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Appeal

debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
I received a bundle of papers in a brown envelope this morning from dwp containing the paperwork for my pip application and appeal. There’s a letter with it. Is that all it is? I thought I would get a date with it? 
💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
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Replies

  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Hi! We've spoken before - I think we started our appeals at the same time.

    Both Fibro zero points if I remember correctly?

    I think the tribunal date is told to you about 3 weeks before it happens. 

    I'm still waiting for my bundle - nearly 6 weeks now! I did ring HMCTS and the said the wait in my area in 44weeks!
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Yeah I remember . At the time I was undiagnosed with fibro just chronic pain but now I’m diagnosed I’ve got a gp letter to support my application. I had a sneaky suspicion I would be getting my bundle but don’t know what happens next. I can’t even look at it right now. I get help from SAMH and we started talking about me preparing for my hearing at my request so I’m ready for it as opposed to taken by surprise. I haven’t started yet but this will give me the kick in the but I need. So I just wait for a date now? Hope you get your bundle soon. 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Afraid so. It's out of the DWPs hands and into those of HMCTS.

    I haven't been able to find an organisation to help unfortunately. Looks like I'm going it alone.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you tried citizens advice or money advice team? Ive been using council money advice team to deal with all the paper work. Though the worker I have is so patronizing I donr know why they are in the job. So Ive just asked for someone else.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • whistleswhistles Member Posts: 1,603 Disability Gamechanger
    Good luck with it all.
    Just found this thread. 

    Did you guys get any points from the MR to work with?
    Do not follow me, I don't know where I am going.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I was told that you usually get a date in 6 weeks is that correct? Not sure who "you guys" are? @whistles
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    @Waylay I've gone past the despair stage and into the laughing at everything stange. That last bit tickled me!

    @whistles they stuck with 0 points at MR on mine.

    My whole decision has been based on opinion. My bundle arrived this morning - the DWP did contact my GP. He was honest so put that he 'did not know' how my daily life is affected but did describe the individual problems I have (not being able to bare weight on left wrist for example). 

    Not once has DWP referred to my GPs evidence or mental health assessment report. They used my f2f assessment for everything. I can drive therefore I can bathe etc. I look well nourished therefore I can cook etc.

    I struggled with a couple of exercises at the F2F (which I noted was on a good day!) The assessor wrote that I didn't have any trouble with anything.

    Fibromyalgia is so hard to prove. I certainly feel the DWP think I'm making the whole thing up.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    We have some videos about going to tribunal that might help?






    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    @Jurph Does. Not. Swear. Argh! 
    MRs rarely change their decision unfortunately, ignoring your evidence is par for the course, and basing everything on stupid opinions happens all the time. :/ You're not alone, if that helps. 

    Appealing to a Tribunal, if you feel you can, is the next step. Claimants are winning 69% of them. 

    *Hugs*
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Thanks @Waylay I will try. I got my bundle this morning. Going to enlist some help.

    It's so hard to prove a disability that doesn't show on any tests!
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    I know. 3 MH conditions, and chronic pain. :/ 
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    My GP didn't mention MH in the information he sent. Even though he referred me to CBT 🙄
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Change your gp
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    I liked him. He was good, just didn't give all information.

    He retired last month. I saw a new one who was horrible! 
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Well it’s hard to get a rapport with a gp these days as they move on regularly. I’m my case my gp was good on the m h side for putting down in writing how it affects me but he did ask me about it and typed it up as part of an appointment. I told him what I had put down in my application. But he worded it well. My issue was the lack of info on my chronic pain then fibro was diagnosed by another gp. So it took 2 g p s to sort my pip stuff.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Anyone know how long for the meeting date please?
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I got a random voicemail last thing Friday afternoon from welfare rights team, who wanted to arrange a meeting prior to the appeal/tribunal on the 24th May. Its a new person, and Ive to contact them on Tuesday ( I think the day before!) I didnt get any letter. WRO have authority to deal with Pip but usually I get a letter too. My dad passed away on Monday and I havent told them yet. I cant go through this at the moment and I dont know what to do.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Maybe @mikehughescq could advise me please? The WRO doesnt know me or my case.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    @debbiedo49 sorry for your loss.

    The delay until you get a hearing date and time is on average around 16 weeks but varies by area so could be as little as 11 or more than 52. Easiest way to check is to ring HMCTS and ask.

    Literally nothing happens between now and the hearing date being notified so this is your opportunity to check your availability for the next 3 months and update HMCTS. It’s also your opportunity to talk through the appeal papers either your rep; identify gaps in the evidence and plot how they can be filled. Whilst the timing is not ideal you don’t get this specific gap, between receipt of papers and a hearing date, ever again, so this is your chance to get your ducks in a row so to speak.

    As you have a WRO/WRA/rep I suggest you seek all your advice from this point forwards from them as that’s what we’re for. However, cards need to be on the table and the fact is that if your main diagnosis is fibromyalgia then you need to be prepared for the fact that a huge proportion of the medical profession do not see it as a condition in itself. It’s seen simply a set of symptoms given a name when no other explanation is available. Same with CFS/ME and IBS. You may be fighting an uphill battle. The lack of acceptance of it as a discrete condition leads many to infer that therefore it is fictional. The medical professional is hard to predict but will likely have a similar view. 
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes thanks @mikehughescq
    Firstly,
    unfortunately the first WRO I saw was basically saying folks with mental health issues won’t get pip so I’m wasting my time. I was told otherwise by my mental health rep who suported me in my decision to ask for a different WRO. I actually felt she must be on commission from atos! (joke!) 
    Secondly my conditions at the start of this process were mental health issues and chronic pain issues. The fibro was diagnosed during the process so all the symptoms came under chronic pain and how both these conditions affect me day to day. 
    Thirdly, it would seem I have no time to prepare for a meeting or for my rep to familiarise themselves with my issues or for me to ascertain their capabilities to represent me. My mental health rep wanted to meet up with all of us to get prepared for the meeting and plan for the best outcome. This way it feels completely messy and unprofessional. 
    Fourthly, I don’t feel I can do this right now so can I ask for a new date due to bereavement please? 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    Hmm. A rep who thinks people with mental ill health won’t get PIP may be trying to describe how hard it is, if we were to give the benefit of the doubt...

    I think your mental health rep. has the right idea. A meeting with you, the, and a WRO `sounds a very good idea. 

    Up up to you to contact your representative and ask them to contact HMCTS and request a postponement ASAP. Key is to do it in writing with as much detail as possible e.g. suggesting that the combination of mental ill health; recent bereavement etc. would make the tribunal difficult and possibly harmful. Support of your MH worker will be crucial there. A two line or two paragraph letter won’t cut it. Up to you to contact your rep. and/or HMCTS though.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @mikehughescq. Yes the first w r o I gave her a few chances to show me that she had an empathy of knowledge of mental health issues and how they affect me day to day, and that people can work and get pip but she had nothing to give but negativity. So thats why I wanted the change. I previously had bad experience of cab rep who was useless as well when I needed help with esa a couple of years ago, doing everything myself as if they werent there right up to tribunal on and off the esa merry go round. I failed then and I think it was down to lack of proper representation. Its not just me thst says that. My mental health rep is a very experienced and knowledgeable person who is backing me 100 percent. 
    I think the welfare rights and cab services are overwhelmed with clients needing help now. Its showing in their piece meal representation in my view anyway. I will chase up getting an adjournment. 
    I think its fair to say a family bereavement is a valid reason. Thanks for your condolences and advice. Just what I needed.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    There is, and to be fair, always has been good and bad representation. There are many reasons for that. Funding can play a part; organisational culture; training; supervision and many other things.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Ive telephoned the office as I cant get hold of my WRO and they have requested a postponement. I will hear in writing.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    My new WRO finally called me back today after me leaving several messages. He had no idea about my circumstances and barely knew my name yet he expected to accompany me to an appeal in a few days. I am rather disappointed. Anyway I told him that I had to contact the board myself as I couldnt get a hold of him and he just said okay I will email them as well. (shrugs)
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2018
    Thanks @mikehughescq. Yes the first w r o I gave her a few chances to show me that she had an empathy of knowledge of mental health issues and how they affect me day to day, and that people can work and get pip but she had nothing to give but negativity. So thats why I wanted the change. I previously had bad experience of cab rep who was useless as well when I needed help with esa a couple of years ago, doing everything myself as if they werent there right up to tribunal on and off the esa merry go round. I failed then and I think it was down to lack of proper representation. Its not just me thst says that. My mental health rep is a very experienced and knowledgeable person who is backing me 100 percent. 
    I think the welfare rights and cab services are overwhelmed with clients needing help now. Its showing in their piece meal representation in my view anyway. I will chase up getting an adjournment. 
    I think its fair to say a family bereavement is a valid reason. Thanks for your condolences and advice. Just what I needed.
    I'm hoping for you that the Tribunal see sense, something that the DWP is sadly lacking.in.

    I had a DLA review years ago but due to the fact that I was in hospital (life & death situation) for many months, and not being able to hold a pen never mind write with it, the DWP in their wisdom put me down as a 'failure to supply evidence/information within 30 days' and stopped (closed down) my ongoing HRM & HRC DLA award. Seems that even if being in a HDU bed  the DWP consider it remiss of me for not filling out the form in good time. It took me a further seven years to get the DLA reinstated with those 7 years of money lost forever. 
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    That’s awful @Yadnad. Yes my meeting has been adjourned. 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I got a new date June 12th one week after my dad’s funeral but hey ho
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I met with my WRO today he says it’s unlikely I will meet the minimum requirements for daily living for pip. He says that as I work part time I will be viewed as capable. He said I’m more likely to succeed on the mobility requirements. It’s so disheartening that I’m being discriminated for working part time which is part of the process of improving my mental health. I don’t even earn anything as I’m on jsa. The work is supported by a mental health charity and jcp but could be stopping me getting pip! 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    I was getting PIP when I was in paid employment, also didn’t realise I could have had WOrking tax credit. Only found that out when they back paid it into my account!
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    Working should not affect your claim, voluntarily or otherwise 
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    susan48 said:
    Working should not affect your claim, voluntarily or otherwise 
    It would if the DWP could draw inferences from it that they believe contradicts any statement or claim made in respect of the PIP application and award.
    There have been many high profile prosecutions of claimants - mainly DLA -  thinking that they can just get on with their life and work.
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  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2018
    Victoriad said:


    So it seems that DLA can be the contradiction between basis of award given and taking part in work.

    In my experience this does not seem to be the case for PiP daily living allowance where no claim for mobility being made.

    But then I suppose each individual case is different.

    Put it this way if part of my award had been for engaging with others and I had been granted 8 points for the following:

    d. Cannot engage with other people due to such engagement causing either – 
    (i) overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant; or 
    (ii) the claimant to exhibit behaviour which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person, 
    and 
    a further 6 points for:

    d. Cannot make any budgeting decisions at all


    With the voluntary work I do both as a Town Councillor and Chair of Board of Directors and Vice Chair Board of School Governors responsible for finance, I doubt that the DWP would have allowed me to keep those 14 points when I told them what my voluntary work was.
    PIP is no different to DLA - if you are awarded either for a reason and the DWP believe that the work you do contradicts what you have claimed for you could be prosecuted for fraud.
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    Starting work is not a relevant change for DLA or PIP. Everything else is just saying that whilst it isn’t in itself it could be if the nature of the role suggests clear functional improvement.
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2018
    Starting work is not a relevant change for DLA or PIP. Everything else is just saying that whilst it isn’t in itself it could be if the nature of the role suggests clear functional improvement.
    Thanks Mike, that is what I have been trying to say. If there is a contradiction between the work you do and the descriptors awarded.

    The next question will obviously be - should you tell the DWP that you have started to work which we all know will result in a re-assessment.
    Or, should you only notify the DWP if you think that there are any changes to the descriptors that you were awarded?
    If the latter, then you do run the risk if someone decides to inform the DWP that you are now working and you haven't, of being investigated with the suspension of your PIP in the interim.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    Thought I’d already answered? Maybe on another thread?

    No need to tell unless it’s obvious there would be an impact on specific descriptors.
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m sure the DWP would find out if you started working, HMRC
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    The DWP know I’m working . It’s a supported work scheme pilot being rolled out between the jcp and a mental health charity. I couldn’t do the work without the support. But trying to argue the case for pip while working seems to be an uphill struggle. I’m wondering now am I doing myself a disservice by working when it makes me appear more able to some people and may stop me getting the benefits I need to live more independently. It’s a catch 22 for me. It’s the way the descriptors are worded that hinder folks with mental health and how they are interpreted in real life. At the end of the day my job is temporary and my mental health is not. But I’m still going to try as I agree it’s about personal independence . 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you everyone 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
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  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    The DWP know I’m working . It’s a supported work scheme pilot being rolled out between the jcp and a mental health charity. I couldn’t do the work without the support. But trying to argue the case for pip while working seems to be an uphill struggle. I’m wondering now am I doing myself a disservice by working when it makes me appear more able to some people and may stop me getting the benefits I need to live more independently. It’s a catch 22 for me. It’s the way the descriptors are worded that hinder folks with mental health and how they are interpreted in real life. At the end of the day my job is temporary and my mental health is not. But I’m still going to try as I agree it’s about personal independence . 
    I have had a horrible feeling this afternoon after reading your post. In fear of being found out I have always tried to be above honesty when dealing with the DWP. On all of the claim forms/review form, I have laid out in detail all of the voluntary work that I do in the community and the various charities that I chair on a separate sheet and attached it to the form. 
    I am now wondering after what Mike has said have I shot myself in the foot with giving more information than was needed. Maybe, just maybe that is the reason that I have had so many failures in getting PIP. I certainly hope I am wrong in my thinking as it should make no difference to the results.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    I wouldn’t worry about it too much if nothing has come of it as yet. 
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Im sooooo nervous aarrgghh!
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • Jaytbm1Jaytbm1 Member Posts: 72 Pioneering
    Good luck Debbiedo49 , I am waiting for my appeal  but considering withdrawing it because I did get an award for my daily living . The whole system has changed, personally I don’t think that the assessmen carried out by the “professional “ is adequate. Much preferred to see a Doctor. Hope you win your appeal xx
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I won standard rate mobility yay ! Still let down on m h side in daily living 4 points ugh
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    The DWP fail people for so many reasons, @Yadnad. There's no way to know. :/
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Is it worth asking for a statement of reasons @mikehughescq
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    Statement of reasons and record of proceedings. Yes, definitely.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    My WRO suggests against it
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    My WRO says we should not ask for a statement of reasons I don’t know why 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    I can’t comment on why that would be. It’s again a conversation you need with your WRO.
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    Well you certainly can’t lose an award by virtue of requesting an SOR or ROP!
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I thought it was how you get to find out why they decided on the award? I dont want to challenge the decision but I think my WRO thinks I do. Ive told him twice I would like to know and he says I would be ill advised to ask for s o r. Is there something else I can ask for like minutes? It doesnt seem right that I cant see what they wrote about me. In the future I may want to refer back to it.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    I can’t comment on why that would be. It’s again a conversation you need with your WRO.
    It would be inappropriate for me to comment further. 
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh for g s ! It’s a straightforward question I’ve asked my WRO twice could I request a SOR and he said I wouldn’t advise it. He mentioned it goes to different people when you do that like Secretary of State and they then have an option to challenge it if they wish to . So that implies an element of risk. Thus far on here I’ve seen people including myself advised to get an SOR and I just wondered why my WRO was set against it. I guess the risk must outweigh the benefits . I thought we were allowed such things as minutes and if that’s a different question to ask then I would like to know what should I ask for if it’s just minutes. They record the meeting. I have memory issues. I like to read back on notes minutes etc. Why is that such a big deal? I’m not going to challenge the decision. 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Admin could you close this please?
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    There are no “minutes”. There is a record of proceedings, which are the handwritten notes of the judge on the day. You should always request those with the statement of reasons. 

    I’d appreciate a lowering of the tone. This is a simple matter of professional conduct. It would be wholly inappropriate for me to commrnt on specific advice from another WRO. They could rightly complain and it could rightly be perceived to be a misconduct issue as it could impact the reputation of my employer. It’s an unsustainable position and my position on it is one I am very clear on and won’t be moved on.

    I advise many people on here to go get face to face advice as a lay forum is not the place for often complex or nuanced advice. However, where you already have advice then you get your advice off them. If you don’t agree with their advice then you take that up with them or their organisation. You’ve asked why they gave their advice and they have given an explanation. You either accept that or not. If you don’t then you have multiple choices but the least best of those is an online forum. 
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    My apologies everyone if I am taking out my frustrations here. It concerns me that there seems to be risk involved in asking for SOR or ROP. Unfortunately my recent experience of cab and WRO have not been wholly positive ones and I’ve had to push to get them to allow me to go forward with my pip my way. They seem to have issues with whether I should get pip because I work part time. This is reflected in the decision of the tribunal. That doesn’t make it right. There is a long way to go to ask pip right for m h issues in my opinion. 
    I got a bit frustrated here as my WRO shut me down completely on asking for the above and yet on here it’s recommended. So it’s very confusing. Of course I have to take WRO advice. I don’t think it’s right that I’m being shut down on here either. It’s a forum we are all equals. 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
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  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Victoriad
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    If you’d like a “balanced” view then you really need to steer well away from mainstream media. Such stories barely have any accuracy nor understanding of what the law requires. Neither are accurate.
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    @Victoriad Benefit claimants shoot themselves in the foot all the time making unnecessary declarations whether you believe it or not. I’ve dealt with two this week alone.

    All benefit claimants are being paid benefits on the understanding that you notify any relevant changes of circumstances. Not everything is relevant. Equally it also depends on what you know about what you ought to declare. 

    As for that story, I’m afraid it’s just a fine example of what happens. There’s no secret source but it does have plenty to do with uncritical thinking and not knowing the system. Let’s look at just a few of the things we’re not being told.

    1) So, all HB overpayments are recoverable unless there was an official error whereas ESA requires a misrepresentation or a failure to disclose. If she’s in receipt of means-tested ESA, which triggers full HB, then she only needed to tell ESA of any relevant change as HB will follow their lead in decision making. I would guess that makes this is a failure to disclosure case. In these cases a WRO would first query what information the claimant had about the information they should disclose. Most popular is the INF 4 form, which DWP swear every claimant gets but they don’t. That’s a counter argument in itself but additional to that one has the argument about what the INF 4 says. Numerous tribunals get won because DWP can’t show the actual INF 4 so they put a sample into evidence, if they can be bothered. If they fail to do anything they get battered. If they put a sample in then they’re struggling but more often than not the things the leaflet tells you to disclose turn out to not be the thing the claimant is alleged to have failed to disclose.

    DWP can therefore argue that it’s recoverable cos you failed to disclose; argue that you knew that cos all claimants do cos they get an INF 4 and ... it it might turn out the INF 4 doesn’t actually tell them to declare gifts at all and they can’t actually prove you had it.

    2) The other argument here is that you can hold what’s called a “mistaken belief, reasonably held” e.g. you could believe completely wrongly that you don’t need to declare a gift but the reason you came to that conclusion could be entirely reasonable once the full circumstances are known. 

    3) Solicitors who defend in these cases tend to not be social security specialists and, if a WRO is not involved, they tend not to encourage the client to get one. The advice tends to be that you’re bang to rights; put in an explanation but expect to get done for it. Often people are not even told that separate to any prosecution they could appeal to a tribunal and win as there’s a different burden of proof. There’s no order for which gets heard 1st but if you can appeal and win on recoverability it can be raised as part of the defence to the prosecution.

    From a WR perspective we would always insist a client accused of fraud gets a solicitor but we’d also run what we do alongside that. People need both. 

    4) Why did this person get prosecuted? I’m sure we’d all like to believe it’s simply cos DWP prosecute all fraud (they don’t) or the amount of money (there’s a minimum below which they don’t usually prosecute but no amount above which they always will) or perhaps she was simply guilty? I suspect it’s far more complex than that. For starters, why her? 

    DWP are now wholly politicised (look at the disconnect between what they believe and say about UC and PC compared to the actuality. They tend to prosecute people who will never elicit public sympathy but pander to stereotypes. Most benefit fraud is either nothing of the sort or is organised. Mysteriously we see less of those headlines because we can’t “other” people who are already othered. 

    In summary this is a classic example of where someone may never have been informed what to declare; may have had a decent justification for any alleged failure and they were targeted precisely because it would make DWP look good and they didn’t access advice until the accusation was made. If you read other such stories the pattern is near identical. If you find a fraud case in the paints where the person had a WRO at any stage do let us know.


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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    As ever I think there’s a danger of over complicating. 

    What is relevant is decided by the law and the case law. It has long been clear. I posted in detail on another thread that it’s very simple. Would a reasonable person conclude that the change in question would be likely to result in a change in entitlement? Starting work in itself would lead to that conclusion for means-tested benefits but would not for disability benefits. In the latter instance advice would always be needed. That’s not advice from a forum. It really is that simple. 

    Simplistic advice to always disclose without first getting advice is dangerous. A fine example would be for Housing Benefit. In the current climate, notifying a change could lead to a suspension of up to 3 months because of staff shortages. So, you notify; get your benefit suspended; fall into rent arrears; get a notice of possession from your private landlord; lose your home and then find that your notified change would have resulted in no change to your HB. That’s the sort of thing advice workers see regularly. 

    It’s also true to say that there’s no conflicting advice here. Most competent advice services should know the law and case law and advise accordingly. What you’re talking about is conflicting advice from lay people on forums. 

    Elsewhere @markyboy says that “in most cases lay people” know more than advisers. I’ll address that somewhat misguided comment on that thread but this one is a lovely example of why that’s not the case. 

    I hope we don’t get into a contest over who has what experience but fir what it’s worth I’m happy to say that much of advice work has taken place in an NHS or education context and they’re areas in which I also have extensive and ongoing knowledge. 

    As regards the news story I’m afraid the amount of money is misleading. The only issue is whether the person knew the fact and could have been expected to disclose in all the circumstances i.e. whether they had a mistaken belief reasonably held. Advice to not disclose isn’t going to vary with the amount unless.

    I absolutely stand by my statements regarding news stories. Quoting the Tory press is especially poor. The stories are transparently biased and posted fir political gain. Disproving them is not difficult but it doesn’t usually come from other mainstream news sources. It comes in part from WR knowledge; in part from the huge number of fact checking services out there and from existing research and news. 

    Why for example would anyone accept an individual fraud story when 

    - DWP themselves state that most fraud is organised not individual.
    - the claimant had clearly never received advice up to the prosecution.
    - they have never got more than 66% of decision correct first time in their entire history going back to 1948.
    - their accounts have been qualified as unreliable for the last 19 consecutive years. 

    There is no one magical source. There is just critical thinking, research and reflection.


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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s very simple. If you want an unbiased view don’t read the mainstream press of any variety. 

    There is no no “avoidance of doubt” here. That’s nonsense. The article which picks apart a Guarian article may be completely different to that which destroys a Daily Telegraph lie. There are no definitive sources. No white list. No absolutely reliable source. You can ask the same question a million ways. There’s only that one answer. Anyone who is daft enough to believe there is one source which gets it 100% correct all the time is deluded. Anyone who believes such versions ever appear in the mainstream press, equally so. Many of the fraud stories which appear in mainstream media are picked apart by colleagues on Rightsnet but there is no way even they are 100% correct either. 

    I’ll respond to your last para. with a précis of what I intend to respond on the other thread. 

    Good professionals always listen but in 32 years I have never met a lay person with more knowledge than an actual adviser. Plenty who have learnt lots. Plenty who absolutely can handle stuff for themselves, which I would actively encourage, but more? Never. 

    “Knowing best”. Oh dear.

    Let’s turn that around. There is an amongst lay people an attitude that first hand experience is everything and is exclusive to them. That advisers and claimants are two mutually exclusive groups. It is by and large deluded and arrogant. Most advisers were originally claimants and when we talk in places like this about people working and claiming benefits we conveniently forget that amongst that group of people who work and claim benefits are advisers themseives. Few of us earn >£25,000 pa and most of us have first hand experience of CB, Tax Credits and disability benefits if not substantially more. Recently debt advice jobs have been advertised at below minimum wage!

    I don’t see who funds me as being relevant to this discussion. 

    A claimant has their own experience. It is valid but, it’s just that. Their own experience. Many claimants will have been through multiple claims and appeals. That gives them more experience but it doesn’t make them experts. It makes them experienced. That is very different. A claimant who wins every appeal will believe they’ve unlocked some magical key to success just as a claimant who loses every appeal will believe everything is loaded against them. Neither are necessarily true. In just the same way, advisers who claim 100% success rates are generally talking rubbish and cherry picking cases. 
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    Maybe it’s a case of agree to disagree on this subject !
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    Victoriad said:
    Just using my research skills.

    Meanwhile out in the real world. 

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/job-and-voluntary-opportunities/job-opportunities-in-citizens-advice-bureaux/welfare-benefits-caseworker27/

    Ever thought that your research skills are solely directed towards what ought to be rather than what is? 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger

    Victoriad said:
    Just using my research skills.

    I presume they’ve also told you Universal Credit helps people into work and benefits sanctions work?
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    Victoriad said:
    I was researching what the role of a Welfare Rights Officer was......

    Also please may I respectfully suggest that you don’t presume anything on my behalf....I’m quite capable of researching and reading a wide variety of sources of information from mainstream media , national and international which I am happy to provide links to.

    as I’ve said.... I don’t write the stuff, I just read it.

    I would be more convinced of the points, you are attempting put across ,if you would provide the links to the “ fast checking services” that you use,and other sources, so I can perhaps learn a bit more of how, “ the real world” works.

    where do you get your information about international and national affairs?

    Sending a link to jobs available for Welfare Case Workers has no bearing to me, researching the job description of a Welfare Rights Officer as I wanted to find out who funded your organisation ( to try and understand a bit more about the world of work, that such folk undertake)



    You mean like you presumed lay people and advisers have no overlap? Yeah, sure.

    I do not for one second believe you’d be more convinced of anything were I to post some prescriptive set of links. The fact is I’ve already set out in huge detail why, for example, all was clearly not as it seemed on your fraud story but that wasn’t good enough. 

    I’ve already laid out the position. You read an article. You think for yourself. You do some research. It leads where it leads. It rarely leads to the same place. There is no list. 
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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,334 Disability Gamechanger
    I’ve literally no international links at all and whatever I’ve looked up to fact check a specific story is honestly not something I retain or bookmark. I’m not being evasive. I honestly rarely use the same source twice. I’m sure some of them come up more than once but I don’t bookmark them.
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