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New on here and scared about PIP

CarolineLewElk Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi, I have just registered with this forum. I am partially disabled  with spinal scoliosis, osteoarthritis in spine and knees and now my thumbs are going downhill.  I also have MH problems which are successfully medicated although I suffer extreme anxiety and OCD. (This situation hasnt helped). I received the enhanced rate of PIP, for three years, until Feb this year, whereupon they told me I had to have a phone consultation. That went ahead with help of my husband, but it was very harsh and I got very upset. I then received a letter telling me my PIP was withdrawn from March, which it was, just like that. I wrote to them asking for a review. I have just had a letter stating it is a "Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, showing me scoring just two points (previously 6) and therefore disallowing my PIP.  How on earth this decision was made, is beyond me. My mental health has got slightly worse, I intended to appeal but looking at the process I can see this involves a Tribunal, and a court?? That thought absolutely terrifies me. I feel as though Im some sort of criminal, will I have to stand up in a court of law? What do they do, interrogate me like a witness to a crime? I just cannot think straight at the moment. I feel as if its my fault for being so weak and pathetic. Can anyone just advise me what comes next? Thank you. C..


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,097 Disability Gamechanger
    It's a Tribunal that comes next and not a court. Some hearings are held in a courth building but they are completely different to a court and you're not on trial.

    Most hearings are by telephone and some are video and face to face. It would be in your best interests to ask for either of those rather than a paper based hearing because these only have between 5-8% success rate. Against around 73% of the others.

    You can request the appeal online here. https://www.gov.uk/appeal-benefit-decision/submit-appeal

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,102 Scope online community team
    Hello @CarolineLewElk and a warm welcome to the community. 
    The PIP process is exremely challenging for most people so it's understandable that you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about it, especially after having your PIP withdrawn.

    Lots of people worry about taking their appeal to tribunal as it sounds very formal, but as @poppy123456 mentioned, that the tribunal is not a criminal court, and you are not on trial. You are simply appealing a decision about your Personal Independence Payment, and the panel is there to listen to you and make a fair decision.

    The independent panel is made up of three people who will listen to your case, as well as any evidence you provide, and make a decision based on the law and the facts of your situation. The panel members are not judges, and they are not there to interrogate you or make you feel uncomfortable.

    You're also able to bring someone to support you, like a friend or family member. If you're unsure about appealing or want help you could also speak to your local Citizen's Advice or Welfare Rights or similar agency to see if they're able to support with an appeal to tribunal. You can find what is available in your area using AdviceLocal

    I hope that helps reassure you a little, but any further questions please don't hesitate to ask.

    Community Manager
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