PIP, DLA and AA
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Pip claim ongoing

CurlyweeCurlywee Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited January 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi apologies but this may be a long post. I applied for PIP jan 27 2017. My initial form was lost and had to resubmit it in June when they finally realised. I had my F2f in August and was declined so submitted an MR. My main problem causing ongoing delays is that i don't have a National insurance number - i have lived in the UK since 1999 but was working in Ireland at the time so didn't apply for a number here. I had an accident at work and lost my job. My other half was working so we managed. I never claimed any benefits /dole and we didn't have children so never needed to apply for tax credits. Now they will not give me a number until i have a successful claim, but i kept being declined a claim as i had no number. They eventually realised that they were sending me in circles and said they would reassess my claim in its entirety. However having received the most recent letter declining me, the decision maker has taken no notice of any points raised in my MR and has gone solely on the assessor report, which was full of inaccuracies and omissions. I suffer with severe osteoarthritis in both hips, scoliosis, fibro and chronic back pain. I also have lymphodema and lipidema in both legs. I also have long-term depression and anxiety. We recorded the assessment so i do have that to back up some of my claims that contradict the assessor report. All of her conclusions stated things like "it is therefore likely" - i thought that the use of these phrases had been proven to be subjective and assumptive and therefore discredited. Is it even worth appealing? 

Replies

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2018
    Hi @Curlywee, this sounds like it must have been really frustrating for you, having to go in circles due to admin. Hopefully a benefits advisor will be in touch soon and able to advise further, but if you do decide to appeal, you may find this guidance on DWP appeals helpful.
  • CurlyweeCurlywee Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks pippa, it has been horrendous if I'm completely honest with you. My anxiety is thru the roof for the last few months. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Curlywee,

    It is definitely worth appealing. You have numerous physical and mental health conditions and although it is the effects of those health conditions on your daily functioning that is more important, the health issues you have would suggest that you should score points on the assessment.
    Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter what you write on the form or what you say at the assessment, the assessor will make up their own mind anyway. It is important when you get to the appeal stage though, as tribunals weigh up all the evidence including everything you've said and written. I find the DWP's reasons are very poor in most cases and are generally standard reasons on every refusal tweaked a little, so I wouldn't worry too much about those. 
    It sounds like you have already asked for a mandatory reconsideration and suggested to them the number of points you should have scored on the assessment. It would be helpful if you could supply a supporting letter from your GP and/or any hospital consultants you are seeing. You will generally get a more accurate decision from a tribunal at appeal and so many decisions are changed at that stage. Good luck!

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • CurlyweeCurlywee Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks Lee, i have already submitted an MR and been declined, the first letter did not state any points or an actual decision makers letter or summary. My application was sent back, by pip not me, for a supposed full reassessment. I have now received another letter with 4 points for each part, but his decision summary is based wholly on the assessor report, no mention to any evidence put forward in my MR. However on the final page it states we cannot appeal until i ask for a reconsideration? So confused 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    CurlyweeCurlywee,

    It sounds as if another decision has been made on your benefit, although it's not a decision which looks at any of the points you put forward in your first MR. If the decision has been changed (even if it's just different points, but comes to the same conclusion), then you do have another chance to ask for an MR - and get an MR notice, which you could appeal.

    I know this whole process holds things up for you, but it does sound as if this is a fresh decision - a new assessment (but based on the report they already had), and so you do need to ask for an MR again (particularly as, from what you've said above, I don't think you have an MR notice from the first MR). 

    Make sure you address your second MR request to the most recent decision, and identify it on the request. Say why you think you should score more than 4 points for each component, and give evidence if you can. I know it's frustrating, but at MR stage there may not be much point flagging up all the inconsistencies in the assessor's report. That work isn't wasted though, because you can use it if you have to go to appeal.

    At this point, getting a quick MR notice is probably worth it so that you can go on to appeal as soon as possible. 

    You're right that all those phrases 'it is therefore likely that/unlikely that' are often not dependable & are not good evidence. However, at MR stage, I don't think this will help much. Once you get to tribunal stage, as Lee says, your own evidence will be taken seriously and some of the assessor's weak conclusions can be flagged up there. 

    I'm sorry about this. You might want to consider a complaint (to the DWP) about what has happened, as it sounds like the problems with your NI number which caused this reassessment to be necessary. If you didn't have a number, that should have been sorted out with a NINO interview right at the beginning of your claim, but it sounds as though that procedure didn't happen as it should have.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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