General > Assisted Gardening

DLA their attitudes to gardening/allotments

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Headingly Court are using gardening as therapy for wounded Forces personell.  I suspect civvies on ESA/Incap/DLA would get prosecuted for doing the exact same things!  :-(

My son (now 40s) has had chronic fatigue syndrome for about 20 years, and I have fought like a tiger for recognition of his condition, and of his right to benefits. He is by definition unable to focus and plead on his own behalf.

We have been together to three tribunals, after doctors said he was not ill, and we won every time. If you don't appeal, you lose everything. The appeals were very exhausting and worrying, but the appeal panel is made up of responsible people who are completely outside the benefits system - they listen, and are very fair.

Please do not let yourself be bullied. We know that some cheating people have been found working at physically demanding jobs while claiming benefits for being disabled - they distort the system. But if you present your case clearly (gardening very carefully, how you do it, photographs of you doing it, letters from allotment neighbours supporting what you say), these independent, responsible, caring people will give you enough points to get your benefits back.

That is what happened to us, anyway.

Someone I know had to go for a medical. The panel was very good but they stopped his benefits because he was claiming for gastric problems & they were convinced he had ME too. His GP had not picked it up, some symptoms cross over for different diseases. He appealed & got everything reinstated & also qualified for more benefit too.

I'd advise anyone applying for DLA or ESA for the first time to seek help from C.A.B, Age UK or other agencies, who can advise on how best to complete the forms and, if necessary, may be able to help with appeals. CAB are also collecting evidence nationally on the quality of the medical tests for ESA as well as on how the cuts are affecting disabled people disproportionately.

Right, that is the point I am making.

Always appeal. The Decision Maker makes the decision, and you appeal against it. Took me years to realise this.


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