The worst experience of my life!!

Hi first of all I'd like to thank this site for their advice & help through what can only be described as the worst experience in my life!!

After waiting just 10 days short of 1 year I finally got my IB tribunal. I am delighted to say that after being awarded only 2 points!!!!! by Atos doctor at medical, the tribunal awarded me a further 58 (YES 58!!) points. The relief was immense & very emotional. I have since had all my back money paid. So thank you again Benefits & work.

More good news from the forums at the end of this newsletter

Benefits cuts – what, when and who is affected

After the last mammoth newsletter following the spending review, we’ll try to keep this one a bit shorter.


In the members news area we’ve put together a timetable of the benefits cuts that we think are most likely to affect you. It tells you when they are likely to happen, who they are aimed at and what effect they are likely to have.

As well as forewarning you about some of the changes you may need to prepare for, it also allows you to decide which issues you may wish to get involved in campaigning against first.

The timing and the details are still sketchy for some of the cuts and changes, but we’ll be adding more information as it becomes available.  

Opposition to the cuts by claimants themselves is undoubtedly growing.  

In some cases it’s individual disabled people having the courage to speak out, such as bendygirl – well known to users of the BBC Ouch forum - who has uploaded a number of videos to you-tube.

Then there’s groups of disabled people getting organised, such as those behind the Broken of Britain blog and discussion forum.

There’s also the more established claimants groups, such as CarerWatch, who are “asking carers, disabled people and every one who cares about them to send a letter to MPs – and also to send it to disability charities and to post this letter in the media and to blogs.”

There’s a draft letter you can amend and add to in any way before sending it to your MP, preferably before the debate on housing benefit on 9 November.”

Even some of the major charities, now facing the prospect of massive funding cuts  themselves, are beginning to protest rather more vehemently than most did under New Labour.

And, astonishingly, the Telegraph is beginning to turn its nose up at  the ugly and deceptive propaganda against the poor being peddled by the coalition.

Their chief political commentator is angry that Osborne misled the nation about the level of benefit fraud in his spending review speech and is now ignoring calls to correct his ‘error’, in breach of the ministerial code which Cameron endorsed so enthusiastically on becoming prime minister.  

At the moment opposition to the cuts is far from organised and is centred around child benefit and housing benefit, at least in the media and amongst politicians.  But the message seems to be:  begin to make your voice heard in any way you can and who knows what coalitions may grow amongst those who are the targets of these attacks.

If you know of any campaigns our members can take part in, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details.

Meanwhile, our moderators have done more than their fair share over recent weeks to help shocked claimants voice their fear and concern and even to organise opposition on our extraordinarily busy forums.  (We were hoping would be back by now to shoulder some of the burden, but the Disabled Living Foundation’s  promise to relaunch the benefits forum in October has proved to be yet another broken one).

So, in the hope of avoiding mass moderator burnout, we’ll be closing the forums each weekend from 6pm on Friday until 10am on Monday.  We’ll review this in a month’s time, but I do hope you understand why we need to give our mods – all of whom have long-term health conditions - a chance to recharge their batteries.

Even our good news from the forums is sometimes tinged with anger in this newsletter as our members discover that winning an appeal isn’t always the end of the fight or that they are being reassessed for ESA only weeks after a tribunal victory.  Though, at least for the member who won his ESA appeal but the DWP wouldn’t believe it, there was a happy ending.

ESA appeal won, but the DWP don’t believe it

Successful ESA review for support group

DLA high mobility and middle care

ESA appeal allowed but started work

IB renewed for two years

DLA high rate care and mobility

ESA appeal won, backdating not paid

IB tribunal win but still no money

IB renewed for three years

ESA work-related activity group

Good luck,

Steve Donnison



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