PIP, DLA and AA
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Screwed over twice

PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
Had the phone assessment. As per other peoples experience, the assessor wrote a pack of lies in her report, and deliberately ignored vital points. 
I was awarded low end and not enough on mobility so I asked for mandatory reconsideration. 
I requested a call back in that regard and was promised a call.
It didn't come.
I called again and was promised the call again.
It didn't come.
Today I got the recon letter saying I will now get nothing, points I was awarded were removed.
I am distraught and destroyed. This is how they take us out.
I won't financially survive the time it takes to have the appeal.
They win, just as they wanted. What's the damned point. They are sick evil monsters. This will finally finish me off.

Replies

  • dawny63dawny63 Member Posts: 33 Connected
    Hi my husband  got 0 points. Everything  he said on telephone assesment  has been changed.  He has osteoarthritis  in right knee. Can hardly walk ect . Its moderate with bone spurs. Osteoarthritis  in left hip and  back. Without even seeing him he dont  need help. Oh and  he drives a automatic  but the nurse said hadgears.  Not sure if it's a mistake or deliberate. Wouldn't imagine a nurse would like.  We are going down the m r route. 
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    I had been awarded points though, so was awarded the lower level and nothing on mobility which is what I wanted reconsidered. I can't go anywhere unfamiliar on my own, which they ignored.
    They claim my clusters are under control - I have up to 5 a day for 7 months of the year, every year!
    They base that on my hemicramia continua treatment which is not cluster treatment and has zero impact on clusters. I have oxygen tanks for that to ease the pain.
    They are pure evil, twisted, skins of hate.
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 7,235 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @PatchG I am sorry to heart about your experience and I know there are a lot of people in similar situations. Was this a new application or a review .

    If you are considering appeal the wait times are much shorter at present due to them doing telephone tribunals so it may not be as long as you think.

    The success rate of MR is a lot less than tribunal
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    I had been on DLA (had an accident in 1995, was refused DLA at the time 'because my husband worked'.... When I got divorced, solicitor said that was not a factor - I was told twice by DWP at the time that him working was why I couldn't have DLA. After divorce I finally got it since 2005). It was the being forced to apply for PIP as they are making people switch, so new claim in that regard. People on DLA should be switched with automatic award, we don't suddenly become undisabled when they change the name of a benefit.
    I was supposed to start getting PIP on Monday. 
    This is pure spite because I stated the assessor lied on her report.
    I did record the phone assessment and the subsequent calls, so I will be using those recordings.
  • dawny63dawny63 Member Posts: 33 Connected
    It really  does seem like they tell lies
     Or putting what they want  to fit the descriptors. My husband  had nurse at his phone assesment.  I dont think telephone  ones are very good.  They can't  see how it  affects  you.
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 7,235 Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately DLA and PIP are different benefits with different criteria and that is why you cant transfer straight over . Lots of people are not successful when they move over 

    However dont let this put you off appealing 
  • dawny63dawny63 Member Posts: 33 Connected
    I thought you  could work. Fulltime  or part time. You can  on pip. Its really  bad especially health professionals.  Mind you I think alot of people end up with o points first

  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    I did have points though, enough for lowest which I was awarded, the mandatory reCONsideration monster has removed them and stopped the money I had been awarded which was supposed to start being paid on Monday.
    I can't work because DWP doctor and physioneurologist declared me uninsurable in the workplace after my accident in 1995, and that was based purely on my arm injury, let alone brain injury.
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 7,235 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry you had original decision overturned what was the reasoning behind it 

    I also cant work what other benefits are you claiming or anything else that could help your financial situation 
  • dawny63dawny63 Member Posts: 33 Connected
    That's really harsh. You  asked for reconsideration  and  lost all points. I'm so sorry for you. Could you involve your mp .?
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    @janer1967
    The only four reasons I can see to overturn, is 1) Spite because I asked them to look again at the mobility section, but instead they removed points already awarded
    2) the second person clearly considers the first to be incompetent
    3) spite
    4) evilness
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    @dawny63 my MP is a conmerchantive, his voting past has been against people on benefits through and through. He won't see people, even before covid it's email only.
  • lulu1949lulu1949 Member Posts: 62 Courageous
    @PatchG  when you say that they removed points already awarded were these points given to you by the courts at Tribunal? I thought they couldn’t remove points if the courts had given or am I wrong? X
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    @lulu1949 it was points awarded from the phone assessment. Asked them to relook at the mobility. They removed the points I had been awarded for one part, and removed points altogether from the daily living part.

    They had deliberately already ignored information to give as few points as they could get away with but the mandatory person has removed even more. I was supposed to start getting paid on Monday. Now I will probably starve to death before appeal process can happen. If the depression spiral doesn't take me out first.
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,866 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ PatchG I'm sorry you feel the way you do, I would add one thing to what has been said if you made recordings of your conversations without telling the person you were talking to that you were  doing you will not be able to use them in an appeal.
    I can assure you that the DWP aren't out "to get you" or anyone else for that matter, but as above PIP is very different to DLA, as the MR has failed you now need to go to appeal and I would seriously suggest that you try and get help with that from CAB or welfare rights.
    Good luck
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    @woodbine

    They absolutely are out to get us, thats why so many have to appeal. Why do they deliberately lie on their assessment end?

    Under UK law, only one person in a recording needs to be aware of a recording for it to be legally used. 

    Recording of assessments are already permitted anyway...

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,866 Disability Gamechanger
    Agree entirely BUT recording has to be done with their equipment and their consent. You should remember that many many people have good assessments with good outcomes, I understand that you feel bitter about your assessment but the way forward is to appeal on the basis of anything but "they lied"
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    Nope. Recording equipment has to be our own. At face to face, they have to be given a copy of the recording. Phone assessment obviously can only be recorded on the phone for quality.
    Yes, I told them in advance that I record all important calls because my memory is impaired.

    They did lie. 
    I have the proof.

    There is NO defence for those evil monsters.
    None.


  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    Apologies for the essay. There are many points of information to cover here and some are a complete distraction so I’ll take them one at a time:

    1 - Whether or not a partner works is irrelevant to DLA. I suspect that what was being said was simply that the level of care was not accepted as being as high as claimed because, if it was, a full-time carer would be needed and, having a working partner suggested otherwise. I can’t comment on whether that would be a reasonable inference because I don’t know the full facts and I’m not in the business of one to one online advice but that’s almost certainly what they meant. Few solicitors have genuine benefits expertise so they may not have seen the nuance in what DWP were saying. 

    2 - Whether or not you a claimant is fit for work is mostly irrelevant for PIP. ESA is the income replacement benefit. PIP has different aims and many people who continue to get DLA, PIP or even AA are in work so using being unfit for work as an argument for getting PIP is not, by itself, a winning argument. 

    3 - DLA and PIP are two completely different benefits. An entitlement to one does not bring entitlement to the other so there could never be an “automatic” change over. Many people had also had no contact from DLA for years so if the transition had been automatic then awarding PIP to people DWP hadn’t spoken to in often more than a decade would have rightly been ridiculed. Again though, not relevant to the discussion at hand. 

    4 - An MP has little relevance to this process and no influence over it unless there has been maladministration i.e. DWP didn’t the follow the correct process or missed a reasonable deadline. Neither of those apply here. An MR is lost so now the next stage is appeal.

    5 - I’ve seen it posted a few times on here that DWP cannot take away points awarded by a tribunal. I know yours weren’t awarded by a tribunal but it needs saying that this is nonsense. DWP can do several things to change a tribunal decision and sometimes they do. Again though, not relevant here.

    6 - A rather obvious point but if you rang to do an MR why did you need a call back? You can do an MR over the phone or in writing but once you pick up the phone (or write the letter) the process starts and you don’t get to dictate the terms of engagement. The point you made the first call was an opportunity to make the case but it didn’t happen and that’s a little bewildering to me. A second call was made but still you suggest you didn’t discuss the merits of the MR. Instead you say you asked why you hadn’t had a call back. In those circumstances it looks to the DWP that an MR has been requested 2 calls made and no new information to revise upwards has been received.

    It’s worth pausing at this point and thinking about the sheer impracticality of DWP calling back everyone who wants an MR. It is not and never was going to happen, Seen in that light there was possibly only one outcome. 

    7 - Usually the one outcome would be that your award remains unchanged. It’s not unheard of for awards to go down at MR and indeed I‘ve had one go down at the informal review before appeal stage. However, to lose 8 or more points is not something which can happen by accident. 

    However understandably angry and frustrated you are at present, this won’t have been done because of spite or any of the other reasons you suggested. As per the comments from @woodbine what looks very personal to you is simply another decision to the DWP so you do need to think very carefully about those conversations as possibly something in the content of those calls will have been the trigger. Something in there may have contradicted the claim pack which they previously accepted. As you have recorded said calls it shouldn’t be too hard to calmly go back through the recordings; play devils advocate with yourself and see what shows up. Do this when you have a copy of your claim pack and the points awarded in front of you. I hope it’s but the case but it’s definitely worth checking.

    The context for this is that DWP decision makers almost never go against the recommendation of a HCP. The first DM didn’t and yet the 2nd one did. What’s the difference in the evidence between the first and second decision based only on what you say in your posts? The phone calls!

    To give one example. If you had claimed and been given points for needing communication support then the mere fact of making two calls without any obvious support might potentially endanger those points immediately. That of course is just an example.

    8 - Your understanding on the law on recording phone conversations is not quite right. If you record without consent and the recording simply stays with you then likely no offence has been committed. However, the moment you put that recording into use you have done so without consent. This is not my area of expertise but I am aware of the basics. 

    Now, in reality most tribunals will admit a recording into evidence as they prefer to include rather than exclude but let’s look at the reality of that:

    - your MR calls are irrelevant and possibly detrimental for your case. I dont know but you will need to check. DWP didn’t have to call you back. Nothing will be gained at appeal by claiming that they ought to have done so. It’s literally nothing to do with your entitlement to PIP.

    However, if it turns out that one of the things you inadvertently said in the calls, or indeed just making the calls, put your daily living at issue then do you want a tribunal to hear that? 

    - similarly your recording may show some discrepancies between what you said to the HCP and what was recorded. What will a tribunal do with that? They will usually do no more than give less weight to the HCP report. Then what? Proving that the HCP was wrong in some way is not the same as proving entitlement to PIP. Doing the one thing won’t get you the other. The tribunal will simply say “okay a little less weight to the HCP evidence now let’s look at the rest of the evidence.” If they don’t find the remainder convincing then you may not have made the case anyway. You need to build a case that isn’t just a reaction to the assessment. 

    - How are you going to get that recording to 3 tribunal members and the DWP in a format where they can hear the full thing in advance of a hearing? If you can’t do that then it’s actually unlikely it will be admitted as evidence. Sitting there and trying to play it on the day will be quickly dismissed as an option, especially if DWP are unable to attend and so haven’t had a chance to hear it. That would be a potential breach of natural justice. 

    - As it was done covertly what is your proof that you haven’t edited it in some way? DWP have procedures around using two cassette recorders and witnesses to the unwrapping and sealing of the tapes. Is your process going to stand up to that level of scrutiny? I’ve no idea but as a point of information it’s something to ponder. 

    - Recording of assessments is not routinely permitted. It is only permitted if requested in advance and if you provide the kit and follow the prices described above. Most claimants find that too onerous. 

    9 - I note that you talk about being distraught and not surviving financially. You also talk about starving to death and a spiral of depression. I’ve no idea on the merits if your appeal and can’t advise you specifically on that although I hope you find the above info helps you focus on an appeal rather than just being upset at the decision and getting stuck on that without moving forward. 

    You should have a look at https://advicelocal.uk/ to find yourself advice and representation local to you and let them take some of the burden of this. You should also explore your local authority emergency welfare assistance scheme if one exists as they can help meet any short term needs such as food or utility bills. 

    On the basis of what you’ve said I’ve alerted @Alex_scope and @Chloe_scopeat Scope to ensure you are safe and well.

    Finally, I hope you’ll note that hearing times are anecdotally reducing quite dramatically at present as many cases are being decided quickly on the papers. Telephone hearings are also anecdotally more successful than either paper or oral hearings so whilst your chances of a success at MR were around 16% your chances at appeal may be higher than the 76% success rate reported pre lockdown. 

    I hope things work out for you.
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    I will need to break down the points to respond to, it will take me some time.
    I do thank you for your input but there is much to clarify.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    I do apologise. In my tiredness I omitted a major point of information at the end there.

    Not only are the wait times for telephone hearings anecdotal or reducing significantly but also it's always been possible to apply for what's called an expedited hearing i.e. one which is rushed to near the top of the list because there's an element of genuine urgency about it e.g. if the decision left you with a demonstrably real threat of homelessness or with zero income. Those are the two most obvious examples but not the only circumstances where it might arise. being unhappy with a delay would not be a relevant reason (before everybody decides to ask for an expedited hearing) but it's something to bear in mind if for example you were currently without other benefits because they were also under challenge.
  • Lulu_1949Lulu_1949 Member Posts: 225 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq
    just read your piece, bit worried on your point 5 , I was under the impression that once the tribunal gave their decision and awarded points that this was set in stone for the period allowed i.e. in my sons case till June 2023. I thought it could only be altered because of a point of law.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    @Lulu_1949 nothing can be set in stone in that way. It would be ludicrous if it could. 

    Imagine a scenario where a claimant gets a 10 year award because they’re in a coma and then unexpectedly they come out of it and there’s no further issue health. The law would be an ass if there was no provision for that award to be challenged by DWP. 

    Tribunal decisions attract the same powers of challenge for both claimants and the DWP just as would happen in every other area of law. You can challenge a tribunal decision immediately afterwards on a point of law; because there are grounds for it to be set aside or because there’s an accidental error. Further down the line a decision can be superseded on various grounds e.g. a change of circumstances; a change in the law and so on. 

    This does not mean that everyone with a 5 or 10 year award from a tribunal should now start panicking. It simply means you should be aware that nothing is written in stone.
  • Lulu_1949Lulu_1949 Member Posts: 225 Pioneering
    Thankyou for that,  I quite understand the 10 year scenario. I have had to email the court for a correction as the daily living was given from 9th June 2019 to  6th June 2019 which was obviously a typo because the mobility was 9th June 2019 to 6th June 2023. 
    So if you went for another assessment during the three year period  because walking got worse is there a possibility they could reduce the award already given or do they wait until your granted period runs out? 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    There are always naysayers saying don’t challenge a decision because you could lose what you have. This is true but the mist common outcomes are the same award or an increase. 
  • lulu1949lulu1949 Member Posts: 62 Courageous
    @mikehughescq thank you. I am so worried that after fighting for so long and so much paperwork that they might take it off him! It was good to have a telephone tribunal but on the other hand I think instead of getting 10 for his mobility if they had seen him he would have possibly been awarded 12. This would have given him a chance of getting a mobility car so that he could go to work independently whereas he has now got to use his standard payment to buy a secondhand car. We will have to look at paying for it to be adapted so controls are in steering wheel to help him. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    You can’t assume that the panel seeing him would have produced a better outcome. Generally telephone hearings are producing far better outcomes than oral hearings.

    Similarly don’t be duped into thinking that only being 2 points away from enhanced rate means he has a chance. Look at the exact wording of the descriptor. That’s all that matters.
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    @mikehughescq
    I am going to respond to all your points in order. It takes me an age to type so I am doing responses on a pad thing a bit at a time. The first responses are below, more later:

    1 - Whether or not a partner works is irrelevant to DLA.

    What was actually said was that as my husband was working, his wages meant I was not entitled to DLA.
    I queried it, but was the same clerk, who just repeated it.
    I didn't know any different so believed there was nothing I could do. I told the divorce lawyer about it (many years later) when she was sorting legal aid for the divorce. She helped with forms etc through a colleague. I was given 3 months backdated which they said was the most they had to pay when they get it wrong. So, more than 11 years worth, they got out of.

    2 - 'using being unfit for work as an argument for getting PIP is not, by itself, a winning argument.'

    The relevence was regarding the extent of the injuries to my arm which are hugely limiting physically.


    3 - DLA and PIP are two completely different benefits. An entitlement to one does not bring entitlement to the other so there could never be an “automatic” change over.

    There should be imo.

    4 - 'unless there has been maladministration i.e. DWP didn’t the follow the correct process or missed a reasonable deadline. Neither of those apply here.'

    I will refer to this further on


    5 - DWP can do several things to change a tribunal decision and sometimes they do.

    Seems they can, and do, whatever the hell they want regardless.

  • Lulu_1949Lulu_1949 Member Posts: 225 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq, thank you will take that on board. Will help our son as much as we can to get him mobile in a secondhand car then just be grateful he has at least got standard rates and wait until a few months before, maybe for months before the end of the date given. Thanks for your help, means a lot 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @PatchG sorry you are currently in a really difficult situation. It sounds like it's had an impact on your mental health. 

    I just want to check in to see if you currently receive any mental health support. 

    Also, are you struggling to access food? This must be a worry. Please do let us know if you need any support. 
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    UPDATE

    I had the tribunal by phone on Wednesday, got the decision letter today - I WON 🎉

    They reinstated what had been awarded then wrongly removed, and added the mobility component which I had challenged in the first place, and no future reassessment to have to go through!

    The medical evidence proved that the assessor had ignored some and fabricated other aspects (which I could prove she had done from the recorded assessment anyway) and that the one doing the reconsideration had over ridden the elements which the assessor had actually got right.

    It hasn't sunk in yet, it's been horrendous not having money since June, it's a disgusting system how assessments are done, but justice at last!!!

    Fight for what you are entitled to, never give in!

    🎉🎉🎉
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    Also, thank you so much to everyone who offered advice and support. I know I have been quiet while trying to cope with things, but I did read all and you stopped me feeling so alone, I appreciate you
    🤗🤗🤗
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Great news @PatchG, thanks for the update.
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  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,895 Disability Gamechanger
    Very pleased to read about your successful outcome @PatchG - how long is your award for? People's PIP is usually reviewed every so often to make sure they are getting the correct amount.
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 723 Pioneering
    That’s great news patch xx. How long did you get the award for ? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Great news! Although i am confused about the "no further reassessments" There's no life time awards for PIP like there were for DLA. The longest award for PIP is 10 years with a light touch review.
    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.
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    They put 'it would be innapropriate to put any time limit'.
    Probably because of cancer situation, at a guess.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That will be a 10 year award.
    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.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,895 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for explaining further @PatchG - great you'll have a 10 year award! :)
  • PatchGPatchG Member Posts: 42 Connected
    That fits with the wording then, under the circumstances... Thank you 👍
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