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Benefit forms

Nuala WattNuala Watt Posts: 30Member Listener
Hi - I'm just in the middle of filling out Atos healthcare forms related to my benefits. I'm 27, in the middle of a PhD and moving out of my parents' house, with my parents' support. I have cp and a visual impairment, and moving out has meant that I'm suddenly on a lot of waiting lists and seeing a lot of professionals. Something rather odd has happened to me - the benefit forms make me want to cry. The DWP sent me a form asking for a date when I was going to recover - not really applicable. I feel a bit ridiculous as nothing about my disabilities has changed and I've been living with them for 27 years - I used to have quite an effective anti-stupid question firewall for when people asked me if I was dying or whether I could have sex, but recently it seems to have slipped. I'm not sure why I want to cry as most of the time I just think of my disability as a detail of my life along with the others. Complaining about it feels ridiculous - like suddenly announcing that the colour of the sky doesn't suit you. Is this a normal reaction to benefit forms? Any advice?

Replies

  • JDWilsonJDWilson Posts: 90Member
    It sounds pretty normal to me The forms are awful. I'm a parent of a child with CP and always encourage her to try and do her best we focus on the possitives rather than what she carnt do but in order to get the benefits you are entitiled to you need to say what you struggle with and be honest Don't put a brave face on and say I can do it yes you may beable to say walk up stairs BUT how long does it take you what do you need to use ie sticks crutches How much pain are you in afterwards and how tired it makes you. If you get up the stairs can you manage to do anything else or are you completely shattered from the effort of climbing the stairs? I know what you mean you get on with life and your disability is just something you manage every day. Fill the forms out as best you can then post it and try to forget about it. They are AWFUL. Good Luck xxx
  • pantherpanther Posts: 251Member Courageous
    Hi
    I've done the form you are talking about and it is a nightmare it is worse than any other benefit form I've had to fill in as it is pretty much all tick boxes with very little space for you to write anything.
    So not surprised you ended up in tears.
    Unfortunately the dwp seem hell bent on finding as many people fit for work as they can. Going through the process you no long feel like a person you're just a figure that makes up the high number of people not in work due to illness or disability and all they are intrested in is reducing those numbers.

    I did have a blog going on here I was asked to keep one of my journey of the change over from incapacity benefit to ESA but when I looked for it the other day to update it I couldn't find it. It' a pity if scope have removed it because it might of helped you realise you're not alone.

    On a pratical note look at getting some advice on filling out these forms either from the CAB or if you have one available to you a welfare benefits/rights team. I had my local welfare benefits team help me I was totally fazed by the form. Although at present I've ended up in the work related activity group, I took the decision to appeal and the appeal failed. So now I'm waiting for it to go to tribunal.
    They reached their decision without doing a medical on me they only used the form, then they ignored a lot of what was on the form and when i received all the paperwork through telling me it was going to tribunal, I discovered that dwp had lied in the paperwork saying I'd attended a medical and their decision was based on observations and clinical findings from so called medical. As I was never asked to attend one don't know who they saw but it wasn't me!!

    My advice to anyone doing these forms is get some help with filling it in, also see about extra supporting letters etc from gp or some other medical person that sees you.

    Good luck try and keep smiling

    Helen
  • Nuala WattNuala Watt Posts: 30Member Listener
    Thank you so much - it hat's really helpful. They are horrible, but at least I can send them away soon. Thank you for the help - it's really good just to talk to someone. xx
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