Forum

Benefits claim

Hi Everyone
I wonder if anyone can help me. I have just been diagnosed with primary progressive MS. I have been on universal credit for about 18 months but due to Covid etc I have only just been diagnosed. Because I didn’t have a diagnosis DWP have insisted that I am fit for work. I have been through all the appeals to no avail . Now when I tell them I have been diagnosed they say that I should have changed my claim and I have already had my assessment. Please help I am really struggling.

The benefits system is very complex. Have you considered speaking to the MS Society Benefits Advice helpline?

Hello Ian, welcome to the forum.

It’s really not about a diagnosis. It’s about you and how your health is affected. Having a PPMS diagnosis (for which you have my sympathy), may not have affected your claim.

The decision maker might have given more weight to your symptoms given a label to hang them on. But actually they shouldn’t. Their rules are about activitie; whether a person can do X, or Y. Not whether they have a specific name to their illness.

You can understand it when you consider just how many illnesses there are. DWP staff aren’t doctors.

Sue

Hi
Thanks for your reply. I understand that they are not doctors but the Health Care ‘professional’ that undertook my appointment totally lied about what I said. Now I am having to go to appeal. My mobility has been really poor for the last year but now other problems have arisen. I have supporting evidence but they are saying that because I didn’t have these problems when I had the telephone call i cannot use them in my appeal. It really is getting on top of me at the minute.

Hi
Thanks for that is it a free phone number?

Another thing you could consider is joining https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ They charge about £20 per year for membership, but their members only guides are excellent. They include appeals tribunal submission writing for UC/ESA in their guides.

Sue

Hi, this is what can cause problems…DWP arent that interested in a diagnosis…although we know they should be…but how it affects you.
If you now have new symptoms/difficulties in carrying out any tasks, try submitting a new claim.
I got great help from SCOPE…they give free advice.
Boudsx

Hi
I don’t know about a new claim wouldn’t that mean that I had to go through all the waiting time etc? I am and have struggled walking just a few for about a year but now my tiredness is really kicking in and I am having massive problems with my emotions

Ah, the health care professional lying! Yes, been there, had that. I did win on appeal - took advice from CAB. The DWP has been described as the Disability Denial Service, with good reason. It is pot luck whether you get a decent human being or a vindictive sod who is wanting to get promotion by surpassing the claim rejection target. Those targets used to exist. I expect they still do.

I learnt about those targets from my GP - this was a few years ago. A GP friend of hers sat on the appeals board. When she asked him why so many of her patients who had been on ESA support were now being found fit for work when they had no hope in hell of being able to work, he told her that it was all about meeting targets. The percentage of claims that were to be rejected was set much higher for Sheffield than for the nearby leafy Derbyshire because there were more people in Sheffield on ESA than the national average, so it needed to be reduced! That Sheffield had been the centre of very dirty heavy industry for many years and was the cause of high levels of illness and disability was ignored. All they were interested in was reducing the figures.