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 Appeal help

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Sicknote

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PostSubject: Appeal help   Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:47 am

Think this is the first time I've ever wanted ATOS to be right about something.

As you can see I've been up half the night doing some research for putting my appeal together.

Found a lot of useful info but also one very interesting contradiction.

So, on the following document ( www.disabilityalliance.org/esawork.doc ) it states:

"This WCA prognosis indicates the period after which a person could be reasonably expected to be fit for work".

This is also asserted in a more complex and rambling way in the DWP's own WCA Handbook ( http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-handbook.pdf )

HOWEVER

On the ATOS Healthcare (pfft) blog it states:
( http://blog.atoshealthcare.com/category/disability-assessment/page/2/ )

"The period for a re-referral date is usually between 3 months and 2 years after the date of the assessment. It is sometimes referred to as a “prognosis” but it is important to note that it does not refer to any diagnosis of your condition. Instead it is looking at a sensible time period to check if your limited capability for work is likely to change. Our health care professionals are asked to recommend to the DWP a “prognosis” date when they complete a WCA report for the DWP."

SO....

The DWP are using a prognosis as an indication of when you are apparently 'fine' to work again, whereas ATOS themselves state that this is not the intention of the prognosis. It is simply intended as an indication of which time period you should be re-assessed in.

Main point here is that the DWP are using a prognosis of 3 or 6 months to force people to take part in the Work Programme.
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PostSubject: Re: Appeal help   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:51 am

Here is a bit more advice.

If you are notified that you failed your WCA


How to request reconsideration/appeal

Even if you've found you have scored “0” points in your Work Capability Assessment DON'T PANIC!

As soon as you know you have not scored sufficient points it is essential to contact:



Your GP – you will need to have a "fit" (sick) note back-dated to the date your ESA was terminated. That date should be on the decision letter (this note will need to be sent in with your appeal form). You will need to continue sending fit notes and make sure the dates overlap (no gaps)

Your local Citizens Advice Bureaux or Local Authority welfare rights office, or other advice agency such as DIAL etc and request assistance from them. They are under severe pressure at the moment so get your request in quickly.


The suspension notice usually arrives on or after your usual pay day, this is usually where panic ensues, followed by a call to Job Centre Plus. Chances are the advice from Job Centre Plus would be that you sign on for Job Seekers Allowance. However, this is not necessarily the case, there is another option, one which will give you some money whilst you seek Reconsideration and/or Appeal.

What to do

When you receive notice of your suspension due to scoring insufficient points, in order to retain your benefits you need to do the following:

(Before you begin, make sure you have a pen and paper in a convenient, comfortable spot near to your phone.)

Call Job Centre Plus (or ask a carer or friend to this for you), ask the person you speak to for their name and contact number and make a note of it.
Ask for a GL24 form and a copy of the ESA85 assessors report.
Tell the Job Centre Plus staff member that you will be appealing and wish to be put on the “Assessment Rate” during the appeals process.

Should the Job Centre Plus staff member be evasive (they may say they haven't got access to your ESA85), be polite and persistent, (they have it as they need it to make their decision). If necessary, ask to speak to a more senior person and continue until they agree to what you are asking, including putting you on the Assessment Rate.
The Assessment Rate is the same as Job Seekers Allowance and allows you to retain any other help with rent and council tax you were receiving prior to your benefit suspension.

When you have the GL24 and ESA85 (These may not arrive at the same time with the ESA 85 may arrive weeks after the GL24)


Once you have received your forms, fill in the GL24 immediately and send it off with the "sick note" from your GP. Make a copy of the ESA85.

Read through the ESA85 document carefully. You should set some time aside to go through it all, it can be quite frustrating to find out what has been written about you, you may even get angry, and although it does get quite repetitive in places you really need to read all of it to check for any errors and inaccuracies. If you find this difficult get someone you know and trust to help you with it (it might be an advantage if you had someone with you at your assessment to ask them to look it over).

Highlight every piece of information you consider to be:



Inaccurate


Assumed


Untrue



Put them in this order, using a different colored marker helps. It may also help to make notes about what it is about the information you are disputing.

If you are going to dispute a descriptor it is essential you provide supporting evidence from your own Health Care Professional as the Tribunal will accept the word of the ATOS Health Care Professional if you do not do so.

Note: If you request an Appeal without requesting a reconsideration the DWP will automatically carry out a reconsideration and if the decision is not changed you do not then need to request an appeal as this is already registered.

What is the difference between reconsideration and an appeal?

Reconsideration: When a Job Centre Plus Decision Maker looks again at the ATOS Health Care Professional's report or any new evidence you or your Doctors, specialists etc. provide.

Appeal:- When your case has been reconsidered by the Job Centre Plus Decision Maker and the decision is not changed then it goes to a Tribunal (this is sometimes called a first tier appeal).
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Davo

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PostSubject: Re: Appeal help   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:57 am

Hope you don't mind me adding this to your post, I found this very useful so thought I would share it here.

As soon as you can send a letter again asking for a GL24 , also asking to be put on assessment rate.

You need to complete the appeal form with wording such as

"I wish to appeal against the decision that I do not have limited capability for work.

I do not consider that the decision maker took full account of the severity of my condition or of the way that it affects my everyday activities .

Please do not ask me to provide further details of the grounds of my appeal as I will not be able to do so until I have been provided with a full copy of the papers and had the opportunity to get independent advice and support.

Also put I will provide you with my full appeal after you send me my ESA85 report".

I wish to have an oral hearing so that I can explain the full effects of my conditions to a Tribunal and answer any questions they have.

WHILST MY APPEAL IS BEING CONSIDERED, I WISH TO REMAIN IN THE ASSESSMENT PHASE OF ESA."


Then contact Your DWP/jobcentre office

You then add you wish them to send you ….

The address is to the Manager of the JCP who deal with your case(carbon copy email to Welfare rights officer.MP etc) ,make sure you address to the Manager.



A copy of the medical report (ESA85A)



An ESA65



A score sheet



A statement of reasons for the decision



A copy of your ESA 50(unless you've already got a copy)



The name of the Decision Maker



A list of other evidence the Decision Maker used to come to his conclusion.







You then wait for it to come





In another letter to Atos ask for the Name , registration number,and qualifications of the HCP who did your assessment.



once you receive the ESA85 Report



Just keep going through the medical services report ESA85 disagreeing with every statement they make.



Look at what the HCP has typed after CLAIMANT STATES: if they have altered just one word then that is not your statement.



Look at the end of each descriptor it says the medical evidence does/not suggest ask for copies of all the medical evidence that the HCP used and that the decision maker also used.



Also ask what medical evidence they(atos) are referring to and if its the ATOS HCP report then that isnt medical evidence because a its not in your medical records and b it is supposed to be a functional assessment and the ATOSSER has no remit to diagnose.



If a gp report was not requested write something like

'I also disagree with your decision because it has been made without a report from my gp, the person most involved with my treatment.'

At this point it is worth visiting your gp and asking for a letter confirming your conditions and treatment. Think of any further evidence you could get such as prescription lists, physio reports(your gp reception will be willing to provide copies of these type of reports on your gp notes)
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