Universal Credit: Man with epilepsy approved after missing out on visit due to seizures

Luke O'Donnell, who has epilepsy, is appealing the DWP's decision.
Luke O’Donnell started having seizures three years ago.Luke O’Donnell, who has epilepsy, missed a work-related consultation to get Task Applicant’s Allowance in November but because he had no medical proof to prove he had had the seizures, the DWP imposed one 14-day and one seven-day sanction on his benefits.The Department stated it was the 3rd time he had actually stopped working to participate in an appointment therefore it needed to be supported by a declaration of fitness to work.The 24-year-old, from Lincoln, asked for a compulsory reconsideration of the choice but the DWP repeated he had disappointed”great reason for missing his visit “. The department chose not to reassess its position.Mr O’Donnell has informed i he plans to appeal the decision, stating:” Unless I remained in the business of a medical professional on that particular day, how am I supposed to reveal proof I had a seizure?” Luke O’Donnell’s letter from the DWP(page 1) Luke O’Donnell’s letter from the DWP(page 2) Luke O’Donnell’s letter from the DWP(page 3)Anastasia Berry, policy and projects supervisor at Epilepsy Action, stated Mr O’Donnell’s case was disappointing because he had previously told the DWP about his epilepsy.”Authorities guidance suggests that it is not constantly necessary for individuals with epilepsy to look for medical attention after a seizure. The existing well-being system typically cannot consider the complicated nature of epilepsy and the day-to-day difficulties people face. Too often, decisions such as this are taken by personnel who make incorrect presumptions due to a lack of in-depth training. “The DWP ought to take a common-sense method and overrule this sanction decision.”Luke O’Donnell’s story “It’s allegedly a social security system which exists to assist individuals who remain in requirement. Here they’re deliberately looking for loopholes to not pay individuals.”I spontaneously began having seizures about three years back. I didn’t in fact understand they were seizures at first. They kept happening. They slowly got more frequent and after that I had one when I remained in Manchester and awakened on my bro’s bathroom floor with a bruised forehead. “Nowadays these focal seizures, where I do n’t lose awareness, are nearly daily. The tonic– clonic seizures, where I lose consciousness and shake, are almost monthly.Epilepsy signs”I’m still rather brand-new to epilepsy and linking the

dots and recognising the symptoms. There arestrange tastes that I have actually had since youth that I believed implied I was starving that only recently mean I am going to have a seizure.

Aiming to explain these things to the benefits office, since even I still don’t comprehend all of my symptoms, makes it more difficult.”I believed when I chose my first meeting, they ‘d be truly helpful and actually beneficial [and] they ‘d be able to encourage me.”I was in fact rather positive. I entered to fulfill this chap and he was in fact quite obstructive.

He truly wasn’t helpful at all. When I mentioned disability benefits and things, I was informed I require to be on Job Candidate’s Allowance. I didn’t understand you might be on

disability benefits and search for work. I now think he really deliberately didn’t tell me that. “I missed one [consultation] in November when I ‘d had a couple of seizures. They seem to be utilizing that as an excuse not to pay me because I’ve shown medical proof for this latest [appointment I missed] Seizures”[

For the most recent visit] I ‘d had loads of seizures, a lot of clusters of seizures and I ‘d been in exactly what they call status epilepticus– a seizure that simply will not stop. I ‘d remained in medical facility twice so I ‘d sent out great deals of medical evidence. They can’t object to that [. ]. they have actually gone [back to the November consultation ]”Unless I was in the company of a physician on that specific day, how am I supposed to show evidence I had a seizure?” I can just speak from personal experience of epilepsy but I know others with other undetectable specials needs discover it incredibly frustrating and distressing. It’s a complex condition and focal epilepsy is really misinterpreted. Unless you’re rolling around on the flooring in a tonic-clonic seizure at an opportune time throughout an evaluation you’re deemed to be healthy and well. Seizures can manifest in numerous methods depending on which parts of your brain they’re taking control of. It would be nice if the individuals who are employed to examine these things actually understood that.””[ The DWP is] intentionally discovering factors not to pay people. It’s really callous and cold-hearted. I believe it’s dreadful, it’s terrible.”I’m appealing it, absolutely.”The Universal Credit system, which rolls six advantage payments consisting of Task Hunter’s Allowance into one, is widely seen as controversial. There have been numerous reports of claimants waiting longer than the six-week amount of time set by the Government for payments.A representative for the DWP stated: “We’re devoted to making sure individuals with specials needs and health conditions get the right support that they require.

“Sanctions are just used in a little number of cases,

when somebody fails to do exactly what they accepted in their custom-made support plan with their work coach. Anybody who is unhappy with the decision can appeal.”