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Questions about PIP mobility appeal - Appeal Imminent

SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
edited June 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
I am preparing for my sisters PIP mobility appeal to be held this friday.  I have 3 questions and if anyone could answer any or all I would be eternally grateful.

1. The first part of the mobility component - Plan and follow the route of a journey unaided -
we are told this relates soley to mental health issues that cause stress or anxiety. = if this is the case why do their descriptors mention assistance dogs and orientation aids? Assistance dogs for certain mental health issues such as agoropobia are availabe in the USA but not here. So if my sister - who is physically disabled - cannot undertake many journeys let alone unfamiliar. unaided, surely she qualifies for these points?

2. In her assesment report it says that as she was able to come to the centre ( by mobility car) then she can plan and undertake a journey etc - How is the assesment allowed to be based on an assistance vehicle that the assesment is taking away? Surely it shoukd be based on public transport? Which is a whole different concept - the last time my sister took a bus alone she ended up injured and was off work for 3 weeks because the bus pulled away before she had sat down. She is now understandably terrified of using the bus system!

3. In the descriptors for the second part - we were told that the walking 200 meters part was on normal paving outdoors and to include negotiating kerbs - unfortunately I cannot find this information to print off ready for the appeal. Incidently at her assesment the assesor asked if she could walk aided or unaided for 5 mins - when I asked about terrain we were told it was not relevant!!

I hope that someone can answer some of my questions and send my thanks in anticcipation

Replies

  • SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
     have just found this desciptor for the - assistance dog” means a dog trained to guide or assist a person with a sensory impairment;  - not a mental health issue then?

  • SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
    also - “orientation aid” means a specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely; - surely a cane fits that descrition? also not a mental health issue

  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    To answer your first question:
    The first part of mobility is the same as the lower mobility DLA. In other words, it's for those of us who are physically able to walk; but need someone outside to ensure we're safe. So, it covers sensory impairments, mental and learning disabilities.

    How is your sister physically disabled?/ if it's just because she can't walk, part one doesn't apply at all.

    For part 2, the terrain and weather doesn't apply. Nor do things like steps or uneven ground.
  • MikeBroderickMikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Courageous
    Hi @Sheri: Have a look at this video: How to Prepare for a PIP Assessment. It shows that you're on the right track in terms of detailed preparation (bring the application and all the evidence.) But it also shows "not to put on the brave face" - something we disabled people often do, as we tend to focus on what we can do, rather than what we can't.
  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Sheri.

    Welcome to the site/online community.

     I'm very sorry to hear about your sister's current problems.

    On our website/home page we have got a Benefits Advisor which would be a good starting point for you 

    There is a very active online community where there of loads people having gone through the same as your sister who would be very very happy to help you/sister.

     Please please let us know if you require any further assistance ????
  • SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Many thanks Nystagmite  -  The first [part I understand now many thanks - my sister had polio as a child and at 65 is very unsteady on her leg it has no stability all - and so any journey without her car would have to be with another person. So maybe you can understand my question. I think I am still in shock to discover that there is basically 1 component for assesing mobility for those with physical impairment!

    There were amendments made to the legislation - ie safely - in a timely manner etc it is the descriptors of those changes I am looking for
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2017
    @Sheri

    I won my PIP tribunal appeal a month ago.

    Scope has a guide to PIP appeals.  Search under 'Support and information'.  Also Disability Rights have a good online guide to PIP appeals.

    Below is a link to the DWP PIP Handbook which assessors are supposed to follow.  It states that assessors should assess walking abilities outdoors using pavements and kerbs.  However, tribunals are aware of PIP legislation and guidelines.  They are interested in what the appellant can and can't do - you don't have to remind them of the legislation and guidelines.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/519119/personal-independence-payment-handbook.pdf

    If your sister is asked for how long, not how far, she can walk, I'd advise her to make the point that it takes her so many minutes to walk so many metres before she needs to stop and rest.

    I'd advise your sister not to drive herself to the appeal - take a taxi if necessary.  Apart from the planning aspect, tribunals think that if you are able to drive then you are able to bathe and dress in a reasonable time.  Tribunals look at the whole award.  I won my appeal but the tribunal quizzed me a lot about how much I drive.  I had to keep emphasising that I only drive a few short journeys a week.

    It is the judge who makes the decision - so don't argue with the judge!

    Below is what I posted after my successful PIP appeal a month ago:

    Tips?   Have your wits about you and be prepared for a grilling; and have thorough medical evidence even if it's not recent.

    The only medical evidence I had was the DWP doctor's report and my GP's report from 1998 (both very thorough) when I was awarded DLA highest rates both components indefinitely.

    The other two tribunal members weren't too bad - but the doctor asked some probing questions.  Asked for how long I could walk (time).  The Atos assessor asked that, too.  Although of course PIP points are supposed to be awarded for distance, not time (or so I thought).

    Doc also asked how did I know I could only walk 20 yards?  Had I ever measured it?  I replied no, it was an estimate based on experience of distances.

    The judge, doctor (as well as the Atos assessor) all seemed to think that ability to drive indicates a low level of disability.  Which is nonsense.  What's the point of Motability, then?  And many disabled people would be housebound without a car.  

    I only take two, maybe three, round trips of 12 miles or less a week; I find driving long distances tiring.  I wouldn't advise any claimant to state that they do a lot of driving, especially longer distances.

    Further info.  I understand that tribunals often ask how the appellant travelled to the appeal and to describe a typical day.  I was asked neither of these but instead the judge began by asking me to describe my health over the past year.  And then the doctor asked what the hospital I attend 'do for me'. He meant what  treatment was I given - medication and any other treatment.


  • SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Many thanks MikeBroderick - it has been one of the most difficult parts of this whole thing to make my sister focus on the the things she just cannot do anymore - I totally understand her as I have grown up watching her fight to viewed as "normal" and to watch her strive to be just like anyone else and now it is hard for her to realise she needs some help. In all of my 60 years I never saw her defeated until she received her PIP assesment, that brought her to her knees! - I will show her this video which I am sure will help her very much - MANY THANKS again
  • MikeBroderickMikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Courageous
    Hi @Sheri:

    There are a couple of other resources that might help: a PIP self test  and Help filling in PIP forms, and tips suggested by members on PIP Appeals.

    My colleagues have moved this discussion into the Ask a Benefits Advisor Section. (Hopefully the good folks from the Benefits Training Company who answer our queries here will be able to advise on some of your specific questions.)

    It's also worth looking there and in the PIP/DLA discussions as well. If you search for the specific terms you mention above like PIP Mobility and Able to Plan and Undertake a Journey you may see specific discussions pop up.

    Best Wishes to your sister and you for a successful appeal.


  • SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I will add though Mike that I attended the assesment of my sister and at no time was she given an opportunity to tell them anything - especiallly in the mobility component she was asked a yes no question and even after we asked for clarification we were told not relevant just not on your worst day.
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    The distance is based on how far you walk until you stop. So, if you walk 5 metres, stop for 10 minutes and then walk again. You say you walk 5 metres and not the total distance you walked after you stopped.
  • MikeBroderickMikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Courageous
    I'm sorry to hear that @sheri. Perhaps someone from the Community or from amongst our Benefits Advisors can advise as to how best to handle that. 
  • SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
    @Matilda Many thanks ! The handbook was exactly what I needed. Please dont worry I would not dream of arguing with any of them. I needed this as it forms the reason for the appeal as we believe the assesor did not apply the criteria. Great tips and advice thanks again

  • MikeBroderickMikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Courageous
    @BenefitsTrainingCo, Hi Guys. @sheri has received a lot of helpful advice, but any information you can provide as to her original questions at the top would be greatly appreciated.
  • SheriSheri Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Firstly I would like to say Thank You for all your valuable and speedy advice. We had not long left on our journey to the appeal hearing today when my sister received a call from the tribunal clerk telling her that the adjudicator s had made their decision on her case a x they upheld her appeal!!!! He could not apologise enough as they thought they would stop her leaving home!! I feel like cmmon sense has returned to the world. Thank you and p!ease wish us  luck with round 2 we are putting in formal complaints against the assessors and the DWP - for the mandatory reassessment . Keep up the good work x will contribute as much as I can x 

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Sheri That is so good to hear but at the same time highlights the appalling mess the assessment companies and DWP are making of their so called decision making. I have also gone down the complaints route. ATOS have had mine since the beginning of February from when I first saw my assessor's report and the lies it contained. I advise anyone to complain as soon as you know there's a problem and tell the DWP you've complained. It helped in my case to put pressure on the DWP to make changes without going to appeal. The more people who complain the better as figures will mount up. Hope the future is now a little more comfortable for your sister....xx 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Congratulations, @Sheri!
  • DesperadoDesperado Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I had an assessment at home on the 6th June this year. I was in tears throughout, but the assessor said l maintained good eye contact and was coherent throughout.  She also said l walked normally, even though l only got up off my settee to find a letter and l took no more than 3 or 4 steps. She commented in her assessment that l was of average weight and had clean clothes on,does that mean lm supposed to be skeletal and dressed in rags??? What does this have to do with my physical and mental illnesses? I scored Zero points, I am crying as lm typing this post because l have chronic depression, anxiety, insomnia, suicidal morbid thoughts almost daily, I cannot walk far at all due to Mortons Neuroma in my left foot, stiffness in both knees. I have very restricted movement in my left arm due to a recent road traffic accident. My son bought me a small car to be able to get to appointments as l can't travel on public transport due to anxiety, and my being unable to walk far, and the assessor mentioned this as if to say that if l can drive a car, then l can bathe, cook etc etc. Don't they realise the combination of the physical and mental illnesses complicate life so much more than just having one of these illnesses??? Don't know what to do anymore. Oh and forgot to mention my incontinence (both ways) , according to assessor, because l am able to purchase pads, I am able to "manage" my incontinence. The assessor blatantly lied on so many issues that I feel there's no use trying to fight this. It's HUMILIATING just trying to prove that you are genuinely  sick.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @Desperado

    Sorry to hear all this - but 65% of appeals are successful.  Are you going to ask for a mandatory reconsideration as a first step?

    I suggest that you start your own thread in 'Ask a benefits advisor' for expert advice about what to do next and/or phone the Scope Helpline on Monday.

    Best wishes.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Sheri,

    I'm sorry we didn't respond any earlier but it is excellent news to hear that your sister's appeal has been upheld. Thanks to everyone who commented and gave Sheri useful advice. You are quite right to complain to both the assessment company and the DWP.  Do mention any stress and/or financial hardship that has been caused.

    Desperado
    I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. If you haven't already, do start the process by requesting a mandatory reconsideration. And, definitely complain about the assessment. I would mention how humiliating the whole process is and how the assessor had no understanding of your everyday life. I'd consider going to see your MP too.

    You don't say what benefit this is but I'm guessing it was for PIP? On the subject of pads, there's case law which says incontinence pads can be an 'aid or appliance'. So you should definitely have got some points for using them. (That is the fault of the DWP I suspect, for not accurately interpreting the flawed assessor's report).

    Anyway do complain, and do challenge the decision  - as Matilda says, many people are successful at appeal.

    Will



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