PIP Appeal - Advice Please
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:
"About your PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT (NEW CLAIMS APPEALS) appeal".
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)?