My friend, Beatrice, who has bipolar disorder, PTSD, social anxiety and agoraphobia had her benefits withdrawn earlier this year. She had been receiving benefit since 2001. She had received help via medication, CBT and was under the psychiatrist.
When she heard about the withdrawal of benefit she was devastated and she became more ill. She could not stay on her own in the house. Members of her family took turns to sit with her around the clock. She felt as though people did not believe she was ill and thought her a fraud. She said "I am an honest person and worked until the age of 48 as well as bringing up my family in spite of struggling mosty with depression. I would love to be normal and able to work."
Her husband was able to fill in forms for her and seek help from the C.A.B.. Her appeal was turned down. The case was taken on by a Wefare rights solicitor and in a very brief tribunal her benefits were restored. She found she was entitled to Disabilty Living Allowance too.
The psychiatrist, in a report to the tribunal stated "Given the reaction that the DWP assessment in February 2009 had on her mental state, having to present herself to sign on and attend interviews would have a highly detrimental effect on her mental health."
Beatrice asked if I would contact you to tell her story as she doesn't want others to go through the same trauma that she suffered and she has dyslexia. She wants her story to be told anonymously as we live in a small community and some who have been open about their illness have been ridiculed on buses and in the street.
The original story has been edited to protect the subject's anonymity.
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