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Carers UK Forum • My last year with the DWP
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My last year with the DWP

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:51 pm
by OshB5
Hello All

Well this just shows the complete opposite of the F2F examiners. Sorry this is a long story :roll:

Hello All

This is the first time Iv been on this forum. Anyway the reason for joining is I’d like to ask a question please?


At this moment Im still getting ESA and in the support group since it started with only one f2f and before was on IS again with the extras for being disabled. I have also been on DLA for around the last 16 years with high rate mobility to start then 2 years later low rate of care. But over the last 4-5 years the doctors and therapists have told me to go for higher care as I needed it and should get it. But with all the horror story’s Iv heard and read I though I’d rather keep what I had rather than risk going for more and loosing what I had already.

So that’s where I stood at the start of Xmas last year when on the 5th of Dec 2018 the first brown envelope dropped on the mat and it was a ESA form to fill in and it had to be back for the 3rd of Jan 2019. After I had calmed down and had a spray of GTN I thought what a Xmas present this is. So I got our local unemployed workers Center to help me and sent it back on the 28th Dec 2018 but had the forethought to get it as tracked and signed for at a extra cost of under £1 which was more than worth as you will see.
I’d not heard anything from them till mid Feb 19 when I got a letter saying
“As they had not received my filled in ESA form there was no other action to be taken other that to stop my ESA from the 3rd of Jan19 well I nearly hit the floor and it took at least 2 and maybe 3 GTN angina sprays over the next 2+ hours to calm down then once I had realised it was Sat so nothing could be done till Mon both because they was shut and so was the people that helped me with the claim. So knew I was in for a bad weekend and I did I got around 2 hours sleep all weekend. Which is bad even for me as due to my problems both physical and mentally I only need 2-3 hours sleep a day.

Anyway Mon came I went to see those that helped me and showed them the letter. But also produced the label from the post office that I had it tracked Ed and signed for. Plus a print of the finished label where it showed a signature that someone had received it the following day at 8:46am. So they rang either the DSS or the Examiners. Sorry I was not sure who they rang. But they gave them hell as we was in the right and had proof. And told them it had to be reinstated right away. They then said well he will have to fill out another form first. Anyway that’s when it went over my head with all the Legal stuff they was talking about But in the end they said that it would be back on and would ring the claimant later to update. They rang at 2 pm to say they had found it and that my ESA had been reinstated. No sorry or kiss my #*&@* what so ever,

2 days later I got a letter from the council saying the housing support and council tax support had been pulled because my ESA had been stopped. And no matter how much I told them that it was all sorted and had been restored from the 3rd of Jan they needed proof. So I had to ring the DSS/DWP to ask for proof I then got that after a few days then had to send it to the council. I’m sure none of that was needed but it had to be done they said. And this is all before my form as been looked at.

I then got a letter from the examiners and was told I needed a f2f and set the date for the end of Feb as usual I was a mess and the night before had no sleep I got ready I say that but due to my depression and other stuff going off in my life I hardly ever Change or even have a wash. I know it’s disgusting but that’s how I am. I also know it’s not fare on my wife or daughter but I still do it. I’m so fed up with it all and times like this just make things worse n worse. As I said was ready in time for the taxi as I cannot walk to the bus stop and there is no parking close enough to walk to the Center where the test is. The taxi was due at 11:10 as the f2f was for 11:30. And at dead on 11 they phoned to say they had to cancel to which I replied are you kidding because you don’t know what state in in here. And he just said ok we will be in touch with you to rebook and that was that. 3 days later we got our next f2f date was for mid March at 11:30. We went through the same things getting ready for the taxi and low and behold the phone rang at 11am yet again it was the examination Center saying sorry but they had to cancel the appointment. Well I lost it on the phone I was in tears and sobbing saying you just don’t know what you do to people or see what your actions does to them or state it leaves them in and can you not leave me alone for a bit to get over this hassle. And the guy did say sorry and thet they would be in touch with an alternative date. Well I though he was heartless

However something I said must have had some kind of effect on him because it was over 3 months before I was contacted again. Anyway it came and we went and was kept waiting for nearly 45 mins and then shown round to the ground floor examining room. And the young woman who came seemed nice. But I did not let that wash because I’d read all the letters from people who have said the examiner was nice but then made them look a lot different on the forms they filled in. Anyway we just sat down me my wife and her and was talking about things and had only been in a matter of so mins when she asked about self harm. And I just froze because I’d started again since all this had started and had done it many years ago but had stopped after years of therapy but all this had started me down the path again. But my wife does not know as we no longer share a bed because when starting to go to sleep or during sleep I talk, shout, scream and jerk as well as kick, punch and move about a lot. So Iv taken to sleeping on our new sofa and it is really comfortable. So she had not seen where I o it and the examiner picked up on that and asked my wife to wait outside for a short while. And as soon as she had gone the woman said right I asked about self harm and could see your wife did not know from your reaction so do you mind showing me. Anyway there is a psych which is about 4” square on my inner thigh and Iv cut 2-3 lines with a modelling knife every couple of days then go back over the first one after they had healed so that patch was like hamburger meat and when she saw it she said Oh sweat heat I am sorry and I started to explain but broke down as I told her I had not told my therapist or my doctor. And she said with your permission could I contact your doctor? To with I said yes. Then she said get dressed as your in no state to finish this f2%f. But I said I needed to as I don’t want to go through this again in the next month or so. And she said go home and sort out and nothing will change your ESA will stay the same nothing will happen. So I went home not believing her then I had to go to the docs and she told me that She had got a letter about me and thought it best I go and see someone else so booked me in to see psychiatrist. Anyway Iv now spent from June till Dec not knowing about my ESA anyway I finally got two brown letters on Friday 13th Dec What a day I though. Just remember two letters as that will have meaning on the second part of this letter. I opened the first and it said I had been placed in the Support group again. But still cannot understand why I was kept on hanging for 6months can any of you? So ESA done for now how long I am unsure it could be in Jan you never know do you..

Part 2 DLA-PIP
I know it’s been coming for years but it’s not got here. However now it has. I first got the form at the same time I had my last F2F for my ESA and had to have it back in for the first in Aug. Again I had help from the DUWC andI sent in plenty of time with the same tracked and signed for protection. I then got a date and location which was well out of the way and at a time that conflicted with a hospital appointment. So got in touch with those that helped me fill in the form and asked them what to do. First thing they told me is that there is a place local that they do the f2f at and to ring and reschedule. Which I did and they was quite nice and accommodating so it was booked for the local Center mid Sept. Again the day came and I was my usual up tight and felt like crap. However I’d decided to drive as there was disabled spots outside the Center so well within my walking distance.

We got there in plenty of time got out and by now I was at panic mode and outside I had to have a GTN spray. But we went in and was met by the receptionist for the examiner and I was gasping for breath and she said sit down get your breath back. Which we did for about 20 mins and then this young woman came out she had a hippy look and seamed nice and thought back t all I’d read. And we started by her saying we have a lot to get through and are running late as it is. I thought not my fault. Anyway when 8 walked in I was breathless and as I had said before I was untidy and I’d not had a shower or bath for at least 6 months plus clothes I had worn for weeks this all due to my depression and what I’m going through with all mu health conditions. And I know I smelt bad and I cannot smell Anyway she first asked how I’d got there and when I said car she said did you drive and did I have to use a sat nave. Which I told her yes as it’s a place Iv never been before and it’s like a rabbit Warren round that area. Then she asked if it was a mobility car and if it was auto or manual I told not a mobility and is auto. And that was all that was said about the car till the end.

Then we when through the questions I told her I could not stand or sit in the kitchen on perch stools to peel spuds or make a meal as I could not get down to the oven also I don’t mess with the gas because I forget and leave the gas on or worse if it goes out cannot smell it so it would get left on. Also i leave the water running or forget to lock doors. Then she got to washing. I said I could only do certain areas of my body. And could not get in a bath or would not be able to get back up again. And can not lift my legs up far enough to get over the sides of the bath to have a shower so I have a strip wash but not that often. Then to loo needs I told her we used a raised seat but I had to have my rear wiped as I cannot reach do to body made and restrictive joints. Also that I have to wear incontinence pads as I’m always having mishaps with my wee and some times with my bowels. And explained to the woman how I was having these problems more n more. She did not ask much about my mental state other than did I harm myself, With what and did it need stitches. Then she started with the examination telling me to look left right up n down. And she looked at me n said agh you know all these examines are linked with all the agency’s. So I said yes. And she said I just thought there might be a problem with your neck not moving fast enough such as in case a child was to run out. First of all you never said how fast to do the movements and when I’m looking left or right my head movement is only a part of it as the eyes does the mode movements. Then she told me to grab her hands which I had no problem with. Then she put her hands on my knees and before I had a chance to even try and push up her hands where behind me and saying pull back on your legs. Again she had moved her hands before I even had chance to try again. Then she said yes you have weakness in your left leg I can feel it. I thought at the time we are just going through the motions here. Then she said right that’s it you can go out of the side door as it’s not as far to your car. It was then I saw her room was overlooking my car so she would have seen me get up and get out plus seen it was not a Motability due to its age. I just thought I cannot wait to see her report NOT!!!

Then we come to the second letter that dropped on the mat on Dec Friday 13th what was the odds on both the benefits checks being 6 months apart and coming together on the same day. Anyway I opened it and started with the report from the examiner well it said I was clean well dressed and kept also there was no breathlessness he had full use of his arms and legs although a weakness was present in his left leg. Oh and I can take my medication unaided also I had to use a item to have a wash with but needed no help with toilet needs. I drove to the f2f so had good cognitive skills and forward thinking to plan and execute the journey. It gets me that I told her that it was twice as far as Iv been in the last 2 years and that my mot showed how few miles I’d done year on year. Then that I had no problem mixing with people or engaging them. And yet she asked if I had taken my wife to the shop and I’d got out to stretch my legs and a person you did not know said hello what would you do I said ignore him as if I’d not heard him and get back in the car. Plus I know with my hygiene that it would be wrong to be around people and especially those that know me be any for that matter But she did say I walked with sticks and my back cause me a lot of pain and was misshaped. But on the end said However I cannot give this person pip under these things I have discussed and been through with the client. Or words to that effect. And yet on the list of questions on separate page it reads different as Iv got 8 points for living and 12 for mobility. Which I know is a great out come and the best Xmas present I could ask for but still why.
So I went to the great people at the DUWC Derbyshire Unemployed Worker’s Center and afternoon reading the examiners recommendation and then the form I’d filled plus the doctors and therapists reports They can only come up with that the things is that the decision make has taken time to read all the evidence and go against the examiners recommendation. Which I’m glad about. But I still cannot believe that there can be people who are that devious and nasty to give such a false report as she has done. Now if that had been one of us sending in a report on how illness effects us we could have jailed for such lies. It’s just not fair is it

Best regards Osh

Re: My last year with the DWP

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:58 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Hi Osh.

You'll find many similar postings on the main disability forums ... SCOPE in particular.

Here , on this forum , only a limited audience ... carers with their carees going through similar minefields ... and those of us who are also disabled.

There is no answer.

The DWP ... and Government policy ... are a law to themselves.

DLA / PIP assessments ?

Postings galore of the injustices ... again , mainly on the disability related forums.

On the caring front ... any areas we can help with ?

Benefits / housing / support / etc. ... you name it , we'll have a go at cracking it.

Re: My last year with the DWP

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:42 pm
by thara_1910
Hello and welcome!

Can we help with anything or not?

Re: My last year with the DWP

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:11 am
by Ayjay
The DWP, (and all the other agencies of that ilk) are interested in one thing only: and it's most definitely not you and your problems, it's reducing expenditure.

They don't care how they do it or for how brief a time they do it, if they can achieve it at all then they have almost certainly fulfilled some quota or target that they've been set.

You only have to look at the number of rejected claims that are overturned on appeal to know that something is not right, the perpetrators are never sacked because they are just doing what they're told.

Re: My last year with the DWP

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:43 am
by AY_1802
Hi, and welcome aboard the carers forum.

To answer your question regarding having to wait so long for your ESA to be assessed.

Receiving a call from the assessment centre on the morning of your assessment is very frustrating, but sometimes unavoidable due to perhaps staff shortages, or a backlog, but on the other hand, as you are within your right to call them to rearrange an appointment due to unforeseen circumstances, it is only fair they have the same ruling, albeit inconvenient, especially when one has prepared them themselves, for what is a daunting experience, as it was for me. Furthermore, although I fully respect your decision not to inform your medical professionals or therapists of your relapse, by not doing so, it was necessary for the agencies to go through the process of collecting all the relevant information from the teams involved with your health and welfare to finalise your claim, which does take time at best. I suspect this may have been the cause of further delays, but thankfully, all is now well with the decision going your way.

I have realised support letters towards claims are imperative towards the decisions process, whether it be for ESA or PIP, and if you can't have them ready by the date your completed ESA or PIP form has to be returned, don't worry, you can always hand them over to the examiner on the day of your assessment, but if your GP is kept in the dark, then need chasing up by the agencies, then be prepared for a drawn out ordeal.

Wishing you and yours well

Re: My last year with the DWP

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:53 am
by OshB5
Hi again.

I realise now I should inform the relate to people of my problems . It’s just I’m of the old type of if I don’t tell anyone it’s not real and it will get better by itself. I say I don’t like to bother the docs with my small problems but really it’s because I’m to scared to. But that’s for other forums,

And yes as to help carter wise we put all our information nation into the lates calculator you pointed us to and did two calls 1 with CA and one without. And it’s worked out that with it give us an extra £37 But the only thing I could not figure out is that our daughter is in full time work and due to me getting ESA Earnings get disregarded, and I thought that might change when and if my wife her mum got caters. But it still says not and we have entered all the right figures and Sal Leary’s in. Or will the local council alter it or does the calculator account for all these situations. Thank you

Re: My last year with the DWP

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:58 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Hi Andy.

That online calculator is accurate for all " What if " scenarios.

The fun starts where you have several family members , most if not all claiming benefits.

Any changes can impact on others ... potential reductions in Council Tax / Housing Benefit the most common.

Another being SDP ( Severe Disability Premium ) ... lost when someone claims Carers Allowance for caring for that claimant.

Anyone working ?

Extra hours worked can also have a dramatic effect !

( A loss of 48p in other benefits for every £ 1 extra earned the record I've encountered ... so far. )

Factor in Universal Credit and most bets are off !

The key is to find the scenario that produces the highest income overall.

Once that has been revealed , is it workable ... only you can answer that one !

That calculator can do it ... so can the CAB if you want confirmation.

And ... no apologies for the complex benefit system.