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Re:Is there such a thing as too much evidence? 9 years 7 months ago #46571

Thanks Derek,

Just taken another look at that Exceptional Circumstances statement and I do feel my GP may well support the opinion that I fit that too. Before he signed me off work he told me that forcing myself to keep working (that was when I was self employed from home) was making my symptoms worse and that stress would only exacerbate my anxiety and insomnia. It's true... even just the thought of work focused interviews has done the trick!

I will wait till I have the letter confirming the WRAG status then get hubby to take me to the GP and see what he will agree to write.

Oh - what unnecessary stress this system puts us all through, eh?! If only there was some way of those medical assessor's sitting in our skin for a day, us genuine folk wouldn't have to go through this!

Anyway - do you know what exactly "work related activities" are? I understand that in the WRAG you are given things you have to do by the Personal Advisor and that if you don't do them you can have sanctions applied. But what does this actually involve? I don't need a CV (writing CVs was one of my chargeable self employed business skills!), I know everything there is to know about my market sector and the necessary skill sets, and I certainly can't take on any kind of alternative development or training with the brain of fudge I have most days. My husband has to remind me to take my medications, let alone me learning a new skill! So what exactly would I be expected to do as an “activity”?

And, if the Personal Advisor does see me and agrees that I am not fit to be travelling to interviews or undertaking activities, and agrees to keep deferring further appointments, does this have any bearing on my appeal for SG?

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Re:Is there such a thing as too much evidence? 9 years 7 months ago #46594

Hi RatRoom

Any support from your doctor with regards to exceptional circumstances will be very valuable.

You can find out about PWIs in the Knowing Your Rights At PWI guide including sanctions here . If you are lucky you may have an understanding advisor who defers the interviews or gives you activities that are not mandatory. They can ask you to attend a mandatory course but I've no idea how common this is.

I don't think deferring the interviews would have any bearing on your appeal as they only look at the time of the decision.

Derek

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Re:Is there such a thing as too much evidence? 9 years 7 months ago #46612

Postie has just been and no WRAG status letter – only the GL24 booklet and form. So I called and spoke with the WCA Team at my DWP office. They advised that I would not get a written reason for why I have been moved out of SG, just that the decision has been based upon page 34 of the medical report – of which I already have a copy.

They then told me to get my GL24 in ASAP (not to wait for the WRAG letter as they can see on my file the decision has been made) and to send in with it everything I possibly can in support of my appeal. I explained about how long my response was so far, and did they feel I really needed to address every aspect of the report that I felt was incorrect, and they said a resounding YES! They also told me to copy any and all letters or reports that would back up anything I said, regardless of how old they were, and finally to try to get my GP to do an up to date declaration that would qualify me for the exceptional circumstances as they would not contact him for his opinion.

They advised that if I could send it all into together with the GL24 within the month, then that would be best as my case can then be reviewed and a decision made within 7 to 10 days. They also said that the person to whom I had spoken to previously and who had sent me the GL24, already had my case file sitting out ready for my appeal to come through.

Now I don’t know what to do! Obviously getting the GP letter is a given, but as they seem very helpful at the BDC and clearly supportive of my appeal already, do I go with the advice that the DWP have given me and provide everything I can up front (which is possible, as my GP won’t hang about writing the letter if he agrees to do so and I already have a copy of my complete medical records) rather than the B&W method of returning the GL24 with just the standard phrasing?

As I said before, if I can get this decision revised without the tribunal that would be my dream come true, but the advice is so different to what I been given here, I am paranoid that I am being told to do something that could undermine my appeal … or do I just have an exceptionally helpful and supportive DWP team and should trust them?

Totally confused!!! Any ideas?

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Last edit: by Crazydiamond. Reason: DWP employees' identities removed.

Re:Is there such a thing as too much evidence? 9 years 7 months ago #46627

Hi RatRoom

All appealable decisions by the DWP must be put in writing and the GL/24 form asks for the date of the decision printed on the decision letter.

The leaflet says you can use the date that you 'received a spoken explanation' about the decision, but I'm a little paranoid myself! I would prefer to have a copy in writing.

If you have additional evidence that the DWP have not seen, there is no harm in submitting this, and you can if you wish provide a more detailed appeal statement with your GL/24 form.

However, don't forget that you are actually disagreeing with a DWP decision that could go to appeal; it's not really appropriate to take advice from the DWP regarding your appeal. From my own experience with JCP telephone staff, I was told that my previous medical report is irrelevant (categorically untrue) and that I should remember what I wrote on my IB50 form so I shouldn't need it. Needless to say, I would not trust their advice.

They advised that if I could send it all into together with the GL24 within the month, then that would be best as my case can then be reviewed and a decision made within 7 to 10 days. They also said that the person to whom I had spoken to previously and who had sent me the GL24, already had my case file sitting out ready for my appeal to come through.

I'm afraid this has left me baffled as well. Decisions usually take several weeks if not months. They are also made by decision makers with authority to make them so I don't understand how having a file sitting out ready for your appeal to come through can speed things up, other than getting the papers into the folder quickly. The telephone staff who are supportive of your appeal will not have any input in the decision; it solely rests with a decision maker.

It's really up to you to decide how to proceed, but I personally don't think pointing out every minute flaw in the medical report and flooding them with medical evidence however old, will help.

I hope this doesn't confuse you ever further!

Derek

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Re:Is there such a thing as too much evidence? 9 years 7 months ago #46639

Hi Derek,

I'm going to take the middle ground on this and truncate my response but still put together evidence in support of my statements, just on a selective basis! This way I won't swamp with information, but they'll have enough to make a decision if that really is possible without the tribunal.

I too am sceptical by what I have been told and was worried I was being lured into a false sense of security! When they said 7 to 10 days, my reaction was "really"?! I know well how incredibly inaccurate JCP staff can be. When my husband was made redundant again last week (for the 3rd time in 19 months) he was told by the helpline that he wasn’t entitled to any JSA because I was on ESA. They said he’d have to go on my claim as a joint applicant. When I asked the DWP about this they firstly said that’s correct but I’d have to change from contribution to income based ESA. I explained that I wouldn’t qualify for income based because we have an ISA as a repayment vehicle on our interest only mortgage (because we can’t afford a repayment mortgage), which puts us over the threshold. So I was put on hold whilst a supervisor was consulted and then told that I was right – my hubby should be on JSA. His letter confirming his benefit arrived this morning. It is simply staggering how much misinformation is doled out from the JCP.

Anyway, back on topic - I'm waiting for a call back from my GP this afternoon and will ask him if he would be willing to give me an examination and write an up to date report so fingers crossed on that.

I'll update you on what happens after my GL24 goes in and just whether this 7 to 10 days really is pie in the sky!

Thanks for all your advice so far.

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Re:Is there such a thing as too much evidence? 9 years 7 months ago #46640

RatRoom

Make sure that all of your information is uniquely referenced, so that if you do go to appeal, you and the Tribunal can quickly access information.

Gordon

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