PIP, DLA and AA
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Appeal DWP and providing evidence

loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
edited October 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
I have just received the pack of papers from DWP as they are asking for my appeal to be refused. They recently lowered my mobility from enhanced to standard and after failing at the MR stage I have lodged an appeal. I would appreciate a little help if anyone can advise me. They have based their decision on an assessment and GP/medical evidence from 2014 (the assessor stated wrongly that I have not seen a doctor since then!). The decision to give me enhanced mobility used the same medical evidence and when I went from DLA to PIP using this evidence my award stayed the same after a face to face assessment. Sorry, i am not explaining this very well. My question is, as Capita and DWP have failed to use up to date medical evidence is it my responsibility to get this from my GP? Also, if I do get this do I send it to the DWP or the tribunal service? Thankyou

Replies

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    It is standard for the DWP to ask for the appeal to be refused, never heard of it happening.
    Did you supply upto date evidence with your claim ?

    If not then it would be very advisable to supply any new evidence that you can

    Now that you have applied to the tribunal, you should not send any new evidence to the DWP. Your submissions should be to the tribunal and they will send copies to DWP.

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi @loopyt

    As CR says, the bundle of papers you have received is just the DWP 'appeal bundle' that they use to show the Tribunal how they made the decision, and yes, it is of course their position that the appeal should be refused, that is why it needs to be looked at by the Tribunal.

    As regards the evidence, yes, if you can get up to date evidence, this can often be useful - particularly if it shows deterioration. This needs to be sent to the Tribunal Service, and if you think it may be definitive, you could also try sending a  copy to the DWP appeals team (address on their bundle) and ask them to reconsider the decision again.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/your-hearing/

    Citizens Advice have some useful stuff on their website about PIP appeals which is worth a look (link copied above).

    Hope this helps! Do let us know if you want to know anything else.

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Hi Mary and CockneyRebel, thankyou both for taking the time to reply. I have requested a letter from my GP which they are happy to provide. I have also emailed a complaint to Capita about the inaccuracy of their assessor 's report. However, I received a phone call from them today and they said any complaints should be to the DWP. Not sure if that is correct. What  I find strange is that the assessor said my description of the way my disabilty affects me was accurate but she has contradicted herself throughout? Also, they have based the decision to lower my mobilty award on evidence up to 2014 which is another puzzle as they previously awarded enhanced using this evidence - even when I went from DLA to PIP. Like most people on this site I am finding the whole process so stressful and it would be so easy to give up but I feel that would make them think I agree with their decision. I am sorry to say that the local citizens advice were not very helpful so I am so grateful to this site and the help you give, thank you.
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Just to add further to my last post. I have just spoken to the DWP about my complaint against the assessor from Capita and am really no wiser as to where I should direct it? I was lucky this time and got a pleasant person which was a relief. She said it was a shame I didn't let them know about any inaccuracies before registering my appeal. I explained that I asked for a mandatory reconsideration and telephoned before sending it in. She put me through to their appeal department and I was told that my GP letter should go to the court and they will send it to DWP for a response. She also said that my complaint against Capita would be put through to complaints but I don't know how to proceed with this now? DWP do not have my written complaint unless Capita forwarded my email so any help would be gratefully received. Thankyou.. I find it difficult to remember things when I ring them and can't remember everything she said but relieved both were not rude like the last time I tried to speak to someone. T
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited October 2017
    Hi loopyt,

    If you want to complain about the report from the healthcare professional from Capita you do need to direct your complaint to Capita. Information about how to do this is here:

    http://www.capita-pip.co.uk/en/complaints.html

    I wish you the best of luck for your appeal.

    Lee 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Thank you Lee, the DWP have now put my complaint through to their complaints team and apparently they will phone me. I will also go to the direction you have posted, thank you so much
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Hi Lee, it was through that website that I emailed Capita but they called me to say that any complaints should be directed to DWP. Now you have mentioned them again I have sent another email stating that it is a formal complaint and that I would like them to call me. Thank you
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    loopyt 
    My advice would be to complain to both the DWP and Capita. They are both responsible and both try to evade responsibility, in my view.

    Capita are obviously responsible for the quality of the assessment and the report. The DWP are also responsible however for giving Capita a contract and relying on their evidence. The Equality Act 2010 which is supposed to protect disabled people from discrimination (including in public services) applies to both.

    Separately, of course you need to continue with the appeal which is about the accuracy of the decision on your benefit. The tribunal will be used to people whose assessor's reports are contradictory and conflict with other evidence. Your own medical evidence, and your oral (spoken) evidence at the tribunal will be seen as just as important, and you can raise the fact that you complained about the assessment. 

    DWP quite often miss out key pieces of evidence in the bundle so that the full story of your disability and relevant benefit decisions aren't clear. The tribunal can make directions to provide missing bits of the story, but don't rely on them doing this. It's best to provide as much relevant evidence as you can yourself (sent, as Mary advises, to the tribunal service  - they should copy it to the DWP but there is no harm in you sending it to DWP too as they can sometimes change their minds about the decision before the tribunal).

    Will 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Thankyou Will, that is most useful. I have received my bundle from DOW are there are several elements missing. I have had another telephone call from Capita today after my second email and they have said again that any complaints should be to DWP. I don't feel able to go to the tribunal so when I receive my GP letter I will a letter stating the things that are missing and also tell them about the response from Capita.
    Thank you
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Please re-think the paper hearing @loopyt !

    I know it's really difficult, but the best evidence you can show the Tribunals service is you!

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • loopytloopyt Member Posts: 80 Courageous
    Thank you Mary but I really don't think I would cope, I am worried that it will go against me not being there so I am going to ask if they can Skype or something. I had a call from the DWP today and she said they used to come to your home but even that sounds stressful. She said that any complaints about Capital's failure to give an accurate assessment can only be addressed through an MR and appeal. I think that they are getting away with not doing their job properly and I am beginning to understand why the DWP are putting so much through to the tribunal as I don't think they have the time to go through all the evidence and so just rely on the report from assessessors so if they are inaccurate the client/customer (what are we called?) Has no alternative but to go to appeal. My last home assessment in 2014 included up to date medical records which I believe Capita have to pay for? This time, using the same evidence, they have lowered my mobility stating that I haven't been to the doctors since 2014. I have asked my GP for an up to date report which is not a problem but I have to pay  for this. I think if Capita do not want to do this they should suggest to customers that we should get this before their assessment. I didn't realise that they don't even contact your GP. The system could be made much easier for the DWP and the disabled.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    loopyt,

    Please don't be put off by the attitude of the DWP and Capita. You can only get the decision changed by the MR and appeal route. However, the MR and appeal do nothing to improve the assessments. For that, you do need to complain. I would suggest complaining to both Capita and the DWP. Capita are responsible for the service they provide. The DWP are responsible for choosing Capita to run the contract and for allowing that contract to continue. You can also raise the quality of the assessment with your MP. Having said all that, you don't have to complain in order to get a good result from the tribunal - it is not necessary to complain in order to have the decision looked at by the tribunal panel.

    Capita do sometimes, but not always, contact health professionals who work with you. The guidance for health professionals tells them to consider collecting additional evidence if they think it will help inform what they say to the DWP, but it doesn't make it compulsory. If you think there is something missing from the bundle, you can ask the Tribunal to make a direction requiring the DWP to provide it. However, I wouldn't rely on them doing this. If you are unable to afford to get evidence from your GP then I would suggest that you say so as part of your submission to the Tribunal. 

    As regards attending the hearing, I would do so if you possibly can, but if you can't, then let the tribunal know - other options such as video link or telephone may be possible. It's very rare indeed for them to come to your home. 

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Annabelle26Annabelle26 Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    I put in a complaint direct to Capita about how the Assessor behaved during the interview. You can complain about the proceedings to Capita.  Do not telephone put everything in writing so that there is a record of your complaint.  I sent the initial complaint via an email & printed a copy off for my records.  They rang me but I refused to discuss the case over the phone.  I asked for everything in writing.  I am just about to escalate my complaint to The Independent Case Examiner as I was not satisfied with their reply.  You can only do that if you have followed the Capita complaints procedure & they have to sent a final letter.  You have to send a copy of this letter with your complaint.  They said they could neither reject or uphold my complaint as it was my word against the Assessor who they interviewed twice & of course she did everything according to procedure.  I am having to go to a Tribunal to get my PIP as the Capita Assessor wrote a completely inaccurate report  about my conditions & the DWP accepted it.  My general advice would be to do as much as you can in writing instead of telephone calls & do not discuss anything over the phone especially if you have memory problems.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I totally agree about appearing person at the hearing. This will gve you the best chance of a decision going in your favour. 65% of those who appear in person have a deciison in their favour, i't much less for those who ask for a paper based decision. I've only ever heard of 1 person have a telephone hearing and the date for this took over 1 year. I've also only ever heard of one person have their Tribunal hearing in theor own home. They reason they agreed to this was extreme circumstances.

    You best chance of all of a decision in your favour is to appear in person. Doing it this way the Tribunal can see exactly how you are and how your conditions affect you daily. I've heard of a lot of peoples paper based decisions going against them. Please do re-think about appearing in person. You can take comeone with you, a friend, partner or other family member. There's even disability organisations that will represent you, although CAB i'm sure don't do this anymore.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • dottydottydottydotty Member Posts: 294 Pioneering

     loopyt  Hi  . I too am in a similar situation to  you .  Successfully transferred  from DLA  to PIP  IN 2014   .awarded re enhanced  care  low rate mobility .Had my re assessement Dec 29 th2017    decision letter arrived 7th Jan 2018 .no award at all .   Assessors report  was full of untruths , also the medical evidence used  was from 2014 . Assessor did not even ask or look at my recent medical evidence . I am now in Reconsideration  stage and have  complained  to Capita , I feel the problem is in some  way the descriptors  have changed  since 2014  making it harder for some conditions  to score any points , Especially mobility , walking  distances ,  planning  a journey etc . Hope you have some luck with your case . Hope it does not have to go to tribunal.

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