PIP, DLA and AA
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Help with PIP appeal!

Milly123Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
edited July 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi. I was on dla until recently and awarded high rate mobility and low rate care indefinitely 9 years ago. I've now been moved onto pip and was awarded standard rate care and only standard rate mobility. I asked for a m.r. and my partner wrote a letter stating the reasons why we were asking for a reconsideration. I asked for a copy of my face to face assessment report and was shocked at the lies the assessor told dwp. I was pushed into the room in my wheelchair by my partner and he helped me out of the wheelchair and into a chair which was positioned right next to it and did the reverse at the end of the assessment. The assessor said that I'd walked a few metres across the room on my partners arm without leaning on him, slowly but in discomfort and steady.  I never walked at all while we were there. If I do walk anywhere with him, I do lean on him and I am in pain and I am definitely not steady as I always loose my balance. They kept on making reference to me walking and said I could walk further than I actually can and so knocked my points down for the mobility part. I only needed 2 more points for the enhanced rate but because they so blatantly lied, I lost out. They also said I can cook a simple meal and dress myself on the care part. I cannot cook anything as my balance is bad, I have longstanding chronic lower back pain, my wrists are weak and my grip is not very good since having carpel tunnel surgery on both hands. I have arthritis in my neck, spine, fingers, one knee (had a complete knee replacement on other one) and feet. I also suffer with fibromyalgia. I constantly drop things and it is not safe for me to handle hot pans at all. I also cannot cut up raw vegetables. The only things I can do in the kitchen is a bowl of cereal or a sandwich. My partner does all the cooking. I also have frozen shoulder and I cannot wash my hair or dress my top half but they have said I can dress myself using aids (the only aid I have for getting dressed is my partners help) and the only thing I need help with in washing is getting in and out of the shower they reckon. Without my partners help, i could not wash my hair, my back or my feet. So, they gave me lower point scores in the care section too. I only needed 3 points for the enhanced rate which had they told the truth, I would have got. I dont think they could have even read the letter my partner wrote for the m.r. He never said the assessor lied, he was very diplomatic and just said there were some things we disagreed with and told them basically what he has to do for me that I can't manage myself. I am so angry that they believe the assessors lies that I feel like I should go to appeal but I am also too scared to appeal in case I loose the standard rate they have awarded me till 2024. I think this is what dwp are relying on that people like me will be scared to appeal in case they loose what they have been awarded. But I hate the fact that these assessors are lying and getting away with it. My month to appeal is running out and I still don't know what to do. I have found it so stressful to get to this point and my health is suffering still further with all the stress. I don't think I can go through the extra stress that going to appeal would bring. 

Replies

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Milly123   Pleased to meet welcome

    Thank you for sharing your story and how sorry I am at hearing what you have been through.

    Understand everything. Having been through this myself yesterday.  PIP assessment.

    Shocked and stunned but will admit you are not alone. You did the right thing complaining. Please can I suggest your MP is worth contacting.

    All MP's are interested in the stories of assessments  and the barbaric treatment you have received.  The community I am sure will be supportive.

    Please can I also add speak to an advisor from CAB or welfare rights some thing to look at. I would suggest further I agree it is painful and stressful about going for an appeal again.  I hope that you can try to do so if you feel up to this. I know it is difficult.

    Understand this been appealing on and off for twenty years plus various benefits. So I am like yourself concern and full of anxiety but some organisations are being now aware of our communities problems and issues. With PIP and ESA.

    To give you some reassurance have a look around the forum. Talk about PIP. Lots of community are willing to be supportive and give you advice and information.

    I am one myself.  Please can I also say if you feel up to this suggestion. Consult some one in welfare rights over assessors report. Because in the end they are lying and I do think you have a valid point.

    Seek there advice .  If we as claimants did that be possible fraud would it not.  Do know on the webpages a claimant won a ruling against ATOS. Got a financial pay-out.  Something to consider.

    If not welfare rights have a look on line for benefit advisors maybe advocates legality who deal in this .

    I just wanted to welcome you and hope we can be of help. Ask the community anything.  I do know there will be members of our community who can advise.

    Please take care


    Always in prayers and thoughts.

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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Milly123 and a warm welcome to the community. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us and I do hope you get the answers you are looking for! If there is anything I can do then please do let me know :)
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  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    It's worth appealing if you think your present award is safe from reduction or removal.  71% of appeals win.
  • Milly123Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Thank you all for your warm welcome to the community. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    You have nothing to lose from appealing. Meet the deadline and get an appeal in broadly the terms your partner used for the MR. Then go get yourself a representative who will appear on the day rather than just put in a written submission. Once you’ve lodged the appeal you’ve plenty of time to work with a rep to assess the level of risk and to prepare the case. You can withdraw the appeal at any stage and keep your existing award but as @matilda says the win rate is 71% so there’s little to lose from going for it. 

    When you converted from DLA to PIP can you remember whether you were asked if you wanted your DLA evidence into account. If you weren’t or if you did and they don’t appear to have done so then you should ask for the PIP 1 to be included in the appeal papers. You should always ask for an oral hearing and never consent to less than 14 days notice. 
  • ShlblyShlbly Member Posts: 128 Pioneering
    Milly123 said:
    Hi. I was on dla until recently and awarded high rate mobility and low rate care indefinitely 9 years ago. I've now been moved onto pip and was awarded standard rate care and only standard rate mobility. I asked for a m.r. and my partner wrote a letter stating the reasons why we were asking for a reconsideration. I asked for a copy of my face to face assessment report and was shocked at the lies the assessor told dwp. I was pushed into the room in my wheelchair by my partner and he helped me out of the wheelchair and into a chair which was positioned right next to it and did the reverse at the end of the assessment. The assessor said that I'd walked a few metres across the room on my partners arm without leaning on him, slowly but in discomfort and steady.  I never walked at all while we were there. If I do walk anywhere with him, I do lean on him and I am in pain and I am definitely not steady as I always loose my balance. They kept on making reference to me walking and said I could walk further than I actually can and so knocked my points down for the mobility part. I only needed 2 more points for the enhanced rate but because they so blatantly lied, I lost out. They also said I can cook a simple meal and dress myself on the care part. I cannot cook anything as my balance is bad, I have longstanding chronic lower back pain, my wrists are weak and my grip is not very good since having carpel tunnel surgery on both hands. I have arthritis in my neck, spine, fingers, one knee (had a complete knee replacement on other one) and feet. I also suffer with fibromyalgia. I constantly drop things and it is not safe for me to handle hot pans at all. I also cannot cut up raw vegetables. The only things I can do in the kitchen is a bowl of cereal or a sandwich. My partner does all the cooking. I also have frozen shoulder and I cannot wash my hair or dress my top half but they have said I can dress myself using aids (the only aid I have for getting dressed is my partners help) and the only thing I need help with in washing is getting in and out of the shower they reckon. Without my partners help, i could not wash my hair, my back or my feet. So, they gave me lower point scores in the care section too. I only needed 3 points for the enhanced rate which had they told the truth, I would have got. I dont think they could have even read the letter my partner wrote for the m.r. He never said the assessor lied, he was very diplomatic and just said there were some things we disagreed with and told them basically what he has to do for me that I can't manage myself. I am so angry that they believe the assessors lies that I feel like I should go to appeal but I am also too scared to appeal in case I loose the standard rate they have awarded me till 2024. I think this is what dwp are relying on that people like me will be scared to appeal in case they loose what they have been awarded. But I hate the fact that these assessors are lying and getting away with it. My month to appeal is running out and I still don't know what to do. I have found it so stressful to get to this point and my health is suffering still further with all the stress. I don't think I can go through the extra stress that going to appeal would bring. 

    Hi well that was like reading about myself and what I am capable of. Sorry you are having to go through this, be strong don’t let them get away with it. I actually lost my appeal and have had to do a new claim, but have managed to get help from CAB to complain about assessor (February 2017 assessment was). 
    Try and get an advocate to help, good luck!
  • Milly123Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Hi shlbly, and thanks for wishing me good luck. Sounds like I will need all the luck I can get if I decide to go to appeal. I'm still undecided at the moment. I'm sorry that what I wrote reminded me of yourself, I wouldn't wish my bad health on anyone.
     I'm mortified that you lost your appeal and have got to go through the whole humiliating experience again of doing a new claim. I can't believe how many hoops we have to jump through to try and make our lives a bit easier, and end up with these assessors that just lie and make out we can do stuff that we can't. We are made to feel like criminals being interrogated. The stress we are all put under takes a terrible toll on our health. They just don't seem to understand that we are human beings with feelings and when we are made to feel like we are the ones that are lying and not their corrupt assessors, it stinks, It's all so wrong. They should have left the dla as it was and not introduced this so called Personal Independance Payment. What a joke that title is.
    I am so pleased shlbly that you have managed to get help from CAB to complain about the assessor you saw. I hope they start listening to all these complaints soon.
    DWP,  just give us what we deserve and stop wasting so much money having people take you to the appeal stage because of the untruths that you and your assessors are telling about them. 
  • Milly123Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Hi everyone. I just want to thank you all for your replies. I have done what you suggested and put in an appeal for pip. It's all been sent off today first class to be signed for so I know when they have got it. As you say mikehughescq, I have nothing to loose by appealing. Yes, when I applied for pip I did ask them to include my dla evidence. I have asked for an oral appeal. I couldn't get a representative in time, I really had to get it in the post before my time ran out. I only left it so long as I was really undecided about what to do for the best. I tried to get in to see a CAB advisor but they are fully booked till the end of August. My partner and I spent a very stressful weekend getting the paperwork done. We wrote in the same sort of vein as we did for the MR, just changed things a little bit. I hope we've done enough. We also put some copies of doctor and hospital letters, an up to date copy of my prescription, and a week diary of how my health problems affect me in with the forms. As soon as it was all posted, I felt like a weight had lifted. I know that by the time it comes to appeal, I will be a quivering mess though. We've done all we can for now and at least it has given me choices now wether to carry on with the appeal or not and if I change my mind, I can still stop it at any time. Im happy that I have started with it though because it was making me so angry that these assessors lies are causing so many problems for disabled people. I thought why should they?? If we all complain when they lie instead of saying nothing as they are hoping for, dwp will surely know from all the appeals being put in that something is dreadfully wrong with their system. Something should be done to put an end to all this added stress that they are causing us. They don't want to let us have the money that is supposed to help us cope with being disabled, I wonder if they would like to have our disabilities??? I for one would rather be healthy than on a disabled benefit any day. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    Your appeal won’t be heard for months. Accept the Citizens Advice appointment and you can start to prepare well in advance.
  • Milly123Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    I thought you had to name your representative on the forms we've just sent in to the appeals. Is it not too late to find a representative now that we've written everything in ourselves?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    No, not at all. It’s the sort of stupid misinformation HMCTS do so little to fix. If you have a rep when you complete the SSCS1 then you name them. If you acquire one later on then you just write to HMCTS and give them name, title, service and contact details. 
  • Milly123Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Thank you very much for letting me know that information mikehughescq. I will do as you suggest and contact CAB again to see if they can help me at all. If they can't then maybe they can point me in the direction of someone who can help. I realize that it will take months to be heard so at least it gives me some breathing space to find someone to represent me at appeal. If by any chance we can't get someone, does anyone get any luck without representation?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You don't really need anyone to represent you. Lots of people attend their Tribunal hearing without this. Places like CAB etc don't really have the funding to represent people like they used to, so you could find them saying no to you.

    You can take someone with you for support like a family member or a friend. You'll have to answer all the questions but they will be able to prompt you. Lots of people are successful at Tribunal, even without representation. 71% of those who appear in person have a decision in their favour. Good luck.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    We wish you the very best of luck @Milly123 and please do keep us up to date!
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  • 53FlowerGirl53FlowerGirl Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I find it all so very sad that all of us have to somehow find the strength to go though the appeal process . I myself feel like just giving up, just leave me alone. That is what they what ! So I will dig deep and carry on. As people have said we have nothing to lose, but oh my does it cost us.
    How can we stop these assessors getting away with the lies ? who will listen ? who even cares ? not the DWP or indeed the government. They want us all off benefits and we are seen as soft targets.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing this with us @53FlowerGirl and a warm welcome to the community! The appeal process is very difficult one for a lot of people. It unfortunately is draining and there are issues around it. I hope you can use the community to talk about these things.
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  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Tribunals care.  The panels know that many assessments are factually very inaccurate - which is why 71% of appeals succeed.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    I think we need to be clear. The overall success rate is 71%. However, the success rate for unrepresented appellants is below 50%. If you have an opportunity for representation you should grab it with both hands.
  • paulflemingpaulfleming Member Posts: 6 Listener
    always go with a person from citizens advice. it helped me. its 3x likely to sucseed than mandatory consiseration. plus it helps with the stress and aniiety
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    My experience going to appeal my PIP.

    I went with a friend only to support me and I won my appeal.

    Good luck 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    I won my PIP appeal without representation.  The panel will expect the appellant to answer their questions, not any representative or companion.

    Disability Rights UK publish a Disability Rights Handbook that gives a detailed summary of PIP appeal hearings procedure.  £18.50 from DR site or probably available in your local reference library.

    The main thing to remember is that PIP appeal hearings are inquisitorial.  The panel will ask you lots of questions to find out what you can and can't do.  But tribunals are impartial - they don't work for the DWP.
  • Milly123Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Thank you very much to all of you with your good advice. I am going to phone CAB on Monday but I don't know if they do represent you at appeals or not. At least they will be able to tell me who else to try if they don't. And if all else fails, then I will have to try without a representative. I've only just sent the paperwork in for the appeal, so I should have a few months at least to try and get somebody. I know they've received it as I tracked it and it has now been signed for.  
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    They probably have got it but the incoming post is not handled by HMCTS or DWP so the fact it’s been signed for is neither here nor there.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Milly123 Just wanted to add have a look at advocate services. I know I did a post recently on advocates. I do know will not help on onset of PIP claim.

    Some will do appeals and tribunals. All depends where you live. Also please be aware you might have to give donations. Car Parking and fuel.

    Also certain charities that deal in mental health may assist and also others that deal in welfare. It is worth spending some time on line. Searching having a look.

    Hope everything works out.


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  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Milly123   I have put the post under  Disabled People Getting an Advocate the Important Information

    Around 10th July lots of information and advice if that helps you.

    Lots of them may I add also have long waiting times .

    Take care
    Community Champion
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  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    edited July 2018
    I think we need to be clear. The overall success rate is 71%. However, the success rate for unrepresented appellants is below 50%. If you have an opportunity for representation you should grab it with both hands.
    Thanks Mike I knew that there was a figure somewhere for those who decide to go it alone at a Tribunal.
    Obviously it is in the interests of both the government and the DWP to say that you don't need a rep but when the chances of success are approaching another 25% then it is very obvious why they say that.

    The trouble is in finding someone that will arrange for all of the evidence to be gathered, then to put it all in order whilst writing a submission and finally advising the client and dealing with the legalities that goes with a Tribunal appeal.

    As an example if I give part of my postcode of CT1 I challenge anyone to tell me where such a rep exists that I haven't tried already in the past. Forget CAB, AgeUK, DIAL, DISK and Canterbury University Law School - all have said that they don't have the time or the manpower.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you tried https://advicelocal.uk? I know from local experience that it’s in severe need of much refinement but... putting in Kent throws up some interesting options.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Matilda said:
    I won my PIP appeal without representation.  The panel will expect the appellant to answer their questions, not any representative or companion.

    Disability Rights UK publish a Disability Rights Handbook that gives a detailed summary of PIP appeal hearings procedure.  £18.50 from DR site or probably available in your local reference library.

    The main thing to remember is that PIP appeal hearings are inquisitorial.  The panel will ask you lots of questions to find out what you can and can't do.  But tribunals are impartial - they don't work for the DWP.

    I don't agree. I appealed against the level of Council Tax Benefit some 5 years ago. It was, in my opinion a complex and difficult subject as there aooeared to be a lot of contradictions in the paperwork that I received.
    I approached the local University Law School as suggested by CAB and one of their lecturers took the case on. 

    The hearing was set down for a day. My legal advisor, myself and the legal advisor for the council attended. I would say that over 50% of the time spent in that hearing was taken up in legal arguments with law books being read by the judge. In fact I said very little to anybody.

    My lawyer won the case for me and said that if it went any further it would become a precedent. He saved me £1,000's in unpaid CT.


    A good rep who knows their job is a godsend.
    Unfortunately now they no longer attend Tribunals other than for immigration and asylum cases.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    Banging your head against a brick wall. @Matilda contributes hugely to this forum but continues to suggest that her lived experience of one successful thing means it’s the only way to do it. It veers between at best being unhelpful and as we’ve seen elsewhere recently being just wrong. 
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