Memorandum submitted by Rod Delmar-Sims (DM 36)

Firstly, let me apologise for contacting you directly. Frustration at the torment we are being put through makes this necessary

I believe that you are a member of the Select Committee for Works and Pensions and that the Committee is to inquire into aspects of the appeals procedure. One facet "Is decision making taking account of the October 2007 European Courts of Justice ruling on exporting DLA,AA, and CA." The answer in a simple nutshell is "No"

I currently live in Bulgaria with my wife, Virginia, having moved there from France after leaving the UK in January,2004 following the advice of a doctor for the betterment of her health. She surrendered her DLA at that time, although it had been awarded to her for life. We were honest and declared the fact of our move. However, in hindsight, it was not a good move because of the problems we have encountered since dealing with the DWP(DLA) over the last 18 months. If the way our case has been dealt with there is little or no encouragement to he honest. Great store has been made of catching the 'benefit thief' but honest deserving cases are treated with 'contempt'

In April,2008 I became aware of the European Courts of Justice ruling made in October,2007 and since that time I have been trying to get my wife's benefit reinstated. I have encountered prevarication, lies and time-wasting and I am still no further forward. I have to e-mail any contact because the postal system here is unreliable but I need not bother because I very often don't get any reply. My request for information goes unheeded.

I write this to you, although I know that you cannot help in an individual case, but because I believe you should be aware of what is happening from a person caught up in the middle of all this debacle and there are many of us in the same position. The appeals procedure is a joke. It is used as another tactic for time wasting by the Exportability Team and we for one have no faith in that system. How can it be a good system if, as in our case, it has been going on for 18 months and still no final result in sight? With respect, this is the sort of thing you need to be looking at and as I have said previously there are many of us in the same position.

Ask yourselves would the European Commission have filed a case for infringement by the UK government of the ECJ ruling if everything was going to plan and as intended? I believe you are being told what people think you want to hear and not as the facts truly are. It seems to us 'on the outside' that the bureaucrats are not taking any notice of what their masters (Ministers and MP's) are saying should be happening. They seem to be doing it their own way. We hear one thing in the media that the government intend this to happen and yet the minions take no notice. Who is running the country? Because we no longer live in the UK does not mean we cease to be British. In most cases we still pay our taxes to the UK, retain our citizenship, and think of the UK as 'home'. We have contributed to the UK economy all our working lives and now that those of us have retired we encounter problems from the very government that we worked to support.

Finally, I wish to add that people's disabilities do not disappear when they leave the UK for other climes and in some cases get worse because they get older.

October 2009