PIP Planning and following journeys - advice needed — Scope | Disability forum
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PIP Planning and following journeys - advice needed

dunnowhere2start
dunnowhere2start Community member Posts: 10 Listener
Hi all,

I have a PIP tribunal hearing coming up in a few days (as you can guess, I haven't had much luck with either my original application or MR).
 I have applied for PIP on mental health grounds - depression, suicidal tendencies, severe anxiety, waiting for an ADHD assessment.

 I spoke to a very sweet lady who works for Citizens advice and she told me that in her experience, the assessors often struggle to determine how many points to award for mental health issues since the description on how it affects the claimant tends to be very abstract and open to interpretation,  compared to physical conditions.
She therefore drafted me a letter intended for the tribunal, where it states how many points for each question I should be awarded based on my original PIP application. I feel like in the daily living part my issues are described very accurately, but I am unsure about the mobility part (q 11): she suggested the descriptor e) Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant as I state in my application that I barely leave the house due to anxiety and fear of social interactions and that I often have to cancel the journey because I am too distressed to go outside. This is true, however,  I feel like f. Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid is also accurate because I can't do it safely or reliably. I do get extremely distressed even on a familiar journey, mainly because of people on the streets. I can't really explain it but I feel like a prey everytime I'm outside; as a result I become very defensive and unreasonable (i.e. when someone sneezed next to me I got startled as if my life was in danger; my next reaction was to start screaming at that person, which I realise is completely unreasonable, but when I'm outside I'm just too stressed to react in any other way) . I'm also so stressed and distracted when I'm outside that I forget basic things (like looking to both sides of the road when I'm crossing) or to look under my feet which over the years led me to being hit by a car twice and also barely avoiding being hit by a car when I attempted to cross the road either without checking for incoming cars or not having the patience to wait for a green light and running across the road while there were cars coming my way. 
When I'm out, even on a relatively good day, I do always have this thought in the back of my mind - what would it be like if I just jumped in front of an incoming vehicle? Especially with trains, because they're so fast, it's like all your pain is gone in the blink of an eye. (I want to make this clear, I won't allow myself to do it because I have a child to raise, but the temptation is always there). 

So yes, I feel like the descriptor f) is also relevant. On the other hand, I do not want to overdo it or make the tribunal think like I'm dramatizing things. 
Another big issue with f) is that it states 'Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person'. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone I could rely on, since due to my mental health I prefer to isolate myself from everyone as much as possible. I know it states in the PIP assessment criteria that 'The assessment does not look at the availability of help from another person but rather at the underlying need' but from the general tone of the handbook it feels like this might only apply to the daily living part?

I'm just really confused as to whether I should leave it as suggested by the advisor (e) or try to explain to the tribunal that the descriptor (f) is also applicable.. any advice would be very much appreciated.
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,172 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2
    Descriptor 1E... you said you rarely go out. If for the majority of the days you're unable to go out (night time doesn't count) then activity 1E will apply.

    It really depends on how often you're able to go out. Majority of the days would be at least 50% of the days over a 12 month period. 

    A claimant who satisfies 1E can't also satisfy 1F if on the majority of the days you're unable to undertake any journey, even if there are times where you are able to go out.

    Just to include some extra information, with all the descriptors (not just 1F) if you need help/support or assistance, then it would be possible to score points even if you didn't actually receive any help. PIP is about the help you need, not the help you receive. 
    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.
  • dunnowhere2start
    dunnowhere2start Community member Posts: 10 Listener
    Descriptor 1E... you said you rarely go out. If for the majority of the days you're unable to go out (night time doesn't count) then activity 1E will apply.

    It really depends on how often you're able to go out. Majority of the days would be at least 50% of the days over a 12 month period. 

    A claimant who satisfies 1E can't also satisfy 1F if on the majority of the days you're unable to undertake any journey, even if there are times where you are able to go out.

    Just to include some extra information, with all the descriptors (not just 1F) if you need help/support or assistance, then it would be possible to score points even if you didn't actually receive any help. PIP is about the help you need, not the help you receive. 
    Thank you so much for your answer. I am still unsure which one describes my situation more accurately - I do not go out for leisure, only when necessary (food / appointments) and so in general I left the house on a lot less than 50% of all days in the last 12 months.
    On the majority of days when I have to go out, I am able to do so (I'd say I get too stressed to go out and have to cancel plans on maybe 40% of the days as opposed to 60% when I do go out in the end). However, thinking of the days when I do go out, I feel like every single one (so 100%) could be described as me taking a familiar journey and being unable to complete it safely and reliably due to the reasons described in my first post. 
    The letter that the CAB lady has drafted for me only mentions being unable to leave the house, and to be honest I don't feel like it's 100% accurate (as per above info), but at the same time it's written really professionally, and I'm unsure whether I should add my ramblings to it. I suppose I'm just afraid to mess it up altogether 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,172 Disability Gamechanger
    Descriptor 1E... you said you rarely go out. If for the majority of the days you're unable to go out (night time doesn't count) then activity 1E will apply.

    It really depends on how often you're able to go out. Majority of the days would be at least 50% of the days over a 12 month period. 

    A claimant who satisfies 1E can't also satisfy 1F if on the majority of the days you're unable to undertake any journey, even if there are times where you are able to go out.

    Just to include some extra information, with all the descriptors (not just 1F) if you need help/support or assistance, then it would be possible to score points even if you didn't actually receive any help. PIP is about the help you need, not the help you receive. 
    Thank you so much for your answer. I am still unsure which one describes my situation more accurately - I do not go out for leisure, only when necessary (food / appointments) and so in general I left the house on a lot less than 50% of all days in the last 12 months.

    The Tribunal will only take into consideration what your conditions were like at the time the assessment took place. If at that time you couldn't leave the house on the majority of days then it will be 1E. Based on what you said here I will agree with the person from CA and it would be 1E that should apply. 

    I don't know if you've seen this but it may help, if you haven't.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-assessment-guide-for-assessment-providers/pip-assessment-guide-part-2-the-assessment-criteria#mobility-activities
    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.
  • dunnowhere2start
    dunnowhere2start Community member Posts: 10 Listener
    poppy123456 said:
    The Tribunal will only take into consideration what your conditions were like at the time the assessment took place. If at that time you couldn't leave the house on the majority of days then it will be 1E. Based on what you said here I will agree with the person from CA and it would be 1E that should apply. 



    The Tribunal will only take into consideration what your conditions were like at the time the assessment took place. If at that time you couldn't leave the house on the majority of days then it will be 1E. Based on what you said here I will agree with the person from CA and it would be 1E that should apply. 



    Thank you so much again for taking time to explain. I have read through the PIP assessment guide thoroughly and still wasn't sure which one suits my situation better, that's why I've posted here. I suppose I won't amend anything that the lady from CA wrote, but will bring this up directly with the tribunal and explain my reasoning, will leave it up to them - hope this isn't a bad idea

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