EA 10 Legal Advice for PIP Claims — Scope | Disability forum
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EA 10 Legal Advice for PIP Claims

Stranger Member Posts: 6 Listener
Can someone please explain to me the extent of reasonable adjustments when it comes to requesting paper-based PIP assessments? My indefinite DLA ended in June '17, after which I applied for PIP. Since I couldn't attend their interrogation (Atos), I waited for my MR to come through following my nonappearance (I wrote to them with my reasons, of course). Then, having failed at MR, I started an appeal. My appeal was then cancelled when the DWP informed them: “You have indicated that you are willing to attend an assessment”. I really wanted to challenge them legally on this, because as an outright lie they had no evidence, but I didn't know how to.

So I had to go through the three stages again (15 months and counting since my DLA ended), after which my tribunal decided that I should be offered a home visit. Atos now demand that this goes ahead. But the thing is, I've been crystal clear all along that I can't cope with the social contact involved. Countless times I've asked for a paper-based review in place of an interview, and the kicker is that my tribunal must've agreed with my reasoning to have ordered a home visit. But they chose to implement a partial solution that, to my mind, it should be obvious is unworkable. If they accept that I can't go to a public assessment for the reasons I gave, they surely have to accept the universality of my condition, insofar as social contact itself is my disability?

So back to EA 10, the following descriptors apply to me:

* * * * *

Q9a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to communicate with others?

Yes, all my contact with people is online, never in person or over the phone. The only exception to this is my family, who buy my food and so on.

Q9b – Do you need help from another person to communicate with others?
By this we mean:
• do they help you by speaking on your behalf?

Again, yes: my mum speaks on my behalf.

Q11b – Do you find it difficult to mix with other people because of severe anxiety or distress?

I don't mix with other people at all because of severe anxiety and distress.

* * * * *

If they'd carry out a paper assessment and I fail both its MR and appeal, I'll just moan for a bit and move on. I only ask for what seems like the reasonable adjustment of not imposing the suffering that comes from social contact. How is inflicting that suffering when there's an official alternative not discriminatory? My stress would be heightened by a home visit if anything, because I only have one chair and also a bike. They'd see the bike and say ‘Ah, so you go out?’. And I'd say ‘Yes, but only at night (I live in a village), because that's when I know I won't meet anyone’. But only my first word would go on their form. I'm too high-functioning to avoid giving them enough ammo to fail me, and yet at the same time, I think they'd be confident in my inability to attend a tribunal (which is true — I can't).

Most of my social issues relate to autism, so it's not like I don't have a valid reason. Or at least it shouldn't be. I see they've updated PIP2 recently, whereas I completed the older one. Can I ask for the new form and start over, filling in more supporting evidence? I really wish I had a professional online advocate, but that doesn't seem to be an option? I'd even pay for one. I'm ESA Support Group and had indefinite DLA for care and mobility (both lower).



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