PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP reduced

Glad2bhereGlad2bhere Member Posts: 10 Listener
edited May 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi andpleased to have found your site and grop.  Im in a pickle with PIP, They reduced me from high rate mobility DLA to standard PIP. I chose to apply to get a review as I had to have orthopaedic surgery because the delay in getting a second new hip resulted in the foot onthe other leg getting hammered with walking wonky for anohter year, so what should have been an uncomplicated toe straightening morphed into a mid foot fusion as well, where they took the  bones to pieces, removed cartilage and wired it all back, leaving me unable to weightbear at all for four months, and still on crutches most of the time now. What bugs me is that in addition to having closed down my request in error until I asked them why the delay, the assessor who eventually came up has produced a report so full of factual errors that I dont know what to do. She uses the fact I work in a Uni doing support for disabled people as proof of my ability to undertake journeys, which is tosh. I use the same bus route back and forth the hospital with a change in town, as I have used for 15 years, so I can manage, but my sight is deteriorating, (she didnt ask anything relevant about that and I am terrified ogf losing my licence) but I have zero sense of direction, its a family joke, I navigate by recognising buildings or landmarks, and the previous assessor reported I use google and satnav, which I havgent got. I had told her the last time I drove anywhere unfamiliar my daughter used her mobile to navigate our route, If I travel by train I book help, ditto on air travel, especially on the exceptional occasions I travel alone. Mostly I get lifts (eg to the hospice by their volunteers) or from friends and family, Driving to unknown places freaks m e out and I dont cope with it, and I cant safely manage escalators due to poor balance and dizziness and neuropathy in my foot. I am inclined to think I stand no chance of getting it changed, but am frankly fed up that the assessor has made so many errors, saying for example I get on welll with the woman who runs the shop next door, and have a friendly relationship with her.....the day she came, our street had its water supply go off, my neighbours both sides knew I was just out of hospital and were concerned, and they rang on the phone when assessor was here, There is no shop, it's an accountants office, they let us use their car park at weekends, and take in parcels when  Im unable to get to the door due to being slow or in a wheelchair.....partly because he does husband's accounts, and we ring the office manager if their alarm goes off at night.  It is not a shop.

On which point, neither has my husband EVER done our food shopping online.  nor have I, I go to our little co-op, by a mix of short walks with lots of stops, sitting on walls and at bus stop, and come back without the shopping by bus. I go round leaning on a trolley, stopping frequently and choose and pay, and they deliver it to the door, and sometiems take it through to the kitchen for me if I spend over £25. I am on crutches, I cannot carry shopping other than a loaf or bread.

Assessor also thinks that because I'm invited to attend professional meetings at the University, that makes me able to get about alone and travel. For those meetings the Uni pays for me to have a taxi door to door. I am only there as a rep for a group of service users and carers who have a special role as examples of lived experience of disability issues in the department where they teach nursing and OT and physio students, and social workers and paramedics. Two or three committee meetings  a  year, and three group meetings a m ile from my house by taxi is hardly frequent complex travel.

So that's it folks, sorry to sound moany but I just cant deal with the idea that some person is paid to put together a report that is full of inaccurate misleading information that does me no favours, and I want to challenge it, but dont know if I have the energy to go for a mandatory reconsideration, or if I can just fire off a complaint highlighting where it is full of errors and misleading wrong information. My disability benefits advisor has warned me I could lose the lot, both are standrd, and as Im approaching 60 I have at least 6 or 7 more years to work before I qualify for stat pension and am already retired.The kicker for me is that I used to write professional reports for the courts, and if Id made such a mess of inaccurate information, Id have faced competency proceedings. but here I am, in essence,  being lied about. Can I make a complaint about  the report without also going for mandatory reconsideration?
The other thing is that the letter I got which told me the decision, just finishes mid sentence, its left dangling and incomplete....words fail me. Thanks for your patience I appreciate that as a newcomer Ive taken a long spiel here, but please if you can share ideas about how to deal with this cockup, I really would appreciate it, my husband is going nuts at me getting wound up about it, and frankly we have enough to do as Im back in hospital again for further surgery at the end of the month unless they cancel it as usual. thanks guys kind regards.

Replies

  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Hello @Glad2bhere and a warm welcome to the community. Thank you, too, for being kind enough to comment on my 'blog' post about Jenny. Much appreciated, and I am 'GladURhere' and hope we can get to be of help to you.
    I have already forwarded notification of your post to the staff here who can best help with PIP related issues and I hope you will hear from them very soon, so please bear with us.
    As your post filters through to more members you will no doubt find quite a few getting in touch - such PIP farces are, of course, far too common. You are far from alone, especially here.
    And please do not apologize either for 'moaning' or for a 'long spiel'. We are here to listen.
    Very warmest best wishes to you,
    Richard
    @JennysDad

  • Glad2bhereGlad2bhere Member Posts: 10 Listener
    thanks so much, I have calmed down a bit from when the report first arrived, I had gone ballistic about it, it felt like they were using the fact that I speak to neighbours who keep an eye out for someone just out of hospital in a wheelchair whose father just died, when the electric and or water supply up and down the road had gone off as a sneaky thing to do! And one of the neighbours the assessor thinks runs the shop next door would be a bit fed up, she is the secretary at the accountants office who do my husbands books! They made a lot of remarks that I feel have been based on either misunderstanding or misrepresented what I said. I still dont see how attending two meetings a year as a rep from a group of people with lived experience as carers or with disabilities, at the place where I usually work, is evidence of my ability to cope with journeys to unfamiliar places. Anyway, we all know the system sucks, Im just trying to work out whether the mental stress of asking for a MR is worth it.  The report contains abbreviations which mean nothing to me, so I may need guidance on that if others can help, I waited a fortnight for the report, so need to respond calmly and post it this week cos Im in hospital again next week. I wish Id known about Scope before, I used to find and offer a lot of support for a specialist disease related site, but got too sad when people I got to relate to well were dying, it got too hard.Anyway, Im very happy to have a response which is a good thing in this messy situation where you can end up feeeling discredited and bullied. so thanks for the welcome

  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Hello @Glad2bhere and thank you for getting back to me. I have no doubt that some of our benefits team will be able to help you and I look forward to their doing so.
    You're perfectly entitled to 'go ballistic'. I'm lucky in not (yet) being on the receiving end of this sort of c**p but, frankly, I find the behaviour of some of these 'assessors' shameful. Sometimes it is hard even to 'hang in' here - I do understand what you mean about your reaction to the 'specialist site' you refer to. I keep reading things and thinking; Really? Here? In my country? and at times it hurts.
    You might well find some useful stuff in our PIP FAQs document.
    Please take good care of yourself and be in touch,
    Warmest best wishes,
    Richard
    @JennysDad
  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 374 Pioneering
    A very low percentage of awards get changed at the MR stage and if you want to go down the tribunal path expect a long wait as i appealed in January 2017 and still waiting for a decision.
    Everyone is saying if you are not happy appeal there is a high rate of success this has caused so many to appeal that waiting times are not unusual to be 12 months and the DWP are happy with this as it puts claimants off from appealing .
    My advice is put in for an MR and if that is not successful take stock sometimes it is better to accept what you have as you could lose it in the end.
    Personally i would never take another award down the tribunal road as it is so stressful that is only my opinion and i am sure other members will disagree 
  • gwen65gwen65 Member Posts: 16 Connected
    appeal don't let them get away with it !! get advise scope or CAB they only do this so people don't bother your entitled to this benifit and they know this thats why we have to wait for so long for court dates 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Glad2bhere,

    First of all, I agree with everyone else - definitely worth an MR. Don't worry too much about this, just say you think the decision is wrong and state what it ought to be. If possible, be specific about what points you should have got and in what activities. You can use the PIP self-test to help with this.

    Explain that the assessment report is flawed. You have your own evidence of what you can and cannot do (a lot of which is in your post above).

    Unfortunately it's very likely for the MR to be turned down & to have to appeal, but there is a high chance of success at appeal. It will take months for the appeal to be heard, most likely (as others have said), but it is still worth doing.

    To answer your question, yes you can complain even if you don't request an MR. You actually have two complaints I think - one against the assessment company ( (either ATOS or Capita - complaints procedure will be on their PIP assessments website), and one against the DWP for preferring the report above your own evidence & then sending you an incomplete letter (complaints procedure here).

    You are completely justified in being angry - PIP assessments let down thousands of disabled people in this country, & DWP administration is also very poor. You might want to contact your MP too. The more people who do, the more chance we have of getting the system improved.

    Finally, there is a call out for people who have lost out in this way to join a court case. This would be separate from the challenge to get your benefit back, & more about getting some compensation for the stress you have been called because of the incorrect comments in your report. The email address to contact if you want to get involved is at the bottom of the web page.

    Good luck!

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Glad2bhereGlad2bhere Member Posts: 10 Listener
    thanks all of you, I have spent this afternoon supporting someone in a genetics exam, so my brain is fried,Whilst out, my meds arrived from the pharmacy and were taken in by the woman in the shop next door haha NoT a Shop. I checked with her about the phone call, which  she well remembered cos I told her the assessor was here so couldnt talk, she confirmed it was the day she rang to see if our water was off too. She was gobsmacked that anyone could construe their office as a shop, it has a five by two sign up, on a prominent corner, calling it a firm of accountants, So thats it for today, Im nearly out of time, but about to ring the DM or her crew and ask her to finish her sentence, and to tell her the report is mistaken, and in my view misleading. I think the fact I have to have regular blood tests and pressure tests to confirm my cytotoxic and steroid drugs are not slowly poisoning me is important, and proof I need help (regular tests at a surgery) to monitor my condition, and thats what I shall tell them. I couldnt find the old scores, and they are coming back for me next year, so by then hopefully I will have been seen by the specialists I should have been referred to and wasnt, and will have shed a gallbladder. Sometimes, just sometimes, Id love them to wheel a few miles in my chair, wear my incontinence aids, and struggle not to burn themselves cooking non existent chips. Just to prove a point. We are all walking or wheeling miracles just to put up with this nonsense, so take a bow, everyone. all best, glad I found you.

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