Finally got enhanced rate after a year of fighting my case

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Hi All

I have Ostioarthritis it started in 2015 when l was 42. I first was told l needed both hips replaced and got these done and when l applied for a blue badge the woman told me that l would be getting badge for 3 years and be assesed again but also told me about pip. I have worked full time all my life then suddenly my life was turned upside down. The pain just moved its way to my knee's and spine. At this point l was in constant pain and was told both knee's needed replaced. I had to give up my position as bank manager and go part time as the pain was to much and getting worse. I could hadly drive. I applied for pip and the form was a nightmare. I read a lot into it and Denise on here also advised me a lot on it. I got my 1st f2f which l must say was ok compaired to some of the stories l had heard about ATOS. The woman was fair and full of empathy and a few weeks later l was awarded standard rate for both catagories. I made sure l sent in loads of evidence like letters from my consultants, xrays and a letter from the lady who assesed me for blue badge. But as time went on so did my OA is spread to my ankles and feet and my back was sore constantly. So l sent in a change of circumstance. Well doing the form again was hard enough but my f2f this time was awful. She was meant to be a nurse and tbh l think she had made up her mind before l entered the room. She did the trick about getting me to walk to the very end of corridor. I had just had ankle surgery and was in crutches with a moonboot on. My husband had to basically help he all along and l stopped in middle as l was struggling and eventually got there but was in tears. She was the most unpleasant lady every. I suffer from anxiety because l an rarely out the house now and have been off my work so long because of diffrent operations. She never gave me a medical exam and there was no bed in the room. I was crying most of way through assesment but she never once asked if l would like a break or water or if l was ok. She would not let my husband answer questions even though l was struggling. I never once looked up at her but had a hankie in my hand. I did not do well in the memory tests as l am on high levels of morohine and get mixed up. Everything l told her was true that l could not get in and out bath even with bathboard and my husband washed me upper and lower half and my hair as the pain in my back was to sore. I told her l had slept on my couch for 2 years and things were just getting so much worse. I provided more evidence from my consultants. But it was like the fastest she could get through it the better. I said l was unable to drive now as concentration had gone plus l had a manual car and my ankles would not allow me to drive it without severe pain. She got to end and handed my husband a leflet and said l should not be telling you this but to appeal and win get a nore detailed letter from doctor to say tou can't do tasks. I just wanted out but my husband said to me walking out well thats us either getting the same or less because of how she was. I called and got a copy of my report. Well to say it was a total farse is an understatment. It was full of lies and contraditions. I worked it out l had scored exact same as first one......2 points of getting enhanced. I though about it for a while and again got some advice from Denise (thank you). I went to citizens advice where they done my MR letter for me. I got another 2 more detailed letters from my surgeons. I also went to my local MP and asked for her help. She was brilliant. Firstly she pointed out that this nurse had puta detaied medical review for me which never happened and found all the flaws. Like her saying l did not have anxiety yet cried. There was loads. She wrote a letter of complaint to ATOS and to the DWP. A month or so passed and my mum was terminally ill in a hospice and unfortunatly died last week. But l got a call on friday to let me know l had got my enhanced rate without going to appeals. Although the news came at such a sad time for me and it has took the feeling of achivement away it just shows you what you can do if you don't give up or give in as thats what they want you to do. I went through every channel to get help and back up and it worked. Now l have no job as my OA it to bad and my husband has to work part time from home to be my carer. I have lost most of the income coming into my house.

I just wonder now l have no job because of my illness l would be entitled to any other benifit or would pip be my only one.

Thanks Again

My advice don't give in and get a copy of the report and check it again and again. And get as much evidence as you can. I just wish my mum was here to see that l had got what l deserved.

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  • Posted

    HI Lors,

    Firstly i'm so sorry to hear about your mum!! Please accepted my sincere condolences at this very sad time! Sedning hugs your way!

    This news is absolutely fantastic!!! It make all my advice to you worth while (even through private message) I'm so happy you got what you deserve!! Well done to you! I'm guessing it's Enhanced mobility or is it Enhanced for both?

    As for any other benefits, it would depend on what hours your husband works. Do you work part time or have you finished work now?  Also do you rent your home or is it a mortgage? If you can answer these questions i'll help all i can. xx

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  • Posted

    Oh my goodness Lors,  what a terrible time you've had, but what a well deserved end to it.   Unfortunately it did not come at a good time, with your mum and I'm really sorry to hear that she has died.  My mum died 12 years ago and I still get really upset by it, so I can really feel your pain.

    Denise is brilliant and has helped so many people and I'm glad you were one of them.  I hope she will come through and advise you again, as unfortunately I'm not able to being an old wrinkly at nearly 70.  Take care and I hope things improve for you x

     

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  • Posted

    I just re-read your post and see you don't work. How long is it since you last worked? and how many hours does your husband worked? Rent or own your own home? and of course also is it just Mobility part of PIP or do you have the daily living part as well? xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise

      I own my house by mortgage. My husband did work 3 days but is now giving it up as l need him to be there all the time. I think l got enhanced for both. The lady that called on friday was not going to tell me over the phone she was just trying to work out the time my condition got worse. But when l told her that l had just lost my mum and the funeral was the day before she must have felt sorry for me and said well you are getting your enhanced. I was so numb and not really thinking but l said so what you are saying l got it for both. And she went yes but you will get the letter advising you as l am really not meant to say over the phone but because you have had such a bad time and are grieving l am saying yes you are getting it for both. Usually l would have been overjoyed but l am still hurting so much at losing my mum. I had spent the last few weeks at a hospice in a wheelchair. I had to put my own issues to the side and be at my mums side. But today we have decided that my husband will need to give up working to take care of me as its just getting worse as time goes by. The ATOS lady seemed to think cause l could hold a hankie l was fine. She lied about doing a medical assesment and wrote a full page of medical details. When l never actually moved from the chair. She said l got all the questions correct and l never as my husband told me after it. He also explained he does all.my pain medication as he had wrote a list for me to follow and twice a got it wrong in one try which is a danger as its diffrent stenths of oxy l take and codine as well as all my other medication. Yet she wrote she does her on medication from a dossage box. This was never mentioned. The MP picked up on the lies and contradictions on the report and sent a letter of complaint to ATOS and the DWP. And to my suprise l got it through the MR.

      So the amount that will be coming in to my house will be my pip and my husband will get carers allowance now that he is not working. I just wondered if there was anything else l could claim as we wont be bringing in a lot per month.

      Thanks Again Denise you are brilliant. But l just wish l would swap anything to have my mum back at the moment. That is all l am thinking about. 1 year ago when l startedcthe change of circumstance or there about as l have lost track of time. My mum was just being told she had cancer. Went through all the treatment and was told she was fine and to go live her life. She never was the same again. Was paranoid that she still had it. We spent months getting on at her that she was suffering anxiety and she was fine. But she kept saying there is lumps in my kneck. Went and got checked they said no she was fine. Again she keot saying there is something wrong with my kneck. Checked again and she was right. By that time it had spread across her chest and up her arm and into her lymthnodes. She lasted 4 months. Am so angry that they never checked her properly. She ended up suffering at the end and drowned in fluid in her lungs. She started off with lung cancer but had not smoked for 45 years. 😢 x

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    • Posted

      I really am very sorry about your mum. Sukes is right is never does get any easier, you just learn to cope with it as the years go by sad

      As for other benefits yes it sounds like you could claim ESA whether it would be Contibution Based ESA or Income Related would depend on how much National Insurance you paid over the last 2 tax years. You would claim it with your husband added to your claim. With ESA you would need  a fit/sick note from your GP while in the assessment phase and if you're put into one of the groups you wouldn't need to send in fit notes anymore. However, because there's new rules for new claimants that are put into the WRAG there wouldn't be any extra money with this, it would be the same money as JSA. There's also a HUGE form to fill in called ESA50 which is like a book (no joke) then there's the face 2 face assessment too, a paper based decision is possible but like with PIP it's rare. It's also extremely stressful and if successful and put into one of the 2 groups you'll be reviewed from time to time (like with PIP) It's very much the same thing but has slightly different criteria. They also can't find you "fit for work" without a face to face assessment. I'll warn you tho Lors it's extremely stressful to say the very least!!

      HOWEVER because your husband is going to be claiming Carers Allowance you he could claim Income Support with you added onto the claim (but you can't claim this until they start paying your Husband Carers Allowance and a claim for this can take 8 weeks because i know there's a large backlog accross the country. Claiming Income support there would be no assessments or anything, all it would be is a short appointment at your local job centre occasionally but it's nothing to worry about!

      Money difference between the 2 is not a lot and for the extras on ESA you would need to be in the Support Group ( and there's no guarantee you'll be put into this group) for couples it's £114.85 per week with Carers allowance added on top ( £34.60 ) per week. Yes, i know Carers Allowance is actually £62.70 per week BUT (and this is complicated) because ESA/Income Support are both overlapping benefits you can't claim either of these together with Carers Allowance SO what they do is they pay a carers premium INSTEAD which is £34.60. This takes my calculation to £149.45 for you both (as a couple per week) On top of this you would also have FREE dental treatment, free prescriptions.

      Now you PIP award.... because you claim Enhanced in both you once you have the award letter you need to contact your local council because you'll have a reduction in your Council Tax.

      There's also a choice of whether you want to take the mobility car option instead of your weekly mobility money. Included in this would be road tax, insurance, break down cover etc...the only thing you'll have to pay for is your fuel EVERYTHING else is included in the weekly money. It's paid straight to motability. Some cars do have a down payment depending on which car you choose. Automatics most likey will as mine did. You can look on the motability website for all the cars you can choose. I suggest you make a list of your chosen few and once you have your PIP award letter you can take this to any dealer that deal with motability and test drive a few cars and see which one is right for you.

      I'm sorry this took a while to post but too me FOREVER to type it lol. I hope you're able to understand it too. You're such a lovely person Lors and i wish you well!! More hugs coming you're way my friend. Please take care and if you need anymore advice please do just ask, i'll be here. xxx

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    • Posted

      Also forgot to add that to be able to take the car option your mobility award has to be a minimum 12 months xx
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    • Posted

      Aww Denise thanks but right back at ya girl. You as so clued up that you should be paid for the amount of help you give on this forum. I used to be on the hip one when l stated and was always trying to help people but sometimes it was hard when people either did not listen or think they new better..but because l used to sit at home on my own it passed the time and it felt good helping people. And you got to know a lot of nice people from all over. But for the last year or so l have been watching you give out advice as best you could and you know your stuff. Sometimes you get the odd one that comes in and you say thats not real or they are talking rubbish and l almost jump in but l dont know much or enough to say to them. It was one that the girls cousin or uncle had been phoned up to get bank details as he forgot to write them and did not need to go for a f2f. But he just got his money. I thought that sounds to good to be true lol

      Yeah about the car l have a focus just now but can't drive it as my ankles are to sore. I would need an automatic but like the same car. I will have a look at the mobility cars part.

      But l cant thank you enough Denise you are the lovely person and are so helpful to eveyone. You are an angel.

      No doubt l will be back asking you more soon. Xxxx

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    • Posted

      Lors are you more than welcome!! It's been my pleasure helping you all i can! I'm the same as you were once, i just love helping people. I don't have anything else to do with my time. I'm single too so no man to tell me what to do......yay! cheesygrin haha.

      Your post made me both sad and happy today. I know exactly what it's like to lose a loved one. You'll find a way to cope, i know tou will!

      The list is endless with the cars that are available, even though the choice maybe slightly less for automatics. I have a motability car which is an automatic and i don't know what i'd do without it. Had it since November last year and it's my first one. I don't go far but there car is there when i need it. I'd be housebound without it. The motability advisers at the dealers are all very friendly and they'll explain everything to you. Just make sure you get the car that's right for you!

      Take care my friend and stay strong! xxx

       

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    • Posted

      You are right Lors, I've been on the site for over 12 months now and there  have been a number of 

      people  knocking Denise. but to me she comes across as a genuinely caring person.   x

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    • Posted

      Aww thanks sukes! I'm sure someone would answer their questions. It makes all the more worth while when people you've helped get the right decision! Makes me smile, for sure! Thank you for your kind words smile xxx

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    • Posted

      Some don't like me, maybe because i "tell it how it is" you're right sukes, i care about others! I know exactly what it's like to go through applying for these benefits. If i see someone advicing others incorrectly then i have to correct them, i can't help myself. People come here for advice because they don't know the answers theirself. If i didn't know the answer then i'd simply tell them i'm sorry but i can't help you. I just couldn't ignore someone post. I'm sorry if there's a few here that don't like me but i am who i am and if you don't like me then move on. Im here to stay whether they like it or not. Unless i get banned by our admin of course rolleyeseeklol xx

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    • Posted

      I have no idea how anyone could not like you Denise but if thats the case its there loss. You say it like it is and if people take that wrong then its there loss. You have always been lovely and so helpful to me. I am fan you are an angel hun. Nobody can take that away from you. All you do is help and advise people.

      Xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise a few people can't take the truth and will shoot the messenger instead. I have learned that you can't help this type of person so I bow out after 1 attempt! 

      A few come on here just to moan and complain and resent advice of any sort.  Fortunately most of us are very grateful to have someone so knowledgeable on here so concentrate on them and not the idiots!  smile  x

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Bev! Thanks, yes how true that it! Sometimes the truth hurts. My problem is i'm just too sensitive lol xx

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