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Will I be judged for walking into my tribunal?

Cazann
Cazann Member Posts: 83 Pioneering
edited May 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hi all
I have been turned down for PIP after being on DLA for 13 years. I know that DLA and PIP are not the same but do they judge the amount of walking you do..ie; walking outside and inside, as the same?  When I claimed DLA, I was told that it didn't matter how much you walked inside but it was how you can walk outside on uneven surfaces. I am in the process of going to tribunal (Just sent off my appeal) but when walking into the Tribunal building, would they take that into account? Anyone know how this works?

Thanks
.Cazann
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Comments

  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Cazann, sorry to hear this- it must have been really frustrating for you to hear this outcome. 

    Hopefully our other members who've been through the process will be able to advise here, but in the meantime, here is Scope's guidance on appealing DWP decisions.
  • Markinsutton
    Markinsutton Member Posts: 83 Pioneering
    my experience is yes, it doesn't matter where you walked just the fact you have walked. I also hear of cases that even after people got PIP it has been taken away from them because on a good day they have been seen walking and have been asked to pay it back. It seems that we are always been observed to see if we are lying about what we can or can't do 
  • markyboy
    markyboy Member Posts: 367 Pioneering
    To get points for the mobility moving around descriptor you have to be using an aid either wheelchair or walking frame to get the necessary points
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    The DWP's own PIP Handbook states that walking should be measured outdoors using pavements and kerbs.  But assessors and tribunals informally assess indoor walking.

    Criteria for PIP points:

    0-20m aided = 12 points = enhanced

    20m - 50m aided = 10 points = standard

    20m - 50m  unaided = 8 points = standard

    These are all before you need to stop and rest for a few minutes before you continue.

    Walking aids are sticks, crutches, walking frames, or even help from another person with walking.  i do not think wheelchairs count as walking aids as of course these do not help you walk.  Moving around points are only for walking around, not for getting around on wheels.

    A tribunal awarded me enhanced mobility because i can only walk up to 20m and need a stick to do so

    Tribunal panel are not allowed formally to watch you walk but of course they will see how you walk in and out of the hearing room. They asked me a lot of questions about my walking, not only outdoors but also indoors, such as in shops.

    At tribunal if you are asked for how long can you walk, always relate time to distance, e.g. say that it takes you X seconds or X minutes to walk Y meters.  Never give just a time as the questioners might think you can walk farther than you can.

    I hope @BenefitsTrainingCo might post more about what count as walking aids,etc.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Oh boy. One at a time then:

    1) @markyboy it is incorrect to say people need an aid to qualify. The law doesn’t say that. Nor does the caselaw or the guidance. In practice it depends on the specific activity and impairment. Plenty of people qualify without either e.g. I have sight impaired clients who don’t use a navigation cane or any other aid but who can’t do 20m reliably. 

    2) @Matilda bless you but you’re way off beam. There is literally nothing in the PIP legislation which indicates that it is a test of walking outdoors. There is one piece of caselaw which suggests it is but that concerned a case where the person only had difficulties out of doors so in reality it established little. The DWP guidance does indeed suggest the test is out of doors but the DWP guidance is badly written and often imputes what ministers want the law to say rather then what it actually says. It is also only guidance. It has to be taken account of but there’s no obligation to follow it at all. In this case it is completely disconnected from the law it purports to support. That is precisely why you were asked questions about indoors.

    It’s a matter of time before someone challenges the PIP guidance on this and wins. I expect something like Nyctalopia would be a winner e.g. someone whose night blindness causes them problems in their own home but is fine outdoors in average daylight. 

    3) @Cazann you are quite right. DLA assesses walking ability out of doors. PIP is overall walking ability whether indoors or out. Regardless of the above, a tribunal will always watch you come into and go out of a tribunal room. Depending on the venue some will also see you enter the building although it has to be all 3 together who see you else matters get legally complex. It can also be the case, depending on timings, that you inadvertently enter the building; a toilet or a lift at the same time as a panel member. Finally, whilst it should not be a relevant consideration at all, many clerks report back in advance to the panel as to what they have seen of your walking ability. This is not a policy. It’s more conversational and seen as an aid e.g. if the clerk deduces an appellant will need a seat with arms or a higher seat and so on. 
  • Cazann
    Cazann Member Posts: 83 Pioneering
    Hi All.
    Thank you all for your comments and advice.  In my PIP application I put that I can't walk more than 20 mtrs, as I find walking anymore is so painful I use a stick and I only go out in my car to my daughters, who lives in the next street. if I have to go anywhere, my husband takes me.I am in pain just walking. At my one to one asessment, the asessor wrote that I was seen to walk, 10 mtrs holding onto my husbands arm and using my stick, then to walk with just my stick for 5 mtrs. She then put in her report that I drive a manual car so therefore can walk 50 mtrs but no more than 200!  When she observed me walking the 10 mtrs, it was inside thier building and the 5 mtrs was to our car, parked just outside the door. I can't understand her logic on that..what do you think?
    Thank you once again for any advice
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Assessors exaggerate the distance people can walk, with no evidence to back their claims.  They do this to reduce points awarded!

    My assessor wrote that she watched me walk 16m waiting area to interview room, on a level, carpeted surface, so therefore I must be able to walk 20m - 50m outdoors; a preposterous extrapolation!  Tribunal increased my mobility from standard to enhanced.

    Assessors are notorious for telling lies and tribunals know this.  69% of appeals succeed.
  • markyboy
    markyboy Member Posts: 367 Pioneering
    Sorry matilda but wheel chairs do qualify as an aid if you need a wheelchair to go less than 20 metres you will get enhanced rate
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    I use my manual wheelchair as a walking frame around my flat because it is more sturdy and more manoeuvrable than a normal walking frame and I can put things on the seat to transport them.  (Pickfords watch out).

    Having explained this to the assessor she asked me to demonstrate by getting out of my wheelchair and walking across a room less than 4m wide, holding onto the chair.  In her report she was able to calculate that I could walk between 50 and 200 metres either aided or unaided!

    Over the phone a decision maker tried to tell me 200 metres was equal to 2 buses parked back to back........Really?
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Assessors and decision makers talk absolute garbage which is largely is why 69% of appeals succeed.

    I believe DWP's own estimate is that two bus lengths = 50m.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    Matilda said:
    Assessors exaggerate the distance people can walk, with no evidence to back their claims.  They do this to reduce points awarded!

    My assessor wrote that she watched me walk 16m waiting area to interview room, on a level, carpeted surface, so therefore I must be able to walk 20m - 50m outdoors; a preposterous extrapolation!  Tribunal increased my mobility from standard to enhanced.

    Assessors are notorious for telling lies and tribunals know this.  69% of appeals succeed.

    Like you, I was dropped off right outside the entrance door, then maybe 10 metres to the reception area in 3 stages, then another 10 metres to the room, again in 3 stages. Result - can walk between 50 and 200 metres.
    Submitted a medical report that I had been assessed as only able to walk 5 metres if I am lucky without having to stop for a while. DWP changed the award - less than 20 metres!!
    I would love to see the evidence the assessor had to consider that I could walk up to 200 metres!!

  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    Matilda said:
    Assessors and decision makers talk absolute garbage which is largely is why 69% of appeals succeed.

    I believe DWP's own estimate is that two bus lengths = 50 metres
    Absolute garbage!!  The maximum permissible length of a rigid double-decker bus and coach in the UK is 15.0 metres. In the main the current range on the road varies between 9.5 and 13.3 metres.

    So where the DWP get the figure of 25 metres from I have no idea.
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Lol.....Who writes these scripts?

    Is the size of a bus now considered a standard unit of measurement  :)  Ironically I live next to a bus station.  If only I could find a long enough tape measure and plan the journey across the road to find out!  Thank goodness for google where I am able to engage with others.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-decker_bus
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    sleepy1 said:
    Lol.....Who writes these scripts?

    Is the size of a bus now considered a standard unit of measurement  :)  Ironically I live next to a bus station.  If only I could find a long enough tape measure and plan the journey across the road to find out!  Thank goodness for google where I am able to engage with others.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-decker_bus

    There is a darn good reason why the bus/coach cannot exceed 15 metres. junctions, bends of the roads and roundabouts only allow that length of vehicle without the bus/coach driver having to go on the opposite side of the road to get the vehicle round a corner and without the back wheels going across the footpath.
  • Billy15
    Billy15 Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Billy15 2 double decker busses back to back is an estimate of 20mtres as i was a bus driver for 10 years and that was 1 of the questions you were asked in your test
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Hi Yadnad, your so right.
    Having spent many years in haulage myself I know it would be impossible unless the government decided to invest billions to change the whole infrastructure (even then I doubt it could ever work).  Articulated?

    Somehow DWP think they have more knowledge than Einstein, Newton and all other renowned mathematicians!!!!   Strewth


  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    sleepy1 said:
    Hi Yadnad, your so right.
    Having spent many years in haulage myself I know it would be impossible unless the government decided to invest billions to change the whole infrastructure (even then I doubt it could ever work).  Articulated?

    Somehow DWP think they have more knowledge than Einstein, Newton and all other renowned mathematicians!!!!   Strewth



    I know poor souls - all staff actually believing that a double decker bus is 25 metres!! Put it another way - 4 double decker buses, one behind the other is deemed by the DWP to be the approx. length of a professional football pitch (2 to the halfway line).
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    200 metres isn't far at all though.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    feir said:
    200 metres isn't far at all though.

    It all depends on how the body reacts to trying to put one foot in front of the other. If someone can walk 200 metres, without stopping, not in discomfort at any time, at a good pace and do the return journey then they have no need to claim to have difficulties with mobility.

    In my case 10 metres feels like 200 metres.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Far too easy to dismiss DWP and others estimates of distance. If I’ve learnt anything over the years it’s that the number of people who can correctly estimate the distance they walk or the distance they’ve just walked is near nil. 

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