PIP MR Refused (OCD/Food Prep) — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

PIP MR Refused (OCD/Food Prep)

OverlyAnxious
OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
edited October 2019 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Evening all,

You may remember my previous thread on PIP...thought it best to start a new one so people aren't wading through all the old replies before finding today's update lol, link below if you missed it before.

https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/61145/pip-refused-unusual-circumstances#latest

PIP MR decision arrived today.  I wasn't expecting it to change but still disappointed to find that it didn't.  :(

I tried to explain particularly about the food prep and OCD in detail but only got one sentence back mentioning food prep...just says that I use the oven every day...which is true, but no mention of prep or fresh ingredients at all.

I know everyone's different but I want to know if anyone else has been successful in getting any points for food prep purely due to OCD contamination fears at all?

I've been telling other people to continue to tribunal for the last few weeks but I'm honestly not sure there's any point me doing it if they're just going to say using the oven counts as food prep. :neutral:

Thanks
OverlyAnxious
«13

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    With only an 18% chance of the decision changing at MR stage it's always a very high chance you need to take it to Tribunal.

    Preparing food .. using an oven is included in the descriptor. It's above being able to prepare and cook food at waist height. Whether or not you'll score any points here will totally depend on how your conditions affect you.

    What other activities do you think you should have scored points in and why? You really can't compare yourself to anyone else because we are all different.


  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    Hello @OverlyAnxious. You need to go to tribunal as not many people manage to have their decision changed at a mandatory reconsideration. Have a look at the PIP descriptors.
    Read each one carefully and see where you can pick up more points. Avoid comparing yourself to anyone else. Give reasons why as well. How do your impairments affect you? What do you find hard to do? 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2019
    Thanks both, we have been through all that in the original thread though.  Although I have problems/difficulties with a few of the tasks, I don't fit into any categories properly.

    With regards to food prep, I know of a few people in exactly the same position with contamination OCD - in simple terms, we can use an oven, but only for pre-prepared meals in certain types of packaging, which doesn't seem to fit into any of the descriptors.  We cannot prepare a meal from fresh ingredients at all but not because of any physical disability, it's purely mental.  Ironically I also can't use a microwave because of the fear of food not being cooked through compared to an oven, despite that being a higher points score.  And I can't have physical help with food prep as I can't cope with the contamination of having another person in the flat, let alone touching food!

    I've also just remembered I now potentially have another piece of evidence but not sure if it'll be any good or not.  It is mostly wrong as is everything I get from the health system! :D  But basically it's from the hospital dietics department, it mentions my very low BMI & poor nutrition and suggests a prescription for a high calorie 'build-up' type drink.  I'd have to try and get to the GP to get the prescription though and that's not possible currently, I'm unlikely to be able to drink it either if it's got a milkshake consistency...but again, the dietician didn't understand me, just as the GP's don't, or the psychologists, or the CBT therapists...and definitely not the PIP assessors! :#  

    The main reason for applying to PIP was to get the one bedroom rate of housing benefit instead of the shared rate (male, under 35).  Is there any other way to do this without getting PIP and SDP first?  The ONLY reason I live alone in a self contained flat is due to my illnesses but that doesn't seem to be taken into account by housing benefit or ESA, and I know discretionary housing payment is only for short term so I can't do that either.  If I could at least get most of the rent paid, I would be able to get by on the ESA without the extra from PIP.  Currently most of my ESA has to go on rent and due to yearly rent increases I'm now paying more from the ESA than the housing benefit with no way out and knowing the rent will likely continue to go up each year. :(  
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    I remember parts of the thread, which i think was mostly about preparing food. In my opinion, it's not about then not understanding a condition, it's about the claimant explaining what they can and can't do and why they can't do that activity regularly and reliably.

    It's difficult to advise without knowing exactly how your conditions affect you.

    As advised, using an oven isn't included in the descriptor, it's waist height only.

    The question about the 1 bedroom rate. I'm afraid while you're under 35 then a PIP daily living award is your only option.

    Whilst a DHP is only temporary, you can actually re-apply once that time ends. However, they could advise that you find somewhere cheaper. They could also ask if you could afford that rent when you first moved in, which is what happened to me some years ago when i applied for a DHP. Thankfully, i could afford the rent when i first moved in so i was awarded the DHP for a short time. My advice is to try this because if you don't try you'll never know. Even if you previously had one in the past, it's still worth applying again.

    Whether you appeal the decision on the PIP is your choice but as you don't have an award in place then you have nothing to lose, except of course all the stress it causes. Tribunals are often more understanding the DWP/assessors.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks Poppy.

    Yeah I agree, I'm not blaming them for the lack of understanding, clearly other people get positive results from the NHS & DWP, it's my explanations that are the problem.  

    I haven't been able to adequately explain it to any relatives either though, even after they started accepting it slightly.  It's so frustrating when I do try to explain something, and they reply with 'oh right, so it's like....' and I just think, no, it's not like that at all, how on earth did you get that from what I said!? :D  But I can't think of a better way to explain it so just agree in the end...

    With regards to the DHP, I didn't realise you could re-apply, I've never had one so far.  I have been searching for a cheaper place but there simply aren't any that are self contained and close to amenities to meet my current needs.  When I moved here, it was the cheapest place that fitted the bill, it's a small suburban studio flat, not a 6 bed waterfront penthouse!  :p  I put down 6 months rent as a deposit from inheritance that I had just received.  I was desperate to get out as I'd reached the point where I was no longer able to cope living with people at all and either had to move out or top myself...  I don't know how the council would view that, seeing as I couldn't 'afford' the rent on income, only because of the inheritance.  I was so sure I'd be able to either work just enough to support myself, or top myself, within that 6 months.  Sadly neither happened which is why I'm now stuck in this position lol.  It was at that point where I had to apply for ESA which was a massive hassle and then HB & CTR as well.  I just don't know why HB doesn't take medical conditions into account with regards to LHA.  I can't be the only one in this situation.

    I would put up with the stress of attempting tribunal if I thought there was some chance of a positive result but I just don't see it now.  I guess that's what I'm asking in this thread really but I know no-one can say for sure.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    Only you can decide whether to appeal the decision, if you do then you have 1 month from the date of the MR decision to request it. You're right, no one here can tell you for sure whether you'll be successful at Tribunal and the waiting lists are huge so relying on a PIP award for extra housing benefit isn't really the way forward for you. If you were successful you have the added wait for the backdated money and for any potential award to be put into place. All this can tell well in excess of 1 year.

    As for the DHP then i'd advise you to apply because if you don't apply you'll never receive it. The worst that could happen is you're refused. I would advise you to get some help with the form because they aren't the easiest forms to fill in.

    HB rules for under 35 have always been the same. Disabilities are taken into account but you need to be claiming certain disability benefits for them to apply.


  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @OverlyAnxious, I'm sorry to hear this. I know it's not good news to hear, even if you had expected it. If you need any help with the tribunal then please do let us know. 
    Scope

  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    With regards to adding extra evidence for the tribunal, does that have to be sent separately after the application or have I read that wrong?

    Also, would any evidence have to be from before the original assessment or is more recent stuff ok as well? I'm just thinking they could disregard later dated evidence as there's no proof that the condition was just as bad at the time of the assessment.

    Also, is it worth asking for any help from the local MP?  Or a letter from a relative that knows the restrictions, despite not really understanding the conditions?  Just trying to think of any more 'evidence' I could add really! :)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    Evidence can be sent at a later date, just concentrate on requesting the Tribunal for now.

    You can send new evidence to the Tribunal but it must be related to how your conditions were at the time the decision was made. Any worsening of condition won't be taken into consideration.

    Yes, you can ask someone that knows you well, this may help but giving real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you is the best advice.

    A local MP, in my opinion i'm really not sure what they could do at this point because they most likely don't know you or how your conditions affect you.


  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,553

    Scope community team

    How are you getting on with your appeal @OverlyAnxious?
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    How are you getting on with your appeal @OverlyAnxious?
    Not brilliantly so far...  I haven't started it yet! :D  

    I did try to start it online over the weekend but I just didn't really know what to write when I got to the main appeal section.

    I tried to visit a local disability advice centre yesterday to ask for their help with the wording.  But although I could get there, I couldn't even ring the intercom let alone get through the door, panic took over.  It's the 4th attempt I've made to go into the same centre as I can't use phones and they can't use email, and although they offer home visits I can't cope with that either due to the contamination OCD.  I could try again next week but in all honesty I don't see it happening and I should really try to get this appeal in asap.  The deadline for me to get it in is Oct 9th.

    I've also been focussing on trying to get some evidence to prove my problems but that hasn't been successful so far.  Nothing useful in my medical record (finally got that 10 weeks after asking lol).  My Mum said she'll write a letter but she doesn't know half of the problems, particularly with regards to food prep as that's all behind closed doors.  I did also write to the local MP as it turns out he's a mental health Doctor in his other job so might have some advice on other treatment even if he can't help with PIP.  Apart from those things, I can't really think of anything else I could get as evidence at the moment.  I have been told that evidence isn't an absolute necessity as long as I can word things well...but that's where I'm struggling currently!
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,553

    Scope community team

    That must be really difficult @OverlyAnxious. I know we struggled to find support for my partner when she was in a similar situation. She couldn't have people in the house, wasn't able to use the telephone and couldn't go out to see people.

    I think the most important thing is to get your appeal registered. It can take up to a year to get a tribunal date and you can supply additional information during that time. 
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    Just a quick update, I have submitted the appeal now...  So just got to wait and see what happens next!

    I'm sort of hoping they'll look at it and decide to offer me standard living without the need to go through the hassle (and cost to them) of tribunal...but I don't think that's likely! :D
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for updating us @OverlyAnxious, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
    Scope

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,553

    Scope community team

    Really hope that's the case for you @OverlyAnxious. Best of luck and as Chloe said, keep us updated. 
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    *UPDATE 15/10/19*

    It was brought to my attention on here yesterday that I should have received 2 emails after submitting the PIP tribunal appeal online...  I only received the first one though, and that was over 2 weeks ago (Oct 1st).  I didn't realise I was waiting for a second one until yesterday!  It does say on the 1st that I should receive a 2nd, so purely my fault for not reading properly.

    So has it not been accepted by courts? 

    I don't really know what I'm meant to do now?  I can't use phones and can't find an email contact for HMCTS either?

    Anyone else only received the first email and know what I should do now?  

    Also the deadline to get the appeal in has obviously passed now, so I'm worried it's too late to do anything now?
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    Typical, 2nd email arrived this morning lol!  (More than two weeks after the 1st though!)

    DWP now have a month to respond...
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @OverlyAnxious, I am glad the other email arrived eventually! Best of luck!
    Scope

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger


    DWP now have a month to respond...
    Just so that you're aware... very often they don't always respond within this time, if this happens then the hearing will still continue as normal.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    *UPDATE 01/12/19*

    The online checker still says DWP haven't responded to HMCTS but I received the bundle in the post last week.  (6 days later than their estimate).  When the online system updates, will I get an estimated tribunal date?  Sure I've read that somewhere but might have just made it up lol!  I'm guessing it won't be before 2021 now though.

    Had a rough week last week and wasn't up to reading the bundle for a few days but have done so this morning.  Nothing particularly interesting tbh, they're still standing by their decision but haven't added anything new.  I don't think I can really add any more information myself than I did on the online appeal form.  

    I think the online system has changed recently as I was told to just use the online form to start the appeal, and then go through the bundle to pick out any errors and then send a statement including all of that...but I did that on the online appeal form using the info from the MR anyway, and there's nothing extra in the bundle that wasn't in the MR.

    Tbh I've lost all hope of getting any PIP award.  I don't even know what I could say to convince the tribunal about my issues and I know they don't really fit the PIP criteria.  My health is still deteriorating and after having a few more awful 'public' experiences recently I feel like I'm getting closer to being almost totally housebound by some point next year.  I know it always gets worse in winter but this one seems to be particularly bad so far.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.