Today – 31/08/2011 Facebook chat: Following again another post on facebook
Today’s News: E K
“Just phoned tribunal services!! Well due to the back long my tribunal hearing for DLA is not likely to be until Christmas time.. My area they are still hearing cases from October last year my tribunal request was put in in February. This is beyond a joke.”
“Adam Luton Wda – but the thing is your benefits stop the minute they make the decision…. ”
I contacted Adam Luton Wda and active disabled person and spokesman for Disability. Adam is a lovely guy I met on a few of the demos this year. Outside of Atos offices in London and later in the Great Hall meeting our “wonderful” MPs after The Hardest Hit March. Adam works hard at WORKPLACE DISABILITY ADJUSTMENTS and is part of the Disabled People Against Cuts
Hi Adam. See you speaking about the loss of benefits and any finance and how long it takes. I have included this in my feedback as to the financial affects of the decisions and the little statements and experiences. But do you have the overall figures on this and a few examples I can put in as stories of how long people do without and how it affects HB council tax, children etc…..respondents give me the examples
of losing money and length of appeals but the timing is not always clear. Can you give me the facts and stats on this?
My story is one you can use….as we know this whole process was already in place before the ConDems came onto the scene. My DLA was due for renewal on Jan2010, this meant that I should have received a review notice from DLA in June 2009 – this did not happen, so they supposedly sent the review paperwork in October 2009 after I contacted them. The review paperwork did not arrive by December 2009 and then I was judged to have lost my ongoing claim in Jan2010, all through the failure in their administrative procedures. It is my opinion that this is a deliberate ploy as if this happens, then the claimant is treated as a new claim and the DWP do not have to take into consideration any previous evidence or acknowledge that the claimant had an existing award. Under the new claiming rules, it is much harder to qualify, even though you already have an existing claim that they will not acknowledge. As DLA is a GATEWAY Benefit, once you lose it, all the other GATEWAY Benefits are lost immediately as well, there is no grace period, it just stops automatically, that means if you have any direct debits or standing orders or cheques going through, they will not be processed as they will fail and you will end up with bank charges.
The Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefits immediately stop and you are asked to pay full rates immediately and as you have lost the gateway benefit, other payments like heating allowances and local authority services stop immediately as you no longer qualify….Motability will reclaim their accessible vehicle if you have one through them, and if you have purchased a vehicle using motability and there is still time left to run on the payments, they are immediately due from the individual.
Adam – The appeals process for me was very haphazard as DLA did not know what they were doing as I still had my Motability Car under contract from them and they could not accept a new DLA Claim from me because of that. In May 2010, ATOS rang me one evening to tell me that an assessor was coming to my home the following day, but they could not give me an appointment time…I was not allowed to change it as I would lose benefits and it would stand against me as I was warned…the assessor was with me for 15 minutes and left telling me that I had told DWP that I could barely walk and that I used a wheelchair and that it was evident that I did not have one in the house and that my toilet was upstairs….I lost all my middle-rate care and high-rate mobility that I had been getting for 6 years. My home is not adapted for my wheelchair and the local authority will not adapt it as they have no money….another catch 22….
AA -It is a nightmare. No wonder no one can understand it never mind any one on the outside.
Adam: the review by the DLA took some 2 hrs as I was constantly calling the DLA, to find out the progress of my claim and finally had a very difficult conversation with the adjudicator who stated that he had only just received my file that day and he made a decision to reject my claim within 2 hours, even though my DLA Claim Form had over 100 pages of supporting evidence and statements from GP, Specialist & Private Treatment Centres…
My claim went to Appeal and in Feb 2011, I was called into ATOS Assessment Centre in Wimbledon and told that I was disabled and was put into the ESA Support Group. My appeal was heard in June 2011 and even with the most recent ATOS Assessment, I was denied my DLA…
All this has meant that I now only get ESA Contributions Based and not Income Based, which means I cannot get any support for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit…so all I now get is my ESA & Industrial Injured Disablement Benefit that they are also trying to take away from me even though this is a lifelong award….
I hope that helps
AA: Thank you.. Much appreciated. I am sure you echo the experiences of many others.
Most respondents in the After Atos Assessment said about the immediate stopping and impact on their money and taking it down or removing it all together to the point that basic living essentials and being able to support having a home, themselves and any dependent children is impossible. They then after months of dealing with the disability and struggling meeting basics and dealing with losing everything and going into debt and having to find alternative means of support for children have to go through a long drawn out and monstrous appeals and tribunal service.
The only thing is to stop this unacceptable and inappropriate procedure of assessing disabilities that are already clearly identified and documented as to their pain, incapababilities and difficulties. The whole procedure is a waste of time and money. It is causing harm and hurt and even distress to the point of death and many end their lives in misery rather than the support and comfort that they are due. And it is costing the public purse even more because of all the administration, staffing, documentation and appeals and re-appeals. All this money and resources could be being used in help and relieving disabled and their families, not harming them and putting them into destitution. The whole approach to disabilities is wrong. After Atos asks, again and calls upon the Government to again stop the Atos assessments and the Migration to WCA programme and put a simple programme in that recognises the disability and knows what is needed and what input is needed instead of treating every case as a new phenomenon and every person having to beg for the least penny or their lease resource.
After Atos asks that we return to humanity – and reason.