P.I.P. Tribunal hearing
I have just spent the best part of a year going through the whole P.I.P. process, which included the application form, and the face to face assessment, which was a farce as the assessor totally twisted everything I said and made up or lied about crucial points. He said he carried out a physical examination which he didn't. The outcome of this was that I was awarded the standard rate of P.I.P. for both components even though I was on both the high rates of DLA previously. Needless to say I was very upset about this, especially about the unfair assessment which was in fact was carried out by a nurse with no specialist training or understanding of a complex illness. Also the fact that the DWP didn't contact my GP for any medical history, and relied solely on the dodgy assessment was very worrying.
Consequently, I applied for a mandatory reconsideration which is the next procedure. This was then refused by the DWP, and I then appealed to the tribunal. My post today is regarding my tribunal experience, which took place this morning.
After a year of fighting and the stress and upset this has caused, the tribunal this morning was without doubt the most horrendous experience I think I have ever gone through since my illness began about 20 years ago. The tribunal consisted of three people, a doctor, a judge, and a disability specialist in daily living. They proceeded to systematically go through my whole claim and attempted to humiliate me. They questioned me for 45 minutes on every aspect of my claim. Their questioning was aggressive and intimidating, and they constantly went back trying to trip me up in some way. After the doctor had finished questioning me, he sat for the rest of the time with a smirk on his face which was very intimidating and unsettling. They managed to make me feel a complete fool and worthless. I went into the tribunal fairly confident that I could put my case across fairly and persuade them to award me the enhanced rates after all, but I came out feeling demoralised and not knowing if I would keep my award at all. Apart from my physical disabilities I have suffered from anxiety and depression for many years. I went into this tribunal at least being able to speak coherently, but I came out stuttering, which I have never done in my life. My daughter, who is my carer and who was with me this morning, was devastated by my treatment, but was told by the judge not to speak or interrupt or prompt me at any stage as the tribunal was about me and not her. I don't hold out much hope of a successful conclusion for me, but I just wanted to at least let other people know what may be in store for them if this is in fact the normal way a tribunal operates.
Still trying to recover at this point.