PIP appeal letter.
I am currently awaiting an appeal with yourselves regarding the refusal and withdrawal of personal independence payments from the 9th of November 2017. I am submitting further medical evidence and supporting letters in advance of my appeal against the decision of awarding me both 0 points for the daily living and the 4 points for the mobility components.
I were initially awarded PIP with 10 points for standard daily living and 8 points for standard mobility. This was awarded in February 2016 until July 2018. It was a reasonable and fair reflection of the assessment although I felt that I should have been awarded 4 points for descriptor 1 instead of 2 points. (Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal) and 1 point for (Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition). I was called into a reassessment in October 2017 with 9 months left of my initial award still to run with no significant changes to my health and I ended up feeling rushed and not listened to in my later assessment and my award was taken away from me.
I have put things in the oven whilst being drunk and fallen asleep only to be woken up by smoke detectors being set off by what I have burned. I get an overwhelming urge to self harm and I have deliberately cut myself with kitchen knives and poured boiling water over my hands. When I do eat, I will have a sandwich or something ready cooked like a pie. I will binge drink 4-5 days a week and I do not eat or have a appetite for a couple of days due to feeling nauseous and generally ill and having withdrawal symptoms by the way of sweating and feeling hot.
In a typical day I will be sat in the same clothes that I have been in for most of the week and go to sleep in them on the sofa or be sat in my underwear because I am too hot and start sweating due to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. I get low in mood and I feel a lack of motivation to get dressed/undressed, washed and shaved and brush my teeth or do anything. I live behind closed curtains and locked doors attempting to avoid everybody and begin to feel depressed, anxious and paranoid. I start drinking and having dark thoughts about self harming that can lead to actual episodes of self harm. I consider myself a worthless failure.
I am always forgetting to take my medication and have to be frequently reminded by my support worker. I have had previous phone calls from GP to prompt me to go to hospital appointments and go and pick up medication. Especially my inhalers.
I cannot handle social situations or group settings unless I am drunk.I have an history of self harming in public. I have travelled as far as Manchester and Leeds to do it. I have done it in the middle of a shop, I have been discharged from the patients list at a former GP surgery for doing it there. I get aggressive mood swings and really irritable which has led me to have convictions for criminal damage and assault.
I get stressed and anxious in places like supermarkets. I have had panic attacks and I have ran out of them in the past. I also get really bad mood swings and start to swear when I am in the queue. I now do my shopping online. I feel anxious on the bus and I have not been on one for several years. I get a taxi to my mother’s when I go and see her and I will go to my GP appointments with my support worker. If I had to get from one place to another and it was in a straight line but somewhere in the middle there was a place I wanted to avoid. I would take the long way around. Before I had neuropathy and COPD and I had ever heard of online shopping. I would go to the supermarket in the middle of the night as it would be more than likely empty.
I attended the second assessment on my own because I really didn’t have any choice in the matter. I was given 7 days notice to attend and I could not find anyone to come along with me for support. I had stayed at my mother’s address the night before since she lives at the back of ------------- railway station as it is only a 16 minute train ride to---------------- If I hadn’t have attended, my benefit would have been stopped regardless the outcome of the assessment. What has not been mentioned in the report is that I phoned the assessment centre in a panic as the train was late and that I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of people in------------- and my head felt like it was in a trance and spaced out. I also had a coughing fit in the waiting room and the receptionist came to my assistance and gave me a glass of water and stayed with me until I felt alright.
I have mobility issues including COPD and Peripheral neuropathy of which I were awarded 4 points in both assessments. I was observed to be limping by the first HCP assessor in my initial claim and was observed to be out of breath at 28 metres in the second assessment. No consideration was given that both of these conditions are constant and I frequently suffer with both at the same time. Pain and breathlessness below 50 metres is not what I would consider reliably and repeatedly. Especially when my legs start burning and going numb and after the first attack of the day, I can barely stand let alone walk. They do fluctuate though but I can never say how far I can walk from one day to the next, but it will always happen everyday.
I have documented evidence and a diagnosis of each of theses problems that include isolation, personality disorder, depression, self harming and alcohol abuse for most of my adult life as well as other health problems including liver damage, COPD, Asthma peripheral neuropathy and vitamin deficiency.
I wholeheartedly disagree with a lot of what was written in the latest report. It completely undermined and contradicted the previous assessors observations as well as my former GP and any supporting evidence that was initially provided. No attention was paid to any of the medical evidence that I submitted on the day of the assessment. My answers were misinterpreted and not written down as I told them. I would explain a situation where I had got really drunk and left a pizza in the oven and fallen asleep and the smoke detector woke me up. That was interpreted as “Will cook oven pizza” In the appeal papers, there is a referral letter from my previous GP for a scan on my liver which describes me as being “obese” and in the initial assessment report I am observed as “looks overweight” Yet in this report I am of “average build”. Considering that I was observed to be sweating and going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms and I have developed neuropathy and liver damage through it. There was apparently no specialist input even though I have a support letter in my appeal papers from my initial claim that states otherwise. Also the rest of the observations leave a lot to be desired since I turned up in the same clothes I had been in all week and I was unshaven.
I have enclosed a few pages from my medical records that highlights a considerable amount of hospital admissions over the years that will build a better picture of my conditions and diagnoses starting as far back with admissions to hospital for self harming and isolation, then having at various times being diagnosed with personality disorders and depression. I would like the panel to pay particular attention to at the bottom of page 5 of 56 and the top of page 6 of 56. The GP will not give me anything for the neuropathy or any antidepressants due to my alcohol intake, which isn’t saying that I don’t have these conditions as it is clearly stated that I have. They just won’t treat them until I control the drinking which I find extremely difficult to do.
I have enclosed a supporting letter from my support worker------------------------ who sees me on a weekly basis who will be supporting my claim and will also be attending the appeal with me to offer their support and input if needed.