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Chronic pain

Referral to a Specialist - pain

11 replies

Orangesandlemons77 · 14/02/2023 20:41

I have pain from abdominal adhesions and shingles. PHN I think it is called.

I have this benenden health cover and the GP mentioned something about possibly referring me due to the recurrent shingles.

Would this be neurology I suppose, or ENT as it has caused me problems with my ear. Or both perhaps.

I'm wondering if there's much point if realistically, there isn't much solution to it all, and it's mainly about managing symptoms.

I wondered if any others had been referred to specialists or just with the GP, and if it was helpful.

Something I did think about is a referral might be useful for PIP as could use the letters as evidence for them, perhaps.

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OffYouPopNow · 14/02/2023 21:28

I have a referral to the pain clinic. No idea how long it will take to get an appointment or how useful it will be. They can’t take my pain away, not sure what techniques they can teach that make everything hurt less, but I’m out of options and things are getting worse (arthritis) so I have to give it a go.

I hadn’t thought about the PIP aspect, I’ve actually just been refused, no idea why when I am so limited.

Orangesandlemons77 · 14/02/2023 21:31

OffYouPopNow · 14/02/2023 21:28

I have a referral to the pain clinic. No idea how long it will take to get an appointment or how useful it will be. They can’t take my pain away, not sure what techniques they can teach that make everything hurt less, but I’m out of options and things are getting worse (arthritis) so I have to give it a go.

I hadn’t thought about the PIP aspect, I’ve actually just been refused, no idea why when I am so limited.

Please appeal if you still can. They often refuse people first time and over 70% of appeals are successful. They backdate it also. You can even do a paper appeal too. I did this and had it reinstated.

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OffYouPopNow · 14/02/2023 21:36

I did a mandatory reconsideration and was still refused. The report was full of inaccuracies and, even though I raised these issues, it was still refused.
I just don’t have the strength right now to go to full appeal. I have investigations I am waiting for for other conditions so will reapply when I have seen a couple of consultants. I’m glad you got yours reinstated.

Orangesandlemons77 · 14/02/2023 21:46

OffYouPopNow · 14/02/2023 21:36

I did a mandatory reconsideration and was still refused. The report was full of inaccuracies and, even though I raised these issues, it was still refused.
I just don’t have the strength right now to go to full appeal. I have investigations I am waiting for for other conditions so will reapply when I have seen a couple of consultants. I’m glad you got yours reinstated.

They are very sneaky and they do this- they did the same with me too.

I had 2 points after the MR, then when i filled in the online appeal form they rang me up, apologised and re-instated it. At a higher level!

I even was able to debate with them the length of the award and got it up to 5 years!

It is all just tactical, it makes me so cross, designed to put you off.

It is actually quite simple to do the online form, you could just fill it in and then decide whether or not to go through with it, as you can pull out at any time.

If you do a paper appeal it is quite quick as they sent it to a random court not one near you, as you don't need to attend.

Hope this helps a little, I have appealed twice both times on paper and won. For pain conditions and depression.

the appeals are totally different and look at it from scratch. I can help if you need it, just pm me or there are guides online. Best wishes.

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Orangesandlemons77 · 14/02/2023 21:48

If you did appeal you would not have to go through the whole farce again, you could get the money backdated and a lump sum from when you first applied, and you could send in the consultants letters direct to the tribunals service.

I reckon like me it wouldn't even get to appeal as DWP would ring you with an award. Don't give up, I found the appeal the easy bit after dealing with DWP!

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Orangesandlemons77 · 14/02/2023 21:51

OffYouPopNow · 14/02/2023 21:36

I did a mandatory reconsideration and was still refused. The report was full of inaccuracies and, even though I raised these issues, it was still refused.
I just don’t have the strength right now to go to full appeal. I have investigations I am waiting for for other conditions so will reapply when I have seen a couple of consultants. I’m glad you got yours reinstated.

Have a look here is the online form it's really simple to use. Best of luck. x

https;//www.gov.uk/appeal-benefit-decision/submit-appeal

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OffYouPopNow · 14/02/2023 22:22

Thank you, that’s really good to know.
I thought I’d have to physically go to court and I do also suffer anxiety and depression so really couldn’t deal with it. I will look into it.
Thank you, that’s so helpful of you.

Orangesandlemons77 · 15/02/2023 10:16

OffYouPopNow · 14/02/2023 22:22

Thank you, that’s really good to know.
I thought I’d have to physically go to court and I do also suffer anxiety and depression so really couldn’t deal with it. I will look into it.
Thank you, that’s so helpful of you.

No problem. It really annoys me the way they think people will just give up.

I now regard the appeals as the decision makers and the MR etc as just a step in the path to an award.

Make sure you fill in the form promptly as there is a time limit - maybe a month- and it gets the ball rolling.

You can just simply state your reasons and if you want to go into more detail you can write a statement of appeal- there is a guide online but basically liek you did in MR refuting their mistakes.

I actually found it quite cathartic the thought that it would actually be read by someone properly etc.

Then, what happens is the appeals orders the DWP to copy over all their paperwork and looks at that and your appeal info in order to grant (or not) an award. This takes some time, I think there is another month or two the DWP has to provide this.

Then, after this time you also have another month or so to provide any further info which may help in support. So, for example a letter from a friend or partner about what hep you need, a letter from the GP or as you mentioned a copy of a consultant's letter or pain clinic letter- anything which helps.

It is really worth doing- also if the DWP do ring you and 'change their mind' be aware you can discuss with them the terms. I found they 'realised' I had a good case and didn't seem to want to argue the issues when it came down to it!

So, I went from nothing to a 5 year higher level award which is now in it's 4th year. I had previously also done a paper appeal back in 2016 and my reasons for not attending in person then were like you- depression and anxiety.

I simply stated in the appeals form I was requesting a paper appeal as attending would make my mental health worse. But that they could e.g. contact by letter or phone if they needed to.

It really felt on both occasions the appeals were much better to deal with so please don't let it put you off. I often see people say online that they couldn;t face appealing etc but it actually can be better than the MR stage / DWP.

I found appeals were also responsive to deal with, unlike DWP - you can contact them and ask for the progress, they actually photocopy everything you send them and send both you and DWP a copy, the DWP has to respond to them within a time frame so you don't get the endless faff with the initital stages of a claim.

I do hope all this is helpful, oh also beware services online who offer to help with appeals etc for a share in your money once you win. there is nothing stopping you doing this yourself.

Oh, also another helpful person with DWP / PIP / appeals, I found was my MP's office. They were brilliant when DWP 'lost' by successful appeals decision (this is another thing they do btw) They have people who liase with DWP as well.

best wishes and let me know how you get on

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Orangesandlemons77 · 15/02/2023 10:23

Oh also you can pm me for any tips if you like.

Remember e.g about the 'majority of the time, safely repeatedly etc' for activities. It;s not just can you do them but for most of the time, etc.

So if DWP say something like OffyouPOP walked X metres at our interview, you could say that was at 9am, you can manage it occasionally first thing but for the majority of the time that is not the case.

Or for example mine said I seemed to have good memory but they had not actually done a memory test.

If you have a supportive partner get them to help with this, and tell them you have had such support with it in case they infer from how you are dealing with it you are more capable than it seems.

But be confident- you have a good chance in winning. If you feel you can attend I think you can ask for that also but in both my cases it was done on paper.

A doctor, appeals judge and lay person look at it overall.

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Orangesandlemons77 · 15/02/2023 13:40

There are guides to appealing online. The form is pretty easy to use and you can just state the basics on there and follow up with something in writing.

Just to point out some of the guides online say it is better to go to the appeal in person. I personally didn't find this the case, but anyway. That would mean it would take longer and I found having paper stuff helped with this.

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Orangesandlemons77 · 15/02/2023 13:41

Sorry kind of went off topic there!

If anyone has any thoughts on specialists please post.

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