PIP, DLA and AA
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Should I appeal?

LB14LB14 Member Posts: 10 Connected
edited April 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi, I’ve just found this site after googling how long you have to wait in between applications for PIP and saw that there is really good advice.
Sorry in advance, it’s a long one!
I had my assessment appointment on 1st March and then received a letter advising that it had been refused.  I did feel however that the lady taking the appointment put words into my mouth with questions like how long can you walk for without having to stop? 2,3,4 minutes? How many times in a week do you go out? - I don’t go out much at all and can spend weeks or months indoors (depending on how my conditions are) but she insisted that I say on a weekly basis which makes it look like I am way more active than I actually am.
I didn’t realise that you had to time yourself and keep a log of daily activity. 
I suffer with chronic Depression, Anxiety, Fibromyalgia, CFS, Osteoarthritis to the neck and lower spine, RLS, IBS, severe knee pain in both knees and a whole rainbow of other ailments that come along with these conditions.  I need help with dressing, washing and walk with a stick. I spend most of my day upstairs in my bedroom as it’s too painful to walk up and down the stairs for the loo but 1 of the reasons for the refusal was that at the assessment, I didn’t look anxious or in pain, I just looked uncomfortable??  How the heck can someone know how someone else deals with their anxiety etc.  I’m not the type of person who is ‘oh woe me’ but I’m totally perplexed by that little nugget of explanation!!!
Could someone please tell me whether I should appeal or ask for a reconsideration?
TIA

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,733 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @LB14 welcome to the community! Sorry to hear what has happened. The first step is to file for a Mandatory Reconsideration which you must complete and send back within 28 days of receiving your decision letter. You can find more information about MR here. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions :)
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • LB14LB14 Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Thanks @Ami2301 it’s taken a lot of fight out of me but I’ll definitely do that on Tuesday 🙂
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    your not alone, on the DWP site it says 80% of them are turned down, it's at that standard to make it harder, like before they sen't you the forms on how to complain and where to send them if you wish to appeal and now they don't, so first of all you have to get them not only yourself, but search and dig for something which was provided for you in the past, i can remember the first time i was on incapacity and it changed and i was moved onto ESA, i was told verbally and in written i'd never be any worse off, then 2 years later they changed the goal posts and removed the income support part, which didn't alter the money i got, just the access to free health care, so now my meds and everything i once got for free is now paid for, so in the end i was worse off, so yes appeal, don't be put off it may take 2 months upto 6 depending on what your appealing and don't be surprised if the first mandatory one doesn't go your way, as like i found out, the target for first appeal has been set to fail 80% so it's Tribunal time for most
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    the PDF (Mandatory Reconsideration) can be filled in on the PDF once you have downloaded it, but i've been told they can't be sent by email, so lol, there goes the digital world for a start, so a electronic form has to be mailed by snail mail, so make a copy as always, and have it recorded del, so it gets a signature as proof of post, good luck with the appeal, i'm in the same boat, so your never alone
  • LB14LB14 Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Thanks everyone, I just can’t believe they are quite literally scaring you from claiming and at the same time probably making your condition/s worse for the hell of it.  Absolutely mortified that people in this day and age are making others feel so small and inadequate😡
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    scaring you is a poor choice of words imo, i'd say they are aggressively making it so hard than only the hardest and toughest survive at all to meet a given target of how many are left on a given benefit by a given date, as the closer it gets to April, year end, the worse it seems to be, you and me just got in on the wrong month with the wrong assessor, as ours seems to have not met there targets for the month and maybe no bonus for the year, so we was maybe always going to fail, but saying all that, keep your chin up and fight, as you have paid into the system and deserve to be treated the same as those who haven't, either with no fault of there own, or from outside of the UK, which for me always seem to be somewhat unfair, as i (we) seem to get treated worse, being born here, paid taxes here, etc etc
  • twonkertwonker Posts: 617 Member
    LB14 said:
    Thanks everyone, I just can’t believe they are quite literally scaring you from claiming and at the same time probably making your condition/s worse for the hell of it.  Absolutely mortified that people in this day and age are making others feel so small and inadequate😡
    Everybody has a legal right and entitlement to make a claim for a benefit. If you are not awarded what you believe you should have then you can appeal. The first port of call is to ask the DWP to have a re-look at their decision. If that fails to change anything then you take the appeal to a Tribunal. There is nothing scary about all of that.
    Part of the system is to test your claim. If the assessor/DWP don't agree with what you have claimed then they have the legal right to refuse it.

    If you think your health is so precarious that the appeal system would make it worse then you have the option not to proceed with it.

    It is called bureaucracy and unfortunately  anything that the government or even local authorities do happens very slowly - little cogs in big wheels.
     
  • LB14LB14 Member Posts: 10 Connected
    @ilovecats
    I understand that if they don’t fulfil the criteria, then they cannot be awarded, I just don’t understand their methodology.  I cannot dress, shower, walk without aid (due to other conditions, ones that will not get worse but will not get better and others that will get worse over time) when this is clear by the amount of prescribed medication on a daily basis that a person cannot live their lives non-dependent of help from others, I just don’t understand.  I don’t want nor need them to feel sorry for me, I want them to judge me fairly.
    Thanks for the advice.
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    ilovecats said:
    zakblood said:
    scaring you is a poor choice of words imo, i'd say they are aggressively making it so hard than only the hardest and toughest survive at all to meet a given target of how many are left on a given benefit by a given date, as the closer it gets to April, year end, the worse it seems to be, you and me just got in on the wrong month with the wrong assessor, as ours seems to have not met there targets for the month and maybe no bonus for the year, so we was maybe always going to fail, but saying all that, keep your chin up and fight, as you have paid into the system and deserve to be treated the same as those who haven't, either with no fault of there own, or from outside of the UK, which for me always seem to be somewhat unfair, as i (we) seem to get treated worse, being born here, paid taxes here, etc etc
    There are no targets. If someone meets the descriptors then they will get an award. If someone does not meet the descriptors then they will not get an award. 
    When I used to assess people, there were no targets for not awarding people. If I saw 20 people a week and awarded all 20 then so be it. I never heard of the DWP contacting any provider and saying that we were awarding too many people.


    What would sometimes happen is the DWP would send 'clarification' of a descriptor which would change the way we could award people, normally off the back of the court case - e.g, a lot of people would be awarded a B for Activity 11 due to anxiety, but now the DWP added the requirement of 'Overwhelming psychological distress' to be present so now practically no-one can be awarded a B for prompting under that activity. 

    You may be interested to know that if the DWP independantly audit a report, and it is found not to be up to standard or not adhering to the descriptors, then the provider is fined £30,000 per bad report. £30,000! This is why we have to be so strict when awarding points. Even if our heart goes out to the claimant and we feel sorry for them, if they don't meet the descriptor, they cannot be awarded. 
    fair comment, don't agree, plenty of links online say otherwise, but since more have died since 2012 who failed an assessment than the last 2 war the UK fought in, most people who it effected the most, haven't no longer got a voice, then again like everything online, and this quote is from the DWP website reply to another charity freedom on information call... 107k btw and no targets you say, and how much for lies? http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-news/MP-examines-claims-benefits-assessors-routinely-lie older post at 2017 i know, but if you like some more, then just search the net, plenty of freedom now days to see what's going on and how wrong so many are, when eyes are opened, if you think differently, provide the proof with links to back it up, or don't but here's some more reading if i haven't already put you off with my comments https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/disability-rights-uk-response-work-and-pensions-committee-pip-and-esa-assessments-inquiry and then who find it too stressful and fall by the way side https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2018/september/4-out-10-pip-claimants-do-not-appeal-it-would-be-too-stressful but again it's only numbers, no faces, and still no targets? so why so many fail? as this year so far has been the highest? more swining the lead maybe as they say? 
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    i apologize for quoting you and replying, i'm not in the right frame of mind atm to be getting on a high horse and taking it out of you for others and my own failings, dealing with loss of money is impacting me harder than i had first thought, i'm left in a place i've not been to in a long while, a dark hole i didn't want to go back to any time soon if at all, but here i am, trying to hold my head out of water and keep myself from drowning, depending on how quick i get to Tribunal, will be either i'll survive or be in dept, first time there in 30 years, and that was a mortgage, so not something i take lightly either, but that's not your fault either, so please disregard my remarks, as i can't find the button to edit or delete, so will just say sorry again, i have some issues with anger atm, so while not going out and hitting anyone, verbally is something i shouldn't be doing either.
  • LB14LB14 Member Posts: 10 Connected
    @zacblood
    It is frustrating and I think people understand that there is contradicting information out there.  I can only talk for myself and yes, when it’s money that you are used to having and it’s taken away it’s awful.  I’m only at the beginning stage of this process, but since I stopped working due to I’ll health nearly five years ago now, we have struggled as parents to 3 children to pay our bills and unfortunately some couldn’t be paid and we are now in quite a bit of debt which exasperates anxiety, depression and everything else like nobodies business.  We now have CCJ’s on top of the debt so I know how you feel with this especially when you haven’t experienced debt etc before.
    Everyone has to blow a little steam at times so don’t beat yourself up.

     
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    edited April 2019
    @zakblood there's a little cog on the top right hand side of your post usually, it gives you an hour to edit it.
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    thanks, i'm aged 52 this year, had mental health issues first at school, couldn't cope with what everyone else could and in those days suffered for it, and well lets say i wasn't a good boy, in the end, when they understand your bright, just naughty i got a educational psychologist, who played mood music and tried to get me to relax and take me to a happy place, filled with happy thoughts, not busy places or cutting my wrists etc, so over times i guess i got somewhat better, eg grew up, body altered and became a man, then like a hammer blow, again it hit me with stress, at work, getting married or tbh most of the day to day routine items, always the smaller ones in my case, nothing really major, if the house burnt down i'd be fine, but someone says something to me, and i blew my top, so anger management was one, thinking i was smarter than everyone else and not listen, was another, then over talking, telling everyone my life story, when deep down i couldn't talk to the same person sometimes in the same room about normal stuff, so a mixed up brain for sure, over the years you learn to deal and cope in your own way, some better than others, for me it's online which helps, as i tend to not go out much and spend most of my time in, well not the real world, so something of a fantasy one, now taking away my £100 a week of ESA, leaves me with, no life, nothing to do, no social interaction, even if it's online only, so i have time alone to think, plan and deal with it again, on my own, which not living in the real world like others do, when you finally understand one day, the 14th of April you have money coming in, life goes on, on the 15th the letter takes all of that away, doesn't explain what to do, so panic and depressions sets in, with no one to talk to, as partner is great and i love her to bits, but say no too often, eg can't no longer afford it, and not only your life style changes, but the support around you, as no one likes to be broke, with my other half not only my support but career, loosing money, means just as much to both of us, than it does, just to me, so after a way too long post and reply, 20 years on incapacity and now called ESA, 5 assessments later, 2 failed 3 passed, im again looking at the Tribunal route for back issues iv'e suffered since i had a spinal tap for meningitis aged 14. while lead to lower back problems later in my working life, they call it a fancy name, all i know is it's getting worse not better, spondyloarthropathy or spondylarthritis, which later after 5 scans and MRI to canal stenosis with posterior disc bulges at 4 points on the spine and degeneration overall of the lumba spine, get hospitalized every 2 to 3 years now with a build up of meds and now have other side effect from long term medicine use, which goes to 5 more items, only to fail a ESA assessment a few days ago and be told and get sent after 20 years of it, a P45 on the same day my decision was received... lol i couldn't make it up
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 949 Pioneering
    @LB14 CAB can help with debt, if you can get in to see them....
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    LB14 said:
    @zacblood
    It is frustrating and I think people understand that there is contradicting information out there.  I can only talk for myself and yes, when it’s money that you are used to having and it’s taken away it’s awful.  I’m only at the beginning stage of this process, but since I stopped working due to I’ll health nearly five years ago now, we have struggled as parents to 3 children to pay our bills and unfortunately some couldn’t be paid and we are now in quite a bit of debt which exasperates anxiety, depression and everything else like nobodies business.  We now have CCJ’s on top of the debt so I know how you feel with this especially when you haven’t experienced debt etc before.
    Everyone has to blow a little steam at times so don’t beat yourself up.

     
    thanks again, sorry to rant on and get carried away, without first saying sorry to hear your troubles and also your not alone, while i'd wish not to have anyone in my boat, it seems there's more than a few atm with more than a few stories to tell and problems to deal with, it's good to talk, it's also good to hear others are either the same or sometimes worse, i know that sounds bad, but i hope you understand my meaning, as being dyslexic as well, spelling and understand others, isn't a great part of my successful items in life
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 949 Pioneering
    @LB14 There's a good chance you won't win at Mandatory Recon, but more than 70% of claimants who appear at the tribunal are winning. It is a long process, though, generally. Keep your health in mind. If you can do it, though, it's worth it. I've done it multiple times and always won.

    One important thing to know is that your diagnoses aren't the important bit - it's how they affect you. Check out pipinfo.net . They go through each question and each descriptor, explain all the terms, and often give examples of how to answer the questions depending on your condition. Obviously you need to change their responses depending on how you're affected! For each question, you need to figure out which descriptor applies to you and then prove it. So, for example, "I can't get into the bath by myself due to my knee pain and osteoarthritis - I need help. I also can't wash my lower body by myself due to my osteoarthritis. I do use a shower chair as an aid, but this is not enough to enable me to shower by myself. The last time I tried this by myself I <fell over, etc.>. Please see my evidence, on p. blah, where my consultant states that i am unable to reach below my waist 80% of the time. In addition, my depression and anxiety make it extremely difficult for me to bathe due to my lack of motivation and anxiety about falling. I need to be prompted to bathe, helped into the tub, and then helped to bathe, as described above. Without prompting, I often go 6 or 7 days without bathing. As my condition is variable (if it is), on good days (40% of the time), I generally wash with the prompting and assistance of my partner. On average days (50%) etc.....

  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    thanks for the link Waylay

    ilovecats, sorry love the name and so do i, just lost my oldest Tom, a lovely male at 12 years old had heart issues and vets wouldn't say how long or if he would survive or not on meds so had to have him put to sleep, broke my heart, so only 2 babies left, found them in a thrown out settee, one was dead and 2 others survived and i'm now there mother, as had them since so many days old, and tbh vets were little help, had to find most information online on how to handle and bring them up from such a young age, but 2 years later now, both Starsky and Hutch are doing well, and no there both girls, but didn't know that as the time my girlfriend named them lol, said we were new mums at it
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    here's the link to just one of the DWP targets, there are others and all in the public domain https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dwp-benefit-appeals-target-reject-80-per-cent-outrageous-pip-jobseekers-allowance-department-work-a7740101.html    not just the one link, there's about 5 or 6 with the same information and freedom of information sources 
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    from my small and quick searches, now for ESA Each assessor is expected to see upto eight claimants each day and Despite this, all three contractors have failed to meet key targets so far this year, mind you that was 2018, data for 2019 isn't out as of yet, or i can't find it published anywhere, and it's not for not trying


  • twonkertwonker Posts: 617 Member
    zakblood said:
    scaring you is a poor choice of words imo, i'd say they are aggressively making it so hard than only the hardest and toughest survive at all to meet a given target of how many are left on a given benefit by a given date, as the closer it gets to April, year end, the worse it seems to be, you and me just got in on the wrong month with the wrong assessor, as ours seems to have not met there targets for the month and maybe no bonus for the year, so we was maybe always going to fail, but saying all that, keep your chin up and fight, as you have paid into the system and deserve to be treated the same as those who haven't, either with no fault of there own, or from outside of the UK, which for me always seem to be somewhat unfair, as i (we) seem to get treated worse, being born here, paid taxes here, etc etc


    Of course the DWP will continue to tighten the screws on how a descriptor should apply. Much the same argument is that claimants will, and their welfare rights advisors, actively challenge what the descriptors should actually mean. If the DWP didn't bother we would end up with the complete mess that DLA became - a benefit so far removed from it's original intent by virtue of the many court cases which widened the base for more people to be able to claim..

    There are no targets and no good and bad months.

    Having paid tax and NIC means nothing for PIP - it is not contribution dependent. I have paid in over the past 44 years a huge amount in tax & NIC (my annual tax bill was greater than the annual average salary!) And as for bringing up the 'race card' that has no place on this site. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.

     
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    sorry you miss quoted my reply, i never mentioned race, i said from elsewhere, eg out side the UK, please don't put words in my mouth, sorry if you fine offence where none is mentioned or said, if you read more into than i've mentioned or said, i apologize now for any offence i'm didn't mean to make either, and don't wish to argue or be missed quoted, have enough to already worry about in life without reading between the lines just in case someone reads more into a sentence than what was said or meant 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    zakblood said:
    from my small and quick searches, now for ESA Each assessor is expected to see upto eight claimants each day and Despite this, all three contractors have failed to meet key targets so far this year, mind you that was 2018, data for 2019 isn't out as of yet, or i can't find it published anywhere, and it's not for not trying


    This thread is for PIP not ESA, they are different benefits.
    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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