Letter to Frank Field on the issue of Due Consideration given to Mandatory Reconsideration.

Following on from my wordpress post here:

https://diaryofansahstrokesurvivor.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/well-that-came-right-out-of-the-blue/

I have written to Frank Field MP the Works and Pensions Committee chair hoping he will take action on the issue of due consideration not given to many Mandatory Reconsiderations as all it does is cause needless cost to HMCTS by forcing claimants into appeals in the hope they will back down and drop there rightful claims as well as needless stress, worry and anxiety to claimants

Thankfully although they tried this on me they quickly backed out of an appeal with HMCTS as by then they decided to give my Mandatory Reconsideration the due consideration it was due but it took me to lodge my appeal with HMCTS to get them to do this and I had given HMCTS no more information/evidence that I had already given to DWP, indeed my grounds for appeal was a copy and paste of the MR letter!

I had the tenacity and the will to challenge this all the way but that cannot be said of everyone due to illness and disability and thus the bureaucracy of this extra layer added to the appeal process is failing many as I read of many accounts of citizens who just cannot go that extra mile through HMCTS Appeal and thus lose out on an entitlement they was due and that is wrong and needed investigating

Letter within below link.

https://www.scribd.com/document/414199218/Frank-Field-Letter

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Well that came right out of the blue! Zero Mobility Award to Enhanced Mobility Award in 3 weeks!

Some good news following on from this blog posting:

https://diaryofansahstrokesurvivor.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/dwp-catch-questions/

Well they did have the recording of my initial call to claim PIP and it was duly sent on a CD, however things change quickly very quickly in this instance.

At 10am on the 6th June 2019 I got a text from HMCTS saying my claim had been upheld and thus the appeal I had only submitted on the 20th May 2019 has been closed I was rightly on tender hooks as to what exactly had happened so off I went to make a strong coffee to take my mind off and await a DWP letter.

That DWP Letter came through my door before I had even finished that coffee at 10:30am I had won, the DWP had caved in under the weight of the evidence and did not want to go to hearing so was awarded enhanced on both care and mobility components, but not only that.

On further reading twice in fact before it sunk into my Stroke brain they had awarded it to me until 9th December 2028 10 years with the words:

ONGOING AWARD WITH A LIGHT TOUCH REVIEW IN 10 YEARS.

Now I am 56 years old so will be 66 years old by the time that review comes around but more than that I thought by the publicity I had read the 10yr light touch awards are for pensioners? that does not appear to be the case as I am I few years off retirement yet.

I am not complaining as it is finally the right award given my lifelong health conditions but in light of this, my advice to everyone who has a lifelong condition regardless of age should appeal the length of award at both Mandatory Reconsideration or HMCTS Appeal.

In my MR Letter I wrote the following:

Page 27 Award Period

The PA4 Report states: Based on the available evidence, I consider there to be no requirement to arrange a review of this claim as significant change is unlikely and furthermore, he has no ongoing treatments and no variable conditions, therefore his condition is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future therefore a further review is not needed

Given what had been assessed and written above I question why the need for a review in 3 years had been given on my award letter knowing that a review would be sent out in two years as my conditions are lifelong and not going to change for the better indeed that was the view of my DLA Award which was indefinite.

Given the statement issued by Sarah Newton the Disability Minister who said:

“We’ve listened to feedback from organisations and the public, and this common-sense change will ensure that the right protections are in place while minimising any unnecessary stress or bureaucracy.”

Furthermore, she said:

“new guidance had been issued to decision makers in August 2018 “to ensure those who are awarded the highest level of support whose needs are unlikely to improve or will deteriorate receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at the 10-year point.”

Given my health conditions that I have had for the past near 29 years and will continue until my life ends, I would say a light touch 10-year review is better served in my claim for Personal Independence Payment and not the 3-year award given. I now turn to the inaccuracies in the rest of the report as they should at least go on record as I have already been awarded 19 points for care and thus am not challenging the care component

It is those words that got me the 10yr ongoing award with a light touch review but it raises the question why did the DWP force me into submitting an appeal to HMCTS anyway when they could have done this at Mandatory Reconsideration as I submitted no more evidence and my grounds to appeal was the MR Letter I had sent to DWP and thus could only have been that which swung it in my favour, I had not even send my submission to Court as was awaiting the bundle of documents from DWP which they were relying on.

So in short from submitting my Appeal to HMCTS on 20th May 2019 to today just shy of 3 weeks I have gone from just enhanced care to full PIP award with enhanced mobility and a 10 yr ongoing award.

My job is done and the stress release has been amazing!

UPDATE:

Below I have now added the two important pages of the 11 page letter, they detail the enhanced award for both care and mobility but as I said above what is more important and of interest to many is not the enhanced award in itself but both the length of award and the words “light touch review” being that the Secretary of state for Works and Pensions said such an award was for pensioners initially making a claim for PIP and those already on PIP will be converted at a later date

I was 56 on the 4th June 2019 so some way of pensionable age so clearly that statement was wrong and also applies to those with lifelong health conditions that will struggle with mobility and daily living regardless of age.

20th May 2019 Submitted



DWP Catch Questions.

I have read the following blog by Alex Tiffin about the rise in claimants losing enhanced rate of Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and thus there mobility vehicles

https://universalcreditsuffer.com/2019/05/24/over-half-of-disabled-claimants-moved-to-pip-lose-high-rate-mobility/

It brought back a thought I had and of which I have submitted an FOI Request to DWP in the hope they have recorded the conversation.

Let me explain:

Back in August 2018 I was admitted to hospital for a Radical Cystectomy due to bladder cancer this triggered a new claim for PIP as new health conditions have to be reported to DWP so this I did on discharge from hospital, in hindsight maybe I should have left it a bit longer as due to heavy medication and healing process was not in the best frame of mind.

Anyway I made the call and after going through security questions the first thing I was asked was ” would you like me to inform motability operations of your claim for PIP” not in the best frame of mind I said yes and suffice to say no information was forthcoming and having gone through the medical assessment, the points awarded and how the assessor was leaning on mobility I am lead to believe that question was a catch question of which I fell for hook, line and sinker.

I scored 19 points for care needs well over the 12 needed for enhanced care component but ZERO for mobility despite the executive dysfunction and cancer fatigue I have overlapping on both care and mobility.

They have not read any of the evidence I supplied even at Mandatory Reconsideration they merely read the MR Letter bunged 4 points on for mobility and sent the refusal letter out that was it.

I have now submitted my appeal to HMCTS and will be submitting a submission soon as DWP respond, it has thus far been a complete farce and the PA4 Report? not worth the paper it is written on.

Overpayment of Carers Allowance to my Wife, But was it?

Today the National Audit Office (NAO) released a report called Investigation into overpayments of Carers Allowance, many mainstream media have picked it up from the NAOs Press Release and reported on it too but I would like to go further and report how this has impacted on my wife or should that in fact be a family as although it was her carers allowance it has impacted on the family unit.

My wife who I and many others see as the good lady as that is exactly what she was then and remains so now took on the responsibility of caring for her mum in the mid 1990’s, this responsibility got greater as the years past due her mum’s main condition of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

We would never dream of putting her/our mum in a care home that thought never entered our minds she was family and thus our responsibility to care for her, however we do understand why many families take that route as it is not easy when you have your own school children and jobs to hold onto as well but that we juggled.

So I was working full-time and my wife was working part-time in the evenings so that she could put in the 35 hours a week that the law says you must do to be entitled to claim Carers Allowance, it also and the reason why my wife went to work in the evenings gave her time to escape and be herself and not have to worry about her mum whilst I cared for her and had time with my two young sons in the evenings.

It was a system we had that worked well and most importantly kept mum at home where she wanted to be with her grandsons which she enjoyed the most as well as saving the Government an absolute fortune in care home fees which at the time we was glad to do.

I cannot tell you enough how important that bond our mum had with her grandsons was it was precious and special times they had together in her final years.

However as time went on her needs got greater and greater putting more and more pressure on my wife but she carried on despite it being a hectic life to lead her family of her mum her children and me was the most important and thus forever in the front of her mind it simply did not cross her mind to keep a check on her working hours so rigidly, she never thought she was doing anything wrong and in fact I’d say she was a saint.

But wrong she was according to the DWP even though she had much more important things on her mind, but sometimes she would go over her permitted hours by 15 minutes in a week, sometimes 30 minutes sometimes an hour but that was enough to lose all that weeks carers allowance.

The job she was in was a shop assistant mostly working the tills in the evening it was a customer depended job meaning someone always had to be on the tills but if someone was late she could not go home and had to stay on until till swap was done etc.

She did not want to leave and find another job as she enjoyed it meeting customers chatting to staff indeed it fitted well with her other responsibilities at home and although now our mum has since passed away over 20 years later she is still their doing that job but now a Duty Manager.

But the upshot is all that Carers Allowance rightly and fairly earned she had to pay it all back all £18,000 of it rounded so in the end it will have cost the Govt not only nothing in care home fees but nothing either in carers allowance and my wife, oh she has the punishment of seeing that attachment of earnings on her payslip every month long into the future as her thanks for saving the Govt a fortune.

My wife btw also get no letter or statement from the DWP to show how much she has paid back or has left to pay she is paying it via attachment of earnings each month but is totally in the dark as to when this will be over furthermore it was a good 10 years before they wrote to her for a compliance interview too why?

That I feel is very unfair in itself.

Letter from Moz Greenshields, Secretary of the Derby Trade Union Council

Chris Williamson and his suspension from the Labour Party.

Moz sets it out plainly, as the mainstream media wilfully neglects to do. This witch-hunt, this vilification, this slander, this libel has to stop.

Please do read it. It’s the truth, not how the right wing media twist it, as they always do.

Standing up for Palestinian human rights, or any human rights, is not antisemitism. How disgusting that this is what the media hand in hand with the Tories are attempting to do. Racists attempting to label lifelong anti-racists, as racists. The biggest insult, and a disgusting smear.

I hope the British public see through it:

“Throughout Derby Chris Williamson is known as someone who stands up for working-class people, whatever their origins and ethnicity. We are proud to have him as our MP.

Chris has proven himself to be a fierce opponent of all forms of racism, including anti-semitism. He is outspoken and brave in this. As a young man in the 1970s he was an active member of the Anti-Nazi League, confronting the racists and anti-semites of the National Front wherever they raised their vile heads, and he has maintained the same position and active opposition to racism, anti-semitism and fascism ever since.

We should remember that Chris worked hard to spearhead the efforts to ensure Derby was one of the first local authorities to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

What Chris said in Sheffield was that the evils of racism, anti-semitism and Islamophobia need to be fought and beaten wherever and whenever they appear, and that the Labour Party has done more than any other parliamentary party — and therefore should be not so apologetic about its performance in this regard — though of course there is always more to be done.

It is this that has been misinterpreted — deliberately so — by some who seek a stick to beat him with.

It is an absolute absurdity and vile travesty to level the charge of anti-semitism at Chris and everyone in Derby knows it. As secretary of the Derby Area Trades Union Council I urge fair-minded Derby people to speak up for him, just as he speaks up bravely for all of us.

Chris stands for unity, solidarity and community cohesion. Those members of the Labour Party, particularly those MPs, who oppose the restoration of socialism in the leadership of the party have failed in their many attempts to reverse this.

So they have increasingly turned to distortions and smears against the leadership — including Chris Williamson, who is their target of the day. It is they who should apologise for their defamation of a decent man and an MP who really cares for his people, whatever their heritage and background.”

Moz Greenshields
Secretary, Derby Area Trade Union Council

 

I am trying hard to praise the NHS on this one but even the Consultant is stumped on treatment.

I have a rare bladder condition that I really need to talk about back in 2011 I was diagnosed with  Keratinizing Squamous Metaplasia of the bladder it is a rare I was told and leads to Squamous cell carcinoma which is invasive.

So I have had a tumour since April 2018 and quiet some weeks past treatment I have had cystoscopy, biopsy, CT Scans one might think yes plenty of imaging but whilst they confirm a tumour they cannot grade it or at least not willing to tell me

Today I went for what I thought was an MDT Meeting to discuss treatment but was told because I am now doing if not a better term gassing via my penis so they need another CT scan

All the while I am in pain with no adequate painkillers that work I need ‎opioid drugs and not paracetamol based ones that only work for a couple of hours I also need antibiotics again as the urine is strong cloudy and smelly but despite asking they where not forthcoming.

I lost a lot of weight which the specialist nurse picked up on bless her and tired fatigued coping with urinary retention of which the UTI is not helping hence the antibiotics needed.

Is getting cancer treatment really this hard? because from what I have read and believe me put in a lot of research on this since 2011 is a radical cystectomy and urine diversion via Stoma.

Why is it taking so long and why are targets being missed something does not add up

Looks like I will now have to go back to my GP so he can get the lowdown on what is going on but that should not need to be the case .

Sorry after today am feeling pretty low and my wife is in pieces over this, she has been a gem throughout juggling work with my appointments of which their has been many since end of April.

So as it stands another CT Scan on Monday and back to the consultant on Thursday were I hope the MDT discussion and some firm answers will be forthcoming but will refer to GP tomorrow hopefully he can phone them to see what is what

Regards