PIP, DLA and AA
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Futile Tribunal

StrangerStranger Member Posts: 6 Listener
My lifetime DLA award was taken from me last June, and I've finally heard back from my appeal for PIP... And they've just handed me back to the DWP!


My first tribunal was supposed to happen late last year, but the DWP lied to them and said that I'd indicated a willingness to attend an assessment (I asked the tribunal to challenge them to provide nonexistent proof), so that appeal was ended and I had to wait until the assessment date had passed before I could start another. Every time I've written a letter I've made it very clear that I'm unable to cope with the stress of an assessment, and since I formerly had a DLA lifetime award could they please do a paper-based review instead. I'm still waiting.

I've scraped by without the money, but it's the principle of removing a lifetime award that upsets me. The best of luck to everyone else who isn't up to facing these loaded assessments.

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    You could well still be give an face 2 face assessment based on the Tribunal decision. It sates that a home assessment should be offered, if that's not possible an assessment at another location should be offered. It doesn't state anything about a paper based assessment, these are very rare and most people have face 2 face assessments.
    Do you have someone that can be with you during the assessment? This may help with your anxiety. 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.
  • tharathara Member - under moderation Posts: 49 Courageous
    Hi

    Do you have any friends or family members willing to come to the assessment with you or not? They can help remind you of what to say and help you answer the questions properly. Best of luck!! 
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2018
    thara said:
    Hi

    Do you have any friends or family members willing to come to the assessment with you or not? They can help remind you of what to say and help you answer the questions properly. Best of luck!! 
    The assessment is between the claimant and the assessor, that is unless the person attending with the claimant is their appointee.
    If the person with the claimant is simply a friend or family member they are there to give support and not to answer questions on their behalf or to suggest to the claimant on what they should say.
    Under normal circumstances it is not a three way assessment.
    Does the claimant have difficulty talking? deaf?
    When I attended the first assessment my wife was with me was hoping to go into he assessment with me until she was told by the receptionist that there was no need for her to go in with me - consequently she didn't following that instruction/conversation nor did she go with me to the following two other assessments
  • StrangerStranger Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited July 2018
    “Does the claimant have difficulty talking? deaf?”

    This is what I'm getting at:


    Descriptors that can never be used in practice!

    My GP's always backed me up, and I had a lifetime DLA award previously. All I ask is standard daily living and to be considered for standard mobility. My mental health was better when I first claimed DLA, and knowing that I'd be treated fairly with a family member able to partially speak for me was a huge, huge help.

    Atos and the rest have created this advantage for themselves by terrifying applicants into not appearing through stress, and then washing their hands of any responsibility in creating the conditions that led to that outcome.

    I expected my tribunal to reach a verdict one way or the other, and I'd have accepted it; albeit reluctantly had it been a rejection. But this to me is both incompetent and cowardly, handing my claim straight back to the DWP to continue their abuse, without consulting my GP or support worker in reaching their decision. I had faith in them as the good guys, as that's how they're portrayed so often on disability forums.

    It took them four months to essentially do nothing. The DWP will send me an appointment again; I'll write back explaining my reasons for not attending again — asking them to conduct a paper review again... One year and counting.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The reason it was sent back to DWP is because you haven't had an assessment for any award to be given. Yes, i realise you had a lifetime award for DLA but that no longer exists, it's now PIP and they're different benefits. Most people have face 2 face assessments as it's rare to have a paper based one.

    Did you send relevant evidence to support your claim? They very rarely contact anyone for this and the onus is on you to make sure it's sent. They won't just award you PIP because you had a lifetime award for DLA.
    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.
  • StrangerStranger Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I've sent enough paper to make Dan Brown jealous; trust me. Confirmation of extreme social anxiety and agoraphobia from my support worker and GP.

    I can't have an assessment without the assessor being able to refuse those truths, since at that point they'd have forced a contradiction.
  • StrangerStranger Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited July 2018
    I'm ESA support group, by the by.

    I'd just like others to know that these tribunals are only as evenhanded as the panel you're given, and if you're unable to attend then there's lots of finger-crossing.

    Because I can scrape by without I refuse to be humiliated, and that's what this Government wants.
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    Stranger said:
    I've sent enough paper to make Dan Brown jealous; trust me. Confirmation of extreme social anxiety and agoraphobia from my support worker and GP.

    I can't have an assessment without the assessor being able to refuse those truths, since at that point they'd have forced a contradiction.
    :

    But does the evidence that has been submitted actually prove the descriptors that you are relying on? In a way the DWP don't give a hoot what your mental/physical problems are, they are only interested on how do the descriptors relate to your difficulties.

    As for arguing that you should not have a face to face assessment is ridiculous in my opinion. I was on DLA since 1995 at the high rate for both mobility and care. None of that is of interest to anyone including the DWP when claiming PIP. My first PIP claim in 2013 didn't even mention that I had that award nor did it mention that evidence had been submitted in 2011 when they carried out a DLA review. No point as there is no comparison. 

    You need to move this forward - I simply don't understand why you won't have a face to face assessment for PIP.

    My first assessment resulted in 0 points but through arguing the matter with the DWP it was eventually up lifted to Enhanced Mobility & Care. to be reviewed every two years.
      
    Finally in the main the assessor isn't interested in 'the truths'. They have their own opinion which is either right or wrong - that is the system.
  • StrangerStranger Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited July 2018
    “They have their own opinion which is either right or wrong - that is the system.”

    And as someone who relies almost exclusively on social-anxiety descriptors to qualify, that's my problem. Atos are renowned for lying about the stress caused by assessments, and like I said, they get away with this because agreeing to an assessment removes a couple of ten-pointers from their form.

    How can anyone ever qualify for those when the assessment itself ostensibly shows an ability to overcome social anxiety? There is no such ability for many, but that won't stop the assessor marking down your good eye contact and lack of apparent stress.

    Having an assessment would cause me a ton of stress (not helped by only having a worktop to write on and one chair), and there would be a risk of me getting angry in the knowledge that I'd be unable to avoid their lies overruling my truth. If I then went to a tribunal they'd say “Well, you came here”.

    Nonphysical disabilities are exploited by Atos and their kin, and I'm not willing to stand there and take that from them.
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2018
    You are making your life extremely difficult by having this attitude. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things to be told by the assessor/DWP that there is nothing wrong with you?

    Once in the system you can then progress your claim and appeal to a Tribunal who will look at your claim in a much more honest way.

    In all three of my assessments I told the assessor that I can walk up to a mile (previously had High Mobility DLA indefinitely). Then I told her that in doing that I could only manage to walk for a max of 15 metres before having to stop to try to relieve the pain I was in. Walking that mile overall would take me at least an hour.

    The assessor claimed that I could easily walk more than 200 metres.

    I then proved that that statement was wrong by way of evidence that 10 metres or so was the maximum at a time. I was assessed in hospital in the spinal unit on the walking machine that they had. The DWP accepted the evidence and awarded me Enhanced Mobility.

    Personally I treated all three assessment reports with the contempt that they deserved.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    And as someone who relies almost exclusively on social-anxiety descriptors to qualify, that's my problem. In which case, you may not even qualify for PIP at all. Most people have face 2 face assessments and unfortunately there's nothing we can do to change that.
    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.
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