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DWP lies - tribunal

MouseMouse Posts: 7Member Listener
In fact I am writing this on behalf of my partner

She is a female of 45 diagnosed with epilepsy (since 2016 by NHS by Basle University hospital 2008 and NHS lost the facts) working as a shop assistant standing during the whole employment time as it is a "living store" none food.

She broke her foot with a Lisfranc fracture per 2nd May 2017 due to a seizure during the night at 1/2 am the local hospital diagnosed the situation with a sprain. Over the next 10 days the foot swelled to "Mrs Elephant Foot" to which I dragged her back to A&E Minor Injuries. Here per luck we found a nurse who had dealt with Lisfrance before and within 10minutes she was in a pot penciled in for emergency appointments.

The surgeon found that she had torn off all her tendons, smashed two toe bones, dislocated 2 further bones and other nice interesting bits and pieces. During the time for May 2016 she was strictly informed not to walk on the leg for 12 weeks and then another 9 weeks non load bearing with crutches. To be reviewed per beginning of November 2016 for another operation (there will be in total approx. 5 operations necessary).

During this time DWP sent her the usual forms which demanded completion with illnesses and fitness; these were all completed without lying stating she had epilepsy bulged back disc and the worst the Lisfranc fracture for which she was claiming ESA as her employer does not pay sick pay for staff members under 30 hours.

Per 21st Nov 2016 she was asked to come to an assessment by the DWP which I attended as "neutral" viewer as I had heard a bit about the HCP's conducting these assessments.

Long story cut short the HCP claims in his report to have had her on the examination bed, that she was able to raise her legs twisted her ankles etc etc that she had not shown any medical evidence nor brought her medication. That after the interview lasting 40 minutes she could walk out without difficulties.

Sadly I am very incorrect as being a British born citizen I grew up in a country which Civil Servants are servants to the state and the people vote with their feet on everything from regional to national.

I timed the examination for 19 minutes (the HCP states two times 30 min's and 40 min's) all medical evidence from the hospital (according to the Social Service Act this is a defined evidence) and the surgeon where at hand and offered. The tablets ranging from Codeine to others were in the boxes on the table and the HCP was offered the copied x rays on her mobile phone. In addition I specifically asked for his professional status the reply was qualified Mental Health Nurse - the report was signed as Mobility Healthcare specialist.

The DWP immediately cancelled her ESA payments despite that per 21st November she still had nine stitches in her foot from the operation dated 1st November 2017.

I informed the DWP that the HCP had made a false statement and that the examination as described had never happened. Further that for her epilepsy she had scored 0 points - She has in minimum 2 / 3 nasty seizures per month and many mini's lasting 30seconds to 2 minutes. This was evidenced in a letter from Leeds General / Epilepsy Center.

The statement of DWP was she should resign her job and go on to Job Seekers - however her GP refuses to give her a Fit Note for work as she is planned to have additional operations in 2018

DWP does not care about false reports nor that the tax payer has to pay for such. I have logged an appeal with the Tribunal and at the same time I have logged a written complaint with the Serious Fraud Office against the party making the assessment and as co party to the fraud the DWP. It seems that the DWP does not like such steps as it exposes they untrained staff members and that they do not read the existing laws and regulations covering medical notes from professionals and hospitals.

In the mean time the hospital treating her for the Lisfranc fracture the head surgeon has given her back dated from November 2017 until further notice a Sick Note in which it state "she can work however after 10-15 minutes walk she requires a rest time of 4 hours before attempting to walk or sit for another 10-15 minutes. Usually Lisfranc fractures require between 1 1/2 years to 3 years to heal and for athletes this is an immediate care ending injury.

DWP do not accept reports from medical accredited parties even if the laws state something else and if this is pointed out they cut the call and refuse to speak to parties.Also please note that it is not illegal to record a call if used only for private purposes DWP has also got this item incorrect.

Anyway my partner now awaits per tribunal hearing some times in the future and I shall update

 

Replies

  • Lasian_ScopeLasian_Scope Posts: 660Member Chatterbox
    Hello @Mouse, welcome to the community!

    I've moved this over to our Employment issues, finances and ESA group so that our members can provide more tips and support. 

    I am sorry your partner has had a tough time, I know it can be really hard having to focus on these processes when we want to be focusing on our health.
  • MouseMouse Posts: 7Member Listener
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 4,279Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    Hello Mouse and welcome

    The DWP Case Managers do not have medical knowledge and therefore rely on the HCP reports to make a decision

    .Have you looked at the B&W WCA self test ?
    This might give you some idea where your partner should score points

     http://www.mybenefitsandwork.co.uk/med2/indexxx.php

    Have you also considered whether a PIP award might be applicable ?

    Again B&W have a self test

    http://www.mybenefitsandwork.co.uk/pip/indexxx.php

    CR




    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • MouseMouse Posts: 7Member Listener
    checked the WBA forms the HCP had used a paste and copy from a patient before hand as it was showing points awarded in other areas not scoring for my partner. The issue is that the HCP's are not medically trained and no party is controlling their assessments to the thruthfullness of their assessments. The DWP does not cross reference the assessments vs medical reports and accept the assessment without fail.
    I have read both the WBA handbook and the Social Service act in fullest and it is pointed out in the Social Service Act that a professional medical report has to be considered in an ESA; however the DWP dismiss such from professionals (hospitals/surgeons and others) and base their findings on HCP reports.
    To fulfil the necessary average of 9 "customers" a day most HCP are cutting corners and are not completing correct assessments according to medical guide lines laid out in the WBA handbook. When the assessment centers are confronted with this they refer immediately to their legal department
  • Brian12345Brian12345 Posts: 2Member Listener
    I look after a young man with mental health issues.  He went for a medical the nurse was not mentally health trained and sent a report saying he was fit for work. In the report she lied all the way saying he was not anxious dispite the fact he ripped his arm to bits in the interview. She said he talked to her normally if saying no and yes is normal conversation then yes . I tried to appeal for him but they rejected that. 
  • MouseMouse Posts: 7Member Listener
    I agree with yourself and belive the only way and manner to stop this whole farce with HCP's is to start a "Class Action" legal claim vs. the Department of Work and Pension. With such an action in whcih several parties (claimees) are combinding their findings vs. such HCP's the laws would have to be followed through with the result that it would be in hands of a Court to decide what an assessment is.
    My partner has also tinnitus and in the HCP report he states "she could hear me very well when I called out her name in the waiting area". Sadly when we are in a public area with loud noises she wears ear plugs to lessen the effect of tinnutis "screaming".

    It was I who promoted her to react to the call out - so again the HCP is lying to fulfil his/her daily assessment quota.

    I understand that the system before hand was not perfect however it was a medically trained party (GP) who had access to the NHS records who did the assessment. Now it is a "qualified party" who deals with the assessment, it does not stipulate the qualifciations except in the area of general health.

    So illnesses which are not common, such as mental illnesses, and many more are not being accepted by unqualified HCP's; further they are under pressure to fail parties to enable the quota set by their employers.

    I am not politically correct as I grew up in a democratic country where the citizen still has the power to remove the government by a vote, the same goes for local authorities. However in Britain the only way to change such situations is a Court action vs. the state / state department.

    I am gathering from local people statements of how their assessments have worked out, and then the findings of the Tribunals (usually the tribunal rules in the favour of the claiming party). The more I gather the more together with my solicitors can make a case vs. the system in place that under existing laws the assessments are not being handled correctly.

    Labour who introduced this system stated that it would save the government approx. £150 million a year, however as 90% of all assessments end in a tribunal hearing it costs th state more in loss of time, funds (the courts are booked out and not able to be used for other matters), contracts have to be made which costs millions for the outsoucing of the assessments etc.

    Based on the records I am attempting to collect together with the hard facts of the time and money wastage it shoould be suffient to gain access to a Court hearing which will be able to rule for or against the DWP and this way of assessment.

  • MouseMouse Posts: 7Member Listener
    Just a hosrt update
    Per 18th Jan I received two letters - one from the Center for Assessment which confirms that the assessment made by the HCP was not according to the guidelines given in the WBA and there were grave medical questions.
    Then the Correspondence Office of the DWP answered on behalf of Mr Gauke stating that there was no issue with the assessment and that their decision stands.

    Per today 22nd Jan the next steps were that my partner has received her ESA reinstated and a back payment has been made. Further the DWP will not dispute the situation in front of the Tribunal but still have to go ahead as we raised the Tribunal case.

    All this in summary is

    If there is a doubt to the assessment - for example the HCP is not qualified, does not make the necessary notes, refuses to review medical notes brought to the assessment and does not reflect in the pointing the disablities presented - Then raise complaints at the Center at DWP and then provide the Tribunal Services with a detailed in depth complaint form

    In depth - provide medcial evidence that an illness is serious (The internet and special research forums help); then break down the assessment into the points you stated and the HCP wrote, then give all evidence from GP's and hospitals and ask the medical professional to give in depth a letter/note what the illness is.

    Most medical professionals will give a detailed report if the prblem about DWP / ESA is given to the point that it covers the time of recovery, medical procedures necessary and their professional point of view in this case "She can not walk / stand more then 20 minutes without a recovery time of 4 hours"

    The DWP can not deal with such information as 90% of their staff members are not qualified to deal with detailed complaints and serious doubts. The attempt to move blame to others by the DWP must not be accepted and an immediate reply should be demanded - Do not accept time delays of 20 Working Days as the time required is maximum 5 Working Days.

    Again I point out - All benefits are part of the tax system --> The tax system is based on the citizen and the citizen is the power base of each and every democratic country.

    Most people forget that we are the power to enable changes

  • tommtomm Posts: 157Member Chatterbox
    The costs for tribunal hearings and MR's is quite low, hence why the DWP don't seem to be bothered  (this surprised me too) there is plenty of  Governments own stats on the internet
    This for their MR tick box/rubber stamping excercise   https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/402400/response/978248/attach/html/2/FOI 1740 response.pdf.html

  • MouseMouse Posts: 7Member Listener
    The costs per hearing are £2'371.34 this is not having a recall or home visits. Home visits for a tribunal hearing add depending in which area between £340-800 to the above costs.

    The costs are the payment of the sitting parties, administration, paperwork, payment to outsourcing companies for presentation of documents and the costs of DWP themselves as it requires in minimum 2 DWP per hearing.

    The costs structure can be found on government figures and latest are from 2017 Feb. the updates will be this year end of Feb,
  • tommtomm Posts: 157Member Chatterbox
    Not sure where you are getting those figures from but here is a more realistic breakdown
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3698-why-the-dwp-is-happy-to-lose-so-many-cut-price-pip-and-esa-appeals
  • MisscleoMisscleo Posts: 473Member Chatterbox
    Mouse i would lke to join you in your "CLASS ACTION." legal claim.
    The whole system is set up against disabled people and they know we are too ill to fight by ourselves 
  • MouseMouse Posts: 7Member Listener
    fine with us - we are looking into an internet website to force the government to remove the step of HCP's back to medically trained professionals (GP's) inbedded with hospitals and local health care centers.
    If this works the more parties signing the internet request will force the government to move and cancel the outsourcing agreement with Maximus. We have written to Guy Fawkes who in the past has exposed both parts of politics and they are looking into what can be done
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,152Member Chatterbox
    edited January 2018
    @Mouse Can i say how much I applaud what you are doing. I am still fighting my complaint against my assessor especially for a false Professional Registration Number she put on a document she filled in after I had signed it when handing over further medical evidence at my assessment which she didn't even look at. She also lied about me opening a plastic bottle of water holding it between my knees by peeling off the label round the middle. That never happened and no-one will accept this. Lots of other lies were told about me. I went to great lengths to find out if my assessor was a qualified Paramedic as she said she was. But no-one will answer the question. My complaint is against ATOS and is now with ICE the Independent Complaints Examiner. They have a long waiting list and will not be investigating my complaint till later this year. Don't forget to include ATOS or Independent Assessment Services as they are now called. They are as bad if not worse than Maximus. I also went to ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) who regulate the Data Protection Act but they rejected my case for investigation. This is a law which says all information taken, kept and used by companies must be correct and has to be changed or deleted if it is found to be false. ICO should have at least investigated it. Please if I can do anything to help you let me know. I took my case further than most people are willing or able to go. Can you give us more information about the Fraud Squad? Have they accepted your case? What are they prepared to do? I am elderly and like a lot of people haven't got the energy to fight any more than I already have but I have a review coming up in 2 years and want things to change before then.
          You have said a lot about evidence but some people can't for various reasons get the evidence they need especially the elderly as GPs and hospitals can't treat all the disabilities you get as you get older. My GP won't send me for tests unless it's life threatening or there's treatment or a cure. There has to be room in the ESA and PIP process for believing what claimants tell the assessor and DWP. We are not liars they are in the minority and yet we're ALL treated as if we are making up our illnesses. Better stop there. Good luck and we're behind you all the way..   
  • OutOfTheWorld99OutOfTheWorld99 Posts: 18Member Whisperer
    I'd also like to help in any class action being brought against DWP;as sick and tired of reading through many tribunal cases of them losing on the most logical grounds and many  cases being brought before a tribunal/court wasting taxpayers money.And ultimately causing untold stress on claimants.Its a total sham that we have a government who sees itself  fit for purpose in allowing people without any medical academic qualifications to professionally access patients.This should be done in a clinical setting by qualified GPs who are skilled enough to make the correct judgements.Not in some hell hole back room office with people looking like drs /nurses imo.
  • OutOfTheWorld99OutOfTheWorld99 Posts: 18Member Whisperer
    Hi Mouse, i see not many people have made comments on your post and are amazed at this.I note its been a year since you last posted on this can you give me an update as to your plans if any?
  • worried33worried33 Posts: 77Member Whisperer
    I agree the only way to stop this behaviour is some kind of "class action" style case.  Perhaps similar to what was been carried out to get the ESA backdated payment from before 2014.  The charities only seem concerned with the most severely ill however.  

    I am glad to read that you are contacting the Serious Fraud Officer, I have never heard of anyone doing something like this before and I would love for you to post updates on how that goes.

    To give some examples from myself.

    On a DLA home assessment I had a HCP claim there was 3 steps at my front door and I was able to walk 200m, yet she didnt witness me walk more than about 4 metres.  All I had to do was take a picture of my front door, draw a map of my property scaled with measurements and the tribunal dismissed the DWP's case.

    In addition a big reason I have my ESA assessments recorded is I am supposed to be treated as not having a wheelchair because I have medical reasons for not using one and my property isnt suitable, HCP's are not supposed to pretend you have one if you have good reason to not have one, every single WCA I have had, I have been given 0 points mobility on the basis of been able to use an invisible wheelchair.  But on all these assessments I vocally provide the reasons so its on the recording, and the DM's keep overruling the HCP's.  Although on my last assessment the HCP did recommend me for LCWRA but for a different reason.  She still wrote a story of fiction regarding my mobility.

    I highly recommend requested any face two face to be audio recorded.  Interesting Maximus dont seem so keen to do these as ATOS were, I had a 9 month delay when my request was accepted, and then when I turned up even tho I rang up the day before to confirm it would be recorded there was no equipment there.  They wanted to cancel the appointment but I convinced them to do it that afternoon, the equipment was apparently only across the road.

    Anything mobility related the whole assessment process is very dodgy, they are definitely not keen on giving out points for mobility.  Mobility is also the area targeted on both ESA and DLA/PIP cuts.

    I highly recommend reading up on the descriptors, its an eye opener how severe conditions have to be to get points, even a low amount of points.  As an example you have to be almost paralysed to even get 6 points on lifting and carrying.

    A lot of first time claimants get caught out by the system, as its designed to fail people, if you turn up for an assessment playing down your condition's (because pride makes you do so), if you say oh yeah I can make a cup of tea fine, those sort of comments can very quickly lead to assumptions that you dont meet any descriptors.  This is important for your appeal as well, as the tribunal still has to honour the legislation, you need to convince them you meet enough descriptors to meet the qualifying criteria.

    Good luck
  • BenistmonkBenistmonk Posts: 165Member Talkative
    It's a good idea but class action lawsuits are not allowed in the UK, which is a pity as I think it is a great way of exposing wrongdoing by people who control our lives. 

    All we can do in the UK is start a petition and if it gets enough signatures, then hope the crooks in Whitehall take notice. The other option we have is to organise a protest march. Then there is the small group or individual approach to attract media attention, you can chain yourself to the railings outside parliament or climb a high building and threaten to jump off, that will guarantee you enough points for ESA.

    Last but not least, industrial sabotage protest. Superglue all door locks on DWP buildings, spray paint the outside of Jobcentres and assessment centres with your complaint. A friend of mine did that to a DSS office and got arrested, so don't do it in broad daylight in full view of DWP staff. ;) 
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