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Scored 0 Points - Twice

laurenailaurenai Member Posts: 15 Connected
Hi everyone, 
It's my first time posting here. Right now I'm in a really bad place due to my mandatory reconsideration coming back full of lies and with a score of 0, again. I applied for PIP back in July as I have severe anxiety and depression and I cannot do anything on my own. I went to the face to face assessment, which was highly distressing and had me in a worse condition for weeks following it. The original assessment scored me 0 points and was full of lies. It stated that I could plan a journey by myself and go out on my own when this is not the case at all. I cannot leave my house without a trusted person ever and I cannot use public transport etc. It causes me extreme distress, panic attacks and can leave me unable to do anything for weeks just going out once. I'm just flabbergasted at how many lies have been written in the reasons for decision. I know the next step is tribunal but with severe anxiety and depression It's obviously incredibly scary. I have no idea what to do, if I've scored 0 twice, is there any point in me appealing to tribunal? I just can't cope with this anymore, it's increasing my suicidal thoughts.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance. 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    It's always worth taking it to Tribunal and appearing in person. To constantly re-apply the stop when you get to MR stage will most likely constantly see you being refused, especially if you use the same evidence as before.

    Did you explain in full detail exactly how your conditions affect you in the form, giving 2/3 examples of what happened the last time you did that activity? Did you send evidence to support your claim? If so what evidence did you send?

    You have 1 month from the date of the decision to request the Tribunal and you'll need to send the MR decision letter with the SSCS1 form. Waiting times for hearings can be as long as 1 year for a lot of areas because the backlogs are huge. If you can get some help with the process then even better.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Deb_AlumniDeb_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 191 Pioneering

    @laurenai Welcome to our community. As a member of our community you will find support here and we appreciate you. I am sorry to hear you are having a tough time, it can be a really difficult time being assessed for PIP.

    If you are having thoughts of suicide, it is important that you discuss them with someone who is qualified to help. Please call the Samaritans on 116 123 (free) or email them at [email protected] 

    You might also benefit from reading MIND’s information on how you can help yourself.

    If you feel that you may be an immediate danger to yourself, please call 999 or go to your local hospital right away.

    Debbie
    Online Community Manager
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @laurenai and welcome

    Success rate at appeal is much better than at MR
    If possible get help from CAB, Wefare right or similar

    The following, posted by @[email protected] will give you an idea

    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
  • laurenailaurenai Member Posts: 15 Connected
    Yes, I even sought help from Citizen's advice who helped me write the MR letter. I was advised by citizen's advice to not send a letter from my GP detailing my condition as apparently they already receive information from them. 
    I was going to also send a letter written by my mum detailing all the things she has to assist me with, but was also told this would not help. 
    They sent the decision on the 18th of December and it only arrived yesterday, so I've already lost a week due to the holidays. 
  • laurenailaurenai Member Posts: 15 Connected
    Thanks @CockneyRebel for the advice, I'll make sure to make a note of those points. 

    In relation to the point about dressing down, for my assessment I was prompted by my mum to have a wash etc before going and this was used against me in my decision, claiming that I appeared well kempt. Will this be the case at tribunal? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    laurenai said:
    Yes, I even sought help from Citizen's advice who helped me write the MR letter. I was advised by citizen's advice to not send a letter from my GP detailing my condition as apparently they already receive information from them. 
    I was going to also send a letter written by my mum detailing all the things she has to assist me with, but was also told this would not help. 
    They sent the decision on the 18th of December and it only arrived yesterday, so I've already lost a week due to the holidays. 
    The advice from CAB is incorrect, they very rarely contact anyone for any evidence, the onus is on you to prove you qualify. A letter from a GP isn't the best evidence because a GP rarely knows how your conditions affect you against the PIP descriptors. A letter of support from your mum with details of what she does to help you would be fine. Have a copy of the PIP descriptors next to her while she writes it, this can be sent to HMCTS as evidence.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    laurenai said:
    Yes, I even sought help from Citizen's advice who helped me write the MR letter. I was advised by citizen's advice to not send a letter from my GP detailing my condition as apparently they already receive information from them. 
    I was going to also send a letter written by my mum detailing all the things she has to assist me with, but was also told this would not help. 
    They sent the decision on the 18th of December and it only arrived yesterday, so I've already lost a week due to the holidays. 
    I have said for a while on this site and from my own experience that the CAB are not the best place to go looking for help with welfare benefits. Even their website is riddled with inaccurate information. The DWP do not normally contact your GP. In fact it is rather rare for them to contact anybody - apart from their assessing agent (ATOS/CAPITA).
    A letter from a friend or family member does have some value but not when you compare it with say an OT report from Social Services.

     
  • laurenailaurenai Member Posts: 15 Connected
    Yadnad said:
    laurenai said:
    Yes, I even sought help from Citizen's advice who helped me write the MR letter. I was advised by citizen's advice to not send a letter from my GP detailing my condition as apparently they already receive information from them. 
    I was going to also send a letter written by my mum detailing all the things she has to assist me with, but was also told this would not help. 
    They sent the decision on the 18th of December and it only arrived yesterday, so I've already lost a week due to the holidays. 
    I have said for a while on this site and from my own experience that the CAB are not the best place to go looking for help with welfare benefits. Even their website is riddled with inaccurate information. The DWP do not normally contact your GP. In fact it is rather rare for them to contact anybody - apart from their assessing agent (ATOS/CAPITA).
    A letter from a friend or family member does have some value but not when you compare it with say an OT report from Social Services.

     
    Hi, 
    Thank you for the advice. Could you possibly recommend some sources of good evidence. My anti-depressants are managed by my GP who I see often. I see a private counsellor every two weeks. I'm a college student whose mental illnesses are known to the college. I'm cared for by my mum and my partner and I'm often visited by the crisis team. 
    Thank you in advance. 

  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    In your case and provided that the DWP are fully accepting the diagnosis and the level of medication your GP prescribes I would be getting letters from 
    your counsellor, your mum and your partner.
    The letters should set out what they see affects you in your life. Remember that you have to match those impacts with the PIP descriptors.
    I would also be looking for a letter of support from the crisis team who could explain how you are and how you cope and what you can't do - all with the descriptors in mind.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,937 Disability Gamechanger
    Student welfare, law centre, independent advice centre or local authority welfare rights. 
  • vollantevollante Member Posts: 29 Connected
    I wrote the appeal letter on behalf of my daughter after she got 0 points at assessment and on the MR previously she had 19 points for daily living and 14points on mobility I gave an in depth explanation on each descriptor where necessary how my daughters daily activities impact on her. I wrote how I support her and the help she needs. I put every detail even minor ones in every descriptor. I signed the letter stating it was on behalf of my daughter and my relationship to her (mother). She won the appeal and all her previous points reinstated. The footnote on the decision letter read as follows: The panel were appalled at the decision of the DWP to remove the award for this appellant, She has life long conditions that affect both her physical and mental health. She fits into the category of people who we believe should not be reassessed. Go for the appeal, you have nothing to loose and much to gain. Good luck
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi laurenai,

    A high percentage of PIP appeals are being won so it's certainly worth thinking about. You need to go through all the descriptors and work out how many points you should have scored and submit that in an appeal letter or on the SSCS1 form which is the approved appeal form and can be downloaded from the Internet. It is a long process though, around 6-8 months from the date the appeal is submitted until you get a date of the hearing. 
    You could probably do with some face to face advice on it so please contact your Local Authority to see if they have a Welfare Rights team, CAB or any other local benefits advice centre which may be able to help. Please find the strength to fight it though, you owe it to yourself and all the other wronged claimants to take it to an appeal and get the right decision. Good luck!

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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