No reason given on statement of reasons? — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

No reason given on statement of reasons?

yanni
yanni Member Posts: 57 Pioneering
edited December 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA

Hi,

I am hoping that someone can help with this as I am at a loss as to what to do.

I was partly successful at my tribunal but didn’t understand why I had not been awarded points for one of the activities (which was discussed at some length at the tribunal).

I requested a statement of reasons but this makes no mention of this activity. It does refer to what I said about not being able to do this activity safely but under a completely different activity(!).

I rang the tribunal service and they said that as there was no mention of the activity on the decision letter it wouldn’t be included in the statement of reasons and that the tribunal don’t have to give reasons if they don’t think there is any possibility of points being awarded.

Is this correct?

 Wouldn’t the tribunal have to give a reason why they decided on 0 points having considered mine and the DWP’s arguments?

Comments

  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,622 Pioneering
    Hi yanni,

    If you were not represented by an adviser, the tribunal judge should have looked at all the activities where either your claim form or your spoken evidence suggested that you may have scored points.
    If there is an activity that you have indicated a difficulty and therefore a potential of scoring points, and the judge has not explained why that descriptor was not allowed, then that IS an error of law, as long as it would have affected the final outcome. 
    For example, if you scored 0 points and you complained that the judge hasn't scored you 4 points for one activity, scoring 4 points only would not entitle you to PiP anyway, so there is no effect to the decision.
    If you scored 6 points, and you complained that the judge hadn't explained why he hadn't given you 2 points on another descriptor where you had stated difficulties, it would amount to an error of law as scoring 8 points would have changed the final outcome. You should seek permission to appeal to the upper tribunal from what you have said, or seek a benefits adviser in your local area for assistance to do so. All the best.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • yanni
    yanni Member Posts: 57 Pioneering
    edited December 2018

    Thank you both for your replies:

    @BenefitsTrainingCo

    Lee, I wasn’t represented and the 2 points I think I should have got for would have meant enhanced DL rather than standard.

    Please, what do I need to do to apply for permission to appeal? I have searched online for a form but I can’t find anything. Do I need to explain the evidence I provided at tribunal at this stage?

    The only benefit advisor where I live is CAB and I don’t know how quickly I can get an appointment with them so I suspect I will be doing most of the appeal by myself. It is already a late appeal because the tribunal service didn’t respond to my email asking why there was no mention of washing and bathing in the statement of reasons – the person I spoke to last week said that this was a “very good reason” for a requesting the appeal to be accepted late so hopefully I have a few weeks grace on this.

    @mikehughescq

    The activity I scored 0 points on was Washing and Bathing which I need on the basis that I would not hear a smoke alarm or someone shouting in an emergency and that someone had entered my home without me hearing them (a friend with a key) due to having to remove my hearing aids when carrying out this activity.  Therefore I feel I need supervision to carry out this activity safely (as per the RJ upper tribunal ruling).

    The statement of reasons says that not hearing the shouting and someone entering my home without me knowing causes me to be anxious about going out alone in crowded places so I choose not to. I think the tribunal applied what I said about W&B to either planning and following a journey or engaging?

    I didn’t request a record of proceedings as I didn’t know there was such a thing. Can I ask the tribunal service for one now? It is just over a month since I requested the statement of reasons.

     

    Also the award is for 3 years, backdated by 1 year on the basis my situation may change. Can I appeal against the length of the award?

    I have had hearing loss since birth. The hospital sent a letter saying it had been fairly stable since 2005, I had lifetime DLA and even the assessor said my condition is unlikely to improve so I don’t understand what they mean by my situation may change – all the activities I have points on are related to my hearing loss.



  • yanni
    yanni Member Posts: 57 Pioneering
    edited December 2018

    @mikehughescq

    Thank you for the UT form link but it says on it that I must have applied to the FTT for permission to appeal before completing it. I know I need to ask permission but I don’t know what I need to say or how much detail to provide at this stage.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    The tribunal was aware of my level of hearing loss (severe / profound) and that I have to remove my hearing aids to wash. The W&B activity was discussed in some depth at the tribunal mainly between the judge who said RJ was a very convincing argument and the DWP who said, as you do, that an alarm with a light is an alternative. This is why I was surprised that there is no mention of it in the SOR.

    A few days after the tribunal I found out  that smoke alarms don’t work in bathrooms because the steam can cause the alarm to trigger and also electronic devices don’t like damp environments. Whilst I wouldn’t expect the tribunal to have an in-depth knowledge of smoke alarms I feel they should have questioned the feasibility / cost of this ‘solution’ rather than just accept it at face value.

    In RJ, surely if the safety issue for the deaf claimant could have been resolved by fitting an inexpensive smoke alarm in the bathroom in the same way a hearing person could  then the judges would have ruled that there was no safety issue (and the Government representative would have argued the same)? 

    Also a fire alarm doesn’t solve the problem of not hearing someone banging on the door or shouting if there is another form of emergency, say a fire next door, or someone entering / breaking in my home.

    If my tribunal panel did discuss the issue and decided I am not entitled to any points I am happy to accept that I just want to know why they decided that!

    I am going to go to CAB tomorrow and see if / when they can help and will also contact HMCTS and request a record of proceedings.

  • moggie57
    moggie57 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    i would write to them again,. and make it clear what you want them to know. be sure to make a copy too.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.