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PIP tribunal - how should I prepare?

chris7197 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi everyone, I've been on indefinite DLA since I was a small child due to Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder. Obviously I've been invited to claim PIP, which I did and was awarded 0 points for everything! Upon advise from my family I pushed for a mandatory reconsideration, which I did and got awarded 2 points which obviously gives me no award. I then requested an appeal, and I did originally ask for a paper based appeal but they adjourned the case and instead requested my attendance at the appeal, which is in 2 days

The problem is all my 'evidence' is from when I was a child, latest being when I was about 14 (I'm now 29). This is because once I had been diagnosed with these conditions, I had some occupational therapy but that was pretty much the extent of all the help I could get :( some symptoms are a lot better now but my disabilities still cause me massive problems in my day to day life, and at my initial PIP assessment the assessor seemed to understand, but then went against everything I said in the report she wrote!

Some examples of this is that I'd often have problems with toileting but that isn't a problem anymore, however I still cannot use cutlery, have to always be 'checked' when I get dressed to make sure everything is done up properly etc, and I never ever use any appliance like a fryer or oven, simply because I have a lot of accidents and would probably injure myself severely. I also have severe problems in going out alone, and often walk into roads without looking due to my sensory issues. I also struggle with communicating verbally as I have a stammer, and cannot focus on someones voice if it's slightly noisy.

Something which is also affecting me over the last few years is anxiety, I'm on a very high dose of an anti depressant to help with anxiety and have spoken to many counselors etc, which I have recent evidence for. However my sensory issues and Dyspraxia cause me more problems.

I'm really nervous over this and I'm completely filled with dread. I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice on how to prepare for it? Should I write up anything to take with me? I find writing much, much easier than communicating verbally so I'd rather do this but not sure what I should say in it.


  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Community member Posts: 5,209 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Chris and welcome

    The tribunal will want to hear from you and there is no way of telling what questions you may be asked

    Posted a while ago by @m@mikehughescq, you might find thid helpful

    Concentrate wholly on what you were like on the date of claim.

    2) There are no “trick” questions. Tribunals are usually listed 20 minutes apart so, apart from the appeal papers, they need questions which cut across lots of functions. So the car question is brilliant because it indicates grip; mobility; dexterity; the ability to do something repeatedly; concentration and stamina. Instead of thinking negatively about such stuff think about what they’re getting at and your answers will be much better and more detailed. Similar questions include whether you’ve been on holiday recently. It feeds into mobility (getting across an airport); stamina; the ability to cope alone; the need for aids and appliances.

    3) There are no set rules or order for a hearing beyind the requirement that it must be seen to be fair. 

    4) Watch the judge’s pen. All three members may take notes but only the judge writes a record of proceedings. If you don’t want them to miss anything then remember that they can’t write as fast as you can speak, so watch their pen and slow down. Don’t worry about going too slow. They will tell you if you do.

    5) Never interrupt any tribunal member. It is perfectly okay to challenge them provided it’s not rude or aggressive. However, think about whether what you’re challenging them on is directly related to points. If it’s not then better to focus on points. This is especially important because loads of people second guess the demeanour of tribunal members as determining whether they are pro or against and it’s largely nonsense. An aggressive, challenging member may well just be a poor communicator and wholly on your side right up to the point you challenge them etc.

    6) Get yourself a representative and travel to the venue by whatever means makes you feel comfortable. It’s only ever an issue if you don’t explain what you did in full and if doing so contradicts your other evidence in some way for daily living and /or mobility.

    7) Same goes for clothes. You need to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. If you’re not relaxed then the likelihood of you presenting well are much reduced. Dressing down is not a good idea unless that all you can afford. A person who feels naked without make-up or a suit abd tie will similarly be over stressed if they try to pretend they’re in their comfort zone dressing down. 

    8) Other people’s tribunal experience can be valuable but it’s just that. Their experience. If they lost then it’s the tribunal to blame. If they win they everything they did is why they won and what you must do. The truth is usually very much in between.

    9) Know your case. What points are you going for and why. What’s your evidence? “The HCP was a liar” is neither evidence nor a winning strategy. Also, know the appeal papers. What’s where. 

    10) Do not be tempted to claim you’ve worsened since the date of claim. That’s a recipe for a failed appeal and an invitation to make another claim. Even if you have got worse always concentrate on your date of claim and what you were like then.

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,790 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @chris7197, and a warm welcome to the community!

    Wishing you all the best for your tribunal. You've had some brilliant advice above, and you may also like to check out Scope's page on DWP appeals. Please do keep us updated!
  • chris7197
    chris7197 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you everyone :) I had the appeal this morning, but they didn't have time to discuss it between them and I'll have the outcome posted to me this evening, which may not arrive 'til after Christmas given the date.

    It was very, very nerve wracking to be honest - a DWP representative was also there asking me questions too. Everyone was really nice though, I just feel that I could have done better in explaining things. And there were also some inaccuracies in my initial report from the DWP, saying that I used a sat nav to get to my assessment earlier this year which I certainly didn't as I don't drive!

    So I'm just waiting anxiously now. Thank you everyone for your advice though!
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Whilst I am aware that the DWP do sometimes send a rep, I am surprised that the rep has permission to question you in depth - should that not be the panel's job only?
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