies, it means I have to call back in a week and try again.  although what I'm supposed to do for a week with no money and the fridge all but empty I don't know.

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Defying Gravity on 17 Jun 2014 01:05PM
Well that sounds like an emergency to me. If there is no alternative e.g. a different doctor then you'll need to phone or go there and get an on the day appointment. I promise you other people will be saying it's an emergency when they could wait. If you don't, you might get the same answer next week as well.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Fiz on 17 Jun 2014 06:24PM
Please Steve, do phone again in the morning and say it is an emergency. It is none of the receptionists business really at the end of the day, and to you and with your needs, this is an emergency. You need your GP to help you right now in order to meet your immediate physical needs in order to maintain your physical health. You can't meet those needs without money and your GP is the route to meeting the needs for your health so it is really important.

Well done though on making that call today, you can do this. Do phone again.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Jun 2014 08:55PM
Please Steve, do phone again in the morning and say it is an emergency. It is none of the receptionists business really at the end of the day, and to you and with your needs, this is an emergency. You need your GP to help you right now in order to meet your immediate physical needs in order to maintain your physical health. You can't meet those needs without money and your GP is the route to meeting the needs for your health so it is really important.

Well done though on making that call today, you can do this. Do phone again.

Thanks Fiz, I did it.   I phoned again and asked what constitutes an emergency because I'm close to rehoming my cat and doing myself in here.  I was given an appointment for 4:30 this afternoon.

I did it, I got there but it was very hard to do, I almost walked away when I got to the doors and then waiting inside was awful, I just wanted to leave and several times I eyeed the door and was close to leaving.  I did see my doctor but I was in an awful state and was almost in tears as I explained my situation.  He wrote me a fit note and I told him all the medical issues I've been having over the last couple of years that I've never mentioned.

He said 80% of my problems are down to stress.  which now has me worrying even MORE!!!  because if 80% of my new problems are just stress, they'll not see that as a problem :(  so now I think my chances of winning at tribunal have dropped 40%. 

I have this fit note now, do I sent it to my local job centre plus, the DWP or the HM Courts office??

So mixed feelings after this day, good in the way that I might get some money soon but bad because my chances of winning in the end have plummeted.

I'm just about getting over visiting the doctors, I've used my blue inhaler like 12 times since I got home and you're only supposed to use it 5x a day max.  oops
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 17 Jun 2014 09:37PM
Well done Steve.  Just one thing.  Instead of using your inhaler could you try cuddling the cat instead?  Too much chemical is not going to do you any good.

BTW it is good to show the GP how distressed you are.  Then they know what is going on.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 17 Jun 2014 09:48PM
Wise words there, auntie - and good on you, Steve, for getting to the doctor's surgery and doing what needs to be done for this wretched benefit business.  I'd be inclined to wing that 'fit note' on to the local JobcentrePlus office, the member of staff receiving it there should at least make a note on the computer system that it's been supplied (that's how it worked when I was there, anyway).

Hang on in there, you're doing the right things  >thumbsup<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Richard_D on 17 Jun 2014 09:57PM
Wise words there, auntie - and good on you, Steve, for getting to the doctor's surgery and doing what needs to be done for this wretched benefit business.  I'd be inclined to wing that 'fit note' on to the local JobcentrePlus office, the member of staff receiving it there should at least make a note on the computer system that it's been supplied (that's how it worked when I was there, anyway).

Hang on in there, you're doing the right things  >thumbsup<

After getting a photocopy done for yourself just in case.  >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 17 Jun 2014 10:22PM
Well done for getting to the doctor, Steve.  >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 17 Jun 2014 10:32PM
Hi Steve
Great that you have the sickline - you need to get it to the DWP as soon as possible, as the others said take a copy if you can and in some places you can hand them in at the jobcentre.   This can depend on the jobcentre as mine insist a person has an appointment to hand in a sickline  >steam< Another option is that you post the sickline to them and then phone the DWP (I know thats very traumatic for you) and ask for a benefit advance - other than thatyour only option I could think of would be a crisis grant.

Crisis grants are now operated by the local councils so I have no idea how your local authority allocates these, if you can phone them or check their website for info.

Your options at tribunal are Regulation  35 - There is a severe risk to the physical and or mental health of the claimant if they were not found to have limited capability for work - ie placed in the support group.
Obviously I don't know all your health problems so couldn't comment on which other criteria you meet but that one is the catch all.

Good luck & take care
Monic >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 17 Jun 2014 11:05PM
Thanks everyone.

Monic1511, would it be okay to just post it with proof of postage to my local job center plus?   
without phoning them?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Fiz on 18 Jun 2014 05:48AM
Steve, I just walk into a small JCP office (not my nearest, but has friendlier staff) and ask them to courier it to the ESA department which they do for me. I struggle with phones. Do take a copy of it before handing it over. I would do that if possible rather than post it, things in post get lost so often. Or appear to.

Your GP's disagnosis of stress may well be a reaction to listening to everything you are stressed about, rather than being a professional mental health diagnosis in my opinion! How would you feel about a referal to your local mental health team? There you may get allocated a care co-ordinator that you could get to know and learn to trust. Also you may be offered support to work through problems such as anxiety and dealing with situations. There is help out there. When I look back to how I couldn't go shopping because I'd have to flee due to panic attacks and never managed to get to more than 2 sessions of physio for my back due to social anxiety, I realise that with help I have improved and can do a lot more than I could.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 18 Jun 2014 09:50AM
The nearest JCP is in town and right now I simply don't have the money to get there and walking is not an option.   I'm hoping mailing it to them will be ok.

Edit:-  I just posted it (well, my neighbour was going to the shops near the GPO and I asked if he'd post it for me) so I hope it's ok.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 18 Jun 2014 12:37PM
Glad that you got it posted, Steve. I have everything crossable crossed that things will start to go smoothly for you from here on in.  >hugs<

I would echo Fiz's advice about trying to get some support from your local CMHT. I also battle daily with agoraphobia, anxiety and social anxiety, but with thanks to the help I've had from local MH services over the years, day to day life has slowly become more manageable.

Also, try to to be too disheartened by your doctor's mention of stress. Stress is not trivial. It often serves as a major trigger  for both the onset and relapsing of MH conditions, and has a devastating impact on any number of non-MH conditions, so the fact that a GP has witnessed the effects of prolonged stress upon you is probably more positive than negative.  >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 18 Jun 2014 01:59PM
Well done Steve  >thumbsup< >bighugs<

I agree with and NN about stress. Stress can be caused by both physical and mental health conditions and it can also cause physical and mental health conditions - round and round it a circle.

You know yourself that the stress is related to going out to places you are not comfortable in places that cause you anxiety and stress as well as stress because of the DWP. This might be hard for you to hear but I think the sooner you have the mental health issues you are suffering from diagnosed the better. Your ESA points could increase and your GP might be able to help you with medication and coping therapies. Feeling anxiety and stress over say for example going on a plane is not the same as what you have.

I am still struggling to keep going out and about with Mr Sunshine and getting back out on my own seems so far away but it does also seem more likely now I have small dose Diazepam to take. In my case I struggle to work out am I getting symptoms of Menieres Disease alone or is the anxiety and stress I feel about being ill when out making the symptoms worse.

I took extra Menieres medication and a Diazepam when I went to the dentist for a check up on Monday.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 24 Jun 2014 03:29PM
Today is 1 week since I mailed my fit note to the JCP.   Not heard a word about it :(

I'm now thinking they are simply not going to start payments, it's now been TEN weeks since I had any money.  I have 3.55 units in my electric meter, when that goes I'll be sitting in the dark.  The fridge is empty and I'm eating only because my mum fetches me meals around.  My bills are now not getting paid.

I'm losing all hope now.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Becca7 on 24 Jun 2014 03:41PM
You need to contact them. Unfortunately post can take a few days and if it needed to be posted on to ESA centre then it can take longer still. Please contact them.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 24 Jun 2014 07:36PM
Steve  >hugs<
unfortunately due to staff cuts it typically takes 6 working days for DWP to process mail & then it can take 5 days for payments to hit someone's account,  you really need to call them and ask if they have received the sick note and if so when are they going to process your money as you have had no income for so long.   If you do that then you'll find out for sure that they received the sick note.
Hang in there please

Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Tesla on 24 Jun 2014 09:10PM
Just been reading through this, I'm so sorry about your situation, Steve.

I'll be crossing my fingers for you in hope that you get some form of reprieve soon.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 30 Jun 2014 11:23AM
Just an update to say my mum phoned them on Friday and I'm still getting no money after 11 weeks of nothing as they say my doctor didn't fill in my fitnote right.  Even when I jump through all the hoops they still find ways not to pay me anything, I'm beyond the end of my tether now, I just can't take it anymore. 
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 30 Jun 2014 12:03PM
 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Becca7 on 30 Jun 2014 12:47PM
Did they say what the problem was with the fit note? It seems very strange a gp wouldn't fill it in properly  >erm<

 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: neurochick on 30 Jun 2014 01:16PM
You or you and your mum can phone or go along to the surgery and explain that the fit note wasn't completed correctly.  I assume that your mum asked or was told exactly what was wrong with it when she was on the phone but if not, get her to call again now and ask what the GP's error was. 

Just tell the practice receptionist what has happened and what is needed for the note to be correctly issued for the DWP's purposes and a GP can simply re-issue a corrected and back-dated note for you.  You probably won't even need to see the GP again for this.  Even if you do, it is absolutely worth it for all those weeks of money so get your mum to help you and just think about how good you will feel about yourself when you manage to successfully get through this task and get the correct note off to the DWP.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 30 Jun 2014 02:43PM
Steve,

I hope you can follow the advice already given  >bighugs<

In my experience the most common mistake on Fit Notes is when the GP does not backdate the note. This has happened to Mr Sunshine a whole bunch of times when the GP just went into autopilot when filling in the Fit Note so put the appointment date.

Do you have a copy of the original note?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: SteveX on 04 Jul 2014 02:15PM
This is my last post here.

I contacted them and they said the fit note was wrong, my mum contacted the doctors and they did another one for me which we sent off immediately.

Today I get a brown envelope..  I prayed it was a sign I was getting some money after 12 weeks of nothing.

But no, its a letter saying I'm not entitled to any money or backpay because I was declared fit to work by ATOS.  So my doctors note was pointless.

'We cannot pay you an allowance this is because: following a work capability assessment medical it has been decided you are fit for work.

I have done everything, I have tried everything, I have jumped through the hoops they put in front of me and still I get NOT A PENNY.

I just say to everyone on ouch too, thank you for your help and support.  I love you all.

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Fiz on 04 Jul 2014 03:09PM
Steve, I also got 0 points at an Atos assessment and went to Tribunal and won. Don't give up, Atos get it wrong all the time  >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 04 Jul 2014 03:31PM
 >bighugs< >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Defying Gravity on 04 Jul 2014 03:53PM
Steve, please wait til Monic comes along, she may be able to shed some light on this. It may be that letter was posted before they got your corrected fit note, in which case a different letter might arrive in the next few days. And as Fiz says, Atos are wrong all the time, the Tribunal may well go in your favour, it did last time.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Hurtyback on 04 Jul 2014 04:18PM
Steve, please don't give up! I don't know what is happening in your case but I do know that - having gone through MR, submitted a formal appeal and furnished DWP with sick notes to cover the dates since you were found 'fit for work' - you are entitled to receive ESA payment at the assessment rate.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: feehutch on 04 Jul 2014 04:50PM
Please keep talking to us Steve x
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: ditchdwellers on 04 Jul 2014 06:04PM
Steve, hang on in there  >hugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 04 Jul 2014 06:08PM
This is my last post here.

I contacted them and they said the fit note was wrong, my mum contacted the doctors and they did another one for me which we sent off immediately.

Today I get a brown envelope..  I prayed it was a sign I was getting some money after 12 weeks of nothing.

But no, its a letter saying I'm not entitled to any money or backpay because I was declared fit to work by ATOS.  So my doctors note was pointless.

'We cannot pay you an allowance this is because: following a work capability assessment medical it has been decided you are fit for work.

I have done everything, I have tried everything, I have jumped through the hoops they put in front of me and still I get NOT A PENNY.

I just say to everyone on ouch too, thank you for your help and support.  I love you all.

I sincerely hope this isn't going to be your last post here, because we're not going anywhere...

My guess is that the DWP letter you just received (and I can understand how hopeless that would have made you feel) has overlapped the doctor's note reaching the right office.  With the strange centralised set-up nowadays, it's entirely possible that someone in one office hit a button to prompt the computer to issue that letter while in another office - possibly in a different part of the country - the doctor's note was being delivered to a benefit processor's desk by the post-sorting staff.  Where it might possibly still be sitting with a backlog of other work (sigh)

But - the fact is that once your appeal is acknowledged by the tribunal service and the 'fit-note' supplied, the DWP has to pay you the basic rate of ESA pending the appeal outcome.  This is law.  The DWP do not have a choice with this.  Don't allow the feebleness of their administrative system to overcome you, there will be some money at the end of all this!

Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Mabelcat on 04 Jul 2014 07:10PM
Please keep posting Steve.
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 04 Jul 2014 07:39PM
Steve, please hold on.  >bighugs<
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: auntieCtheM on 04 Jul 2014 07:53PM
Hello there Steve,  Well, they are winning aren't they.  They have worked you up into into such a state that you are giving up.  That is exactly what is happening to lots of people.  Less people will therefore be in the government 'receiving benefit' statistics.

Steve, please do not let them win.  Please hang in there and support the rest of us by being a thorn in the side of mediocre administration and governments who do not care about us as individuals.

Also think about your family and pets.  What would they do without you, eh?
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Monic1511 on 04 Jul 2014 08:26PM
Steve
Please don't let the beuracrats win.   I think the letter you got today has been sent because they have not processed your sick note yet.   You really must get onto your MP even if he is a worthless person,  he has a legal responsibility to represent his constituents and that means you.
Ask your mum to call his PA and ask them to contact DWP and ask what the hell is happening with your claim.
You have been found fit
Sent in the mandatory reconsideration which was refused
You then sent in the appeal letter and a valid sickline
which for some reason DWP say is wrong
so you got your GP to get another sickline

Explain all that is making you suicidal and that there is considerable expense to the NHS caused by the DWP errors,
you need to tell them you have done the MR & are now at appeal stage and they are failing in their legal duty by not following the process set out by parliament.

If you give up then who is going be there for your mum, I might even haunt you myself  ;-)
 >hugs<
Monic
Title: Re: Please help!! Benefit stopped!
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 04 Jul 2014 09:37PM
I agree with the advice so far and it does sound like it is all down to paperwork and possibly the way you were unable to send a sick note in as soon as the DWP said you were fit for work. This does not mean you are in anyway to blame after all people who are sick and disabled dont have PA's who can get all the ducks in a row like MPs do.

My guess is that the program the DWP use moves claims to different parts of the database as time goes by and this probably means when enquiries are made your claim information shows you as fit for work and the person handling the enquiry is expected to click a button and send a letter to you saying this.

Once your 2nd correct? sick note arrives at the DWP and reaches data input the database will update.

Your situation sadly illustrates the need for all of us who know about it to advise everyone in your situation that when they get the fit for work outcome they need to post the reconsideration request and then make a doctors appointment.

Step by step you can get there  >bighugs<