Ouch Too - a place for and about disabled people.

Forum => Welfare Rights => Topic started by: Becca7 on 28 Apr 2014 06:56PM

Title: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 28 Apr 2014 06:56PM
I went to the job centre having been sent there by my worker regarding finding out when my esa50 was going to be sent, basically if it isn't in the next couple of weeks then my support worker can't continue with me. She couldn't phone dwp as she had another appointment and I can't manage phones so she said go ask at job centre.

It was a disaster. The woman I spoke to said it isn't due for a few months and then kept asking me why I wasn't on work programme and why someone like me was in support group and had a worker as I maintained eye contact fine and dressed fine (I've not changed my clothes for over a year and smell so I don't see how she could say I dress fine) and could obviously work. She kept trying to get me on the work programme, I'm now really really frightened I've lost my ESA. She was adamant people like me shouldn't be in support group and as I left heard her telling her colleagues I needed investigating as 'something isn't right' ;-(

Please can anyone advise me? I'm really scared. I can't get into the medical centre for a medical, something else she had a go at me about was me never having had one and how unfair it was that others did and lost money who needed it and it was given to me.

There is no CAB here and I couldn't think where else to ask.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 28 Apr 2014 07:09PM
My first reaction is, 'who the hell does that stupid woman at JC-Plus think she is anyway??'  Do you know her 'rank' as it were?  ie, is she a Personal Advisor or a receptionist?  Whatever, she had no right to speak to you like that and I would be complaining to her supervisor/manager.  I think maybe you should tell your support worker about this as soon as possible, perhaps you could go back together and ask to see someone with more authority..
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 28 Apr 2014 07:16PM
I've no idea who she was Kizzy. The receptionist just asked her to see me, which she did. She was quite nice until I began saying things like no I don't need work programme  or to see disability advisor. It was the receptionist she was making the comments about something not being right to. I'm scared they can take my money.

My worker won't go with me. Literally she had one thing to do with me now and that's this week. She won't go. I rang her after I went there and she said that's just the way it is, she's been banned from continuing to see and help me and is upset about it due to the circumstances (I can't say more about that here) she is not allowed to do anything but what she is doing this week. Basically they've said I've had the support needed to do my own forms/attend job centre alone and she knows I am not.

I only wanted to know about my ESA claim not get grilled about the work programme and hear how there was something wrong with my claim. It was me mentioning being unable to use a phone and the one I had been trying being dead, she had a go about that too that I must give her a number right now.

I'm too afraid to complain about her.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 28 Apr 2014 07:31PM
If it all comes down to 'when is my ESA50 due' and you can't use the phone/visit the office, might be best to just write to them with this quick query - that way, you're also more likely to receive simply the information you are requesting, rather than all this other nonsense!
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 28 Apr 2014 07:35PM
If I had the means to type a letter Kizzy it's what I would have done but I don't. My support worker had done all letters for me, or I had to pay for someone to do them.

And I didn't realise until I left how stupid I had been going there.  Now panicking. A lot.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 28 Apr 2014 07:44PM
You don't have to type a letter, it's just as valid done in handwriting...

Just something on the lines of:

(remember to include your NI number as well as your name and address, it may sound like 'telling Granny to suck eggs' but you'd be surprised at the number of claimants writing in who overlooked this)

Dear Sir or Madam

I currently receive Employment Support Allowance and am aware that it is due to be reviewed soon, but I am not sure of the exact date - please could you inform me when my current award is due to end.

Many thanks

[signature etc]
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: ditchdwellers on 28 Apr 2014 07:44PM
Are you able to hand write a letter?  There is no need to type it if you don't have a  access to a computer.   
Try not to worry.  You haven't done anything wrong  >hugs<

Edit - cross posted with Kizzy
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 28 Apr 2014 08:07PM
I should have explained it's very very hard for me to write anything legibly with my hands the way they are. I can't type anymore, must use speech software.

I guess I need to wait and see but very much  >confused< At moment and this is accurate description of me when leaving and realising what I could now be facing. Honestly it never occurred to me asking a simple question could cause such  a response.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Monic1511 on 28 Apr 2014 08:52PM
Hi Becca

is there anyone you can get to write a note for you - I think you need to write a letter or copy & paste something like this.

For the attention of the Manager
Jobcentre Plus
Street
Becca's Town

Dear Sir/Madam

My Name is Becca and my national insurance number is
I was told by my support worker that as she had run out of time today (28/4/14) I had to come to the jobcentre and ask a question myself.  I cannot write or type but use speech software. This note has been dictated & reproduced by a friend for me.   On 28/4/14 I visited the jobecentre around 12.30 pm  The question I had to ask was " when my esa50 was going to be sent to me"  This is important as my support worker has to be available to help me.

When I asked this question the worker then started to quiz me and made several personal judgements about me, my appearance and seemingly being able to deal with her as a person.   I am now terrified that this person's judgements and snap decisions will influence my award.   I have complex mental health problems which qualified medical professionals have diagnosed.  Please ask your staff not to make snap diagnosis of people with mental health issues as they are not qualified.    I would be grateful if you could let me know when I will receive an ESA50 and please do not increase my distress further as I feel my health spinning out of control.

Yours faithfully

Becca

you would need to put in the time you attended the office and tweak that if you want but if you do it would give you some sort of control and maybe that woman will be told not to make snap judgements which she has no qualifications to do so

Monic
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 28 Apr 2014 09:13PM
Just to add to the good advice so far...

Always remember it is not the staff on the Jobcentre floor that decides who gets ESA and why it is the DWP Decision Maker. The reason for this is that the DM has a lot more information to hand as well as your ESA50.

A couple of years ago there was a documentary about people who worked in the Jobcentre have targets and what amounted to quotas, In the program advisors were on the lookout for people they could more easily get into work, because it gave them a easy 'win'. Had the advisor been in her right mind she would have realised how ridiculous she was being. Scaring the crap out of someone who voluntarily comes to the Jobcentre does suggest the advisor's level of stupidity is fairly high.

 >bighugs<
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: devine63 on 29 Apr 2014 01:10AM
Hi Becca

I have strengthened the wording suggested by Monic just a bit ....   see below
regards, Deb



For the attention of the Manager
Jobcentre Plus
Street
Becca's Town

Dear Sir/Madam

My Name is Becca and my national insurance number is

I was told by my support worker that as she had run out of time today (28/4/14) I had to come to the jobcentre and ask a question myself.  My physical health issues mean I cannot write or type but I use speech software. This note has been dictated & reproduced by a friend for me.   

I am currently receiving ESA and I have been assessed and placed in the Support group.

On 28/4/14 I visited the job centre around 12.30pm.  The question I had to ask was "when is my esa50 going to be sent to me?"  This is important as my support worker has to be available to help me with it and she needs to know when that form will be sent.

When I asked this question your staff member then started to quiz me about my situation, this was in front of other people, completely ignoring my right to privacy.  She made several personal judgements about me, my appearance and my being able to deal with her as a person.   I am now terrified that this person's judgements and snap decisions will somehow influence my ESA award.   In addition to my complex physical health issues, I also have complex mental health problems which qualified medical professionals have diagnosed and the DWP has assessed me as meeting the Support Group criteria. 

Please ask your staff not to make snap diagnoses of people with mental health issues as they are not qualified to do so, and in the process they cause the person additional, unnecessary, distress.   This is disability discrimination and it is illegal under the Equality Act (2010).

I would be grateful if you could let me know when I will receive an ESA50.   Please do not increase my distress further as I feel my health spinning out of control.

Yours faithfully

Becca
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 29 Apr 2014 01:25AM
Becca >bighugs<
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 29 Apr 2014 11:36AM
I've never been treated like that by someone there before. Okay they have targets, but someone who has two hands in splints are they really ready for work??? Last time I was on jsa, over 15 years ago they tried to get me off it because they considered me unfit for work, now I've deteriorated a lot, with mental health problems and I'm suddenly off to the work programme.

If I hadn't self harmed before going in it would have been a much different ending as she would have been dealing with an unstable Becca and very likely police as well. A it turned out I was able to leave though I then had problems getting my medication as pharmacist was worried, I'd lost control over responding to voices by that point. Including my time in job centre there was about 20 minutes lapsed.

I'm not even able to sleep now. I think knowing I'm losing my worker and won't have anyone to help with esa50 or be able to get medical evidence had me already upset, then this on top. Also I have other worries as well.

Anyway, lack of sleep means I ramble a lot, I will get a copy of debs letter sent to them when I can. Thank you for listening to my ramble. I wish I could believe it will be okay, but it have heard of people having their ESA awards changed by recommendations from my jobcentre, she also commented on my never having a medical and being in the support group for too long.

I've got to try and get meds for today now.

Thanks.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 29 Apr 2014 12:27PM
 >bighugs<

I added a triangle to the thread because sh is mentioned.
The fact you seem to have 'lost' twenty minutes is worrying but it is part of your health and disability.

Pennicillin is not here to ask but as far as I remember she was put in the Support Group for ESA without a medical, and she still talks on Twitter about getting higher rate DLA both groups. This does not mean dont worry but just so you know some people we know have been transferred from Incapacity Benefit to Support Group ESA without the medical.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 29 Apr 2014 05:04PM
Thank you sunshine, please accept my apologies for not putting the triangle on the thread, I had forgotten. I hope this didn't mean anyone was unintentionally upset.

I didn't explain the time thing properly I didn't mean lost in that way, I meant I had spent only a few minutes in the jobcentre and then the rest of the time in the pharmacist. I've no idea why it was relevant to the thread, but I didn't mean lost in terms of what you thought I meant, I hadn't explained properly in my post.

Thank you for letting me know about penicillin. I appreciate that.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 29 Apr 2014 05:15PM
Quote
..please accept my apologies for not putting the triangle on the thread, I had forgotten. I hope this didn't mean anyone was unintentionally upset.

It's OK about the warning, you did include one on your actual post that mentioned s/h.  Sometimes we edit threads 'retrospectively' depending on how they develop and grow, so there's nothing more you could have done at the time you posted the OP!
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 14 May 2014 07:32PM
To update this. I didn't get a letter done in the end, too much else to sort out at moment requiring letters and money.

I went to CAB, their last ever appointment as they are closing down, and spoke to someone there who said the jobcentre woman could put a sanction on me for any reason she wanted. She then informed me that I didn't qualify for discretionary housing payments as given I am in support group with dla I get 'a fortune' anyway. I got upset and tried to leave ,which was when the trainee stepped in. She was brilliant. She got me another advisor who rang ESA and they said a complaint would be put in against the person at the jobcentre by them and that I was not to worry or get too upset, a form would arrive soon for me to be completely reassessed.

Unfortunately that was the last appointment at CAB and I cannot get help from any other organisation to help with this form as the ones who do will only do part of the forms due to funding, either the physical or mental parts. The CAB advisor said to me that all they could have done was give me a twenty minute appointment and tick boxes only. They also said not to bother reapplying as I don't have consultants anymore at all and my GP won't be good enough for me to reapply, I can't get into the medical centre and only have a bedroom where I can see a dr, which to me is terrifying and why I've not seen the atos dr before.

I don't understand why people are being odd with me for getting the amount I do in support group or not seeing the atos dr. Am I missing something? Also I thought the dwp had suspended assessments as atos had left or wasn't that true?

I'd appreciate any comments, if you have any of course!
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Monic1511 on 14 May 2014 09:42PM
Hi Becca

re folk being odd about you getting extra money - it depends on what stresses they are under why they get annoyed about the amount of benefit some folk get.   I remember getting really mad at a pensioner who came into my office to mean she only got £200 a week and how could she be expected to pay £6.50 council tax (water bill) each week, after all that  only left her £193.50 for food & fuel.   I was spitting mad as I got paid £153 a week for a fulll time job & had to pay full rent, council tax, travel costs & the same fuel & food bills as her.  I got a row for tellin her this  >doh< Not polite(or politic)  to tell pensioners that they appear minted compared to the lowest paid workers.

Now Im not getting at you or anyone else but I'd just been paid & new after I paid my bills I had £4.00 for the months food so my stress impacted on how I dealt with that person.

ATOS are not taking new referrals but if your claim is already in the system you can/will be called for a medical.

If you are going to apply for another DHP you would need to work out your weekly budget - how much you have coming in and exactly what you spent it on, if you can show you are left with no surplus income your more likely to be awarded a dhp.  The DHP is meant to be for people in "financial hardship" is the term my council uses.  So if your balance shows you have £10 spare then the award is likely to be refused.

hope that helps
Monic
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 14 May 2014 10:41PM
Hi monic,

Thanks for replying. I rarely tell anyone what benefit I get and I never ever complain about it. But at the Same time I did feel a bit resentful at being asked why I would need dhp when I got so much money from them as it is for poor people. Did explain lack of television/telephone even a carer because of lack of money and paying for various things privately that aren't on the nhs but she said I should forget it on the grounds I had so much money. It's for the people who have jsa types of money apparently.

That said I appreciate you offering your view point. I would have been better had she actually taken account of my expenditure as a disabled person e.g. Taxis/private physiotherapy etc instead of assuming the amount I get for ESA support group plus premiums is plenty to make up a shortfall of £40 per month (my budget was minus £60 and excluded things like clothes). She kept trying to get me to apply for a grant to help with water bill but I applied for that before and was turned down as it is for excessive water bills and mine is just standard, albeit expensive.

I understand why you felt you way you did with the pensioner. This woman did keep going on about only being a volunteer it's occurred to me that she may herself be claiming jsa and perhaps that's why she expected me to manage? Thankfully the trainee stepped in and helped me.

I'm really really worried about the ESA. I physically can't fill in another form, there is no way, and I have no money to pay for someone else to. I don't have a printer so can't send it to someone to fill in and the post it off. So I guess they will just take it away? I can't get in the medical centre and will not under any circumstances have any assessments in my bedroom (I don't have anywhere else to see them). I'm really worried about this. Should I just give up and go on JSA? As I've been discharged the consultants won't give me letters without seeing me again, they aren't allowed to and the waiting list is too long. I'd thought atos had left so I wouldn't lose my money but it looks like I now will be.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Fiz on 15 May 2014 09:53AM
Becca, just try your best with the form, even a sentence twice a day will build up. You will need to see an Atos professional if asked to, can you not see them in your lounge? You won't need to undress, just sit and talk to them.

I can empathise, I have a DLA application form sat looking at me and atm I can't muster up anything to make a start but know that I have to. You are going to lose your benefit though if you do not complete forms or accept a medical when requested so it's a case of pushing through the pain. Thinking of you.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 15 May 2014 11:19AM
DHP Discretionary housing payments.

I remember reading how much a person on Income based ESA with the extra premiums eg the one people who get middle rate care DLA get when they live alone, and thinking it looked a lot of money. However on the letters that come with the claim outcomes they DWP state that the amount you are getting is what the law says you should get.

It is a difficult topic because there are a lot of people who are worse off who turn up advice centres with no money at all and nowhere to live. This is still no excuse for the advisor you saw to be so judgemental but I can see why.

I agree with Fiz.

Also want to add that if a claim has been ongoing for years and previous medical evidence was accepted and your health and disabilities remains the same new medical evidence is not necessarily needed for a new claim. The form GPs fill in for the DWP is very basic and asks about the conditions a patient has for conformation rather than a detailed description.

I realise you cant fill in the form by hand but there are ESA50 forms available online https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/300228/esa-50.pdf

This form will only work if you:
•save it to your computer, then

•open it in Acrobat Reader version 8.1.2 or later

I know you are using a iPad so it would be good if you could see if the form downloads and saves okay and also if it lets you fill it in electronically.
thank you.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Defying Gravity on 15 May 2014 12:48PM
Becca, is it possible you could type out your answers in a text file and then email that to someone for them to fill in the form? You could get a paper copy sent to you so you'd have the questions and wouldn't need to be online.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 15 May 2014 12:55PM
.... and forget about 'giving up and going on JSA' because you will still be left with yet another round of forms to fill in  >erm<
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 15 May 2014 04:36PM
I'm replying quickly and only got as far as fiz on the replies, I am not ignoring the rest of you!

I cannot fit my information on the forms. I only have a bedroom, there is no lounge in this building, which has a hob in it and a bathroom which literally has a bath, toilet and sink, no room for more than one person. So I would have no choice but to see atos in my bedroom, I don't have anywhere else. I can't print from the ipad, nor does it open the file properly for me to edit it.

Finally, I do understand there are people worse off with nothing, people here struggling to get ESA I really do, which was why I needed her to look at my budget instead of being judgemental.

I'm not ignoring the rest of you, I hope to come back, having a real day of things 'hitting the fan' but didn't want you to think I'm ignoring you!

Thanks!
Becca.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Monic1511 on 15 May 2014 07:49PM
Hi Becca

Its okay we accept that you can't reply to everyone.   I wonder if you could email your councils benefits team asking them if you could get assistance to complete a DHP if you provided them with all the info.   I'm thinking of something along thses lines (bear with me)

Dear Sirs,
I would like to apply for a DHP but due to my disabilities cannot complete the paper form and struggle to deal with social situations.  I am struggling financially and as you can see from the list below I do not have extra income as I have to spend all my disability benefits on the extra cost I have.
My Income is ESA £(amount) & DLA (amount)  These are weekly figures although I am sure you know I get paid ESA every 2 weeks and DLA 4 weekly.
My expenditure is
Rent Shortfall £
Council Tax  £
Water Bill £
Electricity £
Gas £
Food Bill £
Taxi Bill £
Clothing Costs £
Mobile Phone bill £
TV/Landline/Internet bill £
Toiletries (you can add this to the food bill & call it housekeeping) £
House Insurance £
Life Insurance £
Hire Purchase £
Catalogue Bills £
Creditors (any other expenses) £

Total weekly expenditure £
Total Weekly Income £
Balance Left (even if this is a negative put it in) £

As you can see I have no spare funds to pay the under occupation charge and the stress of getting into debt is exacerbating my mental health issues.

I would be grateful if you could consider this claim and if you require the information on your official application form I would be grateful if you could arrange for a visiting officer to contact me where they would complete the form and I would sign the form.

Yours sincerely
Becca.



If you sent that in an email with a copy to whichever councillor covers your ward you should get a response especially just now as its election time.

best wishes
monic
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: devine63 on 15 May 2014 09:56PM
Hi

I have a suggestion for Becca and any others who may be getting hassle saying they should use their disability benefits for anything other than their purpose:

I think you should complete two separate income and outgoings statements, one for the disability benefits and one for the other income.   On the disability benefits sheet show your DLA and any other disability benefits income.  Then show all of your disability related expenses and outgoings.   From having spoken to Becca before I know that her disability related costs will be greater than her disability related income - hopefully for most people the disability related costs will be about the same as the DR income.

On the other (2nd) income / outgoings sheet show all of your other income and all of your other costs.
Becca in your case the disability related costs which are not covered by your DR income should be shown as an additional expense on your outgoings column.

Your aim overall is to show that every penny of your "generous" disability related income is already used up and that there are still costs to be paid - so it makes it really easy for them to see why that money is not for other purposes.   If you like you could add a comment at the bottom of the sheet such as :
disability related benefits are awarded specifically and only for personal care and transport costs.  I believe that it could be fraud if I were to spend my disability related income for any purpose other than my disability related costs.

I believe your doctor should be able to confirm the extra disability related costs (such as physio) and that you are not permitted to get that help on the NHS.   And as Monic said the GP could also write confirming earlier medical evidence and she could add that you have now been discharged by your consultants because there is little they can do to help improve your symptoms.

regards, Deb



 


Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Fiz on 16 May 2014 03:02AM
I'm wondering why there is an under occupancy reduction in housing benefit when you are living in a bed sitting room? I thought the under occupancy reduction was for people who had spare bedrooms? Apologies if this has been explained before Becca and I've missed it elsewhere.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 16 May 2014 09:50AM
Sorry another quick reply, am almost at the end of my internet quota.

I have done the dhp form, I forgot to explain that, sorry, but haven't got anything back, when I rang I was told it was rejected and they only replied to those who where successful. I will ask for it in writing.

I did two separate budgets for disability related costs, I started doing that last year, the difficulty is my council think housing is a disability related cost so should come from dla. I asked about the Hansard stuff, but apparently it was only recommended councils didn't include dla so they don't have to exclude it.

I don't have an under occupancy charge fiz, it's to make up the shortfall between rent and LHA, in order to keep costs down the LHA is now calculated using three counties worth of rents, which makes living near a hospital/populated area near impossible on LHA now.

I hope this makes sense and isn't too bitty.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: seegee on 17 May 2014 02:26PM
DLA mobility = taxis or fuel for someone to drive you to doctors/ to a shop/ to CAB/ to JC+.
DLA care = physio/ other treatments/ someone to help with personal care/ someone to help with planning & preparing meals.

If that's right & there's none left over the council are asking you to pay rent with what exactly? 
Oh yes, of course, money that you're already spending on food, cleaning your home, heating, cooking & lighting, water bill - are they especially hard-of-understanding or is this kind of stupidity common in local authorities? >doh<
 >hugs< Becca
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Fiz on 17 May 2014 05:27PM
My LA only award DHP for a maximum of 6 months to anyone. Gives the tenants time to find somewhere cheaper is their philosphy. In some ways my LA is better than others but in other ways, they tow a hard line.
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 18 May 2014 02:55PM
DLA mobility = taxis or fuel for someone to drive you to doctors/ to a shop/ to CAB/ to JC+.
DLA care = physio/ other treatments/ someone to help with personal care/ someone to help with planning & preparing meals.

If that's right & there's none left over the council are asking you to pay rent with what exactly? 
Oh yes, of course, money that you're already spending on food, cleaning your home, heating, cooking & lighting, water bill - are they especially hard-of-understanding or is this kind of stupidity common in local authorities? >doh<
 >hugs< Becca

Their argument is, and the 'welfare officer' backs up this argument, that DLA is for 'disability costs' as in all disability costs and that includes living somewhere 'expensive' due to being disabled. They have argued several of my costs should be paid for by the nhs, however, they have not taken into account nhs cuts which have led to the advice of 'use your dla' e.g. Physio only being for four or so weeks.

The 'welfare officer' I worked with in another job and he just doesn't have a clue when it comes to things like this, he was the other disabled advisor on the sickness policy for my employer and he really didn't get that what was being pushed by him discriminated against those who were disabled by the way it worked (basically his argument was disabled people don't work so where's the discrimination?!) I never really understood why he was the other disabled advisor on the panel to be honest, he didn't have a clue. When I spoke to him about the DHP his argument was much the same as CAB, though he actually said you get plenty in handouts already stop being greedy. Nice.

Fiz, mine also allow it for 6 months with an expectation of moving, which is fine if you can find somewhere to move to who will be willing to drop the rent every year to cover LHA drops, if you need access to a gp or supermarket etc, where I live those towns are very very expensive and out of reach of LHA rates. That's not to say I haven't tried though!
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: devine63 on 18 May 2014 06:32PM
Hi Becca

there must be someone who can help to fight these ridiculous decisions across so many different agencies! 

I went to the charity website for Disability Rights UK and they have a new link to the organisation which has replaced the Equality & Human Rights Commission in providing the equality act helpline:
http://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/app/home

that might be worth a try - they have phone or online chat options.
regards, Deb
Title: Re: I think I've been really stupid...
Post by: Becca7 on 18 May 2014 08:51PM
Thanks deb I'll take a look.

I think in the case of dhp the decision was made it was to only be given to social tenants and given automatically. I admit I struggle with that - specifically the automatic part as there are people hit by the bedroom tax who can pay, example being my ex social worker who could afford the extra rent yet automatically qualified through being a social tenant.

The welfare officer is an idiot, he was employed to help people, but honestly doesn't have a clue, he never has. Bright side he is no longer messing around with sickness policies where I worked before on behalf of The Disabled.