Family gets good news26 November 2009

As usual, there’s not much good news when it comes to benefits.  So we thought it was time to share a selection of recent emails from members, which may cheer you up a little.  Names have been changed to protect confidentiality.  Do get in touch if you have good news to share.

Used your ESA advice to achieve a successful tribunal result
I thought you would like to know that I have used your ESA advice to achieve a successful tribunal result.

I suffer from an unusual form of asthma and the decision maker did not accept evidence from my hospital consultant who is rated among the top 20 in the world. I used your appeals advice to argue that I should be exempt from the points system on the grounds of Regulation 35 (2) (b) and that the decision maker was not the appropriate expert in my case. Despite my extreme pessimism about the outcome, the Tribunal had in fact already ruled in my favour before we arrived and simply handed their judgement to me after a few pleasantries.

I got full mobility and personal care! 

I have Hughes Syndrome and lupus-like symptoms.
Thank you so much for your fabulous site.  I kept thinking I would join when I first applied for DLA and didn’t.  I thought I would be ok doing it on my own. 
Anyway, I was turned down, I went to appeal and had the tribunal, which was a complete nightmare, they just treated me like a piece of dirt.  I did get accepted for low rate of one part because i have memory problems.
I then reapplied with help from the councils benefits officer and was turned down again. 
The 3rd time, I decided to join your site and sat for days, filling in the form online, changing things over the week as I thought of them and put on explanations you had given, which made things clear and concise. (I had typically rambled on the other forms)
Anyway! Upshot is, I got full mobility and personal care!  I could not believe it, and had to get my husband to check it for me.  I got back pay and it only took them 3 months to decide too. 

So many, many thanks for all your help, I truly cannot tell you how much it will help us as a family. 

ESA appeal which proved successful
This is to say thanks for your site and the support material available through subscription. Attended a Tribunal yesterday and represented my wife in her claim for ESA.

I must comment that your literature enabled me to prepare a reasoned appeal which proved successful.  This has taken 7 months to reach a satisfactory conclusion. This claim revolved around depression and the procedures established by the DWP I must say are somewhat diabolical. My wife was more or less forced to attend work focused groups, these even being prior to the initial medical assessment.

I am sure that without your guidance notes we would certainly have become bogged down in frustrating and obstructive procedures. I would strongly recommend you Benefits at Work web-site and thank you for your assistance.

I knew more than they did!

I just wanted to write and let you know how fantastic your site is. Subscribing to your site was the best money I have spent in years.
I was on the lowest rate DLA for the last 2 years and had my renewal turned down earlier this year.
With the help and guidance of your site I have now been awarded the highest rate of care and lower rate mobility on reconsideration. I am now helping my husband filling out his DLA application. I have also helped friends with their Incapacity Benefit appeals, all of which have been a success. Without your site I don't think we would have stood a chance.
Suffering from mental health problems can be extremely stressful, and getting clear, accurate, up to date, step by step advice has helped so much. I took my reconsideration documentation which I had put together using your site to the Citizens Advice Bureau so they could represent me in case my claim went to appeal, but they said I didn’t need their help, I knew more than they did!

Work-related group for another year!

I filled in an ESA50 about three weeks ago and was anxiously awaiting the Atos healthcare appointment. I passed the last Atos tests to go in the work-related group but the doctor had said I could return to work in three months. This is puzzling since I have arthritis which has spread further now, plus I was in accident last month.

I filled in the ESA50 again, meticulous, followed all rules of Benefits and Work publications, was very specific and yesterday got a DWP letter saying I have been placed in the work-related group for another year! With no Atos medical! What a relief, given the difficulty so many people are having in this awful system.

Many thanks, Benefits and Work!
Worldgirl (Benefits and Work forum member)

I have been awarded the Highest Rates of Mobility and Care Allowance

I recently joined your website and used your services to assist with my claim for Disability Living Allowance, which I submitted in mid August this year. This is to let you know that today, I received an award letter stating that from 4th August, I have been awarded the Highest Rates of Mobility and Care Allowance.

I did not even need to go through the "dreaded" medical process and this award has been granted for an "indefinite period".  So I am hoping that that means i have it for life.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the assistance i gained from your excellent website, which I have passed on to others.  I am just awaiting the outcome of my medical from the ESA department, but now I am a bit more hopeful of the result even though I am still prepared for a Tribunal just in case.

Once again gents, you have my heartfelt thanks for your services, I couldn’t have done it without you.

I don't have to face that form again for five whole years

A big thank you - without your excellent guide I don't think I'd have had the determination to keep filling in that horrible form (on behalf of my son who has drug resistant schizophrenia) yet again.
He had been awarded the lower rate mobility and middle rate care in the past - then suddenly a couple of years ago they decided, for no apparent reason, to cut it to just lower rate care and no mobility. It was a nightmare trying to get a written explanation of their reasons and reconsideration of the decision - they said they hadn't had our letter asking for an explanation and so we'd left it too late to appeal, and then they said they'd taken account of information from his CPN - who was adamant she hadn't been asked. In the end I just kept telephoning and sending reasoned, reasonable, determined letters - and masses of additional info, a diary of how many times in the day he got attention etc etc. Eventually we got the award reinstated for a further 2 years but it was such a battle!
So when the form arrived again this year my heart sank! But I stuck at it, following all your hints. It takes ages and is such a miserable, depressing experience, but it has to be done. I was bracing myself for more nonsense and Catch 22 correspondence - but they've awarded him mobility and middle rate care again - until 2014!!  The relief of knowing I don't have to face that form again for five whole years is immense.

Thank you *so* much. You and your site are my heroes!


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