Some Good News

I feel I should mention before I go on to talk about my good news that there was a Opposition day debate today. Liam Byrne MP (Labour) tried to get a motion passed which would see the lives of disabled people improved. He was trying to get the government to agree that a) the WCA (work capability assessment) was unfit for purpose and needed reforming and b) that they should do a cumulative impact assessment on welfare reform. The ConDems blocked it the way they block every motion that would improve our lot. No one was surprised, many felt a bit more depressed.

I thought that news was going to be it for today so I was getting ready for some hardcore sulking about it when I remembered I hadn’t checked the post. When I got to the door there was a big brown envelope waiting for me from the DWP. Those who claim any form of benefit will tell you that this is not usually a welcome sight. These envelopes tend to herald at the least heartache and frustration and at the worst terrifying financial decisions and accusations of fraud.

I sat down to open it and out came a thick wodge of paper. I remembered that I had appealed the decision to be placed in the ESA WRAG (work related activity group) on the basis I actually meet some of the criteria for the Support Group. I assumed from the day I sent the appeal in they would deny it, so this felt like no surprise – it was clearly information on how to appeal.

You can imagine my shock when I flicked my eyes down and read the following;

Photograph of DWP letter, click to enlarge. Transcription of the text follows.

About your claim for Employment Support Allowance.

You made an appeal against a decision about being placed in the work related activity group. 

We have looked at the evidence you provided and your records and decided to change the decision in your favour.”

I actually went white and dropped the letter. To my great shock they had even returned the evidence I had sent in  to ‘prove’ my condition. I was getting scared that all my originals had gone missing.

I’m very happy. Not only have I managed to explain to the DWP why I deserve to be in the support group without having to attend an odious ATOS interview, we have got the keys to an accessible bungalow that we are currently decorating and my DLA claim is finalised. Now I can get on with helping other people fight for their rights instead of having to use the precious little energy I have left at the end of the day to fight the DWP and local council.

It’s been 3 years of battling, which is 2 years 10 months more than I feel it should have been, but we’ve done it. Now I feel like I could sleep for a month!

  1. *Massive Cheers and Lots of Pom Poms*



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