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Evidence Letter from family for PIP tribunal

Jurph
Jurph Member Posts: 361 Pioneering
edited April 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hello, I wonder if anyone can offer advice on supporting evidence for my PIP tribunal.

I've had great advice off here previously.

Is it worth getting my Mum and my neighbour to write a letter to support my appeal? I'm a little thin on medical evidence.

I live with my mum so she knows how I struggle everyday. My neighbour has seen me on good and bad days and has been my saviour on occasion. They're both happy to write something but they're not sure how to word it.

Thanks!
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Comments

  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    Have you no letters from the hospital or anything? Not sure family and neighbours will be classed as evidence because they aren't actual proof you have a disability. You need a diagnosis and what tablets you're being prescribed, things like this.

    They could help you fill the forms in though if you need that.
  • susan48
    susan48 Member Posts: 2,222 Disability Gamechanger
    @feir,
    unfair as it is not everyone has or gets a diagnosis, it took me years to get one and other areas of my illness are still not diagnosed.

     @Jurph I’m sure supporting letter won’t hurt and I’m sure there will be something online as a guide. 


  • markyboy
    markyboy Member Posts: 367 Pioneering
    From my experience with PIP i also have fibromyalgia they are only interested in how your disability affects your daily life and letters from friends and family have little effect,PIP is all about Aids that you use daily and going out and buying these is not the answer but if a occupational therapists pays you a visit and recommends Aids to help you, they will supply them for you.
    To do this you have to get a referral from your GP

    I have been to 2 appeal tribunals and on both the disability expert asked me the question ,was my Aids that i use to manage tasks supplied and recommended by a OT
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    True, my son has no diagnosis but gets some help. We had his school support our case as they're a special needs school so they were taken as ok for evidence, they also have a nurse and psychiatrists there.

    You not got anyone official who can back you up? Social workers, anything?

    I got 0 points because i had no diagnosis and nobody official to back up my claim of being disabled, and my GP was useless (and still are tbh but i've got a couple of consultants now so relying on them this time).
  • Jurph
    Jurph Member Posts: 361 Pioneering
    @feir I've got diagnosis letters from Rheumatologist and Mental Health team. These have been ignored.

    I have referrals for CBT, Pain Clinic, Physiotherapy and Rheumatologist but still on waiting lists.

    I have adverse reactions to the medicines usually prescribed so can't take them. Still working with my GP to find something that helps.

    @markyboy thank you! This is what I'm having trouble with. My OT was useless. They got a rail installed in my bath but they won't do anything else because I live with my parents. My parents cook for me, help wash my hair etc so basically said that help can continue.


  • Jurph
    Jurph Member Posts: 361 Pioneering
    All my conditions are invisible. I have proof of diagnosis but not of how I struggle.
  • markyboy
    markyboy Member Posts: 367 Pioneering
    Before my first tribunal i got a consultants letter but on the decision notice they said that the consultant had only written what i had told him in regards to what i could or not do and he would not of had first hand experience of difficulty in carrying out tasks
    With occupational therapists they come to your home environment and what they say goes a long way with tribunal panel
    They even recommended a wet room for me and the council gave me a grant on their word and have just completed this.
  • markyboy
    markyboy Member Posts: 367 Pioneering
    Sorry i did not realise you had already been down the road of a OT visit it is difficult to advise what else to recommend but i am sure someone else on this site can help you further
  • Jurph
    Jurph Member Posts: 361 Pioneering
    @markyboy I'm have that very problem. No one sees me day to day. They can't provide evidence.

    My OT was horrible.

    She asked lots of questions and I replied honestly. She recommended a shower be installed (the housing refused) and had grab rails put in.

    However, when I received her report, every section where my parents help she just put "no help needed". She didn't write that I'm helped, just that the council doesn't need to help.

    I can't add that as evidence as it implies I'm fine. 


  • debbiedo49
    debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,904 Disability Gamechanger
    @markyboy I have fibromyalgia too, recently diagnosed after years of chronic pain. I struggle in the kitchen with safety and other things and never thought to ask my gp about o t, or pain management etc. Thanks. Also, when my gp wrote my supporting letter for my pip appeal, and then one week later I was diagnosed with fibro, when I asked for it to be added, he just hand wrote it on. I dont know if I should insist on a typed up new letter or not? I did expect one as I hadnt picked up the original or paid for it before he did that.
  • markyboy
    markyboy Member Posts: 367 Pioneering
    i would not worry if it is typed or not as long as he has signed it.
    Not sure how long since you appealed but you might still have time to get a OT visit and letter.
    My first tribunal waiting time was 9 months from first applying.
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    "I've got diagnosis letters from Rheumatologist and Mental Health team. These have been ignored."

    Just seen in another topic that someone elses medical evidence has also been completely ignored.

    Not sure what's going on but it looks like they are just turning anyone down now who doesn't get any help, and the worst thing is because of council cuts the help isn't there for a lot of people who need it. I honestly think the government has done this on purpose.

    There's no general election until 2022 so i think we're all stuffed.


  • markyboy
    markyboy Member Posts: 367 Pioneering
    Very true i told my doctor i could not walk 20 metres he put that in a letter  and they ignored it when i questioned this they said the doctor only wrote down what you had told him he is not with you 24 hours a day.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    markyboy said:
    Very true i told my doctor i could not walk 20 metres he put that in a letter  and they ignored it when i questioned this they said the doctor only wrote down what you had told him he is not with you 24 hours a day.

    Obviously that is the case. Letters of that nature from a GP mean very little. If the DWP were to accept this type of letter then everybody would be getting their GP to write one. Luckily for me I had a report from a spinal consultant following tests of mobility on a walking machine in the hospital All of the info was recorded - speed, distance etc. The DWP had to accept that as the walking difficulties had been witnessed.
    My problem was relating to the difficulties that arose from a mental health condition. I told the truth about those difficulties, I even submitted psychiatric reports, CPN reports and even a discharge letter from the secure psychiatric unit. But because none of those actually stated what my difficulties were they disregarded what I had claimed and instead listed 14 or so one line statements saying that I had no mental health issues. For subsequent claims/reviews/re-assessments I didn't include anything relating to mental health as I could not prove my claims.
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    They said they ignore mental health diagnosis to me anyway, unless you're on tablets.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    feir said:
    They said they ignore mental health diagnosis to me anyway, unless you're on tablets.

    Not entirely true, for the 3 face to face assessments that I have had I have supplied the DWP with an up-to-date copy of my repeat prescription list. Goodness knows what they think when they see 'Sertraline' - 150mg daily staring at them?
    They certainly don't accept that it is for any mental health condition.   
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    Yadnad said:
    feir said:
    They said they ignore mental health diagnosis to me anyway, unless you're on tablets.

    Not entirely true, for the 3 face to face assessments that I have had I have supplied the DWP with an up-to-date copy of my repeat prescription list. Goodness knows what they think when they see 'Sertraline' - 150mg daily staring at them?
    They certainly don't accept that it is for any mental health condition.   
    That's what they told me about my mental health even though i'm diagnosed by 2 qualified people with moderate depression because of my circumstances and not because there's something chemically wrong with my brain. Tbh i think they just say whatever doesn't apply to you is what counts.I'm sure there are people who do take medication who have had their benefits stopped for others reasons.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,838 Connected
    You do not need a diagnosis for disability benefits. Just an accepted set of symptoms which limit functionality. Medical evidence is also not critical unless it fills a specific gap. 

    Anything you submit is evidence and you don’t need “proof” of anything. The burden of proof in social security cases is the “balance of probabilities” I.e. whether something is more likely than not. If something is said and it’s not inherently contradictory or inconsistent then it should be accepted as true. 52% of DLA and PIP claims succeed with no medical evidence at all.

    As far as evidence from your neighbour and Mum are concerned it’s an excellent idea. They don’t need to find any specific form of words. They do need to include the following:

    - how they know you and how often they see you.
    - any aids or appliances they’re aware of.
    - any anecdotes about assistance or care given with as much detail as possible.
    - focus comments on the specific points descriptors if they can. 
    - don’t allow them to comment on issues of fairness; how much the money is needed; how honest you are etc. Focus on relevant facts.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected

    Anything you submit is evidence and you don’t need “proof” of anything. The burden of proof in social security cases is the “balance of probabilities” I.e. whether something is more likely than not. If something is said and it’s not inherently contradictory or inconsistent then it should be accepted as true. 52% of DLA and PIP claims succeed with no medical evidence at all.

    Thanks Mike, if you don't need any proof of a difficulty you are then left with only a statement concerning the difficulty. I understand the basis of on which the DWP work as regards the balance of probabilities.
    It is becoming more clear to me that the claim form itself seems to be the key to a successful PIP claim.
    So providing that what you write on the form fits pretty accurately with a condition and that there is medical backup via a repeat prescription for the drugs taken to deal with that condition and maybe a copy of your medical history that is held by the GP, you should be home and dry?
    To me that all means that you should have professional help when filling in the form and the same when you have put all of the 'evidence' together. 
    Does that mean that those who manage to get that help would have a better chance of a good award over those that struggle without any assistance with the form leaving it to the last minute to return it as they just can't get their head round it?
    It seems to me that for the past 5 years I have been looking at the PIP system all wrong and added to that I have never been able to obtain any face to face help along the way. 

    I seem to remember that the government and the DWP both stated that there was no need to get any help or assistance as the system itself was simple enough for the average person to comprehend.

    All of that doesn't bode well for many like me  - my IQ must have been overstated for the past 60 years  after I passed the 11+, obtained good O & A level results and managed a first in maths at uni.
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    Just noticed today that the PIP form itself says you can send in evidence from family, friends, or carers. Never noticed that before and don't think i would have if it wasn't for this topic. My ex is gonna write about all the stuff he has to do and how everything affects our family.
    There's a lot of good info in these forums that helps you make your case better, even though this topic wasn't about the PIP form itself. I also got a 2 week extension on my form because i read you could do that somewhere else on here. In other good news i got a letter from my mental health care providers and they work for the NHS so maybe they will take that as evidence now? We shall see.


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