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anonymous
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I have just come across your web site by accident. I did not know of the DLA review and now find myself in a state of panic.  As yet I have not had any letters concerning this review and now find myself waiting every morning for it to drop through the letter box.
I am certain that I received my benefits on the 1500 and I was wondering if you could give some information on what happens if your DLA benefits are removed.  Does that mean that I will no longer receive any state benefits.  If this is not the case what benefits will I be able to claim for.  I have a history of serious depression and paranioa though my HIV is under control and viral load undetectable at the present time.  I accept that the likely outcome will be that I will loose my DLA  benefits.  I just do not know how I am going to live. My outgoings are such that I would need £100 just to pay bills per week  this does not include rent or council tax which will amount to £120 so before food or anything else I would need £220.  I am so frightened and confused and I feel my depression starting to return.  I am am not presently seeing my physciatrist but do find it difficult to interact with people as that is when my paranioa seems to appear so I tend to spend my time on my own.  My apologies if this mail seems to be a liitle disjointed but the anxiety and panic is overwhelming.....Steve

I tried to send this in the "contact us" page but was unable to get passed the catch I am sorry if this has been posted in the wrong place.

John
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I have emailed you back Steve. 

anonymous (not verified)
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Does anyone know if this is still going on?  I thought they had stopped this review? I have just received a DLA300A Feburary 2009 form which has Right Payment Programme Stamped all over it.

 

V worried.

M

 

John
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As far as I am aware this is still ongoing. However you have to realise that with the introduction of the Employment & Support Allowance in late 2008 and the increasing burden on the Department for Work & Pensions over processing new claims due to recession and subsequent unemployment. 

Further with those who also get Incapacity Benefit. The DWP is migrating them over to the new Employment & Support Allowance. Under 25s should be complete this year with the rest being migrated from 2010 over the following years.

So with all this burden, resources have been redirected accordingly and thus the programme may be slowing down.

I have seen nothing official that the RRP has finished.

I understand that anyone claiming any benefit should expect from now on to have a regular review, at least once every 5 years.

The DWP reserve the right to review any benefit at anytime, though some exemptions do apply<, these are being removed largely with the Welfare Reform and migration of many to Employment & Support Allowance. 

anonymous (not verified)
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I received a letter about my dla doubting my claim saying I have to fill in forms and send back I rang up and they said they had a call from member of public am on high dla what is the special ruleswhere they should not contact certain people 

John
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There are no "special rules" when it comes to the DWP dealing with notifications of suspected fraud with any claim.  They will as a matter of course, re-check the claim. 

This is becomming more common place in the current climate. People reporting others for suspected fraud in the system. This can be more of a "headache" for those with less visible disabilities.

Envy and Jelousy are powerful motivators for some individuals.  It may also be that somene bears a grudge about something.

I know this is not heartening for you but it is the truth.

If you have a valid claim than just make sure you complete it thoroughly and get assistance if you need. The Citizens Advice Bureau can help.

Feel free to email me if you wish to talk in more detail and of course in total confidence john@tcell.org.uk<

Anonymous (not verified)
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Following a car crash I have been on Invalidity Benefit and then Incapacity Benefit from 1989 and DLA (both components at higher/highest, indefinitely since 1997).

I received a letter about the change from IB to ESA and then a phonecall explaining the change.

Two days after getting the phonecall, I got another one (again from Atos Healthcare) but this time from an extremely rude and bullying young man informing me that an appointment had been made, for five days time, for my DLA medical.

This morning, I have received a letter from Atos Healthcare confirming my medical. The letter begins, "We have been asked to examine you about your claim/appeal for Disability Living Allowance. Your appointment is arranged for...".

I am at a total loss what to do. I thought, at the very least, I should have been sent a DLA300 form first and then after it was looked at a decision would be made if I needed to attend a medical and if I did then seven days notice had to be given.

Please help. I haven't been able to sleep since getting this second phonecall.

John
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Two separate issues here. For DLA I would recomend you telephone the DWP DLA team that deal with your claim. The telephone number should be on the last letter they sent to you or click here for the information for the helpline< the number is 0845 7 123 456 . Explain the situation to the DWP and raise your concerns with them. 

You don't explain why your DLA is being reviewed here. The normal process, as you rightly point out, if they are reviewing any benefit they will tell you. Normally collect information from you again. Consider if there needs to be a medical assessment or not and then proceed accordingly.

You can lodge a complaint about the behaviour thus far from ATOS by contacting there customer service team<. You can also ask them why you have not been sent any forms to complete prior to your medical assessment.

The second issue is your migration from IB to ESA. Again you will be sent a form to complete. You submit that form they then should consider it with any additional information you have sent and then arrange an appointment should the next step for you be a Work Capability Assessment.

If you are unable to attend a medical you may need to provide a GP Fit Note stating you were unfit to attend.

Interestingly if ATOS are not following proper process than this would be grounds for you to appeal any decision.

From now on take a note of who you speak to and when.

It is difficult for me to advise you further unfortunately. As I mentioned the DWP DLA team should know what is happening with your claim being reassessed and if they say ATOS are dealing with it ring the customer services team and inform them.

Anonymous (not verified)
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Hi there

I've been searching around for help. 

I've just been diagnosed with HIV, I'm 38 years old. I was self employed but thought it best to stop doing that as i've been in no frame of mind to do any work. So instead i have registered as unemployed so that i have some way of paying my rent and some money to live on. 

Its seems too difficult to be able to have a good diet of food on the umemployment benefit of 64 pounds a week. 

I need to get help with a few things. I need more money to pay for my electricity and to be able to maintain a good protein and energy diet. I've been in hospital with pneumonia for a month up to my diagnosis and need to rebuild my body muscle/mass.

Also i feel like my head is about to explode and could do with a break, a holiday - i think on here its referred to as respite.

Is there any point in putting in the time to apply for any of the trust/grants listed here. Are they for me or should someone in my circumstances or do i just need to grin and bear it. 

cheers

John
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I think you might consider engaging with your local HIV support service provider. Most local council websites will have details of these providers and the services they offer.  You can also find help via THT Direct <on 0808 802 1221 or NAT Life with HIV website<.  Your local hospital may also have a HIV patient forum that you might also consider. You might consider some online support via THT MyHIV.<  Baseline Magazine< can also be a good resource for information.

These services may be able to help you come to terms with any issues you have and you might find sharing with a group of people in a similar situation helps with the "head exploding" as well as being able to help and direct you to other services that may be able to deal with "living issues".

I appreciate that engaging with others when you are trying to process a diagnosis can be daunting and suggest it as other local services users typically understand local service provision.

Turning to benefits, respite, hardship grants etc..

Entitlement depends on your household income, savings and situation concerning your health.  Every organisation has differing criteria the claimant has to meet for entitlement. With resources under pressure due to the "austerity drive" in the current economic environment the criteria can tend to reflect this.  For example some organisations might only accept applications from persons in reciept of Higher Rate Care Disability Living Allowance.  If you are getting Housing and Council Tax Benefit as well as Jobseekers Allowance/Employment and Support Allowance you are likely not to qualify for a grant under the THT Hardship Fund< - as you would have more income than the threshold the fund would pay out for.

I do think that a local HIV service, with a benefits advisor (can be a Citizens Advice advisor attached to the service) would start by ensuring that you are getting the benefits you are entitled to considering the specific and personal details of your financial and health situation.

For respite care you would need to approach the organisation that provides the care and make an application or find out there qualifying criteria.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific but the criteria is fluid and your circumstances are described in very broad terms.  Also it would be impossible to know the criteria used for every organisation. Therefore I cannot tell you if they are for you. That is a matter for your research.

Personally I believe in "nothing ventured nothing gained".

It is difficult to "keep your head above water" and maintain a good standard of nutrition and living necessary to keep well. By living I mean heating, electricity, maintaining a social life so as not become isolated etc...

 

 

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