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Medical examination for benefit purposes

24 REPLIES 24
bettyboo1923
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

I was diagnosed last september. Had WLE, lymph node removal then 4 weeks of rads. Am currently on tamoxifen and have had just about every side effect going. I'm self employed and my job involves a large amount of driving. The worst side effect for me is the tiredness and fatigue and I do not feel safe driving more than a couple of miles as I just fall asleep at the drop of a hat! I've also had terrible problems with my knee joints. When it first affected my joints I was unable to walk for about 6 weeks because of the pain. That cleared but has now started in the other leg.

I've been getting incapacity benefit since last september and had to attend the jobcentre in March who then said I would have to attend pathways for work - despite my not needing a job as I have my own business. I sent off the IB50 in April and have heard nothing from them since. I phoned in August to see what was happening and they told me I had been put on the system on July 8th but still not heard anything. I have my last appointment at the pathways to work in 2 weeks so don't know what will happen after that.

From what I have read the Capability Assessment Medical is more of a tick list and as many of you have said, we do not come into the catagories of questions they ask. The pathways to work people told me that if and when I get my assessment, if they 'fail' me to make sure I appeal as it is almost a procedure they go through and hope that you can't be bothered to appeal thereby forfeiting any benefits.

Like most on this site - I have worked all my life, paid tax and national insurance all that time and never claimed a penny. Now it is the governments turn to give us something back. It's bad enough we have to put up with this bloody awful disease and everything that goes with it without having to justify our incapacity.

Megalady
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi all, well ive had my medical result and they agree i am not fit for work yet but will be in the future. They do not tell you how many points you scored. I have now been placed in the ' work related activity group ' Then goes on about managing my condition ?? and following activities given by a personal advisor to get back to the workplace !!
My ESA also goes up by 25 pound
Just want to say thank you for all your advice and experiences and good luck to anyone else being summonsed.

Mega xx

Megalady
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi Brenda
I also now have the Pathways appt in a cple of weeks. Im in the same boat, my employer is not putting me under pressure but the bloody DWP are.
As I said in another message here - do they lay healing hands on you at this interview and send you back to work??
Another comment I have read on the net is that the DWP see that everyone, no matter how ill, is capable of some type of work - just look at Steven Hawkins !!
I'll let you know on here on the outcome of my medical, also what the report says and the Pathways interview details
I feel that under this pressure we should all be forewarned as to what they will put us through

Take care xx

Megalady
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi Vicky
I too had a good experience when I first claimed ESA, they were very helpful on the phone and the claim was processed resonably quickly. I had also claimed DLA and had no problems.
It all starts after this. When you first claim you are classed as under assessment! for 13 wks (I think) within this time they send out a large form for illness details and what you can or cant do - be careful when you fill this in, think of your worse day or go to welfare rights - they will help you fill it in. Then you have an interview at the jobcentre to see whether you have a job and what you are doing about getting back in work ?? Then you get the medical appt - beware they will ring you at night or at w/ends to arrange the appt. I did not answer the call (at 9;00 am on a sunday!!) but it seems you can refuse to give personal details over the phone and ask them to write to you with the appt.
I have now got an appt to attend a Pathways to Work interview in a cple of months! Do they lay healing hands on you and toddle you off back to work lol
I agree they should focus on unemplyed fit people but as there are no jobs they have to pick on somebody dont they!!
Please check this site for advice on the medical
http://dwpexamination.wordpress.com/hello-and-welcome-to-dwp-examination/
Good luck xx

snottraggs
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

what a difference to my experience. I phoned up to claim Employment support allowance. they were lovely. few weeks and got award through. it did mention in the letter about poss interviews. I work in benefits so know its a fickal system. however, my point is I have a job and am not in any fit state to do it at the moment. they need to focus more on the unemployed who are capable and not going through treatment of the most awful kind.

will see if I stay on it longer if they invite me for an interview. I wonder if as I have claimed DLA that this affects whether they pull you in????

take care

vicky

brenda6
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi Ladies,

I was asked to attend a Pathways to work interview at lolcal jobcentre last week. I made it clear to the 'advisor' that I was not happy to be there.

I think it is a disgrace that we have to attend such interviews. Having to go through surgery, chemo and rads is stressful enough then to feel pressured into returning to work is a joke.

My employer is not putting pressure on me, I have worked there for 13 years, the only benefits I have ever claimed is maternity benefit. My GP obviously thinks I am unfit for work as she is issuing the sick note, so to be questioned and asked 'How long do you think you will be off?' left me speechless.

She did mention I may have to attend a medical and said they are not bothered why you have been off work but will assess what kind of work you are capable of now!

Like many ladies on here I have always worked, paid contributions and certainly did not ask to get this bloody awful disease, twice in my case, then to be told from advisor 'You are a very strong person'
well, I actually laughed at her.

Sorry pressed Submit in anger!!!!!!

Will get off my soapbox now or will be here all night>

Best wishes to all

Love
Brenda xxxx

brenda6
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi Ladies,

I was asked to attend a Pathways to work interview at lolcal jobcentre last week. I made it clear to the 'advisor' that I was not happy to be there.

I think it is a disgrace that we have to attend such interviews. Having to go through surgery, chemo and rads is stressful enough then to feel pressured into returning to work is a joke.

My employer is not putting pressure on me, I have worked there for 13 years, the only benefits I have ever claimed is maternity benefit. My GP obviously thinks I am unfit for work as she is issuing the sick note, so to be questioned and asked 'How long do you think you will be off?' left me speechless.

She did mention I may have to attend a medical and said they are not bothered why you have been off work but will assess what kind of work you are capable of now!

Like many ladies on here I have always worked, paid contributions and certainly did not ask to get this bloody awful disease, twice in my case, then to be told from advisor '

elinda45
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

this is all terrible isn't it?!

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and was self-employed. I applied for employment and support allowance but they said I was short of 5 weeks national insurance credits in the previous year. To cut a long story short, the benfits advisor said it was an error made by the HMRC but whether they will admit or not is another matter.

In the meantime all I am getting is my national insurance credited. Even though I'm not receiving benefit and even though I've been having chemo and will be having surgery in 10 days' time, I have to choose a 'Pathways to Work' supplier by this Thursday. I don't need help getting back to work as 1) I'm having treatment probably until end of November and 2) I will go back to my self employed work.

What infuriates me is that I have paid national insurance for over 24 years and now I really need help (not hassle) I can't get any. Grrrrr
Elinda

pollysue
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi

I have been following this thread with interest. I am currently on Herceptin treatment for Breast Cancer and was called to a medical assessment on 27 May. The assessment was carried out by a nurse/practioner and the first thing she said to me was that in her opinion I shouldn't have been called for an assessment and when she had queried this with DWP they informed her the assessment had to be carried out. She carried out the assessment much in the same lines as Megalady's was carried out and I got a letter from DWP on 3 June to say that I was still deemed to meet the threshold of incapacity and will not be reviewed until 2011. Maybe I am one of the 'lucky' ones. My understanding is that a Civil Servant makes the final deceision and does not always go on the advice of the medical people who carry out the assessment. There is a lot of good advice on the web about these assessments and the types of questions they ask and how they interpret your answers. I don't think I would be allowed to post the link on this forum.

Regards

Lyn

Megalady
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Well ladies
I had my medical yesterday - what a nightmare. Arrived on time, kept in waiting room for 1 hr 15 mins, very busy! We were last in, I thought they had forgotten me as one guy had been there 3 hrs as they had forgotten to book him in !!
The questions are unreal - she checked all my medication, checked what treament I had. Asked how i felt about returning to work, asked how I felt. I explained since filling in the form i am now on anti depressants and had a fall due to dizzy spell - this has caused cracked or broken ribs and severe pain and lymphodema in my right shoulder, arm and breast Surgery side. I can hardly lift my arm and live on painkillers at the mo. Also explained I have not even been given the all clear by my Oncologist since finishing rads in April. She then had me moving arms, head, legs, bending, grasping etc a lot of this I could not do due to pain or stiffness. Then the trick questions which I had been warned about!! They ask in a manner of conversation, as if they really are interested - what do you do to keep occupied, any hobbies? of course you cant say yes as they deem you able to move about, bend, use arms etc!! Also did i have a garden?? to check if you are able to bend, lift etc Do I enjoy cooking?? to see if you cope at home - it is a bloody insult but you have to play along with this. Asked how i get up stairs, cope with housework, getting dressed, bathing and washing hair - explained I wear a wig lol you should have seen her face lol
I am now waiting for result and she said I may be asked to go back - over my dead body!!
Our parking ticket ran out at 5:30 so hubby went back to car only to find a parking fine as ticket had blown off the dashboard!! I finally left the building at 5:45, they locked the doors at 5;30 !!
What a nightmare and insult that we have to go through this. I have worked all my life, never claimed sick pay or unemployment, i have the nerve to get cancer and am treated like a fraud!!
Hubby had a go at the doctor along the lines of 'why is it that anyone claiming benefit is treated like idiots or cattle and made to feel like the lowest of the low" ie waiting conditions and treatment by staff.
I am now awaiting the results and will let you all know. If they deem me fit for work I really dont know how bad you have to be to qualify?? but I can assure you all I will appeal!!
Sorry to rant but it makes me sooo angry
Thanks for listening all

Megalady xx

Grittomum
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Well double whammy, waiting to hear wether I qualify for ESA, and now been told they are suspending my carers as I was over the earnings allowance,so my question is, if I don't qualify for ESA, because I certainely won't get over 15 points, I can hardly claim jobseekers when I have a job to go back to, half pay runs out in July does that mean you are actually being forced back to work before you'll actually be fit to work. My Doctor beleives I should be able to go back after Christmas, currently working as a teaching assistant.
Sorry just ranting about this stupid benefit system.
Alison

Megalady
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Thanks for recent comments ladies. I have had a bit more info on this medical - Ive been told that most people fail the medical because the Atos company (who run the medicals for the DWP) rely on people appealing on their decision. This proves how badly affected you really are apparantly !!
How unfair is this?? What if are not up to appealing or just not that sort of person!!
I am going to make lots of notes to take in with me (to remind me of problems and symptons etc, Im also going to get advice from MacMillan and Im taking my husband in with me as a witness in case of any problems. I still cant believe that you have to go through this when you have or had cancer of any sort. Do they think people would stoop so low as to make it up??

JayelleBee
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi Ladies

I claimed ESA in Nov 08, just after the change from Incapacity benefit.

I have secondaries and have a form DS1500 signed by my onc (this confirms an incurable/terminal diagnosis).

The DS1500 was submitted for my DLA claim and I made the ESA team aware of it right from day one.

To cut a very long story short, which includes trying to get me to go for a medical assessment and sending me for a back to work interview, it took them 6 weeks to pay me anything and 13 weeks to get the correct level of benefit.

They eventually admitted all the errors were their fault, apologised for the problems caused and I have just this week had notification that I will get a consolutary payment.

My tip of the day, lol

If you have any problems with your claim get your local MP involved (lets make them earn their cash) Once a complaint is recieved via an MP the benefits agency have a strict time limit in which to reply. Also as the reply goes back to the MP they know someone else is aware of all that goes on.

I have to say my MP was great and didn't give up and it paid off.

Best of luck to all of you coping with these additional problems at a time which is difficult enough anyway.

Jayelle

doodle32
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Karen..I couldnt agree more, i dont know how these people become so insensitive to something a serious as cancer, i think they must think of it like a cold or something that after you have had a couple of days feeling crap took a few tablets your good to go, do they think were all putting the mental impact on aswell as the physical on. I to have had to start signing on as i lost my job when they found out i had cancer. I think they should all be retrained.

Take Care

Leslee x

karen
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

I was dx in jan 04....grade 3, had WLE, chemo, rads then tamoxifen, I finished my treatment in late August 04.my SSP an out so I went straight onto Incapacity benefit....in November 04 I receieved a letter to fo for a medical....[ I work as a nursery nurse which involves alot of lifting]....I was also taking anti-depresssents, Diazepam and sleeping tablets to help me cope [ I still am taking these]...at the interview I was asked alot of what I considered to be irrelevant questions.....the doctor did agree I had restricted movement in left arm[ my affected side ].....then turned round and saud to me...'' so its just the cancer thats the problem and bothering you ''..........well I was gob-smacked at such an insentive comment.
Consequently I failed my medical.....and was forced to return to work earlier than I felt both physically and mentally able to......in hind-sight when reading through the report I should of appealed....but what are you supposed to do when your benefit gets stopped and your financially at a loss....I couldn't afford to have no income whilst appealing, so was left wth no alternative than to return to work too soon.

I did write and complain about the doctors comment.....but recieved no reply.

I think they fail to recognise its not just the physical impact of being dx with cancer its the psycological impact too.

Grittomum
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi all, well phoned this morning and filled in over phoned, quite straightforward really, but am only claiming contribution based, not income based. They have just phoned me from regional office (Petrborough) to tell me that my carers allowance which I claim for daughter will cease as you can't claim both. So they'll give me £60 odd a week and then take £60 odd a week, still got to look after daughter, hoping my elder daughter will be able to take over carers. The girl I spoke to said it is unlikely I would have to go for medicals whilst I was still undergoing treatment or for some time after. Watch this space!!! Should be an MP they seem to be able to claim for everything!!!!
Getting angry now so I'll go, hot flush conming as well!!!
Alison

doodle32
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Good Luck with your interview Mega. I hope you have better results than me. Im still officially having treatment now but they(well he didnt take anything into account). He also never asked how i got to the interview, makes you wonder doesnt it. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Take Care

Leslee x

Megalady
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Thanks for the replies folks. I can see this is going to become a bit of a battle!! How can they say herceptin is not treatment? unbelievable! I have done some web searching and once piece of advice i found states that your score starts when you start your journey to the medical ie if you travel alone and/or by bus you lose points, also they time you walking into the interview room - too quick and you lose points!! The way I see it is that I may have finished my chemo and rads but dont feel fit for work yet, I have good days and bad days as Im sure we all do! How do you book a bad day for the interview?? I am also still getting swelling in my right arm occaisionaly due to lymph node removal and have also had to start on anti depressants (which my doctor said is quite normal after what we have to go through) Thanks for the advice and I will contact the Macmillan people for further advice. Also my medical is for 4th June and my appt after rads (I assume this is to tell me if it was successful and any next steps) is not until 8th June so officially I am still under treatment on the interview day!!
I will let you all know if I get any further info

Mega xxx

msmolly
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Where are the charities with regard to this issue?
This is EXACTLY the kind of thing they should be tackling in order to support women with BC.
We knew when this change was mooted that the changes to incapacity benefit were going to impact negatively on women with BC and they are.
I hope that BCC and the other charities are paying attention and will be there to push the case for us.
For Herceptin treatment to be regarded as something different from chemo and rads is utterly ludicrous. Cancer treatment is cancer treatment.

pollysue
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi
I have been receiving Incapacity Benefit since May 2008 and the care component of DLA since August 2008. I am halfway through Herceptin treatment and have been called to a medical assessment on 27 May. I have a letter from DWP dated August 2008 stating 'people with certain disabilities or severe illness are treated as meeting the threshold of incapacity and do not have to undergo the assessment' the letter went on to say I was being treated as meeting the threshold of incapacity. MY DLA has also been extended for an indefinite period just recently. On querying my requirement to attend the assessment I was informed I was no longer exempt as I had finished chemotheraphy and radiotheraphy..the Herceptin treatment is not taken into account and as JanB says they want to see what you are capable of doing regardles of your illness. While I accept some cancer patients are able to and want to keep on working, there are some who are unable to.

Lyn

JanB
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi, I can shed some light on what happens at the medical as I am familiar with the conditions for qualifying for ESA.

When you attend your medical they are not looking at what your illness is but looking to see what work you are capable of doing regardless of your diagnosis and treatment. They won't question your BC but will ask questions to see what you can do. I would advise seeking help from your local McMillan team. They are very experienced in this type of thing and do keep up with the changes.

Whether you qualify for ESA or need to claim JSA I would expect staff at the jobcentre to treat you sympathetically.

Good luck. Jan

snottraggs
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

I have just applied for employment support allowance as pay gone to half and they were great about it. I should get it although they said people often have medicals. maybe with my central line in it makes a difference?? Plus have applied for DLA on basis of central line and all the effects of chemo, its more that physical issues. We have a macmillian welfare rights officer in stockport and he was great - knew how to complete the forms. - try to see if you can access some help, they know there stuff.

I also work in benefits - so know how the system works (or doesn't!!!)

vicky

Grittomum
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

I've just finished on statutory sick pay and am about to apply the employment support allowance, have asked GP for new sick note. I had op in Nov, have 2 more lots of CMF to go and then rad, he says I won't be fit for work till Jan, on top of that I'm possibly going to be made redundant. Citizens advice said I should try and get DLA, but really can't see it, had enough trouble getting that for my daughter when she was diagnosed with epilepsy and having 40 fits a day!!!Will keep you posted if I have to have medical, according to disability alliance people undergoing cancer treatment should go in the support group, obviously isn't the case!!!
Alison

doodle32
Member

Re: Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi Mega,

I was on income support upto the beginning of last week, which is when i was sent a letter saying i had failed my medical which i had at the end of march. You get points for being ill it goes on if you can reach lift do daily chores etc. Out of 15 points i got 0. To make things worse i am covered by a sick note which runs out in June, i only had my last op 29th feb and still havent finished yet. I am now claiming Job seekers but the lady who did my interview was brilliant and made it so i dont find work till im ready and all treatment has finished. Its ridiculous, i dont know how ill you have to be for these people there's obviously something wrong with them. lol.

Take Care

Leslee x

Megalady
Member

Medical examination for benefit purposes

Hi, Im not sure if this post is in the right place but its where Im up to treatment wise.
Im asking if anyone here has had the medical examination as they are in reciept of Employment & Support allowance (the new incapacity benefit) and how they went on. Ive heard a few rumours that they tend to fail everyone and then you have to appeal!! How can they fail you if recovering from cancer ie surgery, chemo, rads and now on hormone tablets. I dont think anyone would fake having breast cancer would they!!
Anyway if anyone has any info can you let me know

Thanks.........Mega xxxxxxx