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Hi, my name is soph2103!

Hi I'm a 32 year old woman who has degenerative changes in my lower back,2slipped discs in my lower back,3 bulging discs in my upper back and bilateral sciatica. I've just been awarded standard rates on both dla and mobility pip,but they haven't awarded the right points as they have said I can do things which I explained and showed that I can't. I'd just like to see if anyone can help

Thanks

Replies

  • PammiePammie Member Posts: 19 Courageous
    Ask for a mandatory reconsideration - you need to ring the DWP straight away and it's important to tell them you will be submitting the request in writing and that they are not to make the decision until they receive your paperwork. If you don't tell them this, they will just get another decision maker to look at your case and you'll end up with the same decision. You need to get the letter in to the DWP within 28 days of the decision letter they sent you.

    Tell them clearly what you can't do and explain that you told them you could not do it at the assessment. Tell them why and try not to blame the assessor or the decision maker. Try to put it in terms of what you failed to tell them, or failed to make clear, what the decision maker may have misunderstood, and what they may not have known. The assessor does not make the decision on what rate of benefit you are awarded - a DWP decision maker does this once the assessment report is sent to the DWP. It would help if you had a copy of the assessment report to see if the decision maker has deviated from what the assessor has said, or the points they awarded. If this is the case, explain where you think the problem is.

    You can request a copy of the assessment report when you ring to ask for the reconsideration, and it may be wise to ask them for more time to gather your evidence, as it takes about a week to get a copy of the assessment report. If it takes you a long time to do something tell them why and roughly how long it takes you - if it's more than twice the maximum time it would take an able bodied person, then you can't do it and they have to award the points. For example, if they say you can walk 20 metres or more but it takes you more than the prescribed time, then you can't do it and you should get 12 points for the higher rate. Similarly, if you have to stop after, say 10 metres because you are in severe pain or exhausted, then again you cannot do the activity and should get the points. You should therefore try to tell them roughly how long it takes you to walk 20 metres, how many times you have to stop in that time, and why.

    This is the same for the activities in the care component - for example, if they say you are capable of showering or dressing by yourself you would score zero points. But if you can't do it in the prescribed time, you can't do it, so you would score points for needing an aid or someone to help, but beware, they will ALWAYS try to say you need an aid before they will score you higher for needing help from another person, so if you have tried an aid and it has failed, say so, and tell them why. Remember everything has to be disability related - I have seen reports where the assessor has acknowledged that medication causes side effects, but no points are awarded for the effects because it's medication related and not a symptom of the condition or disability.

    It's also important to realise that there are plans to reduce or stop PIP payments of the care component in future for those people who have been awarded all of their points for needing aids and appliances in order to complete the activities. The DWP are saying this is because simple aids and appliances indicate a low level of need and that most are available free from social services or can be bought cheaply on the open market. They are considering replacing the monthly care component payment with either a lower rate or one off payments towards maintenance and replacement costs. If any points at all are scored from needing the help of another person, then this would not apply - it's only for those who score 2 points for aids and appliances in all activity descriptors, and I would think will mainly apply to those people on the standard rate rather than the higher. I don't understand the reasoning behind it, but there you are. They've already done the public consultation, so watch this space. They are also looking at the type of aids and appliances used, because if something is used by an able bodied person for the same purpose they say it cannot be considered an aid to a disabled person - and yet they consider a microwave to be an aid where a disabled person cannot use a conventional cooker, so I can't quite figure that one out.

    One final word - a friend of mine was refused the higher rate care component despite severe lower limb deformity and weakness, because she can drive a car. The assessor reasoned that if my friend had the upper body strength to drive a car, then she could perfectly well use aids to get bathed and dressed and did not need help from another person My friend has had to have the car heavily adapted in order for her to be able to drive it and is appealing the decision. This illustrates the fact that you need to be prepared to say why you cannot use a particular aid if you are asked.

    Good luck
  • VickySVickyS Member Posts: 132 Listener
    Hi Soph2103,

    I'm not a benefits expert so I'd suggest posting your query in the benefits group and i'm sure someone will get back to you :)

    Vicky xx
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Wow way to go Pammie! That is really excellent advice. We need to share experiences and stories about PIP. It's valuable to the community and it's valuable to us at the helpline too. I hope you find this useful soph2103 and good luck.
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