In October 2013 I was placed on the long list of people to have the dreaded WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT, whilst at the same time waiting for a decision on my daughters [disability benefit] P.I.P – she had been in receipt of disability benefit from the age of 5.
I finally had my assessment on 23rd December 2014, but had to travel around 14 miles each way. To this day I still haven’t received any official confirmation as to the outcome, so let me explain:
After not hearing for around 14 to 15 weeks I contacted the DWP, only to be told over the phone that I had been placed in the support group for 2 years. Great I hear you cry, well not really as firstly I am terminally ill with emphysema and with only 23% lung function. Secondly I’m in constant pain due to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
A few short hours later I received a call from a lady at the IB (Incapacity Benefit) reassessment centre in Wolverhampton, only to be told I should never have been placed on such a journey as my claim is only for my stamp, and saying that my partner claims for me.
It has caused me so much stress that I even attempted suicide in October 2014. I was told by the lady that I may even receive compensation for all of this, but I doubt it.
It had caused arguments in the household, sometimes 3 ways.
So after waiting 14 months for the assessment and getting so stressed it seems it was all for nothing. Except maybe the DWP trying it on and hoping I would fall into their trap.
We also took the DWP to tribunal for our daughters claim for the new PIP, which at that stage had now been on going for 17 months. We won hands down and received back payments of around £6,000 and also was now able to claim carer’s allowance for her, again this was back dated to the tune of around £1700.
So the moral I guess is don’t give in. Only you know how your disability affects you, not some junked up little Hitler who sees you for about half an hour and the writes something totally out of context to how it really went on.
I thought the lady who conducted my assessment was very fair and considerate, but it was on ATOS’ recommendation that I be re-assessed in 2 years.
Involve your MP, take advice from the support groups that are out there and know your rights. We are the majority, we are the one’s who live day-to-day with our disabilities; yes some days are better than others but could you guarantee a good day every day an employer needs you? No!
I know we all put on a brave face when people ask how we are, but when it comes to how you would survive without the safety net that is in place only down to our fathers and grandfathers, don’t put on a front, tell it as it is.
Do you have a similar story to share? firstname.lastname@example.org