PIP, DLA and AA
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12 weeks wait for pip decision

Gwenewen7Gwenewen7 Member Posts: 29 Connected
After waiting 12 weeks for decision on my reassessment they downgraded me and I lost £100.00 a month on the mobilty which i must admit has got worse in fact i just reapplied for my blue badge and got it no problem the asseser said i am a accident waiting to happen anyway i called DWP and they still didnt award it to me so now i am going to court I wouldn't useually do this but I feel very strongly about it I have rheumatoid arthritis and various other illnesses which effect my mobility but I admit I have had sleepless nights since June over this but feel I must see it through its the only thing I claim and have 3 years till can claim my pension at now 66 as I was born 1956  I lost my husband 4 yrs ago and have his personal works pension so I am lucky really but cannot claim sick anymore as I just over the limit with his pension so pip is all I get from the DWP I do feel I have to fight for this I really do ..am I been stupid putting myself through this am I just been stubborn should I just accept it and stop moaning ? .what are your views ?

Replies

  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Hi Gwenewen7, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had your pip reduced. I’m not in a position to advise you as I’ve not got the expertise, I do know that there are very knowledgable people on here who will,I’m sure,give you brilliant advice. I understand the sleepless nights very well, this was when I was waiting for the decision on my pip. It’s so hard to decide whether to follow something up or leave well alone. My story is this.
    My health had deteriorated to the point where I felt I needed ( as they, being the dwp, call it) intervention. I was already receiving pip , both standard. CAB were great and helped me with the form,I had a very long wait for my f2f, had a very kind and helpful hcp who was a physiotherapist which was brilliant for me because of my disabilities. Waited a further 10 weeks for my outcome. Relief, I was awarded enhanced both. I sounds so smooth and easy, believe me it wasn’t I went to hell and back. I visited very dark places in my mind, I wished so many times I hadn’t gone with the intervention I was so scared. I was right in doing so because they awarded it to me,but on saying that I feel unlike you and many,many more people the extra I’d like to think was not only filling in the form well but I had a health professional that understood my disabilities. I may be wrong and others may have their ideas. At the end of the day you need to do what you feel is right for you. I’m sure other people on here can help you and you’ll be able to do what is right for you. I hope this as been some help. Good luck 😀😀😀
  • Gwenewen7Gwenewen7 Member Posts: 29 Connected
    Thank you gwendoline1 for takein g the time to help I feel I am doing the right thing I just need to see my GP Tuesday and see if i can get copies of all my medical history to send off as proff of my lack of mobility I was also on a trial for rheumatoid arthritis  at the hospital I have had scans and x rays lots blood tests so have the results of all them as proff sure I should be able to get copies from my GP fi.gers crossed .
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    You are welcome. Have a look on here and see what others have done in similar circumstances as yourself, you’ll see how they have dealt with it and what advice some of the more knowledgeable people on here have given. I’ve learnt so much on here by reading other people’s experiences. 
    Im sure you know it’s not going to be an easy ride, weighing up what is the best for you is important.
    Good luck and if I’m able to help in anyway you’ve only got to ask.😀😀😀
  • Gwenewen7Gwenewen7 Member Posts: 29 Connected
    Thankyou once again I am getting organised and have a GP appointment tommorow and will ask for a copy of my records and diagnosises plus my records from a trial I am on for rheumatoid arthritis  I will keep you posted .
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    @Gwenewen7 Three things to remember:
    1. Medical evidence can be useful to prove that you have certain diagnoses, take certain meds, etc.
    2. However, you score the points you need by telling them *how* your function is limited by your disabilities/conditions. So you don't just need to prove that you're sick, you need to tell them that your illness(es) prevent you from doing certain things: the activities (preparing and cooking a meal, dressing and undressing, planning a route and following it, mixing with people, etc). Each of the activities has a bunch of descriptors, which you can find online (Google PIP descriptors 2018). You need to figure out which descriptor you fit into and tell them why.

    For example (I'm doing this from memory, so definitely look this up), Activity 1, preparing and cooking a meal has descriptors such as:
    a) Can prepare and cook a meal unaided. (0 points)
    b) Needs aids and/or appliances to prep and cook a simple meal (2? points)
    c) Cannot cook a meal on a hob, but can cook using a microwave. (2? points)
    d) Can prepare and cook a meal, but needs prompting or assisstance to do so. (4? points)
    etc.

    A lot of these words have specific meanings which you might not guess, like what exactly is a simple meal? What does "prompting" mean? What's the difference between assistance and supervision? pipinfo.net is really useful for this. Also make sure you look at their stuff on "Reliably"! They also give good info on questions to ask yourself, examples of what you might write, etc. There are other good sites too!

    Example: I have chronic pain in my back with back spasms, and complex mental health problems. I'd write something like:

    My chronic pain is always present, but if I do any kind of activity (such as standing, walking, etc.) for more than 5-10 minutes, my pain, stiffness, and fatigue increase, and the chances of having a back spasm increase. (I would have described what the back spasms are like already.) If I lie down on the sofa for 5-15 minutes then I can stand for another 5-10 minutes, but each time I do this my pain (etc.) worsens and the chance of a back spasms increases. On good days I can probably stand/rest 2 or 3 times. On avg. days, 1-2 times. On bad days 0-1 times. On my worst days I can't even get to the kitchen.
    Because I can only stand for 1-3 short periods, I don't have enough time to chop up veggies and meat, put them in a pot, stir them, etc., and I certainly can't do so reliably (trying increases my symptoms and usually results in a back spasms, which can leave me bedbound on tramadol/morphine for hours-days). I certainly can't do it repeatedly!

    If I had lots of assistance from someone else I could probably manage to make 1 meal a day on good days (about 1 day a week) and 1 meal, occasionally 2, on average days (3 days a week).

    cont...
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    Make sense? If you can think of a story about a time when you did try to do one of the activities, and what happened, that's a really useful thing to add, too.

    3. Don't send your whole medical record to them - they don't have the time to shuffle through a huge stack of paper. Pick out particular reports that are useful (i.e. that have something to say about how your illness (es) limit your function. Occupational Therapy reports are very useful, for example. A consultant's report that gives a strong opinion that you can only walk X metres, and therefore need crutches, would be useful. If you have a carer, ask them to write a letter. Friends, counselors, etc. can be useful sometimes. Appointment letters, not so much. The more recent these are, the better, but often when we've had a condition for a long time we don't have much recent evidence, so older stuff is still useful.

    I'm sure others will help too!
  • Gwenewen7Gwenewen7 Member Posts: 29 Connected
    Thankyou so much for your advice some of these things I never realised it is so helpful for me to see just what is relivent and the best way forward with my case it is very helpful the things you have said and it's has definitely changed the way I will be presenting the medical evidence to them thankyou very much ..
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Hiya Gwenewen7, Waylay as given some great advice, when we live with a disability/ illness day in day out we at times forget how we’ve adapted ourselves to this. When I was filling out my form for pip with a member of CAB, who were great a may had, one of the things she said was, when I shower ( even though I use a specially adapted chair in my wet room ) because of my server asthma as soon as the shower goes on I’ll cough and cough and cough, it takes my breath away because of the heat and the water. Now I’ve lived like this for years but never gave it a thought until she said, does this happen to you because it happens to her son, I smiled and shook my head, I never ever would have given it a thought to use as an example how this affects me. We live with so many examples but don’t give it a second thought. 
    As Waylay said think of examples, go through your day from the time you get up, to the time you go to bed.
    This forum as been so helpful to me,I can’t praise the knowledgeable people on here enough.
    Again if I can help in anyway just ask.😀😀😀
  • Gwenewen7Gwenewen7 Member Posts: 29 Connected
    Do you know gwendoline I so agree with you we adapt to our health problems and don't think about it useually but reading all the advice I agree it's definitely makeing me look at what I do daily just to cope and I feel I will be much more aware of my problems and how I overcome them on a daily basis thank you both for makeing me realise to take notice of just what I do its very much appreciated. 
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    You are welcome. I have found that I desperately want to be independent as much as I can, therefore forgetting how difficult every day can be. It’s not a case of crying into my own cup,it’s just life as it is. Don’t feel shy or embarrassed when having to explain what help you need. Being to independent won’t help you, be truthful, even if you don’t like having to honest how hard it is. I truly hope all goes well for you. 😀😀😀
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    Very much agreed, @Gwendoline1 and @Gwenewen7 .

    I asked my partner and my best friend to write up a couple of sentences for each activity about me. I was a bit shocked at how much I've adapted to my conditions, and how little I think about the things I can no longer do (in self-defense, I think). It was very useful, but difficult to read.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Many people, having gone through the assessment process, then the Mandatory Reconsideration are still let down by the system.
    In order to get justice and the award they deserve, the final stage is to appeal to a tribunal.

    Usually, a tribunal is a panel made up of a judge, a doctor and a disability specialist. This is an independant panel, given the task of looking at all the evidence from both parties, and come to an unbiased decision. In many cases, the panel will want to clarify with the claimant some of the evidence, or give the claimant the chance to explain.

    If you are able to attend the hearing this is more easily achieved, however to some, the accumulated stress makes this impossible and a hearing can be held based just on the paper evidence with out the need to attend. It is also possible now to request a telephone or skype hearing

    In all cases, the judge will notify you before the hearing if he believes that the current award is unsafe, which means that you may lose points and your current award. If this happens you do have the option to withdraw your appeal and keep the award you have.

    This all sounds so scary that many people don't progress to this stage and settle for a lesser award than they deserve. Having already sent in all your possible evidence, what else can you do to persuade the "court" that you deserve a higher award ?

    The simple answer is nothing. You have done everything you can.

    Or have you ?

    Often, the problem is not your evidence, which proves beyond doubt that your condition is real and affects the way you complete the daily tasks in line with the decriptors.

    The problem is with how your evidence is presented.

    Think about it. If you were a DM or a tribunal panel, would you want to read through the equivalent of War and Peace in medical evidence ? Would you even be able to stay awake to do so ?

    Presentation to an appeal panel is made easy for you. You have already done all the work of collecting and submitting your evidence and GP letters where possible. The DWP has sent you back a copy of everything, "the bundle", all you need to do is present your case in an idiot proof form.

    Make it easy for the panel to understand why you deserve the award.

    We have all had the HCP report that at best can be described as a work of fiction. Attacking the HCP will not score you any points
    The panel don't care ! The job of the panel is to make a judgement on your functionality and your job is to present your reasons in a straight forward manner.
    Complaints about assessors are a separate matter and have no place in appeal submissions.

    My "how to template", a formula put together over a year and eight successful PIP claims, may be of use if you want to give it a try. It is not magic, it is not a guarantee of success. You may think it is a load of ****, feel free to disgard it or make comments.
    If it makes sense to you and helps you to appeal in a less stressful way, feel free to use it.

    Template for appeal submission

    MY best advice is, make it simple and idiot proof.
    You do not need to try and find even more paperwork, you have already sent in all your relevant evidence

    Write a brief history of your claim, condition and how it affects your daily life.

    Example:

    I am 61 years old and have had rheumatoid arthritis, multiple joint osteoarthritis and lupus for most of my life. The condition is permanent and deteriorating despite medication to slow the process. The painkillers I take have an effect after a few hours but before they kick in, I have difficulty washing and dressing and the pain make it very hard to get around.

    You may agree with some of the points awarded, in which case say so and reference these to the bundle so the panel can easily find the information if they want.

    Example;

    Undisputed descriptors

    Managing toilet needs 2 points (page 64 of the bundle)
    Communicating verbally 0 points ( page 66 of the bundle )
    etc.

    Next move on to the descriptors that you are disputing. Again reference each point to the bundle.
    State what you were awarded. What you believe you should have been awarded and why.

    Example:

    Disputed activity
    Preparing and cooking food
    I was awarded 0 points for preparing and cooking food ( page 60 of the bundle )
    I believe that I should have been awarded 4 points for this activity
    I need help to cook food, I can prepare vegetables whilst sitting but I cannot reliably, safely and for the majority of time, lift hot pans due to limited dexterity, poor grip and pain in my wrists and hands ( ref GP1, GP3 of the bundle. GP's letter ) There is a clear danger that I will drop things and scald myself and therefore need my wife to do this when necessary.
    The assessment took place at 09:00 when I was fully rested and with the benefit of full pain medication. The HCP stated that I had a normal power and pinch grip at the time ( pages 59 & 60 of the bundle ). However ,I do not believe that the assessor took into consideration the effect of fatigue and the diminishing effect of my pain relief during a typical day, especially at meal times later in the day.

    Do this for each descriptor that you dispute.

    Finally write a brief summary of the above.


    In conclusion, due to the snapshot nature of the assessment, I believe that the assessor did not take into consideration how my conditions affect me during a typical day or how the effects of fatigue and diminishing pain relief impact on my capability to carry out the activities as the day wears on.
    I believe that I should have been awarded XX points for the care component and as agreed 12 points for moving around.
    My conditions are permanent and deteriorating yearly ( GP 1 ) with no chance of remmission. As my condition varies from day to day, I request that the hearing takes place on the paper evidence as I am unable to ensure my attendance.

    Your faithfully.

    These are true examples from a submission used which resulted in a higher award being given.

    I hope this helps some of you tro realise that tribunals don't have to be scary or hard to do.

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Hiya CockneyRebel, You are absolutely right ,it’s the way you deliver it. When I had my assessment,the physiotherapist who was doing mine asked me to explain how I was affected when it came to each of the descriptors.
    I tried to give the shortest of answers but with the most impact. The hcp is only human ( I think ! Haha ) Its the same in everyday life,if someone waffles on we get bored and mentally switch off, then miss out on what could be the most important part.
    I had a great outcome and I do believe I approached it like you’ve said CockneyRebel and many more who’ve given out valuable advice. Mine was only the assessment, but I do wish that people take this valuable advice that’s given out by these knowledgeable,like yourself and with a bit of luck thrown in they won’t need go any further than the assessment stage.
    Again valuable advice CockneyRebel 😀😀😀
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Hiya CockneyRebel, You are absolutely right ,it’s the way you deliver it. When I had my assessment,the physiotherapist who was doing mine asked me to explain how I was affected when it came to each of the descriptors.

    Many unfortunately don't get the chance to answer in any great detail. The assessor asks you to confirm a statement they make More often than not such statements are geared to producing a yes answer. These are commonly known as closed questions. 
    To have an assessor that asks open questions and wants to understand that everyone is different and thus the impact felt will be different all well and good. But please don't assume that all assessors are like the one you have described.
    I've had 3 in the past 5 years and everyone was a yes/no maybe answer interview.
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Hiya Yadnad, To a certain extent I agree in what you’ve said. Unfortunately I too have had a bad experience, with esa not pip. You come out so deflated and wonder what’s it all about. Preparation is the key to it all, well I believe it is.
    Even though I did have a good pip assessment, not just meaning the outcome, I do think I’d possibly request for it to be recorded next time. I’ve read about  horrendous assessments and the lies on the report, this obviously includes what you’ve written too and it’s scary.
    Out of curiosity, do you or have you read of anyone who’ve had their assessment recorded and had a hcp report contradicting what the recorded report was. I just wonder if they would or have done this. Ludicrous I know but possible I suppose?😀😀😀

  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Hiya Yadnad, To a certain extent I agree in what you’ve said. Unfortunately I too have had a bad experience, with esa not pip. You come out so deflated and wonder what’s it all about. Preparation is the key to it all, well I believe it is.
    Even though I did have a good pip assessment, not just meaning the outcome, I do think I’d possibly request for it to be recorded next time. I’ve read about  horrendous assessments and the lies on the report, this obviously includes what you’ve written too and it’s scary.
    Out of curiosity, do you or have you read of anyone who’ve had their assessment recorded and had a hcp report contradicting what the recorded report was. I just wonder if they would or have done this. Ludicrous I know but possible I suppose?😀😀😀

    To be honest no I haven't. I don't know anybody that claims PIP who would be at all interested in wanting it recorded - I know I wouldn't simply because there is not much that you can do with such a recording. You can't use it as evidence unless you funded the cost of it being transcribed professionally.

    At the end of the day and whether it is recorded or not, the assessor's report is not a statement of fact it is nothing more than an opinion. The assessor might have the opinion when and after you spend 10mins relating that you can't walk more than 10 metres that they simply don't believe you.

    They could have the opinion that they saw you walk from the waiting room to the assessment room, a distance of 15 metres and appeared not to be collapsing on the floor every third step. They then could have the opinion that you could walk at least 200 metres based on what they observed.

    It doesn't have to be right or even factual - it is their opinion. 
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Hits Yadnad,
    Thanks for your reply, I see what you mean. 
    Ive worked from the age of 16 as a Saturday girl and have done various jobs and always throughly enjoyed working and earning my £1 and proud to do so.
    Since becoming ill and then going onto having difficulty walking and just generally doing the most simplest of tasks I’m in so much pain that along comes the worries. 
    All except one assessor, I’ve been satisfied with all the other hcp but it doesn’t stop me worrying if I’ll meet one of the other sorts one day and therefore toyed with the idea of recording of the assessment. Silly looking that far ahead I know.
    After reading what you’ve written you most certainly been deal a duff hand and I’m sorry you have, it must and is hard plus deflating.
    Whenever I write on here it’s usually to try and give encouragement to others who are looking for answers.
    Its a very interesting forum with some very clued up people to help you in area of claiming benefits. I appreciate that you’ve taken time to reply.😀😀😀
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    I meant hiya not hits haha sorry Yadnad 😀😀😀
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