PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP re-assessment due to DWP error

AndrewMAndrewM Member Posts: 8 Connected
edited September 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA

We really are at our witts end with PIP!!


I have previously commented on this forum 2 years ago when our daughter (who has cerebral Palsy) went through the DLA > PIP process and was 'downgraded' from 'Indefinite' entitlement to standard personal needs and zero getting about. We went through the mandatory reconsideration process and then an appeal. The appeal judge immediately ruled in our favour. In the meantime, we had to give our Motability car back, take out a loan to purchase a another car, before eventually being allowed to re-join the scheme (all at a significant cost to us).

We have now been told that the DWP have made an error as the department which controls payments has her recorded as '10 year reviews' but the department which controls reviews has her down for '2 year reviews'. So, although she was still getting paid, her entitlement had technically come to an end. As a result, they rushed through another assessment and guess what... the result was even less entitlement than the original assessment! We have received notice from Motability that we are no longer entitled to be on the scheme and therefore have to return the car (this came a few days before we got the DWP decision!).

Our daughter struggles with both physical and mental restrictions. She walks short distances around the home with 2 crutches, and uses a wheelchair when going anywhere further. The assessor acknowledged her physical restrictions but this somehow manifested itself into her having the ability to plan and execute complex journeys unaided! We explained that we no longer allow her to walk unaided outside the home as she had previously fallen whilst stepping down a kerb and narrowly missed being hit by a car (the car stopped and the driver helped her to her feet).

In the assessment, they asked her 3 very simple sums, one of which was 'how much change would you get from £1 if you spend 93p?’. She wasn't able to answer this. The only question she answered correctly was ‘how much change from £1 if you spent 70p?’ After some thought she answered ‘30p’. This has been interpreted into ‘You are able to make complex budgetary decisions’!!

These are just 2 of many examples of where the facts just don't match with their decision.

Our daughter struggles. As a 33 year old she has very obvious physical disabilities and has a mental age of around 10 years. Despite this, if she trusts a person, she can engage well with them. If she hasn’t been given chance to get to know someone, or she is faced with strangers, she gets very anxious and will often start crying for no apparent reason. All her issues were clearly communicated through her medical reports, in her application, and at the assessment.

How has this process become so broken? I wish I could afford to tell them where to stick their money to protect her from going through this messed up process again.

Replies

  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    I feel so sorry, and am sad your daughter is having to go through this.

    It is one thing fighting for your entitlement but another putting her through assessment after assessment (and another possible tribunal).  Hopefully you will get some solid advice moving forward later.
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    Hello @AndrewM

    Have you called Citizens Advice or not? They have lots of tips and information on contesting a PIP decision. Give them a call tomorrow or look on their website in their PIP section. See link below with more information.  

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/

    Another piece of advice, always make a second copy of the form in case of a bad outcome. Unfortunately there are lots of bad PIP assessment stories online on this forum and the one at Carers UK too! Don’t get me started on the depressing articles either.

    I fear it is only going to be worse with Brexit too. 
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @AndrewM,

    I am sorry that you and your daughter are going through such a difficult time! Have you started another appeal process?
    Does your daughter have any support, such as an advocate, who might be able to support you and her through the appeal?
    There is guidance that the decision makers are supposed to follow when they set award periods, I have attached a copy here. It might be worth using this information when you are putting together an appeal.
    It sounds like they should have made the award for 10 years so it may be worth making a complaint to the DWP about the process, rather than the outcome. You can read about the complaints process on Gov.uk.
    Keep us updated and let us know if you have any more questions we can help with. You can also ring our free helpline on 0808 800 3333.
    Joanne 
    Scope
  • AndrewMAndrewM Member Posts: 8 Connected

    @Joanne_Scope,


    Thanks for your response. We have contacted Carer's Support and a lady is coming out to see us today to help us with an appeal. The Award document is interesting. Following the flow diagram it is difficult to arrive at anything other than an Ongoing Award, 10 year Review which is what she had initially with DLA (Indefinite), and may go some way to explain why someone somewhere within DWP put 10 year review against her record.

    This is the second DWP error we have been on the wrong side of; when we asked for a Mandatory Reconsideration 2 years ago, DWP sent us a letter asking us for further medical evidence but the letter omitted to state that there was a 28 day deadline to submit additional info (an error for which they later apologised). Therefore, whilst we were still waiting for a supporting letter from her GP, we received a final decision from DWP saying, due to the lack of further medical evidence, their decision still stood. Therefore, technically speaking, we never got a mandatory reconsideration and got pushed straight into the Appeals process (which then found in our favour).

    I understand the process has to be applied fairly but the whole process for us has been a complete mess and in itself is contributing to our daughter’s problems rather than helping them.

    AM


  • AndrewMAndrewM Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited September 2019
    @April2018mom,

    Thanks for responding. We have contacted Carer's Support and taken note of your advice ref copying forms.
  • AndrewMAndrewM Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited September 2019

    Just thinking about it, the DWP actually made 3 errors not just 2. When we were told that her entitlement had ended as she had only been awarded it for 2 years (even though she was still being paid it some months after the 2 years were up), I asked them: if 2 years was correct, why hadn't we received notification to re-apply? It seems this was due to the different dates they had on file for her but they told us they would ‘rush through’ an assessment to ensure she still received her benefit!!

  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @AndrewM,
     it certainly sounds like a lot of mistakes have been made along the way! 
    I am glad you have some support with this and I really hope it gets sorted as soon as possible for you.
    Joanne 
    Scope
  • julijuli Member Posts: 4 Connected
    [email protected] Your story is heart breaking and I hope that citizens advice can help you with this. The fact is the DWP make massive mistakes that adversely affect disabled people's lives on a daily basis. I despair as to how we can stop this pure disregard for your daughter and thousands of other disabled people's basic human rights. Please keep fighting it is the only way that the less fortunate in our society can get justice. My thoughts are with you and your family. I wish you a quick resolution and a 10 year review so at least you all have a few years respite from this inhumane treatment.
    dont give up the fight and stay strong. 

    Best Regards
    juli
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