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TOPIC: DLA medical on Christmas Eve

DLA medical on Christmas Eve 6 years 11 months ago #13819

Got a letter on Saturday, hardly slept since, informing me an EMP will visit at 9.00 on Christmas Eve.

I put in my DLA form that I only really function in the afternoons, so I don’t know if the 9.00am appointment is ignorance or sadism.

I don’t normally get up till 11.00, and if I have to do something in the morning it uses about six times as much energy as if I did the same activity in the afternoon. So 9.00 on Christmas Eve basically is going to wipe me out for a week over Christmas, when I’d like to be rested rather than resting.

Is that a sufficient reason for asking for a changed appointment – risking a new appointment just after Christmas when I want to be away (going away? Proves I must be healthy).

Or do I just accept a ruined Christmas as part of the punishment for daring to apply for DLA, and risk them failing me because if I accepted a morning appointment that proves I was well enough?

I haven’t given them my phone number and I don’t think I can cope with ringing them, so doing this by post with current delays is going to be a bit uncertain. They don’t seem to do email.

Sorry, I think this is a whinge rather than a request for advice – I’m really wondering if this stress and humiliation is worth it for £18 a week. Apologies.

Elaine
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Re:DLA medical on Christmas Eve 6 years 11 months ago #13825

Hi Elaine,

The DWP have a duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Disability Discrimination Act. So it would be reasonable to ask for an afternoon appointment because your condition makes it unreasonably difficult for you to participate in a medical in the morning.

There's no guarantee that the DWP would agree to this, but you could - in theory at least - take legal action if they declined to do so without good reasons.

I don't think anyone but you can make decisions relating to the risk it will interfere with going away or whether to use the telephone.

Good luck,

Steve
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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Re:DLA medical on Christmas Eve 6 years 11 months ago #13828

  • lavenderlady
Hi Elaine

I don't think it is unreasonable for you not to be able to be available Christmas Eve for a medical and I think most people would agree with me on this.

Lets face it an awful lot of people are going to relatives/friends for Christmas and that involves preparation and travelling on Christmas Eve.

I feel quite sure that the doctor will be grateful to you if you change the appointment because certainly he/she would prefer not to be visiting you on Christmas Eve. These home medicals are conducted usually by GP's who prior to Christmas are always exstreamly busy as you can imagine.

It is not unusual and quite reasonable that you ask for an afternoon appointment. Like you, I am better in the afternoon and all my 5 medicals have been in the afternoon. I'm sure it says on the letter that you can ring and change the appointment date and time. The DWP are used to people ringing up and asking for a change of day or time for a medical for a whole variety of reasons, whether it be attending a funeral, attending a hospital appointment, going way - yes, you can go away, again it's not unreasonable, for instance visiting relatives.

If I was in your position I would most certainly ring today and explain that you have made arrangments for Christmas, that you will at your parents, aunts or whoever on Christmas Eve. Say something like I'll be staying there for the New Year, but you will be back on ...... Give the exact date you will be available and ask for an afternoon appointment.

Don't be over-aplogetic or go into great detail - your request is perfectly, perfectly reasonable and should be accommodated.

If however, you do encounter someone on the phone who is in a bad mood and is not helpful or accommodating ring again in the afternoon in the hope that someone else will answer the phone who is more ameanable.

There shouldn't be a problem with this because the DWP are required to consider reasonable requests and of course to provide an alternative date or time for a medical for reasonable reasons.

Your request is very common.

I understand that you don't want to ring the DWP but your MUST. It's like having toothache - who wants to go to the dentist - but you MUST if you want the toothache to go away.

So gather courage and ring them . Get it out of the way, then you can look forward to your Christmas and New Year plans.

Best Wishes

Lavenderlady
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Re:DLA medical on Christmas Eve 6 years 11 months ago #13844

Hi Elaine,

You have been given good advice re asking for your appointment to be changed, and if you feel this is the best optiion for you definatly do this.

But something else that may be worthwhile considering.
If you are at your worst in the mornings it may be a good idea to let the EMP come ahead at that particular time so that he/she can actually see you at your worst.

I only suggest this because of my own experience, I had one come out in the afternoon when I had just got over hours of pain which is usually the case for me. She did the normal clinical examination, and of course I was in less pain, things were less of a struggle, my mood was much better and so on and she based most of her report on what she seen giving no justification for her opinions.

Just take your time and consider both options, it is a bit of an inconveience that it is scheduled for Christmas Eve, but when you decide, lavenderlady is right, get it dealth with and put it to the back of your mind until after Christmas.

Good Luck

Kathy
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Re:DLA medical on Christmas Eve 6 years 11 months ago #13851

  • lavenderlady
kathy1 wrote:
Hi Elaine,

You have been given good advice re asking for your appointment to be changed, and if you feel this is the best optiion for you definatly do this.

But something else that may be worthwhile considering.
If you are at your worst in the mornings it may be a good idea to let the EMP come ahead at that particular time so that he/she can actually see you at your worst.

I only suggest this because of my own experience, I had one come out in the afternoon when I had just got over hours of pain which is usually the case for me. She did the normal clinical examination, and of course I was in less pain, things were less of a struggle, my mood was much better and so on and she based most of her report on what she seen giving no justification for her opinions.

Just take your time and consider both options, it is a bit of an inconveience that it is scheduled for Christmas Eve, but when you decide, lavenderlady is right, get it dealth with and put it to the back of your mind until after Christmas.

Good Luck

Kathy

Hi Elaine

Kathy has made a good point about considering a morning for a medical when your at your worst.

I always have this dilemna at every medical, morning or afternoon? My particular problem is mental fatigue and what I am always concerned is whether I'll be on the ball or not.

I find you do need 'your wits' about you when doctors visit because you never quite know what they are going to ask you. If they can try and trap you in some way they will. So keep alert and drink lots of strong coffee beforehand!

Hope all goes well:)
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Re:DLA medical on Christmas Eve 6 years 11 months ago #14148

Many thanks to those who replied, I really appreciated the support and practical suggestions. This is just a rather waffly update.

I dithered so long about what to do that basically the default position – medical at 9.00am Christmas Eve – happened. I couldn’t cope with phoning them to change the appointment, especially as it was unlikely I’d get a later hour on an earlier day, and I’d got so stressed I didn’t think I could cope with it hanging over me into new year.

I then got totally freaked by the idea that, especially with the snow, the doc simply wouldn’t turn up, so I’d have my early rising and its negative consequences all for nothing. So I did manage to ring them yesterday to confirm it was happening.

And the doc turned up just before nine, left just after half past, was perfectly pleasant and seemed to be listening. (Vastly more so than my GP!) It was brisk, though not unduly rushed, and he was clearly going thro the form page by page. (His next appointment was out in the country, where someone had arranged to meet him with a tractor!)

My reservations at this point are:
Did we talk about the cooking test thoroughly enough (not sure I said more than was already on my form), which in my view was the entire purpose of his coming;
and he didn’t seem to want my 2 page list of diagnoses/medications/test results, but just wrote down present treatment – as I’m currently just on symptom-relief, having a break from heavy courses of antibiotics, I’m worried that might look as though the illness isn’t that serious.

How I’m going to cope with the next week I’m not sure. I’m exhausted, but hyper from adrenalin. A bit traumatised by the fact of having a medical – BUT I don’t feel traumatised by the doctor, which is an unspeakable relief.

I just hope that his report enables the Decision Maker to make a decision, and I don’t have to go to a tribunal.

Anyhow, thanks again, and my best wishes to everyone for Christmas.

Elaine
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