So, I have my reply from the DWP, tucked into one of their notorious dung-brown envelopes.
I applied for a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’, after their initial decision to massively decrease my lifetime Disability Living Allowance.
In a nutshell, according to them, I am a liar.
They even (and this kills me more than anything), use the word, ‘perceive’, as in, ‘You said you can’t do such and such, due to perceived pain and poor balance … yet …’
First off, I would love to know how perceived pain and poor balance feels (as opposed to the very real pain I feel, and have medication for), and secondly, how exactly is MS pain measured? Or indeed, balance?
Secondly, the decision of this mandatory assessor appears to be weighted heavily in favour of the so-called assessor who came to see me face to face in my house, and then proceeded to ignore me (but it’s ok, she was an A&E nurse and knows loads about MS).
It’s fascinating, how much she derived about living with MS, considering she was looking at her computer and checking her watch the whole time (she told us we were the ‘last of five or so and she was tired’).
What I experience is very real. No-one is on 600mg of Pregabalin a day (the limit) for nerve pain, if they don’t have nerve pain. And at my last three appointments with my neurologist, I have mentioned it doesn’t even touch the sides.
And as for balance? I have very well-documented balance issues, hence the name of my blog, which was created seven whole years ago, ‘Stumbling In Flats.’ The clue is in the name.
One of my first symptoms even before being diagnosed? Balance. Foot drop. Walking funny.
A large part of their letter concerned my work: I’m engaged, I walk, I converse. Yes, I do. But not always. There is a reason I work for my friend. There is a reason I was sacked from my last job.
It’s called Disability Discrimination and is heavily legislated, but it won’t stop firms, such as my previous employer, from sacking me the minute I had MS symptoms.
It would appear the DWP would prefer me to disengage entirely from society, merely to prove a point.
But which point/indicator on their scale would this qualify for?
NUL – Are You Dead Yet?
Horrendous for you. I’m sure on appeal (I know that is going to be an ordeal in itself) you will get everything you have asked for. I live in Belgium and we don’t have the DWP. With all the BREXIT stuff I’d applied for Belgian nationality and was told if I was registered disabled they wouldn’t turn me down. My appt with doctor came about 4 months after Belgium had accepted me. My husband earns too muck for me to get any money but the rest of the things I’m entitled to are very useful (and helpful). When I left the UK I wasn’t needing help but now I need it. I have a friend who lost her motability car , which had been specially adapted for her. She lost her independence in one fell swoop. She won eventually on appeal but it was about 8 months of worry. She found out who her friends were.
I think they’ve taken over 75,000 cars so far. Unbelievable.
I’m so glad you’ve got Belgian nationality now! I tried and failed to find an Irish granny in my background and sadly came up with nothing, lol. Can’t quite believe how quickly the Brexit deadline is rolling around. X
This infuriates me!! The system is so wrong and they don’t even try to understand MS!! The ‘health professionals’ that do the assessments aren’t even qualified to know about living with a chronic illness! Fight this, they can’t treat you like that! I’m currently waiting for my decision and I’m so nervous because of all the bad I’ve heard. I’ve had to appeal in the past, it’s just made so unfair for us with MS and chronic illnesses.
It’s grossly unfair and shouldn’t be happening in a so-called civilised society, that’s for sure.
I’ve heard of people (not those with MS!) knowing how to ‘play’ the system. I’ve never wanted to know how to do this, just have a fair and accurate assessment.
Good luck with your decision and I really hope it goes well for you. X
I go for my interview tomorrow yes tomorrow sat at 1 so my husband could go with me .
Wish me luck I feel sick why are we made to feel like frauds.
Wishing you all the luck in the world!
Lots of deep breaths and don’t be pressurised into answering quickly. Take your time! X
Lost for words.
Somehow perceived problems are measurable and can then be used to assess your disability. DWP are very precise in how disability can be measured but here it just seems to be a random process.
DWP have just received my PIP application form for benefits, now I must now wait for the assessment and then judgement will be delivered.
I don’t understand their perception scale!
Good luck with your assessment and I hope it’s stress-free and successful! X
Your story is sadly very familiar to me. I had been awarded DLA but lost my PIP by two points . The assessor commented that I did not appear tired and was dressed well!!!! I had my tribunal last week. I had 300 pages of evidence and put my incontinence pants on the table to as a visual aid to see what I was wearing! I was questioned for an hour and a half. I won!!! I am however waiting for the DWP to reply. It’s been two weeks!! It’s humiliating and disgusting . Don’t let them get away with it. You can do it!!!! The CAB were a brilliant help to me. Good luck!! Go for it! Xxxxx
That’s brilliant news!! I’m over the moon for you, but what a terrible experience to go through.
I too was told I was well dressed (in my usual at-home badly-fitting pyjamas) and appeared confident and relaxed. Luckily I had a witness there who can also refute a lot of the ‘observations’ in my report and the downright lies that have been told.
Anyway, I hope the DWP reply soon and you can get on with your life without all this hanging over you! X