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I don't know what to do!

DaisyHunterDaisyHunter Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited August 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
I have my date for my PIP appeal. I have agraphobia and I am going to struggle going. But I need advice. If I do go wouldn't that look contradictory to my evidence. All the evidence from my mental health consultant all says I can't leave the house due to agraphobia and intense fear of the outside. Surely going to the tribunal is going to contradict everything mental health have said. I've asked for my reprisentative to be there instead of me. And they have agreed. But I don't know what to do.

Replies

  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Umm damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I'll let the more experienced amongst us to advise you on this.
  • DaisyHunterDaisyHunter Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Yadnad said:
    Umm damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I'll let the more experienced amongst us to advise you on this.
    This is what I was thinking if I do go I'm basically saying oh I can go out. Even though I would struggle hugely but they wouldn't see that. They would look at my paperwork and see that it says I can't leave my house. See me there and instantly decline me. But if I don't go I can't put my point across. My reprisentative is my partner. So he sees everything. But I don't know what to do.
  • wezzywezzy Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I have my date for my PIP appeal. I have agraphobia and I am going to struggle going. But I need advice. If I do go wouldn't that look contradictory to my evidence. All the evidence from my mental health consultant all says I can't leave the house due to agraphobia and intense fear of the outside. Surely going to the tribunal is going to contradict everything mental health have said. I've asked for my reprisentative to be there instead of me. And they have agreed. But I don't know what to do.
    I am agoraphobic have been most of my life I went for the medical they will see you are agoraphobic because the mess you will be in they stopped my medical half way through as they could see I was suffering and couldn't walk my legs went to jelly they had to get me paper bags as you know when you try to go out the panic attacks set in you won't feel well and they will see that good luck.
  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @DaisyHunter,

    I have copied in our benefits advisors who should be able to advise. 

    @BenefitsTrainingCo, can you help?

    Liam
  • DaisyHunterDaisyHunter Member Posts: 3 Listener
    wezzy said:
    I have my date for my PIP appeal. I have agraphobia and I am going to struggle going. But I need advice. If I do go wouldn't that look contradictory to my evidence. All the evidence from my mental health consultant all says I can't leave the house due to agraphobia and intense fear of the outside. Surely going to the tribunal is going to contradict everything mental health have said. I've asked for my reprisentative to be there instead of me. And they have agreed. But I don't know what to do.
    I am agoraphobic have been most of my life I went for the medical they will see you are agoraphobic because the mess you will be in they stopped my medical half way through as they could see I was suffering and couldn't walk my legs went to jelly they had to get me paper bags as you know when you try to go out the panic attacks set in you won't feel well and they will see that good luck.
    I was in a state for my assessment couldn't talk or anything. But they lied and said I appeared normal etc
  • wezzywezzy Member Posts: 3 Listener
    wezzy said:
    I have my date for my PIP appeal. I have agraphobia and I am going to struggle going. But I need advice. If I do go wouldn't that look contradictory to my evidence. All the evidence from my mental health consultant all says I can't leave the house due to agraphobia and intense fear of the outside. Surely going to the tribunal is going to contradict everything mental health have said. I've asked for my reprisentative to be there instead of me. And they have agreed. But I don't know what to do.
    I am agoraphobic have been most of my life I went for the medical they will see you are agoraphobic because the mess you will be in they stopped my medical half way through as they could see I was suffering and couldn't walk my legs went to jelly they had to get me paper bags as you know when you try to go out the panic attacks set in you won't feel well and they will see that good luck.
    I was in a state for my assessment couldn't talk or anything. But they lied and said I appeared normal etc
    Sorry to hear that I was at the fainting and sedating stage they gave me water I got standard rate for care I know they lie they did over my very sick husband.he lost his high rate Motability he has been on for over 30 years they gave him low rate his doctors got back for him,i really feel sorry for you it's so stressful glxxx
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,979 Disability Gamechanger
    As hard as it may be, a winnable case only has a 45% ish chance of success if you’re not there. 60%+ If you are there. It is also a very bad idea to have your partner as your representative. That will be detrimental to your case in almost every instance. They should attend only as a witness. There are various roles at a tribunal. 

    You can be 

    - a representative - you don’t talk for the appellant because they’re there but you do get to outline what award you’re looking for and what the legal case is as well as pick up on any issues the tribunal or appellant miss or misinterpret.

    - observer - sits away from the tribunal but you are watching only. You do not and cannot take part.

    - witness - you give your own evidence to support the appellants own case. You don’t get to comment on anything else. You watch silently, do your bit and you’re done.

    - appellant - the person making the claim being appealed. The only person allowed to present their evidence and answer questions on it unless they have an appointee. 

    Most family members struggle to be observers as it’s hard to be silent. They struggle to represent as they don’t know enough of the law, case law or guidance and confuse the role with speaking for the appellant and get shot down in flames to the detriment of the case. They often make poor witnesses as they haven’t been prepared by a rep and want to rehear the whole case instead of focusing on what they know. 

    The temptation to talk for any appellant needs to be resisted. You’ll always get people saying “but...

    - they’re not articulate.

    - they’re nervous.

    and many orher arguments. Bottom line - nothing makes the case for the consequences of someone’s ill health better than a poorly appellant. 

    The other side of having representative is that, as you’ll read on here, people get incredibly stressed with the process; what comes when; what letters mean; what is good evidence; what will happen on the day. A good rep explains all and covers all the bases. It’s typical that people think representation is just about what happens on the day and the outcome. That’s about 10% of what gets done. A good rep should also keep you off web forums (seriously). All your questions should be answered by them. If people come on here because they need answers and they have a rep. that is concerning. 

    Now, having said that, tribunals are inquisitorial so it’s perfectly possible to win a case without a rep just as it’s equally possible to lose a case with a rep. However, a badly presented case can win with a decent tribunal but won’t with a poor one People who have won without representation tend to almost always ascribe this to something they did rather than the skill of the tribunal pulling out what was relevant. Having seen tribunals over three decades, including many times as an observer, it’s almost never the case. I’ve never yet heard of anyone unrepresented winning two tribunals for themselves. 

    Finally, don’t confuse an organisation with a good reputation as meaning all their reps will be good. Good organisations have bad reps. Reputationally poor organisation have good reps. How can you tell? Walk away from anyone who wants to tell you their success rate? It’s a fave tactic of organisations that charge but also of inexperienced or renegade/boastful reps. That tells you that they’re either lying or cherry picking only cases which are clear cut winners and probably would be anyway with a decent tribunal and without them. Good reps do not guarantee a win but they will take in winnsble cases rather than likely winners and they’re the more likely to turn a marginal case into a winner. They’ll also know their law, case law and guidance and be able to cite it but in plain English. 

  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I had a similar experience and was thinking of not going right up to the last minute as I had a welfare rights officer going with me. Also someone else was supposed to go with me but they couldn’t. With my agorophobia I am able to go outside under controlled conditions where I live and I can’t travel on public transport or go to unfamiliar places by myself. So I phoned in advance and they got me a taxi. What I have to do in my head is break it down into steps I can achieve and then do one step at a time. I can stop at any step. So this is what I had to do on the day. I also prepared paper notes in advance to distract me and to give me focus. I didn’t use them on the day but it was useful to do it just in case. I totally understand where you are coming from but try to look at it as one moment that will pass if you can. Whatever works for you, 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi DaisyHunter

    Generally we would suggest the appellant should always attend the hearing if at all possible even if it will be difficult. It's generally a good idea to let the tribunal see you as you are (e.g. don't wear special clothes). Get support from an independent advice service if possible. If you've had to take special measures to attend (e.g. a friend/carer has helped you get there, and/or will look after you afterwards) let the tribunal know of this.

    This way you can answer the tribunal's questions and be the best witness for your case without there being a contradiction.

    Good luck
    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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