DWP evidence — Scope | Disability forum
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DWP evidence

griff11
griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
My daughter applied for PIP January 2020, had assessemnt in Feb 2020 - zero points.  MR in May 2020 - 6 points.

Appeal submitted and had a letter saying DWP had to respond by 16th June 2020 and send us a copy of their evidence.

We haven't received anything to date - is this normal.  Also what will be their evidence.  Will it be a copy of original assessment - we have a copy of this, will there be anything else ?  What happens if they don't send us a copy of their response appeal?

Thank you.
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Comments

  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Thanks.  When you say the appeal bundle will have all relevant documents will there be things there we haven't seen or is just copies of their original assessment and then decision letters?  
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Had a letter from the court today with a copy of my letter which I send in to support my daughter's appeal.  Still nothing of DWP response.
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq where would I get representation from?  Tried Citizen advice before applying but only answer phone to leave name and number etc and after two attempts no response .  OCD is so difficult for people to understand what it's really like to live with .  First time safe saw GP about he said 'oh everyone is a bit ocd' and recanted tales of people needing order in things like books , cds etc.  When I've mentioned to work colleagues about her difficulties they don't understand how controlling and distressing it is too.  Yet she has been so bad her first consultant psychiatrist suggested anti psychotic medications as he said her thoughts were delusional!  She refused them.  He retired so next appointment she saw different consultant who was much more understanding, extremely surprised she'd been offered anti psychotic medications and said her current meds and therapy were the way forward but since she stopped seeing her nhs therapist as my daughter felt she couldn't relate to her as she didn't understand OCD and would tell her to wash her hands if they were dirty- her hands are not dirty it's an intrusive thought which occurs constantly and expands the dirty area so my daughter could be washing her 'hands' up to her armpits for 20 minutes constantly because she had an intrusive thought, it's not helpful to say wash them .  The correct response is to sit with the uncertainty of knowing if they are dirty.  When I say dirty she will think if she's touched her bum through smoothing down clothing like a dress that feaces have cone through her underwear and skirt to make her hands dirty.  The fact she hadn't soiled herself doesn't matter as her OCD thought is 'but what if'. 
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Thanks I looked and it's only Citizens advice !  
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,791 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2020
    griff11 said:
    Thanks I looked and it's only Citizens advice !  
    Tbh, from what I've seen on here, you've got a better understanding of the effects of OCD than any advice centre (or indeed any medical 'professional'!) I've tried myself so far...  

    They may understand the legalities better, but that aside, I'd rather have you as a rep!  Will you be with your daughter when she has the tribunal?


    On topic, DWP were about 3 weeks late responding to my appeal, seems to be common and there's no repercussions from them not meeting the deadline...they're just 'asked again' to send it, seems a little pointless giving them a deadline lol.
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    @OverlyAnxious thank you for bits of confidence! Living with it and trying to help her we've all researched and explored .  A month ago she's overhauled her diet - she's been vegan a number of years but she's trying to be healthier and has added in some vitamins D3 1000 iu and megadophilus probiotics !and drinking more fluids like flavoured teas- ages never drink much as what she needs toilet during day.  She thinks the combination is helping and today for the first time in months we went for a walk and she wasn't constantly anxious checking where she was walking!  Normally she is so overcome she turns around and comes home !  We were both so happy at her achievement today.   She is still showering if she uses toilet, still seeking reassurance but a good exposure like today is amazing when you can visibly see she's less anxious.  We've accepted there is no cure it's just management.  

    I will be right her at tribunal and I will prepare notes, billet points etc and know to keep drawing focus back to meeting criteria and the importance of reliability /timing etc of tasks.  
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Apologies for spelling mistakes.!  Eyesight not so good when responding on phone!!

  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,791 Disability Gamechanger
    griff11 said:
    Thanks I looked and it's only Citizens advice !  
    Tbh, from what I've seen on here, you've got a better understanding of the effects of OCD than any advice centre (or indeed any medical 'professional'!) I've tried myself so far...  

    They may understand the legalities better, but that aside, I'd rather have you as a rep! 
    Well that’s a perspective I suppose. If only PIP was not about the “legalities”. 
    I think you know what I meant...  ;) 

    It's all well and good learning legal info from a book, but that's hardly useful if you don't understand the impact that a particular condition has on the persons life, especially when it's a mental condition and not easily explained.  The disability service near me couldn't even understand why someone with agoraphobia and contamination OCD would be unable to visit their premises or have a home visit to complete forms...  I dread to think what they'd have been like if they had offered to help with the tribunal...which they flat out refused because they hadn't filled in the forms originally (because they wouldn't offer any advice over the internet so i had no choice but to do them myself).  CAB were even less helpful but it's not really their area of expertise.  If it wasn't for this forum, I wouldn't have had a clue about the process or been able to get any advice about illness benefits...purely because of my illnesses!  :/

    I'd like to the think the tribunal judges know enough of the legalities to listen to a genuine 'civilian' account and then decide whether they qualify or not, instead of having to try and jump through legal hoops.  I'm sure that's not always the case though.
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Received a text today to say DWP have responded and we should receive a copy.  Date of tribunal not yet set but could be months . 
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    So DWP response arrived today.  Quite short and they have referred to criteria in physical ability and then repeated that are has a good understanding of her condition, only been sick one day (at time of assessment which was first month of her new job) and then they said that her OCD rituals are only on some days and don't impact her ability to carry out tasks on majority of days !   Unfortunately there seemed it be no understanding of what the impact of OCD is in a person.  

    I thought their justification poorly argued , very focused on physical ability to do a task and each criteria they once again relied on the fact she understands her condition , is articulate and works.   I reread her appeal submission which referred to examples in original application and expanded upon and the very clear & detailed DSA report from when at Uni that set out how serious OCD is, how it impacts daily life and the support required to enable her to remain in uni.  and feel both parts clearly demonstrate how badly her life is impacted but I release she is up against criteria that focuses on being unable to perform tasks due to either a physical or learning disability.

    OCD is a term that's thrown around.   As my daughter says OCD is not an adjective. A person cannot "be a bit OCD" - a person can have obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD is not the same as perfectionism, or being organised/neat.  

    The difference between OCD and perfectionism is the anxiety which OCD causes. If a person were to wash their hands or reorganise due to their OCD - this would be an extremely stressful process for them. They do not enjoy doing it - which often leads to avoidance of the issue at hand.  

    At the tribunal is my daughter or myself allowed to ask if they understand what OCD or what their understanding is? 

    I feel it's an up hill battle unless  the tribunal fully read my daughters evidence and do a bit of research into chronic OCD.  I know the DWP are not  awarding based on diagnosis but impact of condition but if you don't understand what the condition is how can you understand if the person is being truthful in their assertions of the impact of their condition.  
     
    Apologies for any typos but on my phone !
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Ok I did include an explanation of what ocd is in original appeal.  I also included the link to explanation in the  submission.   Her appeal letter sets out why she meets  criteria- we did bullet point for each relevant criteria.   We gave examples on each point.  This has been done in original application but appeal refers to original form and why their conclusions was wrong - even though virtually every point used same sentence about working , understanding of condition, articulate  and looking only mildly anxious at assessment.  
    Appeal also highlighted she was accompanied by myself and partner.  She had left work early to come home to shower and had soaking wet hair at assessment and gave timing i.e finished work 2 hours begins assessment, only 30 min max travelling time .  Remainder spent in shower, panic attack etc so no time to dry hair.   Also mentioned assessor cut her off when she asked about bathing routine so daughter couldn't explain his difficult she finds showering !  

    The only new point DWP made  was she says she needs reminding to take medications but said at assessment she takes contraceptive pill back to back !  She says why she dies that at assessment.  She can't deal with periods  (mood and physical side) if she drops a pill  she can't pick up so just carries on so days messed up.  It's hard to explain but if she drops a tablet her ocd tells her she's made a mistake and the what ifs begin and she gets distressed and then will avoid doing that task the next day.  Hence she takes all her tablets and vitamins once a day.  We have to leave them out so someone reminds her as an alarm on her mobile isn't always effective if her anxiety level high or if it's a day she's refusing to touch her phone as it's dirty, she's dirty and she can't clean it so it's by her bed all day!  

    Anymore tips appreciated as I will be accompanying her.  She'd like her partner there as well but if only one it's me as I'm more articulate about her condition and used to attending meetings after almost 40 years in local govt.  Her partners better at dealing with her panic attacks though as I find them difficult as it's so difficult seeing your child so distressed over what is essentially a thought that most people would ignore .  

    My letter supporting her appeal is written as a mother so does reference how difficult it is dealing with her condition and impact on family.  About us not feeding her ocd.  So it sets out condition, history and a typical day with all the stresses involved and even tackles the question of why do we sometimes give in to her demands when it's the worst thing possible to do.  When I read what wrote that's the question that jumped out at me but I've talked with one of her therapists about what we should do if it's so bad that if we refuse to help she will get seriously unwell.    So we have strategies we agree upon.  Things like you can only ask one person for reassurance, if the second person you ask knows you've asked another you can refuse to answer.  If she asks same question multiple times just say. I've given you my answer. Leads to lots of tears and shouting by her and very stressful for us but unless we fear she's on verge of a full breakdown we have to stick to it. 
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq my daughter just send me a brilliant letter which she's tempted to post on line about OCD, stigma etc . 

    I've told her to hold fire.  Am I too late to send as additional evidence to tribunal ?
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Thanks @mikehughescq. This evening we revisited the bundle from DWP and original form, decision letter, MR appeal letter, evidence etc.  and I think we've decided it covers it all.  My daughter gets upset when she reads their dismissive comments but I did point out to her they haven't argued their case well just repeated their line if you are educated, articulate and look normal and we have addressed that.   We've been honest and can answer questions .  I've put the paperwork in a file and tabs for different parts so we can easily see what was said if she'a questioned on specifics and to see if something taken out of context.  Now we wait !  

    I suggested she posts as open letter with some more personal parts removed to her blog as her previous muttering referring to her MH have been well received .  
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,791 Disability Gamechanger
    griff11 said:
    I suggested she posts as open letter with some more personal parts removed to her blog as her previous muttering referring to her MH have been well received .  
    Does she use OCDAction or OCDUK forums?  They might be interested in posting it and linking across social platforms themselves to promote awareness further than a personal blog.  :)
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    @OverlyAnxious no she has a freestanding blog but previously one OCD forum contacted her to use her content as they liked the way she explained OCD .  
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    So phonecall today from DWP reviewing before Appeal.  The asked a few questions and changed award to enhanced for daily living and mobility.   I had no warning of the call but could answer the questions easily as her application form & appeal contained facts on everyday life.   My daughter most happy that they believe she's ill as she found their earlier dismissals of her condition extremely upsetting.  They are not sure how long award for - she thinks 2 years.
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    I did know I could refuse offer as I had similar call for my hubby's PIP a few years ago but his award was for  5 years and she asked that time if he wished to end appeal .  

    This time she was silent on length so I asked her how long it was for ans she said she wasn't sure she would need to check but thought 2 years .  I didn't think 2 years unreasonable as I'm ever the optimist that my daughters OCD will improve as thought of her spending her whole life so badly affected is awful.    Until COVID she was seeing a counsellor weekly and as soon as she can will restart .  He does help her and she finds him supportive of her baby steps .    She tried zoom etc but it didn't work as she disengages but when in room with counsellor is more responsive.    What I did think was odd she didn't ask to speak to my daughter - she's an adult and she didn't ask if we accepted just said she'd send letter.  I thought strange as same as my husband I'm her representative but with him they had to speak to him to go through security. 

    Do you think she could reasonably expect a longer period award ?

     .  
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,791 Disability Gamechanger
    That's great news!  Though I must admit, 2 years doesn't sound very long considering when she applied.  It'll end in Jan 2022, and from what I've read, review forms will be sent out about 3 months before that.  So you're really only looking at 12 months from now until having to go through the hassle again.

    Of course, if she's expected to improve by then, that might be reason for a shorter length.

    My award was for 3 years.  I'm not sure what does determine it as I was only expecting 2 myself.
  • griff11
    griff11 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq ok so should I ring to clarify period or wait till letter?  If wait till letter do I then write back to refuse off due to length?  Thanks for advice because thinking logically they are back dating to Nov 19 so going forward it's only for 14 months and nothing will change that quick.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    You could wait for the letter rather than ring them because it may take a while to get through. You don't write to DWP to refuse the award because you've already accepted it. You request the Tribunal in exactly the same way you did the first time but the waiting time starts from the begining again. You need to make it clear that it's the length of time you're appealing.

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