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PostPosted: Mon 22 Dec, 2014 10:06 am 
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Just a quick update on my situation. I received a letter dated 3/12/14 stating I was not entitled to ESA. I received this letter on 6/12/14 and immediately phoned to ask for an MR. I was told I had a month to send in any new evidence/doctor's letters etc. My doctor provided me with a copy of my latest MRI-my Spondylosis has been upgraded to Multi-Level degenerative disc disease-in my GP's words-'wow-your neck is in a bit of a mess'! I sent this letter off on 11/12/14. I received a letter from the DWP dated 16/12/14 saying that as I had failed to send in any new information the decision to deny ESA would stand. So the 'month' to send any new information was actually about 10 days! I now have to find a Welfare rights officer in a hurry to send my appeal in before 16/1/15.


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PostPosted: Mon 22 Dec, 2014 1:28 pm 
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That is awful treatment and surely breaking their own guidelines! I don't know what advocacy services are available in your area but would suggest CAB, and asking your local council/corporation if they have a Welfare Rights Officer who could help. Please also phone and email your MP to tell them what has happened and ask for an urgent meeting. I hope someone here will be able to give you better help.

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PostPosted: Mon 22 Dec, 2014 10:05 pm 
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Hi Bonnylad

Go to your local CAB. If you have any support worker, get them to make a referral by phone to a CAB Benefits Adviser and you will bypass the "gateway assessment" stage and save an appointment and perhaps a week or 2. If they have Benefits Clinic, get there 10 or 15 minutes before they open, be in that queue because it might become a long one.

When you send anything in support of your claim to DWP, don't just put it in a postbox, go into the Post Office and ask for a "Proof of Posting". This is free other than the stamp. Your documents aren't signed for on receipt but it is proof you posted it on time and to the right address.

And I do concur with letting your local Councillor and MP know of your situation.

All the best to you.


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PostPosted: Mon 22 Dec, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Thank you LadyCentauria and 51A. I phoned Newcastle Welfare Rights and was told to download form SSCS1 and to fill it in myself and send it off. They only do casework for specific groups such as people with mental health problems, people with learning disabilities etc. Would it still be worth my while to contact CAB?


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PostPosted: Mon 22 Dec, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Bonnylad wrote:
Thank you LadyCentauria and 51A. I phoned Newcastle Welfare Rights and was told to download form SSCS1 and to fill it in myself and send it off. They only do casework for specific groups such as people with mental health problems, people with learning disabilities etc. Would it still be worth my while to contact CAB?


Yes I think it would. It depends on the strength of the Benefits team within your own local CAB of course, they are a network and are locally funded as individual organisations. I know our local team are amazing, I did CAB work voluntarily for some time, can't do it now, working full time as I have to. But I am still good friends with ours and can find out about yours if they're not responsive to you. But they should be responsive to you, you clearly have a seriously limiting condition. Please go as quickly as you can, before Xmas if possible. After Xmas debts start to roll in and the client list grows exponentially. As I said, if you belong to a support group or have a support worker, get them to phone and bypass the "gateway". A lot of people don't understand or like the "gateway" system, it's not personned by experts - pretty much all at that level are volunteers - but it is a necessary step for CAB which is woefully underfunded.

If you want any more help see me here and we'll exchange contact details.

All the best.


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PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Well I managed to get to the main CAB in Newcastle city centre. They gave me a copy of form SSCS1 and told me how to fill it in. Much like the Welfare rights people-they do not represent people anymore. It's a bit frustrating knowing that being represented by someone greatly increases your chances of winning at appeal, but that nobody seems to do it anymore!


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