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What happens if he doesn’t attend?

melissahicking2019melissahicking2019 Member Posts: 122 Courageous
edited April 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hello everybody.
My name is melissa and i am a Carer / Former carer for an close friend who suffers with Schizophrenia , depression , panic attacks , Anxiety , Dyslexia , ADHD , a Disabled right Hand (fully Clawed) , Went to a special needs school for children with severe learning disabilities , suffered physical abuse by parents , Is very unwell overall, along with self medicating he takes risperidome for his mental health. the hand is beyond help.

He was formally awarded pip over 5 years ago full award Paper based with no need for an assessment at home ect because of how serious his condition is.

I have allways looked after him and i became his fulltime carer for 3 years. Eventually i had my own ill health to deal with in the form of Early Renal Kidney failure and im am going onto dialysis soon. 

So. everything was going great my friend ws being looked after by myself and we sorted his flat out and cleaned him up and looked after him for 3 years...

Then along came his renewal... We was expecting another award, However they refused a paper based and insisted that we attend a assessment at atos. 

We got into a bit of a kerfuffle about it as we had no time to prepare, and so we asked for an extension which they gave us, to get doctors paperwork reports and to do our paperwork ect. 

However the doctors couldn't get us in for 6 weeks and so we extended again. In the meantime my friend broke his ankle. we never got to the doctors for his appointment as he was mobile at the time and on crutches that he could hardly use because of his disabled hand and so we again arranged another doctors appointment rang atos for a further extension, Which they granted. Again the doctors appointment was for 4 weeks away and the assessment a little under.

So we Arranged an emergency doctors appointment. We explained our situation and the doctor told us they could not provide the paperwork in time for the assessment and gave us a sick note advising us to contact atos and ask for a further extension. Which atos refused . even though we had a sick note they stated he must attend or loose his benefits.. So now we had a date with no paperwork...

The date came and i couldn't attend as i had hospital because of my kidneys and a serious water infection and so my friend under pressure decides to take it on himself to attend the appointment ALOAN i freaked out and took him to the bus stop and told him to ring me when he gets off the bus and i would guide him to the assessment center.

Which he didnt do,instead he got lost and found himself asking shops where to go, 
they didnt know but sent him to a local job center where fortunately somebody from the job center then walked him to the atos assessment. Where he eventually arrived 20 minutes late...

So he sat the assessment and again got lost finding his way back to the bus station and again did the same thing going into shops asking directions. So eventually the decision came through, No surprise 0 points accross the board. With a statement from the assessor stating that my friend has no problems in anyway and that my friend says he fine , no damages clawed hand and passed a power grip test. no dyslexia , no schizophrenia and mental health and that he told her he was perfectly fine and no longer suffers with any illness other than takes drugs And made it to the assessment on time on his own with no trouble getting there... 

Well i went mental...How dare they actually LIE like that. I mean its one thing to speculate by themselves but no they cant do that so better still state that the client says that hes fine...Who goes to an assesment and says that , nobody does no matter how ill. So we appeal, Still with no paperwork...And surprise surprise another denial of award and 0 points...

So we are going to tribunal...We now have all the paperwork proving every aspect of illness with records dating back from the special needs school in 1988 stating his dyslexia ect and emotional problems, also 100% proof of a clawed hand a schizophrenia with over 12 years of mental health records ect...

basically we have them by the short and curliest, But  My friend is now in a worse state than before and is close to hospital intervention for his mental health. Its difficult to get hold of him and i am left to do his paperwork for him. which im about to send to the tribunal My concern is what if my friend does not go.

Will the paperwork be enough, and what if they insist he go but he dont go or we cant get him to go or cant find him on the day...

im a little worried . will they make a decision without him based on the exceptional evidence and paperwork, or   will they simply reject his claim. i hope they will see that atos simply brushed him under the carpet  as they usually do and that the paperwork and evidence will again give him back his pip..

Also will the tribunal actually read all the paper work and evidence as i have made quite alot of statements and theres quite alot of evidence to go through along with statements ect... Will every page actually be read and taken into consideration or will they just be interested in the evidence alone...

Any advice is greatly appreciated...gosh my hands hurt now...lol

Replies

  • Antonia_ScopeAntonia_Scope Member Posts: 1,783 Pioneering
    Hi @melissahicking2019 welcome to the community and thank you for sharing this with us. How are you and friend doing? I am really sorry to hear what you and your friend have been going through. You may want to get in touch with you local CAB who may offer some advice, if you think he may not show up. There's some information on what to expect at a tribunal hearing, from the Citizen Advice website.

    I'll tag in the @BenefitsTrainingCo to see if they have any other suggestions.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    It's always better to appear in person as apposed to a paper based decision and the Tribunal will always prefer you to appear. Only about 8% of paper based decisions are successful but over 70% of those that appear in person have a decision in their favour.

    As for evidence, sometimes less is definitely more. I don't know if they read everything you send, especially if there's huge amounts to go through.

    Are you receiving any help with the Tribunal? Are you his appointee?
    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.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @melissahicking2019

    Would it be worthwhile helping your friend to go through his application and select the most recent evidence that applies to each descriptor. For example you mention a special school in 1988 - is this the most recent evidence that you have for a particular area? If not, could you leave it out?

    My case didn't get as far as a tribunal - but I imagine that if there's less to read then there will be less chance that the panel might miss something significant. 
  • melissahicking2019melissahicking2019 Member Posts: 122 Courageous
    Thank you for all your replies . I have another follow on question.

    The evidence we have is overwhelming and proves beyond doubt that he has schizophrenia and a clawed hand, went to a special school and has dyslexia . is medicated and has symptoms from meds also. I have made a good case against the DWP's decision Because he already receiving PIP to begin with but the 2nd time we didnt send them any evidence thinking that what they already had would be enough... 

    Simply put.. 

    Could the DWP overturn their decision before we even get to court because when they see the evidence we have they are going to expect to loose in court.

    So could we get a letter stating they have decided not to goto tribunal and just give back the pip.

    I have heard this can happen.

    Thanks again.

    Mel
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, it has been known for DWP to offer an award before the hearing takes place but not very often. My advice is to expect the Tribunal to take place. Only problem is waiting times are huge in most areas and some are waiting in excess of 1 year for a date.
    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.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @melissahicking2019 - you are to be commended for helping your friend...

    Can I suggest that before tribunal you review what you have submitted and check it relates to your friend's inability to carry out tasks etc? (your previous post seems to concentrate on 'proving' that he has been diagnosed with certain conditions)

    "The evidence we have is overwhelming and proves beyond doubt that he has schizophrenia and a clawed hand, went to a special school and has dyslexia..."

    Good luck!
  • melissahicking2019melissahicking2019 Member Posts: 122 Courageous
    cristobal said:
    @melissahicking2019 - you are to be commended for helping your friend...

    Can I suggest that before tribunal you review what you have submitted and check it relates to your friend's inability to carry out tasks etc? (your previous post seems to concentrate on 'proving' that he has been diagnosed with certain conditions)

    "The evidence we have is overwhelming and proves beyond doubt that he has schizophrenia and a clawed hand, went to a special school and has dyslexia..."

    Good luck!
    Yes i understand what you are saying, what we have done is like this...


    DAILY LIVING ACTIVITIES

    1. Preparing food.
    a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided.  0 points.
    b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  2 points.

    (Ross requires help opening tins packets and anything requiring 2 fully functioning hands, ross struggles greatly with packaging that is heat sealed as ross has no way of opening them with 1 hand) - If Ross was to open a tin he would require an aid I.E Electric Tin Opener. 

    (aids for cooking)
    1.special food grater
    2.spread board with spikes
    3.electric tin opener

    Ross does have a few aids in the kitchen for if he was to attempt to cook that where bought by myself when i was his carer they include a spread board for buttering bread and cutting fruit or veg. (has spikes to hold the bread or fruit) Also i bought ross a special grater for cheese so does not have to handle the grater , Ross does not very often use them and since i left his care he has not used them and has not washed them either (ross finds it difficult washing pots ect with 1 hand) , I also purchased a electric tin opener for ross but ross has never used it and i have not seen it in his kitchen recently. I also suggested to ross that we buy him a blender but ross stated that he would not use it so we did not buy one. 

    Ross has a Clawed Hand with Tendon damage Nerve Damage Cramps And Spasms and also has panic attacks and takes medications that leave ross sleepy and docile ect.



    relevant information and evidence

    we have provided pictures and doctors records including records from the time of the accident proving beyond doubt that ross has a disabled hand with poor grip(see evidence) 
    (Ross has no option but to live with his hand as it is And the only other option is a surgery that would attempt to remove scaring tissue from the tendons But could also Complicate his hand even more so)

    For the assessment to have overlooked this is in my opinion neglectful.
    The assessment report states that ross passed a power grip test. 
    This is untrue and ross states that the assessor asked ross to pinch her fingers with thumb and forefinger on both hands. 
    Ross did so with the debility of his Right hand. 
    This was in no way a power grip test and was the only test completed involving his hands.


    Then with prints of the actual evidence...

    Im hoping this will be a good way to present our information.


    All though im also leaning towards a very short less informative write up, but im worried that they will not take in the evidence necessary.

    The problem is, there is alot of evidence that is relevant of his daily living and problems. 

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi melissahickling2019,

    The tribunal will focus on your friends ability to perform the daily living and mobility activities and the difficulties he has with them. It’s these, rather than the medical diagnosis, that is important. The tribunal will read through all the papers and evidence before the hearing. It is possible for the DWP to award benefit prior to this but I think you should assume the tribunal will go ahead and attend if possible. Try not to focus on the problems he had previously attending the WCA.

    If you can, try and summarise in writing your arguments in the following way:

    1. Show how your friend meets the daily living and mobility activities - go through them in order explaining the difficulties he has completing these
    2. Try and link the medical evidence he has to these difficulties. 
    3. Highlight any areas the assessment report that you disagree with.

    This can be submitted to the tribunal in advance or you can take it on the day. If it’s more than a couple of pages try and send it in beforehand.

    It would be better if you could try and get representation at the tribunal from a welfare rights specialist. Your local citizens advice, law centre or welfare rights service might be able to help.

    Best wishes,

    Michael
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @melissahicking2019 - you've made a good job I think of explaining why Ross needs to use the aids....

    The only problem I can see is that you then go on to say that he doesn't use them anymore (!) so the obvious question to be asked is why?? 
  • melissahicking2019melissahicking2019 Member Posts: 122 Courageous
    edited June 2019
    cristobal Posts: 307 Chatterbox
    @melissahicking2019 - you've made a good job I think of explaining why Ross needs to use the aids....

    The only problem I can see is that you then go on to say that he doesn't use them anymore (!) so the obvious question to be asked is why?? 

    He cannot use them comfortably and only used them with me personally in my attempts to get him activated and doing something other than withdrawing himself into his states of delusion and panic attacks ect.

    Since i have no longer been caring for him he has again fallen back into an unactive withdrawn state and does not use the aids for numerous other reasons. 

    Plus they have not been seen by myself since and im not sure what hes done with them, But knowing him hes probably thrown them away After them getting into a dirty slimy state in his sink that stagnates for weeks at a time until he throws the whole thing away rather than cleaning it.

    P.S

    We did win the appeal.


  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
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