Queen of Sleep

Living with narcolepsy: a personal journey

New form from Atos Medical Services

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There has now been 6 since I won the first tier tribunal case with Atos Medical Services and the Jobcentre. I have now had 6 months for the very first time that I have not been worried and anxious about my claim with the jobcentre. Now, it starts again, I got another form from Atos Medical Services that I need to fill in before they ask me to another medical appointment. Cameron will today announce the details on how the UK will manage to reduce its budget deficit. In light of this, I wonder just how tough it will be this time. Last time I almost lost my mind – I was lucky that I did not have to attend another medical interview in court, in fact I was lucky that I did not have to attend court at all. Perhaps, I will this time…

I am however better prepared this time because I went through the whole process last year. I would not have been able to do that without my carer and supportive friends and professionals. This time, my general health has improved so I will try to record every single step, if I get too ill I will stop blogging, and will blog a summary at a later stage.

So first I will fill in the forms and send them in. Then Atos will contact me to arrange an interview. I am already prepared to fail the interview because narcolepsy just doesn’t seem to fit into their computer system. Last time I scored 0/15 needed. This time I assume I will fail again. Last time I made the mistake of not bringing my carer – I thought I was feeling better but obviously not well enough to cope with Atos Medical Services. This time I have already asked her to come with me.

A friend of mine has emailed me this website: http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk. I don’t know how good it is because you have to subscribe in order to see all information. It does seem worth to pay the annual subscription – so I will check it out soon as part of my preparations.

As I am assuming to fail the medical appointment with Atos I am already preparing the appeal. The quicker you get the paperwork in (and send with recorded post) the shorter the process. Last year I had to send in 3 appeals because the Jobcentre lost 2. So it is important to call often and check if they have entered it onto the system. Also remember to ask if there is anything else they need or advice they have for you – The Jobcentre will not just tell you, you will need to ask.

How do I prepare for my appeal? Well, I have already mentioned the coming interview to my neurologist so as soon as I will need a supporting letter from him I can just call his secretary who will pass the message on. I will also look up the contact details of the pro-bono lawyer who helped me last time I appeal (then she helped me avoid court). She is well known for winning health related cases. Remember to find your local pro bono lawyer with similar reputation. If I had done this last year – I am sure it would have shortened the process considerably.

I got wrongly diagnosed last year so I added an original print-out of my personal file from my local GP. I will do the same this year just in case they don’t believe me or my neurologist.

Later, I will also ask my carer to compose a letter of support. I have also been assigned a social care worker – if you have one add the contact information to the appeal and also ask them to write a letter of support. I will also add to my appeal that I attend weekly psychotherapy and attach the contact information of my therapist. Think about the people in your life that know you and the difficulties you have then ask 1 or 2  to write letter of support, the more high standing their professional status is, the better.

Sorry about the length of this post but there is so much to think about and I am sure I have left something out but I will just have to add it later.

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Written by Queen of Sleep

June 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm

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