PIP, DLA and AA
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Epilepsy

marymomarymo Member Posts: 2 Listener
can anyone tell me are epileptics only entitled to motablity....... I’ve recently been awarded enhanced rate, was awarded seven points for personnel care. I have some friends who are also epileptic and they were also turned down for personal care. Any replies will be appreciated. Thank you

Replies

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @marymo and welcome

    PIP is awarded based on how your condition affects  your functional ability to complete the daily tasks and mobility descriptors,
    Have you taken the self test ?


    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • marymomarymo Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you for your reply.
  • jackiehenjackiehen Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I got enchanted both 
  • jackiehenjackiehen Member Posts: 4 Listener
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Take a look at the website. The self test can yield further information. If you have frequent seizures you should score points for activity three. My first piece of advice is to take a look at the descriptors for each activity. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,009 Disability Gamechanger
    ilovecats said:
    marymo said:
    can anyone tell me are epileptics only entitled to motablity....... I’ve recently been awarded enhanced rate, was awarded seven points for personnel care. I have some friends who are also epileptic and they were also turned down for personal care. Any replies will be appreciated. Thank you

    People with epilepsy, that causes them to fit without a useful warning they will likely score 1C, 4C and 11F, based on epilepsy alone. 

    This is because of safety concerns when cooking and washing, though 2 points in each is not enough enough for a daily living award.

    11F is awarded on the basis that you cannot make yourself during a seizure and are vulnerable therefore you need supervision on all journeys, = 12 points = enhanced mobility.

    You may score 1 point for Activity 3 if there is evidence of frequent seizures with rescue medication needing to be administered by another person.
    This is inaccurate. The correct points score in a case like this on daily living would be 1e at minimum because of the need for supervision and possible intervention. 1f in cases where there are regular seizures or clear examples of injury in a kitchen etc. 

    3biii because the lack of a warning means supervision must be required to monitor the epilepsy and potentially intervene.

    and 

    4c as stated above.


  • grubergruber Posts: 29 Member
    Beyond me is all this, but have done a fair bit of reading in the past to try to understand PIP. What confuses me with these types and numbers of the descriptors you say that they are as per the guidance you have.
    Is this guidance representing the legislation or is it an interpretation of what people think the legislation should read like? 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,009 Disability Gamechanger
    Respectfully, 1C is an option depending on the risk associated with the post ictal phase and and the length of recovery, nature of seizure, severity, history of status epileptics, rescue medication, risk of multi fit etc.

    When I gave that information I was not being specific to the OP’s case.

    There are many variables that would depend as to whether 1C or E is chosen. 1C is the minimum that should be considered for seizures. 1F would not be considered for someone with epilepsy alone because with supervision at most they could compete this activity safely. I have access to the most recent guidance issued to assessors somewhere which I’m happy to dig out for the more specific wording.
    I also wasn’t referencing the OPs case. Equally respectfully 1c is only an option if you are a HCP.

    In 6 years of PIP I’ve not seen any first tier tribunal maintain or award 1c. It’s a fine example of the considerable distance between what HCPs do and what the law, caselaw and guidance actually say. 1f is regularly awarded for epilepsy alone albeit that 1e is now the most common award. It may not be recommended by HCPs. It may not even be awarded by DMs but there are many people who get 1e or 1f on epilepsy alone. 

    Here’s a lovely piece of 3 year old case law which neatly illustrates the point re: it not being 1c but 1e at minimum. 

    http://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//judgmentfiles/j4860/CPIP%203573%202015-00.doc

    Failure to consider 1f on epilepsy alone is always going to be an error of law because there’s simply no law or caselaw which says that is the case. 

    Regrettably HCP training is about process and guidance and not about the actual law as it stands (as opposed to how the DWP want it to be read). This explains why challenging HCP reports at tribunal is, as a local district judge says, not worth spending much time on as you are kicking at an open door. 

    Couple of great pieces of caselaw to finish which are not directly related to epilepsy but wholly relevant and usually disregarded by HCPS.

    https://pipinfo.net/conditions/Epilepsy
  • grubergruber Posts: 29 Member
    Can I possibly jump in here. Following on from what I said earlier and the kind reply, what I have come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly is that the assessors are trained via an internal guidance document that is published by the DWP which does appear to be at many times inconsistent with the law and case law.
    If this is the case then why is the guidance not being amended to follow the legal route. 
    Expanding this further if this is also happening with other descriptors then the public are being assessed for PIP from entirely the wrong point of view, which to me as an outsider and layman is intentional on the part of the DWP. It's no wonder then why so many appeals are succeeding at a Tribunal who only apply the law and not someone's attempt to interpret it.

    Just something that has always interested me.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2019
    @gruber / @yadnad....I agree that the guidance should follow the law but since it doesn't then I'm not sure that this takes us any further forward. You and I can't change anything, and neither can my MP.

    For the moment I'm wondering if it might be worth following @ilovecats advice, in the first instance. It might be 'wrong' in legal terms but at least he/she is telling everyone what actually happens in practice. This might actually be more valuable than being 'right'..
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,009 Disability Gamechanger
    gruber said:
    Can I possibly jump in here. Following on from what I said earlier and the kind reply, what I have come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly is that the assessors are trained via an internal guidance document that is published by the DWP which does appear to be at many times inconsistent with the law and case law.
    If this is the case then why is the guidance not being amended to follow the legal route. 
    Expanding this further if this is also happening with other descriptors then the public are being assessed for PIP from entirely the wrong point of view, which to me as an outsider and layman is intentional on the part of the DWP. It's no wonder then why so many appeals are succeeding at a Tribunal who only apply the law and not someone's attempt to interpret it.

    Just something that has always interested me.
    Your reading of this is exactly correct. The guidance is amended periodically but there are hundreds of small but important errors in there which never get touched. It takes a test case and a high profile for the guidance to be amended so that it correctly reflects the law. There are often things on there which are nothing less than wholly made up.
    ilovecats said:
    Caselaw and what the HCP’s have to follow as set by the DWP are different things. 

    I have very very little knowledge of the law and I am happy to accept what you say as factually correct.

    The information I offer, is only ever how a HCP at assessment should award and score based on the guidance issued by the DWP. 

    Though there may be examples of an F being awarded at tribunal for epilepsy (and I haven’t followed the links to see the circumstances) I imagine there are other factors a thing play which is why it was done so.

    If people with epilepsy are routinely appealing and being awarded an F then I expect the DWP would have to change their assessment criteria. As it stand, 1C is the still the minimum that should be considered for epilepsy from a HCP assessment perspective. 
    No, I’m afraid they’re not different things at all. The guidance can legally only be derived from the law and caselaw. The guidance is inept in many places and often influenced by political interests. Epilepsy is a magnificent example of where reading something in isolation leads to one conclusion - 1c - but reading it as a whole could not possibly lead to that conclusion. 

    For anyone interested, here’s the guidance we’re talking about.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-assessment-guide-for-assessment-providers/pip-assessment-guide-part-2-the-assessment-criteria#daily-living-activities

    The guidance in 1c is found in 2.3 (the lack of consistent paragraph numbering in volume 2 merely adds to the problem of interpretation). However, right above this we have 2.2 on reliability, which includes 2.2.4 to 2.2.11 on safety. It’s self-evident that safety must come into play and indeed 2.3 does say “If an individual cannot reliably complete an activity in the way described in a descriptor then they should be considered unable to complete it at that level and an alternative descriptor selected.” but that’s routinely ignored because it’s in the part labelled “Notes” at the start rather than as a prompt for every single descriptor.

    There’s even a worked example (number 3) which at 2.2.28 explicitly mentions someone lacking a perception of danger taking you into 1e. This is right above all of the above. Unmissable and yet... If someone has unpredictable seizures with no meaningful warning then how do they continue to have any sense of danger? The guidance on balancing safety v risk is recent and derived from a UT decision which effectively wholly resurrected the DLA approach. The DLA approach was that even if risk is remote, if the consequences are serious, then you qualify. Again, anyone wanting to verify my assertion can read the decision at https://www.gov.uk/administrative-appeals-tribunal-decisions/rj-gmcl-and-cs-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-pensions-v-rj-pip-2017-ukut-105-aac

    The reason I raise all this is because when you tell people this is what an assessor would score it as most reasonable people would interpret that as the best they could get and what routinely happens. See the quote from @cristobal as an immediate example. 

    Neither of those are true and that’s really important because some people with epilepsy will read what you’re saying and conclude that a claim may fall short of 8 points or more  when that is not the case. Imagine how those people would feel if they later sought advice/representation and found out they’d been led to believe something which was not and never had been accurate. Literally thousands of pounds at stake!

    I posted the link to the epilepsy case explicitly to avoid any suggestion that 1f cases are those where something other than epilepsy was at issue. The case is the current lead case on epilepsy and although it involved other people the case in question is solely about epilepsy. One cannot compel anyone to read a link but if you explicitly say that you haven’t but go on to assert that you “imagine there are other factors” then anyone who does read the link is likely to conclude the credibility of your information is significantly reduced.
    cristobal said:
    @gruber / @yadnad....I agree that the guidance should follow the law but since it doesn't then I'm not sure that this takes us any further forward. You and I can't change anything, and neither can my MP.

    For the moment I'm wondering if it might be worth following @ilovecats advice, in the first instance. It might be 'wrong' in legal terms but at least he/she is telling everyone what actually happens in practice. This might actually be more valuable than being 'right'..
    @cristobal the guidance does “mostly” follow the law. The problem is assessors not following the guidance properly by taking paras in isolation rather than in the context of the wider whole. That is of course allied to brief and wholly inadequate training. You absolutely can change things here albeit that your MP won’t be relevant. Indeed it’s only individuals pursuing their own cases that ever changes things like this.

    If you take a case; get a decision with which you disagree and you or your rep can see a difference between the law and the guidance then take the matter to first tier tribunal. If that fails then take it to upper tribunal or beyond. When such discrepancies go beyond UT one of the frequent outcomes is that the guidance gets changed to refuect a correct interpretation. 
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