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EA 10 Legal Advice for PIP Claims

StrangerStranger 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).


  • Mum72Mum72 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I advise you or your mum to contact your MP with this problem! He will act on your behalf and it should be less stressful!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The only problem I can see here is that after your Tribunal it was decided that a home visit should be offered, rather than a paper based assessment should be done. The Tribunal will have looked at all your evidence and decided on a home visit and not a paper based assessment. Other than that I have no answer for you but I do wish you good luck.
    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.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Did you appear at the Tribunal? 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    This isn’t an EA 10 issue. It’s an issue of evidence. A tribunal has looked at your case and decided that a HV is needed. That’s telling you loud and clear that neither DWP, IAS nor the tribunal felt they had enough evidence to determine the case on papers alone. If they did then they would have done so as it’s essuer for all concerned. 

    Waste of time going to your MP. Their caseworkers won’t understand the issue and won’t be able to influence the outcome. 

    You could take an EA 10 claim or just ask for it as a reasonable adjustment but the best outcome you could currently get there is that they agree a paper based assessment and then decide you’re not entitled to PIP owing to the lack of evidence. It’s not actually an RA in this scenario as the intent is to put you on a level playing field with other claimants but you actually are as it’s been open to you all along to put in whatever evidence you wish. 

    It also strikes me that you are assuming an awful lot of things which you can’t evidence e.g. assuming you know what will be recurred if an assessor comes to your home and you’re consequently so busy concentrating on what they might do or ought to do that you’ve not weighed up the strength of your own evidence. i appreciate that the answers you’ve given above are examples (I hope) but you would need way more than that to make even a half decent case. 

  • mel24mel24 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi would a EA10 APPLY TO ESA ALSO?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    mel24 said:
    Hi would a EA10 APPLY TO ESA ALSO?
    Yes but if you attend other appointments then that can go against you.
    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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