PIP, DLA and AA
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Applying for PiP again, what's your thoughts?

theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
edited August 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi All,
I was born with a right hand only, the fingers of the left are not formed at all.  I received DLA until March 2017 (lowest rate) when I had the F2F interview at my home. The decision was... 2 points. Yep, 2 POINTS!!  I lost DLA and of course wasn't awarded PiP.  Various things have happened in the past 2 years;  I now  cannot peel veggies, and placing/removing pans from over is a bit dangerous. I have Osteoporosis which is giving me more lower back pain.  I've recently been issued 2 hearing aids (moderate hearing loss).  I am Hypothyroid.  I need help washing and cannot wash/dry my hair without looking like a birds nest...  I have applied again for PiP and am awaiting the tome - sorry I meant form, to complete and return.  Is there any real point in me putting myself through this again?  It so upset me when it was removed back in 2017 I don't want to go through that stress again.  What's your thoughts please? 

Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,947 Disability Gamechanger
    Did you get any help last time e.g CAB could you this time? have you had a good read online about the PIP descriptors which explain where points are given, research is the clue if possible and of course sending any evidence you have e.g consultants letters.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hi woodbine, yep - I've read online what is asked, each section etc.  I don't have consultants letters; the hand issue will never change. The Thyroid issue is only reviewed twice yearly (to ensure Thyroxine levels are within guidelines) the Osteoporosis I'm taking Calcium (I refuse alendronic acid - I just don't trust it)  Oh Hypertensive too, forgot that, haha
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,194 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello and welcome, when you where receiving DLA the award was based on your disability and Pip is a different criteria and is based on your abilities to manage and  cope doing the PIP descriptors safely, repeatedly and in a timely manner, you should do a self test to see how you fair against the descriptors  Be honest as the answers you submit in your application form will have to be justified at your assessment. Good luck. 
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hi wilko, yes - and it's becoming increasingly difficult, eg can no longer peel veggies (was always an issue) or chop (over the past few months this has started) .  Many years ago, my GP at that time explained that although I can manage (at that time) to do many things, as I get older my right hand - which has in effect been working double to compensate will probably show signs of increased weakness. It IS doing, my arm muscles are somewhat weaker, even holding and attempting to dry my hair is an effort.  There's nothing else going on (health wise) I had a full blood count taken in February which was all OK.  
  • madquasimodomadquasimodo Member Posts: 130 Courageous
    You may not have reams of paperwork to backup a claim but, while you may know how to cook, you would need some aids to help with preparing food, DWP care nothing if you burn yourself, they say "use a microwave" but I would think trying to take a tray out of the oven and trying to place it safely and reliably would pose some problems, washing and dressing will need some help or aids, so you could try the test form in the Sticky (top of forum 3rd post down,How to apply) 
    You can run through and see what you think, and should you score yourself higher, try the CAB or look for an advisor to help with filling, A lot will depend on the day and how the assessor finds you, it shouldn't be like that but sadly it is, for every success they are plenty who fail and come and give their details of what went wrong.

    Nothing stopping from trying "if" you feel up to it and feel you do need some help, its down to you to explain what problems you have and how you cope and then what extra help you need, 
  • FetlockFetlock Member Posts: 79 Courageous
    Yes it might, but bending down to use an oven isn't considered under PIP.
    but I would think trying to take a tray out of the oven and trying to place it safely and reliably would pose some problems


  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    It seems a whole lot of things aren't considered under PiP Fetlock.  But then, we all KNEW it was an excersize to trim as MANY people off of DLA and now PiP as possible, regardless of the hardship it would cause.

  • TeresaCulverwellTeresaCulverwell Member Posts: 1 Courageous
    Always get help filling in forms eg from CAB, or your local Welfare Rights people. They can help with you putting down correct information, doing the right wording that highlights your needs and they can support you. They may even go along to any interviews with you.

    You can also get support from any professionals or organisations doing advocacy. Look online for your local advocacy agency, look on your council website or contact any national support groups related to your condition(s) as they can always advise better what to put on forms and they may also help with attending meetings to support you. Advocates fight your corner on all sorts of issues so can be a great help for you at any time.

    And always keep a copy of the forms you fill in. I print mine off a page at a time if doing them online just in case I find at the end that I can’t print it all off or if something goes wrong and I have to start again, I have the information already to start again!

    So always ask for help. Good luck.🙂
  • madquasimodomadquasimodo Member Posts: 130 Courageous
    Filling forms and asking for help is the hardest part, when getting ready to Mandatory Reconsideration, I tried asking for help, mu local CAB could do nothing for 6 weeks, I could have gone and sat in there and if someone cancelled they may have been able to see me. I tried a Welfare Right advisor again no way to see them in time 4 weeks wait, short phone advice was all that could be done, I did ask for an extension, turns out they didn't bother and went ahead with the review before the hospital report came back to me.
    Systems are pretty much stretched to breaking point, in my area anyhow.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,258 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi theange

    You may find the following of some use

    Please note that whilst this is for PIP form filling only, the gist of most of these 8 points apply equally to DLA and AA form filling even though those are not based on points scoring. So, on point 1 and some others you can substitute the word “activities” or “activity” with the phrase “bodily functions... but not always. 

    1 - Identify those activities you have any kind of issue with.

    2 - Identify whether the issue is that you can’t do the activity at all; can’t do it reliably, can’t do it repeatedly; can’t do it safely or in a reasonable time. If any one of these apply to an activity then you can’t do it at all and it’s okay to say so. However, as well as ticking the box saying you either can’t do it all need help or aids, remember to say which one(s) of the above apply.

    3 - Have a copy of the PIP points scoring system in front of you. The questions in the form don’t match the points scoring so it’s as well to be aware of this.

    4 - For every activity you think you score points you need to think of 2 or 3 recent examples of incidents when you tried to do that activity. Describe in detail the what, when, where, who witnessed, what happened next etc. Don’t skimp on detail. It’s often better to type it up in Word first rather than write in the form. If it won’t fit then add extra sheets, remembering to put your name, NINO and the question to which the answer relates on each sheet. Alternatively, reduce the font and cut and paste the Word answer into the form. Note that doing point 4 correctly is far more important than supporting medical evidence in most cases.

    5 - Use the extra information section to describe your conditions in detail; the specifics of the symptoms and especially how they interact. 

    Also, if applicable, use it to spell out that you want an ongoing award and explain why e.g. your condition is degenerative, you’ve done all the adapting you’re going to do etc. If you don’t specifically ask for an ongoing award you will almost always get a short one. 

    6 - Assuming your diagnoses are not in question and ditto the prognosis then ask yourself what gap in your evidence does medical evidence fill in terms of points scoring? If you can’t answer that then consider not sending it in. 10 reports all saying the same thing are no better than 1. Volume of evidence, especially medical evidence, doesn’t win you PIP and medical evidence is also not as helpful as your own anecdotes unless you are someone who lacks insight into their own condition e.g. someone with a learning disability or certain mental health conditions. Clarity and focus of evidence wins you PIP. 

    7 - Whilst PIP ask for the form back in 4 weeks they will grant a 2 week extension without question if you ask. However, there is no actual deadline for returning the form in the legislation so that deadline can be extended if reasonable. What could be more reasonable than having a medical condition which slows you down? Ask for an extension as a reasonable adjustment under EA 10 if applicable. 

    8 - By all means get an advice service to do this but if they don’t do most of the above then you’re better off doing it yourself. Welfare rights advisers do not have some magic form of words they use and  their knowledge of the law, guidance or case law only occasionally comes into play at the firm filling stage. No-one especially likes form filling but unless your impairment creates specific difficulties with form filling there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. It’s all about the anecdotal evidence.

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Well this happened today - I had the face-to-face assessment with a girl just a little older than my Granddaughter....  HOWEVER.  I found it most odd, considering the main reason I applied is because of a HAND deformity, yet she kept on and on asking regarding the Osteoporosis and/or back pain.  I hold out no hope, as I think the whole procedure stinks.  remember reading in the History books how the poor/destitute would line up in front of 'The Board' and beg for money to feed their families?  Humiliating?  Oh yesss...

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Leave it a week and then ring DWP to request a copy of the assessment report to be sent to you. This will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be because they mostly go with the report. You'll still need to wait for the decision but if the worst happens you can request the mandatory reconsideration within 1 month of the date of the decision. Re-applying isn't always the answer.


    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.
  • drewdundeedrewdundee Member Posts: 49 Courageous
    Hi there,

    As other have said the PIP system is there to assess how you manage your daily activities from a set of descriptors. It is not about any sort of medical condition you have. The age of the person assessing you should not be a consideration, my doctor is younger than me but I am sure she knows a lot more about medicine that I do. She was likely asking you questions around Osteoporosis and or back pain as these can also limit your movement and make life harder for you. Your hand deformity is a visual thing and I am sure she would have some understanding of the limitations you would have around that. I hope things do go well for you cause I do understand it must be hard. 

    Best wishes.
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    The reason I mentioned the age was, what has she seen of life?  I certainly wouldn't have been confident dealing with this had the roles (and age group) been reversed, 

  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    I had the impression that the form I originally completed and sent to them had been scanned into the Laptop and she was comparing my answers (side to side) with the answers I was giving today. A couplke of expressions I used on the form she asked the exact same words. 
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    edited June 2019
    Which is why I scanned in all pages of the application ilovecats, and had a read of last evening to refresh memory :-) 
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    That sounds  like a nightmare to me, ilovecats ! 
  • drewdundeedrewdundee Member Posts: 49 Courageous
    Personally I wrote my report and sent it off and didn't even think about reading it again cause I knew exactly what was wrong with me and when i was asked questions regarding it I was able to answer without hesitating. Can understand would be awkward if someone else wrote your report for you but it should still be factual.
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    My memories going drewdundee.  Nothing more.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Personally I wrote my report and sent it off and didn't even think about reading it again cause I knew exactly what was wrong with me and when i was asked questions regarding it I was able to answer without hesitating. Can understand would be awkward if someone else wrote your report for you but it should still be factual.
    I have to agree with you here. Although i've had help with all but 1 of my PIP forms, when they were being filled out i was asked the questions and i told them how my conditions affect me. What was written was factual so during my face to face assessments i knew exactly how to answer the questions.

    Although i did manage to get a paper based assessment for my daughters last PIP review. I filled out her form myself, for the first time. I put as much information down as possible for each descriptor that applied her and added 2 real life examples for each . I used separate A4 sheets of paper because there wasn't enough of space. Once i finished  i typed out all the information and printed it.

    It took me 4 weeks to fill out the form because i did a little each day and asked for 14 days extension. Sent in evidence from the mental health team that went into great detail about how her conditions affect her and i highlighted all of the most important bits in the evidence, so that it wasn't missed. Her report was returned to DWP within 1 week of it being sent to the health assessment providers. Decision was the award remained the same, Enhanced for both parts.
    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.
  • drewdundeedrewdundee Member Posts: 49 Courageous
    Personally I wrote my report and sent it off and didn't even think about reading it again cause I knew exactly what was wrong with me and when i was asked questions regarding it I was able to answer without hesitating. Can understand would be awkward if someone else wrote your report for you but it should still be factual.
    I have to agree with you here. Although i've had help with all but 1 of my PIP forms, when they were being filled out i was asked the questions and i told them how my conditions affect me. What was written was factual so during my face to face assessments i knew exactly how to answer the questions.

    Although i did manage to get a paper based assessment for my daughters last PIP review. I filled out her form myself, for the first time. I put as much information down as possible for each descriptor that applied her and added 2 real life examples for each . I used separate A4 sheets of paper because there wasn't enough of space. Once i finished  i typed out all the information and printed it.

    It took me 4 weeks to fill out the form because i did a little each day and asked for 14 days extension. Sent in evidence from the mental health team that went into great detail about how her conditions affect her and i highlighted all of the most important bits in the evidence, so that it wasn't missed. Her report was returned to DWP within 1 week of it being sent to the health assessment providers. Decision was the award remained the same, Enhanced for both parts.
    Amazing poppy congratulations to you and your daughter. I also agree about the lack of space in the boxes i had to write on plain paper. I felt kinda bad for the assesor reading my handwrighting its like chicken scratches haha.

    Drew
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks. My writing is the same, that's why it was typed and printed :D
    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.
  • theangetheange Member Posts: 13 Listener
    edited August 2019
    ***  UPDATE ***
    Returned from a few days away yesterday to be welcomed by the DWP decision letter.
    Much to my utter amazement, I've been awarded lower daily living allowance.  However, I just scraped through with 11 points and nothing for Mobility.  Reading the Report however, I'm a little confused - her statement in the report was:
    'Mixing with other people' (scored out of 8) :  0 ' You can engage with other people unaided'. YET, in the My Decision section, it states 'You said you have difficulties communicating verbally and engaging with other people face to face' - this smacks at *you said* is treated as 'you said but we think you're lying'!! 

    The report:  'You said you have difficulties planning and following journeys'.  No I didn't!  

    This has been awarded for a set time, in this case 10 years. 

    Question.  I've had a job working from home for 3.4 years.  It's sitting at a desk using the phone and laptop with tight time constraints  This has become increasingly more painful this summer and therefore I have had to give up this job.  Should I contact DWP and advise them of this?   My partner seems to think if I ask for a re-consideration of the decision that I could lose out completely.  Does that happen?

    Thanks for reading, 

    Ange
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    PIP isn't about not being able to work, people claim PIP and work. Whether or not you should have scored points for engaging with others and communicating will totally depend on how your conditions affect you.

    If you disagree with the decision you have 1 month from that date to request the MR. Most MR decisions remain the same but it is possible to either lose what you already have or be awarded more points for a higher award. No one on an internet forum can tell you if there's any risks to your current award by requesting this MR.

    I'd advise you to get some face to face advice before requesting the MR. https://advicelocal.uk/

    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.
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