Anyway last June i was dismissed from work on ill health grounds and i began the process of appealing the decision....
I got in touch with CAB(citizens advice beareu ) and together we put together my submission along with a letter from my doctor,consultant and pages from my blog. I didn't realise it would take a year for the appeal to be heard. What a long year that was, stressing about it wondering when it was going to be D-day..
So few weeks a go i finally got the date through,22ndJune, I was crapping myself to say the least..I had no faith in the system and even contemplated not going as i seriously thought i had no hope..Then i heard a little voice in my head that said "when have you ever given up before" and it was right, i haven't given up before and why should i give up now just because i am not well.
I woke on Thursday feeling naff. My hips were sore and i was dreading it.
Although my partner and i are not together anymore, he did come with me to support me Thursday and i was glad he was there to keep me going.
When we finally got to where the hearing was being held, i felt awful, but i was trying not to let the pain get me down and kind of ride through it until the hearing was over.
As we approached the desk i was asked if i can use the stairs as the lifts were out of action(this is something i believe they use to catch people out) Straight away scott said no, and we were then ushered upstairs using the staff lift, in the waiting room the chairs were very low to the floor probably another ploy to catch people out.There were only 3 high backed chairs with cushions that were suitable for someone with similar difficulties as me to sit on...shocking..
The clerk come out to introduce herself and explained that there was a doctor and a lady judge on the panel who are independent and have nothing to do with the Department for work and pensions.This made me feel a bit better. Also my CAB officer was here involved in a earlier case and will be able to come into my hearing and support me, another bonus i thought..
The previous hearing was running a little late and i was getting uncomfortable and agitated waiting, and the longer i was in the waiting room the more nervous i was getting.
After waiting half an hour it was my turn to be called in. In the room there was no chairs high enough for me to sit on so scott was allowed to bring the high back seat i was sitting on in the waiting room.
Was introduced to the doctor and the judge who seemed ok and made me feel a bit more at ease.
They explained to me that they were going to access the appeal based on my form i supplied last year and that i was to try and remember as best as i could how my illness was affecting me at the time... Great one i thought..
The doctor was the first to ask me questions. He asked me to explain how i was last year and how my condition is now, what difficulties i faced, medication,any help from OT,Physio etc.. The doctor seemed to be very happy with the answers i was giving him and obviously could see i knew what i was going on about and wasn't making it up.. phew i thought..Then it was the Judges turn to ask me questions..what a biatch she was lol...She asked me questions different ways to try and catch me out, asked me how i didi various things, questioned me again and again on things i had put in my form and whether i could back up the answers i had given etc..I knew i had told them everything i could but when i came out after 45 minutes i really thought i hadn't won..
Was told to wait in the waiting area while they made a decision, i didn't want to go back in the room, it was a mission getting there as it was i didn't fancy going back in to be denied.
After 5 minutes of waiting the clerk called us to go back in and i let my CAB officer do it for me..when he came out he showed no sign on his face of anything, when he handed me the paper and it said appeal allowed , i was shocked.. i couldn't believe it, I won, after a year of stressing i had won, woo hoo. I thanked my CAB work for his help and assistance and he said he was happy that i had won as i deserved too..
Since Thursday the news is slowly starting to sink in that i have won my appeal, i am just suffering now with my hips and back big time and walking is a real problem at the moment. I am sure when i get my money backdated from what they owe me it will finally sink in and then i can celebrate...