benefits stopped

well ive been off work for 16 mnths now and have been recieving income support for the last year, i recieved a letter yesterday that said i was able to return to work and as from the 10 of nov my money would stop. well i had a dhh medical a month ago and the doc said he thought that my arm was swollen and to go to my gp which i did and was refered to the lymphodemia clinic, i now have to wear a sleeve as i have it quite bad in my left arm, the notes that came with the letter was very libelous and i feel that they have mixed me up with someone else as some of the comments didnt even apply to me, one such being that i couldnt get through the day without an alchoholic drink before lunch!! now i dont even drink alcohol!!! so the point system that make up your entitle ment to benefits was wrong , i rang the office to be told i had to write my appeal and that it could take up to 6 weeks to be heard, now im a single mum and rely on benefits to get by so what do they think im going to live on, im really angry my gp was disgusted with the letter and has written to them but i dont hold out much hope of a good result .why do they treat us so badly its bad enough having thos dratted disease without furthe pressures . anyone else had a simalar experiece/ and how did you fare? thanks lynn xx


While it is distressing that the letter included some incorrect information that probably relates to a different claimant, did either the doctor appointed by the Benefits Agency or your own GP say you were still unfit to return to work?

Distressing comments and fitness to work are separate issues. If the Benefits Agency doctor thinks you fit to work, the fact that a letter relating to another client was badly adapted (my guess how it happened is he used “copy and paste” then altered it) is irrelevant.

I think while there is uncertainty, you should give consideration to signing on for Job Seekers Allowance. Income Support can also top up this benefit. The Job Centre can also give emergency advances in cases of real hardship. The Job Seekers form does allow you to mention difficulties you might experience with some kinds of work.

Job Centres know that those who have been through cancer treatment have difficuly getting a new job and are unlikely to put you under much pressure, provided you can demonstrate you are looking for work. Remember than even if you got a job interview fairly quickly and were successful, it takes about a month for references to be taken up, contracts to be issued and returned etc. Maybe by the time you get a job you will be feeling better?

Without knowing what you do for a living or which arm is affected, it would be difficult to know if bad lymphodema would stop you working. After my primary cancer treatment, I went back to work a little sooner than you, while still having problems with my shoulder (it was dislocated during surgery, put back by a physio, but the surrounding muscles were weak). However my job was mainly sedentary and maybe you do something more physically demanding. I just had to ask colleagues to lift anything heavy or get down files on high shelves.

You can get through this.


i had a similar thing happen a few years ago where the dss person basically wrote complete nonsense. I went through the appeals route - took me over 18 months, and lost. I was actually having to claim jobseekers whilst i was unfit for work - they would not accept any sick notes. The jobcentre were fantastic though and never pressed me to look for work.
i wish you all the luck in the world.
jobseekers may not be that much different to income support - just the fortnightly trek to the jobcentre!

thanks for the messages i already have a job which is being kept open for me, so cannot claim any other benefits such as job seekers, my job invovles putting out stock serving behind the tills ( standing for 4 hours), pushing clothes rails about ,so as you can see its quite hard work ,i was going to return to work in oct but was then diognosed with the lymphodemia, tha nurse siad she didnt think id be fit enough to return to the job i was doing, and at 57 i dont know who will want to employ me with my medical history, lynn x

You are protected under the Disabality Discrimination Act - do a search on this forum and you will find info on it as it has been discussed freqyently in the past or on monday phone BCC.
With lymphoedema, you can not do a a job such putting out stock, or anything that involves heavy lifting as it will make the lymphoedema worse. Do you have contact with your occy health as they should be supporting you throught this?
As far as I understand it, under this act, your employer has to find you suitable work for your condition.
Go to the CAB for more info>There is a website but I don’t know the address.
Good luck

I agree with Kate there -

alternatively, if all else fails - return to work for one day (you’ll have to arrange this with your boss), “discover” what everyone except the dss knows, that you cannot work, then go to your dr and get signed off again.



I would also agree that your job is too manual. In my case, it was easy to get help with occasional lifting and stretching, because it was just that - occasional.

Going to the Citizens Advice Bureau is a good idea. Your local one will be in the phone book.

Possibly you should also discuss this with Human Resources? Don’t offer to resign or go on shorter hours etc. You know nothing and have no suggestions, is the way to play it. Just wait to see what they suggest. They will be aware of their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act and other pieces of employment protection law. They may offer you legal assistance with appealling the Benefits Agency decision? It is in their interests that you win.

While you are off, you are still accruing pension rights, covered for death benefits etc?


There is another really good website and they cover info for you and employers and about other services.


Hi lynn,
I’ve e-mailed you…what a crap thing to happen…know how you feel.

karen x