Appealing against having Incapacity Benefit stopped

Postby The_Ferret_Lives » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:26 pm

Hi all

I've been off work with depression since March 2007 and signed onto incapacity benefit in October. I went to a medical through the jobcentre last week, which was very quick and not exactly thorough.

Now I've received a letter saying I only scored 8 out of the 10 I needed to remain getting Incapacity Benefit so it is being ceased. I'm infuriated at this because I have been seeing a psychiatrist, my doctor and have had two medicals from an independent Occupational Health Doctor - who declared I was suffering from severe depression. But this guy at the jobcentre decides I am capable to work, based on a few vague questions.

I only missed the target by 2 points. If I said I drank alcohol before midday I would have got the 10 no problem. I also remember saying I sat for hours sometimes doing nothing but on the copy of the answers I was supposed to give it is marked as a no. I don't see these answers having anything to do with being capable of work, nevermind my job in particular.

Now I am going to appeal but have been told this could take anything between 1 to 3 months. Has anyone else gone through this? How easy is it to win your appeal?

I don't believe that they think they can base a benefit on this kind of cursory test. Don't they realise that people with depression can have "up" days as well as "down" days and sometimes can cover up how bad they feel - not to mention self denial and self deprecation bordering on self harm. And now they expect me to appeal and deal with that like there's nothing wrong with me.

Anxiously awaiting,

Ferret
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#1

Postby amandaj » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:51 pm

i get incapacity but ive never had to appeal have you been for the medical examinations they send you on before ?
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#2

Postby Yellowcoaching » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:11 pm

Go to the appeal and get the backing of your Doctor and Pyschiatrist. You are highly likely to win on appeal as your circumstances haven't changed just some jumped up little man from the job centre has filled in a form. If you met the criteria in the first instance unless your condition has changed this is a set back but it will be put right on appeal. Go through all the stages not just the first one, as they may write back and say no at first you may have to say you want to take it to a tribunal... it doesn't take as long as they state I think that's the maximum time

You can get crisis loans in the meantime (not much but it may tide you over) when you win your appeal your money will be back dated less the loans so you'll not be out of pocket in the long term

Best of luck
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#3

Postby Frances Wilkins » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:20 pm

Having been on incapacity benefit since 2004, I had my first medical on friday, which created high anxiety for me. I spoke to a couple of friends who had it before and they reassured me that the questions are very fair and thorough. I only lasted 10 mins though, before the doctor exempted me, so I can't comment fully on the questioning, but it seemed to be sensible. I guess I would say that though. But what a 'stressful' experience. Why can't they get the necessary info from gp's instead of putting us through that?
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#4

Postby orfordholly » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:37 pm

I did go for incapacity benefit but told i could not get that so i went for income support but before i got income support i was on income support with my hubby he went 2 medical and his scored was not good so he had 2 go on JSA but was not getting much for both use and at the same time he got JSA i got ill with depression and aixiety i have never had 2 appeal about income support because my hubby uesd 2 get for both use and if im my hubby as not had 2 appeal so i hope u get your money back soon hun



keep your chin up


xxxxx
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#5

Postby leiah » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:13 pm

Hi, just joined as I too am having problems with Incapacity , my Doc signed me off with depression, osteo arthritis, back pain and Menieres disease. This was totally ignored by Incapacity and in Nov I had to go for an Independant capability assessment. I got the results last Thurs, none of the answers bore any resemblance to what I told the assessor. So I Appealed, my appeal letter has been 'lost', I now have no money coming in at all, my Housing benefit has been stopped and I now have to send in another Appeal letter. I have been ringing every day for four days and just get the run around.I just can't get my head round the fact that these people who don't know me at all, have the right to completely ignore my Doctors certificate, thereby calling my Doctor a liar and ignore what I said and the outcome of my physical exam, so calling me a liar as well.I was initially terrified at the exam and the assessor had clearly made his mind up about me within a few minutes, I could tell by his attitude he just was not listening to anything I said. So I will have to try to get to an Appeal if it is granted, but I have been told to take someone in authority with me for support, any ideas who I could ask? Also has anyone else been to an Oral Appeal? :cry:
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#6

Postby CatFlap » Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:11 am

A common theme seems to be that the answers given at these medical assessments bear little or no relation to the report prepared by the assessor. I had a similar experience, with at least 4 of the answers I gave being incorrectly recorded.

I am sure these shared experiences, of highly qualified medical assessors making so many innacurate statements, are in no way connected or part of a broader scheme to force people off benefits....no honestly, I'm sure. (They should invent a cynical smiley)

Having appealed this first decision I am now awaiting an appeal hearing before a Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

If you are under the care of a psychiatrist then I understand that MIND (National Association for Mental Health) will provide an advocate to represent you at the appeal tribunal.

If not, there are many welfare rights organisations and some solicitors who will act as advocates at any oral hearing. The Community Legal Services (clsdirect org uk) website has a 'Find a legal Adviser near you' section where you can find free, independent and confidential advice.

I would urge anyone in this situation to appeal and to exhaust all avenues in the appeal process and to have a representative at any such appeal.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed having to deal with the this situation whilst also trying to deal with whatever illness you are suffering from.

One wonders if the whole process is designed to make people give up and accept these innacurate assessments. Surely not?

Don't give up, keep fighting
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#7

Postby sleepyman » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:58 am

hi there sorry to hear you got turned down,the same thing happened me last december,i have now been off work for 2 years this month with severe depression, got sent for a board december 06 ,got 6 out of 10 on test they even took points of me because i mustered up the energy to bath and drive my car over didn,t take into consideration the fact that sometimes i couldn,t find the energy to bath and that i drove my car once a week reading your letter has brought the anger back up in me it made me feel they had made a liar out of me i have worked since i was 12 i,m 39 now the last 2 years is the first ive been out of work and as i,m sure you know if i could i,d be away to work today at the time i was going to do this and that i even wrote a 4 page letter to tell them their treatment of people with depression was disgusting, but luckily i was advised by a friend not to send letter as it would go against me so i bit my lip got aletter of my gp and took a rep from citizens advice with me to the appeal they asked me two questions asked me to leave the room called me back in 1 minute later and told me i had passed they then looked at the rep from dhss as much as to say what did you bring this man in here for? . i know its hard when they take the only income of you that you have but ride the storm and hopefully you will get reimbersed. in my opinion the format they use for people with depression is a joke speaking as a recovering alcoholic of 9 years when i got that letter to say what points i had got i could of taken a drink or threw a rope up they don,t seem to realise they or dealing with peoples lives so try and keep your chin up and hopefully it will work out for the best i know that doesn,t sound like much at the minute ps one month after passing that board they sent me the letter you get before they board you and i just put this on it and i haven,t heard from them since.
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#8

Postby beela1978 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:25 am

hi there my husband gets incapacity benefit he started last year and in june was sent for a medical! exactly as you say my hubby came out of there saying the woman didnt really ask anything about his mental health more can he bath himself get dressed etc! anyway then we got a letter sying he had scored 8 and was no longer eleigable for IB and we could appeal some of the quiestions my husband had answered also but they put no, anyway when you appeal they tell you that you can either claim JSA in which case your saying your fit for work or you can get Income support at a 20% reduced rate while you are waing for appeal, this was june 07 our appeal came nov 27th nearly 6 months on 20% less per week at the tribunal we spent 5 mins in the room and they said they didnt know why he was stopped as clearly he has problems they re scored us 11 and it took about 3 weeks for the repayments to come to us and now he is on long term IB so definatelty appeal they are twats at the jobcentre good luck!!!!
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#9

Postby leiah » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:48 am

Hi,
I had exactly the same problem, I have osteo arthritis down one side making it very painful to walk,Menieres syndrome which gives horrible vertigo with no warning, and depression. I was told by JSA last year they would not pay me any more because they considered I was unfit for work. So I had to go onto Incap, which meant 6 weeks of no money and a total cockup with Housing Ben, then in Nov I was told I had to have a Med Exam, I went, told the guy everything, failed to do the acrobatics they wanted, gave them all my Med details and letter from Doc, in Jan I received a letter telling me I only scored 4 points,the copy of my exam details bore no resemblance to what I had said at all. I am also appealing, my Appeal was registered Feb and I'm still waiting, I am told in this current climate with Brown wanting to stop Incap completely my appeal stands no chance, I am now on a reduced Incap of just £47 a week.Best of luck, let me know how you get on. I think it's criminal we should be put through this torture, we are being called liars as are our Doctors, I am nervous of going to the appeal as I find going out and meeting people terrifying. :x
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#10

Postby emma lou » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:02 pm

Hi I'm new to this site &looking for help and advice as, I'm confused about the whole situation!!

Basically, I have been in IB for a few years because I have depression&anxiety.
I didn't attend a medical,I written and explained why, and they said they would re arrange app, and they did.I lived in a flat and shared post box, where mail was sometimes taken,and I did not get the next app, they rang me and I explained this.
Then the next time I moved home, I did inform them of this but they sent an app to the old address.Which I did not know about untill I rang up afer not get any benefit for a few weeks.They said it was because I didnt go to a medical,and also havent attended other made for me, I explained why!!
I sent an appeal which I'm still waiting to hear about now!!!
It has been 4months since last income!!
During them months I see my GP regulary and I have medical certificates still running till MARCH 09.

After speaking to job center advisors I got told to apply for crisis loans, but they never told me the time it could take for this to be resloved.So realistically can I keep getting Crisis loans from Oct08-Feb 09?? I had help from family so I didnt try for this loan.

After waiting more weeks I rang up&they said apply for Employment&support, when I explaind this to my GP he said he feels I'm not ready to go back to work, and give me another medical certificate for 8wks.So I rang them again, and got told to try for Icome support, i did this, when I rang to see if claim had been dealt with, they said it was in Limbo&they can't pay untill IB center has made a decision or passed on!!(,I'm not too sure WHAT THEY MENT, AND THEY WERNT HELPFUL EXPLAING IT TOO ME???) So they said apply for C loan again or go on JS ,but my medical certificates say I must refraine from this,this certificate lasts till March09 I got this yesterday.

I went to CAB and they rang up for me, and was told it has been passed over now,to the independent tribunals.I will recieve a letter and they will too?? I'm really confused.Does this mean the appeal I written to them was declined(as I havent had a letter saying this) so I'm appealing again and thats why I have to attend a tribunal?

I have a few questions-

What is this tribunal, and why do I ahve to go to it?

Can a memeber of CAB come to this tribunal and help and speak alongside me? If not can anyone tell me what help I can get as I don't want to go alone and have no family/friends who will come.

Is there any additional information which could help me win this?Could I ask my GP for help, if so what do I ask for to help support me.

Do I have to make a new claim for IS,untill the tribunal is over,Even though I made it this month & now it has been (passed over) which is what they where waiting for.(to here back from IB (centre) before paying IS too me?

I'm really stuck & confused.
I'm scared because,what if I can't attend or if I do attend and I'm having a good day ,I dont want to be made out to be a liar.I mostly have bad days, but somtimes I have good ones too.
As most of you's know depression is hard to deal with as it is, and I'm having to try and sort this all out,Its killing me, I have no energy.

Any help and advice will be really appreciated.

Thank you emma lou





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#11

Postby emma lou » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:37 pm

Also whilst not having any income coming in at all since 31oct 08 and still waiting I don't know what do do about paying Rent and council tax?

I have moved in with my sister who gets a reduced rent, we went to the council and explained I'm mioving in, and they wanted proof of what money/benefits I was recieving, I was on IB then , before it got stopped in Oct.
They said I would also have to pay £7.40 rent pw & £14 Pm, and my sister still has to carryon paying what she always has done.

But where do I stand on paying this as I really I haven't been on benefits since Oct 08 and still not on any till all is sorted out?

My sister has covered alot of this for the lats few months, but now I've been told it will still take a few more weeks, and I have no money!!

I phoned housing B and they said that theres nothing that can be done because I'm not the main tennant?

I phoned the council my sister rents from and she didnr have a clue, I asked for help on what to do about my rent and CTAX, and explained I have no money coming in and she said just pay it when you can??

Can I get help with sorting this out untillmy benefits get sorted at all.

Thankyou
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#12

Postby ZhanZhuang1945 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:39 pm

The_Ferret_Lives wrote:Hi all

I've been off work with depression since March 2007 and signed onto incapacity benefit in October. I went to a medical through the jobcentre last week, which was very quick and not exactly thorough.

Now I've received a letter saying I only scored 8 out of the 10 I needed to remain getting Incapacity Benefit so it is being ceased. I'm infuriated at this because I have been seeing a psychiatrist, my doctor and have had two medicals from an independent Occupational Health Doctor - who declared I was suffering from severe depression. But this guy at the jobcentre decides I am capable to work, based on a few vague questions.

I only missed the target by 2 points. If I said I drank alcohol before midday I would have got the 10 no problem. I also remember saying I sat for hours sometimes doing nothing but on the copy of the answers I was supposed to give it is marked as a no. I don't see these answers having anything to do with being capable of work, nevermind my job in particular.

Now I am going to appeal but have been told this could take anything between 1 to 3 months. Has anyone else gone through this? How easy is it to win your appeal?

I don't believe that they think they can base a benefit on this kind of cursory test. Don't they realise that people with depression can have "up" days as well as "down" days and sometimes can cover up how bad they feel - not to mention self denial and self deprecation bordering on self harm. And now they expect me to appeal and deal with that like there's nothing wrong with me.

Anxiously awaiting,

Ferret


Hi Ferret

I researched this subject in great detail before claiming Incapacity Benefit for my wife. It is I'm afraid all in the way you fill in the form. These forms are not assessed by medical practitioners but civil service types!! You have to spell out your condition and the way it affects you in great detailed and explicit language.
For example. You never have good days. You have' bad days' and 'not so bad days'. Never good days! See the difference? You must explain in detailed terms how this illness affects your life. Generalisations don't work. If for example getting out of bed in the morning is a problem - explain in a lot of detail how and why. Your feelings. Your physical difficulties. The time it takes. Your fears. Bad things that have happened to you on some occasions. If it takes more room that the answer box accommodates add the rest of the information on a separate piece of paper. I used the equivalent of two box spaces to explain how and why it takes my wife so long to simply get out of a chair. I didn't just say 'She has difficulty getting out of a chair! NO DETAIL.
The problem is that honest people who are genuinely ill display ' The British Stiff Upper Lip' i.e. they play down their illness based on too man not so bad days instead of writing from the viewpoint of the very bad days. If you do this you are giving the assessors a licence to write you off. The frauds know the system and never do that.

If need be get someone to help you as it is mentally sapping to fill in one of these forms. Thats why I did my wifes one for her as a result of what she told me.
I hope this helps.
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#13

Postby emma lou » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:13 pm

Hi, has anyone got any helpful info and advice on these tribunals?
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#14

Postby sweetsaphie » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:32 am

The_Ferret_Lives wrote:Hi all

I've been off work with depression since March 2007 and signed onto incapacity benefit in October. I went to a medical through the jobcentre last week, which was very quick and not exactly thorough.

Now I've received a letter saying I only scored 8 out of the 10 I needed to remain getting Incapacity Benefit so it is being ceased. I'm infuriated at this because I have been seeing a psychiatrist, my doctor and have had two medicals from an independent Occupational Health Doctor - who declared I was suffering from severe depression. But this guy at the jobcentre decides I am capable to work, based on a few vague questions.

I only missed the target by 2 points. If I said I drank alcohol before midday I would have got the 10 no problem. I also remember saying I sat for hours sometimes doing nothing but on the copy of the answers I was supposed to give it is marked as a no. I don't see these answers having anything to do with being capable of work, nevermind my job in particular.

Now I am going to appeal but have been told this could take anything between 1 to 3 months. Has anyone else gone through this? How easy is it to win your appeal?

I don't believe that they think they can base a benefit on this kind of cursory test. Don't they realise that people with depression can have "up" days as well as "down" days and sometimes can cover up how bad they feel - not to mention self denial and self deprecation bordering on self harm. And now they expect me to appeal and deal with that like there's nothing wrong with me.

Anxiously awaiting,

Ferret



i was on incapacity benefit a few years ago and was sent to see a doctor who asked all sorts of stupid things like could i climb stairs could i pick things up can i dress myself wash, comb my hair do i eat , all silly things i could do all of these but didnt want to as my depression was so bad i didnt want to get out of the bed, anyway they stopped the benefit , so i appealed i didn,t turn up at the meeting this was after months of waiting for the appeal to be heard ,but my husband went on my behalf, and we won and i got a nice lump sum back so go for the appeal i,ll cross my fingers for you
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