PIP, DLA and AA
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DWA tried to convince me NOT to appeal. Appeal deadline tomorrow and DWA STILL fobbing me off!

AmyS1992AmyS1992 Member Posts: 10 Connected
Good evening,

Apologies for the long post - I am trying to include background info so that this makes sense. I received DLA for several years for physical and mental illnesses. I was transferred to PIP in 2015 and awarded PIP until October 2018. However, in summer 2017 I was told that I was being reassessed. There have been so many errors with this process - the first being they sent my appointment letter to the complete wrong address in a completely different county! I was assessed in October and was told that I was no longer eligible (despite my conditions worsening over the past 12 months). There were several inaccuracies in my report, so I of course requested mandatory reconsideration.

The decision was not changed, and quite clearly my evidence was not actually considered in this. It also stated that I did not take any medication for mental illness, which is completely incorrect. The mandatory reconsideration letter to me was dated 16th of Jan. I called on the 26th of Jan, advising that I wanted to go to appeal but first wanted to query some of the inaccuracies in my report.

I eventually spoke with a case manager (of course I forgot his name, I suffer with short term memory loss) who asked me all of the PIP descriptor questions again and took down the names of the medications I was taking (as already previously detailed but ignored by them). He tried to dissuade me from going to appeal stating that it was a very expensive process and that he would see what he would do for me.

It has now been 3 weeks and I have still heard nothing despite calling several times. The times I have called it has been clear the staff I am speaking to do not believe I was told my case would be looked at again. I keep being told that the DWA do not reconsider a mandatory reconsideration - yet this is what I was told by a case manager?

I am incredibly stressed which is worsening all aspects of my health. It seems the DWA's internal communications systems are completely inadequate.

I feel I should seek advice but have no idea where to begin!

Replies

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    What you have been told is nonsense.  DWP can reconsider mandatory reconsideration requests.   If you think that the DWP are not reconsidering your MR, or taking too long, then you can appeal.  I'd give it a bit longer to hear from DWP. Tribunal appeal is not expensive - it's free to appeal.  Only expenses might be paying for medical reports, postage, phone calls, usage of your printer and travel costs to Hearing.  Taxi fares will be refunded but you have to get permission in advance and this is a bureaucratic process.

    Disability Rights UK site has a good guide to PIP appeals.
  • AmyS1992AmyS1992 Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Matilda said:
    What you have been told is nonsense.  DWP can reconsider mandatory reconsideration requests.   If you think that the DWP are not reconsidering your MR, or taking too long, then you can appeal.  I'd give it a bit longer to hear from DWP. Tribunal appeal is not expensive - it's free to appeal.  Only expenses might be paying for medical reports, postage, phone calls, usage of your printer and travel costs to Hearing.  Taxi fares will be refunded but you have to get permission in advance and this is a bureaucratic process.

    Disability Rights UK site has a good guide to PIP appeals.
    Apologies - I should have been more clear. He did not mean the cost to myself - he was referring to the costs to the Courts and Tribunal Service. Thank you for the advice. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    What a nerve he's got!  Costs to the Courts and Tribunal Service are not your problem!  The Service is a public service paid for out of public money, and we are all entitled to use public services if necessary.  If more assessments were not flawed, then fewer people would need to resort to the Courts and Tribunal Service.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    You can make an appeal up to 13 months after MR decision.  You have to give a reason but of course the reason would be that DWP said they would look at your MR again.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    AmyS1992AmyS1992,

    As Matilda has correctly advised (thank you once again Matilda), the DWP are able to reconsider in these circumstances. However, at this point, I wouldn't wait for them. When you lodge the appeal, that prompts the DWP to look at your decision again anyway (and even if they have already done so). So personally, I would appeal rather than risking being more out of time. 

    You've got your MR notice, so you have everything you need to lodge an appeal. As for the costs to HMCTS, as Matilda points out, if the assessment and decision making process was in any way effective, these costs would rarely arise. At this point, I would think putting in the SSCS1 was worth it - & you can always ring the DWP again after you have done so.

    My feeling is that you are right in seeing this as the DWP dissuading you from appealing & there isn't any good reason to wait for them at this point, especially after you have called several times.

    As we've gone past the one month from the MR letter, you'll need to say something brief about the delay - and, again as Matilda says, that would be because of the DWP.

    But I wouldn't wait to lodge your appeal, because the longer the delay the stronger your reasons for lateness would have to be, and if the DWP don't agree that your appeal should be accepted, then it is all up to the tribunal - with no guarantees.

    In short please appeal now!

    Good luck!

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • tommtomm Member Posts: 231 Pioneering
    edited February 2018

    AmyS1992

    I read a news article  recently where figures where quoted for these costs and MR and tribunal hearing cost under £200 per time,That's in part why the DWP et al are not bothered about people appealing, there are some downright nasty individuals working for the DWP and these contractors who do this farcile assessments 


  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Tribunals don't cost the DWP much but they do cost the courts and tribunals service a lot of money.
  • AmyS1992AmyS1992 Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Thank you for your responses.

    I have taken the advice given and have an appointment with CAB to help me fill out the appeal forms. 

    Still unsure as to why I was told not to appeal by a DWP case manager - and have still not heard back regarding the 2nd Mandatory reconsideration that began on the 26th Jan.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    @AmyS1992 Incompetence, malice, or a combination of the two.
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