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Radian
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11 Oct 2012, 6:49 pm

So despite being retired from a long career because of ever increasing difficulties relating to AS and just scraping along on what was incapacity benefit for sixteen years, ATOS have now performed another one of their miracles and apparently I'm fit for the workplace once more. It was a huge effort just to get to the interview a month or so ago and it's only now stopped ringing in my head enough to get a half decent nights sleep. So, given that I become morbid after just four or five hours suffering the stupidity of 99.9% of the world, to the point that something inside says "That's it, outta here right NOW" - what will be involved if I appeal the decision?

I've sometimes joked that the hardest phobia to have cured is a fear of appointments... but with AS I think there's a great deal of truth to it. Nothing about the current social support system sems to recognise this unique difficulty. If the appeals process is a formal meeting in a court setting or similar... then it's not far removed from putting a physical disabilities hearing on the top floor of a building with no lift IMO.



Logan5
Deinonychus
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11 Oct 2012, 11:11 pm

I do not know what the DWP appeals process involves (because I am employed), but several years ago, when I was unemployed, I found the following website,
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ . (Please note, I have never subscribed to their services, so I can not vouch for them.)

I hope your appeal is successful. :)



lonelyguy
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12 Oct 2012, 3:42 am

:cry: Hi ,i am also worried about this..as i have extreme problems with my aspergers..i find the stress of interaction with people overwelming..i am 27 and have not worked since i was 17yrs old.but only been getting sickness benifit for the last 3yrs
i am scared stiff about the thought of an interveiw as i dont really know how to respond to people.
I depend on this benifit to get through my life as i live alone..and i drive an automatic car...as i can not enter public places without extreme fear of people..and if i lose my benifit .thats it over for me as this is the only way i can move around without fear
I have no skills learning difficuties for most of my life phobias about people and totaly isolated from the world..but how can you expain this..when you can not even sit in the same room as people...so i understand your feelings try and dont know how the system works to help ,but i think that this is going to cause great sress for people with autisim when they have their benifits removed....and then What! god help us all. :cry:



Radian
Blue Jay
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12 Oct 2012, 5:25 am

All I kind find in the way of a description of the process is incredibly negative - which isn't very encouraging. For example, I found this article: Benefits appeals - a major cause for concern! from which the photo below would seem to confirm my worst fears:

Image

8O

After a torturous morning reading online I've come way with the following message: 40% of appeal outcomes are in favor of the claimant, but 80% of those involved legal representation on behalf of the claimant. Therefore the chances of winning my appeal without engaging legal support would seem to be 8%. The other message I'm getting is that this whole thing is a mess with all sorts of shenanigans going on - video's being taken down by the Ministry of Justice and complaints about the withdrawal of legal aid and so on.

Before we go any further, if this subject affects anyone directly and is distressing - seek advice from your GP etc. Basically, let all those with a duty of care know how the process is affecting you.



Guineapigged
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12 Oct 2012, 6:06 am

I have a tribunal coming up and I didn't realise there would be so many people. What is a respondent? And a Lay Member?



Jinks
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12 Oct 2012, 9:43 am

I've never done this but if that photograph is accurate then that is crazy. Why do they need so many people? It seems like a waste of resources (especially for a practice which is supposed to be saving the government money). And it clearly isn't designed for people whose problems include social and anxiety issues, or mental health issues of any kind for that matter. I can't think of many mental health issues which would cope well with that kind of environment. It looks like a courthouse.

It may be a good idea to fill this in and take it with you:
http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-au ... ocacy.aspx

That might help take some of the pressure off you in being able to describe your difficulties. If you can have someone with you do that too. Good luck with it.



Wandering_Stranger
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12 Oct 2012, 12:48 pm

Tribunals are scary. I had one for DLA. At both tribunals, someone clearly hadn't read my forms. And they told me that in order to remove the need for help when going to the toilet, I should wear nappies. :x Unless I've missed something, how does that change the need for needing someone to help me wipe myself?

Going back to the original question:
You need to ask for the medical report. (ESA85) You then go through the medical report and the ESA descriptors and say why you meet them. You must explain in detail. For example, don't say "I can't cope outside due to my Autism". You would say something like "As a result of my Autism, I am hypersensitive to noise and light. Too much light and noise is physically painful. I have been known to run away when it becomes too noisy. I need someone with me to ensure I'm safe and if it's too noisy, I would need someone to take me somewhere quiet and calm me down".

Do not assume that they'll know what your needs - you must spell everything out to them.