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rejected PIP application

julescjjulescj Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi all, I had a PIP face to face assessment last year, and after days filling in the form, and attending the assessment, it was rejected. Now I have severe Osteo Arthritis in my knees, which swell, cause severe pain and discomfort, and I cannot bend or kneel. I cannot walk very far, before pain and swelling starts, and causes me to limp, and have to rest constantly. My hips, ankles, feet and toes are all severely affected, and I have had to have surgery, to correct my malformed toes. I have been told by doctors, that I will have to have artificial knees, as my knees are so damaged, they cannot repair them. I have had 2 Arthroscopes on my right knee, and 1 on my left, and a number of scans and MRI's. I have this condition in every joint, and have severe difficulty, carrying out any task I have to do. I had to give up my career, as a painting and decorating tutor, as it made my condition worse. I was unable to carry out my job properly, because I couldn't climb ladders, or kneel to work at floor level. I need help with dressing, shopping, cooking, pretty much everything I do, causes me pain and risk. I have spondylitis of the neck and top of my spine, which is very painful, and I am always very stiff. I have muscle impingement syndrome, which I have to have regular injections in my shoulder, to ease the pain. I am now struggling to drive, my manual car, due to pressure on my knees, and my inability to turn in the seat to check behind me. Pain through my neck and shoulder, causes muscle tightening in my upper arms, and elbow pain, and is so severe, I can't hold the steering wheel properly. I have to get someone to drive me, anywhere I need to go, and I will almost certainly have to exchange it for an automatic car. I refuse to have to give driving up completely, because it is my only means of getting my disabled daughter, to and from appointments, and her after school activities. I am only 51 years old, and I feel 90, it really gets me down, because of how debilitating it has become for me. I conveyed all of this in the form, in full detail, and sent over 20 sheets of medical letters, proving all of my symptoms, and the procedures I have had, to the benefits office. My disgust when they sent the letter of refusal for PIP, a couple of weeks later. When I went through the criteria they used, for the decision, I received 4 points over both points of the criteria. The questions where I scored no points, were all to do with my mental health.When I called to appeal their decision, I asked the person, why I was scored on an illness that had nothing to do with my condition. My condition, was that of extreme pain, and the inability to do things for myself safely, and without severe pain. It had nothing to do with my ability to talk face to face with a person I didn't know. I told him I used to teach, and I had no trouble at all communicating with people. My issue was that I can't even walk around a park with my daughter, without pain and discomfort, forcing me to have to go home and rest. I told him how low I would get, when I was at my worst, and how my anger would become apparent, to family and friends, when I was in so much pain. He said he would take this on board, and he would send a new decision, after reassessing my claim. After about 7 days, I had my second rejection letter, I was dumbfounded to find they had done this again. I was so disappointed, that I never bothered to appeal again, because they were not interested in my difficulties. This was especially difficult to comprehend, after someone I new, had received full PIP, for her depression and anxiety difficulties. After all the information I sent in, and all the detail I put into the form, it just shows that the assessors, do not look at the information claimants send in. I have know idea where to go with this, as I feel that my condition, deserves as much compassion, as that of someone with mental health issues. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would love to know, how others managed to get their PIP accepted, and mine was refused. Can anyone offer some advice, or understanding on this matter please.

Replies

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @julescj I can well understand your frustration and disbelief at being rejected for PIP last year. The thing that comes to mind straight away is that had you not given up and gone on to the Appeal stage where there are no targets to meet and no injustice exists, it being a court, you would have undoubtedly won and be on PIP now. You were caught out as so many of us have been with the system trying it on to see whether you would accept no award and unfortunately you did. My own physical problems are not as bad as yours but I do have severe mental health problems due to traumatic events that have happened to me but they were totally disregarded at the beginning and only the physical conditions were taken account of to award me standard rate in both mobility and Daily Living. So it wasn't the lack of a mental health condition that got you no PIP. My advice would be to turn your anger at rejection, which is sapping your strength, into positive action and be a lot more determined from the start to achieve the end result that is right for you. You know you are entitled to this benefit and a lot has happened since your last claim to make your condition worse. So DWP will have to accept another claim from you. Use your obvious intelligence to advantage by reading and learning all you can about how the system works and make another claim. There are a lot of things you can do apart from just sending in the claim form and sitting back waiting for something to happen. Be proactive and whenever you meet with rejection, if you do, post on here and you'll get lots of helpful support and advice to turn things around. There is no reason why you shouldn't be successful next time around.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Depending on the date of your last rejection, you may still be able to appeal. If you can show good reason an appeal can be lodged up to 13 months after the decision date.
    There is nothing stopping you from making a new claim at the same time, with the same rights of appeal
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2017
    @julescj

    I hope you are still able to appeal - sounds like you have a very good case.  Remember, 65% of appeals succeed at tribunal stage.

    Don't assume that assessors and DWP always make correct decisions - much of the time they don't which is so many appeals succeed.  I know from my own experience that my assessor lacked competence and also told a blatant lie in her report!  Many other Scope Community members have reported similar experiences.

    If you re-apply for PIP and are turned down again, do appeal.  Despite the time and stress it's usually worth doing so because of the high success rate.

    There is a guide on Scope to making PIP applications - look under Support and information.  Also both Disability Rights and CAB websites have good guides to PIP applications.

    Scoring PIP points is not about your diagnoses themselves but about what you can and can't do in the way of daily living activities and mobility.  In daily living claim disabilities in as wide a range of categories as apply.  Don't think, oh, maybe things aren't too bad in that particular category so I'll put nothing, thinking you'll pick up lots of points on other categories.  This may not be the case.

    Using aids should get you two points in most categories, only one for problems taking medication.  But you also need to show that you don't meet the reliability criteria - safely or repeatedly or in a reasonable time, i.e. you need help in order to complete these activities reliably (however, you need to meet only one criterion to qualify).

    In my case I did show I couldn't meet reliability criteria but still Atos and DWP ignored these and only took account of aids.  So DWP awarded me daily living basic rate.  That I had shown that I couldn't meet reliability criteria enabled me to be awarded enhanced daily living at tribunal!  And tribunal also increased my mobility award from standard to enhanced.

    As for mobility, don't tick the 'it varies' box - gives assessor and DWP too much scope to decide you can walk well much of the time.  The criteria are:

    0-20 meters - 12 points (enhanced)
    20-50 meters - 10 points (standard)
    50-200 meters 8 points (standard)

    And these distances are how far you can walk before you need to stop and rest for a minute or so,  You are then allowed to repeat that distance then stop again, etc.

    Include a diary over seven days with your application.  List all the aids you use and give details of how long it takes you to do things, safety issues and if you cannot even complete some tasks on some days.

    Disability Rights website gives a draft PIP diary that you can adapt.



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