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PIP downgrade warning by tribunal

Sassafras
Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
I thought I was going to have a PIP tribunal hearing today. But it was adjourned to allow me the opportunity to think about the fact that tribunal may downgrade my award. 

As it currently stands I have 10 points for “cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid” because of my mental health issues. And that’s all I have. 

I had an assessment prior to the DWP decision which gave me four points for “needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant”. However the decision maker decided not to go along with the report an instead gave me the above mentioned 10 points.  Accordingly, this is not in dispute. 

From the Googling I’ve done since I got back from the tribunal it seems it’s fairly unusual to give such a warning which essentially means the judge was minded to downgrade my current award. It seems there is something the judge thought needed addressing. 

But my application was supported by a letter from a psychologist (non NHS) which confirmed my need to be accompanied by someone else on an unfamiliar journey.  And I went to the tribunal (which was an unfamiliar journey for me) with the assistance of another person. 

I don’t understand what would have made the judge think, on her initial perusal of the papers, that I needed to be given such a warning. If anyone has any ideas, they would be gratefully received. 

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Comments

  • Pipquestions2
    Pipquestions2 Member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
    I know nothing so take this with a grain of salt...

    But I think you're right that they might be thinking about downgrading. I would probably take the award unless you can send in better proof That will get you points in the daily living component

     Pretty unrelated but I watched a YouTube video on someone's pip tribunal, which was adjourned because he knew one of the panel members or something. The judge said to him just before he left as the tribunal couldn't go on, this is probably a good thing because it wouldn't have went well for him based off what was seen and recommended him getting medical records etc. 

    So it's possible the judge is trying to do you a favour here too, like he did with that guy.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome

    How long is your current award ?
    What points or descriptors do you think you meet the criteria for ?

    Others may have different ideas but I would be mindful of the judges warning, take what you have and wait for your next review
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener


    So it's possible the judge is trying to do you a favour here too, like he did with that guy.
    From the small amount of research I've done this afternoon, the case law says the tribunal has to give such a warning if they are thinking of downgrading to give an opportunity to withdraw or bolster your case.
  • Pipquestions2
    Pipquestions2 Member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    Sassafras said:


    So it's possible the judge is trying to do you a favour here too, like he did with that guy.
    From the small amount of research I've done this afternoon, the case law says the tribunal has to give such a warning if they are thinking of downgrading to give an opportunity to withdraw or bolster your case.
    Do you have someone helping you (cab, welfare rights) ? You should ask them if so. If not you should probably make an appointment

    Where else do you think you should have scored points and why? 

    Unless you can muster up 8+ points in the daily living component it's probably best to just leave it imo. If your problems are mental ( sorry if I read that wrong in the OP), it's harder to do this because a lot of the descriptors are focused on physical problems but it's not impossible. 
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi and welcome

    How long is your current award ?
    What points or descriptors do you think you meet the criteria for ?

    Others may have different ideas but I would be mindful of the judges warning, take what you have and wait for your next review
    Hi and thanks for the welcome.

    The award is until 22 July 2020.

    These are the descriptors I believe apply to me (as does my psychologist):

    “Cannot prepare and cook food”, 8 points
    “Needs social support to be able to engage with other people”, 4 points
    "Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid", 10 points

    I am mindful of the judges warning, but surprised since the appeal is so well supported by a psychologist and the current award is not disputed by DWP.

    As you can probably gather from the above descriptors, attending the court building was quite the ordeal and required a lot of support.  I don't think I have the capacity to continue.
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Sassafras said:


    So it's possible the judge is trying to do you a favour here too, like he did with that guy.
    From the small amount of research I've done this afternoon, the case law says the tribunal has to give such a warning if they are thinking of downgrading to give an opportunity to withdraw or bolster your case.
    Do you have someone helping you (cab, welfare rights) ? You should ask them if so. If not you should probably make an appointment

    Where else do you think you should have scored points and why? 

    Unless you can muster up 8+ points in the daily living component it's probably best to just leave it imo. If your problems are mental ( sorry if I read that wrong in the OP), it's harder to do this because a lot of the descriptors are focused on physical problems but it's not impossible. 
    I don't have anyone helping me and, as I hope you can see from the descriptors I mentioned to CockneyRebel, it's pretty much too hard for me to be able to interact with anyone in this way.  But I have researched the law and DWP guidance myself and prior to having to give up work this was the kind of work I did.

  • Pipquestions2
    Pipquestions2 Member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
    Sassafras said:
    Sassafras said:


    So it's possible the judge is trying to do you a favour here too, like he did with that guy.
    From the small amount of research I've done this afternoon, the case law says the tribunal has to give such a warning if they are thinking of downgrading to give an opportunity to withdraw or bolster your case.
    Do you have someone helping you (cab, welfare rights) ? You should ask them if so. If not you should probably make an appointment

    Where else do you think you should have scored points and why? 

    Unless you can muster up 8+ points in the daily living component it's probably best to just leave it imo. If your problems are mental ( sorry if I read that wrong in the OP), it's harder to do this because a lot of the descriptors are focused on physical problems but it's not impossible. 
    I don't have anyone helping me and, as I hope you can see from the descriptors I mentioned to CockneyRebel, it's pretty much too hard for me to be able to interact with anyone in this way.  But I have researched the law and DWP guidance myself and prior to having to give up work this was the kind of work I did.

    Don't worry I know exactly how you feel. I was in the same boat as you and relied on this forum for my appeal etc until literally days before it. I went from 0 all to 2 cooking, 4 communicating, 4 mixing with people and 12 for going out 

    4 points for mixing with people won't get you pip so you'll have to explain why exactly you can't cook.

    I can't cook either and I scored 2 points (need prompted to cook) but luckily I got the other 4 in communication to get the award. Even though I can't cook and don't feel like I can learn, at least right now, my disability doesn't prevent me from learning if that makes sense and that's the angle they look at hence why I only got 2 points. 
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Sassafras said:
    Sassafras said:


    So it's possible the judge is trying to do you a favour here too, like he did with that guy.
    From the small amount of research I've done this afternoon, the case law says the tribunal has to give such a warning if they are thinking of downgrading to give an opportunity to withdraw or bolster your case.
    Do you have someone helping you (cab, welfare rights) ? You should ask them if so. If not you should probably make an appointment

    Where else do you think you should have scored points and why? 

    Unless you can muster up 8+ points in the daily living component it's probably best to just leave it imo. If your problems are mental ( sorry if I read that wrong in the OP), it's harder to do this because a lot of the descriptors are focused on physical problems but it's not impossible. 
    I don't have anyone helping me and, as I hope you can see from the descriptors I mentioned to CockneyRebel, it's pretty much too hard for me to be able to interact with anyone in this way.  But I have researched the law and DWP guidance myself and prior to having to give up work this was the kind of work I did.

    Don't worry I know exactly how you feel. 
    Thank you.
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    ilovecats said:
    May I ask why you think 1F applies to you? I have never seen that awarded for mental health alone. Normally D for prompting or E for supervision due to a safety aspect are commonly awarded for mental health. 


    Prompting and encouragement have proved to be ineffective in dealing with my chronic inability to follow and complete such sequential personal care tasks.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,395 Disability Gamechanger
    Sassafras said:
    ilovecats said:
    May I ask why you think 1F applies to you? I have never seen that awarded for mental health alone. Normally D for prompting or E for supervision due to a safety aspect are commonly awarded for mental health. 


    Prompting and encouragement have proved to be ineffective in dealing with my chronic inability to follow and complete such sequential personal care tasks.
    1F isn't about personal care it's about preparing food. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf

  • Pipquestions2
    Pipquestions2 Member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
    Sassafras said:
    ilovecats said:
    May I ask why you think 1F applies to you? I have never seen that awarded for mental health alone. Normally D for prompting or E for supervision due to a safety aspect are commonly awarded for mental health. 


    Prompting and encouragement have proved to be ineffective in dealing with my chronic inability to follow and complete such sequential personal care tasks.
    I could be wrong but 1f is probably kept for people who have no hands, completely blind and the like (@ilovecats will correct me if I'm wrong). The only mental disorder I can think of that might fit this descriptor is the one (forgot name) where you have the mind of a child. 

    4 points for saftey from what I understand is more for things like siezures where you might take a fit holding a knife or something. 

    Even though it's not an accurate reflection of your difficulties I get the impression you'd only get 2 points for prompted like I did, giving you 6 daily living and 10 mobility at best - which would put you in the same situation you're at now. But you haven't said much so it's hard to be sure. 
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Sassafras said:
    ilovecats said:
    May I ask why you think 1F applies to you? I have never seen that awarded for mental health alone. Normally D for prompting or E for supervision due to a safety aspect are commonly awarded for mental health. 


    Prompting and encouragement have proved to be ineffective in dealing with my chronic inability to follow and complete such sequential personal care tasks.
    1F isn't about personal care it's about preparing food. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf

    I know it's about preparing food.  It's these kind of activities where we take ourselves that I have difficuties with.
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Sassafras said:
    ilovecats said:
    May I ask why you think 1F applies to you? I have never seen that awarded for mental health alone. Normally D for prompting or E for supervision due to a safety aspect are commonly awarded for mental health. 


    Prompting and encouragement have proved to be ineffective in dealing with my chronic inability to follow and complete such sequential personal care tasks.


    Even though it's not an accurate reflection of your difficulties I get the impression you'd only get 2 points for prompted like I did, giving you 6 daily living and 10 mobility at best - which would put you in the same situation you're at now. But you haven't said much so it's hard to be sure. 
    Yes, I got 2 for prompting.
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    ilovecats said:
    Sassafras said:
    ilovecats said:
    May I ask why you think 1F applies to you? I have never seen that awarded for mental health alone. Normally D for prompting or E for supervision due to a safety aspect are commonly awarded for mental health. 


    Prompting and encouragement have proved to be ineffective in dealing with my chronic inability to follow and complete such sequential personal care tasks.
    If prompting and encouragement are not effective then the next stage up would be assistance. Someone to stand there and help you. So E? Maybe there are instances of F being awarded but none I’m aware of, though I have limited information about tribunals. 
    Thanks, I'll think about assistance further.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    @Sassafras - i don't understand the bit about "sequential care tasks" so it's difficult to see what the 'upside' is..

    If the judge is suggesting that you might lose the award you already have I'd take the hint, and stick with what you've got....

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,395 Disability Gamechanger
    What you really should be doing is thinking carefully about your existing award, which could be downgraded. As you've already been warned by the Tribunal, then you really do need to get some expert face to face advice because no one knows anything about your case on a forum. For this reason it's impossible to give you any advice. This link will help you find what's available in your area. https://advicelocal.uk/

  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    cristobal said:
    @Sassafras - i don't understand the bit about "sequential care tasks" so it's difficult to see what the 'upside' is..

    If the judge is suggesting that you might lose the award you already have I'd take the hint, and stick with what you've got....

    Yes, I'm also thinking I should take the hint.  Thanks.
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    What you really should be doing is thinking carefully about your existing award, which could be downgraded. As you've already been warned by the Tribunal, then you really do need to get some expert face to face advice because no one knows anything about your case on a forum. For this reason it's impossible to give you any advice. This link will help you find what's available in your area. https://advicelocal.uk/

    I'm thinking very carefully about the existing award.  And also that I'm really not up to that face to face advice which I agree would be very helpful.
  • Sassafras
    Sassafras Member Posts: 12 Listener
    ilovecats said:
    Sassafras said:
    ilovecats said:
    May I ask why you think 1F applies to you? I have never seen that awarded for mental health alone. Normally D for prompting or E for supervision due to a safety aspect are commonly awarded for mental health. 


    Prompting and encouragement have proved to be ineffective in dealing with my chronic inability to follow and complete such sequential personal care tasks.
    I could be wrong but 1f is probably kept for people who have no hands, completely blind and the like (@ilovecats will correct me if I'm wrong). The only mental disorder I can think of that might fit this descriptor is the one (forgot name) where you have the mind of a child. 

    4 points for saftey from what I understand is more for things like siezures where you might take a fit holding a knife or something. 

    Even though it's not an accurate reflection of your difficulties I get the impression you'd only get 2 points for prompted like I did, giving you 6 daily living and 10 mobility at best - which would put you in the same situation you're at now. But you haven't said much so it's hard to be sure. 
    It’s difficult to truly say what may apply without knowing all the OP’s information. All I would say is I personally never awarded an 1F in an assessment centre situation. I only ever awarded it to people with severe cognitive deficits, paralysis etc during home consultations.

    I have been corrected on here by others that it has been applied to other conditions on rare occasions such as severe epilepsy at a tribunal setting but I can only really advise from an assessors perspective. Caselaw and tribunals are not something I know much about and there could be occasions where an 1F was awarded to mental health in exceptional circumstances. 

    I remember seeing a very poorly lady once who have a very severe neurological condition and I personally felt that a 1F would have been appropriate however when I asked for advice from my CSL (clinical skills leader) she basically said unless they were paralysed I couldn’t award it because she walked into the assessment centre. The way the assessors are told to work, rightly or wrongly, is that someone claiming for a mental health condition who has two working arms and no cognitive deficits could prepare food with assistance. 

    Until the guidance is changed to reflect any tribunal outcomes or changes in law then that is the way it’ll continue to be awarded.

    If the tribunal has given you this warning then I would seriously consider whether the restrictions you’re reporting can be evidenced robustly. If you feel they can then go for it. 
    Thank you for your very helpful insights.
  • atlas46
    atlas46 Member Posts: 826 Pioneering
    Hi @ilovecats

    The warnings (more like stipulated guidance by HMCTS) are not worth a jot.

    What needs to be considered, in the first instance, is the quality of the rebuttal 
    of the decision  and it is most important that the claimant gets face to face advice from a welfare rights officer, rather than rely on an erstwhile PIP assessor.

    Who openly discloses that she is not up to speed with caselaw or the tribunal system.

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