PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP Decision letter

ruby2017ruby2017 Member Posts: 15 Connected
edited May 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Please can a Benefits Adviser  tell me about the legal information that a DM is required to include on the statement of reasons for their decision. On my first Decision letter, then afterwards on my MR letter, there were no named disabilities which in the Decision Makers Guidance notes states this has to be stated. Also onto another point, the first DM had made a statement about my answers to a descriptor but the second DM had mis-read it and contradicted it. So my two questions are, as this is now going to Appeal and everything has to be 100% true and correct, what should i do about these discrepancies?
There seems to be nobody accountable at the DWP to answer direct questions and get swift answers. Complaint letters end up in a vast circle of red tape.

Replies

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger

    For your appeal submission you should concentrate on showing how and why you meet the criteria and relevant descriptors. There is nothing that you should do about the discrepancies, the tribunal panel should pick these up which can only help with your claim

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    ruby2017,
    It's worth pointing out the discrepancies (the mis-reading made by the second DM) in your submission to the tribunal. They may spot it anyway, but it will be helpful to the tribunal if you highlight it, along with any other inconsistencies (for example, anything in the assessor's report which is not correct).

    As to what has to be included, there is nothing in law which says your disabilities need to be named. The PIP decisions & appeals regs say only that there must be a written notice which informs you of your right to appeal, and your right to a written statement of reasons for the decision. A statement of written reasons should be provided automatically in PIP decisions. Nothing governs what should be in the written reasons for PIP, but for other benefits, the guidance says the written statement of reasons should:

    1. Be personalised
    2. Give an explanation of why the decision was made
    3. Provide details of the law used to make the decision and how it was applied
    4. Explain your rights to challenge the decision and any time limits involved.

    You can see more information about what should be in a decision in the Advice for Decision Making (ADM) guidance, at paras A116 and A117. (The Decision Maker's Guide doesn't cover PIP - as PIP is one of the newer benefits, the guidance is all in the ADM):

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/793835/adma1.pdf

    Complaining can get somewhere but it does take ages. If you have already been through the DWP's own complaints system, you can approach the Independent Case Examiner. With the help of your MP, complaints which have been through the DWP's complaints system can be brought to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. It's at this stage that you start to see recommendations made and proper apologies/compensation, although I agree with you it is really not good enough and the system should give you a result without having to complaint that far.

    If you're experiencing delays in the complaints system then that in itself may be a reason to go to the next stage.

    The tribunal can't make the system better or get an apology for you about these errors; it can only decide whether the decision on your award is correct or not. However, discrepancies in the evidence can be relevant to the tribunal's decision making process.

    Hope this gives you a bit of clarity. I know the situation is dire and as it's so difficult to get guidance and answers from the DWP you might want to ask your MP for help at an earlier stage, so they are aware of how bad the situation is for people dealing with inadequate and incorrect PIP decisions.

    Will

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • ruby2017ruby2017 Member Posts: 15 Connected
    Thanks for your reply. It is interesting how all of these routes are offered if we have any complaints about the DWP, but from my own experience the ICE department are not helpful in their approach. They have an automated acknowledgement e-mail system and that is where they stop. I never receive personalised responses. I always end up needing to ring them and i have been met with very brusque and quite unhelpful answers. I have had no choice but to just try to wait patiently for weeks at a time and need to ring again for updates. As for the MP route, I am still waiting for a personalised response from my many e-mails. I had one letter sent to me from before Xmas 2018 with the promise of an 'update' . Nothing further received since then, my PIP is now at Appeal Stage without any help from my MP. The Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman has a very dubious track record. Just check out the PHOS on "Trustpilot". It seems to be another institution set up to placate the masses
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