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I am posting this in an effort to sustain anyone else who has made an application for this benefit and may be enduring the frustration of delays and, dare I say it, ineptitude.


As background, I suffered my SAH in July 2011 and came out from hospital with no idea of what to expect - like everyone who posts here, I think.  I was lucky to have a truly benevolent employer - in effect, myself, as manager of a charity offering financial assistance to disabled people.  The original founder of the charity helped me greatly and daily to get to and from work (at first I could only do an hour or so - and he is in his late seventies!).  I thought I could hack it - just get back to normal work and everything would, in time, be back to life as it was.  


So, I never thought then to claim any benefit - although, obviously, I was totally aware of benefits available to disabled people.


Two years plus after my SAH, I finally realised that things would never be as they were.  Physically, I am not capable of cleaning the house - not the whole house.  I can just about manage the kitchen in one whole day if I break down the task into three and rest plenty in between.  As for getting a vacuum out - a) I can't physically get it out of the cupboard and B) the tinnitus which constantly fizzes about my head can't stand the noise.


To the point, somewhere about October last year, I applied for a PIP ( a "Personal Independence Payment" - to cover the costs of getting help with cleaning the house and the costs of my hydrotherapy (which I have been paying for myself).  It took the DWP six weeks to acknowledge my claim.  So - late November.  Three months later, in January 2014, ATOS sent me a letter saying they would arrange an assessment.  That, eventually, happened on 7 October, some nine months later, and I was advised by the assessor to contact the DWP if I had not heard anything six weeks after the assessment.  So, again, I sat on my hands and waited the six weeks.


Then, and this is where the truly awful frustration started, I called the DWP and waited, endlessly, while a disembodied voice told me that "they are sorry claims are taking so long" and " they are working hard to correct this" and, finally, "we are all busy now -  perhaps you would prefer to call back later". No! - and go through this whole process again?  At long last, some human bean answered, checked that I do exist and told me that they could not do anything because they had not received the assessment from ATOS.


I called ATOS - three times and each time, they could not even give me any information about my assessment.  Finally, I sent an email to my MP last week begging for help.  Suddenly, amazingly, the assessment was sent from ATOS to DWP on 1 December, the DWP made a decision on 2 December and I have been awarded some help.  It is, quite simply, enough to cover the costs of my hydrotherapy and enough for paying a cleaner once a week to do what I used to do -  it's all I ever wanted.


So, I hope this is helpful to anyone who is enduring this stupid process with any claim - fight and, involve an MP!


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I have, only it was DLA then and yes 'frustration' and a very long wait.


I'm in the Atos waiting game for my benefit too applied in March heard nothing hubby rang them early Sept I'm in the queue - that's ok but I'm not getting any money other than the DLA (thank goodness)


Brilliant that you got awarded it better late than never mines only took 14yrs on & off...


take care

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Good to hear from you!  I was told by the ATOS assessor who finally came and visited me, that she had been sent down here in Devon from Hertfordshire - because ATOS don't have enough assessors in this part of the world.  Now, you are even further from wherever their organisation operates from - perhaps worth an email to your MP?  They will make some calls and things might happen faster.  They are our representatives, after all, and, effectively, we pay them!  Use them!


And yes, Win, we shouldn't have to battle and wait a whole year and more - I needed the help when I applied for it over a year ago - otherwise I wouldn't have applied, would I?  I go through this regularly for some of my clients at work - I fight, I fight, I fight!


Now, they say, I will get a back-dated payment to the time when the DWP acknowledged my claim - I can use that to top up finances for the hydrotherapy I have already paid for, but can anyone tell me how I can, retrospectively, get the house properly cleaned?!

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Oh wow didn't know that, thanks for the info..


Your so right we shouldn't need to, I first applied when I came out of rehab then on and off for the 14yrs, then new government rules so got told try again and thought Oh well & bingo got DLA, which now is great because they stopped my ESA (benefit) they give with one hand then snatch it with the other.


I also got it back dated too,


take care...

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