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Mobility allowance

benjamin007benjamin007 Member Posts: 9 Listener
edited February 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi everyone , I had my tribunal hearing today regarding them lowering my mobility allowance to standard rate which meant i had to lose my car i have had mobilty allowance at the high rate for 19 years. I waited 10 months for my appeal to be heard, the doctor was a sarcastic cow and the Judge and the person from DWP no better. I have had numerous operations ,hip replacement which was unsuccessful ,both knees done and put on my form that I could not walk more than 20 metres. when I went for the assessment the lies that were written were unbelievable. the decision maker said i could walk 40 metres, when I challenged this she said that I walked about 20 metres into the examination room and 20 metres out, I said surely you cannot justify this as I was sitting for 1 1/2 hrs in between I had a walking stick and was in a lot of pain ,I also don't believe the walk from the waiting room was 20 metres more like 10/11 metres but it suits their argument to put 20. Since my assessment 11 months ago I have been attending the pain clinic.and treatment with a psychologist for my mental state. all this information was provided to the tribunal but they said we are not interested in what has gone on since your assessment we are only interested in what your illness was at the time of your assessment last year. So where do I go from here ,my mobility is worse and also my mental health, I am 68 years of age , if I fill in a fresh PIP claim pack do they send me for another assessment ? I'm extremely upset and although the girl who examined me last year told lies she did actually put on the back page of the assessment that my condition would deterioate so how can this be justified

Replies

  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Hello, @benjamin007, and welcome to the community. I am very, very sorry you've been given such a tough time, but very glad that you have found your way to us.
    It probably won't surprise you to know that complaints about benefit assessments are very frequent here, so we've built up a lot of resources to help people in your kind of situation.
    Now, I am no authority on benefits, I'm afraid, but there are plenty of others in the community who are, including specialists. Admin will probably move your post to a forum that will be of more use to you but, to start you off, I'm going to put a link in here to our 'Ask a benefits advisor' forum. and our 'Talk about PIP/DLA' forum. Please give them a try and see if they come up with something useful to you. And, as I said, others will be along to talk to you in due course.
    https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-a-benefits-advisor
    http://https//community.scope.org.uk/categories/talk-about-pip-dla
    Warmest best wishes to you,
    Richard

  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @benjamin007

    Good Evening & Welcome to our community.

    I’m very very sorry to you for your “Tribunal Hearing”

    You are not the only member who has been “Lied” about at there assessment.

    I have got some info for you below: 

    https://search.scope.org.uk/s/redirect?collection=scope-meta&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.scope.org.uk%2Fsupport%2Fdisabled-people%2Fbenefits%2Fpip&index_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.scope.org.uk%2Fsupport%2Fdisabled-people%2Fbenefits%2Fpip&auth=OdCmUepX8Eu01lD6Q10Fhg&profile=_default&rank=1&query=Pip

    https://search.scope.org.uk/s/redirect?collection=scope-meta&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.scope.org.uk%2Fsupport%2Fservices%2Finformation&index_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.scope.org.uk%2Fsupport%2Fservices%2Finformation&auth=4RxMuZJo7ufNgzuZI7Ixsg&profile=_default&rank=2&query=Pip

    https://search.scope.org.uk/s/redirect?collection=scope-meta&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcommunity.scope.org.uk%2Fdiscussion%2F33823%2Fpip-tribunal-decision&index_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcommunity.scope.org.uk%2Fdiscussion%2F33823%2Fpip-tribunal-decision&auth=BUYOQtya608k7Hb04Wog8w&profile=_default&rank=3&query=Pip

    https://search.scope.org.uk/s/redirect?collection=scope-meta&url=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.scope.org.uk%2F2017%2F06%2F20%2Fhow-to-appeal-a-personal-independence-payment-pip-benefit-decision%2F&index_url=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.scope.org.uk%2F2017%2F06%2F20%2Fhow-to-appeal-a-personal-independence-payment-pip-benefit-decision%2F&auth=qGwFKiPqW3S%2FRd79RmbhhQ&profile=_default&rank=4&query=Pip

    https://search.scope.org.uk/s/redirect?collection=scope-meta&url=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.scope.org.uk%2F2017%2F06%2F20%2Fhow-to-appeal-a-personal-independence-payment-pip-benefit-decision%2F&index_url=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.scope.org.uk%2F2017%2F06%2F20%2Fhow-to-appeal-a-personal-independence-payment-pip-benefit-decision%2F&auth=qGwFKiPqW3S%2FRd79RmbhhQ&profile=_default&rank=4&query=Pip

    Please please let let me know if I can help you further???
  • benjamin007benjamin007 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi I've read the FAQ and even filled in a PIP assessment example online which gave me more points on both daily living and mobility, following my failed tribunal yesterday is it advisable to make a fresh claim now or should I wait .Also as I have much more medical evidence to submit would I still have to have a face to face assessment again as the person that did my last one told lies, any advice on this would be much appreciated
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @benjamin007, I'm so sorry to hear about your tribunal experience- you must be feeling really disheartened. I've moved this post into our ask a benefits advisor category to see if they can advise on the best next steps.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi benjamin

    was this a change from DLA ?
    Unless you can find an error in law on which to appeal to the UTT I fear you are now out of options and your mobility award cannot be increased

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    The tribunal us how you were at the time of assessment. You wouldn't now be able to get the higher rate because you're over 65.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Tribunal Hearings are supposed to be inquisitorial.  Some people do not realise this in advance, take the questioning personally and get upset.  But, the panel are only doing their job which is to find out the facts.  The doc at my Hearing was very challenging (a bit of a b. I thought) but I stood up to him and asked him to be more specific in his questioning when required.  The other two panel members were more reasonable.  I won my appeal.

    Disability Rights UK site publishes Disability Rights Handbook with details of all benefits and has a very informative guide to benefit appeal hearings.  It does cost £15 but I found it worth the money.  The site also has a free online guide to all stages of PIP but their section on appeal hearings is much briefer than in the Handbook.
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,294 Disability Gamechanger
    Apart from buying the Disability Rights a Hand Book,the site Works and Benefits cost £20 a year to join has all the information you need to fill in pip forms make appeals challenge deceisson makers awards ect. Even if you don't need them they are intresting and informative to read and the member only guides are in PDFs format and can be downloaded and their are regular updates. I hope our members seek the advice of scope or B&W sites.
  • benjamin007benjamin007 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi Cockney Rebel yes my PIP was a change from DLA to PIP, I had been getting care component at middle rate and mobility at high rate for 19 years. My mobility has worsened over the years. I had also taken a serious overdose episode and had lot's of councelling which I am still having but they were just sarcastic about that. I have also been attending the pain clinic and they have letters from my consultants which contradict the assessors examination. my appointment with the PIP assessor was set for 2pm last April 2nd, she phoned me at 12 o'clock and asked would I go earlier. I told her I would do my best as I lived a 45  minute drive away. anyway I arrived at 1.40pm and she was out of the building at lunch lol !! and came running in the building at 1.55 pm after the receptionist had phoned her to tell her I was there. she put on the form that the assessment started at 1.42 what a liar and what was the point of that  ? I think this is a no win situation. how can they say you have improved after 19 years and all sorts of medical evidence.  
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi @benjamin007

    Bear in mind that the DWP may not take the view that you have actually improved, they may believe that you can walk around 50m which would have qualified for high rate mobility on DLA but is standard on PIP.

    As regards mobility - you cannot now re-apply for the higher rate mobility on the basis of deterioration, as you are over the age threshold to claim (age 65), so the only way to get the high rate mobility back would be to win on appeal. The First-tier Tribunal have refused you, but you could still see if there is merit to challenge this to the Upper Tribunal. In order to do this, you need to write to the Tribunals Service with a copy of the decision, and ask for a Statement of Reasons and the Record of Proceedings (the Record of Proceedings is actually not required, but I think it's a useful addition), and you then need to find an error of law in the Statement.

    Errors of law are not defined anywhere, but would include things like a failure to explain the reasons for the decision properly in the Statement of Reasons, mis-interpretation of the evidence/facts, mis-interpretation of the law, etc. If you had a representative who assisted you with the appeal they may be able to advise on this, if not then try and find a rep in your area who can have a look at the Statement for you - if you are based in the north of England, Bolton Citizens Advice have the legal aid Upper Tribunal contract there, I'm not sure about Midlands or south...

    As regards your mental health deterioration - this is certainly something that can be looked at on reassessment. If you wish to be reassessed for this, as you say, you will need to call PIP and go through the process again.

    It's correct that the Tribunal did not look at any deteriorations in your condition, and sometimes if deteriorations are discussed in the hearing it can reduce the chances of success, as it leads the Tribunal to the (sometimes incorrect) conclusion that if the person was better at the time than they are now they would not have qualified...

    Hope this helps - let us know if you need any more info.

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • benjamin007benjamin007 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi Mary, Thank you for the information and I understand that as I am over 65 I cannot claim the motability but surely if they were proved wrong to have reduced it from high to standard then they should have to give it back .What do you think also is it the Tribunal I contact or DWP ? TIA
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @benjamin007

    As Mary and Cockney Rebel have said, the only way you could get your PIP mobility increased now would be to appeal to an upper tier tribunal if the first tier tribunal has made an error of law.  Mary has explained how you could do this and sources of help - because you would need an expert to identify if the first tier tribunal has made an error of law.  

    You could seek advice from CAB or a similar organisation.  Scope Helpline might be able to tell you about local sources of advice.
  • benjamin007benjamin007 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    What would be an error in law ? I had 12 points for mobility prior to my assessment the the DM said that I could plan a route/trip using my mobile app/ bus route and timetables. At no time was this ever mentioned during my assessment only I was asked could I plan a trip on my own to which my reply was only if I know where I am going so where did the DM get this information from which took 2 points away thus then only awarding me 10 points instead of 12 which I needed to keep my car, I explained this at the tribunal but they were not interested . do they just get away with telling lies 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Only an expert in benefits law could identify an error of law.  Mary has given some examples of errors of law.  You would need to seek advice from CAB or similar.  In the meanwhile, you should write to the Tribunals Service and ask for a Statement of Reasons and Record of Proceedings.  An expert will need these documents to decide if the tribunal judge made an error of law.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    benjamin007,

    I agree with Mary's advice, and with Matilda's next steps as well - thank you Matilda. You should get the statement of reasons (SOR) and record of proceedings by writing to the tribunal service. You'll need the SOR anyway if you want to appeal further. 

    The next step would be to ask the tribunal itself for permission to appeal. Since it is their decision, they may well refuse, though you can then ask for permission directly to the Upper Tribunal. However, I strongly recommend though that you get an expert to look at the statement of reasons first. I'd try your local CAB, but as legal aid is available at Upper Tribunal level, you can ask them to find out who has the contract (if you are not in the north of England, where we know it is Bolton CAB). 

    Just to add to Mary's tips, an error of law can include a tribunal taking into account things it shouldn't have, or failing to take into account things it should have. If they don't give sufficient reasons for preferring the assessor's evidence over your own personal evidence, that can also be an error of law. However, as Mary says, the tribunal is correct to only look at the facts as at the date of the decision. It can't take into account any deterioration that happened since, and I think Mary is right that this could have clouded the picture. 

    I hope this helps. Tribunals do make errors of law, but you are much more likely to succeed if you are able to get an experience welfare rights adviser to look at the statement of reasons before taking things further.

    Will




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