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Christmas card image with greetings from Benefits and WorkWe’d like to wish all our visitors and members a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

And we’d like to thank you for your fantastic support over yet another year.

Astonishingly, 2017 will be our 15th year of running the Benefits and Work website.

We’ve seen a lot of other very worthwhile sites and organisations disappear over that time. We know we are very fortunate that our members continue to save us from the same fate.

We also consider ourselves very lucky to receive so many messages of thanks and to get so many good news stories from you.

As always, we don’t know what the coming year will bring. Many people are still waiting for their DLA to PIP assessments and there are changes on the way for ESA.

In addition, we have yet another new prime minister and another new secretary of state for work and pensions with another new set of bright ideas about how to ‘fix’ the welfare state and move sick and disabled claimants into work.

Who knows what misguided ‘reforms’ they will attempt to introduce, based not on evidence but on prejudice and misconceptions?

One thing we do know, however, is that we intend to still be here, providing you with the best information we possibly can, this time next year.

So, whatever happens, you don’t have to face the coming twelve months alone.

If you’d like to leave a Christmas message for our fantastic moderators, the rest of the team and your fellow Benefits and Work readers, please post a comment below.

You can also read comments from our facebook page here.

Comments  

#77 Jim Allison 2017-01-25 15:10
Quote:
Moving from DLA to PIP was a worrying time. my assessment with ATOS took 2hrs,The assessor was a nurse and seemed to understand my disabilities and had obviously read my medical criteria, it seemed as though he wanted to check all of the info I gave on the form and after assessed my ability to do things, like raise my arm above my head, ,get up and down from a chair, raise my legs. After which he apologised for keeping so long. 2 weeks later I received my enhanced rate of mobility and standard rate of care which I am pleased about so sending as much info you can lay your hands on with your form is beneficial. I think the application process is getting a lot easier -though I did move from the middle rate of DLA to the standard rated of care Well done benefits at work for giving me the wherewithal to complete the form
I'm hearing about this more and more each week. Perhaps nurses with their hands on training can do a better job than GP's. My GP thinks he can check my chest over the 'phone.

The NHS are planning test runs in certain areas using apps similar to Skype. Tribunals are planing the same, but the latter could speed up
Tribunals a lot, since at DLA or PIP Tribunals, the Medical Member is not allowed to examine you.

Former DLA/AA Tribunal Member for over 10 years
+1 #76 brian 2017-01-25 10:21
Moving from DLA to PIP was a worrying time. my assessment with ATOS took 2hrs,The assessor was a nurse and seemed to understand my disabilities and had obviously read my medical criteria, it seemed as though he wanted to check all of the info I gave on the form and after assessed my ability to do things, like raise my arm above my head, ,get up and down from a chair, raise my legs. After which he apologised for keeping so long. 2 weeks later I received my enhanced rate of mobility and standard rate of care which I am pleased about so sending as much info you can lay your hands on with your form is beneficial. I think the application process is getting a lot easier -though I did move from the middle rate of DLA to the standard rated of care Well done benefits at work for giving me the wherewithal to complete the form
+1 #75 tinytim 2017-01-06 14:36
Quoting peter:
hi I thought atos wasn't doing accessments anymore

Hi Jim i have had the dreaded brown envelope the week before christmas and says my indefinate award is about to end and will have to make a claim for pip and atos is doing the assessments in herts uk.
As you may know its a very stressful time as im disabled and live on my own the only visits i get is from my meals on wheels and my scheme manager phones to check on me.
I am getting help with filling in the pip forms when i get them.
#74 Jim Allison 2017-01-06 13:45
Quoting Jim Allison:
[quote name="peter"]hi I thought atos wasn't doing accessments anymore
They certainly are. An ATOS Nurse did my wife's assessment in November 2016. I sat in on the assessment as I'm a former WRO & DLA Tribunal Member and one the original moderators for B & W. The nurse asked my wife a lot of questions, but allowed me to prompt her at times.

A neighbour approached me a few weeks requesting help for me to sit in on her PIP assessment. At the time, I had just come out of hospital again so had to decline. However, when my neighbour got the date for F2F, I went along. Surprisingly, it was the same nurse. My neighbour on DLA LRM and LRC was awarded enhanced rate for mobility and standard rate for care.

I cannot stress to others moving from DLA to PIP or making a new PIP claim to read the member's only free guides and certainly use the self assessment for PIP
#73 Jim Allison 2017-01-05 19:58
Quoting peter:
hi I thought atos wasn't doing accessments anymore
They certainly are. An ATOS Nurse did my wife's assessment in November 2016. I sat in on the assessment as I'm a former WRO & DLA Tribunal Member and one the original moderators for B & W. The nurse asked my wife a lot of questions, but allowed me to prompt her at times.

The assessment lasted near :sad: ly two hours, but the nurse did allow my wife periodic rests. As I showed her out, I joked " I'm already preparing her appeal". The nurse replied" that won't be necessary. "I thought I've heard that many times over before.

Just over 3 weeks later the brown envelope landed in our mail box. My wife who has been on state pension since she was 60 years of age, and previously had DLA HRM & MRC indefinitely. Much to my surprise she received PIP at the enhanced rate for both mobility & care

This the fastest DLA to PIP claim I've ever come across.

Good luck all those claiming PIP for the first time or moving from DLA to PIP.
+1 #72 peter 2017-01-05 11:08
hi I thought atos wasn't doing accessments anymore
#71 Jim Allison 2016-12-25 11:31
Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year to all Moderators and members.

Jim & Pat
+1 #70 Elizabeth Davies 2016-12-23 17:21
Thanks and blessings to all who work in the interests of disabled people. Like many, I am facing the added stress and misery of waiting for a decision on my PIP application. It is a great comfort that Benefits & Work are here to guide and support us in an ever moving minefield of regulations. May 2017 bring us a fairer, kinder world.
+1 #69 sharon 2016-12-23 17:07
happy Christmas to all the moderators and everyone else on the site, also wishing everyone all the very best for 2017. I would like to thank all the moderators for all there hard work work,support,he lp and advise over the the years.
+1 #68 Jul 2016-12-23 12:26
Thank you so much to Everyone at Benefits and Work, especially the knowledgeable and ever-patient Moderators. Without your support, and the warm support of other members, I would have been totally isolated throughout this bleak, bleak year. I so hope everyone receives their entitlements quickly and without stress, and enjoy a peaceful Christmas and New Year. Thank you so much for everything Everyone!
+1 #67 Sammie69 2016-12-23 09:59
Happy Christmas to each and every one of you. I hope you all realise just what you do in informing and encouraging and supporting us when we feel that all hope is gone.
Thanks to you all I managed to navigate through the PIP system and got it.
I am currently being reassessed for ESA but feel more confident after following the guidelines on this site.
Here's to a Happy New Year and please keep up the brilliant job you do.
+1 #66 roger55 2016-12-22 22:44
A large thank you to everyone involved with Benefits and Work, it is with hope that we look to all the people involved with Benefits and Work at a time when I was certainly fearful, there is a lot more I could say but I will keep it short and say A happy Christmas and a good New Year to all.
+1 #65 naheegan 2016-12-22 20:44
Much gratitude to you all -B&W staff and mods, members and their families, for a lot of helpful information, support to me and other members, and encouragement to get through many challenges. Thanks for newsletters, well-written and helpful Guides, and the *amazing* forum, B&W, you guys are stars...
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and a healthy, peaceful year ahead for 2017.
+1 #64 walker 2016-12-22 20:34
Wishing you all a peaceful and well rested Christmas
with my thanks for all the information on this site, and for the support and reassurance of the forum moderators

it is so good to feel heard and understood

thank you so very much
+1 #63 Ivor 2016-12-22 19:23
Merry Christmas and a blessed new year :-)
+1 #62 ruby2009comer 2016-12-22 16:50
Hi to you all. Although I have never requested your help as yet I feel secure in knowing that Benefits and Work are there. I would like to wish you all an amazing Christmas and an even better New Year. You are all amazing people taking time out to help everyone who needs it. So take care enjoy the festive season and I would like to say THANK YOU for all you do. See you next year peeps.
+1 #61 blue 2016-12-22 13:11
wishng you al at b & w all the very best for xmas & 2017. all you moderators do a brilliant job for us all, even though you have your own disabilities to contend with. i for one appreciate all your efforts in to helping each & every one of us. have a good one, the other members too.
+1 #60 poohbea1 2016-12-22 12:12
Christmas greetings to you all. Just saying thank you never seems enough for all that you do. Both my husband and I are in receipt of ESA and PIP and you have been our life savers. We really do not know how we would have coped without you all. Like everyone else who uses your valuable knowledge and expertise, we would have stumbled at the first hurdle in answering so many questions. Have a wonderful Christmas and hope 2017 is all that you wish for.
+1 #59 Peaklass 2016-12-22 11:57
A Happy Christmas to everyone, especially to those who are in a state of uncertainty about benefits. A Happy Christmas to the team and to the moderators. You make a great difference. We rely on you for accurate i up-to date information and for wise advice guides.
+1 #58 Peaklass 2016-12-22 11:55
Morag Ann Meddle - I love your satirical version of Kind Wenceslas.

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