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My husband in under threat to lose his family due to PIP decision

pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
Hi, I am new here and I am sorry I am writing in a wrong category...

I am hoping if I can find someone to share my feeling here as I am a rare case and I have never met anyone like me or read.

I am a non EU, married to an English person. My husband is disabled and he in claiming ESA and PIP.
A lot of people think if you are married to an English person, automatically you have a right to stay in England. But truth is you have to live as a partner of English person with temporally visa  for 5 years and then you can apply for settlement. 
I am about due to apply for settlement soon. There is a condition called "financial requirement" to satisfy for the application. Financial requirement means you or your partner has to prove the annual income is over 18,600 GBP. My husband cannot work due to his disability but you are exempt from financial requirement if you are entitled to PIP.
You still have to prove you have somewhere to live and your weekly income (our case is ESA and PIP) is more than weekly minimum threshold for couple after deduction of rent and council tax.
 
He had PIP review recently but we are not happy with the decision and we are waiting for tribunal. (We have an adviser and representative who works for a charity organisation, just he is always busy and difficult to get hold of though...) If he loses his PIP at tribunal, I cannot stay in England as there is no way he can satisfy financial requirement.
I understand this country doesn't need to look after me, but I think it is awful and wrong to put their own people (in our case, my husband) under a threat of losing family like this. We don't have children, but it could happen to someone who have children and it means their mother or father could be taken away from them.

i was thinking to write about this to MP but maybe just waste of my breath. I just hope the tribunal will carry out fairly, not like f2f assessment...

Replies

  • Deano64Deano64 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Sorry to hear this so unfair
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi @pinemartine

    I can see that it's doubly stressful for you where not only your income, but your immigration status is hanging in the balance.

    You mention that you have a representative, but that you struggle to get hold of them - that's a bit tricky, because being one of those over-worked advisers myself, I sympathise with them, but equally I understand your panic about not being able to speak to them, and not knowing your adviser myself I have no idea where they're up to with your case.

    Two things that might be useful for you to do:-

    (1) Your adviser may not be in contact that much, except when they need to speak to you about something, but find out from them (or their supervisor) where your case is up to, and whether there is anything they would like YOU to be doing to help matters - don't leave it all to them, as they do not have as much invested in this case as you do.

    (2) prepare for the appeal yourselves - perhaps gather evidence from experts involved in your husband's treatment - pay for this if necessary (try to check with your adviser whether this would help or whether they are doing this, but if you really can't get hold of them, then just go ahead, as it's better to go to the Tribunal with this in hand) - but then pass it to the adviser to add to their submission. Also think about what questions the Tribunal will ask - unlike the medical assessor they are entirely independent, but they will ask a lot of questions (normally about how you struggle on day to day basis) and they will expect straight answers - think about your difficulties as they were at the time of the decision so that you can answer the questions clearly.

    I hope this helps - good luck with the Tribunal!

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Sorry to thank you so late. 
    We have already sent a letter from his GP and his consultant for MR, but DWP denied what they say in the letters. They said he looked OK at f2f assessment. 
    We don't know what else we can submit as evidences...
    I asked GP again if he can give us anything els, but he can't think of any.
    I hope tribunal will be fair, not like f2f.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2017
    @pinemartine

    Tribunals are impartial.  My tribunal was very fair, especially the judge, and it's the judge that makes the decision.  Don't argue with the judge!

    My tribunal increased my award from standard rate both elements PIP for five years to enhanced rate both elements indefinitely.

    Scope site have info on PIP appeals - look under Support and information.  As do Disability Rights and CAB websites.

    Below is what I posted after my successful appeal:

    "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."

  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Congratulations, Matilda! And thank you for the tips.
    My husband used to drive, but he doesn't now. He has memory and concentration problem and also he doesn't want to leave home as he gets panic attacks.
    I have submitted GP's letter, his consultant's letter, medical reports including old one which shows the trigger of his PTSD to tribunal. But DWP is still denying what GP and his doctor say in the letters and sticks with the assesmment report. 
    They have to justify themself at this stage, I guess but some parts don't make any sense.
    For example, they say "taking nutrition" only counts physical ability to eat, like lifting up a folk or chopping food in peacies... But in their form "need to be encouraged to eat" is listed up and I had a confirmation from our representative lack of motivation to eat counts as well.
    Anyway, I feel a bit better after reading your comment here. I hope our tribunal goes well as yours.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome, @pinemartine.

    Tribunals know what the descriptors mean.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello Matilda

    Pinemartine has offered great advice and tips on tribunals.

    He is right that the tribunal are independent, impartial and as a court of law they have to be fair.  This means that they will balance up all the evidence in front of them, including the medical evidence you have supplied, in addition to your husbands and maybe also your evidence given on the day of the tribunal.  As Pinemartine says Tribunals are thorough when questioning a person, and will ensure that there questions have been answered.  They do this as they have limited time to hear your case, and want to ensure that they have all the information and covered all points before they make  a decision.  I always tell my clients that if you tell the truth you have nothing to worry about, as you will not be tripped up or caught out, as you are telling the truth. 

    It is good that all the evidence has been supplied to the Tribunal, as they will have had chance to read all this evidence before they meet your husband, and they will have been able to contrast and compare this evidence to the medical assessment report.  

    It is usual for the DWP to continue to side with the medical assessment rather than evidence supplied by you, the tribunal should however take a more balanced and informed view of all the evidence. 

    It is also worth saying that around 60% of tribunals are successful and this includes people that have never asked for any assistance with their appeal, but just turned up on the day to the hearing.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Maria Solomon


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    Maria, You have got the names the wrong way round.
    It may be usual for DWP to side with the assessor and not use the medical evidence but their job spec. states that they should only use the suggested scores on the assessor's report as a guide and then using ALL the available evidence make up their own minds on which descriptors are the correct ones for each claimant. The more their malpractice is mentioned the more it will be considered the norm. and therefore accepted instead of being rejected as unacceptable. .     
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    pinemartine,

    Just to clarify the advice above, as I know it can get confusing! I agree with what wildfire and Matilda have said, as well as my colleagues Mary and Maria. 

    I don't think you have mentioned whether you got hold of the assessor's report yourself, but I assume that you have a copy. Wherever it is simply wrong (makes things up, draws wrong conclusions, states things that didn't happen at the assessment etc) then you can point these out. I'd also recommend that you complain to the assessment company (ATOS or Capita). Complaining helps to show you do not accept their terrible service. 

    Tribunals are well used to claimants' evidence and assessors' reports being very different, but it still helps to show that you are so unhappy with the assessment, you have complained. It undermines that evidence, if you like.

    Email: [email protected]

    OR 

    [email protected] 

    Good luck, and remember, as Matilda says, the tribunal is impartial. You have a rep, but I'd bear in mind the panel will want your husband to respond directly to most of the questions. 

    Please let us know how it goes.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Thank you for the comments. I am still very nervous and stressed as there is ESA f2f coming in 2 weeks time as well. This also effects my immigration status. My visa renewal is in Sep... All of these happening at the same time and I am feeling awful. But I should be brave to support my husband who is suffering more than me. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    pinemartinepinemartine, I can really see how stressful it is for both of you. You mentioned above contacting your MP. I've suggested this in relation to your husband's ESA too, so why not contact the MP about both issues? This is  affecting your income and your family life in the worst possible ways, and it's important MPs realise the many many awful consequences of our current benefit system on disabled people and their families.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2017
    @pinemartine

    Have just re-read my Tribunal decision letter which gives a brief summary of why I won my appeal.  The letter states that the Tribunal placed particular reliance upon my cogent oral evidence which was consistent with the doctor's report when I originally claimed DLA and with one page of the Atos paramedic's report! Must dig that page out and read what it says - I'm intrigued!

    So, in my case the Tribunal placed emphasis on my oral evidence, the medical report when I first claimed DLA and one page (of the very long) Atos paramedic's report!
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Hi, Matilda. Thank you for the comment. We have been told " show enough evidences!" to win, but there is a limit of written evidence and the difficulties of daily life are not always visible, I think. For example, how my husband goes through a day is not in any documents , only he or I can describe it. I am grad to hear there is a possibility that they might take oral evidence. 
    You mentioned Atos paramedic's report. Is it your assessment report for PIP?

    Thank you Will. I have sent a email to MP. His f2f is in 10 days time, so we might not get reply before f2f though. But let's see what happens. Fingers crossed...
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @pinemartine

    The Tribunal I attended placed a great deal of weight on my oral evidence!  They grilled me for half an hour.  It was like a second assessment.  But, of course, Tribunals are impartial, and assess the oral evidence on its own merits. Tribunals are not, like the assessment companies, there to minimise claimants' disabilities so that they are awarded as few points as possible.

    Of course, your husband's daily difficulties do have to match PIP descriptors.  If you haven't already submitted a 7-day diary of your husband's activities, there is still time to send one to the Tribunal as additional evidence - as long as his problems haven't changed since he was assessed.  If you send in a diary, make the point that, though recent, your husband's problems haven't changed since assessment.

    My Tribunal based most of their questions on my diary.

    Yes, the Atos paramedic's report is for a PIP assessment.
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    One of his major problems is insomnia and I asked his representative.if we should submit it as an evidence. He said it wouldn't do much so I didn't send it. I  will keep a week diary from today and take it to tribunal with his sleep diary. Thank you for the advice. Or is it better if I send it before hand?
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2017
    @pinemartine

    Best you send diary beforehand so they can read it advance.  The Clerk did ask me on the day if I had any further evidence to submit (I didn't) - but I got the impression I wouldn't have been very popular with the Tribunal if I had submitted more evidence at that late stage!

    As time is short, you could send in a diary for only five days.  List in the diary any aids that your husband uses.  Difficulty with, or inability, completing activities even using aids usually will win people at least a few points for each activity concerned.
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Thank you Matilda. We haven't got the date of the hearing yet. So I will start keeping diary from today and send it to tribunal. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @pinemartine

    Disability Rights have a draft PIP diary on their website.
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Thank you, Matilda. I checked it out. It seems very helpful.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi pinemartine,

    Just to add, any evidence should be sent to the tribunal service at least 7 days in advance of the hearing, to give the panel enough time to read and consider it.
    Tribunals will accept evidence on the day of a hearing as long as it is only a brief one, maybe two page letter (although this is not really good practice) but anything more than that and the case could be adjourned, or the evidence rejected on the basis that the tribunal didn't have sufficient time to read it.
    Unless you agreed to a short notice hearing on the SSCS1, you will be given 14 days notice of the hearing so my advice would be to keep a diary until you receive the notification of the hearing date, then send it in straight away. Good luck!

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Thank you for the advice. I have started keeping diary for m hsband. It is diffcult for him to do it himself due to his health condition. I will add the note saying "I am the aplican's wife and the diary was kept by me on behalf of the aplicant. The diary is based n his coments and my observation. Bcause It is difficult for him to do it himself due to his health condition." Do you tjink it is ok?
    I am thinking hand the diary in as an evidence at his ESA reassessment f2f which is sceduled on 14th of Aug. I believe I can submit the diary on the day of f2f as they have enough time to read through before making any decision.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    I think that's fine. Although maybe do one which is his words (albeit written down by yourself if that's easier) and your comments on a separate document?
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • ceege4ceege4 Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    Hi I have been reading the above with interest because I am waiting for a date for my tribunal to keep my Motability car. How do I get a copy of the original medical report that awarded me the higher rate of mobility allowance indefinitely? I hope all goes well for you pinemartin.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @ceege4

    Phone the PIP helpline if a copy of the DLA medical report is not in your appeal bundle.  You should have been asked by DWP when you first claimed PIP if you would like the medical evidence they already have for DLA included in your PIP application and, if you said yes, then this should be in the PIP bundle.  If not, as I've said PIP should let you have a copy if you ask.

    The DLA medical evidence might give a lot of support to your appeal.  My original DLA medical report helped my award at Tribunal to be increased from standard both elements to enhanced both elements.



  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    edited August 2017
    Yesterday we received a letter from tribunal checking if we received the bundle and if there is any information missing or wrong. 
    The letter also says if we have further evidences, we'd better send them now. 
    I am editing my diary about my husband now and it will be ready to be sent soon.

    One of his conditions DWP denied is memory and concentration problem even if it was mentioned in GP's and his consultant's letter. We talked GP about this again and he said he referred my husband to memory function assessment in Jan and he was surprised he hasn't had the assessment yet. He rang them to arange an assessment asap.
    We had a phone call from memory function assessor today and he/she is coming to see my husband this Thu.
    I was reading about the assessment and it seems designed to check dementia.
    It is quite clear his memory and concentration problem is from severe insomnia caused by PTSD, not from dementia.

     I am wondering what to do if the result of the forthcoming dementia assessment turns out he is ok. He hasn't got dementia so it is possible he would pass the memory test. May be explaining  details of his PTSD and insomnia might help the memory function assessor  to understand his memory problem better? And should we mention what DWP is saying his memory function (they deny his problem because he hasn't diagnosed dementia and he could remember his doctor's names etc.)  and ask them if they can help for tribunal?
       
    I might be getting too paranoid and having panic attack after the horrible PIP assessment experience and thinking about my immigration status hanging on his benefit award... Any advice appreciated.
  • ceege4ceege4 Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    Hi Matilda and thank you for your reply.
    I did agree to PIP having any medical evidence held by the DWP but they said there wasn't any available and so there was nothing to support my claim even though I have had a car on the Motability Scheme for the last 18 years.
    I emailed DWP last night asking how I could obtain a copy of the report. Hopefully they will let me know asap. I have done this under the freedom of information on the DWP (gov.UK) site.
    I have also paid over £100 for a medical report from my doctor and submitted this with my appeal. If I get the original report from the DWP I will send a copy asap to the tribunal.
    Thank you for your help.
    Best regards
    Ceege4
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    Hi @pinemartine

    I don't think you're being paranoid thinking about the dementia report - it's the kind of quandary we benefits advisers regularly ponder - however I think the assessment you make is a good one - he may very well not have dementia but that doesn't mean he won't meet the requirements for the benefit - that goes on what difficulties you experience with your Daily Living and mobility, which you have kept a record of.

    Just be upfront with the Tribunal if they ask questions about it.

    Only thing you could maybe do to 'counterbalance' is get an additional GP comment about the symptems etc, and why the referral was made.

    Good luck!

    Mary
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Thank you all for the adevices. Just quick up date. A doctor came home for my hasband's memory assessment. The test was for dementia as we expected, but he asked a lot of questions about his medical history, medication and daily life as well. The doctor pointed out one of the drugs my husband is taking causes memory problem and it is very common side effect. We haven't got a written evidence for it yet as the assessment was held only a few days ago, but we will mention this at his ESA f2f and we are sending a letter to Tribunal with the doctor's contact detail.
    We are going to ESA f2f today. Hopefully we will get a fair assessment this time.

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    pinemartinepinemartine,

    Good luck. You're right to just be up front with the tribunal as Mary advises. Let us know how it goes.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • pinemartinepinemartine Member Posts: 47 Connected
    Finally we had our tribunal done last week. 
    My husband has got enhanced on both elements now (original decision was no award for daily activities and standard for mobility) even though he has to have reassessment next year.
    I want to thank you for all the advice. your comments gave me courage to go through all the horrible experience. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
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