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Pip tribunal with social anxiety

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johnsmith187
johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
Hi guys, after some advice if you please..

Basically my wife applied for pip and got awarded 11 daily living and 10 mobility based on her physical conditions however she also suffers from severe anxiety,ocd and social phobia.  We MR'ed with no success and have just received her tribunal date. 
The problem is she is in an absolute mess with the stress, in her first interview she was crying pretty much the whole time but she did manage to answer a few questions however half way through she started having an attack and I had to finish answering for her. (Of course in the report they wrote no signs of anxiety lol)  
However the idea of talking to three people and the dreaded idea of a 'court hearing' is just too much for her and every time we practice she just goes straight into an attack.
The day we got the hearing date she had an episode in which we had to see the Dr who gave her some tranquilizers that thankfully calmed her down.
She only manages to leave the house 3-5 times a year and never without me so just getting out the door is a struggle.

I'm  just really worried she's not going to be able to attend on the day or if she does she won't be able to speak to them without having an attack or becoming hysterical. 

So has anyone got any similar experiences? If she can't go should i go instead? I am her representative in the case but will they see me alone? Should i just ask them to base it on the paperwork? Will that kill her chances?

The reasons they gave to not  award the points are; she's never had treatment for anxiety, she had no input from a health specialist and that she showed no signs of anxiety.   The evidence I provided was a letter from her Dr stating a formal diagnosis of severe anxiety, severe ocd and severe social phobia. That she's had the condition for over ten years and has been treated for the condition for over ten years and that 'her condition is so severe it directly effects her daily living and ability to complete tasks...'  I also submitted a detailed letter pointing out all the signs of anxiety my wife displayed at the interview. Along with any other  errors in the report.
So have we got a chance if its decided on a paperbase? Or should I just abandon all hope? 

It just seems ridiculous that my wife has to engage with strangers to prove she can't engage with stranger ...talk about an uphill struggle.

Anyway any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,985 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi,

    You won't be able to attend the hearing on her behalf, she will need to attend herself. She will need to answer the questions herself because they will want to hear it from her, how she's affects. They may ask you some questions at the end but this doesn't always happen.

    The evidence you should be sending should say how her conditions affect her ability to carry out daily activities against the PIP descriptors. Giving 2-3 examples of what happened the last time she tried to do that activity. They won't be interested in any signs of anxiety she showed at the assessment, or the errors in the report.

    She can ask for a paper based hearing but the success rate of these is as low as 8% maybe less. Compared to 70% if you appear in person.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Thanks for the advice, I did include in my letter the descriptors i believed she met (engaging with other people and following a route without distress) ,why I thought she met them and examples of what happens when she tries to complete these tasks. 

    I know the ideal situation would be that she answers the questions herself but I honestly don't see that happening, so if I can't help her I guess we are in for some uncomfortable silences. Oh well I guess we'll have to see on the day. 

    It's surprising that i shouldn't include errors on the report. For example they stated on the report has never received treatment and then gave that as why they didn't award points. So I provided evidence that she has received treatment. Should I not have done that then? Oops I thought I was suppose to prove she met the descriptors and challenge the reasons for not awarding the points. Will we get penalised for that?
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    edited November 2018
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    Sorry your wife is going through this :(




  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Thank you WF2k that's very sweet of you and so am I very much so. It's scary how easily they dismiss mental health when in reality it can effect someone's life so much.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    edited November 2018
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    I have severe anxiety (agoraphobia, maybe social anxiety), depression and FM so I do understand to a degree. My son comes everywhere with me (when I do go out). I also don't take meds or have any treatment for it anymore because none of it worked.

    I've had a couple of tribunals but for ESA, the tribunal panels I've had have been very nice, understanding and empathetic. I won both tribunals, I was in there for around 20 - 30 in total I think.

    Last year I received an ESA50 and more recently I received a PIP review, both of these have had a knock on effect to both my mental and physical health and I'm constantly worried and anxious.

    I really don't know what to suggest for your wife :(
  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Just knowing other people have come out the other side of an appeal helps and I have my fingers crossed for your next reviews. :) 

  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,790 Disability Gamechanger
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    Glad to see you've had some support @johnsmith187, fingers crossed for you and your wife too. Please do keep us updated!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
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    Thank you @johnsmith187 :) I thought I'd replied.

    I hope your wife manages to go to the tribunal.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi,

    You won't be able to attend the hearing on her behalf, she will need to attend herself. 


    Is that the case? One then wonders why, when my wife was ill in bed and unable to get to the Tribunal, I went in her place. The Tribunal didn't have any issues with that.

  • mattw84
    mattw84 Community member Posts: 17 Connected
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    You can ask the appeal to be held based on paperwork. However it best to attend in person I declined the option to appeal without attending. However my social worker did suggest the hearing held at a different venue or even my home address well worth speaking to the clerk for the tribunal to see what can be put in place if anything 

    the tribunal is not there to make your issues worse and there there will be options 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
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    Ah yeah, it's so easy for people that don't understand to tell us to "do your part and get better", if only it was that easy.

    I'm again sorry that your wife had to go through this but I'm glad she managed to go to the tribunal and that she won, well done to her.
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,790 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thank you for updating us @johnsmith187, and congratulations! A big well done to both you and your wife for getting through it, and I really hope this the beginning of better days for you both. 
  • johnsmith187
    johnsmith187 Community member Posts: 71 Pioneering
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    Thank you both, I've had a lot of help from this site so extremely grateful. And yes wf2k if only it were that easy to switch off mental health. Unfortunately reality is a lot harder.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Community member Posts: 5,209 Disability Gamechanger
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    It’s a pity nobody mentioned the option of a telephone or video hearing.
    Most people don't know about these possibilities. Is it just a matter of asking or what justification would we need ?
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Community member Posts: 5,209 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks Mike
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
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    It’s a pity nobody mentioned the option of a telephone or video hearing.
    Most people don't know about these possibilities. Is it just a matter of asking or what justification would we need ?
    It's doubtful if the MOJ would want to advertise these options in any event. Those in the know are generally Welfare Rights staff.

    Much the same as being entitled in having someone with you during a face to face assessment, yet being told by the assessment centre staff that it is not necessary! 



  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
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    Nonsense. We’re finding this offered to clients who have had no representation more than it is to those with, 
    Maybe that is the case but you will have to know that it can be offered before you can ask for it.

    If it was that common then anybody that is stressed out with the worry about attending the hearing would be having telephone/skype hearings?


    Maybe claimants could cite the same if they are to go for a face to face assessment - would CAPITA or ATOS offer similar?
     
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2018
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    To the best of my knowledge assessment providers do not provide the service. That’s not to say that they wouldn’t.

    I don’t see that you do necessarily need to know of alternatives befure you ask for them. People identify their own reasonable adjustments. This is just that.
    That's good to know that the possibility of having an assessment over the phone or skype if someone is 'bricking it' with the thought of having to sit opposite a stranger.

    Of course you would identify your own problems but the fact is that the offer of a phone/skype hearing would have to come from the Tribunal. You cannot suggest such an alternative if you have never heard of it being available. For one I have never heard of these options until tonight from this website. 

    Isn't this the same as not knowing if there is a welfare benefit available for your given situation. You tell the Jobcentre+ that you are say disabled or being a pensioner who is short on income. Would the JC+ then recommend options and where/who to contact to get a claim form? I doubt it. You would have to know that the benefit exists in the first place to access a claim form.
  • Tardis
    Tardis Community member Posts: 214 Pioneering
    edited December 2018
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    @yadnad, you have been reading and posting on disability and benefits forums for at least 8 years.  You must have heard it all by now.
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