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PIP Award Reduced????

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Tubz
Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
Hi,

I had a WCA over the phone 6 weeks ago, and have just received a letter from the DWP to say that they've reduced my PIP. Let me set the scene. I am autistic and I have ADHD. Both officially diagnosed with DWP having been sent all relevant paperwork to that effect. When I was first awarded PIP some years ago, I was awarded the standard everyday living rate. This was then removed following a WCA. I took the DWP to tribunal, won, and was awarded my original award plus the standard rate of mobility. It took over 2 years to go to tribunal because the DWP lost my paperwork. This meant that I had another WCA approx 18 months after I was awarded PIP the first time. Additionally, I was not asked for up to date details about my disabilty; the DWP used information from a form I  sent in last year! They have now removed the everyday living component of my PIP, whilst still awarding me the standard mobility rate, which is ludicrous considering that autism by its nature requires every day living considerations, perhaps more than mobility! Does anyone know of any legal cases or have experience of taking the DWP itself to court, as they’re being discriminatory and I mentally can't keep going to court every 18 months to 2 years!! 😞

Thx 
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    It’s not discrimination because no one is automatically entitled to PIP, unless you have an end of life diagnosis of 12 months or less. 

    When you filled out the forms, did you treat it as a new claim and include as much information as possible? A lot of the time people lose awards or are refused because of poorly completed claim forms. 

    You now have 1 month to request the MR which you should put in writing. I do not advise you to ring them to request this.

    If you didn’t give a couple of real world incidents of exactly what happened the last time you attempted each descriptor that applies to you when you filled out the forms then I’d advise you to do this now. Adding detailed information such as where you were, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were.
    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.
  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    Yes I did. The information is out of date anyway. A doctor would not make a judgement on a person's fitness to work based on a report which is nearly a year old, would they?? It IS discrimination as they are removing money from me for EXACTLY the same conditions as were put forward in my last WCA. My conditions do not change. They have moved the goalposts, and THAT is unlawful. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    It’s not about your fitness to work. I’m not aware of them moving the goalposts in a bad way. Some descriptors have changed for the better, rather than the other way round. 
    I don’t know what you mean by the information is out of date. 

    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.
  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    It's about how your condition affects you everyday. My example with the doctor was for comparison only. The information they are working from (p2) was sent in to the DWP by me last year. They have not asked for ANY up to date information from me, or from my gp psychiatrist etc. Regardless of whether my condition changes (it doesn't,  as I previously said before), you cannot logically make any judgement about a person's condition if the only info you have is months out of date! This is also discrimination as it puts me at an immediate disadvantage against claimants who are asked for up to date information. 
    If a condition does not change over time, and different levels of award are being given at different points within that award period, then that is moving the goalposts, as they are changing the requirements needed to satisfy their "requirements." If i needed a particular medication from my doctor and 3 months down the line, he said you're only going to receive half the dose from now on, that wouldn't be right would it, unless of course my condition had changed, warranting a lower dose of the medication. My needs have not changed. The only thing that has is their award. That is unlawful and discrimatory. 
  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 376 Pioneering
    edited June 2023
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    Hello Tubz
    Tubz said:
    Yes I did. The information is out of date anyway.
    The information the need is from you. It is your detailed verbal written anacdotal evidence and how you complete the 12 PIP activities reliably that determines your award even at review stage.
    Tubz said:
    A doctor would not make a judgement on a person's fitness to work based on a report which is nearly a year old, would they??
    Fitness for work and a WCA is for ESA and not PIP so a doctor does not need to give your ability to be fit for work to get a PIP award. PIP is based on your difficulties completing the 12 PIP activities Reliably more than 50% of the time according to the relevent descriptor for that activity.
    Tubz said:
    They have moved the goalposts, and THAT is unlawful. 
    Moving the "goal posts" is not possible. For a change in PIP regulation there has to be a change in regulation and that would need to go through Parliament and enshrined in law.
    My advice now is to write a detaile Mandatory reconsideration letter. It seems to becoming a trend to mark people down at review stage. I have see quite a number of posts about this recently on the scope forum. I wrote a reply explaining this and links to case law that you can include in a detailed Mandatory Reconsideration letter explaining why you cannot do the PIP Activities Reliably (safely, repeatedly. in a timely manor and to an acceptable standard) and the descriptors for those activities that apply to you. Here is the link to the advice I gave about challenging a reduction or removal of award at review. Please read the information and the links I have included on that reply. https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/696285#Comment_696285
    I hope that helps
    Nasturtium
    How to challenge a PIP award that has been reduced at Review https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/696285#Comment_696285
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    If your conditions haven’t changed then I can’t understand how or why the information you sent them would now be out of date. 
    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.
  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    It's not, but they don't know that, do they? They should have asked for up to date information. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    If there was no changes then what good would up to date information be?
    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.
  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    It's a legal requirement. Benefit claimants are required to notify the DWP of any changes otherwise their benefit may be stopped. This suggests a need for upto date information at all times. They cannot change the rules their end and decide to make benefit decisions on information which is months old, REGARDLESS of whether it has changed or not. If they do that, then they have no right to demand that claimants inform them if THEIR circumstances change, because overall,  benefit decisions would not be based on the most upto-date information about a claimant, so in a court of law they would be useless. 
  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 376 Pioneering
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    Tubz said:
    It's a legal requirement. Benefit claimants are required to notify the DWP of any changes otherwise their benefit may be stopped. This suggests a need for upto date information at all times. They cannot change the rules their end and decide to make benefit decisions on information which is months old, REGARDLESS of whether it has changed or not. If they do that, then they have no right to demand that claimants inform them if THEIR circumstances change, because overall,  benefit decisions would not be based on the most upto-date information about a claimant, so in a court of law they would be useless. 
    PIP is not based on diagnosis but how that condition affects your ability to do the PIP Activities reliably according to the applicable descriptor. So "upto date information at all times" is not required. It is your personal written accurate anacdotal evidence that is required. See my reply above!
    Nasturtium
    How to challenge a PIP award that has been reduced at Review https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/696285#Comment_696285
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    You said yourself that there were no changes to your health condition since you filled out the form. Therefore, i ask again, what difference would it have made if you sent them up to date information? With no changes the information would have remained the same.

    If there were changes you could have sent them extra information at anytime and it would have been your responsibility to do that.

    It's the claimants responsibility to prove they qualify and not DWP.
    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.
  • surfygoose
    surfygoose Community member Posts: 456 Pioneering
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    I’ve never done Mandatory Reconsiderations but Poppy has given good advice about this anyway. I just wanted to say make sure you explain exactly how your condition affects you and give examples and give any evidence you have. There isn’t a set award you would get for autism or adhd because everyone is affected differently. It’s actually a good thing that they recognise this rather than assuming everyone with a certain diagnosis functions in exactly the same way. One person who is autistic may not feel disabled at all as they may be capable of holding down a job and taking care of themselves and their family and may see their different wiring as a strength. Another person may be able to work but with some adjustments in the work place. They might struggle with some aspects of daily living but not others. It’s a really broad spectrum. Someone may require 24 hour intensive support or 24 hour background support or just a few hours support per day or per week. So although it feels hard having to justify yourself for PIP, try not to take it personally. They do need to assess each individual even if it feels obvious to you that your autism affects your life badly, they won’t know that without all the information.
  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    You both are clearly not understanding my point. It is the claimant's duty to report if their circumstances have changed. I am fully aware how the process works. I have challenged and won 3 tribunals previously. 
    If it is only my input which is required, then why have the WCA at all? They're looking at written evidence sent to them last year, and comparing it against a telephone call 6 weeks ago! If a psychologist is writing an assessment of a child, he does not ask how the child was behaving a year ago and compare that to the results he obtains from tests run today! Instead, he looks at the most upto date evidence he can obtain from the child's teachers/parents etc, and compares that to the tests. It's common sense! 🙄
  • surfygoose
    surfygoose Community member Posts: 456 Pioneering
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    I guess with the example of looking at behaviour from a year before, if you hadn’t reported that the behaviour had changed at all then they would assume it had stayed the same. So they would only look at new evidence if you reported that you had changed and needed to show them new evidence.
  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    Surfygoose, in law, if information is over 6 months old, it is deemed irrelevant. That is my point. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,173 Disability Gamechanger
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    With all due respect, I think it's you that isn't understanding. Yes, it's the claimants responsibility to report changes but my point here is there were no changes because you said this yourself. You still haven't answered my question.

    Most people have assessments because a lot of the time people don't give enough of information when filling out the forms.

    Tubz said:
     If a psychologist is writing an assessment of a child, he does not ask how the child was behaving a year ago and compare that to the results he obtains from tests run today! Instead, he looks at the most upto date evidence he can obtain from the child's teachers/parents etc, and compares that to the tests. It's common sense! 🙄

    That's not how all assessments are done, ASD is one instance. My daughter started her assessment for this  when she was 17 and for my part in the assessment they asked me questions dating back to when she was born, right through until that present day.

    Anyway, i'm out but i wish you good luck going forward.
    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.
  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    You still don't understand! I give up! It's a legal matter, not one to do with timings of assessments. Thst was, again, an example. I know how an asd assessment is conducted as i've had one myself! We are not looking at those. If we are considering how a condition or disability affects an individual, then surely we need the most upto date information so we can make the correct decision, otherwise what is the need for the WCA or the forms?? They may as well just look at notes from an adult's childhood! 
  • WelshBlue
    WelshBlue Community member Posts: 770 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2023
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    Not sure I agree with the 'time' part either

    My review was based on medical evidence/letters I'd submitted from 3 years previously.  The DM spoke to me on the phone about that evidence and said it was enough to make a decision then and there 

    Was good enough to explain why he couldn't give points on some descriptors but could on others.  It's only then the process made sense TBH

    Anyways good luck with your MR/ Tribunal
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,734 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Tubz I'm sorry this has caused you some distress and understand your concern about relevance of evidence. The PIP process does ask claimants report changes at any time if:
    • the help you need or your condition changes
    • your condition has worsened and you’re not expected to live more than 12 months
    although it's always worth a chat with a welfare advisor before reporting!

    Whilst, the assessment itself provides an additional opportunity to gather evidence needed to inform the overall decision. As forms aren't the easiest to fill in for many, the extra detail gathered by a health care practitioner has it's value. Not that I'm a massive fan of assessments, I hasten to add!

    We wish you well with the mandatory reconsideration. Please keep us posted with how you get on.
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  • Tubz
    Tubz Community member Posts: 28 Courageous
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    Thank you for your comments Cher. Unfortunately it seems that others are unwilling to provide useful comments nowadays, and instead refuse to address the actual point I had made. Common sense tells me that it's both legally and morally wrong to make a decision based on evidence over 6 months old, which is just another reason why the whole system is flawed. 

    With regards to the "evidence" Welsh Blue, we are talking about the P2 form I submitted, NOT medical evidence, which I agree is likely to be older. The written account is apparently what the DWP use as a decision-making tool in the first instance, using the WCA to gain "more evidence" (ha!) If "needed." Forms which were nearly a year old therefore, would be useless as they would not be inductive of my conditions at the time my award was up for renewal. 
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