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DWP making "offer" to stop me going to tribunal help!!

Kaymay
Kaymay Member Posts: 6 Listener
I've been appealing a decision for pip since 2017. I was awarded daily living at standard rate but we believe it should be higher. I have a lot of health issues ongoing that have got worse and all I have ever had in ten years is standard daily living. 
So I've had a assessment that we recorded. They decided to remain at standard daily living. We rang to say we were going to submit a mandatory reconsideration they said it wouldn't alter the decision so no matter what we wrote before we wrote us they were telling us the decision would be the same. We did that they again stuck at standard rate daily living. They then tried very hard to get rid of this recording saying how had I taken it had I got the correct permission to do it etc. We had we checked the box in the back of how my disabilities affect me form to say we wished to record the assessment as previously this had been where the problems were. The assessment did not match what I or anyone else was telling them and my appeals for ten years kept getting denied. So this time we found out you could record we did. We also asked the HCP beige we commend who agreed. We also offered her a copy at the end but she declined saying it wasn't necessary. We even had it transcribed. The DWP tried to say that they weren't interested in the transcript as they had no idea hat I had gone through the correct proceedings. They even told the tribunal service I handed in my mandatory reconsideration late and we hadn't we had the proof of posting explained about the recording and sent a copy of our receipt to the tribunal service who has allowed the recording as we did all that was asked. So the tribunal service asked us to provide two CDs of the assessment recording which we did. Tribunal sent it to DWP and kept a copy for themselves. DWP say they never received that copy but after being asked to confirm if they received the copy it took DWP six months to reply to the tribunal service to say they hadn't received it.
I rang to see if I was going to get a date to the tribunal service in may this year they told me all this. Hey also said they would fire another copy straight over to DWP. I sent in my latest hospital clinic letter and the payment breakdown I had received from ESA as I am in the ESA support group have been for years now. So ESA was due for review and I went to assessment in April his year, the assessment was stopped minutes in due to my anxiety and I was again awarded the support group. Besides this nothing new has happened. I don't know what was said in the assessment as I am waiting for the report to be sent out along with their decision for ESA.
So Friday I get a random call from DWP offering me a deal. Take this offer don't go to tribunal. They have decided to look at my claim and decided I can now be awarded enhanced daily living and standard mobility. They said the payments to backdated would be minis the standard rate daily living I had already been paid and said it would go back to September 2017. They also said they would also extend this to 2022 if I accept the offer. I said so why the change what's changed? She said that my case was looked at and hey had decided they could now award me this offer. She then said in the ESA report it showed that things are significant that I qualified on both phusical and mental health grounds and I would now satisfy the criteria for he enhanced rate of mobility? I said I'm confused why are you telling me that but hen only offering standard rate mobility in your offer. She said we can't apply now to 2017. I said right so why can't you say back date standard but pay higher going forwards she said that wasn't possible I could either take the offer then ask them to review or reassess the mobility once this offer was in place. I said so why are you asking me to agree to this to 2022 if you are then saying from earlier his year you feel I would qualify for enhanced it makes no sense at all. She hen said if you go to tribunal you may not get offered anything at all intact they may take it all away then you get nothing. I felt pressured and confused and I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm an insurance claim they are trying to settle out of court. I told her everything is he same now as it was in 2017 the only exception being I was now having some treatment that I've not had before but as yet it hasn't worked. 
Spoke to someone today as we felt why would she tell me that it felt like she was trying to get me to take a lower offer that they thought maybe at tribunal I'd get it all enhanced and the amount to be backdated would be double their offer and £60+ a week extra on my award. I said I was confused and wanted to talk to my husband.
We called back today after being given what we were told was a direct line to e decision makers which was actually the number for tribunal service. We called again got cut off called again on hold forever spoke to someone cut off again. We finally spoke to someone who said they were unable to speak with the decision makers and some one would call us back. We aksed for a copy of the recorded calls from Friday and today and hat we wanted it on the system we were not going to accept his offer and wanted to go to tribunal. To be told it's being processed and they money will hit my account this week. We asked to have that stopped. Hey said hey had noted it all down. But a letter was coming to us to explain it all and to decide what we wanted to do and we have 28 days in which to decide. My husband asked they call him they didn't. 
I got a call from some guy who was polite at first then not so much. He's said he had no idea what he woman had told me that in Friday as he had nothing to support the fact I would qualify for the enhanced rate. We said you have the ESA that's what she spoke about we haven't seen that report yet so how would we know what it says if she hadn't told us we only requested the copy today following her call Friday. He said she was wrong to do so. I even suggested he listens to he recorded call between us Friday to porve what I was saying. He said he wasn't getting involved in tittle tattle. He would speak to her but would not come back to em regarding it as it was an internal issue and would not make any difference to offer being made to me. I again asked then why the change? He said that they have the right to change things at any time and they had looked over my case and found an error in law he then quickly said but it could have been a letter a go report anything. He's said whatever it is you've been offered more why got to tribunal who could just as easy award less or take it all away. It always feels like a threat. I said so why did she say tha if there is no evidence to support it. He said to qualify for mobility you have to be unable to leave he house which I know is not true. You just have to be affected physically or mentally or both enough to qualify. He said show me a piece of paper that says you can't leave the house other han something you've wrote. You've gone to an assessment you've gone to the hospital you can leave the house. I explained yes because you have to got to hose places and just because you received support does not mean you are then not allowed to leave the house it was rediculous what he was saying. I said I have clearly documented as have my GP records that I suffer with servere anxiety and depression and have done for a log time. I have to be medicated to leave the house and even then I have panick attacks or become unwell not to mention my physical struggles. I suffer daily chronic headaches and magrianes and a lot of the time I'm stuck at home in bed. I have more bad than good days and my mental health social worker has outlined this in he papers for the tribunal even gave him the page number. He was getting how can I say frustrated at me as I was him. I creid I had a total meltdown then he heard me tell my husband and his time changed again. 
I'm sorry for the long post but to get advice I need to know that you know the facts. To me it's not about the money. It's about being acknowledged and fairly assessed not given some random decision hat they could have made at the beginning why now just beofr tribunal. They always say they don't have anything to do with one another pip and ESA but he told me today yes they do. I'm so confused to them I'm a bargaining chip to avoid paying huge sums of back money owed. To me it's about the decision and justice and I understand I have complicated health issues that are many and complex but I've fought all this time I can't help thinking don't give in now and hold my nerve and go to tribunal and take the chance. 
I also feel sick at the thought of not taking a better offer than I had am I being awkward? Do I settle do I not. They said I could ask for reassessment after taking th offer for enhanced mobility and that's all they would look at it I don't believe them and I believe it would start it all over again and it's took nearly two years to get to this point. They pray on vulnerable people apply pressure and hope you crack. I'm so confused right now and I'm having treatment with the number one thing to avoid is any additional stress, easier said than done with DWP has any body got any advice I feel like I'm going mad here. Thank you and sorry for the long post. 

Comments

  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,154 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2019
    Hi @Kaymay

    Good Morning & Welcome to our online Community/Family.

    Please please don’t worry about the length of your post that’s what we are all here for.

     I am very very sorry 😐 to hear about your current problems.

    We have got a number off “Benefit Advisors” on here.

    I can follow your post onto them if that would be helpful????


    Many Thanks.

    Steve.
  • Kaymay
    Kaymay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you Steve any help would be greatly appreciated thank you! 
  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,154 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Kaymay

    That’s know Probs!!!!!

    I have forwarded your post onto our “Benefit Experts” 

    They will be in touch shortly!!!!

    We have got some great info on “Benefit’s” on our “Community”

    I will post a link below for you.

    https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/benefits/

    Please please let me know if you need any help going through them ?????

    @steve51


  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,078

    Scope community team

    edited June 2019
    Good afternoon @Kaymay and a warm welcome to the community. I'm going to move your post over to our PIP category where hopefully more of our members will be able to offer their help. :)
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
  • Kaymay
    Kaymay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Great thank you! 
    Just to add and update I had a call today from the lady I spoke to Friday who gave me the offer and told me I would now qualify for the enhanced rate of mobility. 
    This time she again confirmed that she did say that hit she could not guarantee that I would be given it but she said the evidence from the ESA report would suggest that I would now qualify. After feeling pressured on Friday and saying ok to the offer hut then having had time to consider everything she says that can't be done? She now is contradicting everything this guy told me yesterday. Why can't they just be consistent with what they say. I'm so baffled and I have no clue what is going on. She now says that everything he isn't accurate I mean really? I told her what he said about the fact I can't be considered for enhanced as I was able to go to the assessment for ESA and the hospital for treatment. He said show me a piece of paper that says yo can't leave the house? I knew what he was saying was wrong as that is not even relevant you have to be assessed on your abilities both physically and mentally. There is no where it states that in order to be on enhanced rate mobility you have to be house bound so why was he saying that. She said maybe he was talking about acrophobia I said no he specifically made no mention of that he was saying that to have the enhanced you had to be house bound. I also told her we rang to say we rejected the offer and asked to have the payments stopped asked for recording of the calls as I explained to him what she said Friday he didn't believe so told him to listen to the call also. He also told us that the offer had been put into payment there was a letter on the way to us. We could read through the letter and had 28 days to decide if we wanted to continue to appeal. She says that is absolutely not true! She says the decision has been accepted the offer put in place and that yo continue to a tribunal may no longer be possible to ring tribunal services to ask them. He's has told us that there is no evidence to support what she said Friday that I would from the ESA report be considered eligible for enhanced rate she again said yes I do think that but there are no guarantees. He also said we could accept the offer and ask fro the mobility to be reassessed she said no the whole claim would be which is exactly why we said we wanted to decline the offer as I didn't want this whole mess to start again. I feel so low so confused and this is exactly what they want. They have no idea how much all of this affects people and how truly desperate I feel right now. Not one of them tells you the same thing no consistent info no consistent decision and your always pegged as a liar. Why is what they say must be believed and we are all liars from the word go and it's up to us to prove we aren't and they lie cheat and manipulated things to their own ends. They are never held accountable ever. For two pins I could quite happily end it all then I don't have to deal with all of this. Everyone has an opinion and they all differ in so so confused I don't know what to do anymore. Then to make matters worse I got the ESA assessment report which was stopped after ten mins or so due to my health both physically and mentally yet the report says it started at 10:15 and ended at 11:09? He makes errors as well he's documented stuff I never said like my husband works he doesn't he's with me always other than times where another family member of friend stays with me to give him a break and he goes to his man cave to have some time out. They seem to suggest a lot of what is true but lots of missing info that was relevant. They reawarded ESA support group which is an unchanged decision I've been in this group for years but even though the report isn't right why can't one of them just listen properly document fact and that be enough. I think I've just got to put up and shut up that's what they want and I don't have anything left to keep going on like this. I feel so mixed up so angry so sad and going out of my mind with it all. My ESA assessment has to be done by a doctor which is possible as to another reason why it was stopped as the HCP was a physio not a doctor again another mistake. So even a report that helps you is wrong I give up I don't understand them they pray on vulnerable people and get away with all this stuff it's shocking. Help anyone please help! 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,767 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    You really do need face to face advice from an agency near you. It's extremely difficult to give any advice on an internet forum because no one knows how your conditions affect you or anything about your case.

    This link will help you find what's available in your area. https://advicelocal.uk/

  • Kaymay
    Kaymay Member Posts: 6 Listener
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,390 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Kaymay   Pleased to meet you. Sorry what has happened truly shocking ordeal.

    I feel for you and your husband. This is something I think your local MP might be interested in.

    They need to know what is happening to our community..  Many members have contacted their MP's with a lot of success.

    I also think it is worth speaking to some one like Disability Rights UK have a look on their website.

    I would contact them to see what and how they can help you. Give you some support in dealings with the DWP.

    Always an idea.

    Please may I add wish you all the best. We are here to supportive.

    Ready to listen.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Kaymay
    Kaymay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you that's really helpful. I'm not even sure who our local mp is to be honest it's absolute madness. All advice greatly appreciated. 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,390 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2019
    Hello @Kaymay Pleasure to help you. You mentioned mental health issues in your post.

    In my own dealings with DWP had the misfortunate experience still might be ongoing but had this situation.

    Evaluated every eighteen months declared fit then signed on which was a impossibility because no one wanted to help me or advise me on prospective employment.

    Stuck signing on of courses and training then another review. Again would be declared unfit. Around we go again every eighteen months sometimes a longer period.

    Messed up Benefit so much so that often had no money for a month while they sorted me out to either transfer me to then sickness benefits. Or back to Jobseekers.

    This had been going on for a very long time this situation I had found myself in and it was soul destroying.

    This was mentally harming hurting and what was exactly the point.  Had been walked over and mistreated by future training or these schemes being used. By prospective employers.

    What helped me was the intervention of Mental Health charity.  

    https://richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    Whom I contacted after so many failures and my mental health going down hill. Had addiction problems fears and securities.

    This was discussed with the Support worker I had my situation and she sent a letter to DWP.

    Because when it is going to stop. The continuous roundabout of assessments. 

    When there is no point reassessing some one of my disability and now my age.

    I am fifty five this year. I understand there are plans to look at those like myself.

    Long term disability illness and is there any reason to keep asking some one like my self plus others. Who are similar .

    Have worked done employment, got qualifications. Yet treated badly by the system.

    Last time had to sign on at the age of fifty three.  Had not worked for thirty plus years yet they keep doing this.

    Also went on a training scheme worthless . Company not interested in ever finding me work as I found out. On a meeting with several whom are like my self.

    One lady I recall had been on the treadmill similar to my self. Now aged early sixties had I remember a life long disability. As were many others.

    The whole debacle of this meeting ended with argument, stressful, angry people shouting and tears very emotional.

    Worse was to come as the Job centre plus ignored us and said any problems speak to training company not us. You only here to sign on.

    Which I took my pleas to Team Manager of the centre who wished to ignore myself. So contacted floating support and team who spoke to Jobcentre plus.

    Also by the intervention of the charity all was changed.

    The problem is that the aging of claimants and when do you say will not do re assessment is there any reason.

    To keep doing them if the illness or disability is still the same.  Lot of debate I know.

    All I do know will have to have another one next year. Be fifty six.  What a waste of time and money in my opinion.

    Thought share my story with you.

    I hope you can find the strength to carry on. I am always happy to support all members struggling, striving to get the outcome.  They deserve.

    What ever the problem or issues are. Be supportive and offer what I can.

    Please keep in touch.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Kaymay
    Kaymay Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I'm so sorry to hear all you have been through, it's just so wrong! 
    I am though pleased you found support not that you should have been put through any of it at all. 
    It's so hard when it dominates your life to not let it all affect you. 
    Thank you for sharing your story with me, as difficult as it had been for you, yet still you think to help others that is amazing! 
    I honestly feel the issue with mine is we recorded the face to face assessment and our recording doesn't match the HCP report at all. I would strongly advise anyone and everyone to record it all. DWP have tried to get rid of our recording in so many ways but the tribunal service has accepted it. 
    This is why I feel they made this offer as I do believe they don't want this all in court. I received a letter from the DWP the other day to say I had requested they look at my claim again which is an absolute lie, they rang me out of the blue with an offer over the phone while we were waiting for a date for tribunal. They lie cheat manipulate it's absolutely appalling behaviour and if we did it we would be refused any support whatsoever. The system is corrupted and very broken and they are forcing people who are in already difficult circumstances to go through years of heartaches stress and anxiety as a result making them worse it's so so wrong. 

    I don't think I included all my health issues before now to give everyone some context. I have chronic daily headaches and migraines and have had since 2008. They started becoming for frequent from 2006 and from 2008 onwards I have not had one day pain free and I'm exhausted. To add to things I have what is called a ptosis. This is where the eyelid droops or shuts fully over the eye. Mine is affected on the left side and is fully closed and has been since 2008. I have agonising pain all day every day which as you can imagine takes its toll both physically and mentally. I have PCOS which is where I develop cysts on my ovaries I have around ten on one side 13 the other. This causes hormones to be out of balance, insulin resistance, high testosterone levels, male growth facial hair and excessive painful periods. The cysts can enlarge so much they need surgery or they can rupture. As a result of hormone imbalance and insulin resistance I can not maintain my weight and my body literally stores everything as fat. Diets won't work and neither would excercise if I was physically able.  I have arthritis neck, shoulders, hands knees and ankles all affected. I have issues with water retention so I swell up like a balloon. I have hyper mobile joints which aggregates the arthritis. I have depression ongoing since 2009 have a mental health team in place. Had regular counselling but funding has been cut so back to being alone. I have anxiety and panic attacks and I have regular exacerbations. I have due to the issues with my eye become effectively blind to one side. I have balance issues and fall all the time, once out of a moving car! I'm on and have had tonnes of medications. I have to take so much medication to be honest I'm amazed I don't rattle. 
    The new treatment is Botox injections into my face head neck shoulders to try to get on top of the headaches and migraines. I have to have 31 injections wait 12 weeks then have another 31. They told me this could take till the second round before I see any difference the 2nd round is in July this year. I've had MRIs, lumbar puncture and nerve block injection into my skull all kinds of meds and so far nothing has worked. I am unsteady on my feet and literally fall over fresh air all the time. I walk slowly and wobbly. It takes me ages to climb stairs as to me I can't see the treads to me it looks like a flat ramp. I have so many issues in not even sure we have listed them all. 

    On the mental health side well it's not hard to see what's caused it all. I have said time and time again I'd be better off dead than have to live life like this. I don't say that lightly at all that is honestly how I feel. I have told my GPS neurology team mental health team family and friends. As a result my husband has all my medication locked away. I have days weeks where I'm stuck in bed crippled in pain screaming and crying it's awful. How do you explain all that to DWP?

    I was awarded lower rate care at the start which was horrific had a judge say I should have hidden medication in my dressing gown to stop me having to get up to gets meds honestly my friend who was with me was disgusted. I was awarded it for three years. I then got a letter to fill out the forms for the renewal and was sent a letter saying although you condition may have got worse you no longer satisfy the criteria for PIP and award was taken away altogether. Spent years fighting it again to be awarded it back a few years later but still at lower rate of care only. All these years have been spent asking for a fair assessment and each time I went to tribunal I was only ever awarded the lower rate of daily living. They based their decision on the HCP reports and each time I was rejected. Once we found out we could record the assessment all this has happened. It's seems now we finally have the evidence we need. It's more than fighting back to 2017 for this decision it's about the whole thing for us. To be told your a wrong and the HCP report is inaccurate but hey use it all against you we now finally have the back up we need. This is what I believe hasade the difference in this case.

    We called DWP following the offer call on the Friday first thing Monday we had it noted on file that we did not accept this decision and we wished to go to tribunal. The call handler said payments of back dated money were due to be paid later last week we said to stop those payments. We also asked for all recordings or the telephone calls from the rights of access team to prove what happened. We then got a letter six days after he phone call to say the changes had been placed due to me asking them to look at the claim again which is just a a lie they called me. We wrote a letter to the tribunal service as we kept getting conflicting information as to where we stood. As DWP say we have now lost the right to appeal? Nothing makes sense. We are literally waiting now for the tribunal service to tell us what our options are as we feel DWP are now forcing us to accept this offer and rushed the payment even though we specifically asked them not to. We will await to hear what the tribunal service say are our options at this time as I simply do not trust DWP at all.  It's a massive mess huge  stress on already  vulnerable people and I think this is what DWP are banking on people giving in and accepting these offers to get them less than they should have. It's worth noting the lady who rang me told me she based her decision based on the recent assessment report for ESA which is why she made this offer. She then told me I would now satisfy the criteria for enhanced not rates but she couldn't add that to the award? She was using the ESA report to increase the offer and using the same report to tell me I know would now fulfill the criteria for enhanced rate of both yet wanted me to accept her offer of enhanced daily living and standard rate of mobility? The reason they want to push this through I believe as the amount of backdated money owed would be twice as much if it was engaged rate for both, so offering a lower but better than original award gives you some hush money and gets you to drop the tribunal it's a bribe basically they are bribing people to take lower offers to stop having to pay out huge sums? Absolutely crazy and so very wrong. 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,390 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Kaymay   Please can I thank you for sharing your post. Your experiences and everything around your health.

    I know a lot of the problems you have are destressing, causing your pain.  Understand that.  I do appreciate everything you have been saying to me.

    Please can I suggest if this does help you. Have you spoken to your local MP.?

    I thought I would mention this because they need to know. What is happening to our community.

    One of the big concern and fears, insecurities I have. Not only for myself but others such as yourself. Is the whole process and procedures of those with life long illness. Disabilities and conditions.

    Whose health history are long term. Are not going to get better or not going to recover no matter how many types of meds. You take or cope with every day.

    Yet the insistence of the DWP . Which stands for in my opinion Disabled Wont Pay.  Think you should not be entitled to any benefits with out an assessment.  Reviewed constantly.

    How is eighteen months or two years going to change any one health conditions or disabilities or illness.

    Much argument from the DWP to keep those who I have mentioned. Plus we need to include members of our community. Who are of my age and older. Is there any point giving them scrutiny . A lot of harassment.

    I do think it might be worth speaking to some one like a welfare or a disability organisation. Like Disability UK or speak to Benefits and works .

    Benefit and works are an organisation deals with many stories like your self.  Often by giving much needed support and guidance. Publish guides on PIP processes and additional information.

    I do also may I add find some one to help you. I do think if this was a court of law the whole situation would be changing. You would get the answers the solutions you seek.

    I know am an advocate a much need of changing these assessments. There are calls for video evidence and run along the lines of a Court. Which I do think will eventually happen.

    Understood from reading which I do.  Video trials according to web pages have been taken place. In certain regions.

    I would like this the way forward.  Arrive on the assessment. It is recorded or video evidence. Then typed up.  By assessor, including any witness statements, medical evidence . Also be present an advocate to attend if the claimant had no one to attend with.

    Agreed statement what is being said . Any mistakes or errors corrected and a final report being made. Signed by claimant and assessor. Plus one more witness a true record.

    Had assessments last half hour to a hour. How can you evaluate any one in that time scale tell me.

    As a community champion and a member of this community often have to deal with members. Who have had their assessment the final report being lied to. Feel suicidal.

    Been supportive give them a lot of time ready to listen. Waiting for the community member to answer back in an often emotive situation. With much empathy we can help and give them the necessary reassurance.

    I would like to add and say to any assessor now.

    My own experiences of assessments have had good and bad. Plus now have the opinion that if you lie on the report.

    As an assessor . Cause harm to that claimant he or she feels suicidal and does do that. Commit suicide and I know from media stories. Some have.

    One in my local area. Then the assessors should it proved did that as result of her or his actions. Will be charged with culpable homicide.

    In some countries USA is one this a law they have some one death associated with that you will be charged.

    Whether that would stand in our legal systems who knows but I am one to think this will happen.

    Has to.  There are too many faults, misinformation and every one including my self wants a fair report. Yet I feel it is getting worse.

    I had so many experiences of feeling humiliated, embarrassed, harassed by the way the procedures these assessments are carried out.

    I just wish for once that some thing has to change. The big problem is The Government we have do not listen and it is costing them . Much of it is about that money over spending.

    I wish you well. What ever outcome. You have hope it is a positive one.

    Pleasure to talk to you.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman








    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes

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