2012 - 2015
I conclude that following medicals with both Atos and Capita, the govening bodies for assessing claiments suitability for benefit, I was found to be in the support group which meant that I kept my entitlement to incapacity benefit. I was also found to be eligable for the new PIP award which has replaced the previous Disability Living Allowance that they took from me in 2011.
In July 2014, my condition had deteriorated and I required an urgent total hip replacement operation. Unfortunately due to other medical problems, the surgery was put on hold while other tests went ahead. I was given the all clear for surgery in 2015. My op had been cancelled a couple of times in 2016, mainly due to several Doctor's strikes that have affected all hospitals throughout the country. I now await a new date having been told by my surgeon that it would go ahead in May, I won't hold my breath!
The question should be asked if the costs incurred in bringing court action against me were justified when within just two years, the Medical Examiners appointed by the Department found me medically unfit and entitled to disability benefit? I estimate those costs to be within the region of £18000? They claimed that I had been overpaid £6000? their saving was just two years of non payment, the total being £6000. It doesn't take a genious to work out if this was cost effective for the DWP?
Would it not have been financially beneficial, if I had been sent for a medical when they first suspected that I may not have met their criteria?
I have always believed that I have met this criteria, when I wrote about my condition and how it affected my daily life, I based my application on how my health was on a yearly basis and not just one day, a good day when I was able to perhaps do more than I was capable of doing generally and with increased medication. I have always been truthful when writing out applications for benefit, I always listed my diagnosed conditions and provided the names and adresses of all hospital consultants/Professor etc. At any time they could have checked to see if what I had written was indeed the truth, I actually thought this was the purpose for requiring this information on all forms. What is important to mention is that with the new application forms, there has been a section added for applicants to write how their condition changes and if they are able to repeat certain actions. This insinuates that perhaps previous forms were incorrect and unfair? With all rheumatic conditions, we may be able to do something one day out of many but this doesn't mean that we should be assessed only on a good day. Pain can vary from day to day but this was given no consideration at all, it was actually used against me.
The fact that the DWP could not put surveillance on me between November 2010 - March 2011 suggests that they knew that I hardly ever left home. I make no secret of being almost reclusive, especially during the winter months when the raynauds is at it's worst.
I believe that the Department armed with the knowledge after being tipped off by an insider, who they knew would make a detrimental, if somewhat untruthful and embellished statement about me, knew that they could use me as a scapegoat and make the headlines that they had saved the tax payer money in prosecuting me, getting someone off benefits was a feather in their cap.
Their glory was short lived and now it's my time to fight back, I intend to prove exactly why this case was brought about. My story needs to be in the public domain to allow people to read the truth as it is and not as some wish it to be. I cannot be the only person affected by underhanded tactics from the DWP?
Sadly, the results of my medicals did not make the news in the same way as the prosecution did.
Little do they realise the impact this has on people who suffer from genuine illness and life threatening conditions. "Such is their callous disregard for claimants lives. Records show that 590 people have committed suicide to escape the shame brought on them and their families, the unfairness that causes genuine people to lose their benefit leaving them unable to cope . It seems that on many occasions the DWP have been in flagrant breach of the law when it comes to adhering to the prevention of future deaths."
Sick people are easy targets!
DWP secret death reviews Taken from Benefits & Work website
I have no doubt that my condition has deteriorated in many areas due to the stress caused from my experience at the hands of others. In 2013 I was also diagnosed with the onset of Distonia, a neurological condition which is being treated with Gaba Agonist drugs in an attempt to ease the symptoms. This has progressed since first diagnosis, it is a matter of increasing medication to adequately control it.
In 2015, I was refered to a dental surgeon for further investigation in to the lack of bone in my jaw. Access has always been an issue that cannot be dealt with satisfactorily by a general orthadontist. The surgeon that I saw managed to build a new plate which is less painful than my last one, but still I am unable to eat whilst wearing it! The benefit is purley for cosmetic appearance.
I now not only await my surgery for a new hip, but also to be assessed by a plastic surgeon, who will decide on the possibility to repair by liprosculpture, areas of severe fat atrophy that give me great pain and discomfort every day. These are problem areas that have progressed very gradually over the years.
There is no one more against people who do not wish to work than I am, I don't know how working age people can be state dependant for all of their working lives with seemingly no questions asked of them. Families of two and three generations who have never worked and never intend to, why are they not targeted in the same way as sick people are? People who take for granted their good health and simply choose to live out their lives at the cost of tax payers. Having worked for many years myself, I don't understand the mind set of these people, given the choice, I know which I prefer! Unfortunatley, I have no choice, It's not my fault that I have a disability that prevents me from working but I do not expect to be persecuted because of this.
It is disgraceful how we are treated, we should be ashamed of our country who allow this to happen continually, who actually orchastrate cases like my own.
I agree that if someone does not meet the criteria, which incidently, changes as the years go by, I do not agree that prosecution is the answer, It is not a satisfactory conclusion.
Whilst there are cases of benefit fraud that need to be addressed, there are far more cases of tax evasion in many areas. Billions of pounds of tax evaded each year gets over looked, more so in the professional sector. It seems that in this country, this type of fraud is acceptable. There is a saying that the biggest crooks in our country hold the highest positions!
People at all levels will do their best to avoid paying tax, employers who pay workers cash in hand to avoid tax, put home improvements on to business invoices to reduce tax, pay workmen cash to avoid paying VAT, even employing people on a cash basis with the full knowledge that they claim sick pay or other benefit. It's all acceptable fraud that goes on every day with very few cases of prosecution.
I can even recall a conversation some years ago, where someone actually asked their vet to hold back the date of a diagnosis of a long term illness, to allow them time to get the dog insured and to allow for the exemption period to pass before they then made their claim. This is corruption by both parties; but was acceptable. And they have the audacity to criticise me, short memories indeed!!
The irony of all this is that for five years, both Alan and I cared for my elderly Mother at our home, a saving for the tax payer of more than £70,000 . In 2012, Alan retired from work to care for her full time as her condition began to decline. Following four strokes over this period and a decline in his own health, he is now retired and unable to work after more than 45 years of being a tax payer.
I strongly suspect that I was a scapegoat for the DWP, we know they want to get sick people off benefits, despite the fact that there remains £20 Billion of unclaimed benefits. Since the PIP benefit replaced the old DLA benefit, their intention has been to reduce the number of people like me, who had been given this award indefinately, following a medical by an independant Doctor. In my case, this decision was based on the fact that I am diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative disease that will not improve. The clue is in the title, I cannot make that up or change it. What better way to reduce their numbers by bringing prosecutions against people which are not quite what they seem? They get the headlines that they have another person off benefits and call people cheats to gain support from the average Joe Bloggs, who doesn't actually get the full picture. Hence this website!
In 2015 when the government announced that they would replace the old DLA benefit with a Personal Independant
Payment, they said that it would be an easy transition for those claimants. It has been far from easy, the number of people having lost the higher rate component, even when they have an eligable disability is close to 50%. Many who had a car through motability have lost their independance and are unable to leave their homes. It is unfair and very cruel to do this to vulnerable people.
In 2015, our old friends who I believe to be responsible for all of this, had joined the committee of the Leonberger Club of Great Britain and following on from their previous vendetta, they took advantage of their new found positions. This is an episode worthy of a full page, follow the link for more.
Despite my ill health and bad experiences at the hands of others, I have been able to turn this around to make a positive out of a negative. For many years it was only through taking high doses of drugs that literally kept me on my feet. I will no longer do this if it is to be used against me, I had to learn the hard way that it's not worth even trying to do somethings that most people would consider normal.
My experience has destroyed my faith in people, and friendships that were formed on the basis that our relationship only existed as long as I was of some value to them. Words come very easy, it's what people do that counts, their actions speak louder than words. I doubt that I will ever be able to trust anyone again following disingenuous friendships that I have had. I certainly won't allow anyone to ride roughshod over me in the future, those who cross me do so at their own peril. Those who's sole motivation is financial or sycophantic have been dropped like a hot potatoe, greed is ugly.
Even family members are not exempt, I have seen the most dispicable act of deceipt and betrayal carried out by one of my siblings, who took no part in helping with the care of my late Mother, rarely even coming to visit her, but stooped very low to make sure that she got her hands on the money. Being already in a good financial position, she went overboard to cheat others of their rightful inheritance. Both Alan and I have witnessed blatant acts of selfishness from our families.
We certainly see true colours shine through where money is concerned.
I have been taken for granted for my generosity many times. In many areas of life, people express their love, gratitude and respect, but once we outgrow our usefulness, they soon forget those earlier words.
The only important people for me to consider in the breed now, are our sincere puppy owners, most of whom are wonderful people and some who have become firm friends, it has been an honour to meet them.
I have only one regret for my own actions, and that was doubting one of our puppy owners in Sheffield who is as devoted to all her dogs as we are , she holds the same principles as we do, and is passionate about our wonderful breed. She has had some beautiful puppies, Grandchildren to our gorgeous late Siska, and I am very happy that we have put our differences behind us.
Sometimes situations arise where people have different ideas and principles, we cannot get along with or please everyone. Whatever happens, we never forget puppies that we have bred and I am saddened when we do not get updates on them. Somehow, when we do have an issue, it's not long before certain people get involved and we sadly lose contact. I do not believe that it is coincidental, that every person who I have disagreed with or had an issue with, is very quickly involved with the two breeders who we first bought Leonberger puppies from!
I have a very happy life, I always have despite some stressful periods. Not only did I beat the odds and see my children grow up, but I have been fortunate to have had Grandchildren as well. I was very proud to see my son married in Florida USA on November 19th 2012. It was a special day and will always be remembered with great fondness.
For ten years, both Alan and I played a big part in our Grandaughters life. This enabled her parents to both work full time and have a better quality of life themselves. For a short time we also helped with our Grandson and this only stopped when I was unable to walk. I am happy that we were able to help our kids, even though sometimes it was difficult and tiring for me. Now it is wonderful to be finally free to live our own lives and not be governed by our duties to others. My work is done!
I hope that following my surgery I will able to walk again, there is so much I still need to do, I have wasted too much time, life is very precious and it's for living. I look forward to the future shared with my husband and my loyal cats and dogs who are my absolute world. With their love and support, I am rich beyond the dreams of avarice!!