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IBS AND THE DWP/WRAG.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:27 pm
by kirkcaldy
I have suffered from IBS for some years now and only my family and medical staff are aware as I find it quite embarrassing to tell anyone.

However I am claiming Employment Support Allowance and on the 28th of June 2011 I had my ATOS medical and was placed on a Work Related Activity Group which I am appealing ( Not Related ).

Anyway I attended my appointment on the 8th of September 2011 at Job Center Plus Kirkcaldy for my Work Focused Interview and when I asked to use a toilet I was told there are no public or disabled toilets for me to use, and I was told by my Customer Adviser to go to the local TESCO store and use their toilets which I did.

After I complained I was told I should go home and was given a new appointment as I was in some state and because of this I asked for a home interview as it was an undue Inconvenience to make a person with IBS to attend without a toilet being available I was told I could use the staff toilet but only in a emergency, which is really, really too kind of them I must say that goes way beyond the call of duty, to ask someone with the condition of IBS to be able to use the staff toilet in an emergency only.

I find it strange when it was the DWP who placed me in the Work Related Activity Group knowing my condition to demand me to attend and not having a toilet available for me or anyone in the same position,
well I will ask to use the toilet as many times as I feel I need it and as people who suffer from IBS will know you sometimes need to go basically after you have just gone be it just mucus, gas or Cramps.

I then found out that the local office do not hold all up to date medical information only truncated information about all my conditions and I was told that even if they did my adviser could see over 10 people plus a day and cannot read every persons notes in detail.

So I have been given another appointment for the 21st of September 2011 with a promise of a staff toilet ( Emergency Only ) and I will see what happens then, I have also contacted TESCO about the DWP directing me and who knows how many other people to their store to use their toilet and resources.

( All the information I have typed here is true and factual and I can be contacted to validate any of the information I have provided. )

Many Thanks,

R.


Edited by Snail to remove real names.

Re: IBS AND THE DWP/WRAG.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:36 pm
by peecee
I'm sorry, petal, but make a note of this - your post won't be used in any court action!

If you can put that aside, could you let us know what the purpose of your post is?

Re: IBS AND THE DWP/WRAG.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:54 am
by Ticktock
It strikes me you are spending a lot of time and energy being awkward, much as you may hate to hear this where do you think this will end up?

With the DWP writing you off as too bigger pain in the bum to get to work, or more likely cutting your benefits...

The DWP staff are just implementing the governments new policies, they don't have it in for you personally, but if you make it personal they are only human after all.

Try and be positive, IBS is uncomfortable but many people do live and work with it, maybe you can as well?

Re: IBS AND THE DWP/WRAG.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:28 pm
by kirkcaldy
Ticktock wrote:It strikes me you are spending a lot of time and energy being awkward, much as you may hate to hear this where do you think this will end up?

With the DWP writing you off as too bigger pain in the bum to get to work, or more likely cutting your benefits...

The DWP staff are just implementing the governments new policies, they don't have it in for you personally, but if you make it personal they are only human after all.

Try and be positive, IBS is uncomfortable but many people do live and work with it, maybe you can as well?


I do have time and a certain amount of energy and when I feel discriminated against I fight with what I can and that is with a decent education and words to defend my needs, I know it's not personal and it is against an organization ( DWP ) rather than an individual.

I did try and volunteer with a charitable organization however it was just too much to handle and a times problematic and embarrassing for me.

I hope that it will end up with me being treated with dignity and an allowance made for my condition,
I don't see how asking for a basic use of a toilet for a medical condition being a pain.

I have no problem with work I have worked most of my life and am not looking for a free hand out or a life on the dole, I can't think of anything more degrading or boring than that maybe for some people but not for me.

I don't want to be written off and I will not be and as long as the DWP and I follow the rules legally they we have to work together with my condition and they are not legally allowed to cut my benefit because they may deem I am sticking up for myself.

I am a positive person however at times just when you feel great and that live is picking up it can slap you in the face just to remind you, I would like to try self employment from home as I would then be in my comfort zone and can be in more control of my condition,
As I am sure you know not all sufferers condition and symptoms are the same so what works for one does not always work for another.

May I say thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article.

R.

Re: IBS AND THE DWP/WRAG.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:15 pm
by ILoveChristmas
Robert,

Whilst I can't understand what it's like to have IBS I can certainly imagine the indignity of being denied access to the facilities, particularly if there are other people within earshot that of course you'd rather not hear your request.

Unfortunately it seems to me that there isn't a "quick fix". You need to attend this interview. It's all very well saying they can't cut your benefit, but they will, and then you'll need to fight (probably successfully) to get it back.

My suggestion is to approach your doctor and have them put in writing that you have a serious medical complaint which necessitates immediate access to a toilet on request. The next time you're asked to attend the interview take this letter with you to show whoever controls access to the facilities. If they still refuse access then at least you have a firmer basis on which to pursue the matter or defend yourself in the event of reduction of benefits.

Whilst Googling to see if I could dredge up anything to do with toilet access law for you I came across a (identical) post you made on another forum and in that case I see that a great many of those who responded are also sufferers. Unfortunately your experience seems to be largely theirs too.

Re: IBS AND THE DWP/WRAG.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:35 pm
by kirkcaldy
peecee wrote:I'm sorry, petal, but make a note of this - your post won't be used in any court action!

If you can put that aside, could you let us know what the purpose of your post is?


Hello peecee,

Sorry if I have caused any confusion regarding my post and I am not planning any court action against any person or organization.

My purpose of this post is to identify my horrible experience and to find out if other sufferers have had a similar experience with the DWP or any other organizations in the UK.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Robert..

Re: IBS AND THE DWP/WRAG.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:36 pm
by kirkcaldy
ILoveChristmas wrote:Robert,

Whilst I can't understand what it's like to have IBS I can certainly imagine the indignity of being denied access to the facilities, particularly if there are other people within earshot that of course you'd rather not hear your request.

Unfortunately it seems to me that there isn't a "quick fix". You need to attend this interview. It's all very well saying they can't cut your benefit, but they will, and then you'll need to fight (probably successfully) to get it back.

My suggestion is to approach your doctor and have them put in writing that you have a serious medical complaint which necessitates immediate access to a toilet on request. The next time you're asked to attend the interview take this letter with you to show whoever controls access to the facilities. If they still refuse access then at least you have a firmer basis on which to pursue the matter or defend yourself in the event of reduction of benefits.

Whilst Googling to see if I could dredge up anything to do with toilet access law for you I came across a (identical) post you made on another forum and in that case I see that a great many of those who responded are also sufferers. Unfortunately your experience seems to be largely theirs too.


Thank you for your advice it will help should I have anymore problems with the DWP.

Robert..