Monday, 27 November 2017

DWP & The so called System

It's fucked up, that's what it is!

Went for a medical for my ESA just over a month ago, the dreaded brown envelope of doom came last week...  its amazing what one brown envelope can do to your day - DWP, how on earth can I go from 18 points at the last appeal down to 6, when nothing has changed only got worse? - go figure


I posted the above on Facebook, everyone was supportive until one woman (who is no longer a friend) put....


Barbie Sue Why do you need esa? You dont look ill .why are you unable to work? You are aware PIP/ DLA/ ESA look at your pics n activity on fb ?


the conversation went on....


Vikki  What a loaded question and why are you demanding someone disclose a health or other condition to you in public! There are plenty of people living with all kinds of conditions and illnesses who 'don't look ill' and many people make great effort to hide what they live with. Not surprising really if they are faced with comments such as yours.

Paul  Barbie Sue  - That's not really any of your business
Gemma  Barbie Sue Edwards You're a rude woman And clearly a bit slow to not ever have heard about invisible illnesses?
Please do your research. I am livid that people like yourself think its okay to quiz people on such personal matters.
ME How am I suppose to look Barbie? like some freak of nature? yes I try to get out and do a few things, but sometimes I can't do much at all, I try, I get frustrated when I fail, I've already had to give up one bit of voluntary work that I loved due to my sleep pattern and not being able to commit to doing it, I refuse to be put down by your verbal abuse, but it is eating away a bit at me
Gemma  I am tamping!! 😠😠😠 Phil, you don't need to explain yourself to anyone.
What this lady posted is embarrassing to her OWN self.
Juliet  Barbie...who the hell are you to comment on my friends status...obviously you don’t know him..to judge someone on their fb pictures??! I am severely disabled but never talk about it on fb...it’s a place where you can share the times you’re ABLE to get out and do things...should we be posting pics of the days when we’re bed ridden? Phil does not need to explain himself to you...as his other friends have said...I hope you never have to deal with any invisible disabilities and the stress of receiving the correct benefits...Phil..like me would love to have our health and be able to work and live a consistently active life! 😡😡😡

So that was last week, a new day and a new week, Monday -


So a visit to the job center today, to drop off evidence and supporting documents for mandatory consideration. Some people have said 'claim JSA while waiting' but in doing that you have to be fit for work, which I am not, so signing on would be committing fraud (technically) so will ask for advice when I get there

The man I saw in there was very nice and understanding, even gave me a tissue!
On top of sorting this out, letter from council about Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit 😣, they are difficult to get hold of on phone, was thinking of popping to housing options, they are not in High Street any more, they are in the council offices now. Not up to going there and facing them today, so have emailed, and told them if they want information over and above what I have told them in the email to contact my support worker at Family Housing
The DWP and the medical assessors need shooting for putting people through situations like this, I feel the need for stronger antidepressants 😣
I'm now fed up - noticed Remploy is in Swansea at top of high street, wonder if I should enquire with them? just to cover all my bases? 🤔

More to follow on this one, sure is a struggle, all this stress isn't helping me at all


MONDAY 27/11/17 AFTERNOON UPDATE: Had phone call just before 4pm, they have received my reconsideration information, the decision maker should look at it and call me tomorrow


WEDNESDAY 29/11/17 EVENING UPDATE: Not heard anything today from DWP about my reconsideration, so much for 'will get a call', but have seen my support worker and he filled in form for Income Support for me, while this mess gets sorted out.

Had a dodgy moment earlier, when I went to get out of bed, lost my balance and hit my head on the wall - just as well the walls in this flat are plaster board! So much I want and need to get done but can't do it. All that getting me through the day is typing bits on my blog (helps get the stress out), deep heat cream, heat pads, my hot water bottle and my fleece blanket, oh almost forgot, I still need wheetabix!

FRIDAY 1/12/17 MORNING UPDATE: Been to the doctors today to see the nurse. My blood sugar and cholesterol is up, and my blood pressure as well. Found out a little bit about why I'm forgetting things, memory loss can be affected by diabetes.  I'm too young to be loosing my memory and forgetting things, simple things like remembering to get Wheetabix, or getting up from the sofa wanting to get something from another room in the flat and forgetting when I get there what I wanted, I am just hoping it improves. Forgetting things has already impacted on my health with my recent blood test result, its not a good feeling. Got double doctor appointment booked for the 20th December. Still nothing from the DWP, so the wait goes on


SATURDAY 2/12/17 AFTERNOON UPDATE: So I managed to get out of bed and dressed, made a cuppa, filled my hot water bottle, and that's as far as I have gotten with the day, not too happy about lack of motivation to do things, so many things to do, but between my back hurting, knees creaking, depression and I'm now forgetting things (possibly due to being diabetic), life kind of sucks at the moment, As for the DWP, well so much for the woman that phoned saying 'the decision maker will probably call tomorrow or day after'. 

I'm so fed up right now, feeling down and fed up, I'm sorry if you are reading this thinking 'my goodness Phil goes on a bit', well this blog is an outlet for my stress, thoughts and feelings, it helps to get it out of my system any way possible.

SUNDAY 3/12/17 EVENING UPDATE: Well sleep didn't arrive til this morning, I missed the quarry meet up (sorry guys)

I have no idea why I couldn't sleep, at 4am it was driving me nuts, I got out of bed and checked I had turned off things I normally turn off at the wall at night time, followed by checking the taps were not dripping and that all the burners on the cooker were off, no idea why, just did it, and then half hour later checked the fridge door and that the windows were all shut.
I'm going doo-lally-twp

MONDAY 4/12/17 LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: Still nothing from the DWP, and another night where sleep didn't turn up, I know I was still awake at 5am as heard the guy down stairs leave for work. Took a while to decide to get up when I woke, wanted to clean the flat a bit, but only accomplished a bit of washing up and a quick sweep of the kitchen before my back said 'ok enough' been in agony ever since! Fed up of some people already wishing me 'Merry Christmas', not going to be that merry if the DWP don't be quick and sort my benefit out, still waiting for appeal date for my PIP hearing, yes got that still to take place, by the 15th December this year according to their letter, but no date set yet!. Come on ESA decision maker and HM Tribunals service, I know my Housing Support Worker is right that I should get something for my mobility, but didn't think it would be this much hastle. Probably do another update to this fun blog post tomorrow.


TUESDAY 5/12/17 MORNING UPDATE: Yet another night where sleep didn't turn up til late, still no work from DWP or Tribunals, they really need to kick up a gear, or my Christmas will be 'In The Bleak Mid Winter'. Feeling really low today, felt low for the past few weeks, but today is worse than ever, just hate the feeling


TUESDAY 5/12/17 LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: Well I phoned the DWP to find out what's happening with my ESA, was told that only NOW the decision maker has got the information / support documentation, and may phone in the next few days to confirm things with me. This means the woman I spoke to that phoned last Monday afternoon LIED to me when she said the information was with a decision maker and I should here with in a few days. WHY do the workers at the DWP feel they have to lie to people, it don't help matters, it makes things worse. I also phoned the tribunals service to find out if a date has been set for my reassessment hearing, but they are still waiting on information from my GP, which is not their fault, so I don't blame them at all for the delay.


WEDNESDAY 6/12/17 MID AFTERNOON UPDATE:Well my reconsideration didn't over turn the decision. Off to appeal it goes. This added stress isn't helping matters

The PIP medical assessment papers I have, combined with other bits of information I have SHOULD have got me back on to my ESA (support group) but at the reconsideration stage it didn't.
If the DWP could send people out to spend a day with people to see what their day is like, see the struggles, the problems, then they may get a better picture of what people have to deal with 
 out to spend a day with people to see what their day is like, see the struggles, the problems, then they may get a better picture of what people have to deal with.
So sent off the form for the appeal process, and also contacted my MP again, had a call from her, she said more people get their ESA back at appeal than reconsideration.

FRIDAY 8/12/17 EARLY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Just got off the phone with DWP... I'm on the edge of a cliff with them at the moment, won't take much now to push me over the edge! Seems my paper work and a few extra pages sent in by my support worker is pushing my reconsideration back through the reconsideration stage. Ffs, I sent in the paper work to go for appeal a few days ago, Cant put in a claim for anything to live on now until they have done their bit again as my ESA claim is still active on their system and hasn't been shut down and can't be at this moment in time! I have to wait for a ring back within the next three hours (we all know what that means... its poets day today - Push Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday - they better bloomin' not, I need that call!)


FRIDAY 8/12/17 LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: Had the ring back, Asian woman on the phone, 'I have sent you out a letter, should get it tomorrow' - why keep me waiting for a call just to tell me that, no other information at all!

Phoned DWP back again - managed to speak to someone high up, "we still can't see whats going on with your claim" they did tell me though, that when the letter comes from decision maker it could be good news (a reason why my ESA claim is still active on system), but they can't tell me for sure!.
Either way, appeal papers gone in, I guess now its best to wait it out for the appeals to have received my papers and have lodge the appeal, get put on assessment rate, as I have found out the JSA can't be claimed in Swansea now, its Universal Credit all they way, and I don't want to get on to that any sooner than I need to.
Guess I wait and see what the post brings and go from there, maybe phone the tribunals service on Monday see if they received the paper work?
I need my pain killers, anti depressants and a stiff drink.... where's that can of gin and tonic?

 As I sit here with my hot water bottle in the middle of my back, hot milk, fleece blanket and heating on full, feeling frozen to the core, back hurting really REALLY bad and pins and needles in my right foot (which don't seem to want to let up) I'm wondering what to do... won't get in to see doctor, feeling like crap, is it a case of phone NHS Direct Wales (not paying to phone an 0845 number)


SATURDAY 9/12/17 MID EVENING UPDATE: I've accomplished nothing of importance today, was in bed until 6:15pm, what a waste of a day. I do have to clean and have a sort out, but can't bend to do that much. It sure is annoying. Things to do and can't do them, it agitates me so much. I'm fed up of the constant back ache, fed up of getting pins and needles in my right foot (my Dad says it is down to circulation) I just want to be able to work, hate being on benefits, but at this moment in time am unemployable, I know no company would take someone on who may or may not make it in for work on any given day. Still awaiting a letter from DWP, nothing came today.


SUNDAY 10/12/17 LATE EVENING UPDATE: Done nothing all day, had cereal when I finally got out of bed at 7pm, whole day wasted


TUESDAY 12/12/2017 MID AFTERNOON UPDATE: Still nothing from the DWP, still awaiting the 2nd reconsideration notice letter, WHY it went back to be reconsidered again is beyond me, unless they have enough to overturn the original reconsideration. Had another slow day, didn't get up until 3pm, back killing, freezing cold even with heating on. As we move towards Christmas and New Year I am worried. Still waiting fr hearing date for my PIP appeal as well... just to get a little mobility component added. 


WEDNESDAY 13/12/17 LUNCHTIMNE UPDATE: Phoned the tribunals service, very polite woman helped me. At long last some movement on appeals.

PIP has had the doctors information through (went to appeal with that as my support worker said I should do to get mobility component, but made it clear I didn't want to loose what I already have)
ESA have received my appeal request, got a reference number for it, but after sending the request, I did find out is had gone back for a re-reconsideration, told the appeals this and they said if its good and in my favor to phone and cancel appeal, if not at least its in with them, and I can set about getting my ESA back at assessment rate, which means I will also get my SDP back too.
Still awaiting for the post to turn up.

MONDAY 18/12/17 EARLY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Not been online much due to not really being up to it. Phoned doctors on Thursday about my back and feeling sick, was told to go see the nurse on Friday morning, Went there, peed in a bottle, she tested it, I got a water infection, was put on a course of tablets, no idea if they have worked, but still in agony with my back. Phoned DWP made some headway there, going back to doctors Wednesday for double appointment and then off to job center to take in doctors paper. Not feeling too good health wise, but at least feel like weight been taken off me about benefit.


THURSDAY 21/12/17 EVENING UPDATE:I'm not sure who to believe at the DWP any more My appeal for ESA has been accepted (following loosing it at reconsideration), I was told that it has gone back for a re-reconsideration (because of an extra bit of evidence - why it went back for another reconsideration I don't know) anyway was told it had and a letter was in the post, over last few days been told its not been looked at again yet! Then another thing, if I get on to assessment rate, do I or do I not get the severe disability premium, one person said yes, one said maybe and one said no (I'm getting PIP) No one is giving me any decent answers, seems everyone is contradicting everyone else in the DWP - but its not helping me one bit in the slightest, and its driving me mad, I can't seem to sleep at night worrying, so tend to fall asleep in the day. Last Friday I found out I had a water infection, put on medication for that, and now I got to have more blood tests to see why I'm forgetting things (no, I didn't know there was tests for that), need more x-rays on my back and also my knees, doctor is annoyed I have been forgetting to tell him about the problem there... with my memory I just kept forgetting!, plus I need an ultrasound scan


SATURDAY 20/1/18 AFTERNOON UPDATE: Not been updating this much, got dull just posting the same ol stuff. Movement at the start of the month, finally on Support Rate of ESA, had my Xrays last week, got Ultrasound on Monday. PIP appeal date set for 13th Feb, so movement there. Health still all over the place, no one day is the same, more bed days than I care to mention. Keep watching this post.


MONDAY 19/2/18 EVENING UPDATE: Had my PIP appeal, didn't win any mobility component, but kept my standard rate for living. Next appeal is my ESA one, seeking extra help for that. Just hope it is won,watch this space.


SATURDAY 10/3/18 EVENING UPDATE:Still waiting on my ESA appeal date, got a friend coming over this week to help me with it. Been fostering a dog last few weeks, it has helped me, but think I need a smaller, less energetic animal. It has lifted my mood a little, but just too much for me. The battle of life goes on.

TUESDAY 10/4/18 AFTERNOON UPDATE: Well my ESA appeal date is finally on its way, end of this month. A good friend of mine is going to help and come along with me, Ami (thank you hun, love you lots), she is also coming to the doctors with me and helping me with my paperwork.