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PIP Appeal - Advice Please

katmarie Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited January 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA

Advice for PIP Appeal

Hi,  My husband suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis.  As a result the bones in his hand and wrist have eroded to such an extent that he has almost no grip in one hand (he used spanners in the cold for many years). 

This is very evident when comparing a recent scan to a scan from a few years ago even to a lay person. Its fairly aggressive and now suffers with pain and swelling in his shoulder and collarbone.  If he attempts a task which puts anything more than minimal strain on his joints he can be in pain for several days.  An effective course of treatment with minimal side effects has not yet been established (not helped by the fact that his appointments with a Rheumatology Consultant have been cancelled three times.  He has an appointment in May, which is more than 12 months since the last appointment.).

Pain medication does help, but not always.  

He was initially awarded the Higher Rate Daily Living Component of PIP, for 3 years, until May 2018. 

 He was asked to attend a review assessment in September 2017.  He was awarded 0 points.

The assessor stated that he had normal grip, which would be impossible!  

Other statements were outright lies and did not reflect the assessment, I accompanied him to.

We asked for a mandatory reconsideration.  In the reply there were further untrue statements, for example;

" He was able to drive the 6 miles to and from the Assessment Centre".

Can they just make assumptions rather than establishing facts when making a decision?

 (I drove to and from the Assessment Centre !) 

They included a number of new statements regarding his assessment in the Mandatory Reconsideration reply.  

Is this the norm?

They overturned the initial decision to Award him PIP until May 2018, without requesting further medical evidence.  Given that his illness is known to be progressive, they must surely be questioning the professionalism and ability of the original assessor. 

How can they justify this?

Also, when we received the letters from Capita, ('Statement of Referral from DWP';  'Assessment Appointment', etc.)  they were headed "New Claims".  I sent Capita an e-mail stating that it was not a new claim; but received no reply.

In the acknowledgement of receipt of our appeal from HM Courts and Tribunal Service, (despite the information we provided stating clearly it is not a new appeal)  the letter heading states:


Is there a reason for this?

I’d be most grateful for any tips or advice in regard to the appeal, as I intend to represent him.

I'm not sure if this is a good idea?

Should we consult legal council (cost is an issue)?


  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @katmarie, and welcome!

    Sorry to hear that you're going through the appeals process. Many of our members have also gone through it themselves and so hopefully they'll be able to provide some guidance and reassurance for you. 

    For tips and advice, do take a look at our guidance on appealing DWP decisions, and feel free to come back to us with any questions you may have.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected

    You need face to face advice. You do not need legal counsel.

    You then need to focus on why he was awarded PIP in the first place and insist that DWP include all that paperwork in the appeal papers. You need to self assess and decide what points he ought to be awarded; why and what your evidence for that is. Plenty of resources on the net such as Turn2Us or BenefitsAndWork. You need face to face advice because your appeal needs to be an oral hearing and you have your best chance to win if you have a representative who appears on the day.

    The poor standard of HCP assessments is the norm and they will include incorrect assumptions and inaccurate statements. However, challenging the report merely reduces the weight given to it as evidence. It does not get you PIP. You need to know what you're going for etc. as per the above.

    Do not worry about the HMCTS wording. It just means that he's not a DLA conversion case.

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger

    I won my tribunal appeal last May without f2f help or representation.  Good idea to get f2f help if you can but is not essential.  Scope Helpline might be able to tell you of local f2f help. 

    I prepared my appeal case with advice on this site from 
    @Debbie_Scope, @BenefitsTrainingCo, and numerous forum members.  Plus Disabilty Rights UK site and Disability Rights Handbook, which is available to buy from their site.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    Well done on winning your appeal @Matilda but it's not good advice to suggest that based on one example others should follow suit. There are a multitude of reasons why for the overwhelming majority appeal representation of any sort is essential. 

  • DaveDee
    DaveDee Member Posts: 19 Connected

    My adult son was sent a PIP decision makers decision, which stated, "you are capable of driving a car". Complete assumption and absolutely false, because he only had a provisional licence for forklift training, surrendered to DVLA due to his epilepsy. Also had a letter from GP advising he was not fit to drive from his condition.

    How can the Decision Maker make such blatantly wrong statements without any evidence?

  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi DaveDee

    You do not say whether your son received an award.
    If a wrong decision is based on this assumption then it should be relatively easy to corret. However, Being able to drive is not one of the PIP descriptors although it is often used to assume other abilities such as dexterity, upper body strength and cognative and spacial awareness

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • DaveDee
    DaveDee Member Posts: 19 Connected

    My son had an award for PIP, and after ending on first December, went through the process of renewal. Had assessment, was awarded 2 points only, sent for

    mandatory reconsideration and was given zero points. 

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    So, have you now appealed and, if so, where is that up to?
  • DaveDee
    DaveDee Member Posts: 19 Connected

    Not yet, just in the process of evidence gathering and ways to appeal decision. Just cannot understand how a person can be classed as disabled functionally for award of PIP say on the 1st, then on the 2nd the decision changes to 2 or 0.

    So if any helpful advice for appealing, Mike, would be great.

  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,449 Disability Gamechanger
    The points scoring can be tried on different site to see what you might be awarded. Be honest to yourself as when you fill in the form then attend f2f you will be asked about the answers you put in the form so be prepared to keep your answers at f2f the same, and how you answer the accessors questions can lead them to assume or make assumptions about your abilities to do tasks, ring about a week after the f2f and request a copy of the report this will give all the information on what your award will or might be and if it's not what you thought it would or should be you will have time to prepare an appeal while waiting for the DWP award letter. 
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    To start a tribunal appeal you need to submit SSCS1 with basic reasons for your appeal. You do not need to give specifics at this time

    Have a look at the B&W self test



    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste


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