What a day this was indeed. The night before we made sure that all the paperwork and everything was ready. The fact that we couldn’t sleep because we were in so much pain and the anxiety kicked in even though Josh said that he was ready and yes was geared up and had exactly what he wanted to say in his head. We managed to get to sleep about 6am. We had set the alarm for at least 12 mid-day so we could get some sleep. We were woken up by the phone going about 9.50am I got up to answer the phone in semi-dream state and chronic pain. It was the Clerk of Tribunal asking for Josh. He asked if we could get to the courts by 12.30 that afternoon instead of 4.00pm, but they had to shuffle their court hearings around due to someone else not turning up to theirs. At first we said yes, but in panic we looked at the time and it was 10am, we knew that we would not be able to get to the courts in time even if we left home at 10am. We were not ready we had just be woken up and weren’t planning to leave at 2.30pm. So we had to try to call them back on the same number. But we couldn’t get through on one number, so we had to try the main switchboard, which we did and Josh explained what had happened and that we were caught unawares. So Josh tried another number which was the number the Clerk of Tribunal rang on and eventually got through. After Josh was able to explain that we would not be able to get there even if we left then as we would have get dressed have something to eat, get down the stairs in chronic pain which would take at least 8 minutes, then at least 10-15 minutes to walk a 5 minite walk to get to the bus stop. Then we would have to catch the bus to the train station and catch the train which would be 15-20 minutes, and the cost already mounting up. £6.40 for the bus for the both of us, and the train would have cost at least £13.50 for two returns. Plus we would have had to catch a taxi from Southampton General Station to the Court House, at 100 The Avenue, which was a lot further than we thought in distance which would have cost the earth, we only had £35, and we needed a taxi back from Winchester train station to home later that day on the way back home.
We were in excruciating pain in our backs and neck and Josh’s knees were so bad too. Blessed be the angles we prayed the nice before to surround us and guidance and protection praise the Lord. For we were not prepared for what was going to happen next, talk about the LORD moving mountains, heaven and earth to get us there. Well the Clerk of Tribunal said okay I can got to check and okay it if ot was possible to send a taxi for us to pick us up from home to the court and bring us back home door to door, we were flabbergasted and said yes please that would be awesome, as we would not be able to get there due to our chronic pain. We had already being shaken up by this and in panic mode had thrown us and we became stressed as we had to get ourselves ready in an hour and we had only 3+1/2 hours sleep too.
Whilst Josh was getting ready I had to pop down to the post office to get to take some money out of our account for the day. We had packed the blue floral holdall on wheels with all Josh’s paperwork, some fruit juice and a couple of bananas, and Josh’s coccyx cushion and my neck cushion. I managed to get back from the post office just in time as the taxi had arrived early about 11.10 instead of 11.30am. We got in the taxi and the traffic wasn’t to busy and the Lord moved all the traffic aside to give us safe passage to the Magistrates Court house. I noticed the fare would have been £22.40 Ouch.
We thanked the driver and went to find our way to the appropriate court building, there was scaffolding up one of the court buildings, we were unsire of where to go, even though Josh had recogn8zed the building from the website. We went to the main building and Josh went in to ask where the Appeal hearing were held. We eventually found our way, t was at the back of the building with the scaffolding. By then we were in so much pain we were near collapse. My sciatic pain was jumping up and down my left leg and my cervical spine at my C5/C6 was swollen and very tender. We had both taken our medication and heavy analgesia before we left. I had actually taken Amitriptyline and Gabapentin on top of my Fentanyl patch the night before, I was totally out of it. I was dizzy and giddy as well as chronic pain, I had to take pigeon steps. And Josh wasn’t far off collapsing too. We eventually got to the right building and entered we were greeted by security, we had to be searched and put anything metal in a tray before we had to walk through the security body scanner. Luckily the court rooms were up on thev2nd floor, there was a lift, thank the Lord. We were looking for Court rooms 9- 10 & 11 – 14. Our court room was 9-10. We sat down and rested a while. After about 10 minutes or so the Clerk of Tribunal came out to introduce himself to us, he could see we were in so much pain, he could see that I was about to collapse I became dizzy and giddy and could not focus nor stand of move suddenly, we said I had taken strong medical to get there and this is how it affects me, as we hadn’t planned to come to court house so early as I had taken medications an hour before we left and the effects were just kicking in. The Clerk asked Josh if he had all his ATOS paperwork and everything he needed to put his case forward. Josh was worried that I was not at all well. The Clerk asked if I wanted to stay out in the waiting room. I replied that I wanted to be there for my fiance and I was not going to sit out here, I am here to support my fiance. He went in to tell the Lawyer and Doctor on the Tribunal.
We were called in and we were formally greeted and asked to sit down. As we entered the room there was a desk to the left where the Clerk of Tribunal sat and in front of us was the Dais were the Lawyer and the Doctor sat. It was like a mini court without the Jury. But it was comfortable and non-offensive. We sat down after trying to get ourselves comfortable, they could see that Josh was having great difficulties in taking his coat off I wanted to try to help him, but I knew that all eyes were not missing a trick, I had to let Josh do everything himself so they could see exactly how much pain Josh was in, even though I felt helpless I had to be there and not heard, which was I expected, but I was ready to give evidence if necessary. Josh took his Coccyx cushion out and said what it was and why he had to use it. Put it on his chair so he could be reasonably comfortable. Then he took out all his paperwork and set it out on the table in front of him. And was just about to say thank you for allowing him to be able to put his side of the story and present his case. When the Lawyer and Doctor introduced themselves, the Lawyer announced that he was very appreciative that we were able to come to the Court hearing at such short notice which was good of them.
Lawyer & Doctor: Dr K Walters and Dr Y Sunak
The hearing started at 12.25hrs. Firstly the Lawyer ( Dr K Walters) Introduced himself and said that ‘Before we start the questions we will ask you are specifically about your ESA Claim and ESA 50 that we have received from ATOS, and they made it clear that we could only answer their questions when they were asked and no more,’ which at first made me think, Oh Lordy, here we go this is going to be one sided again. But once it got started the questions were indeed precise and to the point, but also allowed Josh to expand and emphasis on which was good. But we noticed that the form they were referring to was back in October 2012, when Josh had his WCA which at first we thought this was not good at all. But Josh was allowed to highlight and update what was happen6ing now and how much pain he has been in since the WCA and that manhandling of Josh’s shoulders and Back and twisting his knees, not even his physio would have done, the so-called ATOS Healthcare Professional the damage she had done that has caused his injuries worse than they originally were. Eventually Josh was able to put his point across as and when he was asked there questions.
All through the hearing I was unable to lift my head as my head was swimming and every time I tried to look up I felt as if I was going to collapse, thank the Lord he keep us going and guided us through the whole hearing. They must have noticed how much pain we were both in, Josh was shifting his position every few minutes and so was I and Josh was having to hold his right knee as it was excruciatingly painful and they noticed this. Well a good 20 minutes to half an hour went passed and when they had finished all they need to ask then we were told to go back out in the waiting area while they cogitated and discussed Josh’s case and said they would come out to us with an answer as they could see it was going to be too painful to go back into the Tribunal Room.
We gathered all the paperwork and put back into the holdall but nothing wanted to fit properly so we shoved everything that we could back into the holdall, and I grabbed Josh’s coat and cushion etc..They could see we were having great difficulty as I was also wearing my Cervical Neck Support Collar, and my sciatica had kicked in and was misbehaving. When we got up and tried to open the heavy door all fingers and thumbs the Lawyer came and opened the door for us. He also said that they would organise a taxi to take us home again which would be waiting on the Avenue. We went back into the waiting seating area and sorted ourselves out, when they came out, that was very quick indeed. We thought that’s it we have had it. But to our surprise both Doctors came out and went through the papers and decision quickly and advised that Josh had won his case and awarded Josh 18 points, (points for Walking and 9 points for Sitting and Standing,/we were beside ourselves and would have jumped with joy if were able to. we shock their hand and thanked them. They said that if we had not heard from DWP within four weeks to ring them. They gave Josh’s Tribunal Decision papers and let us go home. Thank you Lord, you did it again and we have also proved that ATOS WCA is flawed and is NOT fit for purpose and everyone we spoke to especially the lady outside the courts she to had won her case. Another knock for ‘Johan Duncan Schmidt’
We made our way back to the front of the building and looked out for the taxi, we were not sure where he was going to pick us up from. By this time we were near collapse and Josh’s knees where about to give in under him and I was not much better either. About 15 minutes later we saw a taxi pull up in the lay by by the Courts further down and we got in the taxi and longed to get back home and rest and to get some sleep.
We got home about 3pm and thanked the driver, eventually practically crawled up the stairs racked in pain, when we opened the door, our Princess Daisy May was waiting for us and keeping the bed warm for us. We dumped the bags and kicked our shoes of, changed and had a lovely hot mug of hot chocolate and settled down for the rest of the afternoon, turned off all the phones and door and were out for the count and slept for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We eventually had something to eat and chilled out for the rest of the night. It actually 4/5 days bed-bound to get over the pain we were in and eventually emerged after 5 days to the world. Daisy May as so good she looked after us as much as we cuddled her.
We checked Josh’s account on the next Wednesday when his ESA should have gone in his bank, but it had not gone in when it normally goes in. So on the Thursday morning Josh rang DWP to find out why his money didn’t go in and they told him that they were not sure why. But Josh told that he knew full well why his money delayd that he had won his Appeal Hearing on the Wednesday that it had been overturned!! They said his money would drop into his account the next day, which it did, Thank the Lord. What a day it was indeed and now its my turn for the change over from Incapacity benefit to ESA. We are still waiting for the ESA award letter from DWP which has still not come through the door. Thank the Lord it is all over for the now. In Jesus name AMEN
FIRST – TIER TRIBUNAL
Respondent: Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
1. The appeal is allowed.
2. The decision made on 22/11/2012 is set aside.
3. The Apellant is entitlled to Employment and Support Allowance (“ESA”) with the work- related activity xomponent.
4. This is because in applying the Work Capability Assessment 18 points were scored from the activities and deccriptors in Shedule 2 of the ESA Regulations 2008 made up.
1c – Mobilising – 9 points
2c – Standing and Sitting – 9 points.
5. No schedule 3 descriptor applied.
The Tribunal recommends that the Department ressesses the Appellant within 24 months.
The Tribunal received cogent oral evidence in relation to physical factors.
Signed Tribunal Judge:
Dr K Walters
Decision Notice issued to Appellant on 14/08/2013
Respondent on 14/08/2013
Rainbow Warrior Lizzie & Joshua Christian
“My Completed ESA50 Form ‘Limited Capability For Work Questionnaire’ & The Notorious Spanner in the Works from ATOS/DWP/Jobcentre Plus”
Today is the day we have just about completing my ‘ESA50 Form, which has taken since the 2nd August to down with blood and tears, frustrations, but I took it head on and read it through, with my dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalcula, I had to break it down in to bites size chunks, so to speak. I decided to write the first draft as the questions read, some of which did not make any sense, but hey ho, read it again, but that stressed me out even more. I put down what and how I felt, but it does not always go your way, and made so many mistakes oh my Lord, I went to see my C.A.B Caseworker, who put things in perspective for me and when I got home. I made a strong milky coffee with two sugars today, turned on the radio, ‘Classic FM’ always does the trick, when I am writing, studying etc. So, with the support of my lovely fiance Josh and our Princess Daisy May puss cat, and the Lord, it is time to knuckle down and start reading the questions I had answered and start writing the ‘continue on separate sheet of paper’ and amendments of which there are many. Do they really know what they expect when they give you a text box as big as a mobile screen for each question ? But, hey we are talking about the DWP/ATOS?, indeed, Lordy. I have noticed the size of the form has changed since January, and more questions, not even my Caseworker had seen these new version. But hey, I thought the DLA form was a nightmare, which took me 3 months to complete Lol
I rang the Jobcentreplus on the 6th Aug: to inform them that I have at least 36 – 40 medical documents of evidence to back up my answers, that’s not including the approximate 20 odd A4 sheets of continued answers and how did they want me to send, and that I was experiencing difficulty with some of the questions, for example, some of the main questions have at least 4-5 different answers which is a nightmare. Comparing to the DLA form. I can say that in all my years working in the NHS have I ever come across such questions, but I say bring it on, I love a challenge. The female who answered my call at Jobcentre Plus, was extremely rude, arrogant and as much help as a chocolate fire guard lol She contradicted herself and try to use confusing tactics, to say just do what you can and send what you can, and only send the most recent papers of evidence. But knowing full well that that would not suffice that they want as much as one can give them. So I just said okay and thank you. My Lord, give me strength indeed. And I am the one with a learning difficulty, I think she needs to retrain.
Because the guy I spoke to on Friday at Jobcentreplus on the 23rd August was a gem, I had to request a replacement ESA50 form and was recommended to go online and print one off so we did just that and wrote every question confidently and in capitals and got it done in 4 days flat. We couldn’t believe the communication I received on the Friday afternoon, the same day I rang Jobcentre Plus requesting a replacement ESA50.
I received an other letter on the Friday afternoon they sent demanding why they had not received the ESA50 Form, when I only spoke to the appropriate person at ATOS/Jobcentre Plus on the Friday morning, They love trying to throw a spanner in the works, harassment and bullying as the DWP, ATOS know best, as live up to their reputation, they do their utmost to try to confuse, baffle, to knock your confidence but hey they hit on the wrong person, as are fighting every step of they way and they don’t stand a chance. Fore we are a force to be reckoned with. Bring it on because we are prepared.
My fiance Josh has typed out and edited all the continued and amended answers we complete today the last two pages left. Then we can start scanning in the whole ESA50 form and all the medical evidence and keep safe for future reference if needed. As we all know what the DWP and the like, they tend to loose papers, documents, etc…So its always handy to have several copies to hand and tucked away. A copy for my C.A.B Caseworker to. Once all is done then we can send first class recorded delivery tomorrow to make sure it gets to them by the 2nd September the deadline. And to leave in the LORDS hands, so to speak, is in the Lap of the Gods, indeed.Well folks its time for that bacon buttie well earnt I’d say and to put the coffee pot on. Catch ya’s all laters, time to chillout and relax, enjoy your bank holiday, be blessed in every way. In Jesus Name AMEN
Blessings and Thank you to those for your Love and Support you know who you are, may you be truly blessed. Blessings, Peace, Love n Hugs, in Jesus Name AMEN
Rainbow Warrior Lizzie & Joshua Christian, Daisy May puss cat
“The Dreaded ESA50 Form ‘Limited Capability For Work Questionnaire’ 01/13″
Hello Good Folks, what a month it is, why is it always August and the moon has been full and powerful this month, bringing things to a head. Well this time it is my turn to feel the hand of austerity from this so-called government who have to date killed of over 10,600 sick and disabled people through their cruel and draconian welfare reforms and punishing the sick and disabled, but thats another story I will share later. But here and now the anxiety is kicking in more than usual, with receiving a letter from the dreaded ATOS so-called IT firm who call themselves ‘Heathcare Professionals’ notifying me that my Long-Term Incapacity Benefit is changing to ESA. Which has included the form ESA50 1/13 which has to be completed and sent by 2nd Semptember 2013. And I thought the DLA form was a nightmare to complete, how wrong was I indeed, so much so, that they have completely revamped and changed the form and some of the questions I would question, as an ex-carer worker within the Winchester & Eastleigh NHS Healthcare Trust for 7 years before my Lumbar disc and Sciatic nerve went and took me down with it after 5x nights and two 14hrs Day shifts straight, in October 2006. And thats when it all started, then after 4 years later of intensive and extensive physio and hydro therapy, traction, an epidural and changes pain management course with my physiotherapist, psychologist, occupational therapist.
When in May 2010 they found that after severe to chronic symptons and x-rays, nerve conduction test, MRI and CT SCAN, and two C5/6 and C6 Root Nerve Blocks Injections which were diagnostic, pain relief, pre-op guidance and management. It has now come at long last after everything done todate to try to make this better. My Neurosurgeon has finally sgreed to place me on his waiting list for a major operation to remove my C6 disc in my cervical spine in my neck. The operation is called an ACDF with Graft which is an Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion eith Graft. And is n8t pretty and for anyone habing this operation, it is extremely painful, but, the job needs to be done, and through all the ladies I have especially followed and sourced following their ACDF Journey & Experiences through this long journey.
But what I don’t need is the DWP giving with one hand the DLA I desperately need for costs of alot of my non-clinical aids and help that I need that the Social Services won’t provide anylonger due to the likes of MR IDS, GEORGE OSBOURNE, and PM MR CAMERON, who in a nutshell don’t give ATOS, excuse the pun, but is the truth of the matter. And this dreaded form ESA50 which has no intention of changing one benefit at all, as the questions are specifically geared up to strip you off your sickness and disability benefits and force you back into work, when you are clearly unable to do any kind of work, due to chronic illness or disability, backed up by your GP, Consultants, Specialists, Physio and Occupational therapists. So where does one start indeed?
Firstly, the stress and anxiety caused by this is immense and the fear that any decision that is made out your control could hinder the very operation I need to relieve the chronic pain in my cervical and lumbar spine. As living with chronic pain comes mental health problems which go hand in hand and do not help the natural healing of the body and causes significant chronic pain, which makes to the pain so much worse.
Rainbow Warrior Lizzie & Joshua Christian
“The Infamous Brown Envelope”
Today is the day that I received what is known as ‘The Infamous Brown Envelope’ and today is the day I start my fight for being genuinely disabled and will not lay down to die, and will be a force to be reckoned with, for I have my fiance, the Lord and Holy Spirit with me, in Jesus name AMEN!
FOR, I AM A WARRIOR OF GOD & WILL NOT BACK DOWN,
MY VOICE WILL BE HEARD !!!
THE BENEFIT YOU RECEIVE IS CHANGING
I knew my time would arrive, and have started to prepare my case indeed. As I have been sorting through all my medical notes which are many, all my appointments, tests, x-rays, MRI’s, ct scans, epidural, cortisone, etc…and lots more besides ongoing from 2006 for my degenerative and compressed lumbar discs and sciatic severe nerve damage and from 2010 my curvature cervical spine, degenerative, compressed C4/5, C5/6, C6/7. Severe C5/6 narrowing bone, degenerative, compressing C6 root nerve, fusing warranting a major operation. Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion with Graft.
After receiving my brown envelope the stress that hit me was intense I broke down in tears. I receive a phone call from Jobcentre Plus on the 25th July afternoon. Knowing that the stress, anxieties, chronic pain going through Josh’s WCA, The Lies, the physical pain caused by Josh’s ATOS, DWP & WCA nightmares. We have now received Josh’s Appeal thank the Lord so Josh can put his case across, and fight this all the way.
Whilst Josh is going through all his own medical notes etc…and I have amended the evidence I witnessed all through Josh’s WCA before and after. Whilst going through all those papers and writing my recent DLA Award Letter dated 11/07/2013 to commence on the 09/08/2013, into my blog journal, of keep up to date with all communications, and gathering all my evidence as and when or if it is required, better to for warned is to be for armed so they say. Although it is early hours and I have just finished writing, copy & paste the FORM ESA50 so I can prepare myself or these pathetic questions. Even though I read amd witnessed my dear fiance’s Atos nightmares and preparing to go to Appeal on the 14th August 2013, 6 days before my pre-op mri examinations as I am on a waiting list for a major op on my cervival spine. To be totally honest, I can feel the anxiety bubbling up with my blood pressure and asthma. After reading this darn ESA50 Form as these questions are about the lowest of the low, in all my years working in the public sector and Caring proffession, I have never felt so ‘humiliated’, and all I can see when I am preparing these pathetic questions I can see thats its gonna go the same way. which I terrified as if I am too stressed and anxietied or I have an asthma attack, this could very well hinder my pending operation, which could be any time, I could get a phone call to be ready on the day or the day before, although we have no date goven as yet, there could be a cancellation. Meanwhile, I am putting this down for the now as its gonna end in tears before I sleep, God Bless.
There is a saying…’What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’, so very true. Babe I Love You, we will get through this and come out stronger, we are a force to be reckoned with the three in one, LORD God our Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the HOLY SPIRIT.
Dear Lord, I ask of you, guidance, strength, courage in these testing times and help us to get through this. We hand these over to you Lord as you know what is happening. Give us your Love and Grace and guidance each and everyday in your wisdom. Let the Holy Spirit flow through us and around us. Place a hedge around us of your tallest and strongest angels, protect us in your divine grace and majesty, dear Lord I ask of you in Jesus name Amen!
Rainbow Warrior Lizzie & Joshua Christian