13 May 2008
From time to time we publish feedback from members who've let us know how their claims or appeals went.

Woman reading good news letter We always ask permission and we always change members names so they can't be identified.

Our first bit of good news comes from someone we'd already heard from before. This is what Josie originally told us:

"almost £2,000 had been credited!"
Hi Steve just had to write to say a HUGE thank you to you and your team for a great website.
I have been trying to claim DLA for my disability for over 4 years! All to no avail, but I found you by accident one day, paid my £16.50 and got in touch with my welfare officer once again, what a result!
I logged on to my bank account one day expecting there to be about £130 in there and found almost £2000 had been credited!
They paid me my back pay from May even before I had any written notification that I had finally been accepted, I had to wait another 3 days before I had it confirmed that finally I would be getting £88 per week.
The shock and overwhelming relief that I have is all thanks to you and my welfare officer who used your pages to help fill in my form.
Now at last I can live a better life without the constant worry of whether I have a roof over my head!
Give yourself a BIG HUG from me!!!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank youXXXX
Faithfully (with tears in my eyes!)
Josie xx

But that wasn't all the good news. We've heard again from Josie with the following:

"my income has gone from a measly £88 per week (for over 4 years) to over £270 per week."

Well more good news! thanks to your website and my welfare officers work with your info, I was awarded DLA, now I have just received ANOTHER cheque from my housing benefit, apparently they have not been paying me enough all this time, as I am now on DLA I am entitled to more H/B and have had backpay right back to Aug 2006!!! I have just received a cheque for over £1,300 and now only have to pay £33 per week rent!! It was £550 per month!

I feel like I've won the lottery.. my income has gone from a measly £88 per week (for over 4 years) to over £270 per week. just hope now that someone doesn't burst my bubble!!!!!

Thanks for all your info and help in the last few months and if anyone I know needs help with their benefit claim I know which direction I'll be pointing them in.... Yours !!!

"the lowest amount of DLA"
I filled in the application form just as you explained I should do and I have been awarded the lowest amount of DLA which is ok by me and it helps towards my living costs so a real big thank you I am writing this on my own behalf and you can print this on the site if you want as I am as genuine as they come
kind regards

"Its the best money that I have ever spent!"
Just a quick e mail to thank you for your brilliant information which is worth every penny. I have used it and have successfully got DLA today! Its the best money that I have ever spent!

"ME sufferer"
I thought I'd drop you a line thanking you for your service. My wife, an M.E. sufferer, has just been awarded the DLA she applied for and I have no doubt that the claim would not have been successful without the direction from Benefits and Work.

"middle rate care without appeal or medical"
This site is GREAT. I followed all your advice and my daughter got middle rate care without appeal or medical - I tell everyone about it. Keep up the great work.

"successful purely on the basis of my submission"
I had previously been turned down for a DLA/Mobility component claim but, with the information drawn from your materials about how best to present my case, I was advised this morning that I had been successful purely on the basis of my submission and the support of my GP. No medical boards or home visits.

I doubt whether I would have been so successful, so quickly without the information your organisation provides.

"I would have made a complete mess of the application"
I down loaded the DLA application form and looked at it in amazement, then I looked for help and found you. Having joined and studied your guide, filling in the form started to make sense. I am positive that without your help I would have made a complete mess of the application, you have to know what the question is trying to ask and what answer you should be writing in. It would appear that putting the first thing that comes into your head will result in failure but with your help giving the same answer but worded as they expect to see it results in success.

The result was my application was accepted and I was awarded the highest rate of mobility D.L.A. And the middle rate of personal care. Many thanks I could not have done it without you.

"I did not even have to attend a medical"

Your site is fantastic Steve, I am quite certain that without the information on it, I would not have been successful in my claim for IB (which is coming up for review shortly). I simply would not have thought it necessary to provide the level and detail of information that it turns out is required when claiming, but the information you supply was and is invaluable. I did not even have to attend a medical to be awarded IB and I am sure again that that is down to the level of information that I supplied on my questionnaire - which I would not have done had I not followed the advice on the website.
Many thanks!!

"awarded 22 points rather than the zero which was originally awarded"
I have just returned from my incapacity benefits tribunal and I am glad to say that on one part of my illness alone I have been awarded 22 points rather than the zero which was originally awarded for my total medical condition at the DWP medical. They also have to backdate my monies to 11th January.
Your site has been an invaluable tool in getting to this point and the blank forms for "Health Professionals Evidence" were filled in by my GP and held great weight.. Again many thanks for a wonderful website and as I go on with my life I will be volunteering for [details removed] and will be able to tell others in my position where to look for advice.

"your help and advice has helped to change my life"

I would like to say Thank you so much, your help and advice has helped to change my life. I could not believe it when the letter came from the DLA in January to say that I had been awarded full mobility rate and the lowest rate of care for a 3 year period. Never before have I been able to win a DLA award without going through a tribunal. Last time I was awarded the lowest rate of care and low rate of mobility for 4 years, because I was lucky enough to have a Welfare Rights Officer to go with me. But before that I was turned down for 2 years, even after a tribunal.

I fully expected to have no award at all this time, as I had been dropped by the consultants who were treating me, as soon as I was diagnosed as having Lyme disease. This is the disease that must not speak its name, and I think ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia are the symptoms or syndromes caused by the infection. But by following the procedures in your downloaded documents, and taking the time
to get documents together and also writing a diary, I was successful.

Because I can survive now on the DLA award, I should be able to afford to buy the antibiotics I need to stop the Lyme disease getting worse.

"I was told within a week I have the allowance indefinitely."

A big thank you to Benefits and Work. The information on the site gave me confidence when I had my PCA. Now they tell me the decision won't be reviewed again for 5 years.

I also applied for DLA and filled in the form as you advised and sent along a copy of the report written at the PCA. I was told within a week I have the allowance indefinitely. The decision was made on the strength of the PCA report and what I had written. No medical or interview was needed. Thank you so much.

"she received the highest rate of AA"
I must thank you for the excellent guide lines about applying for AA. I followed the advice exactly when applying on behalf of my elderly, disabled cousin. As a result, she received the highest rate of AA and already her life has been improved greatly. Her better financial situation has meant that she is able to maintain her independence by employing someone to do her cleaning etc. Being free of money worries has improved her self esteem and has made her far more optimistic about the future. The local council have given her a full grant to have a walk-in shower and stairlift fitted within the next few months. I feel that subscribing to your very informative website has enabled me to help her access a better quality of life. Many thanks indeed.

"ME/CFS . . . higher rate mobility and middle rate care for 3 YEARS"
I have ME/CFS. I was turned down for DLA. Then I discovered Benefits and Work around the same time I decided to appeal. It was no surprise that I was turned down. I didn't ask my doctor for a medical report! I gave one-line answers! I gave no examples! And i did no diary! It was such an appalling application (although I was of course very ill and could not even make it to the CAB) that it is not altogether surprising.

I went to Tribunal much better armed and was awarded HRM and MRC for 18 months. Very sympathetic tribunal apart from the doctor! Two weeks later I had a very hostile IB medical - which I am sure I would have failed if I had not been aware of the 'trick' questions. You can add another new one: "Do you read TV schedules?" I passed that too.

Phew, then its renewal time. I did the form properly. It took weeks. I became obsessed. I was nervous. I used the guides all over again. I would start amending it in the middle of the night if I woke
up. I asked my GP to update her sympathetic report. I felt like I was begging and desperate, but I had to.

Within 3 weeks I received (much to my surprise) a letter from them through the post. Part of me dreaded opening the letter. So soon, it must be another enquiry or perhaps DLA medical appointment.

BUT NO! It was an award of higher rate mobility and middle rate care for 3 YEARS!!! I was euphoric.

Thank you very much. It has been such a great help and I would not have managed it any other way.


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