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TOPIC: Support Group - Special Circumstances

Support Group - Special Circumstances 8 years 9 months ago #43297

Oh my, the saga continues....

Having had xmas eve as my deadline to submit medical evidence for my tribunal, (merry xmas!), kindly, my busy GP and consultant rheumatologist having read a copy of my medical report (which arrived 11 dec having requested it in september) provided letters stating that due to disease and ill-health, any work-related activity would have a detrimental effect to my physical and mental health. In addition, called into question the ability of the examiner mainly due to how they failed to 'spot' obvious, degenerative and active disease on my body.

New year arrives and i get a phone-call from the benefit appeals section saying they have awarded the case in my 'favour' and would be canceling the tribunal. In my 'favour' means placing me in the work related activity group. My gp & specialist are saying (in writing) that I should not undertake such activity as it will have significant, negative impact on my health. I understand this should qualify me for the support group under the special circumstances rule. Is this correct?

I am now being told if I do not agree with being placed in the work related group, I have to start a second appeal and that my original medical evidence cannot be used again.

I wanted to attend my original tribunal to have my case heard not only for myself but to highlight the poor way in which my medical, and probably many others have been performed. I am now exhausted and confused and not much energy left for this. very close to giving up :( Help!

oh, and of course adding insult to injury is the attitude from some of the benefits staff and total disregard for how hard it is to fight such an appeal when not well and ILL.

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Re:Support Group - Special Circumstances 8 years 9 months ago #43299

  • originaldave
Helga wrote:

Oh my, the saga continues....

oh, and of course adding insult to injury is the attitude from some of the benefits staff and total disregard for how hard it is to fight such an appeal when not well and ILL.


They are not insulting you they dont understand your problems or the health issues you have and are not paid enough to care.....its so easy to come on here where we are all sick and understand the problems we have and how difficult it is to manage.... even on here not everyone will understand when someone says they have "X" and need to spend 3 days resting then are fine for 2 weeks

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Re:Support Group - Special Circumstances 8 years 9 months ago #43300

Helga

It may not seem it, but I think congratulations are in order.

The first thing to say is that if you want to appeal the decision to put you into the WRAG then you should seek face to face advice with your local CAB or Welfare Rights Officer.

Members of the WRAG are not expected to seek work, but to carry out any preparatory activites to allow you to when you are deemed fit enough to do so.

If your Consultant is saying that even this limited activity would have a detrimental affect on your health, then you may have a case for being put into the Support Group, however arguing this will be far from easy and will require assistance.

Hope this clarifies things a little.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last edit: by Gordon.

Re:Support Group - Special Circumstances 8 years 9 months ago #43301

Hi Helga,

Just to agree with Gordon that actually you have achieved a real result by getting into the WRAG without an appeal.

Appealing this decision in order to try to get into the support group would involve a potential risk of losing your award entirely so, as Gordon says, advice should be sought.

But I do just want to question the DWP's claim that you can't use the same medical evidence again - do they think evidence gets worn out after one use? If the evidence is relevant to being placed in the support group then you absolutely can use it again if you appeal.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Steve

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Re:Support Group - Special Circumstances 8 years 9 months ago #43303

thanks steve, my medical letters could not be clearer but yes, the DWP say they are 'obviously not good enough if they didnt qualify initially' so I have to decide what additional information needs to be put forward.

I was not aware a further appeal could potentially mean losing the award entirely so thanks for that.

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Re:Support Group - Special Circumstances 8 years 9 months ago #43313

  • kathy1
Hi Helga,

Congradulations on having their decision turned around. I know that your preferred outcome was to be placed in the support group but my advice to you would be to hold fire for the time being anyway and let things stand as they are until you have received advice.

Strong medical evidence(which can be presented again and again if you wish) will maybe or probably at some point assist you in the future.

Look at it from this angle, if they previously turned you down and you were heading for an appeal, what do you think seemed strong enough for them to change their minds....YOUR MEDICAL EVIDENCE. So if they are saying things to you like your medical evidence is not good enough, they are contradicting themselves because your evidence was good enough for them to change their decision.

I can understand your feelings on the attitudes of some benefit staff you have dealt with. They may well not be paid enough to care, but common courtesy costs nothing, and I am sure they are trained on customer care and if so they should not be allowing their own shortfalls to reduce a claimants self esteem.

Kathy

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