New member having problems with PIP award

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Sandra7
Sandra7 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
Hi
i’n new to all this, but I’m really stressed about our daughter’s PIP.  

She has been receiving Disability Living Allowance since 1997 and went onto PIP in 2016.  Her disability is developmental and there is no cure, only management. When she got her reassessment form in 2022 she put the way in which her difficulties had got worse because she has been diagnosed with colitis in 2020 which added to her fatigue and meant she needed more support in the areas she already struggled with.  I thought we had done a fairly good job but didn’t have any hopes of getting additional points. 

I have been playing the bureaucracy game for the last 33 years writing letters for statement reviews, attending meetings, trying to get her additional help and of course applying for benefits.  I thought by now I had become hardened to the way people with disabilities are easy fodder for money saving exercises.

She works 16 hours and her benefits made up over 50 % of her small income which she can afford to live off because she lives with her parents. Originally, when our daughter was struggling to get employment, the person who was helping her, said if she might find it easy to get part time work and she would be able to make her money up by applying for Working tax credits which she qualified because of her Disability Allowance. That was over 10 years ago and at that time she would probably have cope with full time work. Now I would question how well she would cope with full time work because she gets very fatigued.  At the moment she is able to make her medical appointments in her own time, but if she had to arrange time off work she would really struggle. I know they would have to allow her to have time off but she does not have the ability to arrange time off apart from booking annual leave on her work’s online systems one week at a time.  She has never been able to arrange a day off work whenever she has tried and I don’t want to be that interfering parent.  Her employer has been very good to her, paying her her full wages when she was Shielding during covid, and adjusting her duties, so that she is able to cope.

In July she had her reassessment interview. Some of the questions seemed aimed at catching you out.  The interviewer sounded very disappointed when she found out we lived in a bungalow because she was trying to suggest that our daughter coped with stairs if she lived at home. When she asked how far our daughter had to walk to her car we said it was parked the length of two cars from the door and she replied I need to know exactly how far that is and suggested 200 meters and we said no nearer 50 meters. I though the interview had not gone too badly until she got a letter on Thursday. 

From the 4th August they said they were stopping her PIP, which means that she will also no longer be entitled to Universal Credit.  This is a massive impact on her with no notice to give her time to adjust.  Before the decision she was on the Standard rate for daily living and enhanced rate for mobility. In the decision they had decided to give her not a single point for anything.  

Of course we will dispute it but I was very unprepared for this.  In the detail about the decision the assessor made up things such as saying our daughter could stand for 20 mins while cooking when we had actually said was one of the few things she could cook was scrabbled egg and she used a stool to sit on while stirring it. I’ve covered most of the decision page with with highlighter where what is said is untrue or uninformed assumptions. 

I know I have a fight on my hands and I’m hoping for some support from Citizens Advice but any support would be appreciated. I am suddenly learning new things  such as I could be an advocacy for our daughter’s benefits which would be really helpful because she asks for help because she cannot cope with the process.

looking forward to any reading any advice 

Comments

  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,807 Championing
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    Hi,

    I don't have much to offer but did find the idea of the assessors 100 metre long car interesting...that would be very difficult to drive around town, let alone park anywhere.

    Cars are generally around 5 metres long.  2 car lengths would be around 10 metres.  That's well within the 20 metres that is relevant for the Mobility descriptor.

    If you're not aware of the descriptors or points, they are shown here. PIP - table of activities, descriptors and points (citizensadvice.org.uk)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,321 Championing
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    Firstly regarding other benefits she's claiming. You mentioned working tax credits and then later on you mention Universal Credit. They are 2 completely different benefits please may i ask you to confirm which benefit she's actually claiming? If it's Universal Credit has she been through the work capability assessment?

    For her PIP you can request the Mandatory Reconsideration within 1 month of the date of the decision. You should put this in writing stating where and why you think she should have scored those points.

    When filling out the form if you didn't give a couple of real world incidents of exactly what happened the last time she attempted each descriptor that applies to her then you should also do that. Adding detailed information such as where she was, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were.

    I would also advise you not to concentrate wholly on the assessment report because that isn't going to get her a PIP award. It's fine to point out a couple of obvious errors but then put it to one side and forget about it.

    You also mentioned that you told the assessor it's nearer to 50 metres that she can walk. Please be aware than Enhanced mobility PIP for moving around is no more than 20 metres.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Championing
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    @Sandra7 I was so frustrated for you reading your post. I am so sorry you have such a fight on your hands, again. I hope Citizen's Advice are able to help support you. 

    Scope has some advice pages on PIP and appealing the decision that you may find helpful to read. I hope the community can be a place of support for you too. If you just need to rant, talk or keep your mind off everything for a while <3
  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 376 Empowering
    edited August 2023
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    Hello Sandra7
    If this is a PIP Review and the DWP have removed the award from the Claimant then they have to outline in detail how the Claimant has improved to allow them to complete both daily living and mobility activities in according to Regulation 4 of the Social Security Personal Independence Payment Regulations 2013 Safely, repeatedly, in a timely manor and to an acceptable standard. https://pipinfo.net/issues/reliably
    My advice would be to write a detailed MR Letter outlining all of the Claimants problems with the PIP activities and explain that the Claimants condition or restrictions have not changed since last award.
    I would also request the DWP to give detailed reasoning on why they think the Claimant has improved and is able to complete the 12 PIP activities that are applicable to the Claimant reliably under Regulation 4 of the Social Security Personal Independence Payment Regulations 2013 and what evidence they have to show the claimant has improved.
    I Personally would include the following Paragraph from Case Law CPIP/2621/2016 in your MR Letter.
    “it was not enough simply to assume that the appearance of a new PIP assessment report provided an automatic ground for supersession of the original awarding decision under regulation 26(1) of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment Support Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/381; “the D & A Regulations”). It could not simply be assumed that the second PIP assessment report in some way trumped the first PIP assessment report e.g. by virtue of being more recent. The Appellant as a matter of justice was entitled to an explanation as to why his award had been terminated ahead of time – see R(M) 1/96 and SF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (PIP) [2016] UKUT 481 (AAC) at paragraph 21.”
    Here is a link to the case law you can print off and include with your detailed MR Letter https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/597af22840f0b61e4b000006/CPIP_2621_2016_corrected.pdf
    Please make sure you put the Claimants National Insurance Number and Name on every piece of paper at the top.
    If they do not reinstate the award after MR then take it to tribunal where you will stand a much better chance of the award being reinstated.
    Hope that helps
    Nasturtium
  • Sandra7
    Sandra7 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    That you poppy for you input.  I mentioned both Working Tax credits and Universal credit because she has been on Working Tax Credits and was just transitioning.  Her last payment was Working Tax Credits and the first payment but was expecting her first payment of Universal credits about now. She had filled out all the paperwork and everything had been verified at the job centre. She has not been through a work capacity assessment but when she applied for Working tax credits she had been looking for full time work.  Working is good for her self esteem. She just needs the right type of work and her current employers look after her.  Unfortunately her problems are not clearly visible and her line managers continually  change, so just as I have build up a relationship with, so they understand her needs, are we are back to square one. Her difficulties are complex and even I feel that I am still learning why she has difficulties functioning compare to another person.
    pour daughter did not get the enhanced mobility allowance totally based on the distance she can walk. Previously she was awarded the majority of her points based on being unable to follow an unfamiliar journey without assistance and nothing has changed. The only Journeys our daughter makes independently are to work, a place she has travelled to for over 10 years and her doctors. Even travelling to work she has needed assistance when there has been a diversion 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,321 Championing
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    Thanks for confirming that. As she's now claiming UC and she hasn't been through the work capability assessment because she no longer has a PIP award if she's earning more than 16 x NMW/week then she won't be able to be referred for a work capability assessment. If she's earning less than this then she can be referred. 

    If she hasn't already then she'll need to make sure she reports her health condition, supported by a fit note within 7 days of that.
  • Sandra7
    Sandra7 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    We have put in our MR for PIP including a letter from our GP and now preparing for them to reject it. 

    We are looking for paying privately for a more up to date assessment but because our daughters needs are complex we might need evidence from different experts.  

    That aside I’ve been searching for advice on where and how to focus my energy at the same time as dealing with our daughter’s health issues triggered by the stress of her current situation with PIP. 

    Today I received a phone call out of the blue from a “charity” saying “Jenny” had said to me on Facebook that she would get them to contact me.  They have really worried me making me feel that we would not win a tribunal without paying for professional legal help (all be it on a no win no fee basis). I feel sure this was a dubious call because I’ve check my Facebook history and had no interaction with anyone called Jenny. I’ve made sure nobody can see my Phone number on Facebook which was previously available to only my friends. What I need is advice about who I can trust and what help to seek should the MR be rejected 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,321 Championing
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    Many people take it to Tribunal without representation so this isn't really needed. For the best chance of a decision in her favour she will need to either appear in person or request a telephone video hearing. Either of those will give her a 68% chance of a decision in her favour.

    Sandra7 said:

    We are looking for paying privately for a more up to date assessment but because our daughters needs are complex we might need evidence from different experts.  


    You don't need to pay for any extra evidence or any assessments. If it does get to Tribunal stage and you haven't already provided a couple of real world incidents of exactly what happened the last time she attempted each descriptor that applies to her then i'd advise you to do that.

    Include detailed information such as where she was, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were.

    Please be aware that they won't be able to take into consideration any worsening of condition since the assessment took place.

    The person that rang you from facebook could have been from a well known facebook group called "fightback" this company charges for any help they give you. You don't need to pay anyone for any help because there's advice agencies out there that will help you for free. Start here. https://advicelocal.uk/welfare-benefits



  • Sandra7
    Sandra7 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Thank you for that information. It puts my mind at rest