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preparation for pip tribunal

feliffelif Member Posts: 5
Can anyone give advice, as we can't afford paying a lawyer? My daughter is epileptic, morbidly obese, has terrible eczema and suffers unexplained falls. She used to get DLA but following her PIP assessment she was only awarded 8points for daily living and nothing for mobility. Her seizures get set off by flickering light, so anywhere she goes, she encounters problems. During seizures in public she has been robbed in the past, falls have led to very kind people helping but also some thieving gits running off with her shopping. But PIP say she can walk unaided so there is no need.

Replies

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Has your daughter already had a mandatory reconsideration by the DWP?
  • feliffelif Member Posts: 5
    yes, we chased it after six weeks. they told us they had accidentally filed it as "white", which is no action required. three days later we received mandatory reconsideration letter where nothing had changed. needless to say, we are disappointed and feel in three days they cant have given much reconsideration.
  • feliffelif Member Posts: 5
    We feel that a can is kicked down the road by quoting the 50% rule. Epilepsy sufferers I think are at constant risk, trying to find out if there is someone who has experience going down this avenue. I have dug out some interesting case law but am unsure how to proceed.

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately, it isn't enough to be disabled but a person has to be seen to be disabled according to the DWP rules.   For example, under mobility the claimant has to meet one of these criteria more than 50% of the time:  cannot walk more than 20 metres for 12 points; can walk between 20 and 50 metres for 10 points; can walk between 50 and 100 points for 8 points.

    The DWP PIP Handbook itself states that measurement of walking distance must take place outdoors using pavements and kerbs.  If the assessor measured your daughter's walking ability only indoors, then you have grounds for appeal.

    The PIP Handbook available on the government website details the reliability criteria at:


    This document states on p.12

    ‘This activity should be judged in relation to a type of surface normally expected out of doors such as pavements and includes the consideration of kerbs.’


  • feliffelif Member Posts: 5
    Matilda, thanks for this. I am thinking differently. I have looked at the criteria for assessing each descriptor for the 50% rule, ie safely, reliably, repeatable, in a timely manner. I think certainly in case of epilepsy and diabetes it should be challengable, in so far that the risk associated with these disabilities cannot be quantified in terms of days or occasion. Fits and or hypos/hypers respectively cannot be risk assessed within the four parameters applied by dwp, because there is continual risk 365/24/7. whilst our Fi has 3 grand mal seizures a year, and 20 to 30 petit mals daily, dwp deem this to be under control, these seizures will not predictably happen on certain days or at certain times, or in predictable situations which can reliably controlled, so she needs support 365. I have found some interesting case law, which supports my theory. My trouble is how to put this together in the right format for the FtT, which I regard of paramount importance.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    felif, I think you need legal advice. I think the CAB could point you in the right direction for pro bono legal advice
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi felif,

    I'd agree with the suggestion of approaching the CAB or a local law centre. An experienced welfare rights adviser should be able to help you. You could also have a look at this site - you can look at the activities for PIP & think about which points you think should apply, and you can also look by condition (eg epilepsy) at whether there is useful case law which might be relevant. There may be something in your point about whether your daughter can carry out the mobility activities 'safely' and 'reliably' etc

    You can always get the appeal started by filling in the appeal form, especially if you are in danger of running out of time (as you probably know, you should appeal within one month of the mandatory reconsideration notice if you can). A professional welfare rights adviser could then help with preparing the submission you send to the tribunal, and maybe even with representation.

    Will 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • feliffelif Member Posts: 5
    Thanks Will. The CAB on the Isle of Wight is a very limited service. I feel we are very alone. I think I really need to find a specialist who can tell us if I am barking up the wrong tree. I looked at CA/4332/2003 because Fi suffers from unexplained falls along with her epilepsy. Having read this decision, it occurred to me that the 50% rule cannot be applied when you are dealing with a disability where the risk of occurrence/injury (seizure, fall) is continual irrespective how well it is controlled, as episodes continue to occur therefore the risk is an enduring one. I think the 50% rule assesses continuous states of health when you regard the 4 assessment criteria.


  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2016
    As you say, felif, your daughter's disability doesn't fit into the DWP's framework.  I'd say that many disabilities, including my own, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) don't fit too well, either.  Though it was easier for me than for your daughter to match the DWP's criteria.  For example, the assessor asked how many days a week were bad.  It's far more complex than that but I gave an average (five).  The assessor looked gobsmacked when I told her it was an average, that there weren't an exact five days every single week of the year, that there might be seven or four some weeks, or I might have a really good seven days followed by 21 very bad days!   The assessor seemed to think that there must be a consistent number of bad days each and every week.  So much for the expertise of assessors.
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