Incapacity Benefit Cancelled

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by raspberry_valley, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member


    I'm new to this message board, my name is Sarah and I live in the UK with my lovely husband Paul, Marilyn the bulldog and Scooby the parrot. I've been diagnosed with ME for about 5 years but think I've had it a lot longer.

    I had a letter from the DWP yesterday cancelling my incapacity benefit. I was so upset that my dog had a fit in sympathy which was really scary.

    Has anyone else had the same thing happen, and can they offer any words of wisdom on how I sort this out. I'm devastated and it is a financial disaster.

    Sympathy or empathy would be good too. I've been very emotional about the whole thing.

    I've just written to my MP. Doubt if it will do any good, but it made me feel a bit better.

    What we dont understand is that the answers they've shown on the form bear no relation to the answers I gave in the interview.

  2. serenety

    serenety New Member

    Hi Rasberry, appeal against their destigion (sp) phone up the social security in Soham & ask them for the number for the welfare rights they will help you to reaply.
    Please don`t give up, with the help from the welfare right you shoul get it reinstated. Also when you fill out the forms remember to tell them what you are like at your worst `cos that is all they are interested in.
    hugs serenety.
  3. angeldust

    angeldust New Member

    Sorry to here your bad news. Always get advice when filling in the IB forms - ME charities, Dr, Citizens Advice, DWP own guides - look at how the points system works. These sources will help you with your appeal. The more evidence you have the better, ask any Drs, Consultants, Physiotherapists, Psychologists you may have seen to provide statements/evidence - you may even be able to get a professional to go to the appeal tribunal with you. Always complete the form according to your state at its worse. There's no point saying you can stand for 10mins if you cant repeatedly stand for 10mins on a bad day. Unfortunately the DWP assessment is about how well you can convey your illness on paper and not how ill you are??

    I really feel for you, good luck with your appeal, let us know how it goes.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/16/2006]
  4. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    good advice from everyone. I just want to add, YES, APPEAL and appeal and appeal!!!!! Do not accept this. You are entitled to it.

    Dont be afraid of them, you are just a number. My old doctor told me that he had a friend who worked in benefits and they AUTOMATICALLY disqualify 80% of people who apply for I.B. and DLA in the hope that they will accept it and not appeal. Many people do this. I did, then after a year I decided to re-apply and to appeal and I've appealed ever since.

    You are not doing anything wrong, you're ill and you are entitled to benefits, probably more than IB.

    Also you might want to look at DLA and apply for that too and if you are refused as most of us are, then you appeal for that too.

    Yes, you MUST fill in the form as you would feel on your very worst days.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/16/2006]
  5. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to reply and offer advice and sympathy. It really means a lot. I've never posted before so I was a bit nervous.

    I will appeal. I suspected that they automatically threw out a high percentage to make you do the work.

    Ironically, I have recently been awarded DLA, disability living allowance, with the higher mobility element - this is one of the reasons I was so baffled to have the Incapacity Benefit stopped.

    I was feeling very emotional in the small hours of this morning, having had some sleep, and read your replies, I feel a bit better, albeit quite daunted by what I have to do now.

    I'll get in touch with the village benefits advisor and ask them to come out and help; I've phoned action for ME and they're sending their information pack on how to appeal; my husband is adament we involve our member of parliament if I get turned down again; my dr - who is wonderful - is phoning me on monday; and my ME specialist is writing a letter tomorrow.

    I guess I am very lucky to have this much support. I know they are about the clamp down on incapacity benefit in the UK and so I am sure I wont be the only person in this situation.

    Thanks again, sorry for the long post, and sorry for not thanking you all personally.

  6. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I forgot to say that the VERY best advice I've found(and I'm a member of AME) is on the

    they take you through step by step with the questions and warn you of the pitfalls. I have used them the last two times I had to appeal for my DLA. They have guides for IB too.

  7. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    i'm on my way to that website now

    thanks so much

  8. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    The website you sent me was amazing. Thank you. I saw your profile and your cats, sorry to hear you only have one left, that is terrible. I've updated my profile to include a picture of Marilyn, our bulldog. The best dogs ever for someone with ME, they want to cuddle a lot and dont like going out much. Unfortunately they are very sensitive so if I get upset, she gets upset, in some ways this does work to keep me calmer.
  9. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    yes I worked through each question using the advice on that site and I got my award. My DLA however has gone down from every 4 years to 2 so next year I have to go through it all again.

    Your little (?) dog Marilyn is beautiful, I'm glad she's such good company for you.

    I have the TWO kittens Sarah. My old cat Rosie died a few months ago at 18, she was my constant companion just like Marilyn and would stay in bed with me on the days I had to etc. I miss her so much. the two wee kitties are wonderful and I'll grow to love them but Rosie was my catsoulmate.

    Let me know how you get on with the IB. You have lots of support from your GP etc and you already get DLA so I honestly cant see the problem.

    Janet (Rosie)
    [This Message was Edited on 07/16/2006]
  10. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    Thank you Charlie and thank you Rosie, you've both been so kind. I'm so glad I plucked up the courage to write in to the message board.

    Hopefully if anyone else is in my situation, they'll be able to read all your advice too.

    As for why they suddenly stopped my benefit, I got called in for a routine (I thought) medical before my benefit went up to the long term rate, and after that I got a letter saying they were stopping it. We're waiting for the transcript of the medical, but from what we've seen so far, the dr appears to have ticked all the wrong boxes. We are baffled.
  11. KelB

    KelB New Member

    Raspberry - take all of your paperwork to your local Citizens' Advice Bureau as soon as possible. They usually either have a benefits specialist attached to them or can recommend one. They are free and you'll find them in the local phone book. They really do know their stuff.

    If there is some sort of claimants' advice service in your area, the CAB will know about them as well. Ask if they have contact details if you can't find one in the phone book.
  12. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    Thanks, I will do so. I've been trying to contact the Citizens advice bureau by phone but their lines are busy. My friend who is fighting for DLA says there is a two month waiting list at present, so I think I might have to find someone else to help.

    There is a village benefits office, but when I phoned them they said that, because they did not fill in the form, they will not help with the appeal. That's ridiculous because the form was filled in in February, before I knew of their existence. They have subsequently got DLA for me. My husband is going to pursue them about this as he doesnt think its acceptable... but same friend says they have a waiting list also, which would take me beyond the appeal period.

    I did have a helpful chat with the DWP yesterday, and they said that I should produce additional medialinformation and they will put my case forward for reconsideration which should take around 10 days. If I am unsuccessful I can still appeal. This looks like a good bet to me.

    They're also helpfully suggesting that I go onto Jobseekers allowance, my husband is writing to our MP to inform him of this. Luckily he is in opposition and thus more likely to help.

    I am bewildered and upset about this, and have been having panic attacks, my whole recovery has been set back months and I'm very depressed about the whole thing.

    Logging in and finding messages of help and support from all over the world is one of the things that is keeping me going. Thanks so much for taking the trouble to post a reply.

    We'll continue to pursue the CAB and the Village Benefits Service, watch this space.

  13. KelB

    KelB New Member

    Hi Sarah.

    Be careful about going onto Jobseeker's Allowance as it could invalidate your DLA and I think will immediately prevent the reinstating of your Incapacity Benefit. Jobseekers Allowance is only given to those fit to work, so accepting it probably amounts to a declaration that you are fit to work.

    As you know, there is a major government push to get a million people off of IB and back to work, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if this was an officially-sanctioned strategy. Unfortunately, these are never put in writing, so you can't prove it (an ex of mine worked in a Benefits Office and was threatened with disciplinary action for refusing to implement one such directive, that his manager couldn't prove existed!).

    The very best of luck to you Sarah. If you can muster more medical evidence - or even a more strongly-worded restatement of what you already have - then just get your head down and go on with the appeal process as best you can until you can reach the CAB or claimants' advice services.

    The DWP are betting that you will give up and go away. It must be terribly difficult for you, but try not to give them the satisfaction.
  14. angeldust

    angeldust New Member

    Another thing to consider - I'm sorry!!
    A relative of mine was recently thrown off IB, she didn't sign-on for job seekers allowance - as a result her NI contributions were not paid for the six months she waited for her appeal. (Which she lost,but her Dr signed her off work again and she went straight back on IB, passed the incapacity test despite her condition not changing!!!!). But she did have to pay six months NI contributions, because she didn't sign on while she appealed !!!. Again I would get advice as to whether you should sign on, you can afterall be disabled (and not sick) and still work - so I wouldn't of thought being in receipt of DLA would be an issue.

    Good luck - if you can take on board all the excellent advice you receive you'll win your appeal no problem.
  15. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    Thanks, I agree that it would be a dangerous thing to declare myself fit to work when I clearly am not.
    A friend of mine worked at the benefits office for a while, as long as she could stand it. When these "directives" came through, the objective was to get as many people as possible off the lists, by whatever means possible. Even resorting to forcing them into an appeal, which effectively took them off the lists for 3 months thus giving a false figure to the benefit figures. He could not actually tell me this of course, because it is apparently covered by the official secrets act. Very big brother (in the Orwellian as opposed to Channel 4 context).

    Thank you.

    I've had an amazing letter from my specialist today, and I'm looking forward to submitting it along with the letter from my Dr. Even so I'm feeling truely awful about the entire experience, this has put me back months.
  16. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    Thanks to you too Angeldust I hope your recovery continues. This message board is amazing. I felt so alone and isolated before I found you all.
  17. TAM

    TAM New Member


    I am so sorry for you that just isn't fair, not at all.
    My heart goes out to you.
    I will never ever understand problems such as this, i swear so many times it seems the people like yourself who really truely need help don't get it then someone who clams to be ill but aren't they get it.

    I wish they could just follow everyone around with video cameras that way the people who don't really need help would get it taken away and the people like you who do need help and deserve it would get it.

    I know when i signed up for ssd i kept getting denied and i wrote really big in my paperwork FOLLOW ME AROUND WITH A VIDEO CAMERA YOU WILL SEE I'M NOT TRYING TO CHEAT YOU AND GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING I AM NOT LYING I'M ILL AND I NEED SOME HELP".

    Finally when i went in front of a judge he approved me and i'm thankful for that.

    My thoughts are with you i hope you end up getting the help you need take care. TAMMY.
  18. raspberry_valley

    raspberry_valley New Member

    Dear all

    I had a phone call last week to say that my benefit had been reconsidered, strange when I hadnt got around to sending in the new evidence yet. Stranger still, they apologised (to my husband, I refused to talk to them, too upset). Apparently I had sounded "vague and confused" on the phone, so they'd had another look at my case.

    Baffled by the apology, and the reconsideration without all the paperwork they'd demanded, we remembered that we'd contacted our MP, Jim Paice. He had helped my husband in the past when the CSA awareded 150% of his income to his ex wife.

    We got home later and found a letter from our MP, Jim Paice, saying that he was investigating matters on my behalf. It was a very kind letter, and he obviously did investigate, because my benefits are reinstated til 2007.

    The message for everyone out there is dont be scared, dont think you desevere to be treated like this, call your MP and dont be surprised when the democratic system actually works.

    I could have done it without your support. Thank you.
  19. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I'm happy to hear this Sarah and I should think so too. How can they possibley award you DLA and refuse Incapacity.

    It just goes to show that it's worthwhile to contact your MP in the UK, dont have to sit back and be trodden on.

  20. KelB

    KelB New Member

    Congratulations Sarah, I'm so pleased for you!

    I guess that's a lesson for others of us in the UK who might find ourselves in unaccountable trouble with the DWP.

    Well done you, for managing to keep your head above water while your MP spanked them for you!

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