Discussion in 'Work, Finances and Disability Insurance' started by Barry, Feb 21, 2019.
If I was benevolent dictator, living with a chronic illnesses would be a prerequisite for having the job of deciding what applicants are eligible for disability support.
Lived experience is crucial in this context.
If you don't have a chronic illness, you are not qualified for that job.
In theory that is a good idea, but my limited experience suggests that people with a chronic illness mild enough to be able to hold down a job assessing other people for benefits can tend to assume that their ability to continue working, or to return to work following improvement in their health, is down to their own determination and positive thinking, and that everyone else with the same illness should be able to do the same. And those who have 'recovered' can be surprisingly unsympathetic, thinking others should do the same.
Hence we end up with people running things like the Optimum Health Clinic, LP etc. who have 'recovered' from what may or may not have been ME, and think whatever they were doing at the time should cure everyone else if they try hard enough.
Perhaps the best people to assess people with ME for benefits are carers of people who are severely affected.
Yes. Encountered a variation on this the other day. My wife and I were talking to an acquaintance who has fibromyalgia, and is therefore also a victim of a hidden illness, so you would think knew better. She knows my wife has ME, and is not able to walk very fast, but we were doing dog training, and dogs respond better if you can walk faster. This person said it would be better if people could walk faster, and she knew that some people are a bit challenged in that way, but that she is also and just has to get on with it, so did not have a lot of sympathy ... ! Bit my tongue and shut up.
I find the best way of encouraging people to walk faster is to tie them to something, say a car, or a pack of horses, anything really, and gradually increase the speed, pretty soon they feel encouraged to move a bit faster. Of course there are variations on this theme, such as tigers, people with pointy sticks etc.
Movement is good for people, moving a bit faster is even better, provided you can deal with minor inconveniences like blood loss.
Unfortunately, I suspect for most the PIP process involves the unpleasant inconvenience getting through the assessment and mandatory review and the year plus wait, before there is any serious attempt at evaluating their claim by the appeal tribunal. [Certainly for me the assessment and mandatory review had only a tenuous link to my daily life. For example in answer to the question "Do you have people in your village that you can socialise with?" the assessor heard the "Yes, .... ", however he did not hear the "... but because of my health, I can often go upto ten days with out face to face contact with anyone".]
The local authority welfare officer, who supported me at my appeal hearing, said with the cases they supported there was an 80-90% success rate. Given, if I remember correctly, the overall rate for successful appeals is 50-60%, does that mean for those who go to appeals unsupported they are significantly at a disadvantage. Certainly my experience was that the panel genuinely want to reach a fair decision, but without support I would not have known how to present the information to facilitate their decision process.
This is what worries me - and I'm going to have to face it in due course.
The entire process has been a nightmare for me and I struggled not to kill myself for the past year after receiving highest DLA for 15+ years, then having a terrible home-based PIP assessment with a false report that awarded me standard rate, so would have lost my car, but won it back at mandatory review stage (thank God). But went to tribunal to get the living rate enhanced, because the assessor made a false report. But after a year of extreme stress and anxiety, plus the loss of £30 pw in benefits, the tribunal favoured the DWP despite a massive stack of evidence and history to prove my case. I'm in shock. I only got the decision today. I thought they'd see reason and favour me, but I couldn't attend (like most people with ME/FMS and multiple conditions) so like most paper cases they decided in favour of DWP. This isn't fair justice.
No, it's not.
Not about ME but I think many pwME can relate to that:
"Living with MS is painful but I've never felt indignity like a PIP assessment | inews"
Nevertheless, sometimes encouraging things happen -- even for pwME:
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