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After 12 years on higher rate disability, I had my PIP assessment and was declined, The problem is the decision is littered with inaccuracies/mistruths, some vital (in my opinion) to the decision.
Since surviving a near fatal RTA after someone opened up a car door onto me (I actually died twice on the operating table), I started to suffer from recurring nightmares, rage episodes, and just didn't want to leave my house. I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD and depression.
Six months later I was diagnosed with terminal sarcoma cancer and given a lfe expectancy of 5 years.The cancer was in my leg, growing around my sciatic nerve, and was cut out, removing the hamstrings in my leg to prevent it reoccurring at the same site.
I then proceded to have radiotherapy on the leg which has left my with high density fibrosis in the upper leg.
The combination of these 2 events happening so close together, coupled with the 5 year diagnosis, caused my depression to worsen impacting massively on my family life and my general demeanour.
After I had out-lived my 5 years, I kind of expected this big golden door to open up and I'd have the key to the rest of my life; however this didn't happen. Since this time I have been unable to hold down a job for much longer than a year - often my rages being the reason for employers letting me go.
I don't want to mix with people; I have missed so many family events and holidays because of this. Sometimes I would make the effort to attend some of these gatherings but I found them so stressfull that I would just drink as much as possible as quickly as possible and just fall asleep - it was easier than talking to people.
I haven't worked since I lost my last job in February but I haven't even signed on because I find to whole process intrusive and like a realisation that i am just a failure. The truth being that I had a top class education and just can't believe how I have changed as a person - it's like I have given up - my partner recently said that I am just rotting away. I feel like I have failed in life and see no hope.
My doctor kept prescribing my tablets, but they just made me feel worse, like I was constanly 'wired'. I lost about 70% of my spleen in my accident so I am very aware that taking constant tablets is something that my body is not able to deal with due to my compromised immune system, The radiotherapy also reduced my immunity.
I have a pronounced foot drop and an unusual gait which causes me to 'kick' my leg out when I walk, and suffer from plantir fascilitis. I can't really feel much of my lower leg except for persistent pins and needles and sudden nerve pain due to my sciatic suffering from damage in the course of removing my cancer.
These are a few of my daily symptoms, there are others, but i don't want to take up too much of your time.
The problem with my assessment was initially it only lasted just over 40 minutes. Midway through decribing my mental problems, I was even told that I'd have to stop talking as 'we've only got 5 minutes left and we haven't done any of the physical questions yet'. I was rushed, and not allowed to continue.
Where is this me being treated as an individual? Whilst waiting for the appointment thare was a TV screen telling everyone what to expect in their appointment.....despite a statement that appointments could last up to 90 mins to 2 hours, I was rushed in and out in less than 45 minutes.
I saw a 'mental health professional', who by her own admission had no experience of PTSD and it's effects, and had no medical knowledge at all of nerve problems.
This aside, the main problem i have is that there are serious factual inaccuracies contained within my decision. i.e. I am an office based courier controller; I plan routes for drivers for a living, I stated that doing this job was the only time that i actually felt like the 'old me' - yet my decision says that 'you said that you have difficulty planning a route'. Why would I say this when it is quite clearly my job of work? Then literally in the next sentence it states that 'you advised that you can plan the route of a journey'. Seriously, did they even read through this before they sent it?
I rely on my mobility vehicle, I cant drive it becuse, without steering column adaptations, it is a physical impossibility; I can't move my foot up and down to operate the accelorator because i have no hamstrings.
And yes, there is another very important reason why I can't drive it, I don't have a driving licence!!! I had a provisional 30 odd years ago but never even had a lesson.. I'm a cyclist, always cycled everywhere, and again, because of having no hamstrings, even if I wanted to cycle again, I'm physically incapable.
Yet in their decision, the DWP stated that 'your employment is as a courier and you can drive'. Completely wrong on both points - it's like saying that an air stewardess is a pilot.
It is an absolute falacy, the ATOS report is not fit for purpose. I've applied for the mandatory reconsideration but fully want to take this further.
I've told them I want a reassessment, which despite me pointing out the mistruths contained within the ATOS report, they say I have no right to get - apparently my problem is with ATOS according to the DWP. As ATOS are working on behalf of the DWP, surely the buck stops with them?
My partner drives me to work (when I am working), she collects me from work, she drives me to the shops because I can't carry more than on bag at a time and can't walk more than about 100 yards without the pain taking over. Sometimes she will take me for a drive just to get me out of the house. I rely on my vehicle to have any semblance of a normal life.
Please someone help.
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