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How to answer questions in tribunal hearing

TheRiverKelvinTheRiverKelvin Member Posts: 8 Connected
I've made an appeal for my PIP application and am waiting for the date for a face to face hearing. I'm sure a lot people feel the same when I say the process of the application, assessment, answering uncomfortable questions and explaining how unwell you are and then finding out you have been deemed fit for work is exhausting and demoralising. So I wanna do this hearing right.

I have ASD (not yet diagnosed), dyslexia, anxiety, Mearles Irlen Syndrome and depression. These are all things I put down to claim for. I struggle with communicating with others, especially in intimidating situations like the work capability assessments. I struggle to explain myself, to think of the correct words to say and to understand fully what the other person is saying. I had a huge issue with my work capability assessment where I felt so intimidated by how the questions were being asked that I ended up answering only yes or no so I could get out of there asap. Even worse was I started answering the questions to how I thought the assessor wanted them answered because I was so confused and forgot why I was in there. So I didn't explain my problems properly leading to the assesor deeming me fit for work.

I'm scared I make the same mistakes again with the tribunal. I've watched a few videos on youtube and they look like they will make me feel intimidated again and anxious. The build up of anxiety leads me to not thinking correctly. I want to get the points across of why I can't do or need help or prompting with certain things.

What I'd like to know is how do I do that? How do I answer their questions? Do I explain the difficulty and tell them which condition is the cause of the difficulty and give them examples?

For example, 

"I cannot cook a simple meal using a cooker because I feel light headed and can faint from the heat from the ovens and stoves due to sensory hypersensitivity because of my ASD."

"I need prompting or assistance to make basic budgeting decisions as I lack understanding of money and cannot do sums in my head or on paper due to my dyslexia."

So the answer contains what I can't do, then the reason why, then the cause of the difficulty. 

Is this overload? I don't understand how I let those that make the decisions on my benefits know why I can't work.

Apologies for the long post. Any help is appreciated, thank you.

Replies

  • Lou30Lou30 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    I have fybronialgia / depression / Raynouds and recently got paid off from my employment where i worked for 23 years. I got refused pip .Then went to tribunal . The questions i got asked were ( coul i cooj a meal ) I answered i could. but never added only on a good day. 
    I was asked if i could drive my car when i said my daughter now drives as i only drive ocassionaly . Due to numbness in my hands they then asked if i had contacted dvla i said i hadnt as i still want some i dependance. Again i didnt say on a good day i could manage to drive. I assumed they would be aware fybromialgia is a variable condition . they asked about my medication and if i forgot to take it i said i do forget a lot of things they then asked what meds im on because i thought abt it i was able to tell them what i take and he mls They said my memory was fine as i cld quote meds I was awarded 0 points. The rep from cab said he could not believe i got turned down.
    Dont know what to do now
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 918 Pioneering
    @TheRiverKelvin You can work and get PIP, so don't worry about pricing you can't work. 

    It seems to me that you have the right idea. What I'd do is find the activities and their descriptors (look on citizen's advice website) and then go to https://pipinfo.net/

    Read all the stuff in "Issues", and pay particular attention to "Reliably". 

    Go to
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/help-with-your-claim/fill-in-form/
    and go through each activity. They list a lot of questions to ask yourself when figuring out how to answer.
  • TheRiverKelvinTheRiverKelvin Member Posts: 8 Connected
    @Waylay

    That link for the Pip Info website you gave me looks very good. It looks very worth while to read through that in prep for the oral hearing. I don't know how to word a lot of the issues I have but I see a lot of wordings on that site that fits my situation so i can use those .

    Very useful site, thanks very much!
  • TheRiverKelvinTheRiverKelvin Member Posts: 8 Connected
    @Lou30

    Sorry to hear you weren't successful in your hearing. It sounds like you answered in a very similar way to I did during my work capability assessment. 

    You can appeal a second time though. Using the info from that website PIP Info could be useful in knowing what info the tribunal are looking for and how you should answer your questions.

    Good luck if you do decide to make a second appeal
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    What you have written is not overload. However, if you have not been diagnosed with asd, I wouldnt say asd unless you can explain why you put asd. Does that make sense? Good luck.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    @Lou30

    You can appeal a second time though. Using the info from that website PIP Info could be useful in knowing what info the tribunal are looking for and how you should answer your questions.

    Good luck if you do decide to make a second appeal
    Being able to recite a list of medication and telling the assessor that memory was difficult is a contradiction. 
    There is no point in reading up on how to give the right answers to a Tribunal is wrong. What they would want to know is the truth that relates to the claimant.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Somethng they asked me about meds, do you use any aids to remember meds? I said I use a medbox app on my phone. They said they meant a weekly dosset box or similar. I said my chemist only makes up those for dementia patients. So no. I have alarms on my phone and my chemist orders and picks up my meds. What I didnt say got me no points. They only count these actual aids apparently. I didnt say I cant manage to fill a dosset box myself and why. I didnt say I cant order and pick up my meds and why. So hindsight is a wonderful thing. Forgetting my meds is an ongoing issue for me, especially letting the chemist know in time when I need to re order. It was nerves on the day.
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • TheRiverKelvinTheRiverKelvin Member Posts: 8 Connected
    @Yadnad

    It's not just about telling the truth. It's the way you tell that truth and making sure you don't miss out other important facts in your answers. 

    Wording your answer in a certain way and making sure not to miss out anything important can be the difference in winning and losing an appeal. Especially if you have an disability that is hidden and varies like mine.

    I'm not suggesting anyone lie. 

    I have to disagree with you, researching the activities and descriptors to prepare how you will answer is not wrong.
  • Lou30Lou30 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    @Lou30

    Sorry to hear you weren't successful in your hearing. It sounds like you answered in a very similar way to I did during my work capability assessment. 

    You can appeal a second time though. Using the info from that website PIP Info could be useful in knowing what info the tribunal are looking for and how you should answer your questions.

    Good luck if you do decide to make a second appeal

  • TheRiverKelvinTheRiverKelvin Member Posts: 8 Connected
    What you have written is not overload. However, if you have not been diagnosed with asd, I wouldnt say asd unless you can explain why you put asd. Does that make sense? Good luck.
    Thank you @debbiedo49 for the good wishes. 

    But can you tell me why you think I shouldn't say I have ASD? Do you think it would have a negative effect in my hearing?

    Although I'm waiting on an assessment for diagnosis I feel confident that all my symptoms are due to being on the spectrum. With all the research I've done and other people on the spectrum I've met I'm confident I am on the spectrum. So many others on the spectrum are confident in self diagnosis due to overwhelming evidence pointing to ASD. They are quite specific sets of symptoms.

    I thought I should say which illness/disability was the cause of the difficulty to back up what I was saying. But maybe this isn't necessary. 
  • Lou30Lou30 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Thanks for your help 
    Iv worked all my life and would be happier to still be able to work it just goes against the grain to have to prove to people  just how debilitating  fybromialgia can be it varies so much  . I will go for second appeal  Thanks again
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    A diagnosis won't get you a PIP award, it's how those conditions affect you that will get you the award. If you haven't been officially diagnosed with ASD then why would you put that down anyway? It's not easy being diagnosed with this because it's got very specific criteria and the assessment process itself can take many many months. 
    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.
  • TheRiverKelvinTheRiverKelvin Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited September 2018
    @poppy123456
    I know a diagnosis won't get me the award. That's not why I am seeking a diagnosis. Nor did I say so.

    Although I have not been diagnosed it doesn't mean I don't have the condition. The symptoms are very much there and effecting me every day. It's the main reason I cannot work full time and need support and the reason I am appealing for PIP.

    "It's not easy being diagnosed with this because it's got very specific criteria and the assessment process itself can take many many months." - I don't know why you told me this when I didn't ask for advice on ASD assessments. It sounds like you are speaking from hearsay rather than your own experience and I don't need to hear this. An ASD assessment being difficult and taking "many many" months is just opinion and not fact for all individuals seeking diagnosis. 

    I came here looking for support and help on how to communicate my difficulties to a tribunal hearing effectively. I didn't ask for pessimistic, negative questions and comments. Please keep those to yourself
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m saying that they could ask you why do you say you have asd and if you haven’t been diagnosed then you could get undermined by that. I would say you have the symptoms of asd but use that in further explanation. It’s how your symptoms affect you day to day. I’m saying that as I applied with undiagnosed fibromyalgia which was manifesting as chronic pain. My symptoms affected my daily living in various ways which I described. Is that a bit clearer?
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • joyclynjoyclyn Member Posts: 67 Courageous
    Update on my posts  Today I won my appeal thank Got no mobility but that's OK after 1year of hell worry   it's over    I was to have had it in June   but was unable to talk cried all the time and then asked if it could stop for further medical records .3 months on  and  I cannot express how it feels my point in this is to say tribunals    First time the panel terrified me the Judge   .Dr.   Disabled  lady  all had horrible manner today I really  thought the panel was putting on act  as so nice they were  I was not interagated   made to feel at ease when I was asked questions I never in a million year thought I had  a chance   so there is good people out there  I am so grateful  and any one whom may read this don't b like I have been   more so past 3 months  worry   made myself ill   I was just unfortunately  the last one to be seen  fist time around plus 1hour 15 late they were running and I think I got  brunt of there day best luck to anyone  now waiting  for tribunal  I could not have had a better panel of people  hope the same for  every one    
  • TheRiverKelvinTheRiverKelvin Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited September 2018
    @debbiedo49

    Yes, thank you.

    As you say it's how the symptoms effect me day to day that's important so it seems pointless in naming the condition causing the symptoms in my answers as it's not needed.

    Thank you, I know now I don't need to go into explanations of the symptoms which should make the hearing easier and quicker.

    Thank you for your advice!

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    @TheRiverKelvin

    My advice was from experience and not from hearsay!!  having been through the whole process with my daughter and it took me 14 years to get that diagnosis. The whole process is still fresh in my mind in fact because we only had the diagnosis at the end of June. I never once stated that my daughter had ASD until we had the diagnosis, i'm not even sure why you would do that. A diagnosis takes months from start to finish and that is also from experience and not hearsay, as you stated it was. 
    The reason I advised is because naming a condition that you haven't been diagnosis with is wrong. Concentrate on how your condition affects you during your Tribunal because that's what they'll be looking at. 
    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.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 918 Pioneering
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