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Stephanie Harding

StephanieMariaStephanieMaria Member Posts: 11 Listener
edited September 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hey everyone,

I originally was awarded PIP in 2013 for my hip and back injuries, job centre actually advised me to claim it as I'd never heard of it. Anyway, since that decision, my pain increased, mobility decreased and finally got diagnosed with two chronic illnesses on top of my injuries. I was called for a reassessment summer 2016 and my payments were stopped in August 2016.  Based on advice from
other women with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, I called PIP & told them I would be reapplying, some of my medication had changed and I felt my form needed to be more thorough. I was called for another face to face assessment in October 2016 and I still didn't have a decision in January 2017, so I called them & they said they'd sent me a decision notice in October 2016, so they reposted it. Anyway, the documents arrived and I took it to Citizens Advice as I wanted to appeal. They told me it was a mandatory reconsideration, that I hadn't asked for! So, I appealed that, the paperwork came through in March, then a problem occurred, I noticed that nothing had come of my latest claim and assessment. PIP only realised their mistake when they were gathering my appeal papers and sent the newest decision, I was scored under again. So I now had to appeal that decision too! The judges clerk contacted me & acknowledged that PIP made a mistake and the judge would see me for both appeals at the same hearing, but we couldn't set a date until the newest appeal papers came through.  I sent m my SSCS1 form to them in May, I knew it had been signed for and just waited. Spoke to my representative at citizens advice who agreed it was taking too long and called the tribunal service who told him that only the first appeal was ready to list. He asked me to contact the Appeal service and chase up the paperwork for appeal 2. When I contacted them, the man I spoke with told me that they received my SSCS1 form 4th May 2017, but that nothing was done with it because in their eyes, I'm appealing against PIP and it doesn't matter if I have more appeal papers. I was so angry, the court and my representative both told me I need that paperwork. So I've been waiting and waiting and they never intended on sending anything. Anyway, the judge has asked them to go ahead and list my appeal for a date because he's sick of waiting (as am I), it's an average 24 weeks for tribunal in my area. I've never been so stressed about anything ever in my life.
A few weeks ago, I had my blue badge assessment with my local councils occupational therapist, she was lovely, commended me on my thorough application form and she said she was treating me as an individual, she stoped our appointments after around 15 minutes and decided that I meet all of the criteria required for a blue badge and although she couldn't say there and then thatnim getting one, that I shouldn't worry because in her eyes it will be approved. This was such a relief, but it begs the question, how can I be denied PIP and awarded a blue badge?! 

So it's just a waiting game now, In the meantime, I need to gather as much evidence as possible.  Suggestions welcome.

That was a relief to get it off my chest.

thanks for reading :)


  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello StephanieMaria and welcome

    It sounds like you are being given the run around, hopefully it will be sorted soon.

    Unfortunately a Blue Badge has different criteria to that of PIP.
    PIP has been made intentionally hard to claim and the DWP are making it harder for most people.
    PIP is a test of functionality ie. how your condition affects your ability to do some basic daily tasks and the effect on your mobility. It is not about any medical condition or diagnosis although these will help to back up your claim.

    Please let us know how you get on and if you need any help or just an ear to listen, we will be here

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • StephanieMariaStephanieMaria Member Posts: 11 Listener
    @CockneyRebel Thank you for your support, it means a lot. PIP makes no sense to me, it's purpose was to help people like more independently, daily living and mobility costs a lot more for many people living with a disability. I just found that if you don't fit into their box, they didn't care. I've heard the panel is fair BUT most people don't appeal because of the stress. I've been put on betablockers because I was having panic attacks and I wholeheartedly blame the PIP process, I'm quite a confident person but this has nearly defeated me. 
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Appeals to the tribunal can be stressful but they don't have to be. If you have help from CAB or similar it does help.
    You do not need to provide additional evidence for the panel, if you have already submitted your best evidence then all you need to do is present it in an idiot proof way.
    Write a brief overveiw of your claim and conditions.

    Take each descriptor, one at a time, say what points you were awarded, say what points you believe you should have been awarded and why. Then reference these points to the bundle of evidence. 

    Write a brief summary of the above and what you think the award should be

    The judge must tell you before hand if your current award is unsafe, giving you the option to withdraw your appeal.

    So not to scary and really is a shot to nothing, you cannot lose but you may not win
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • StephanieMariaStephanieMaria Member Posts: 11 Listener
    @CockneyRebel Thank you for the tips. I'm going to contact my local councils welfare team too.
     I've not got a current award and I feel new evidence would support my claim because it's been so long, things have changed, I have a more specific diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, before hand it was Joint Hypermobility Sundrome. My GP has provided a supporting letter to state her beliefs too and my medication has increased dramatically. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger

    I'm really sorry to hear about your nightmare!  However 65% of appeals are successful.  I had a successful appeal hearing in May. The panel grilled me but the result was a success for me.

     I was told by one of the solicitors in the Scope Ask a benefits advisor category that whilst judges often warn an appellant that they are minded to reduce or remove any award already made and give them the opportunity to withdraw their appeal they are not OBLIGED to do so and sometimes don't give such a warning.

    You might want to check this point and maybe some others in Ask a benefits advisor category.
  • StephanieMariaStephanieMaria Member Posts: 11 Listener
    @Matilda thanks for the advice, I'm not actually receiving any PIP award, my payments were stopped August 2016, the appeal is taking so long because of a mistake PIP made, I had to appeal twice and a mistake was made by the appeals team too, I called only last week to ask were my second set of appeal papers are and the guy I spoke to said they received my SSCS1 form 4/05/17 but they didn't do anything with it because they could see I was already appealing PIP and 'why do you need it?', I was so cross, the tribunal clerk and citizens advice both said I need that paperwork but the appeal service believe different. The judge had asked them to list it for a date now because he's fed up of waiting. The judge has been fair so far, said he would see me for both appeals at the same tribunal and acknowledged that PIP messed up. Fingers crossed things start moving soon, although, I've been warned it's a 24 weeks wait for a date :(
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger

    It does look as though the problems are now going to rectified even though it'll be six months' wait for a hearing.  I had to wait five and a half months but at tribunal was awarded enhanced both components with no end date.  Nearer the time come back and ask for info about what happens at appeal hearings.
  • StephanieMariaStephanieMaria Member Posts: 11 Listener
    @Matilda I'm glad things worked out for you and really appreciate your support 
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