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Concerned about time frame with MR

Stevens1972Stevens1972 Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited February 2020 in PIP, DLA and AA
Good afternoon! I found this site whilst looking for advice on a PIP review. I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. After coming off a drug due to side effects around six years ago I had a major flare-up which led to me staying in hospital for over a week. Following this my GP as was at the time suggested I apply for PIP even though I worked full-time and still do. I applied, had to attend a face-to-face assessment and was awarded the daily living component at the standard rate for 5 years having scored 11 points. Had to complete a review form in recent months and had a home visit by an assessor. Received my decision letter this week and they have stopped my PIP because I scored 0 points this time. They seem to have based this decision on the fact that I drive my manual car to work and back each day but I did at the time of my original assessment. My needs haven't changed and it's an incurable condition so it seems that there are considerable inconsistencies between their assessors. I realise that I can apply for a mandatory review but should I request copies of the assessment report first? Should I do this by phone? I am concerned about the time it will take to obtain these because I have to request the mandatory review within one month of my decision letter. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Replies

  • pink_princesspink_princess Member Posts: 131 Pioneering
    Hi @Stevens1972

    Welcome to the Community 😃

    I am one of a team of community champions a volunteer role on the website welcoming new members and giving advice. I’m sure somebody will be able to give you some advice on this for now again welcome to the community.
  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Stevens1972 and welcome to the Community.  It is nice to meet you.  I'm sorry to hear about everything you have gone through.  I am not experienced with PIP and so am unable to answer your question.  However, we have another Community Champion, @poppy123456, who is marvellous when it comes to answering DWP questions.  So I will tag her in and I'm sure she will be able to help you.  Meantime, all the best.  :smile:

    Hi @poppy123456, could you please help @Stevens1972 with his query?  Many thanks, @Ails:smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Ails for the tag.

    Hello and welcome @Stevens1972

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

    Sadly, this happens a lot. Driving has been know to go against you, as does working, if the work you do contradicts the reasons for your claim.

    Your next step is to request the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) and you have 1 month from the date of the decision to request this. You should put it in writing stating where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Then add a couple of real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you.

    Send relevant evidence with the letter to support your claim because they rarely contact anyone for this.

    Do be aware that most MR decisions remain the same, so it's likely you'll have to take it to Tribunal. Waiting times for hearings are huge in most areas and lots are waiting a year for a hearing date.

    If you can get help and advice from an agency near you then i'd advise you to do that. See link for what's local to you for that advice. https://advicelocal.uk/

    Community champion and 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.
  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 87 Courageous
    Hi @Stevens1972,

    I've not been here long myself and don't pretend to have the same knowledge as much more experienced posters but I have been in a similar situation to yourself which was resolved satisfactorily. I too have RA & was on lower rate DLA for 20 years until forced to apply for PIP. Like you I scored zero points at assessment. On Wednesday of this week I was successful at appeal though as I have other conditions I can't say specifically everything was awarded for RA. 

    I obtained a copy of the assessor's report before submitting an MR and went through it with a fine toothcomb. Even so the MR came back almost three months later unchanged. It's always possible you might find something in the report you think might help at MR but I think if it comes down to waiting for the HP report or submitting the MR I'd do the latter if I were you. At least that way you've followed the rules and are well placed to proceed to appeal if it comes back unchanged. You can phone for a copy. One other thing I'd send your MR recorded delivery or signed for (ditto evidence for appeal if need be). It costs a little bit more but it'll give you peace of mind that you can state when it was received, where it was received and who received it should anything later go missing (as happened with me). 

    I think the crucial issue is you say your needs have't changed as this is a chronic, progressive and incurable condition. But the big issue as those more experienced than I am will tell you is whether or not your capabilities have changed within the parameters of the DWP descriptors. Example: at appeal when explaining how I often needed assistance in dressing my upper body in the morning I was asked if it would be easier to wear a cardigan than a jumper! 

    That's how crazy it can get (my answer was no BTW)

    The key thing is if your condition is no better and you can get medical evidence to say so then you're in a strong position - at appeal at any rate - to say that what qualified you five years ago qualifies you now.

    One last thing. I see you had a home visit. If it's at all possible do attend the appeal - if it comes to that - in person. My award says the Tribunal "placed particular reliance on the oral evidence of the appellant......" 

    Good luck
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Stevens1972, just wanted to check in to see how you were getting on. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • Stevens1972Stevens1972 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Good evening all and many thanks for your replies. I am currently trying to complete my mandatory review which is so stressful. I don't believe that we should be put through this when suffering with an incurable, progressive disease! 11 points in 2014 became no points following my review in November! My difficulties however have not changed - this disease continues to rule my life on a daily basis.
     I was diagnosed around 15 years ago and it's a battle every day. I don't know whether to carry on with the mandatory  review or to give up? 
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,896 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Stevens1972 - As I'm sure you appreciate, only you can decide whether to proceed with the Mandatory Reconsideration, or not. If you haven't left yourself with time to obtain some local advice as advised by Poppy above, the only hopefully helpful thing I might suggest is to have a look at the following link, which is unfortunately lengthy. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-assessment-guide-for-assessment-providers/pip-assessment-guide-part-2-the-assessment-criteria
    Perhaps this may help you decide whether or not to proceed. If you do, please follow the rest of the advice already given by Poppy, as she has a vast knowledge about the benefit system.
    You don't need to go to the slightly extra expense of sending anything to the DWP by recorded delivery (I later learnt have done just that!), but do ask for a Certificate of Posting if you decide to go ahead.

  • griff11griff11 Member Posts: 62 Courageous
    Do continue .  I did MR and appeal for my husband and will be going through it again fir my daughter !
    For the MR I wrote a letter giving examples of how the conditions affected my husband daily.  I also enclosed a letter from consultant about his injuries and appointment letters from his two consultants.  I also addressed their errors and inconsistencies in decision to assessment report.  His physio also wrote a short report.  The MR was same as original decision do I applied online for tribunal with him not attending . I submitted exactly the same evidence as I did for MR.   He had a phone call before it went to tribunal from DWP and they asked a few was questions and changed their decision so no need for appeal.  They asked is if he was happy to stop the appeal as they had nis changed their decision.  He says yes and his award was for 5 years .  
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,326 Disability Gamechanger
    The short answer here is to request the HCP report so you at least have some insight into the logic. However, it should not form the bulk of your MR argument. Discrediting 1 HCP report is absolutely not the same as providing sufficient evidence to qualify. That’s exactly why the approach taken by @scotleag would always be likely to fail putting aside the success rate for MR being 16%.

    Also, don’t get too hung up on deadlines. Late MRs are possible up to 13 months provided you can make a strong case. 
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