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PIP Appeal Ajourned

collyetteycollyettey Member Posts: 6 Listener
edited June 2020 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi (apologies in advance for the long post!)

I applied for PIP in March 2019, they refused so I requested a Reconsideration in August 2019 which was filed incorrectly so it took time for their reconsidered decision to get to me, which was another refusal.
I sent in my appeal on in December 2019.
Heard nothing for weeks then early Februray 2020 (Pre COVID-19) i received an out of the blue call from DWP PIP questioning what i had wrotten in my appeal and asking loads of questions.
3 weeks later I received a 'response' to my appeal and it was baseless, whomever wrote it twisted everything i had said during the February phone conversation so I chose to wirte to both them and HMCTS and correct the inaccuracies in the DWP response and then I heard nothing.

Today I received a letter from HMCTS stating my paper appeal was heard on 04/06/2020 and was subsequently Ajourned.

The notice states

1. The appeal is ajourned for telephone hearing on the first available date after complience with the directions below
2. Members of this tribunal are excluded from future involvement in the appeal
3. The appeal was ajourned today because this appeal was listed as a paper hearing and the Tribunal felt it in the interests of justice that the appellant should be given an opportunity to give oral evidence. There shoud be further evidence of the duration and frequency of the illness episodes and notes that the appellant asks for enhanced rate od daily living and mobility.  The tribunal also would like medical evidence as the appellant is uner the care of a specialist as well as details of her Universal Credit.

theyve then asked the respondant - which i assume is the DWP - to serve within 28 days details of the Universal Credit Award (limited capabilty for work) and on what babsi the decision was made.

plus theyve asked for my contact details and for me to get GP medical notes from 01/01/18 to be sent to them and to be read to them over the phone at the next appeal date - but they want this within 28 days - with my GP thats a practical impossibilty!

I am totally at sea with this!

I don't ever recall specifically asking for Enhanced rates
I wasn;t awarded any low capabilty on UC, i was sending in Fit Notes and then i was asked to attend an assessment and it was deemd that i was unwell but not enough to be placed into either group but that i could stop sending in FIt Notes for a period of 2 years becuase it was shown i was unwell.

what can i expect next? 

thanks

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,200 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome I am not entirely sure about this is it a PIP tribunal or a UC work capability tribunal, either way they do follow the same process but both are different benefits with different criteria to qualify.

    However I would suggest you need to get everything together they have requested, your medical records shouldn't be too hard to get its only for a couple of years and if you explain the urgency to your GP, if it is impossible then request an extension. I would have thought you would already have sent most of the medical evidence relevant already so there shouldn't be a ,lot extra

    It may be worth contacting CAB or welfare rights 
  • collyetteycollyettey Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi and welcome I am not entirely sure about this is it a PIP tribunal or a UC work capability tribunal, either way they do follow the same process but both are different benefits with different criteria to qualify.

    sorry i thought i put right at the start and in the title that it was a PIP appeal?
    has that happened?
  • collyetteycollyettey Member Posts: 6 Listener
     I would have thought you would already have sent most of the medical evidence relevant already so there shouldn't be a ,lot extra
    you're right I sent everything I had from 2016 until the date i applied in March 2019, and then with my consideration i sent further reports gained up to August 2019, and then when the I completed my appeal paperwork I sent even more in December 2019 and again after the call in February 2020 - so it feels like all they will get is repeats from Jan 2018 to feb 2020 and there has only been 1 visit since februray due to COVID-19. 
    I can't see why they are requetsing medical records they already have?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,983 Disability Gamechanger
    All appeals at present are triaged by a salaried judge and if they can award on the papers they will do so although it will be detailed as a provisional decision as DWP could object. 

    Where they can't award on the papers your case goes forward for a telephone hearing and that's what's happened here. 

    The GP notes thing must be addressed. Ring or email your GP and explain what the score is. They must provide free of charge. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,200 Disability Gamechanger
    Maybe query what they want t if you have nothing extra just copy what you have 
    Did the DWP send all medical evidence to court 
    I would ring court ask for further advice 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,983 Disability Gamechanger
    The specific advice from HMCTS at present is to not ring. Clerks are thin on the ground and generally only in to run hearings remotely. 

    What they want is all in the adjournment notice. You make every effort to get it and if you can’t then you say so. It’s no more complex than that. Tribunals are not criminal courts. Things are decided on balance and on the basis of having enough evidence. The key thing here, as ever really, is that they want your oral evidence. Whether you get GP records or not the bulk of your hearing will be you answering questions and giving oral evidence. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,200 Disability Gamechanger
    @mikehughescq thank you for your update I am aware how busy clerks are at present but feel this member would have benefited from trying to get more clarity 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,983 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m struggling to see which but lacks clarity tbh. It’s all there in 1 to 3. They want an oral hearing to hear from the claimant. They want evidence from UC and GP records. They’ve set a deadline of 28 days to move things along. If they get stuff then great. If they don’t then they’ll decide what to do at the hearing. The next panel will look at it all in the round and they’ll most likely go ahead as long as they can talk to the claimant. 

    Which bit is unclear?
  • collyetteycollyettey Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Which bit is unclear?
    The part where they want oral evidence.
    everything I can tell them is the same as what is written in my original form and what my GP backed up through presentation of my records and a letter he wrote to back me up.
    my specialist also wrote a lengthy letter and provided hospital records. 
    I don’t understand what more I can provide. Even when they ask questions they answers will be the same as what is written and proved through medical evidence.

    my question really was what more could they gain? 

    I can’t give any more orally than I already have in written form. 
    The reason I requested a paper hearing is the nature of my illness can bring on sudden blindness, loss of balance, I can lose my ability to communicate so talking to strangers orally causes me anxiety and stress. 
    In print or in this type of forum I can start and come back as many times as I need. 

    In an hour telephone tribunal I can’t do that! I also will probably end up sounding like a broken record by repeating what I’ve already presented in print. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,983 Disability Gamechanger
    It sounds to me like you’ve presented a lot of medical evidence but likely much less about what it’s like to live with. Tribunals rarely go over ground which is established. They’ll be looking to pull out specific stories per descriptor to bring your assertions to life. Medical records and GP evidence tell them some very basic background stuff. Your GP won’t have seen you cook; dress; toilet; bathe; spend money; form relationships or  walk outdoors. That’s why you’re having an oral hearing. You’ve given them a load of medical stuff but this benefit is not about the medical condition. It’s about the practical consequences activity by activity. 
  • collyetteycollyettey Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Ok I get that but I attempted to describe it the best I could both in the form and to the assessor who visited me, I don’t think he understood and had to send the recording we took to the tribunal (he was given a copy at the time of the assessment) because the assessment report missed basic details and then contradicted itself in places - for example he stated I maintained good eye contact throughout the assessment and then later on said he was unable to complete basic assessments as I was wearing dark glasses and laid down??? 

    It just made me wonder why they would request more even though I’ve given them what they’ve asked for and more in the form, the assessment and in medical evidence. 
    I guess time will tell why and what the motive is behind it
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,983 Disability Gamechanger
    There’s no “motive” at all. You’re reading things into it which just aren’t there. This is routine stuff. It’s what Tribunals are for. To have a chat and bring your case to life. What you wrote and what you added in written evidence didn’t give them enough to make an award on the papers thus they book a chat. 
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 30 Courageous
    Yep, totally get that. I hsd my tribunal hearing March 3 this year (oral hearing).
    The panel had a stack of medical evidence, but obviously wanted to know how my health conditions affect my daily living.

    I have a relatively rare neurological condition (Narcolepsy with Cataplexy) which is characterised by unexpected sleep attacks, loss of muscle tone resulting in weakness to full postural bodily collapse.

    In addition, I suffered a brain aneurysm a few years ago, which resulted in two strokes. More recently, Ive also had some heart issues which cause super fast heart arrythmia and ectopic beats.

    I know I spend a lot of my life feeling utterly exhausted! I have to take powerful stimulant meds simply to prevent falling asleep whilst crossing a road for example, or trying to lift a hot pan off the stove top.

    I can list many examples of both embarrassing and dangerous situations Ive been in as a result of my disabilities.

    At my hearing, I referred to 'black outs' (which are separate and distinct from my long standing condition of narcolepsy/cataplexy.

    These 'funny dos' are more recent and are extremely scary, causing severe dizziness, palpitations, shakes, inabilitg to stand or even sit and are absolutely terrifying.

    We have a family history too of a rare genetic adrenal tumour, which Im still under tests for. However, the doctors arent sure whether these symptoms are due to the heart arrythmia, the brain aneurysm, strokes or something else.

    I found it difficult trying to explain to the panel how the symptoms of the different issues affect me daily, but just tdied to answer as honestly as possible.

    It felt embarrassing as people look at me and cant see any obvious disability. (unless Im having a narcoleptic or cataplectic attack) so its difficult at times to convey that you do face significsnt dangers.

    I explained a situation where Id fallen asleep at the top of tbe stairs of my house. Fell down the stairs which resulted in a minor lower limb fracture. However, due to that, 6 weeks later, I got a DVT which ended up as a pulmonary embolism and a life thdeatening situation.

    The doctor on the panel will be aware thst narcolepsy is characterised by uncontrolled sleep attacks, but without giving my oral evidence, they (the tribunal) have no idea of how it impacts my daily life.

    Its this kind of thing they want to understand (I think?)

    They should already have all the paper evidence and you will also have colies in the bundle.

    At the hearing, try to explain in your ow. Words how your disabilities affect your life. Ie if you have difficulty cooking because of sudden vision impairment, are you at risk of burns or cuts as a result? That kind of thing.

    Its msybe useful to write down situations or exsmples where yoi have needed help or had difficulties you know?

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
    Cat
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,983 Disability Gamechanger
    A very decent stab at exactly what tribunals are looking for.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @collyettey, I just wanted to check in to see how things were going. :)
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  • collyetteycollyettey Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi @collyettey, I just wanted to check in to see how things were going. :)
    Still waiting on doctors notes
    despite me copying the notice showing the urgency.
    i have done everything else they ask but the idea of explaining again when it felt like the assessor didn’t understand worries me a lot! 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    This must be exhausting @collyettey! I really hope your doctor is able to get things to you asap.  
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