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mockingbird_franklin
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Hi, as a few of you know my son has Austism and while he is reasonably high functioning he still has a severe disability which has the potential to put him in danger due to his severely reduced awareness of danger forgetfulness etc. He has also developed a severe mental dissorder that whilst undiagnosed has led to him being sectioned twice within the last 4 years and come close on 3 other occasions, to be kept out of hospital thanks to some excellent work by his cpn pyschiatrist. . Anyhow last year we had to undergo the whole DWP/Atos circus which we entered into in good faith thinking the truth would mean a fair and honest assessment, knowing he was genuinely disabled and was diagnosed as such a young child that all would be ok, after all the system was designed to weed out the shirkers pretending to be to sick to work, This was a big mistake on our part, unfortunately his experience of the whole system left a bad taste as the whole corrupt nature of it came to bear down on him, The Atos assessment was a farce, not interested in how his disability effected him or how he had nearly burnt down the house twice (doesnt count if you get the fire under control and the fire brigade arn't called) not interested in the numerous serious conflicts he's got into due to his dis inhibited behavior (it seems keeping the police out of any involvement was again a bad choice). Noy interested in the anxiety and stress experienced due to everyday events we all take within our stride. Not interested in the fact he will wear a T-shirt and shorts on a bitter winters day and go out in them if not talked to about appropriate clothing. The report was a total fabrication and bared no resemblance to my son or how his conditions effects him. Asking for a reconsideration and pointing out the errors in the report and the medical and other evidence which appeared to have been totally ignored proved fruitless as the decision was upheld by the DWP, it seems the Atos report is gospel, fortunately he still scraped just enough points to be placed in the Work Related Activities group with the recommendation he would be completely fit for work within 12 months (which surprised me that Atos obviously though Autism could be cured by 12 months of having an interview at the local jobcentre every 6-8 weeks, which stopped after two interviews when they changed to a telephone interview instead, then they never bothered calling, ever).

 

WE appealed the decision and at a 30 second hearing the tribunal informed us that on reviewing the evidence that was available to the DWP and Atos at the time that he should have been placed in the Support group and upheld our appeal. He qualified for the support group on 3 of the relevant discripters and also qualified under the special rules 29 and 35 that mean if someone would be in significant danger of physical or mental illness if they were not in the support group they should be placed in it.

 

It is very worrying that someone who knows nothing about my son and has no relevant qualification to his disability can in a 20 minute assessment overrule and dismiss the opinions of his GP and all the specialists professionals who have cared for him. the worry is we will possibly face this process in the next month if the DWP ignore (and they often do) the advise of the tribunal that he should not be assessed again until the maximum time allowed between assessments of 30 months has passed. Knowing we will more than likely have the stress and worry of another 12 months waiting for a tribunal

 

Anyhow I was recently asked to sign a e-petition which is trying to add a safety net to the whole assessment procedure and mean that any individual with certain disabilities, which means they more than likely should qualify for support group under the special rules, could submit a form from their GP or consultant confirming this and it would either mean an assessment wasn't needed or at best this information had to taken into account when any decision is made by the DWP. We would love our son to work and are actively working toward a situation were he is more prepared but now isn't the time and it probably will be a long road to get him there, but he shouldn't be placed in potential danger and put under unfair pressure and stress of the situation where his disabilities are ignored and he is told, go get a job or be sanctioned, which would have been his situation after 12 months if Atos's assessment and recommendations were followed.

 

here is the link http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47554

 

so if you think the current persecution of the genuinely disabled needs to be tempered  a little and the knowledge of professionals who genuinely know them not just ignored then please sign the petition.

 

Thanks

Edited by mockingbird_franklin
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Signed.

Thanks for the heads-up. It's criminal what's happening to the differently-abled at the moment.

Thank you

 

It criminal yet an awful lot of the media are joining in with the agenda against the disabled (or differently abled) and not questioning or challenging it. It's possibly your future, we are all a major illness or an accident away from having to experience the concerted effort to remove the safety net from those most deserving of it.

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 My lad is Autistic as well mockingbird, and i was told by someone who is involved in the reviewing system that you are automatically turned down on your initial review, and the idea is that the "genuine" cases will  appeal , and generally win their case.

 

 Have to say mockingbird, regardless of whose in power, it is a constant battle to get the appropriate support for your child.Whether its inappropriate schools, lack of respite, "inclusion", poor social workers.I'm glad you got what you deserved, but i'm sure you are aware it won't be the last battle.Good luck for the future, and good luck to your lad, i always find "fellow parents" the best source of support/advice.

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 My lad is Autistic as well mockingbird, and i was told by someone who is involved in the reviewing system that you are automatically turned down on your initial review, and the idea is that the "genuine" cases will  appeal , and generally win their case.

 

 Have to say mockingbird, regardless of whose in power, it is a constant battle to get the appropriate support for your child.Whether its inappropriate schools, lack of respite, "inclusion", poor social workers.I'm glad you got what you deserved, but i'm sure you are aware it won't be the last battle.Good luck for the future, and good luck to your lad, i always find "fellow parents" the best source of support/advice.

I understand the battle, my lad is 21 so I've experience them all, fortunately his primary school were fantastic and the staff very supportive which actually helped in getting his diagnosis in the first place after I'd been battling for a good year or two just to get him to see a specialist, They were incredibly flexible and worked unbelievably hard to do the best they could for him and were very supportive in my many encounters with the local education authority. they even secured him a day a week at a special school to receive more specialist help. His secondary school while having less room to maneuver and be flexible were equally good and often very forgiving on his many bad days when the worst effects of his autism came out, He got into this excellent secondary school with lots of thanks again to his primary school head as we both realised it was probably the best able and suited to meet his needs. we were out of the country for a couple of years so have had to wait to apply for his ESA but were luckily enough to reapply for his DLA before PIP was introduced and he recieved an indefinite award(which is as close as you can get to life but then the DLA tend to listen to specialists and professionals about the claiment, I guess this means the PIP battle likely to be a few years off now. though we understand that is most likely to be another tough battle if Atos are still involved. social services were next to useless if i'm honest, not the social workers fault particularly just the help  they could offer was pretty rigid and not of any real use to us. I've been told he has next to no chance to get a social worker now due to all the cuts.

 

All the best for you and your Lad, lets hope some light gets shone on the whole mess that is welfare reform and the changes that are needed come about

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Tried to sign, but I'm not a UK citizen...

 

My cousin has Asperger's, and even though it's considered less serious than Autism, it's wreaked absolute havoc on his family life. He has violent outbursts, no social filter, and he's a big, strapping kid. We all worry about him. 

 

Sorry for your troubles. A mindless bureaucracy is the last thing you need to grapple with. I hope everything works out for you.

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Signed. Absolute **** disgrace what Ian Duncan Smith and his cronies have done.

Tbf, Mark, it's not just an IDS thing (though they're the ones with the ball in hand at the moment and thus responsible).

As I posted a few years back, this was also a Purnell thing (especially the ignoring of specialist medical advice) - indeed it is more of a David Freud thing.

The worst part of all of these assessments is that specialist advice would appear to be ignored unless a tribunal/appeal is pursued (the legal aid for which has been removed, hasn't it?).

Edited by snowychap
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Signed. Absolute **** disgrace what Ian Duncan Smith and his cronies have done.

Tbf, Mark, it's not just an IDS thing (though they're the ones with the ball in hand at the moment and thus responsible).

As I posted a few years back, this was also a Purnell thing (especially the ignoring of specialist medical advice) - indeed it is more of a David Freud thing.

The worst part of all of these assessments is that specialist advice would appear to be ignored unless a tribunal/appeal is pursued (the legal aid for which has been removed, hasn't it?).

 

The other big change is the removal of the benefit whilst the DWP first reconsider the decision over the ESA, before you can appeal to tribunal and they do this without timescale or deadline, not so bad if your appealing against your grouping but a death blow if the decision is you don't qualify at all. you either have to live on no income or cancel your claim and claim JSA (usually to be told that you don't qualify for JSA as you are too ill or disabled to be considered able to seek work). there are reported cases of the DWP writing to doctors to tell them to stop issuing fit (sick) notes for people.

Edited by mockingbird_franklin
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