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I'd love to hear your PIP appeal stories

RemarkRemark Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited February 2020 in PIP, DLA and AA
I am 52 years old and have severe osteoarthritis in my knees, also now in shoulders. I experience daily pain and can only walk slowly and awkwardly.

I also struggle with painkillers - Gp previously prescribed Naproxen but this causes breathlessness and exacerbates preexisting asthma. Advised that Cocodamol is best but side affect is drowsiness and as a 999 Call handler I darent take these regularly.

Condition in shoulders means I can often not raise arms above mid chest without considerable discomfort. 

Despite these things I have just received decision from my PIP application and I have been awarded NIL points. 

I would love to hear others' take on my situation and would love to hear from folk whose appeal was successful


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'm one of the community champions here on scope and i'm here to help and advise others.

    PIP isn't awarded based on a diagnosis, it's how those conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activities based on the PIP descriptors.

    You now have 1 month from the date of the decision to request the mandatory reconsideration (MR) you should put this in writing stating where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Adding a couple of real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you.

    Relevant evidence should be sent to support your claim because they rarely contact anyone for this.

    Only 15% of MR decisions change so you'll most likely have to take it to Tribunal. Appearing in person will give you the best chance of a decision in your favour, the only downside is the waiting times for hearings are huge across most of the country and you could be waiting as long a 1 year for a date.

    About 50% of those that appear without representation have a decision in their favour. With representation it increases to about 75%.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,210 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Remark and welcome to the community. I am sorry to hear your PIP claim was not successful and see Poppy has advised on what you can do going forward .My own experience of PIP has been positive I was awarded on application and again after a review. I was rejected for work capability and went through the MR process and then tribunal where I won my case. Nobody can really tell you here if you should appeal it is a long and stressful process. I would initially look through your report and see where you think you should have been awarded points and why, then if you feel you should have been awarded follow the MR process. Please let us know what you decide to do and know we are here to offer advice and support if you decide to appeal     
  • AilsAils Member Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Remark and welcome to the Community.  It is nice to meet you.  Really sorry to hear about the decision of your PIP claim.  Please keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on and if there is any way we can help/support you then you only just have to ask.  All the best.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @Remark! Great to have you here. I'm sorry to hear about the PIP decision. I will move your discussion into the main part of the forum and I hope others will be able to share their experiences. :)

  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    Hi. I also got Nil points on my first assessment (i had no diagnosis at that time but was in a lot of pain and could hardly move or walk) but by my second assessment i had a diagnosis and they used all my consultant letters and diagnosis as proof that i wasn't lying about how my day to day life is affected and i was awarded 10 points, i still wasn't entitled to help.

    I decided to appeal this second decision based on the fact that they had ignored my mental health diagnosis completely.

    It took 6 months for my second assessment to happen after i had put in that claim. It took another 21 months for my appeal to get to tribunal but i won it despite me hobbling out of the tribunal because i couldn't cope with how aggressive the GP was being and how they were making me out to be a liar..I got no extra points for mobility so do not get that component but i got 8 points for self care so get the lowest payment for that (and all the benefits that will come with it).

    If you're struggling to walk i would ask your GP to refer you to wheelchair assessment services,i had not been referred but found out off the nurse at my tribunal that i should have been. If you're going to appeal you are also going to need a reason why you are doing that and prossibly have to have some medical proof that you are not lying. Proof i used was consultant letters, appointment cards,  and even the boxes off my medications.

    Be aware that the criteria for help seems very extreme now and the extra cost of being disabled does not get taken into account. Even though i got points for being unable to walk 200 meters it still gets me no mobility help whatsoever.,that's how ridiculous it is  But don't let that put you off.

    May be a moot point but i mentioned at the tribunal that i do not live within 200 meters of everywhere i need to go and thought they should help me because of this, even though i got awarded no mobility help at least i had my say to the law makers that i disagreed with their law, they can change the law and might do if enoughof us point out that we need help despite not fitting their criteria for being 'disabled'.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 968 Disability Gamechanger
    @feir - really interesting reading your post - can I ask a couple of questions?

    The DWP, if I remember correctly, say not to send appointment letters...which activities did you use the letters and medicine boxes in?

    Do I read correctly that you went from 10 points down to 8 points and then were awarded PIP?


  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering

    I only got 4 points for mobility and that remained the same,i went up from 6 points to 8 for self care and that entitled me to the care component. So i went up from10 points to 12 in all,sorry for the confusion.

    I sent in my appointments for the pre-op to prove i was waiting for an operation.Also it had phone numbers and who to contact if they needed to do that. And my medication boxes have my name and address on so that was to prove what medication i was prescribed as i hadn't got anything else to prove that.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Future appointment letters are not classed as evidence and won't be accepted. They also very rarely contact anyone for any evidence. The onus is on you to prove you qualify.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I think a little clarity is in order. 

    Anything you send in IS evidence and it will always be accepted. Neither DWP nor HMCTS will reject something and claim it doesn’t count as evidence. DWP write that they don’t want appointment letters but that’s hardly helpful way. What they really mean is that such things don’t tell them much and they’d rather you sent something more meaningful. The real question is “evidence of what” and whether it’s good quality evidence. Generally an appointment letter evidences nothing much at all.

    An appointment letter for a pre-op is kind of helpful but only if it were to specify which surgery. They often don’t. It’s less than half the picture though anyway. You’d be better writing a couple of paras. yourself explaining where things were up to; why that surgery; what time-scale and the hoped for outcome. The more likely outcome would be that if surgery were imminent any award would be restricted because you’ve basically just submitted evidence that your daily living or mobility needs are about to change! 
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    They do say on the forms to provide contact details so i sent those. And a pre-op does confirm i am taking steps towards having an operation (first one has been postponed twice now), my consultant letters backed up that i am waiting for an operation or two also.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Confirmation of surgery is most likely to result in no award or a shorter length of award because it suggests that your case will need to be reviewed at the point of surgery because either your mobility or daily living needs will have changed upwards or downwards. 

    So, if your surgery were, for example, 3 months away then you’d likely create a problem as, depending on the specifics of the surgery, you’ve just opened it up for DWP to suggest you won’t pass the 9 months forward test. 
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