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pip appeal for disabled uni student

gitaparmargitaparmar Member Posts: 24 Connected
edited December 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
hi everyone been ages since i last posted. just thought i keep updated.  my daughters MR also came back with just 2 points on DL which was the same as the original decision despite sending in further evidence from the GP.  Their main reason for refusal was she attends uni so she doesnt need any help despite sending in lothes fof evidence from uni  with all the support that is in place for her at uni. she has a support worker who meets her at the entrance of the uni campus and she stays with her until she comes home. she takes notes for my daughter and liases with lecturers on her behalf and the support she  has had from us to even get her this far despite all her lecturers.  any way i have on friday sent of for her tribunal.  Can anyone advise as I am an appointee for my daughter would she still need to attend an hearing or can i go for her.  I have already called the helpline for the tribunal and they have  advised me that she would not need to attend as i am her appointee and they have said it would't make any difference to the hearing.  but any advise from appointee's in the forum would be greatly appreciated.  did they attend the hearing on their own or did the person claiming also come.  Thanks

Replies

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm truly sorry to hear about your daughter's MR outcome @gitaparmar. That must have been really frustrating, particularly given what you've shared with us here. Hopefully some of our members will be in touch and able to advise.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,962 Disability Gamechanger
    My starting point here is to ask a sump;e question. An appointee acts in place of a claimant where they are mentally incapable of handling their own affairs. Your daughter is at university. There is an obvious conflict there you need to address. It is perfectly possible someone could be studying at university and not be capable of handling their own financial affairs but you’re going to have to be very precise as to how this came to be so there’s no ambiguity later on. If not addressed it is likely to become the focus of a tribunal before you get onto whether there’s a case to answer. 

    HMCTS do not have anyone answering phones who is qualified to advise on legal matters so you should bear that in mind when considering whether to follow their advice. Technically you currently act in place of the claimant and to all intents and purposes you are the claimant. So, legally, there’s nothing to stop only you attending. However, most tribunals are going to be easier to win if the claimant is there. 

    Impossible to provide any other information on a forum without knowing more about your circumstances. Up to you whether you want to provide that.
  • gitaparmargitaparmar Member Posts: 24 Connected
    Hi my daughter has autosm. Suffers from mental health, high anxiety and panic attacks. She cannot talk to unknown people and if she did it would only be yes or no. She is at uni but she gets a lot of support
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,962 Disability Gamechanger
    But bright presumably?

    In what way can she not manage her own finances? Bearing in mind nowdays much can be done online etc.
  • gitaparmargitaparmar Member Posts: 24 Connected
    The whole idea of sorting money issues would make her very anxious and be very overwhelming for her. Everything she does has only been been with the support and guidance from family
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,962 Disability Gamechanger
    Okay, I supppse the question then is whether she’s tried to handle money. Has she struggled to do so or is it just that people assume she will struggle to do so? Sorry for all the questions. Just want to make sure an appeal won’t get side-tracked on the issue.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    gitaparmar,
    In my experience of similar cases, I agree with everything Mike has said. You do act in place of the claimant so legally there is no need for your daughter to go, but I think she will have much more chance of success if she attends.

    If she is there, that will enable the tribunal to gain more understanding of her condition, exactly what she can and cannot do and what you do for her. 

    I completely understand your explanation of how she's able to be at university but needs an appointee. However, the tribunal will be far more likely to understand this, & not see it as inconsistent or contradicting the PIP descriptors if you both attend. Be prepared for the tribunal members to want to ask her questions rather than having you speak for her throughout - you will get a chance to add anything at the end.

    I've helped other families in not dissimilar situations and whilst you can't predict questions you might get asked about whether your daughter understands how much money she has, whether she controls her bank account, whether she can take money out & spend it etc.

    You may have done this already, but I'd recommend that you look through the PIP descriptors to understand which you think she should have been awarded. You might want to summarise the descriptors you think apply, and explain why, in a written submission to the tribunal - but you don't have to do this, it's not essential and lots of people win without sending in a submission. It's arguably a lot more important that you both attend.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • gitaparmargitaparmar Member Posts: 24 Connected
    Ok thanks for that. I'm not sure she will be able to cope with attending as that is going to increase her anxiety levels and and she would struggle to speak to the tribunal and she will end up with panic attacks. When I did the tribunal I sent additional information against the discritors with the difficulties my daughter has
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,962 Disability Gamechanger
    This is going to sound harsh but people who have panic attacks can be managed so they have less panic attacks. They can rarely be managed to the point where they have none. It’s unlikeky they will go through life without having panic attacks and so sometimes difficult choices need to be made about what is or isn’t worth the risk. This money is presumably vital to her independence and the tribunal has to be seen in that light. 

    Tribunals often take the approach that it’s of equal importance to attending a medical appointment. I’m not saying I agree with that but that’s what you need to factor in. It’s very possible that you could have a big build up to an appeal that only you plan on attending and the tribunal decide to adjourn anyway because they want your daughter to give evidence. 

    You need to start by exploring whether she’s a disabled person under EA 10. If she is, and the level of suppprt at uni. certainly suggests she is, then you would be entitled to specify reasonable adjustments to the appeal process which would enable her to participate. These could be things like a telephone hearing; a Skype hearing; a venue away from lots of people. Whatever you think would facilitate her taking part. 

    In these circumstances you really do need a representative to guide you through. The university may well have a student welfare team with the competence to do this but you should also look at independent advice centres, local authority welfare rights or a law centre. Her suppprt worker will also have a key role in this. 

    A good rep will also better focus your evidence. It’s obviously hard to judge from forum posts but it sounds like you’ve put considerable emphasis on medical evidence and the amount of support she gets rather than providing practical examples as to how she scores specific points. 

    A high functioning autistic person has plenty of scope for scoring sufficient points but how you present the case is as important as volume and type of evidence.

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