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Pip Appeal, have a date, don't have a bundle.

VixenGVixenG Member Posts: 3 Listener
My partner lost his PIP (enhanced care, standard mobility) back in march. They gave him 0 points.
MR gave him 8 points overall so we put in for an appeal, stating me as his representative.
Got a call from DWP under new mental health ruling saying he should have standard mobility. Took that but continued appeal. 
When we got his new decision letter it turned out he should have been on enhanced mobility since 2016, so received some backpay.

He's got autism and major joint pain, needs investigations for the joint pain but his autism isn't helping as he doesn't like strangers touching him and has had autistic meltdowns when attempting to have blood taken etc, so far nothing has been successful to calm him down enough to have them done. 

Appealing under the upper tribunal ruling wherein they have to prove that his conditions have improved since the last assessment .

DWP have not supplied any evidence to HMCS. We now have an appeal date of 30th January. Papers state to bring the bundle from the DWP. We have no bundle! Also apparently no paperwork to state that I'm his representative .

He will probably **** down at tribunal, his psychiatrist has stated how hard he finds it to talk to strangers. He does not go out alone. He cannot make financial decisions, talk to strangers, some days the joint pain is so bad he takes two hours to get out of bed .

So, I'm going to the appeal with a person who probably won't talk fluently, with no idea what the DWP have to say, with no official stance myself as they have lost the form stating I'm his representative, and only a handful of medical reports from his psychiatrist. 

Trying to stay positive but it's hard .

Does anyone have any tips or advice?
(Sorry for the essay)


  • VixenGVixenG Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Don't know why the word melt has been starred out in that paragraph unless my phone autocorrected to something rude! If so apologies, no intention of swearing!
  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    I wonder what the "bundle refers too as well.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,623 Disability Gamechanger
    The bundle is the appeal papers. Consists of a DWP summary of their argument (the submission) and all the evidence from your claim pack; the HCP  report; the MR decision; the appeal letter; any other evidence you sent in. You simply need to ring up HMCTS and point out that you’ve been listed but don’t have a bundle. You may want to rethink whether you should be his representative. 

    You can be 

    - a representative - you don’t talk for the appellant because they’re there but you do get to outline what award you’re looking for and what the legal case is as well as pick up on any issues the tribunal or appellant miss or misinterpret.

    - observer - sits away from the tribunal but you are watching only. You do not and cannot take part.

    - witness - you give your own evidence to support the appellants own case. You don’t get to comment on anything else. You watch silently, do your bit and you’re done.

    - appellant - the person making the claim being appealed. The only person allowed to present their evidence and answer questions on it unless they have an appointee. 

    Most family members struggle to be observers as it’s hard to be silent. They struggle to represent as they don’t know enough of the law, case law or guidance and confuse the role with speaking for the appellant and get shot down in flames to the detriment of the case. They often make poor witnesses as they haven’t been prepared by a rep and want to rehear the whole case instead of focusing on what they know. 

    The temptation to talk for any appellant needs to be resisted. You’ll always get people saying “but...

    - they’re not articulate.

    - they’re nervous.

    and many other arguments. Bottom line - nothing makes the case for the consequences of someone’s ill health better than a poorly appellant. 

    The other side of having representative is that, as you’ll read on here, people get incredibly stressed with the process; what comes when; what letters mean; what is good evidence; what will happen on the day. A good rep explains all and covers all the bases. It’s typical that people think representation is just about what happens on the day and the outcome. That’s about 10% of what gets done. A good rep should also keep you off web forums (seriously). All your questions should be answered by them. If people come on here because they need answers and they have a rep. that is concerning. 

    Now, having said that, tribunals are inquisitorial so it’s perfectly possible to win a case without a rep just as it’s equally possible to lose a case with a rep. However, a badly presented case can win with a decent tribunal but won’t with a poor one People who have won without representation tend to almost always ascribe this to something they did rather than the skill of the tribunal pulling out what was relevant. Having seen tribunals over three decades, including many times as an observer, it’s almost never the case. I’ve never yet heard of anyone unrepresented winning two tribunals for themselves. 

    Finally, don’t confuse an organisation with a good reputation as meaning all their reps will be good. Good organisations have bad reps. Reputationally poor organisation have good reps. How can you tell? Walk away from anyone who wants to tell you their success rate? It’s a fave tactic of organisations that charge but also of inexperienced or renegade/boastful reps. That tells you that they’re either lying or cherry picking only cases which are clear cut winners and probably would be anyway with a decent tribunal and without them. Good reps do not guarantee a win but they will take in winnsble cases rather than likely winners and they’re the more likely to turn a marginal case into a winner. They’ll also know their law, case law and guidance and be able to cite it but in plain English. 

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @VixenG! You've had some great advice from our members, do keep us updated.
  • VixenGVixenG Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you, and thank you so much for all the advice .
    Just to note DWP have sent nothing. They literally have not responsed to the judge, so we have no paperwork except what we have sent in .

    CAB cannot help us with a representative, and despite lots of searching I have been unable to find a representative locally who isn't from a "dubious" company who seem to be all about rates .

    I'm going to go in as a witness, I will just sit and bite my tongue and hope he can respond correctly, and then as his career I will have my say 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,623 Disability Gamechanger
    Have a look at https://advicelocal.uk/.

    Two extra things to say:

    1) Ring HMCTS as per my previous post if you’ve not already. However, you could also write in; mark it FAO a district judge, and ask for directions from a judge i.e.that DWP produce the bundle. 

    2) In most cases like this recently I’ve found that the actual issue is that DWP have sent HMCTS the bundle but someone at the latter has simply not linked the bundle to the appeal. Asking for a direction will focus all minds on exactly what’s happened as DWP will have to respond to the direction and, when the response is something like, “... but we sent it in on this date and again on this date” the DJ will go exploring at their end and usually spot the problem.
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