If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Hi, my name is Tim

TimMusgrave Community member Posts: 15 Connected
edited August 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hello  :)
I had a stroke affecting my right side when I was 24. My stroke has affected my arm and leg, meaning I can't use my fingers at all, have minimal use of my arm and, with the difficulties with my leg and foot, I can't run, jump or keep my balance well at all. Having said that, I'm doing fine.
I'm now 42 - almost half my life has been spent with these issues - and now, I have finally joined a social group to discuss, listen to and learn and from peoples' problems.
My decision to join SCOPE was prompted by a PIP refusal letter I received this morning (....Yours SINCERELY - Office Manager!). I find that there is no obvious direction for us to turn when things like this happen. No people to go to, advice to harness... and then I found SCOPE.
Hope everyone is well and I hope to contribute, but I can't promise anything - as a number of you will understand, my self determinism leads to pig-headed stubborness. At least I made the first step.
Bye for now,


  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,377 Championing
    Hello @TimMusgrave   Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you also for being honest and open about yourself. Glad to meet you. We hope as a community can support and help, advise you in the PIP process.  

    I am sorry what has happened what is important right now is seeking the right support going forward.

    You will need to appeal if that is what you wish to do.

    Have a look at our information, advice and benefit knowledge on PIP.  What to do next.

    Also speak to CAB for further advice and information can help.  

    Hope as a community we can be supportive and friendly.

    Care and share.  Need to know anything the community will advise and ready to listen.

    Look forward to your contributions and input will be gladly received on anything you wish.

    Please take care

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Ami2301
    Ami2301 Community member Posts: 7,935 Championing
    Hi @TimMusgrave
    Welcome to the community! :)
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • Liam_Alumni
    Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,100 Empowering
    Hi @TimMusgrave,

    Welcome to Scope's online community! It's great to have you on board. We're a friendly bunch who are happy to help and support one another. :)

    In terms of your PIP refusal letter, have you considered asking for a mandatory reconsideration? We have lots of information about the DWP appeals process on our website which might be of interest to you.
  • TimMusgrave
    TimMusgrave Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for your replies and welcome messages.
    In regards my PIP refusal, I was declined because I have been in China for the past 10 years (on and off) working as a teacher. When I returned I called the PIP helpline and asked if my absence from the country would mean 'no benefits' for me, as I knew the old DLA had a six month wait period as I received DLA basic for 6 years prior to my relocation. The lady on the other end said (paraphrasing) "I don't know, why don't you try any way... what harm can it do?"
    Two months later, a form completed, additional info sent, an interview with a doctor and a four week wait for the decision - computer says 'NO'. Would it not have been easier (in more ways than one) if that member of staff had just had the information I was calling about?
    I called up the same 'helpline' yesterday to ask why? After waiting 15 mins to get off hold and a back and forth with the assistant ("I'm only here to answer the questions") it was decided that I can't be told why... Not 'why was I refused?' as it was quite clearly explained to me "that's government policy". I wanted to know why that's govt policy. Why someone has to wait TWO YEARS to be eligible for the PIP. Does the person just put their disability on hold for 24 months? What if they HAVE to return because of poorer health? What if they've been away for treatment?
    Even then, I'm sure with the new stringent guidelines on what is considered 'disabled' and what disability deserves benefits, I wouldn't get a penny. This all started from a phone call, asking for clarification on a simple matter on a 'new' (to me) policy - PIP.
    My dad's reaction was 'What the hell did I pay my NI for for 60 years!'. 
    I don't want to grumble - I know I'm in a better situation that many. It's just a system that leads to despair and anger all along the way... I may go back to China for cheap physio, acupuncture, massage and alternative medicines.

  • Liam_Alumni
    Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,100 Empowering
    Hi @TimMusgrave,

    I'm sorry to hear about this. It does sound like a really frustrating time for you.

    @BenefitsTrainingCo, can you help?
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Community member Posts: 2,621 Trailblazing
    Hello Tim

    It is frustrating that things were not made clearer to you when you first called PIP to make a new claim.  Especially as PIP have a set of general questions that assess if someone is eligible to claim when a person first telephones to claim. Any absence abroad should have been picked up at this point and not after you had completed the form and been through the medical assessment. It maybe worth you considering a complaint to PIP on this issue.  I have put a link to the complaint procedure below:


    Unfortunately it is correct that PIP has a past presence test, that is a person has be physically present in GB for 104 weeks in the last 156 weeks to be eligible to claim PIP.  

    You mentioned that you have been going back and forth from China, and so you can argue that the times you are back in GB count towards satisfying the past presence test, meaning that you may not have to wait the full 104 weeks from the first day of your current residency. 

    Kind regards

    The Benefits Training Co:

  • TimMusgrave
    TimMusgrave Community member Posts: 15 Connected
    @BenefitsTrainingCo Maria,
    Many thanks for your advice and the link.
    I have been quoted the 104 weeks clause three times today, I think it's a little over the top to be honest. It used to be 6 months in DLA, as I believed. I called DWP to find out what the result would have been had I been present in the country for said 104 weeks. The answer? You failed the first question, so we didn't look at your application further. Great. A waste of resources and valuable time for doctors and staff.
    I have resorted to filing a request with my local MP to discuss the matter with DWP and the govt. policy makers - hoping to understand the reason for the 104 weeks policy. 
    Maybe it's to deter immigrant exploitation of the benefit.
    Maybe it's to stop me signing on, then leaving the country by the back door.
    Maybe it's due to the fact that I wouldn't have contributed to the NI pot.
    To my knowledge, none of these instances would apply to myself.

    Thanks again for the link, I will consider how to approach things when my MP gets back to me and I will keep you posted.
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,665 Championing
    Welcome to the community @TimMusgrave

    Senior online community officer
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