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Pip been stopped. Any advice?

KailahD23
KailahD23 Member Posts: 6 Listener
Hey everyone, I’m 25, have chronic fatigue, hypermobility and fibromyalgia along with severe mental health issues. 

One of my lovely neighbors put in a false claim about me working so my ESA got investigated, they saw I wasn’t working then hit my PIP. Dwp were spying on me to gain information to say I don’t deserve my pip. Everything has now been stopped except my ESA. They have video footage of me walking from my back path to the car which is the only way to the car, and walking halfway round the town with my occupational therapist. I’ve been advised against using crutches as they cause more pain, but I do use a mobility scooter on my bad days, dwp managed to not film those days.. They have accused me of fraud and I was under investigation. I was on enhanced rate for both parts of pip as I have schizophrenia and psychosis and one of my biggest fears was the government watching me. Citizens advice was useless and I’m hoping to get represented by a lawyer. My neighbor wrote a statement about me but got someone else to write it for her. I’m awaiting my mandatory reconsideration response, but I’m so angry and scared this was done to me. Any advice? 
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Comments

  • DaveTheWasp
    DaveTheWasp Member Posts: 37 Courageous
    Wow, that sounds like you're having a pretty rough time.

    In relation to PIP, I think it would all depend on which descriptors you were awarded the PIP for, and if/how the evidence contradicts these descriptors. Everyone should be allowed to have good days where they are more capable than others, but if these become a majority then I would have thought that it would class as a change of circumstances/condition.

    Be prepared for this to be a long fight (MR's rarely change the outcome of decisions) but there are plenty of people here with lots of experience and knowledge to offer, and who will be able to point you to the right places.

    I hope this makes sense (I'm not the best at explaining myself) and the best of luck with this! 

  • jadealyssa
    jadealyssa Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Hi @KailahD23
    Sorry your having a rubbish time.
    Maybe if you can get your doctors to send your medical reports on to DWP and maybe ask them to do a covering letter to explain your condition and why you may have good/bad days. There may be a one fo cost for your doctor to do this but I guess it's worth a try.
    Hope this if of some help
    Best wishes 
    Jade 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,172 Disability Gamechanger
    people don't realise the damage they can do with malicious reporting and I hope you get this sorted out.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • KailahD23
    KailahD23 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thankyou both of you. So when I went for my f2f, we told the nurse I walked to the shop/chemist on my good days. Bad days I can’t get out of bed. I have help wherever I go and I am never unaccompanied. My circumstances haven’t changed, I’m still the same with more medical issues now, I have my medical notes but it states I have symptoms of fibromyalgia ? I do though have all my other diagnoses. 
    I told dwp as well about not being able to use crutches, but they’ve made up a lot of **** in order to have a case against me. They also haven’t put in all the information that they had on tape. 
  • KailahD23
    KailahD23 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    @woodbine Thankyou so much. X
  • jadealyssa
    jadealyssa Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    @KailahD23
    I would gather whatever evidence you have of your own, medical or otherwise and submit this. Some people in this world can be very spiteful and have no true understanding of how this will severely impact people...just because you have good days doesn't mean you don't have a serious disability.
    I really hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. Keel your head high and continue to fight 
    Thinking of you 
  • KailahD23
    KailahD23 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Bless you. Thankyou so much @jadealyssa much love to you xx
  • jadealyssa
    jadealyssa Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    @KailahD23
    Your very welcome.
    Anything I can be of help of please give us a shout
    Keep us updated 
    Best wishes 
  • KailahD23
    KailahD23 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I will do @jadealyssa thanks again xx
  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 172 Connected
    woodbine said:
    people don't realise the damage they can do with malicious reporting and I hope you get this sorted out.
    You have the DWP on one hand telling everybody that it is their duty and responsibility to inform on others if they have any misgivings over whether they should be in receipt of a particular benefit. On the other hand people criticise them for telling tales.
    I don't think that the question of what damage people cause is important. I have read it elsewhere that you should not report anybody unless you have proof that they are deceiving the DWP - that is going too far in my opinion.
    Many people inform on others with the best of intention.

  • KailahD23
    KailahD23 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited February 2020
    @skullcap, if I had lied about anything then fair enough. But I’ve done nothing wrong. The person who reported me is malicious and has done it to nearly everyone in our street. That’s not ‘with the best intentions’ that’s just being a d*ck
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2020
    @skullcap said "I don't think that the question of what damage people cause is important."

    This is one of your old favourites under Yadnad, Gruber etc - I did wonder how long it would be before this came up again.

     How do the informants know what the claimant is being paid PIP for - i.e. the substance of their claim?

     If you see someone walking down the street do you grass? Maybe they can't manage to walk again until the following day? Do they suffer from a variable condition? Chances are that the grass doesn't know, unless he/ she has  seen what was written on the claim form.

    The important question that the DWP should ask, and don't seem to, is 'why has this person come forward with this information?'

    Are they public spirited? Or involved in a dispute over parking, hedge-trimming etc? Or just downright nasty?

    @KailahD23 - I'm sorry to hear what has happened - I hope that it all works out...


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,465 Disability Gamechanger
    cristobal said:
    @skullcap said "I don't think that the question of what damage people cause is important."

    This is one of your old favourites under Yadnad, Gruber etc - I did wonder how long it would be before this came up again.




    You and me both..
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2020
    @OTIS20 - I think the problem is, when you are grassing on people who are potentially vulnerable/depressed/ suffering various forms of mental illness, is that it can very easily make their condition a lot worse. No-one likes to feel that they're been spied on and some people are more 'sensitive' to this than others...I don't think it would bother me personally.

    Much depends I think on the motive I think, as I said earlier. If you genuinely believe someone is on the fiddle then by all means tell the DWP. Just be certain that you're not grassing because they've nicked your parking space, or you're fed up with their dog barking....

  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 172 Connected
    For a start I don't condone anyone 'grassing' someone up for no reason but on the other hand if the bar was set at the informant should only inform on someone if they had concrete and conclusive evidence.no one would do so because it would be impossible to get that level of evidence.
    As for saying that passing the assessment and being given an award should be the end of it and the DWP should not take action over what an informant says is ridiculous. No one would be prosecuted based on information given.
    The vast number of cases that have been through the courts are for those individuals that were genuinely given an award, they simply 'forgot' to tell the DWP that there had been an improvement.
    If I saw someone that I knew had a Motability car and that he regularly played 18 holes of golf and every morning and he walked the 1/2 mile there and back to the paper shop I would pass that information on to the DWP. I see that as my duty and responsibility to the rest of society.
    What the DWP do with that information is down to them and not my problem. We all have a responsibility to society to pass on information that will or could fight crime. People do it with drug dealers and users, burglars etc so why not with people that fail to pay their tax or fiddle the DWP?

  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 172 Connected
    OTIS20 said:
    Agree. People thst past assessment should be left alone there under enough stress etc and people watching them only hurtsv
    What an open invitation to become a benefit cheat. 'Hey I was awarded it so the DWP should ignore any future allegation that I might be cheating the system'?
    We are a 'watched' society in more ways than one. In fact we are more watched than the population of China and Russia.
    For many years the government and police have brainwashed us into becoming more aware of what others are doing around us. It all helps to solve and prevent crime. It is just normal practice now to pick up the phone and ring the hotline or Crime stoppers to report suspicious activities.
     
  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 172 Connected
    OTIS20 said:
    Ohh but do you not think thst if someone did inform on someone they should at least stand uo and show there face and be counted to the person if its just a case of not a ax to grind or payback for parking in there space etc 
    Probably they should, I would. But most people are nervous of repercussions especially if it is a neighbour or family member involved. In their case, they would think twice about bringing trouble down on their own head hence why it is anonymous.
    At the moment I am gathering enough information regarding ex family members which will be passed to the DWP, Police and HMRC. In my case I don't just ring the hotline I make an appointment to see the relevant authority to talk what I know through with them.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    A danger of conflating two issues here and missing things in the process. Unless the person who made a report has said they made the report then there’s no way DWP tell you. Even if a person claims to have been the reporter it doesn’t mean it’s true. Anonymity is crucial else few would report. If there’s little substance to the accusation then the truth will usually out fairly quickly unless other questions arise or there’s a lack of good advice and representation, as is the risk here. 

    Ultimately, whether they were or not makes zero difference to the desired outcome. It may make a difference to neighbourly relations but if part of a health condition involves a fear of being watched then poor relationships may unfortunately happen anyway. 

    Logically fraud is prevented, at least in some small part, by there being a reporting mechanism. It would plainly be ludicrous if there weren’t. Debating the motives is all well and good but no-one can second guess them and again it makes literally no difference to the outcome. 

    Moving onwards to the actual issue.

    An MR is the next step but the success rate is 16% so the outcome is pretty much random. However, much more clarity is required here. “Good days” is a poor phrase to use. DWP rightly or wrongly interpret it as meaning “no symptoms” whereas most people mean “less symptoms”. The key question here is the extent to which the “less bad days” are close to 50% or more. If they exceed the “bad days” then clearly there is an issue to be resolved but it’s not necessarily fraud. Medical evidence may help but it needs to address that specific point. Something vaguely giving your diagnosis and how long it’s existed is neither use nor ornament. 

    Then we have the question of what “accused of fraud” means. Does it mean that charges have been formally laid and that you’ve been notified of that or does it mean that fraud has been suggested but nothing more? Not every overpayment is fraud. 

    However, the way DWP often play these cases is to imply that they’re going to prosecute for fraud, often in circumstances where they’ve not a hope in hell, and then suggest that if you just drop the claim and agree to an overpayment then they’ll not do so. They even throw in admin penalties for fraud even when they’re not prosecuting. It’s an underhand tactic but it happens. You need to be live to it and get good advice quickly.

    You will need a solicitor if a charge of fraud is to be laid but possibly not otherwise. You will need a WRO to challenge any recoverable overpayment. Solicitors don’t get much benefits training and no legal aid for representation at an appeal hearing so they’re unlikely to help you challenge any recoverable overpayment and will often see the best way forward as to fess up to a fraud because they don’t necessarily know their way around the benefit rules. 

    Ideally, if there is to be a prosecution, you need a solicitor for that and a WRO for the allegedly recoverable overpayment. You need them to work together and a WRO may find themselves explaining why fraud has not taken place to a solicitor.

    There’s no way of any of us knowing whether there was a fraud here or not. All we can do is highlight the way forward without assumptions one way or another.
  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 172 Connected
    edited February 2020
    Thanks, all very logical and clear. 'best way forward as to fess up to a fraud because they don’t necessarily know their way around the benefit rules'. could also be where a legal aid solicitor and/or barrister knows absolutely nothing about the benefit rules and best advice that is given in many/most cases is as you have said, plead guilty for the chance of a reduced sentence irrespective of whether the claimant is guilty or not. Heard of it happening quite a few times especially involving cases where Welfare Rights are not of good quality that is if you can find one in the first place.

    Nothing to do with any criminal act, more a confusing and an out of the ordinary situation. I spent the best part of three hours once over the course of two meetings with the CAB only to be told at the end that they did not know the answer or how to proceed. They suggested that I contact a solicitor that specialises in benefit law. And we all know that they are not only expensive and as rare as hen's teeth. Suffice it to say I muddled through on my own, got it all wrong and ended up failing to claim a benefit that if I had have done so at the time would have seen me by now approaching £30,000 better off.   
  • sooze77
    sooze77 Member Posts: 20 Courageous
    I used to work in this area. Not all reports are looked in to (believe me there are thousands). Many people are reported again and again. Have you seen the evidence that they have against you? It would be very unusual for them to just watch your for the one or two days, they have to do it for a number of days and sadly in this instance they have seen you walking over a period of time and this has prompted a review and a new decision. All you can do is appeal against the decision now and it is up to you to show them why you think they are incorrect.

    It is sad that some people report maliciously but in my opinion this reporting system does need to be there. There are many people that cheat the system (l am not in any way saying you are) so there does have to be a way for people to be reported. Just work now on gathering all your evidence together that can prove you should still be entitled. 

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