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Change in circumstance

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shnwttn
shnwttn Community member Posts: 21 Connected
Over the past year, there have been several ‘occurrences’ which I believe to be changes in circumstance such as my health worsening, change in medications, being subjected to substantial harassment owing to my disability, the witnessing of an exceptionally traumatic incident (which has resulted in my ‘self medicating’ with medications bought online in order for me to be able to function on the most basic of levels and sleep without constant flashbacks/reminders of said traumatic incident) amongst a number of other ‘changes’.

I have called both PIP and ESA helplines who have both said they don’t believe this to be a change in circumstance and have written to the DWP to advise of these changes but have received no response.

Can anyone advise if they believe these issues would be regarded as a change in circumstance and if so how would I go about making the DWP regard them as so.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • ForeverHopeful
    ForeverHopeful Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    Bless you shnwttn, I am in a similar position myself, so I do sympathise and thank you for raising this. My health has deteriorated significantly in the last year and care needs have increased accordingly. I contacted the DWP regarding this and they sent forms to complete, which someone else completed for me. They were returned on the 15th December 2019 and did not receive any contact or letters between then and before lockdown started. My carer contacted the DWP after lockdown (I had been ill and in hospital 3 times up to lockdown) and as usual waited at least an hour to get through. Carer asked if a letter had been sent as I had not heard anything, no it is still in process was the response and because of COVID we are extremely busy unfortunately. Since then my care needs have significantly altered due to serious medical changes. Yes it is exceptional circumstances and I understand that, but it has taken so long before lockdown to process, I am beginning to think DWP are just stalling until it was due to be reviewed in August. I welcome any additional information or comments on this situation. I have lost patience with the benefits system, where genuinely seriously ill people are having to face the stressful, anxiety inducing jumping through hoops every 3 years or less.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,129 Disability Gamechanger
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    @shnwttn hi, what rates of PIP do you currently receive? which group are you in for ESA?

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  • ForeverHopeful
    ForeverHopeful Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    Hi, thank you for responding, I am currently on Standard rate care and Enhanced rate Mobility Component. I'm under Support Group for ESA and Receive enhanced disability premium (I live alone).
  • shnwttn
    shnwttn Community member Posts: 21 Connected
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    In my own circumstance and from what I have read of ForeverHopeful it’s not about gaining ‘more’ financially from the DWP but as I’m sure you are aware the reassessment process can be long, arduous and exceptionally invasive. I am having to claim these benefits owing to mental health issues and whilst I am undertaking this process my health declines a great deal. In my own case, for a number of different reasons I have had to fight to keep my benefits almost persistently for the last three + years, all the while trying to recover from my illnesses. Therefore I am hoping that what I believe to be a change in circumstance, of which I have wealth of evidence of (medical, reports from social services, the police etc.), would mean my benefits could be extended or there would be no need to reassess me for a substantial length of time and would therefore allow me to recuperate from my illnesses without further ‘interference’ .
  • ForeverHopeful
    ForeverHopeful Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    I can totally understand, your scenario sounds very similar to mine. My mental health deteriorated significantly as my illness and number of illnesses got much worse. Unfortunately I previously had many suicide attempts starting at a young age due to Physical and Mental Abuse. Just over a week ago I tried again, but one of my carers called back when her shift finished to find me unresponsive and she called 999. I too on completing form due to changing circumstances included all the reports Hospital, GP, Medical scan results, Social services, Mental Health reports etc. I think the hard part is I feel so damn useless right now and like with many other people it is very upsetting. As my user name suggest I live in hope but each day it get's more and more difficult. I really do hope and pray that things do work out for you and everyone else in a similar position.
  • shnwttn
    shnwttn Community member Posts: 21 Connected
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    You are possibly right regarding your sledgehammer analogy.

    However in spite of being given a three year award at the end of 2017, I have largely spent the last three years proving my eligibility for benefits. The DWP have used all manner of ‘tactics’ to disprove my claim which I believe to be owing to the fact I took a stand against their conduct during my application for benefits when my case was taken to appeals court (the list of which is too long and protracted to speak of here). 

    I was unaware that you can request a longer award timeframe. Considering I have had to claim benefits for almost 8 years and my health has worsened in this time and my GP has written to them advising that my illnesses are likely to be long term, this is a course of action I will consider taking.
  • katho31
    katho31 Posts: 692 Pioneering
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    best of luck with this, take care and keep safe :)
  • shnwttn
    shnwttn Community member Posts: 21 Connected
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    Thanks for your reply. 

    Whilst I understand we would all hope that the DWP employing tactics are just delusions of those who take umbrage with the DWP, a simple search online brings up innumerable cases of this happening including first hand accounts, news stories, video footage etc of said ‘tactics’. 

    I am in no way saying that the whole of the DWP is corrupt or is purposefully trying for to deceive its claimants, but it is widely know that some of the companies it uses have. Again, OT but I also would suggest when it’s assessors were given bonuses for each claimant that failed in their claim (again, wildly reported on) was one such tactic.
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