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Mistaken counter claims or downright lies?

Delver54 Member Posts: 6 Listener
edited July 2017 in PIP, DLA, and AA
To clarify a few things first. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 49 due to observations by my 3rd wife a teacher. This was a formal diagnosis with CLASS a Cambridge based assessment assessment centre which accepts NHS referrals provided that a family member has given input. I was awarded low rate DLA for mobility and care. 

Aspergers's Syndrome is a mild form of the development disorder known as Autism though these days everything is encompassed by the definition of Autistic Spectrum Disorder ASD. There is diversity within ASD but for me on paper I scored exceedingly low on empathy, I am oblivious to social cues even failing to acknowledge smiles from family members. While I also score poorly on pictures of facial expressions. I have simply failed despite repeated attempts to master the art of conversation since 2004. 

However, I am able to respond to questions in an interview style, provided I have prepared for such encounters. Just as being able to talk about any subject, that I have knowledge of provided I take the time to practice, as without practicing I will get lost in a sea of words.

My PIP MR notice was unsuccessful and now that I am slowly recovering from my suppressed meltdown, with the knowledge from this website that MR refusals are commonplace. Now I decided to look at the DWP refusal dispassionately because my anger might have been misplaced?

The DWP claim to have used my medical records etc; however that claim is mistaken. Why? Because all of my references to the  Asperger condition were pointedly over looked and the  CLASS document was simply not acknowledged. So their claims to the contrary are simply unacceptable. According to the ATOS assessor I can easily mix with other people based upon a face to face interview across a tabletop during which any brief social introductions were one sided and all I was required to do was answer some questions the answers to which I knew.

Because the ATOS nurse alleged that I was not prompted and that my gazes were normal. Presumably this was why the DWP felt unable to include any references to such an incurable condition? Suppression of my condition rather than simply and openly disputing the original diagnosis seems rather too much like deliberately attempting to sabotage my claim. Which I strongly feel needs to be addressed and adequately explained by the DWP. Along with making unacceptable changes to the document "How you disability affects you" such as adding I can cook and prepare a simple meal unaided. While wrongly alleging that I admitted to walking in both directions too and from the bank presumably further disputing the evidence of my stoke?

If indeed the DWP has given its own assessors a remit absolving them of accountability in disallowing PIP claims I personally feel that in this instance it is at the very least borderline disability discrimination in action by the DWP employee Axxxxx Dxxxx who falsely claimed that the consultation was consistent with my medical history but only by omitting the Asperger Diagnosis.and then pretending that everything was above board. Axxxxx Dxxxx is also apparently incapable of identifying the differences between spontaneous social interaction and answering questions in a planned face to face interview? Hardly very adequate capabilities irrespective of their role within the DWP? 
This is the gist of my previous post tucked onto another thread. I've downloaded the tribunal appeal forms and phoned the DWP requesting a transcription of my call to them on 14th June at 11:10 in addition to a photocopy of everything that they hold of my records. 


  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Delver54 and welcome to the community.

    First of don't take any of what has happened personally. The government aims to keep as many people off these benefits they can. In my opinion it goes well beyond borderline disability discrimination, any other organisation which treated disabled people half as badly as the DWP and their subcontractors do  would have been hauled before the courts long ago.

    As you said you need to take this to appeal now.

    PIP is less about any diagnosis and focussed on how it affects your daily life. Hence the probable reason in its lack of mention to your assessments and the MR decision. In your case however the CLASS document should give reasonable doubt to the lies in the assessment. You don't mention how long ago the diagnosis was, but as it was late in life and with such low scores it is unlikely that there would have been huge improvements without intensive intervention.

    One concern I have is that you will see the appeal as an opportunity to have a go at the person who assessed you and the DWP, and I feel this would be a mistake and likely to lead you to feeling frustrated and lashing out verbally.

    The main document you need is the assessment report, your appeal should be focussed on the PIP descriptors and where you feel the assessor made a mistake. You can find the descriptors, and the points awarded for each one at https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-points-system. You should also make clear how many points you feel you should have gotten and why.

    There is a free booklet you can download called 'How to win a PIP appeal' which can be downloaded at http://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-pip-appeal

    I would also include the CLASS document as additional information that the assessors conclusions were wrong.

    Hopefully one of the advisers will respond to you soon.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    A lot of us have found that the assessor has lied. Mine claimed I didn't have to be prompted to do something - she "forgot" to write down I had to be told to something - something a person without Autism would know they had to do.

    They will use anything against you. I can apparently mix with people too. I have a friend who I'll Skype once a month. I don't go out like people my own age do because crowds and the noise are physically painful.

    I know my evidence was ignored, which would back up my claims and would contradict completely what she said.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    No doubt 65% of tribunal appeals succeed because tribunals know that assessors and the DWP are dishonest, incompetent and discriminatory.  I gather that a committee of MPs are examining complaints against Atos but otherwise Opposition MPs in general don't seem unduly concerned about the corrupt PIP process.

    For example, my Labour MP received numerous letters of concern from constituents about PIP and ESA and wrote to the then Employment Minister, Pritti Patel (about as right-wing as you can get, I understand), who replied to my MP stating in effect that the Government were bent on cutting disability benefits as much as possible because the they would not 'fund lifestyles' that taxpayers themselves couldn't afford (conveniently forgetting that disabled people also pay taxes). My MP sent all constituents concerned a copy of Pritti Patel's letter with a covering letter the gist of which was, oh dear, nothing she could do.

    In reality, a Labour Government would also want to cut disability benefits - though probably not quite as draconically as the Tories are doing.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering

    Hello Delver54

    I am sorry to hear that your PIP MR was unsuccessful, but as you have probably gathered a lot of MR’s are refused.  The appeal process however offers a face to face process where all medical evidence will be considered afresh.  The Tribunal are also independent from PIP, and as a court they have to be impartial when considering a case. 

    As Matilda has stated around 65% of tribunals are successful  A significant factor in this success is not only the chance for a tribunal to meet the claimant face to face but also consider any and all medical evidence given to them.  You mentioned that the DWP have used your medical records when deciding your PIP MR, did you send your medical records to PIP?  I ask as it is very unusual for the DWP to make a request for medical records.  It is important to be clear what medical evidence the DWP have, as if they do not have your medical records and as such any report on Asperger’s syndrome then this needs to be sent to the Tribunal.

    Geoark has kindly given links to the PIP descriptors and a booklet on PIP appeals.  

    When an appeal has been lodged, PIP will prepare an appeal bundle which will contain copies of your PIP application, copies of your MR and all relevant decisions.  It will also (and importantly) contain a copy of all medical evidence used to decide your case including a copy of the ATOS report. .If it is unclear at the moment what medical evidence PIP have used to decide your case, it will become clear when you receive this appeal bundle.  If the appeal papers do not contain for example the formal assessment of Asperger’s or any other relevant reports then you can forward this relevant medical evidence to the Tribunal Service.  The Tribunal Service will then make this part of the appeal bundle and issue the evidence to PIP and all members of the tribunal who will decide your case. 

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Delver54
    Delver54 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Second attempt as my laptop just crashed I forgot to save my post and lost everything so this will be a shorter post. I recently had my tribunal and went to it with the view that if I failed then I'd submit a fresh claim.

    Thanks to everyone for taking the time and trouble with the good advice, which I followed too the best of my abilities, in particular everything to do with staying focused and not losing my temper. While submitting the relevant records having checked with the DWP that they still retained the original copies. 

    A point to consider is that when anyone has supporting information such as a diary which reflects how you are affected on a daily basis preferably written by a partner or relative. That nothing can be taken into consideration that post dates the time that your DLA payments ceased.

    Anyway the Judge opened by stating that they were prepared to accept the supporting medical records as being strongly indicative of my difficulties and did I have anything further to add? My wife was able to give her views of my difficulties while the ATOS report was seemingly overlooked? I honestly thought that my tribunal result would be negative despite the opening comments but I have always tended to err in favour of pessimism if only to reduce my disappointment.

    I was awarded 11 points for daily living at standard rate and 0 for mobility. I have other developing symptoms that are being investigated suspected to indicate developing vascular dementia,  which is allegedly better than Alzheimer's? Anyway it's a random affliction and I have had a stroke circa 2014 so this is an indicator coupled with forgetting what I had intended to do ie; making the tea turning off the kitchen tap and I'm still classified as being too young at 63 to have even early onset ...sorry rambling here about unrelated stuff.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Pleased for you that you have received some PIP,  @Delver54.
  • Delver54
    Delver54 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    "If the appeal papers do not contain for example the formal assessment of Asperger’s or any other relevant reports then you can forward this relevant medical evidence to the Tribunal Service.
    Read more at https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/34763/mistaken-counter-claims-or-downright-lies#o8vl7ULIOzOTBflB.99"

    Atos barely mentioned the reports and evidently did not use them. Likewise the DWP did not include a copy of those documents even though they had acknowledged retaining them. So we did provide the documents originally supplied in 2005 and acknowledged in a phone call in 2017 while the DWP failed to respond to a written request under the freedom of information act to provide information which was allegedly submitted by me indicating my abilities at cooking. Presumably they could not find it? Though I included a record of my request to the tribunal this was not discussed.

    Atos repeatedly stated incorrect information in the report concerning Asperger's which had once been classified as a mental illness by association with some schizophrenics. According to an  NHS a hand out dated 2012 this showed that this had been declassified as a mental illness and reverted to an Autistic disorder. I was keeping this in reserve as the DWP had previously alleged that the Atos nurse provided the most up to date information, presumably true if one ignores the 6 year time scale?
  • Delver54
    Delver54 Member Posts: 6 Listener


    Sorry if this info is more widely known about here it came as a shock to even discover the condition had been linked to a mental illness.


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