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Benefit claimants 'still seen as scroungers' - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Benefit claimants 'still seen as scroungers'

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
The DWP make you feel like a "scrounger, a second class citizen". The onset of my wife's condition was rapid and she had to begrudgingly give up work as she was unfit to continue her role as a pre-school teacher. I continued to work and care for my wife and our 3 children. It soon became apparent that my wife's neurological problems were progressive and it was with regret that I had to cut my hours as a retail manager to spend more time caring for my wife. I was lucky, in that, my employers were very understanding. Unfortunately, my wife's condition deteriorated to such an extreme that she needed 24/7 care and I had to leave my job to become her full-time carer. We struggled for the first year without claiming any benefits. Partly because we didn't know what we were entitled to and partly because we thought we could cope. Anyway, this year we have claimed benefits and what an eye-opener it's been. We have been made to jump through hoops backwards. The worst benefit for this is the newly designed E.S.A. WHAT A FARCE!!!! Even the powers that be at the DWP don't seem to know their own rulings for this benefit and to this day (4 months later!) we still don't know if my wife is entitled to it. Until she gets confirmation of entitlement, apparently I am only entitled to CA. Neither of us are entitled to claim any other benefit ie Income support until it's sorted!!!!!
Six weeks ago, we received a call from the local job centre informing my wife she had to attend a back-to-work interview. I politely suggested they check their files and determine which job they thought my wife could reasonably carry out. She can't walk, has difficulty using her arms, has speech problems, memory loss, her cognitive abilities are severely affected, regular blackouts etc, etc, etc . At that point they said they would review her file in 6 months but that she would have to attend a medical to determine that she really was unfit for work. Do they really think that we would both give up well paid jobs to live on CA and DLA!!!?????
The day of my wife's medical arrived and after struggling to get her ready so we could set off at 9.30am we received a phone call from ATOS when we were nearly there saying they'd cancelled the appointment cos they didn't have a doctor available!!!! The following week they stopped my wife's claim for ESA cos she hadn't attended the medical!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAARRRRRGH!!!!
Anyway, managed to get it all sorted and she had her medical last week. It was interesting to say the least. The foreign doctor who carried out the assessment gave up talking to my wife cos she was having problems understanding her slurred speech....or so I thought. When I talked about my wife's symptoms she needed me to explain the word "symptom"!!!!!!?????? It does make you wonder what hope we have of being awarded this benefit. But we now have to play the waiting game and await their decision and hope that they can see that my wife's illness is "real" and that we are NOT scroungers!!!!!!!
ndem

Unless things have changed drastically I believe you can insist on a 'specialist' in your illness for this kind of review.

There are many illnesses that a normal GP would not be able comprehend fully. If you get refused please seek advice on this, and in the meantime keep your chin up. (((hugs))))

Christine