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anonymous's picture


In January 2008 I received the dreaded DBD551 which I completed and sent back. Months ticked by and my life was put on hold. In December I received a DLA556 which I completed, but there were some issues surrounding the initial HFR (T) form sent back from my Consultant which had to be cleared up.<
During that time I suffered huge amounts of stress and anxiety and constantly was worrying about how I was going to survive if I lost my DLA (I weigh 7 stone have a host of symptoms and a CD4 of 80)<
It got so bad that I panicked every time something came through the letterbox.<
Just before Christmas I revived a letter stating that my DLA was to remain the same. No mention of if I was being moved from Special Rules to Normal Rules. However, I was hugely relieved and finally felt that I was able to breathe again.<
Christmas was somewhat better although I feel for me that it is going to take a while to get over the stress that I was under. Looking forward to the New Year and erase the horror of 2008 I woke this morning to find an envelope from ATOS Disability Services, asking me to complete an IB50.<
I know that I am exempt as I am on DLA Higher Rate, but the stress is starting again and I just wish they would simply leave me alone, at least for some time to recover.<
Just before I send it back, am I right to assume that nothing has changed in terms of the law? I get the feeling that the DWP seem to be hell bent on finding ways to terminate my benefit by throwing forms and paperwork at me.<
In the absence of no mention of any changes to my DLA am I to assume that I remain unchanged on Special Circumstances? Does this affect any reason as to why I have been now thrown a IB50? I am totally at a lost as to why I have been sent this, particularly so soon after a decision to remain on Higher Rate DLA.<

I am desperately trying not to start panicking again... so I guess I am just looking for re-assurances.

John's picture
Joined: 09/03/2008

Thank you for this. Sorry for the delay in responding.

It is difficult to know whether you would be classed as "Special Rules" or "Normal Rules" given your low CD count. This would be down to the determination made by ATOS on the submission of your medical evidence. Though given that the process has been long it does seem as if you have been moved to "normal rules".

If you had to complete a DLA556 than you have been moved to "normal rules".

I am surprised that the DWP are still sending out IB50 forms. Though you are exempt is your Incapacity Benefit also due a review? As this would be the only reason I could think for them sending one to you. As you indicate you just need to tell them you are exempt given you recent DLA decision.

However the DWP is a government department and they don't always get it right. There does seem to be a lack of communication between the DLA & IB departments and this I believe is the reason some are sent and IB50. Though I have not heard of this continuing to happen since about June last year.

I am also surprised they are sending IB50 forms out as the Support Allowance (ESA) has now replaced Incapacity Benefit.

It is NOT that you are being targeted it is more to do with their internal inability to "talk" amongst themselves.

Do call them and remind them about your exemption though.

I am grateful to you for this. One of the aims here is to collate a body of evidence of how these reviews and forms are impacting on those with HIV. Without evidence it is difficult to make the case to the powers that be.

Am glad you had a good Christmas.

Hopefully after the "IB50" error, your 2009 will be better, and I pass my best wishes to you accordingly.


anonymous (not verified)
anonymous's picture

i have been ill for some time with depression anxiety arthrits blladder incontience and last but not least FIBROMYLIGIA.i applied had no money for 14weeks. lost all paperwork twice.all monies backdated arrived.then summonsed for medical.what a joke. when i was told i had scored 0points i laughed as what i was reading was like reading about another person. what a complete fabrication of the true facts.i appealled and I WON. but only on my water works not the depession and fibromyligia these conditions are the worst and cause me to take to my bed on several days.lots of pain and fatigue its terrible cant even do my housework anymore im fed yesterday i find myself placed into the work related group.WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO DO KILL ME.ITS A JOKE. CAN I APPEAL THIS ALSO. THEY OWE ME 600pounds so far. but its not about the money its about my health and i need that to be better not made worse by all this stupidity

John's picture
Joined: 09/03/2008

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is the medical test you probably had. It is a 'snapshot' covering the time you were attending the assessment.  Did you provide full medical information with contacts for the doctors you see for all your conditions ?

Like many organisations we are really concerned with the lack of accuracy in the WCA.  This was one issue we covered in our submission to the latest Professor Harrington review.

Personally, when I recieved my Medical Report its called an ESA85 that covered my WCA, the lack of accuracy and consistency across the report was staggering.

If you or they lose paperwork I would recommend anyway as a matter of course that once you recieve a decision you make a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act< for all information they hold.  This can be telling as it will sometimes highlight paperwork you may have no knowledge of such as medical reports from your doctors.

Everyone that has a WCA can request from there Jobcentre Plus office (telephone 0800 055 6688 or 0800 023 4888 if you have hearing issues) a copy of the medical report (ESA85). However if you make the request above post assessment it ought to be included.

If you are placed in the ESA Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) as the decision based on your WCA you can appeal. You need to submit an appeal quickly. Again calling your Jobcentre Plus contact/office will help you get movement on this.<

You will continue to be in the ESA WRAG group until any appeal is heard and a change of decision is made. If you are then placed in the Support Group would would be entitled to a rebate of any monies due in the interim.

It is important to get good welfare advice< and have a witness taking notes when you attend a Work Capability Assessment.