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  • FIRST POST
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 16th Jun 17, 1:23 PM
    • 1,320Posts
    • 3,360Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    Work capability assessment, I scored 0 points.
    • #1
    • 16th Jun 17, 1:23 PM
    Work capability assessment, I scored 0 points. 16th Jun 17 at 1:23 PM
    Had a phone call today from them saying my ESA stops from now as I scored 0 points.

    They asked if anything had changed, I went through the problems I'm having and they said they had that all written down.

    To be honest, I didn't think I would score the needed 15 points after two replacement knees last year, but to score 0? Makes me wonder how others are scored.

    I have arthritis in both my lower and upper back.

    My lower back means I cant walk more than 50 - 100 yrds or stand for more than 3 to 5 mins without being in crippling pain.

    My upper back causes me to have approx 2 - 3 days every week or two where I have severe neck pain/headache, the headache over the entire back of my head.

    When I had my assessment I had a broken elbow due to one of my new knees giving way, as I explained on the phone this morning, my knee surgeon said that was impossible and it must be back related, trapping a nerve.

    My knee replacements were done to elevate pain, not help fix mobility, I've had problems with them since I was 15. The surgeon said that I shouldn't expect to be able to do many things others do after knee replacements.

    I cant bend them more than 90 degrees which makes kneeling/squatting out of the question.

    I suffered from severe CFS/ME for many years and while thankfully that was cured after an operation (that I wanted them to do in the 90s but they refused saying budgets/age etc) a few years ago, but the one thing I haven't recovered from is short term memory problems. it was a lot worse when I had CFS, and it comes and goes at the moment, but when it happens, it's bad.

    It's not the sort of thing that happens to us all as we get older, such as going upstairs and wondering what we came up there for, the example my wife always uses is I had to have a tablet at 7pm. I asked my wife if she could get it for me and she responded "you asked me 5 mins ago, and you've just taken it" and I have zero recollection of that happening.

    That happens fairly regularly. I play an online game, it's become a standing joke that the group of people I play with have to explain something to me 3 days in a row as i cant remember what they said the previous day etc.

    I suffer from severe nausea, have anti sickness tablets every single day and more often than not, they don't work, and when i feel really really sick, it's not very pleasant. Sitting in certain positions really aggravates this, such as sitting with my body twisted to the right (sitting in a chair, talking to someone sitting on my right)

    I also suffer from migraines, get then few hrs at a time (used to get them for days at a time, but since on medication, a lot better)

    With the pain in my back, and my knees (pain in my knees most noticeable lying on my side in bed), I'm constantly waking up every 1 - 2 hrs, hence constantly tired in the day.

    Ever since I had CFS/ME I cant handle the slightest bit of stress. I used to work in a high stress job, but anything that causes me stress now, makes me come over really tired and exhausted.

    And I score zero points with all that?

    So, I've been getting the whopping benefit of £107 a week, and am on a DMP that we are struggling to pay, but managing.

    And now after one phone call, that goes down to £73.10 meaning we are £156 worse off a month until I find a job.

    So. all I have to do is find an employer that's happy to employ me, a 53 year old who due to severe health issues in the past, hasn't worked since 1999.

    I cant stand for more than a couple of mins, I cant do any job requiring me to kneel, squat, climb stairs/ladders. Cant do anything where I'm lifting anything unless its from table height to table height.

    That rules out cleaning jobs, takeaway jobs, 99.99% of shop work, warehouse jobs etc.

    Often I will feel extremely sick and need a break, often I will have such a bad headache that I cant concentrate at all.

    and I often wont remember what they tell me to do

    This should be fun, along with my current complaint about one of my debts thats with the Ombudsman, this isn't going to add any more stress to me or my wife (who is working 6 days a week to keep us above disaster).

    The joys of being ill.

    Now I have an appointment with the job centre next week. This is going to be fun.

    I've been looking every few days since my last knee replacement for any job I could do part time, so far in my area, I have seen zero

    We currently are paying £186 a month to clear our debts on the DMP, not sure those 10 companies would be happy with that reducing to £30 until I manage to find some sort of job I can do.

    Note, I am more than happy to work, I do look for jobs all the time, but due to my various problems, I am simply incapable of actually doing them
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 16-06-2017 at 1:28 PM.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
Page 6
    • Blueday
    • By Blueday 11th Feb 18, 3:13 AM
    • 698 Posts
    • 1,966 Thanks
    Blueday
    Got the letter today, appeal refused.

    I could tell at the hearing as could my wife, the questions they asked, the way they were worded, the way I was talked over and shut up, it felt like they had decided before I entered the room.

    Really really cant be bothered with this anymore, they've won, they've worn me down.

    I will simply write to all my creditors telling them its tough luck, £1 a month for the next 7 years until mortgage is paid off, take me to court if you like, I have no money.

    All the time being signed off sick by my GP
    Originally posted by Iwanttobefree
    Sorry to hear this IWTBF.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 11th Feb 18, 9:40 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    To be honest, if you want to know how I honesty feel, a huge part of me wishes that when I go to bed tonight, I never ever wake up.

    But of course that would mean my wife and kids are left to pick up the pieces and I would never deliberately do that.

    I feel even more stressed right now.

    I wrote a post on the employment section asking them if I needed to tell an employer if I'm signed off long term sick.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5791997

    I kept my initial post short, but I was obviously asked for further info.

    Here's part of what I wrote in post 10 of that thread.

    The very long thread is here (and I appologise for the circular rants, but I suffer from severe depression and cant handle the slightest bit of stress, stress instantly exhausts me, and I wasn't thinking at all straight in the a lot of those posts)
    Most of the replies have been helpful. But there's always a few.

    One was

    As a part time wheelchair user myself can you explain how sitting in a wheelchair for a few hours a day is any worse than sitting on a chair typing long posts on here, as for putting your health backwards, how exactly has it gone forward in the last 18 years?

    You have been off work for 18 years according to your posts, have been in receipt of benefits for 18 years, your benefits have now stopped so I am afraid if you do not want to send your wife to an early grave as you have said then you need to work, simple.

    If your wife has been working so many hours for 18 years, and paying the mortgage for the last 18 years as well as looking after the home, I would imagine she is exhausted, you have said you cannot do many tasks in the home so it would appear she bears the brunt of it all, yet she still says you cannot work, as do many other people you said, never mind what other people say, be positive for goodness sake and get a job.

    I fractured my spine many years ago, I live on Morphine/Tramadol and they only take the edge off the pain but I deal with it, maybe you need to be a hell of a lot more positive.

    I have read your many posts on differing threads, many did not agree with your posts, going round in circles and constantly telling us how many many people say you cannot work, I guess if someone tells you that long enough you believe it.
    I found that to be very judgmental, and being as !!!!ed off as I currently am at the moment, on the verge of breaking point, I simply cant take posts like thqat when all I'm, doing is asking for help., not judgement.

    and the followup reply to that post was just as bad

    Unfortunately for him, the authorities don't agree with his family and friends as he has failed to convince them that he is not capable of any type of work at all.
    The whole point of me posting in there was asking for help to get some sort of job, at the same time being honest about what I can and cant do (in fact I didn't mention most of my problems)

    If people are going to behave like that, then I simply am going to withdraw from this forum as well as most real world contact.

    I hope those people feel proud of themselves.

    I never ever swear when I'm typing but I'm really having to control myself from writing in big huge letters "why don't you all just go away and leave me alone" but in a lot worse a way.

    I was feeling a little calmer, but after reading that one persons response, I have a knot in my stomach.

    Ah well, tomorrows another day.

    Thanks for all your help and advice.

    Leaving forum now, I simply cant take this

    Bye
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • mycleverbunnies
    • By mycleverbunnies 12th Feb 18, 12:15 AM
    • 43 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    mycleverbunnies
    Please ignore the recent horrible(pointless) replies you had to your employment question. I struggle to comprehend why some people just seem to want to kick you when you're down.
    I have had me/cfs for 11 years and collapsed in 2016 after continuing to work full time.My ill health is entirely related to it.
    I don't think your cfs/me is cured because I recognise a lot of your current symptoms.Mental exertion/stress exhausting you,physical exertion exhausting you. Memory loss caused by the awful brain fog.Extreme fatigue.Muscle pain & stiffness.I also have a balance problem and I think it's called 'spatial awareness' - mine is flawed making me very clumsy.I can go to pour water in a cup but miss it entirely and pour it over me! My daughter bought me a tassimo to avoid this.Following instructions..There's quite a long list of your symptoms that are common with me/cfs.I hate having it as there is no cure.I find that really hard to accept. I am positive though and just need to take life at a slower pace for as long as it takes.
    Stress makes cfs/me worse so I wouldn't be surprised if your health takes a dip and your cfs/me symptoms worsen.Depression can be part of it too.You sound very low.
    A long post,sorry, to tell you to please go back to your doctor and tell them how you are feeling.Since you didn't mention your cfs/me before can you reclaim with this condition or worsening of it?.I really don't think it's cured.Maybe you went through a 'better phase' instead of full recovery. It would explain as well,your inability to find the words or the mental effort to answer questions.
    I was lucky in my esa assessment to have a neurologist assess me. He was very kind and dived forward to help me when I stumbled over something - probably my own feet.
    I am a member of a cfs/me support group and they are great.Could you contact the me association to ask if there's any in your area?
    Btw I understand what you mean.Trying to function normally at work is exhausting.Typing at home is also exhausting but you can rest when fatigue flattens you suddenly.You can't at work.
    I may be completely wrong about the cfs/me so I apologise if so.
    I just wish you all the best.You have a wife & family that love you because you're worth it.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 12th Feb 18, 11:28 AM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    Please ignore the recent horrible(pointless) replies you had to your employment question. I struggle to comprehend why some people just seem to want to kick you when you're down.
    I have had me/cfs for 11 years and collapsed in 2016 after continuing to work full time.My ill health is entirely related to it.
    I don't think your cfs/me is cured because I recognise a lot of your current symptoms.Mental exertion/stress exhausting you,physical exertion exhausting you. Memory loss caused by the awful brain fog.Extreme fatigue.Muscle pain & stiffness.I also have a balance problem and I think it's called 'spatial awareness' - mine is flawed making me very clumsy.I can go to pour water in a cup but miss it entirely and pour it over me! My daughter bought me a tassimo to avoid this.Following instructions..There's quite a long list of your symptoms that are common with me/cfs.I hate having it as there is no cure.I find that really hard to accept. I am positive though and just need to take life at a slower pace for as long as it takes.
    Stress makes cfs/me worse so I wouldn't be surprised if your health takes a dip and your cfs/me symptoms worsen.Depression can be part of it too.You sound very low.
    A long post,sorry, to tell you to please go back to your doctor and tell them how you are feeling.Since you didn't mention your cfs/me before can you reclaim with this condition or worsening of it?.I really don't think it's cured.Maybe you went through a 'better phase' instead of full recovery. It would explain as well,your inability to find the words or the mental effort to answer questions.
    I was lucky in my esa assessment to have a neurologist assess me. He was very kind and dived forward to help me when I stumbled over something - probably my own feet.
    I am a member of a cfs/me support group and they are great.Could you contact the me association to ask if there's any in your area?
    Btw I understand what you mean.Trying to function normally at work is exhausting.Typing at home is also exhausting but you can rest when fatigue flattens you suddenly.You can't at work.
    I may be completely wrong about the cfs/me so I apologise if so.
    I just wish you all the best.You have a wife & family that love you because you're worth it.
    Originally posted by mycleverbunnies
    Yes I agree 100%

    I came to realise this a while back.

    What happened is, because following an operation I went from being almost totally immobile, asleep all day, puffy faced, unable to read a 1/4 of a page etc

    to:

    waking up not puffy faced, being able to go out and walk the dog, not having a constant heavy woozy head, I became ecstatic and said I was cured.

    The realist is, well while I know you will understand, I'm not sure it will be clear to others.

    If a normal person has 100% energy, before my op I had 10%, after my op I had 40% so compared to how I had been, I was convinced I was cured and on top of the moon.

    I got the feeling by the questions from the doctor at my tribunal, that they simply didn't believe me.

    Rather than trying to help me, she appeared to be trying to catch me out. And asked what I thought were odd non related questions.

    I mentioned how tired I was (and to be honest anyone looking at me could see I was struggling to stay awake) , she said "but you said your CFS/ME was cured"

    I responded "no, I said I no longer suffer from the tiredness from the CFS/ME, but the reality the tiredness is just not as bad as it was, at the time, suddenly feeling less tired I thought I was cured, however it soon became apparent this wasn't the case"

    They both asked how often I go out, I took that to mean socialise, go to shops etc, not go visit the GP or do physio.

    She then said "but in your notes you say you go swimming".

    I responded "yes, the physio said I should try to do so, and it's the one place I can move around relatively pain free, if I could live my life in a pool it would be perfect"

    She then asked "Do you go to your local pool or do you belong to a health club?"

    I said "I looked at my local pool, to go swimming there two or three times a week worked out a lot more expensive than joining the health club near my house, plus the health club pool isn't very packed, plus it has a stairway down into the pool and is used by a lot of people with joint problems as part of their rehabilitation"

    Well this is what I tried to say, but the judge kept butting in along the lines of "yes yes yes, lets talk about..."

    Had I been given the chance I could have pointed them towards a newspaper article where when the local council pool was refurbished, the paper printed an article about me, asking why it was it was cheaper for me to go to the health club than the local pool, but it never got that far.

    And then they talked about my depression. I had written them a full description of how my depression affects me, especially how I interact with others (see link to me giving a full description of my depression at end of this post).

    Even though I stressed I avoid talking to people in real life at all costs, they were insistent I give recent examples of where I've lost it with people. Which of course, making sure I'm not in that situation, I could only think of one.

    My wife reminded me of another this year where I lost it with another customer in Morrisons. I explained what happened, they wanted to know if I was escorted from the shop etc. I said the shop staff didn't intervene.

    As I said in one of my previous posts, the judge then said "so, lets make sure we're understanding, you cant work 16 hours a week because you feel there's a slight chance you will be rude to someone".

    and again, "The judge woman said "surely if you are at work, you will be concentrating just as much hence you will be fine"

    And simply didn't seem to grasp what my mental health is like.

    I wasn't going to do this, as I didn't want people to know everything about me, but I've reached the point of not caring.

    This thread on this depression forum is mine, all of the info in posts 1, 2 and 6, 7, 8, and 9 of this thread explain my depression in full and was given to the tribunal in advance of the case (re-written, much shorter, most examples left out etc).

    http://www.dealingwithdepression.co.uk/showthread.php?15176-Not-sure-what-I-am-I-argue-with-my-thoughts-a-lot
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 12th Feb 18, 1:13 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    They are still at it on the employment thread I asked for advice about employment on.

    Normally I would ignore it, but am so stressed at the moment, the last thing I need is for someone that knows nothing about how my health is, to accuse me of basically lying.

    Yet another case of 'the truth hurts'
    Originally posted by Cheeky_Monkey
    just makes me feel like giving up on this forum altohether.

    I know you tell me to ignore the trolls, but all I did was ask for advice on getting work while signed off sick, people asked follow up questions and I replied.

    Getting told the truth hurts, when they have no idea of the truth, is more than annoying in my current state of mind.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • Issy005
    • By Issy005 12th Feb 18, 3:07 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Issy005
    They just lie.... or make things up. I got assessed as 0 points recently. The first thing to do is to appeal.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Feb 18, 3:13 PM
    • 11,500 Posts
    • 13,384 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    They just lie.... or make things up. I got assessed as 0 points recently. The first thing to do is to appeal.
    Originally posted by Issy005
    He has appealed and the decision found 'fit for work' was upheld.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 21st Feb 18, 10:14 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    PLEASE NOTE: If you are going to accuse me of enjoying a life on benefits or make sarcy comments about the tribunal agreeing with the DWP assessment, please DO NOT respond here, if you do I will report your post and ask for it to be deleted. I have never reported posts before, but last week I reported a thread I created asking for employment advice, and got the whole thread deleted for the simple reason a few people were telling me that I am enjoying a life on benefits (all£0 of them currently and all £5k a year when I was getting them) and I also reported a few posters in it too (and some of those posters have been active in this thread)

    This is too serious a matter and too stressful for me to put up with such people, normally I wouldn't care, normally I hate people who report threads, but with the stress I'm under I simply don't need it and cannot react to it in a reasonable and level headed way. I'm not saying no one can say I'm doing things wrong, far from it, it's just those few people that think they know my health better than me, my wife and my GP


    I know you're worn out and !!!!ed off right now. That's exactly how I felt after my FTT came back (mine was paper-based) and they'd basically just rubber-stamped the initial decision. This was set aside by the Upper Tribunal. Please do consider asking the Tribunal for their statement of reasons as you may be able to challenge it at the Upper Tribunal (e.g. if they favoured one piece of evidence over another without adequate reasons, if they chose a certain descriptor without giving adequate reasons).
    Originally posted by Penitent
    Just to let you know, this is now in progress, awaiting their reasoning.

    They asked me some really strange (well to me) questions in my short hearing.

    For example, as part of my physio for both my spine and my back, I go swimming twice a week (well try to).

    They asked me if I did this at the local pool or a health club. I told them a health club, but they shut me up and moved on and wouldn't let me explain.

    If they had, I could have pointed them to a newspaper article in my local paper about a year ago, that is about my local council pool being refurbished, being run by a so called charity and bumping the prices so high, that it's far far cheaper if I wanted to go swimming twice a week, to belong to my local heath club (well it's a holiday resort)

    The article is the paper interviewing me (I'm mentioned by name numerous times) , as I need to use the pool for medical reasons, and the charity claiming they help those medically in need, but basically using the council pool as a money making exercise, and how I save money by joining a private club.

    That is one simple example of how I felt the hearing to be unfair, Asking me if I go to a private health club, not letting me explain, then making assumptions.

    Then there was the question about my knees. When I said how the pain from my spine and knees wake me up constantly through the night, the doctor said "but the surgeon said there is no residual pain". Again I tried to explain, but they had already decided they simply didn't believe me.

    The simple fact was, when I saw the surgeon and he asked me about the pain following my two new knees,

    before I had the two new knees, the arthritis pain was so bad in them, I felt like I wanted to literally hack my legs off, I've never experienced pain like that. I could get through a whole large tube of deep heat in one day, it was that bad.

    And that arthritis pain has gone (the constant 24/7 throbbing pain) I do get a twinge of the arthritis pain in certain weather (rain) but on a completely different scale. Hence I said to the surgeon the arthritis has totally gone, I told him I still get pains when I lie on my side that often wake me up, , but that's a different pain altogether. And he said that for some people, that goes away after a few years, for others they always have it.

    And its those pains when I lie on my side that wake me up.

    Asking me a question about me waking up at night, and when I say lying on my side causes me to have sharp pains through my knees like an electric shock, and they then cut across with "but your surgeon says you have no residual pain" and then not giving me the chance to fully explain (and can see by the expressions on their face what they are thinking), well if there's no legal reason to get this appeal reheard, then the system stinks.

    There were two DWP observers there, my wife said when we all left, she heard one of them say to the other "how on earth is he supposed to remember what he did on a particular date a year ago"

    I await the report with interest.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 29th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    Well today I've just got my letter explaining the reasons. I have family coming later so will look into if I have grounds to appeal next week.

    Not impressed, they have basically accused me of lying.

    The fact they are wrong doesn't actually help, because there has to be a legal reason for me to appeal, I'm thinking on them not correctly applying the evidence I supplied?

    I will quote you some of it and give you some of my comments, but I'm not sure how legally this gives me reason to appeal, just showing you how a hurried appeal can lead to a complete misunderstanding:

    (EDIT: I put a few blank lines in the quotes to make them easier toread instead of walls of text)

    There is at page 27 a GP report. This is dated 26th July 2017 in which the GP has limited knowledge insofar as he has been the GP for "the past year".

    It is confirmed that Mr X struggles with many medical problems including CFS and severe osteoarthritis.

    He has been under the care of the Orthopaedic Department with the knee problem and the GP refers to lower back and problems with the legs and at the time in July 2017 had been referred to a neurologist for further investigations.

    The GP describes Mr X as tired most of the time and he has a lot of problems with mobility. He is not able to "walk any long distances and even struggles to get himself to the surgery".

    Page 29 is the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon's report following a clinic appointment on 6th June 2017. The clinical notes states: "More than six months post right total knee arthroplasty. Mobilising fully weightbearing unaided without support. Knee flection from zero to 95 degrees. Check x-ray done today is satisfactory with no signs of loosening. Pleased with the outcome as he has no residual pain. No futher intervention required at this stage. He will be followed up in the Joint Review Clinic as routine"

    So because my surgery merged with another and a load of GPs left, I'm getting marked down so to speak because through no fault of my own, i was assigned a new GP?

    GP report 13th March 2017. Last seen at GP 19th December 2016 with reference to chronic fatigue syndrome 03-04-02 symptoms and signs, tired all the time, problems with memory, recurrent sore throats, muscle/joint pain, headaches, insomnia. ....And within the GP's knowledge a difficulty is identified with walking or moving. Does the patient have a history of threatening or violent behaviour? No.
    Again they imply by saying "within the GP's knowledge" that tht GP knows nothing about me.

    Almost every single time I've seem my GP (already about 6 times this year) my CFS is mentioned.

    When I was under the hospital when my CFS was at it's worst, I had to complain to my MP, Health minister, local trust etc because they stopped my annual 30 min appointment due to lack of funds, it's a pointless exercise making appointments just to talk about CFS with my GP as it's been diagnosed and nothing really can be done. I've been lucky enough for it to improve.

    Mr X invited the tribunal to put him in the support group
    Upon inquiry Mr X has in the past failed with an application for dissability Living Allowance. He has not pursued a claim for Personal Independence Payment
    Around 10 years ago or more when my CFS was so bad I was housebound for months at a time and was like a zombie most of the time I was advised ti try for DLA, not sure why that is relevant today. I didn't think I qualified for PiP until this group advised me to try.

    There has been a referral to physiotherapy who remarked that Mr X was out of condition with a recommendation that he should walk and exercise and there will then be a gradual improvement.

    He exampled a walk of 5 - 6 lamp posts. Such a remark is not entirely helpful insofar as there appears to be no fixed distance between lamp posts.

    It is understood however that they are no greater than 120 feet approximately 40 yards between each to a maximum of 150 feet approximately 50 years (I presume they mean yards) between each.

    Notwithstanding the recommendations and the indication given that there will be signs of improvement, Mr X sees no sign of improvement. However contrary to this there has been no further referrals and for example no pain clinic referral

    .........

    The medical report at page 29 in June 2017 stated "Pleased with the outcome as he has no residual pain". Despite such a clinical record Mr X indicates that he still has pain in the knees and this causes broken sleep at night
    I was asked at my tribunal about what the surgeon said and I explained to them that I told the surgeon that I had none of the constant 24/7 rheumatism/arthritis that made me feel like cutting my leg off , but I am still getting other pains, especially when lying on either side while sleeping and it often wakes me up, and the residual pain he is talking about was the rheumatism/arthritis, and he said the other pain sometimes never goes away, other times it goes away after months/years.

    Them using the words "despite" to me makes me feel like they think I'm lying

    I explained to them it was an ongoing thing and my GP was trying a different medication that does something to the nerves to hopefully help with the pain, in other words it's still being investigated.

    I also explained to them that the physio said to only walk a few lamp posts every day until I can do it with no pain, and that while the pain will never go away, hopefully over time, at least a year, it will get to the point where it is bearable enough for you to consider some sort of work. And if there's any problems, to comeback and see him or see the GP.

    And I have gone back to the GP and she's increased my pain meds from 60g to 90g a day to see if that helps (I believe she did this just before the tribunal hence I told the tribunal this, but am not sure)

    in-front of me I have some letters.

    One dated 8th March 2019 with my appointment to attend a sleep clinic as they are trying to get to the bottom of me waking up in pain constantly.

    One dated 23rd March confirming I'm on the waiting list for a Positive Pain Management workshop and confirming my depression scale at 18 and my anxiety scale at 13.

    They are also considering whether Cognitive behavioural therapy might be useful to me due to the weird thoughts I have.

    In terms of functional ability Mr X on a day to day basis has an ability to drive. He exampled driving between half an hour and one and a half hours depending upon tiredness and fatigue which are the features that limit his driving
    No, implies I said something I didn't. SOME days I can drive but ONLY if my wife is with me (unless it's a 3 min journey somewhere local). They are referring to a long journey we made to see my son where I dove part of the way to give my wife a break, but as soon as I got tired, she took over.

    9 times out of 10, even if we are going to the local shops and my wifes worked all day, I will say "can you drive please as I hurt to much"

    note the word "hurt". I have awful back pain both lower and upper which along with my knees wake me up at night. I do have joint pains, foot pains etc and more often than not, they ache too much to drive.

    he had experienced a broken arm
    True but fails to mention that I happened to see the same surgeon who did my knees and when he found out what had happened, said it's impossible (knee gave way) and it was him who said I must insist my GP refers me about my back as if I don't get it sorted, it will keep happening.

    He is able to go to the local supermarket,he will push a trolley around in the supermarket, he is able to go out of the house and he exercises.

    He will go swimming, he would like three times a week but in fact goes about three or four times per month. He attends a local health club, he is able to access the facilities, he has easy access to the pool, he swims on his own and tends to be dropped off and picked up by his wife. He will walk his dig ten minutes most evenings
    Well at least she didn't say I can pick things up from the lower shelves or carry heavy bags etc.

    I go out of the house only when I have to, I try to avoid people.

    My wife gets up at 5am takes two dogs out for a long walk, then comes back and takes our other dog out. So when she's worked a full day, regardless of pain, I insist on taking one of our dogs on a very short walk while she takes the other two dogs. A max of 200 yrds and I have to rest twice, and often I am feeling crippled by back pain by the time we get home.

    And sometimes when I've been in the house for days I will go to the supermarket just to get a bit of exercise (again with my wife, never alone)

    My physio, my dietitian, etc all said that swimming is a good exercise and as it's the ONLY exercise I can do where I'm relatively pain free, it obviously makes sense to follow their advice.

    I do belong to a local health club (well a gym in a local holiday resort), and there's two reasons for that.

    They seemed to have a problem about that, judging by the way they asked me about it.

    1) The council gave the running of their pool over to a new company that refurbished it and massively raised the prices so that if I go twice a week, it's cheaper to pay the £35 for the place I go to.

    I also have the local newspaper article before I joined my health club where after the reporter interviewed me via email, she printed my complaint about how the council pool prices were far more expensive than joining a private gym, a half page article with my name attached

    2) The council pool is full of kids etc and due to my depression, i don't like interacting with others if i can avoid it. Plus it has communal changing rooms which I detest

    Whereas my private gym has two pools, one for the little kids, and there's certain times a day when kids are not allowed in the main pool. I can usually time it right (when the resort is serving lunch) so that I either have the main pool to myself, or there's just 2 or 3 other people in there. In other words, I can do my swimming in peace without kids or adults getting in my way.

    I get dropped off at the door to the resort (Potters in Hopton nr Lowestoft) and I can happily spend an hour or more there waiting for my wife to pick me up. When I've finished swimming, I can take a sauna, or I an sit in a comfy chair and watch bowling or whatever is going on there completely undisturbed.

    Two out of the last three times I've been, once I left the pool early because the only other swimmer in there kept trying to talk to me, and the other, I'd had my swim but had time to kill before my wife arrived so went into the sauna, someone came in about 3 mins later, , started talking to me and I said "that's it, I'm cooked, see you" and left.

    There are occasions when he will go out for a meal, he attended a funeral early in 2017, he attended a graduation in 2017
    Not sure what to make of that, no way I'm missing my own sons uni graduation, likewise I'm not missing one of my best friends funeral.

    I told them the only times apart from swimming, supermarket, walking dog I go out are:

    Once a month I see a friend when my wife cuts his hair.
    About 3 times a year I see another friend when wife cuts his wifes hair.
    A friend comes around about twice a month but occasionally I will go round to see him (with wife, usually when she's doing his hair)
    GP/Dentist etc

    And on my, wifes, son, daughters birthday, sometimes we go out for a family meal.

    That's it. I don't go out ever apart from those times.

    The reason I don't go out is due to my depression and part of it is I currently do not interact with people very well

    He describes adverse behaviour when he is stressed because he is tired and when he lacks concentration he can on such occasions swear, he can then calm down.

    He is considered by the Tribunal generally in control of his behaviour insofar as he has an awareness and although he will snap, he is apologetic.

    There have been no incidents with his GP, there was an incident when crossing the road, there has been incidents with dogs jumping up, there was an incident in the supermarket when he had chosen some reduced priced items and another customer went for the same goods and a remark was made "don't be a greedy git"
    I included about 6 pages in my conclusion about how my depression affects me and why it is I avoid people. They seem to take it that because the incidents are only 3, it's not that serious but the only reason it's only 3 is because I avoid people all I can.

    I think I linked to my depression post on another forum in an earlier post so wont repeat it, but I did say that if i'm concentrating on keeping my calm, such as at my GP, at this tribunal, that I will be able to remain calm . The judge said words along the lines "surely when your at work you would also be concentrating just as much" I tried to explain but didn't get anywhere.

    Regarding the three examples in the report, they don't really give the picture I told them.

    One of my dogs totally without warning jumped up at a woman walking past who had a thin dress on and his claws obviously hurt her. I was more than apologetic, kept saying how sorry I am etc, but she kept saying he's a dangerous animal and needs muzzling. I said I accept it's my fault, but whether he was muzzled or not wouldn't have made any difference.

    After about the 15th time of her telling me he needs to be muzzled, I snapped and told her where to go in a very loud way, the sort of uncouth way that your likely to see a youtube clip of a chavvy type arguing with their neighbours. And the police became involved due to it although no further action was taken.

    I was 1/4 of the way across a zebra crossing near my house and a car went over the other side without stopping, I shouted at the top of my voice along the lines of "your supposed to stop at the crossing you stupid f-ing c" and everyone in the vicinity had stopped to stare at me.

    And finally a few weeks before the tribunal I had gone shopping with my wife. There is one particular women who is in there every single time I go, has a large trolley filled to the brim with every reduced item going (items reduced for quick sale), she barges past people, grabs what she wants, the staff call her the flower lady as every day she has all the reduced flowers etc.

    The baker was reducing two identical cakes, she stood right next to him one side, I stood right next to him the other.He placed the two cakes down, she went to grab then both but I grabbed one and our eyes met for a split second.

    She said to me in a very stern voice "Don't you look at me like that"

    I responded very loudly "if your going to be such a selfish greedy git, I'll look at you any way I want to"

    She repeated "don't look at me like that "

    I said "well don't be such a greedy pig then, others also are short of cash and would like some of the reduced stuff" and i walked off.

    Oddly, 3 other customers came up to me at separate times(which I hated) and shook my hand etc and said they were glad someone had finally said something to her, but I didn't tell the tribunal that bit.


    (note I made some of the following quote bold, wasn't like this in the letter)
    In addressing the areas put to the tribunal; mobilising, initiating and completing personal actions, coping with social engagements, appropriate behaviour and regulations 29 qnd 35 - the Tribunal accepting the back problem, the knee replacements and the CFS is satisfied as a mater of fact that his walking ability is not restricted to such an extent that there can be an award of points under activity 1, and clearly not to the extent as claimed by Mr X that he cannot mobilise more than 50 meters.

    He was observed to have a normal gait, he walks on a daily basis ten minutes, he accesses the swimming baths at least once a week on average but not necessarily every week, he accesses supermarket with the use of a trolley as a walking aid. He engages, he attends social events , he attended a university graduation.

    He is able to go out for a meal. He can act spontaneously. He may have the effects of tiredness and fatigue but he is able to initiate activity. His concentration can be diminished and this can lead to him reacting adversely by unexpected events. However he had awareness and he is in control.

    The tribunal is not persuaded that he cannot mobilise 50 meters, He clearly walks in excess of 200 meters.

    He is able to initiate and complete personal actions. He is able to engage socially and he has an awareness and an ability to behave appropriately.........

    The Tribunal is supported in this conclusion by the GP evidence (p.27) and whilst it is accepted that Mr X has CFS and severe osteoarthritis and his back and legs are affected, there have been no ongoing neurological investigations.

    The referral back to the GP and physio recommendations were to exercise and although the Tribunal accept tiredness, the GP is non specific in terms of the mobility problems and states that he is "not able to walk any long distances and struggles to get himself to the surgery".

    On the contrary, he accesses swimming baths, he accesses supermarkets, he dog walks on a daily basis. The Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon reported a positive finding from the past surgery with Mr X being mobilisiing fully weight bearing unaided without support, no signs of loosening, no residual pain and no intervention.

    The Tribunal addressed regulations 29 and 35 and there was no evidence to indicate that Mr X would be a substantial risk to himself or others if he was found capable of work or work related activity.

    There could be consideration as to the effect upon Mr X mental health. However there was no input in this regard. There is no psychological referrals, there was no specialist support and the indication throughout is that with the ability to gradually build up activity, stamina and tolerance, his capabilities would improve and albeit not to the full expectation of Mr X having improved to such an extent that he is no longer entitled to Employment and Support Allowance

    Well that ended up most of the refusal letter.

    To be honest, what was the point of me going, they've ignored every single thing I said, what they say in the last quoted section, in my opinion some of it is libelous.

    Ah well, it's nice to be really depressed for Easter. we currently have minus £100 for all our bills without paying our creditors anything, last week my wife who is never ill, was in bed for 3 days with blood pressure reading of 200/115, I wonder why.

    Aah well. It's her birthday this weekend, so we are going out to dinner again as I'm so good with my social engagements.
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 29-03-2018 at 4:18 PM.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 29th Mar 18, 4:19 PM
    • 2,604 Posts
    • 2,574 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Not applying the evidence correctly is not an error in law.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 29th Mar 18, 4:23 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,420 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    I only got so far and had to give up. There's certainly no problem with your cognitive function!

    The tribunal are not saying that they do not believe you, but rather that the evidence from your consultant contradicts what you say and what you have told your GP. On the basis of the evidence presented to them, their conclusion would appear reasonable.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 29th Mar 18, 4:28 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,420 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    And finally a few weeks before the tribunal I had gone shopping with my wife. There is one particular women who is in there every single time I go, has a large trolley filled to the brim with every reduced item going (items reduced for quick sale), she barges past people, grabs what she wants, the staff call her the flower lady as every day she has all the reduced flowers etc.

    The baker was reducing two identical cakes, she stood right next to him one side, I stood right next to him the other.He placed the two cakes down, she went to grab then both but I grabbed one and our eyes met for a split second.

    She said to me in a very stern voice "Don't you look at me like that"

    I responded very loudly "if your going to be such a selfish greedy git, I'll look at you any way I want to"

    She repeated "don't look at me like that "

    I said "well don't be such a greedy pig then, others also are short of cash and would like some of the reduced stuff" and i walked off.
    You're not going to be awarded ESA for plain rudeness.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 29th Mar 18, 7:54 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    You're not going to be awarded ESA for plain rudeness.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    Before jumping to conclusions, I appreciate it's a bit long, but maybe you need to read about the problem I have with my mental health which is the main reason I can't work, IE not being able to control my thoughts and what comes out of my mouth. To save you the time of reading thorough all these pages (many written when my mind was simply not functioning properly) and finding the biit about my depression, here's a copy of the letter I sent my GP and also sent top the Tribunal, it was the Tribumnal referring to this when I told them about what happened in the supermarket.

    I am on this site for help and advice, I appreciate there's too many pages for you to read through, but it's really annoying for me when someone makes an assumption that I'm just a rude person, completely missing the whole point about the main thing stopping me from working.


    I have found it incredibly hard to talk about my depression to anybody; I find my symptoms embarrassing and weird.

    Recently I created posted under a fake name to a depression forum to see what kind of reaction I had.

    Since doing this, it has been a weight off my mind to get it actually down in writing, even if under a different name, and it has allowed me to look at and admit how bad my mental health is.

    Here is a shortened version of what I said with the waffle removed.

    I avoid answering the phone (I sort of have to spend 10 mins build myself up if I need to phone someone), I dislike talking to strangers.

    Even with very good friends, sometimes if I know they are coming around, I really wish they wouldn't.

    I can!!!8217;t handle the slightest bit of stress, if I get stressed, I feel physically exhausted and can sleep for hours.

    That said, I wouldn't really say I am anxious, I have a sort of "can!!!8217;t be bothered/don!!!8217;t want to talk " feeling in my head rather than panicking over talking to them.

    But if I have to say make a phone call, I have to pluck up the courage to do so, and am stressed when I do so, but when I eventually force myself to do it, it always goes fine and I don't feel anxious at all when actually on the phone.

    What does concern me is my conscience seems to have a different personality to me.

    I'm not hearing voices, it's my conscience, the thoughts I have, just like anyone might think to themselves "hmm what do I do next" or think to themselves "that's an interesting book" it's that voice/conscience.

    I am a very very empathetic person; I try to see the best in everybody. I hate it when people refer to drug addicts as druggy scum etc. I don't like it when people talk about the homeless in the same sort of way.

    I don't like violence, don't like watching things like boxing or wrestling (although I don't mind a violent action film, I have no problem differentiating between reality and fiction/fantasy)

    I also can neither understand nor tolerate any form of racism, I simply cannot fathom how someone can dislike someone else because of where they originated from or the colour of their skin etc. It simply does not compute with me.

    I'm happily married, and what I'm about to describe next, never ever happens to my wife, kids or friends I've known for years.

    What I find happening almost all the time (especially if I'm stressed and tired, which is quiet often), is when I have to talk to someone (I try to avoid it at all costs), while part of me is usually thinking "he, she seems a nice friendly person", my thoughts are to say to them in a derogatory way, "why don't you just go away" or if they are a person of different race, my conscience voice is calling them a very derogatory racist name.

    And it simply isn't me at all.

    It doesn!!!8217;t matter what I!!!8217;m talking to them about, unless I know them or am concentrating, my mind is telling me to tell them where to go.

    I THINK it!!!8217;s more of a coping mechanism as I don!!!8217;t really want to be in that situation (talking to a stranger), but it!!!8217;s scary all the same.

    I also think strange things. I premeditate others being rude to me and premeditate my aggressive vocal response (never ever been physically violent in my life)

    For example, I might be walking my dog, I see someone in their garden and I imagine them saying to me "I hope you!!!8217;re going to clear up after your dog"

    and I rehearse the entire way I'm going to be abusive back to them, and how the argument is going to go

    me "I hope your not a !!!!!phile"
    them "How dare you call me a !!!!!phile"
    me "how dare you presume I don't clear up after my dog. If you can make untrue judgments based on zero evidence about me, then I'm going to do the same to you"

    and of course I walk past and they either say "morning" or nothing or make a comment on how nice my dog is.

    And then I see another person in the distance and another similar scenario takes place in my mind.

    It is so far from the reality of what I'm really like, but it happens all the time.

    I also am a bit like a Jekyll and Hyde character, I can flip at the slightest bit of stress and scream abuse I don't mean at someone, then the next second feel as calm as anything.


    For example, I had stepped onto a zebra crossing and a car went across it without stopping. OK that will get most of us angry, but I went from being as calm as anything, to shouting very very loudly (so that most people in a 1/4 mile radius probably heard) "it!!!8217;s a zebra crossing you stupid **** idiot you!!!8217;re supposed to **** stop" Then by the time I was over the crossing I was as calm as anything again (while a load of passersby had stopped and were staring at me).

    And while I don't care if others choose to swear, I try not to (unless I say hit my thumb with a hammer)

    The trouble is, I'm a big built man with a very common and rough accent, and while I've never been violent, I do come across as very very threatening and aggressive when I'm like that.

    I can control it, but only if I'm permanently concentrating on not losing it, for example a GP appointment, I will come across as calm mannered and very very friendly and everyone at my GP always s smiles and jokes with me.

    But me being aware and concentrating for a short period of time, is completely different from me being in the work place where my mind is distracted with my job, and someone saying something that makes me snap.

    I know if a manager was rude to me, without thinking I would be 10 times as rude back, the same if a customer was rude.

    Even at home, while I have the loveliest and most understanding wife anyone could wish for, occasionally, if I'm stressed, say I've received a letter from a debt collection agency that I'm in the middle of typing a letter to, she might ask me something nice like "would you like a coffee"?

    And because I'm not concentrating, and because I'm very very stressed and depressed , without thinking I will respond (loudly) along the lines of "oh for expletives sake" can!!!8217;t you see I'm busy, expletive off" and literally 10 seconds later, I'm apologising to her.

    Thankfully we've been together over 30 years and we are best of friends and she knows this isn't really me, hence ignores it (but it can!!!8217;t be nice for her), but if I can be like this to her when stressed and all she!!!8217;s done is ask me if I want a coffee, imagine what I can get like if someone I don't know is rude to me.

    I worry about myself for two main reasons.

    1) I want to work, other health issues aside, there's no way on this planet I will hold down a job as I can no longer handle the slightest bit of stress, hence my outbursts will mean I probably won!!!8217;t last a day

    2) I will end up putting myself in danger. When I flip, I'm not thinking, it wouldn't matter to me if I was shouting and swearing at say a bunch of 20 people armed with weapons, hence I'm very very likely at some point say this to the wrong people and end up being badly beaten or worse.

    I am also in a lot of financial difficulty which also doesn't help my depression or my stress.

    As for everything else, I don't have suicide thoughts ever, that's not to say that sometimes when another letter drops through the door, I don't sometimes wonder what's the point of living, but that's as far as it goes.

    But I do find at least once a week now, I'm having such a bad day that even though I'm under the dietician, I end up thinking to myself "I can!!!8217;t work, I have no money, there's simply no point if I can!!!8217;t have some enjoyment" hence I'll go and stuff my face with stuff I shouldn't eat and drink a load of alcohol I shouldn't be drinking etc.

    At the moment I feel like screaming, A permanent knot in my stomach, I feel like if I hammered a nail into my head, the steam would rush out as the pressure subsides.

    The thing is, it's taken me ages to put all this into writing, I really don!!!8217;t think I could say it in person or want to talk about it in person to anyone.

    I had a few experiences with counselling in my youth and I loathed them, I (possibly arrogantly) feel I know both what they are going to say and what they are going to suggest, and I kind of feel it's all claptrap (apologies to any counsellors reading this, but that is how I feel) and know it won!!!8217;t work with me, just the thought of speaking to one makes me cringe.

    I also can!!!8217;t stand any sort of forced group work, I didn't like staff training that involved group work when I was fit and well, the last thing I want to do now is discuss my depression out loud in a room with other depressed people, I appreciate this may sound a bit hypocritical as I've just joined this forum, but on here, I'm both anonymous and aren't put on the spot with other people staring at me.

    I!!!8217;m also not sleeping well. This is more due to pain. Back, arms, neck, knees and cramp. I!!!8217;m waking up almost every hour, hence am exhausted during the day, but my experience with sleeping tablets is, while they get me to sleep, I!!!8217;m like a stoned zombie in the daytime.

    And when I!!!8217;m tired, I get stressed even more easily. Just trying to take in a page from a book can make me sleep for a couple of hours.

    For years I!!!8217;ve been listening to an easy to listen to Audio book as I go to sleep, so my mind isn!!!8217;t buzzing with thoughts.

    I have debt collectors hassling me all the time, I tried the charities such as Stepchange, but they can!!!8217;t stop them writing to me or make them freeze the interest, hence I have to deal with it myself
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 29-03-2018 at 7:59 PM.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • aaronlowe
    • By aaronlowe 29th Mar 18, 7:59 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    aaronlowe
    I went to a meeting with DWP in which they spoke to advisers who work in Inverness. Those are advisers that work for the DWP. The Inverness DWP advisers told the Edinburgh DWP advisers that since ESA started, 100% of claims had been rejected. The Edinburgh DWP advisers were shocked. They didn't even know what was happening inside their own organisation.

    Basically, it is impossible to receive ESA without going through a tribunal. Expect 9 months to a year and you will get no money to support yourself during that process. My wife is a benefits advisor and this is what happens to everyone except extreme cases. The system is designed to be broken but when you go to tribunal you have a good chance.
    Last edited by aaronlowe; 29-03-2018 at 8:40 PM.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 29th Mar 18, 8:17 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    I only got so far and had to give up. There's certainly no problem with your cognitive function!

    The tribunal are not saying that they do not believe you, but rather that the evidence from your consultant contradicts what you say and what you have told your GP. On the basis of the evidence presented to them, their conclusion would appear reasonable.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    Again I don't think you know my history. I didn't want to repeat it all in my previous post as I've said most of it 10 times before.

    Both my GP and my Consultant agree 100% with me.

    My GP only sent the DWP the consultant report as proof that what I said about my knee flexion was correct rather than what the assessor claimed she measured.

    And as I said earlier, it's not my fault all the cuts to the NHS, hence merging GP surgeries etc meaning I got a new GP (with full access to all my health records something neither the DWP or the Tribunal has)

    It was a very very rushed hearing, I was told before it started that they are behind and wont have time to give the result on the day.

    In the tribunal, they were cutting across me, not giving me time to answer properly.

    I was extremely exhausted before it even started and was struggling to speak properly, even their first question about which parts I wanted to base the tribunal on as I said in an earlier post, I said in a very hesitant voice "yyeeesssssss" and I said it very slowly as I was trying to think (which is hard when very tired) and was still thinking and stringing out my yessssss when she cut in and said "yes it then that makes things easy"

    All the evidence from my GP totally backs up what I said, which is why I'm still regularly seeing my GP for everything and why I'm seeing someone for my depression and pain clinic etc

    The Physio said that if things improve, it will be at least a year before I can walk to the beach, that's 800 meters from my house. But he stressed he wasn't saying I wouldn't have to stop or I wouldn't be in some pain, he was saying I should be able to comfortably manage to do that sort of journey with stops etc after about a year.

    As the physio advice wasn't working my GP initially tried increasing my medication as that is supposed to numb part of the nerves or something and I am now seeing someone about the pain and attending a sleep clinic. At no point did I imply to the Tribunal that nothing was being done about my pain and I was simply left to it.

    I sent a copy of my conclusion that I sent the Tribunal (that my Tribunal was based on) to a knowledgeable person on this forum after asking them by PM if it was OK.

    They mentioned a few things I should change which I did, they also said that I easily score enough points without mentioning any of my other stuff so I left it at that.

    Although I did stress to the Tribunal that as far as section 29 and 35 are concerned I want all my notes taken into account.

    But what you say about my cognitive function., I think you've hit the nail on the head.

    Apart from the fact that if you look at my post history you will see big gaps where I don't feel able to post, sometimes days I cant think straight to type. Most days reading say one page will tire me quite a lot. But w those days I am able, while I cant write short posts, I do write ones that are reasonably readable, and I can argue my point of view.

    Now I don't want this to get taken the wrong way although I think it might by some.

    I personally think, due to my work history for example I used to run a whole IT department along with 21 staff, and was responsible for all equipment etc (room full of multi million pound supercomputers), I'm not in the slightest bit fazed when dealing with people in authority.

    Likewise I've been through various crap in my life (spent time in care), I've never been one to lie down and take things, I always fight my corner so to speak.

    And I think this comes across in things like a Tribunal. I'm never in the slightest bit nervous for example, I've prepared mentally for them etc and am at a stage a stage where I am aware that for the next hour, I will be in full concentration mode and will not loose it etc.

    The alternative would be not to do this, turn up and end up being escorted out by security which is what would have happened had I not mentally calmed my self down before hand.

    Because I couldn't get anyone to represent me as I filled in the original forms myself (mentioned elsewhere in this thread), and because on the outside I look normal, and because I sent in reams of documentation, because I'm able to detail things reasonably well etc, because I'm never fazed:

    Well compared to the person that was before me and the person after me, meaning zero disrespect to them, they both looked unkempt, a bit special needs. both had representation.

    If those are the majority of cases they are seeing (even if they are smart and together, if they have representation) and suddenly there's this guy representing himself and has managed (over the course of 8 months) to assemble reams of documentation, well he is obviously has no problems representing himself etc etc etc

    I honestly believe that was a huge negative against me, could even be argued it was some sort of discrimination in a way..

    First impressions can mean a lot.

    Maybe I should have put on an act?.

    The simple fact is I still cannot work and am now receiving zero benefit. Their decision isn't helping me back to work, it's having the exact opposite effect, it's causing my wife to be ill for the first time in her life due to high blood pressure.

    Failing the Tribunal is bad enough, but having people on here simply not understanding mental illness and calling me rude etc, well it isn't exactly helping my stress levels.

    I've simply posted asking advice after others on here told me to appeal my Tribunal.
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 29-03-2018 at 9:09 PM.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • Ames
    • By Ames 29th Mar 18, 8:58 PM
    • 17,244 Posts
    • 30,376 Thanks
    Ames
    If I get time I'll try to make a detailed response to your post.

    Two things jump out though.

    Firstly, it seems that your medical evidence isn't as strong as you think it is. Why on earth did you send them a consultant letter that directly states that you don't have pain, and think that it supported your claim to be in so much pain it affects your mobility?

    Secondly, you don't seem at all clear on what points you should qualify for and why. The example of being rude to a woman in the supermarket - what points or descriptors were you going for? Social engagement? Behaviour not suitable for a workplace?

    I honestly think that you've gone to tribunal and been the same as you are here, giving far too much irrelevant information both written and verbal. The tribunal have had to sift through everything, and been faced with a lot of contradictions. Even your long posts about why you should get benefit include lots of information that suggests you don't qualify. It's not surprising that they've seized on basic facts supplied by you from doctors.

    As an example you say you were claiming because of mental illness, but almost everything in your post is about your physical health problems.

    I don't mean this to sound harsh, and I don't want to make you feel bad. But if no-one points these things out to you you'll just carry on making the same mistakes.

    I don't know enough to say whether you can go to an upper tier tribunal. It doesn't sound like you can reapply for ESA on grounds of your condition worsening. I think your only option to get any benefits is PIP. But please, please, get help with the forms.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • GotToChange
    • By GotToChange 29th Mar 18, 9:17 PM
    • 1,255 Posts
    • 1,315 Thanks
    GotToChange
    Hi there IWTBF
    - just wanted to quickly say, I am (fwiw) right behind you, and your wife - who is of course going through all the c**p too. It is a nightmare system (I am stuck in it too....) that seems designed to do harm rather than good. You are showng incredible strength, which also does not help when it comes to these jobsworths; it seems that if you can stand up and string a sentence together, you are not eligibile.
    Big hugs to you.
    Last edited by GotToChange; 29-03-2018 at 9:24 PM.

    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 29th Mar 18, 9:35 PM
    • 2,604 Posts
    • 2,574 Thanks
    poppy12345
    If I get time I'll try to make a detailed response to your post.

    Two things jump out though.

    Firstly, it seems that your medical evidence isn't as strong as you think it is. Why on earth did you send them a consultant letter that directly states that you don't have pain, and think that it supported your claim to be in so much pain it affects your mobility?

    Secondly, you don't seem at all clear on what points you should qualify for and why. The example of being rude to a woman in the supermarket - what points or descriptors were you going for? Social engagement? Behaviour not suitable for a workplace?

    I honestly think that you've gone to tribunal and been the same as you are here, giving far too much irrelevant information both written and verbal. The tribunal have had to sift through everything, and been faced with a lot of contradictions. Even your long posts about why you should get benefit include lots of information that suggests you don't qualify. It's not surprising that they've seized on basic facts supplied by you from doctors.

    As an example you say you were claiming because of mental illness, but almost everything in your post is about your physical health problems.

    I don't mean this to sound harsh, and I don't want to make you feel bad. But if no-one points these things out to you you'll just carry on making the same mistakes.

    I don't know enough to say whether you can go to an upper tier tribunal. It doesn't sound like you can reapply for ESA on grounds of your condition worsening. I think your only option to get any benefits is PIP. But please, please, get help with the forms.
    Originally posted by Ames
    I totally agree with you here. The OP was given lots of advice right at the beginning when he was first found fit for work. Many people asked him what descriptor he was going for to be put into the Support Group but i don't ever remember the OP answering that question. The posts from the OP are always very long, and almost boring to read, i'm sorry if that sounds horrible but i'm only being honest here. They are never straight to the point.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 29th Mar 18, 10:07 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    . Why on earth did you send them a consultant letter that directly states that you don't have pain, and think that it supported your claim to be in so much pain it affects your mobility?
    Originally posted by Ames
    My original DWP assessment stated I had no problem squatting, etc and that my knees had full 120 degrees flexion.

    I homed in on this in my mandatory reconsideration as proof that not everything the assessor said, as it's physically impossible for my knees to bend past around 90 degrees.

    I sent a letter to my GP where I detailed the medical assessment and my comments to each section (including the bit above about my knees). She responded with a letter to them, that ended with her saying

    I looked through the pages that he has printed out, informing me of the current situation, and of course I cannot prove this, as this is what the patient has noted himself.

    Everything that this gentleman has put in writing seems tro be realistic and I cannot see any reason why this should not be taken into account with his current situation.

    Therefore I would like to confirm that this gentlemen is not able to work at the moment and in my opinion his situation should be reviewed.

    He also suffers from depression and is on many medications. Please see attached medication list.
    She included the letter from mu consultant as proof that my knees only bent to 95 degrees and not the 120 degrees the medical assessor claimed.

    Secondly, you don't seem at all clear on what points you should qualify for and why. The example of being rude to a woman in the supermarket - what points or descriptors were you going for? Social engagement? Behaviour not suitable for a workplace?
    Both of the above, see my quote in post 113


    I honestly think that you've gone to tribunal and been the same as you are here, giving far too much irrelevant information both written and verbal. The tribunal have had to sift through everything, and been faced with a lot of contradictions. Even your long posts about why you should get benefit include lots of information that suggests you don't qualify. It's not surprising that they've seized on basic facts supplied by you from doctors.

    As an example you say you were claiming because of mental illness, but almost everything in your post is about your physical health problems.

    I don't mean this to sound harsh, and I don't want to make you feel bad. But if no-one points these things out to you you'll just carry on making the same mistakes.

    I don't know enough to say whether you can go to an upper tier tribunal. It doesn't sound like you can reapply for ESA on grounds of your condition worsening. I think your only option to get any benefits is PIP. But please, please, get help with the forms.
    Thanks. You are more than likely right, but the trouble is, while I can sometimes sit and type for ages, as a lot of my posts on this thread show, I go round in circles etc. That's part of the problems I have, I do this when I talk (in fact friends who have read letters I type say I type in exactly the same way as I talk)

    I filled in my original ESA form at the beginning of last year when I was in a good mood (I think I was on Tramadol at the time) and I basically said, as soon as my knee heals, I'm hoping to be able to look for work. I pointed out I was suffering from back problems, but I hoped they would be temporary.

    I also mentioned briefly the other things I suffer from but didn't go into detail, including depression.

    At the time I honesty thought at last I would be well enough to go to work. For the first time in decades, I could walk on my legs without them suddenly giving way or swelling up like a balloon etc.

    To be honest I put little thought into it as I was really really hoping once it had healed I could go back to work.

    I filled in the forms without talking to anyone including friends and family.

    After this, I mentioned it to my wife, she said there's no way on this planet I can work, I cant even answer the phone or talk to strangers at the door.

    Likewise the few friends I regularly see, all said the same, that I am kidding myself if I think I an well enough to go to work.

    The truth of the matter is, I was on cloud nine after finally having my knees fixed (I have had problems since I was 15, and numerous operations over the years on both) and was so happy that I didn't consider any other aspect of my health when I filled in the form.

    When I went to the medical assessment, my GP had been messing around with my meds and I wasn't really with it, I was smiling like a Cheshire cat, was very talkative due to this, and stressed a couple of times that I really really want to work.

    And after that every time anything was bought up, it was kind of put down by the assessor.

    I failed the assessment, asked for my medical review notes, and simply listed every point they had made followed by my comments on them. Some of the points bore no resemblance to whether I got ESA or not, I was simply showing how I was absolutely nothing like the person described in the assessment.

    It was this letter that I sent to my GP that she then responded to.

    And I also lost my mandatory reassessment.

    When I started my Tribunal, all the documentation I sent to the DWP was forwarded to the Tribunal by the DWP. It was because of this, I felt I needed to clarify my points with regards to their comments on my mandatory refusal.

    Following advice from this forum, I realised what a jumbled mess my over 100 pages of court papers were, hence I sent a conclusion that was read by a kind member of this site, and corrections made as per their advice before I sent it.

    It wasn't until after my assessment that my GP asked me to contact a local "wellbeing" thing run by the NHS in my area, she asked me to contact them, she said she knows it's hard.

    I put off contacting them for months, I had the numbers in front of my PC but kept finding excuses not to, I simply didn't know what I was going to say.

    At some point in all this, I came up with the bright idea of posting under a fake name in a depression forum. When I finally started top put things in writing, it all came out, and when I re-read it back, it scared me, I looked like some kind of psycho nut job.

    It wasn't until this point (this year) that I realised exactly how bad my mental health really was. And on the advice of the forum, I sent a copy to my GP (same copy also sent in my conclusion to the Tribunal).

    I received a phone call within about 2 hrs of dropping off my letter from my GP surgery saying she wanted to see me.

    She spoke about the pain I was still having along with my depression and said she was increasing my dosage from 60 mg to 90 mg a day (Duloxetine) and stressed that I really need to contact the wellbeing no matter how hard I find it, as they work in partnership with her.

    So I finally contacted them via email, they got back to me and arranged for a 45 minute phone appointment.

    They also got sent a copy of the letter I sent my GP

    I wasn't really happy as I hate speaking on the phone, but prepared myself for it.

    To their credit, when they phoned up the guy said he notes I don't like speaking on the phone, and asked if I was happy to have the appointment now, or would I like to arrange a face to face one in the future.

    As I was on the phone and had built myself up, I said that we might as well go ahead.

    It was him (wellbeing) that arranged for me to go to a Positive Pain Management workshop (course over a number of weeks, still haven't got a date) and confirming my depression scale at 18 and my anxiety scale at 13.

    He also said I might benefit from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy but wanted me to go to the pain clinic first (he is a CBT therapist)

    That's why I initially concentrated on my walking but kind of switched to my mental health. They are both bad, but I never realised how bad my mental health was.

    Or to put it another way, I am hoping my mobility will improve, it will never be perfect, but I'm hoping that if I loose weight, get fitter etc, control my diabetes etc etc, I will be pain free enough to do at least part time work (well not pain free, but bearable).

    However until my mental health improves, regardless of mobility, this is going to be the major sticking point which is why I'm now concentrating on it so much.

    The reason so much of my posts have been on my mobility is for the simple reason the DWP and the Tribunal simply don't understand what I'm saying.

    Taking it easy, not being nearly as mobile as I was a couple of months ago, my back pain started to improve a bit until I could walk about 100 yards without really needing to stop (but only if I don't swim and don't walk the dog every day), but this was with me being very inactive at home.

    My wife was in bed for 3 days last week and I had no choice but take the dogs for a longer walk. Not as long as she took them, but I had to make two journeys of about 20 mins each.

    Yes I managed it (with rests) , but yes I was in extreme agony. It's now a week latter and as I type this my back is literally throbbing with pain and is not settling down at all. (I didn't have this pain last week)

    And now the short 10 min evening walks, I'm back to being in agony in about 50 meters. I still walk them for 10 minutes, but I either sit twice (and sometimes stop and lean as well) or if it's raining, I will persevere but am in indescribable pain by the time I get home.

    Doing this for 10 mins once a day is completely different from doing it say 10 mins every hour or being on my feet every 30 mins or so at work, and this is what I cant get across to them.

    Yesterday is a good example, I had to go on a diabetic food course, and part of it we had to stand around a table and list food into sugar content etc. I had to sit down after 5 mins, yet there was someone who clearly had mobility problems, struggled to walk with here stick but she stood the whole time.

    And also the split second it finished, I was out of the door with my wife so I didn't have to speak to anyone.

    One more. Tonight in Morrisons, I went with my wife even though I'm in pain as it's the Easter shop.

    I'm pushing the trolley but soon regretting coming. We had three domestic arguments (although we were fine 2 mins later as she knows I don't mean it) due to me being in so much pain I didn't want to have to go back to another part of the shop and I simply wanted to go home. My pain was so bad, I did snap at her 3 times and I was rude to her and I suspect other customers were talking about me when they got home.

    It's not just about mobility, pain tires me, CFS tires me, when I'm tired I snap, when I'm in pain I snap, my depression causes me to snap, I feel sick almost 24/7, I always have a mild headache (got one now) sometimes it's a full on one. It was all these things together that I was hoping section 29 or 35 applied. etc etc etc

    Anyway rambling again. I can post the actual 19 page letter my GP commented on if you want, and I can post my actual conclusion I sent the appeal (but most parts are already in this thread somewhere) But my daughters due home any minute., wife's Birthday on Sunday, hence doubt I will be around until next week.
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 29-03-2018 at 10:25 PM.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 29th Mar 18, 10:10 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 3,360 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    I totally agree with you here. The OP was given lots of advice right at the beginning when he was first found fit for work. Many people asked him what descriptor he was going for to be put into the Support Group but i don't ever remember the OP answering that question. The posts from the OP are always very long, and almost boring to read, i'm sorry if that sounds horrible but i'm only being honest here. They are never straight to the point.
    Originally posted by poppy12345
    Yep and I appologise for my long posts , unfortunately it's a problem I have, putting any point across (see my posts in discussion time for example, always far too long) .

    As I said above, my conclusion was read by a well known knowledgeable person on here after I took on board all your advice and kept it to the point. They advised a few changes which I did.

    The Tribunal judge thanked me for the conclusion, and she asked me whether this tribunal was just dealing with what I'd written in the conclusion or everything else too.

    It was when she asked "is it just whats written in the conclusion that you want us to deal with today" that I replied "yyyeeesssssss" as I was thinking, when she cut across and said that "yes it is then, that makes things nice and easy"

    And it was at that point I stressed that when referring to section 29 and 35 I wanted the whole thing included.

    Also please note that sometimes I cant face dealing with this for days or weeks at a time

    The very last page oif my conclusion said
    In Conclusion

    The areas I believe apply to me are as follows.

    Mobilising 1(a) (ii), 15 points

    Initiating and completing personal action 13(c), 6 points

    Coping with social engagement 16(c), 6 points

    Appropriate Behaviour 17(a), 15 points.

    Section 29(2)(b)

    Section 35(2)(b)

    I believe for all the reasons given above that I should have my ESA re-instated and put back in the Support group that Iíve been in ever since they moved me from Incapacity benefit.
    And the rest of my conclusion explained why this was so, again happy to post it but don't want to bother if it's not going to be read.

    And at the end of each explanation I followed with why I should get the points

    For example (note bits in bold, in my actual conclusion are copy and pastes from the actual form)

    1. Mobilising unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid is normally, or could reasonably be, worn or used.

    1 (a) Cannot either (i) mobilise more than 50 meters on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion or (ii) repeatedly mobilise 50 meters within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion. 15 points.


    1(a)(ii) I feel I should score 15 points here as I cannot repeatedly walk 50 meters within a reasonable timescale due to significant discomfort. And both my GP and Physio state using a wheelchair is an unreasonable suggestion as it will make my symptoms worse.
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 29-03-2018 at 10:37 PM.
    I went to the doctor the other day, Lady Doctor, She says

    "We've got your test results back, we know what it is.

    You've got beating heart disease" Howard Devoto 2009
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