I won!

I had my tribunal on Wednesday. I won. They will backdate the money they erroneously stole off me.

The joy was short lived. Chris got an ESA50 form on Friday. He is now panicking that the same thing is going to happen to him. I have explained that he has a lot of evidence and it’s a continuation of an existing benefit, not being transferred to a new one. Obviously I am worried but I don’t think that’s going to help so I’m keeping that under my hat.

In other news, he actually apologised for his behaviour in the supermarket car park. He remembered my tribunal was on Wednesday and sent me a message the night before. I’m really impressed he managed to do that.

I won!

Paranoia

It seems we are both suffering a bit from paranoia.

He’s worrying about his migration to PIP, because mine has been fairly unpleasant. His DLA award doesn’t run out until mid 2017 so he’s starting nice and early. I’ve tried to be calm and point out that we will know more about the process once I’ve been through it. There is nothing to say his experience will be worse either. We don’t have the same issues. Being rational is futile. Sadly, rational is my natural position concerning other people. Obviously it doesn’t apply to me.

I’m suffering too because of the seemingly never ending women. I’m usually better equipped to handle it but, due to my enhanced, PIP related, issues, I’m not coping well at all. He can’t (or won’t) support me, which is really hard to take. Every withheld number on my mobile makes me jumpy. If I fulfill their unknown arbitrary stipulations then will they give me back the pittance I’ve been living on for seven years? I’ve been told I should be grateful for getting an award and that I shouldn’t appeal. Why not? It’s wrong. They are literally torturing me.

I ask you, how do the criminal fraudsters do it? Being genuine is enough to push you over the edge but knowing you’re lying? That’s some balls.

Paranoia

DLA to PIP transfer

I was expecting a bumpy ride when my DLA award came to an end in December this year. I wasn’t expecting it to happen early. Luckily I was expecting to be fucked over and I have been.

I have been on DLA and Income Support for seven years, after suffering a catastrophic breakdown. I’ve had many interactions with the NHS and private practice in that time but I am still severely unwell. I have a host of mental health conditions which include PTSD and chronic insomnia. However, I knew having piles of letters from that entire time wouldn’t be good enough for an Atos assessor who met me for 35 minutes.

I got a letter in July telling me I was being transferred to PIP. I filled in the form and waited, knowing I’d be called for a WCA meeting. The first letter I got told me to go to London. I rang and said that was impossible and they “found” me an appointment in my home town. Dutifully I went, with my mother, and saw a very smiley woman. However nice she was, I still expected to be stabbed in the back. It’s a horrible feeling knowing someone is two faced but having to speak to them anyway.

I got my award letter yesterday. I scored 9 points for care and 4 points for mobility. I was on high rate care and low rate mobility for DLA and these points just give me standard rate care and no mobility. That means my award is about £50 a week less. It’s affected my Income Support by £16 a week. Also the rate at which mortgage interest payments were calculated has gone down. All added together, I am down about £350 a month. I’ve had more panic attacks in two days than the whole of last month and the suicidal thoughts are back.

I am grateful that I at least scored some points. Many people in my situation score nothing at all. I will appeal. To do so, I will have to get a copy of my report, which is something I really can’t face. I can’t bear to see what the assessor wrote about me. I don’t like thinking that someone has lied about me. My integrity is something the DWP have never taken from me and that’s something that will never change. I can’t bear that it’s been questioned like this.

DLA to PIP transfer

Me

I mention in my bio that I suffer from my own mental health problems. Today I had an Atos assessment for PIP.

I got a PIP letter through in July. My DLA award was due to run out in December so I was sort of expecting it but perhaps not quite as soon as it came. I filled in the subsequent form that arrived and got a letter on Saturday informing me that my assessment was to be in London. Living on the south coast, as I do, I thought this was ridiculous. There are centres where I live so why send me to London? It’s basically inaccessible for me. I rang them, terrified, on Monday. The woman on the phone said they were within their rights to send me anywhere within 60 miles! After her “looking” for me, she “found” an appointment in my home town today, just two days later.

So I went today. I took my mum. Chris is shit at this type of stuff and Mum remains calm, which I needed. The woman seemed ok. Asked me loads of questions and appeared to be trying to categorise me, even coaching me with replies a bit. I was there for about 35 minutes I guess. I didn’t cry. She didn’t ask me why I hadn’t yet killed myself. My mum spoke for me a few times. The most bizarre thing was asking me to remember three words. I have memory problems but asking me to repeat them and then recall them a minute later has nothing much to do with memory.

Obviously she could have been nice and smiley to me and will write a horrendous report later. I don’t know. I mean, how do you know? How can you tell? I’ve been fairly lucky up until this point. I haven’t had to appeal and I haven’t been to a tribunal but I know many people who have. I have a friend with a terminal brain tumour that was declared fit for work and he had just lost his driving licence as he was having 10-15 fits every day. I have another friend who pretty much can’t walk due to strokes and seizures. He was declared fit to work only in May. Both appealed and both won.

What will be my fate? I guess I will find out in 6-8 weeks when the brown envelope of doom arrives. It’s enough to send a girl mad, if I wasn’t already.

Me