Ouch Too

Forum => Welfare Rights => Topic started by: Becca7 on 13 Jul 2014 11:19PM

Title: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 13 Jul 2014 11:19PM
My discretionary housing payments (dhp) were stopped and I'm not allowed to renew them as it was decided I could afford to pay my own rent.

I have no doctors, and despite what I've been given in writing, my gp and others have been told, all care and support via cmht and social services has been suspended for several months. I've applied for help elsewhere and it has been refused as cmht are funded to provide that help (I don't want to go into more details on that here).

My other consultants stopped seeing me when I was long term assigned a social worker with cmht to help me deal with mental health but also issues with being disabled e.g. Housing/benefit. The social worker left, the replacement refused to help saying I should be in work and not allowed benefits. The physical consultants are now hundreds of miles away and refuse to give letters to support applications, ignoring the fact they are not seeing me, there are two issues, one my conditions are genetic and will never improve in fact they will only get worse and are treatment resistant due to the combination I have (if I had the conditions on their own help would be possible), second they must change me £75 per page for supporting documentation (that's the minimum charge). They won't give me anymore letters stating the same thing, even if it says the same thing I must be charged again and know I cannot pay hence not giving me letters. Even my gp is no longer allowed to give supporting letters for free (they change £40 per page and again will not do a letter for the same reasons). All I've been told by them is I shouldn't have to keep reapplying (they don't understand it's not up to me).

Someone in the building I have learnt is stealing my post. I found this out yesterday I was given a red bill by the postman.

My ESA stops four weeks. I've not had an ESA50. Even if I did I have no way to fill it in and send it off. I can't get medical evidence I've sent before. I cannot get into the medical centre and cannot have a medical at home (no space, I've a tiny room with kitchenette with room for one person and likewise tiny bathroom, and I have confidentiality issues being seen there).

I'm really really scared my ESA will be taken as well.

I know the jobcentre plus woman I wrote about two months ago contacted ESA to complain about me not having a medical after CAB (now closed) contacted them about when my benefit would be renewed and the person she spoke to mentioned it and CAB woman unfortunately told them I could use a phone really and questioned whether I should be in support group to ESA!! I've no way of filling in a form, I've no means to do it online either, shortly my internet access will run out as it's on pay as you go or print it out. The library is not an option, I cannot get it done in the twenty minute slot that is allowed and they don't allow forms to be saved in any form and I can't afford to print it even if I could get it don't in that time.

I'm really really panicking. I've exhausted all options I have here and am frightened. I know of two people locally who have had their ESA support group taken away altogether, one died and the other gave up and is on JSA. Appeals take much much longer here than anywhere else due to the location and  there is no help for appeals now due to loss of CAB (I'd still have to pay for medical letters and cant afford to), I suspect the loss of CAB will impact on the number of people being denied ESA now as there is no help with appeals process at all. DIAL is hundreds of miles away. MIND won't get involved as I'm physically disabled (they can't cope with claims for people with mental health issues). More and more people here are being turned down. Probably because of the loss of services and lack of support to appeal making it easier to get away with doing so.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 14 Jul 2014 08:33AM
There seems to be two main issues here:

1) filling in the ESA50 form

2) supplying the medical evidence to go with it

Slicing it right down to 'how do we get this done', an option that is left to you regarding 1) is to have an appointment at the JobcentrePlus office for a member of staff to write in your answers to the form.  (Yes, office 'interviews' can be arranged for this purpose for those who find it difficult to complete the paperwork and have no-one else to help them).

As for 2), you said you'd sent in medical evidence before.  This will still be on file.  So a brief covering letter could be attached to the new ESA50 to explain that you supplied this for your last claim and are having difficulties obtaining repeat letters due to the charging policy - if the DWP/ATOS still want new evidence, they can jolly well write to the doctors themselves!
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: seegee on 14 Jul 2014 08:39AM
MP/AM/ local councillor (I know you've probably tried them all several times before, but another letter can do no harm & they could be getting so many cases of people having difficulties with the systems they are beginning to bend)?
I don't know of any practical way to help, so can only offer this... >bighugs< >chocolate<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 14 Jul 2014 09:00AM
Just a couple of things for now.

I agree with what Kizzy said about the DWP having your medical information on file. Given you have a genetic condition it will be similar to my situation with Cerebral Palsy I dont have to keep proving it.

Secondly I could download the ESA50 and make a writeable offline version for you would you like me to?

 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 14 Jul 2014 11:32AM
The jobcentre staff will not help. They've told me to phone ESA for a form, send it back blank with a signature or cross and go for a medical. They said I must supply up to date evidence and I do not belong in support group, I should be back in work by now as I've worked before and look well and healthy. They really have it in for me now after me going there in April.

I am never going back there again. It's really upset me going there this morning.

Even if the DWP  do keep things on file the council and social services don't so it doesn't solve the  problem of services and money being stopped by them because I can't do their form or pay for medical letters.

I've been sent no form, or have and someone has stolen it. so I don't even know when it is due back.

My MP wants ESA stopped for all except the terminally ill and everyone else on JSA (no it's not IDS)  He is very set in the people he will help, namely the people who vote for him which in my area are the elderly he can easily win on their votes alone and knows it. The AM doesn't have an office and her email bounces as her inbox is too full  >erm<

I'll try and pop back later but I know my internet will die any time now.

Sorry am very upset after jobcentre so this may not make sense.

Thanks for replying.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 14 Jul 2014 01:08PM
How about Sunshine's suggestion?

Also, I had another thought - perhaps a kind-hearted person in your church might give the time to sit down with you and do the writing part of the ESA50.  By my logical thought processes, there must be at least one helpful individual in that sort of setting who would be willing to be a good Christian and assist another in need!

Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 14 Jul 2014 01:21PM
Becca,

Are you still getting DLA and ESA at the moment? It is just I am thinking keeping online should be a priority for you because you can get some of the help you need.

Look on it as an investment.

You dont have to go back to the Jobcentre to claim ESA and the people who talked to you don't decide whether or not your claim is renewed.
In regards to the medical there are people on Ouch Too who did not have to go for a medical assessment when they renewed their ESA claim and I dont really see why you could not be one of them.

To put this claim in you need access to a printer which you can get from Amazon for around £30, stationary, stamps and access to the internet to download an electronic copy of the form and to get advice where you need it.

It is important that you try to pull yourself out feeling defeated because failing to fill in the form would be the worst thing you could do. I am not saying pull yourself together but find a way to allow yourself to do stuff and at the same time feeling upset and frightened about the outcome.

Look at what happen to Steve he went like a bunny in head lights saw a ton of obstacles and sat still whereas had he got to the doctors sooner he would have started receiving money once the DWP reviewed his claim and he started the appeal process.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 16 Jul 2014 12:27PM
Becca,

Sometimes being offered solutions that you can do for yourself can feel uncomfortable because you have to find within you the motivation to try. Online help is limited and none of us can sit opposite you and help you fill in the form. The lack of personal physical presence of another person helping might cause you to feel to alone in this, and if that happens you need to try to be your own best friend. Look at it this way I have seen you post help, advice and comforting words to people here on Ouch Too so I know you can help others. If the forms make you feel like a deer in headlights try to think about how you would help someone else in the exact same position as you.

I created the writeable ESA50 pdf form for you and have attached it to this post. I looked up how the iPad you have works and it should open the file automatically so please let me know how that goes.

I should also be able to make a writeable pdf version of the Housing Benefit form you mentioned recently but in order to do that I would need to know which council to get the original form from. You can PM me the information so I can help if you want me to. Also check the council website for yourself because when researching the option after you mentioned the form I discovered quite a few council websites already let claimants fill in Housing benefit forms online.

Sometimes the help we are offered is not the help we want but it can be the help we need. I hope you come back and post to this thread.

 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 16 Jul 2014 01:10PM
The ESA50 attachment does not work properly. It opens a form to be printed, with no images on it. I can't afford a printer. I don't know how you know what ipad make I have or am using as I have never posted that information.

I'm not giving any indication of where I live to *anyone* on the internet other than general information. My council does not have files on their website people must go to the office where they are given them.

I must go as I need to get medication. I will attempt to return to thread and posting but internet that was paid for with ipad runs out any day (it is time limited regardless of whether it is used or not).
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 16 Jul 2014 03:44PM
Quote
I don't know how you know what ipad make I have or am using as I have never posted that information.

You have mentioned having an iPad I checked that the file I created could be opened using a iPad.

Which program/app is opening the pdf? You might need to tell it to open the pdf with the correct program.

Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: oldtone27 on 16 Jul 2014 04:31PM
There is only one 'make' of iPad and that is Apple, although there are several versions. Should be ok expect perhaps for very old versions.

However, iPad has become a somewhat generic term for all tablets including Android and Windows based. Still I doubt there is much difference operationally between versions of Adobe Reader across all OSs.

Not sure how you tell a tablet how to open a particular file type with a particular app as you can with desktop Windows. Maybe one needs a File Manager app?
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Monic1511 on 16 Jul 2014 07:39PM
Becca
the form should open on your ipad as long as you have adobe reader, it says at the top of the one I opened "you can save this"  Please give it a try.

otherwise you would need to go to this link
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/300228/esa-50.pdf
and it says at the top of the page
This form will only work if you:
•save it to your computer, then
•open it in Acrobat Reader version 8.1.2 or later.


Unfortunately other users of the website are limited in what they can do for you, I would agree with others that you should maybe ask if someone at your church could help you.   My church congregation know I do this job so tend to bring me all their forms when they get them. >doh< ;-)


Sunshine Meadows - Thank you very much for making that version of the form - I tried it once and gave up as I had problems getting all the different fields to change to make them accept type.  >thumbsup< I think there will be several people who will  find it helpful, even if Becca can't use it.

 >hugs<
Monic
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 17 Jul 2014 11:48AM
Oldtone,

Good advice  >thumbsup<
If Becca is still stuck after we have more Q and A I can still ask Mr Sunshine to ask one of the Apple support advisors where he works.

Monic,

Quote
Sunshine Meadows - Thank you very much for making that version of the form - I tried it once and gave up as I had problems getting all the different fields to change to make them accept type.  >thumbsup< I think there will be several people who will  find it helpful, even if Becca can't use it.

 >biggrin< as it turned out I did not have to do as much as I thought because it was straightforward after installed a trial version of  Adobe XI. I am pleased it works and will be useful to people.

Becca,

In regards to the form for Housing Benefit I was initially offended that you did not want to trust me with the name of your local council because it was not like I was asking for actual personal details, but each to there own. I can still help you though eg if you gave me the name of say four councils including your own and I made four electronic forms then you would remain anonymous amongst the 100,000s of people living in those four areas.

I agree with Kizzy and Monic about asking for help at the church you go to, they will have a printer and paper and might do it for free or maybe the old 10p a sheet.

We really do need to find a way that works for you because not getting the ESA renewal claim and Housing Benefit claim in is simply not an option because you cant live on fresh air.

 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 17 Jul 2014 12:17PM
Thanks for the replies. My internet package stopped last night. I can only now come here if I go to where there is free wifi.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Richard_D on 20 Jul 2014 11:31PM
Thanks for the replies. My internet package stopped last night. I can only now come here if I go to where there is free wifi.

Are there any free wiki zones close to where you are that you can access?

Take Care.  >hugs<

Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Richard_D on 06 Aug 2014 06:23PM
Hope Becca is keeping well.  >hugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 19 Aug 2014 05:12PM
Everything is somewhat falling apart at moment, but thankyou for good wishes. There isn't really anything anyone can do, and I'm running out of time here so apologies for rushed reply.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 19 Aug 2014 05:26PM
When you do have some more time, what happened with the ESA50? (and hope things start to improve for you soon)
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: ditchdwellers on 19 Aug 2014 05:43PM
Becca  >chocolate<  >hugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 19 Aug 2014 08:18PM
Becca  >bighugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Hurtyback on 19 Aug 2014 08:20PM
Becca  >hugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 19 Aug 2014 11:49PM
Managed to borrow money for 24 hours internet from neighbour as I realised my post probably wasn't enough information and I was worried about worrying people.

So, I never got a date to return the ESA50, I really really struggled to get it done at all (many reasons including illness), anyway I went to jobcentre who were helpful and rang ESA who said not to worry as form was a mistake and not to send it back as the code on the system meant it wasn't necessary - I went to job centre for help with form as suggested here after trying other avenues and they were better than last time.

Today I got a letter saying my ESA was stopped and to go to jobcentre. Jobcentre staff really upset me and I was removed by security. CAB rang ESA to be told I have a couple of weeks to get 'something' to them but the system is showing me as fit for work so I need sick notes and to apply for work (CAB the rang jobcentre to complaint who said I must go to jobseeker interview this Thursday, but need to be clean, have telephone and ready to work, which I am not :-( ) CAB can't do anything until end of September, and I'm having many many other problems too numerous to mention on public forum.

So form not done, after many many issues.
Told not to worry about it by ESA.
In my stupidity and frankly other more worrying difficulties (ill do a 3am post about that in case anyone wants to know) I believed them.
CAB are open again but only for two hours a week.
Now it's even more of a mess.

I've no idea what to do. CAB appointment is only twenty minutes to do form, they said all they will do is tick the boxes and post it but that's not much use to me, I need it done properly, but they can't do longer appointments than that and everyone must go for medical so more information is a waste of time  >erm< again will try and put more in 3am.

Forgive useless post above. Internet access extremely intermittent. Have 24 hours for now. Can't afford more than that.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 20 Aug 2014 10:38AM
 >bighugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 20 Aug 2014 11:01AM
Quote
So, I never got a date to return the ESA50, I really really struggled to get it done at all (many reasons including illness), anyway I went to jobcentre who were helpful and rang ESA who said not to worry as form was a mistake and not to send it back as the code on the system meant it wasn't necessary - I went to job centre for help with form as suggested here after trying other avenues and they were better than last time.

Quote
Today I got a letter saying my ESA was stopped and to go to jobcentre. Jobcentre staff really upset me and I was removed by security. CAB rang ESA to be told I have a couple of weeks to get 'something' to them but the system is showing me as fit for work so I need sick notes and to apply for work

Referring to the bits I've put in bold, this could be less of a disaster than you might think:  from my experience as a DWP benefit processor, it sounds like - yes, the ESA50 itself is not needed at the moment, but another sick note is.  When the current one expires, the claimant is automatically considered 'fit for work' until the next one is entered onto the system - the claim is only as good as the length of the medical certificate, 'them's the rules' for every single person on ESA, as was for IB. 

So, if my assumptions are correct (and I hope they are) you need to get to your GP post-haste for another sick note - and CAB can telephone the DWP to notify them that you are taking steps to obtain this and see where it goes from there. 

Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 20 Aug 2014 12:13PM
Thanks Kizzy, I contacted GP, but I'm not able to see her until next week, I can't see anyone else for this as it isn't considered an emergency by surgery.

She said she will write a professional report and telephone them. She is very very :angry: about it. Especially as I was told yesterday to smarten myself up by jobcentre (have hygiene problems due to EDS etc), get email and telephone and attend interview tomorrow as she thinks it sounds like they have work lined up or are pushing me towards JSA.

CAB did phone ESA and were told they must have the ESA50 back and complete ASAP! CAB did explain having rung the jobcentre about being told not to return it but ESA denied all knowledge of the call saying I didn't need a form, done I do.

They mentioned that I'm already down as needing a medical but they must telephone me to arrange but I don't have a telephone, is this related to the woman in the jobcentre accusing me of fraud in April as I've not had a medical for ESA?
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 20 Aug 2014 01:29PM
At least your GP is firmly on side, and we seem to have a case of 'right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing' regarding the DWP  >doh< - but certainly I would very much doubt that a random member of local JC-plus staff could have anything to do with a face-to-face assessment (medical) being suggested.   As you've not actually had a medical yet, that in itself could be the reason!  Anyway, your doc getting tough with them should start to make a difference  >x-fingers<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 20 Aug 2014 02:33PM
Thanks Kizzy.

The random at the jobcentre did phone ESA and said I could work and suspected fraud as I was able to hold a pen and could hold conversation normally and I was just a bit panicky. She was very very adamant I needed to be on JSA and a medical would easily remove any ESA entitlement as it is for people who are ill and I certainly should not be allowed support group. She made comments to ESA about my work history in the nhs locally and knowing my doctors so doctor opinions shouldn't have been considered independent (The jobcentre were supposed to help me with staying in work but couldn't be bothered so details of my job is on their system).

It sounded really really bad what she was saying. :-(

Hence being really worried about a medical. Especially as I cannot arrange anyone to accompany me, CAB refuse to accompany people and I don't have anyone else involved anymore and cannot get into the medical centre and don't have room where I rent to be seen. What's worse is my conditions have actually worsened since last applying but I've lost all support now so it looks in paper like I am better.

I learnt my landlord was contacted by social services to say I no longer am allowed a housing worker, now my rent is going up hugely for me (dhp is not available I must negotiate lower rent or pay from other benefits) and I'm having pressure to leave so they can charge far far more to someone else - they would definitely get the money from someone else there's no question of that. I'm upset at social services for phoning landlord to say I don't have support or help from them at all anymore because it's left me in a very vulnerable position.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: ditchdwellers on 20 Aug 2014 04:49PM
Becca, I wish I could do something to help.  All I can offer is  >hugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 21 Aug 2014 12:31AM
Thankyou DD.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 21 Aug 2014 03:05PM
The JCP meeting was to get me on JSA. I definitely don't qualify. I've managed to get internet briefly in the bank to come here (they've not locked their internet yet!) so don't know when I'll be back but wanted to let you know.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 21 Aug 2014 11:21PM
Becca  >hugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: seegee on 24 Aug 2014 01:04PM
 >angry< Grrr to stupid officials who can't see beyond their noses.   
I was chatting with a non-stupid DWP debt recovery worker the other day who knows how crazy the rules are but is powerless to change them - he doesn't seem to like IDS any more than we do but he's a back-office worker, not a JC+ employee.

Becca.  >bighugs< >rose<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 24 Aug 2014 04:38PM
Indeed, Seegee - and ESA (with its splitting into two 'strands', work-related and support) has just made the system more complicated, not less  >doh<  I'm sure that IDS and his cohorts view  the ESA WRAG as a kind of 'JSA Lite'.  It isn't - the person is still unfit to actively seek work, as opposed to work-related activity... But, I digress.  Becca, not qualifying for JSA is a definite positive because there is now official acceptance that you cannot meet the conditions as a 'fit' individual who can look for employment!  That moves you a step closer to a renewed ESA entitlement.

Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 26 Aug 2014 12:36PM
Kizzy I don't qualify for JSA because I don't have an email address or telephone at home, so can only access when I am able to get out (not been out since Friday) to be able to get replies when applying for work. They don't believe I can't genuinely wash - another person who thinks every disabled person gets a free army of carers for all their needs.

I don't know if the reasons give the email etc will help with ESA as the last ESA50 I saw asked for the same information.

Feeling somewhat annoyed today, but not at anyone here, so apologies if this sounds ranty at all. It isn't meant to!
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 26 Aug 2014 12:48PM
Your post was fine... and we're all allowed to rant when the DWP get it wrong, anyway!
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 26 Aug 2014 01:20PM
Thanks Kizzy!
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Fiz on 26 Aug 2014 03:39PM
Unfortunately it is possible to not fit the descriptors for ESA so don't qualify for the benefit but still be too unwell or disabled to work and therefore are ineligible to claim JSA.  So not qualifying for JSA as you are not well or able enough doesn't mean you would qualify for ESA. That is the main problem with the benefits. ?

Hopefully you will hear from ESA soon Becca. 
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 28 Aug 2014 07:17PM
My GP has done me a long letter re my ESA (and she paid for it) as she is concerned about me.

Should I wait until I send it all, forms etc, to ATOS? who for some reason no longer have a wales office - I've got to send my form to Wolverhampton!?! I'd rather do that than attempt the JCP given the problems I've had with them, they really scare me.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 28 Aug 2014 08:58PM
Yes, send the lot together so the DWP post-opening service keeps them in one bundle (and don't forget to put your name and NI number on single pieces of paperwork so if something does go astray, it can be linked easily to your claim!)
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Fiz on 29 Aug 2014 12:07AM
And send it recorded so you prove it was posted and arrived
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 29 Aug 2014 04:00PM
Thankyou both. I will send it special delivery like usual.

I'm a little worried about what my gp said is happening here. Gp letters being ignored altogether and people being called for assessments, no home assessments, she has had all of them refused, she is concerned because that means anyone with any mobility problems automatically cannot attend due to the steps which must be climbed to get to the ramp into the centre and their money is stopped straight away. Appeals are averaging a year here now and are also in a difficult to get to part of the area, they were before somewhere else but that has now been stopped due to costs.

She wanted to complain but has no idea how to do so as when she contacted the number she was told ATOS are no longer working for the government! I've no idea who she rang through I know she will keep trying. Obviously she sees people much worse off than me physically who are being turned down because of the access issue. One person got asked to attend a medical without having done an ESA50 at all.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Monic1511 on 29 Aug 2014 07:16PM
Becca
all mail goes to Wolverhampton now & is then sorted out & scanned to the correct section.  Even when I send forms to the Pension Service in Motherwell they go to "Post handling site 5, Wolverhampton"  and this would be true even if I was posting it in Motherwell itself.

Good luck
Monic
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 30 Aug 2014 02:07PM
Thanks monic I appreciate the help. I've heard nothing from the person who is meant to be helping me, they were meant to confirm, as it's only a few days before the form is due back I'm thinking I must send it straight after appointment seeing them if they forward post on. I'm due to be paid the date it is due in.

The thing is there is pages and pages to be typed, plus the new stuff, it will take ages and I don't know if they will get it done in such a short appointment.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 31 Aug 2014 11:30AM
Becca, sadly I have nothing to offer other than hugs, but please have some.  >hugs< >hugs< >hugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 02 Sep 2014 11:46AM
Went to see the person who was meant to be helping me this morning, was told they decided should just send my old form instead it's over 18 months old and they've cancelled my appointment.

Why are people so stupid. It's obviously the old form and the dates clearly are nowhere today.

I'm going back this afternoon to see a manger. A very very angry as there is no way I can now get it back in time and am angry at the suggestion I just send the old form and not bother with the new one. It's totally different. There is nothing at all now about hospital treatment other than inpatient which is no longer possible in my nearest hospital.

It's bad enough the dwp lied to me but now this supposed expert in benefits (ex CAB benefit advisor) are telling me to send an old form instead of giving me an appointment and to chill there's no way they will stop my money. I know this person was a CAB benefit advisor because I checked with our local branch (miles away!!)

Can I do that? Surely an 18 month old form will be rejected???
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 02 Sep 2014 01:01PM
Quote
Can I do that? Surely an 18 month old form will be rejected???

As long as your health circumstances eg conditions and symptoms have not improved I think sending the old information in is better than sending something else in late.

I will probably be reassessed next Spring and will use the information on my old ESA 50 to fill in the new ESA 50 while at the same time explain how my symptoms have got worse and I can do less.

It can be very hard not to worry about what might happen eg will you be asked to a medical assessment, then get bogged down in the stories you have heard about eg people managing steps into the building etc. However you do already have a big plus point on you side which is that you have already been assessed as to sick to work.

I cant help thinking that the advisors at places like Citizen's Advice are having to triage and allocate time to the people they think are most in in need. I am not saying they should or should not have helped.
 
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 02 Sep 2014 01:10PM
I know I can't get in for a medical already because I was called before and lost my money because I couldn't get into the building. This is a very very common ploy in this area.

The form has changed a lot in 18 months which is the other reason I am asking about photocopying and and sending the old form and old information.

Things have changed a lot in that time.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 02 Sep 2014 03:52PM
Rant ahead!!!

I'm so annoyed about this. If I only had mental health problems or only had physical health problems they could help me. What's annoying me is that there are 3 organisations that will provide support workers for those with mental health problems in my county and 2 for people with physical health problems and those organisations will also accompany someone to a medical.

Where exactly are people, like me, disabled by both supposed to go?

Apparently that funding has been stopped  >angry<

And, this person is refusing to fill in the part about helping me with the form as it's strictly against CAB rules now (I've no idea why that is) so they have to help due to problems with typing which will be on the form  but it will look like I did my own form so I will look like a liar.

I've got my gp on my back about going into hospital for an operation as well but there's no way I can risk that without the ESA50 having been done so I'm risking being sectioned.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 02 Sep 2014 04:20PM
Okay, the form online is much newer than the one they sent me.

I'm more than a bit confused about this as they are different forms.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Monic1511 on 02 Sep 2014 09:46PM
Hi Becca
I'm sorry you've been mucked about by this person,  the only thing you can do is wait now & see what ESA come up with,
re this "this person is refusing to fill in the part about helping me with the form as it's strictly against CAB rules now "   the reason my organisation doesn't put our details on the form is because the DWP would then say "the form was completed by the advisor from the council so if its wrong or we make a wrong decision its the councils fault." other than that the DWP then phone the person who did the form & I'm left scrambling around trying to recall a person I saw 4 months ago for 45 minutes and all the DWP tell you is their NINO & Name. >yikes<  I don't want to give wrong info but the dwp treat you as the font of all knowledge about that person.

At the medical it comes up occasionally & its is listed in the papers saying claimant completed own form & I look at the writing and can recognise a colleagues writing, so when doing the appeal / mandatory recon I put down that claimant did not complete own form but relied on advisor to write info for them.

Sorry Becca thats the only reassurance I can give you
Monic
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: neurochick on 03 Sep 2014 02:56AM
I am a bit lost about the deadline by which you were supposed to send your latest completed ESA50 to the DWP but I'm assuming it is either very soon or just overdue.  I'm also not sure if I have understood correctly because I am assuming that you are still due to submit your latest completed ESA50.

I know that you have talked about the fact that you have various problems with completing the form and getting help but submitting something to preserve the claim will always be better than submitting nothing.  The ESA 50 forms have changed a bit at least every year as they have been reworked or criteria have changed.  As a summary of the key issues, it seems that you have a lot of complex information to supply, there are various different versions of the forms between the one you last submitted and the one you think you are now supposed to complete, you can't write or type it up yourself plus you are up against a deadline.

As a solution to avoid you completely losing out, you need to submit something even if it isn't perfect or complete.  The easiest practical option just to get something in to the DWP might be for you to get a photocopy of the last ESA50 that you submitted along with copies of all the additional paperwork (if any) that you sent with that form.  Fill in the basic personal details on the newest version of the ESA50 that you have and sign it at the end.  Then, in whatever reasonably appropriate section of the form you can find, handwrite or type (whichever is easiest) the form by saying that certain aspects of your condition have deteriorated since your last application, that you are physically unable to complete the form yourself because you can't handwrite or type the contents due to whichever medical condition it is that stops you, you have been unable to obtain the necessary assistance from anyone else or any local advice organisation to help you to complete the form.  Consequently, you are doing the best you can by submitting a copy of your last ESA application, in respect of which all of information still applies (I assume that it does?) and that you are working hard to try and (a) get help from to provide further information about all of the aspects of your health and function which have deteriorated so that you can fully describe your current health situation along with detailing what you are and are not able to do;and (b) get help to provide better, more detailed answers to those questions on the latest version of the ESA50 where the questions have changed from the previous version.

You need to get something in so that you can buy yourself time to work on dealing with describing the changes to your medical conditions so that your claim properly reflects your current situation plus reworking any answers to questions that have changed from one version of the form to another. 

Unfortunately, nothing we can suggest can fix the ESA application process with its deadlines or will change the available support locally to help you with the application.  The key thing is that if you want to keep receiving ESA then you have to somehow submit the form with all of the necessary information about all details of your situation - which, of course, you don't need to share here online.  Even if its not ideal, getting something in now, however rough, while you explain that you are trying to work on the updates is always going to be better than nothing.

Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 03 Sep 2014 02:09PM
Thanks for the replies.

Monic, I've spoken to someone else about this today apparently the problem is that some time ago someone was investigated for fraud having only described their worst day on the form and had been advised by the CAB advisor to do this, it resulted in a lot of bad press for CAB for telling someone to do that so now they refuse to put information on the form about helping people complete.

But that then led to a severe drop in funding for CAB locally as there is no evidence of them helping people to claim benefits, which is why it is now a very severely restricted service, as in one or two hours a week maximum, and is why the money has been given to the charities I mentioned instead of CAB.

I hope you understand I wasn't being rude about CAB or dismissing the service or anything like that and didn't take what I said personally, it wasn't an attack against CAB.

Neurochick,

The problem is I cannot get into the medical centre, hence trying to get as much complete information as I can. If it isn't accepted I don't have the option of a medical and my money will stop, that's why I'm asking about old forms/incomplete information. The appeals are held very far away and take a huge amount of time. I have no family or means to survive with less money and can't get help with an appeal (help is available but it is a paid for service now).

My condition has deteriorated but I do not have any doctors anymore due to cuts in nhs service likewise all the others who were listed on my old form. I have no one apart from gp to support. So whilst things have got worse I have far less support. At last application I had two pages of medics supporting me and a social services support worker who has since lost her funding.

I know no one here can help, I'm just venting about my situation.

Becca.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 03 Sep 2014 05:57PM
Quote
I know no one here can help, I'm just venting about my situation.

I thought the advice on the thread in general and also the recent posts by Monic and Neurohick were helpful and reassuring but each to their own opinion.

I remember you saying you are in the ESA Support Group which means the advice the CAB advisor gave you about resending the information on your old form makes sense. In reading your old ESA50 she was helping you and simplifying the process. As long as you symptoms have not improved putting the old information together with mentioning a worsening of physical ? and mental ? health should get the Support Group reissued.

You are getting far too wrapped up in catastrophising about things you might well not have to do. There are a number of people on Ouch Too who had the renewal for ESA all done on paper some went from WRAG to the Support Group and others stayed in the Support Group.

I have noticed you are able to type words more words, maintain grammar and make your descriptions and explanations clear. It also sounds like you can now access the online version of the form and so can fill it in yourself. Filling in the form yourself wont make you look bad or have people saying you were untruthful before. Far from it we will see it as brave, being kind to yourself and allowing hope in.

Quote
And, this person is refusing to fill in the part about helping me with the form as it's strictly against CAB rules now (I've no idea why that is) so they have to help due to problems with typing which will be on the form  but it will look like I did my own form so I will look like a liar.

Do you think being able to have the form say some one else filled it in for you will make it more valid and more likely to be successful?
Saying that here is fine because we know where you are coming from but be careful about getting locked into that belief or mentioning it to people paid to help you other than your GP.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Monic1511 on 03 Sep 2014 07:39PM
Becca
re "I hope you understand I wasn't being rude about CAB or dismissing the service or anything like that and didn't take what I said personally, it wasn't an attack against CAB."  I didn't take it that way at all and anyway I don't work for CAB, if anyone is being rude about CAB it tends to be my workmates cos the local branch can be useless when it comes to benefits.   >lol<  When I worked on reception I'd often get told "I've been phoning you for days & you never answer your phone!  I'd ask which number they called & was given the local CAB number, and I'd say thats not us thats cab & they never answer their phone"   Any advice agencies tends to get called cab & even when folk are sitting in the front office they will say "I'm in the citizens advice if they answer their mobile"  they get corrected when they come off the phone. :-)

In my area we have to fight for funding & continually convince the councillors that since it costs the council residents £0.79 each week(or something like that)_ to provide our team of 40 professionally trained people the council funds are well spent, rather than a block grant to CAB, they do still get some council funds but are limited to 1 office in the whole area, where we have every council building to use.   anyway I digress >doh< ;-)

Please try & stop stressing - ESA are not keen to kick existing claimants off ESA & are trying to cut down on the number of medicals so Sunshine is right you might just stay where you are for another 3 years.
best wishes
Monic
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 03 Sep 2014 07:45PM
About doing your own forms...

I completed my 2007 DLA renewal totally by myself and didn't even send anything with it, giving them my GP's address if they wanted to write to her.  I just told my truth and at times in quite emotive language as well (I don't mean swearing, but I used quite a few exclamation marks in places, repeating frequently as I remember 'There is no-one to help me!!!'  Obviously they didn't infer - from either that sentence or my ability to fill in the form unaided - that I had less care needs than someone who had regular helpers to hand plus their form done for them, because I was awarded higher rate care.  Indefinitely.  I would never, never have expected that and even thought they had made an error at first (yes, I phoned to check  >blush< )

Anyway, thought I'd just throw that into the mix if it helps you stop tying yourself up in impossible knots over the whole tedious ESA business.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Defying Gravity on 03 Sep 2014 08:28PM
Not intending to jump in here to speak for Becca, but I know the problem in the past has been that she's physically unable to hand write, and uses dictation software to type on a tablet. But it wasn't possible to get the dictation software to work with Adobe and the form, and the library computer isn't accessible/available. So it isn't that she's unwilling to complete the form herself, it's that she can't do it, using the technology that she has available to her. That situation might have changed though - I'm just back online after a month without internet access.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 03 Sep 2014 08:44PM
DG,

Good to see you back and posting  >thumbsup<

Do you happen to know which dictation software Becca uses?

They may well be a simple solution to get the text speak into the form, eg 'writing' in Notepad then copy and pasting into the form.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Defying Gravity on 03 Sep 2014 08:50PM
Thanks. I moved house and it took BT a month and 4 engineer visits to get the phone up and running - a squirrel had eaten the line!

I think it's Dragon, but not sure.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Hurtyback on 03 Sep 2014 09:11PM
Glad you finally managed to get back to us DG!
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 03 Sep 2014 11:48PM
Post deleted by me.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Fiz on 04 Sep 2014 04:18AM
Becca  >hugs<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 08 Sep 2014 08:54AM
Becca,

You should be able to fill in the pdf form for ESA using voice software eg DragonSpeak using the same method you are using to post here.

Also I just want to check at this point in time are you still receiving the ESA benefit you mentioned on this thread
http://ouchtoo.org/index.php?topic=3108.0
(I came across it when I was looking for information about Contribution Based ESA and taxation)

I ask because some people are assuming you have no ESA income and are worried about you.

As far as I know sending an incomplete form in and saying more information to follow would keep you claim going and you wont immediately loose benefit.

edit to add correct link
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 08 Sep 2014 11:44AM
The software I am using, and no I won't tell you or anyone else what it is on public forum, does not allow me to put information on the form. I don't know why you think software that works here will work on other software because it obviously doesn't.

I don't get contribution based ESA. I know my last payment didn't go in. Hence sending back an incomplete form.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 08 Sep 2014 12:33PM
Becca,

Quote
The software I am using, and no I won't tell you or anyone else what it is on public forum, does not allow me to put information on the form. I don't know why you think software that works here will work on other software because it obviously doesn't.

I worked in IT Support and Mr Sunshine is a IT Consultant so it makes sense for me to want to help you as much as I can with computer software issues. I looked up how the Voice to text software works and based my response on that, basically you click on the area of the page you wish the text to go on and then you talk into the mic. Of course without knowing the specific software is I cant give you step by step instructions.

I am sorry but not wanting to say the software you are using does strike me as odd but you are perfectly entitled to withhold any information you wish but bear in mind it will limit the amount of help people can give you.

Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 09 Sep 2014 04:57PM
I can choose what information I want to provide on this forum. That's up to me. I know it will limit help.

The form has gone back now.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 09 Sep 2014 06:02PM
Quote
I can choose what information I want to provide on this forum. That's up to me. I know it will limit help.

The form has gone back now.

 >angel<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 10 Sep 2014 10:05AM
Quote
The form has gone back now.

 >x-fingers<
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Becca7 on 10 Sep 2014 12:43PM
Had a letter today saying I must return my form to the office in cardiff. However, CAB were told yesterday to send it to Wolverhampton!

Help!
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 10 Sep 2014 03:01PM
Quote
Had a letter today saying I must return my form to the office in cardiff. However, CAB were told yesterday to send it to Wolverhampton!

Help!

Becca,

Earlier you posted

Quote
I can choose what information I want to provide on this forum. That's up to me. I know it will limit help.

It is not just the information that you provide but which board you post it on. The thread on the 3am board has information it it which is not particularily personal or confidential which should have been posted here to. Without it people who dont have access to the 3am board get a skewed view of what can happen and also makes it difficult for some of us to add replies here for fear of mentioning something 'ordinary' from your 3am thread. You also started another thread in Welfare Rights which is relevant here, given that it was posted in a public area I can quote it here,

http://ouchtoo.org/index.php?topic=8103.0

Quote
We have an hour appointment and 15 pages to complete, printing, plus photocopying of the form. Unfortunately the intention to send the old form photocopied isn't possible as the people referenced heavily in it are no longer involved in my care

Does this and your last post mean that you did get further help from the CAB? If so then did they give you a copy of you newly filled in ESA form because then the answer to you question is simply just send a copy of the form to the Cardiff address.

I am going to start a thread in Management Feedback to discuss the current situation between you and I further
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Monic1511 on 10 Sep 2014 07:33PM
Becca
the reason that cab were told to send the mail to wolverhampton is because all mail goes there first.  Even if I address mail to the local pension service office in motherwell it gets sent first to wolverhampton who then check its not a bomb or contains harmful substances and then send the mail onto the office that deals with the claim.

When I am sending back forms they ask for the postcode and then tell me to send it to
Mail handling site 7, PO BOX whatever, Wolverhampton, WV1

its the first part "mail handling site number" that determines where its to go - that and your own postcode.
If you try sending it directly to Cardiff the Royal Mail will redirect it to Wolverhampton first before returning it to cardiff.

Monic
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine on 21 Sep 2014 12:47PM
Becca,

I know you are choosing to not be around or post on Ouch Too at the moment but I decided to ask the question anyway in hopes of getting a reply.

A while ago you were talking about Social Services not helping you enough and there being problems getting an assessment related to your ability to wash. Social Services wanted care workers to go through the process of how they could wash you etc and you refused to let them do anything. At this point as far as we know you are not getting help with care at home for various reasons, you cant wash yourself or wash clothes and this affects how people interact with you.

My question is are you actually happy enough with your life as it is in that you are used to being unwashed and not having clean clothes and was getting the assessment by Social Services more to do with getting evidence to put on you ESA 50 form?

It does worry and irk me that you let people know about the problems you have and yet when people find solutions or want to help you reject it.

If your main concern is to maintain you ESA  claim and once the renewal is sorted you don't plan to change anything you really should let us know so in another two years we don't end up on the same 'magic roundabout'.
Title: Re: Benefit situation (long sorry)
Post by: Sunshine on 21 Sep 2014 07:56PM
The post I made earlier today might sound harsh to some so I just want to reiterate what I said a few weeks ago.

I will try to help and support anyone in pain so I am fine with posts about how upsetting the ESA claiming process is or those that talk about how hard it is to fullfill the expectations of other people eg washing when it is physically hard or it makes you feel emotionally naked. I just don't want to be played by anyone.

Becca I am still willing to help you honesty/fairness goes a long way and saves one wasting resources. It would have been great if the behind the scenes help Kizzy and I gave you had enabled you to trust us eg let me help you with accessibility technology.