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UT and specific errors in law

cat_hug Member Posts: 159 Pioneering
Hi everybody,
Sorry to harp on about this again.
Ive just submitted request direct to UT, having been refused leave to appeal my pip FTT.

@mikehughescq you have been an absolute font of knowledge and information re. This subject and I truly appreciate your wisdom and imput.

Guess that now Ive sent the UT1, along with other docs such as FTT decision, Statement of reasons, rejection. From FTT of my request asking for leave to appeal etc... I'm having a bit of a 'post-deadline panic' as to whether ive identified sufficiently, the errors in law where I believe the FTT erred...

Im second guessing myself a little too as being hospitalised with severe kidney infection, sepsis, and 3 consecutive nights just prior to deadline, I had collspse/sleep attack/loss of consciousness (not sure which tbh) but resulted in blow to my head on hard ceramic sink and ceramjc floor tiles 3 times.

Suffice to say, Wasnt at my best and had a really hard time trying to focus and get all the info together etc.

Praying they will accept my reasons for submitting info electronicslly, as opposed to usual royal mail, since I would not have managed tbe deadline otherwise.

Having looked again at the key points with a slightly clearer head, the issue in contention is with the daily living descriptor related to needing hrlp with social interaction.

The FTT seemed to have rejected the description I used of 'blackout' as being not a relevent medical symptom as blackout is not mrntipned in any medical evidence.

They appear to have dismissed any of the arguments related to social interaction and my anxiety about this in social situations. Ie. Fear of perception from strangers that Im drunk or on drugs.

The anxietg caused by experiences of havjng such attacks whilst out in public and again, the feeling of vulnerability and anxiety this causes due to the uncertainty snd unpredictability of these episodes.

Again, there are separate medical reasons that cause either loss of consciousness, paralysis, cataplexy and narcolepsy. Then the 'other funny do's' which as yet, the exact cause rrmains uncertain.

These are entirely different in the symptomology, compared to the Narcoleptic/cataplectic attacks.

They cause a sudden wave of nausea, shakes, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate (and I believe drop in blood pressure) which is a terrifying feeling and can happen whether im standing, sitting, and hss rven woken me out of sleep too.

As previously explained, we have a family history of rare adrenal tumour (phaeochromacytoma) which caused my sjsters premature death at the age of 32/33 years old. The symptoms she had sound very similar to mine but its notoriously diff to diagnose, as tumours have to be 'active at tjme of testing' to manifest the pathology anomolies that lead to the suggestipn of this diagnosis.

Most, like my sisters, are foind at post mortem. The symptoms are so spurious and its pot luck if the elevated hormone markers are present at time of test, to confirm or deny presence of phaeo.

Ive had one set of results tbat showed elevated levels of catecholamines and onr where levels were within normal range.

Although they say its not about the actual diagnosis or named condition, but the way it affects your daily living, id argue that point, since my oral descriptive evidence has been called into question by the FTT judge as 'possible exaggeratipn of symptoms', whilst at the same time 'the medical evidence is not disputed and the panels own. Doctor confirmed that my description of narcolepsy/cataplexy symptoms basically tally with known medical info about the disability.

At the same time, the endocrinologist can neither confirm nor rule out possible phaeo, so those symptoms i experience, which are more scary because I dont know thr cause, or when they will happrn, are largely discountedt as there isnt a confidmed diagnosis of cause.

The medics agree it is suggestive of an adrenal issue 'fight or flight' response that features in phaeo, but they refer me to cardio who refer me back to endo etc.

My issue is that over the years, this has made normal social interactiion become something thats scary and I havr to 'psyche myself up for'. Even if this is just a family member wanting to arrange to visit, or havi g someone stop by without warning, can leave me hiding in the house avoiding, because its too much stress to deal with unprepared for.

The dwp and tribunal say that my anxiety is due to difficulties following and plsnning a journey and that this descriptor was covered in Q1 (c?) Of mobiljtg descriptor which awsrded me 12 points.

My argument is that its a crossover. Yes, in part, tbe mobility descriptor recognises this, but thr daily living part (q9? Or 11?) Needs help or supedvisipn in social setting due to causing extreme anxiety.

The FTT and DWP assert that because I showed no apparent anxiety or stress whilst being interviewed by HCP or in doctors/medical appts, of which there has been many, then I dont meet the threshhold for being awarded points under those daily living descriptors.

My argument is that the FTT erred in law as they failed to address the descriptor in contextua,ly social situatipns, and that interactipn with professipnals, mrdical alpt etc didnt qualify as social interaction.

They failed to consider UT decision Grey and somr other specific UT decisions based upon these arguments and as such, made an error in law.

My case is mainly concedned with this descriptor althoigh I do contest their application of needs help with complex budget decisions too.

My argiment their is that they app,ied the standard used in qualifying needing help with SIMPLE budget decisions.

I honestly would be content to just get standard rate daily living (having formally been awarded middle care for lifr under DLA)

WRU argue for enhanced and whilst that seems like it is asking for the world, I dont realistically have any hope or expectatipn of getting it, but would be happy to just get the standsrd rate.

For that, I need only one point. For enhanced, id need to score an additional 5 points.

If the FTT had not unfairly made the budget descriptor zero points based on my answer tbat I can count my change from a shop, instead of the needs help with complex budget , as evidenced by support from housing assoc money matters team. Re. Budgetting and needing to use fuel direct, propf of fuel debt and interaction with charis etc., that would give 2 pojnts?

Even an award for the minimum given for descriptor 9 social interaction descriptor (I believe 2 points?) Would give me 11 in total.

In reality, I think the minimum for that descriptor should be 4 points, but of course, I cant really argue as to it being it subjective and its hard to prove/disprove such an intangible?

The fact the FTT agree with dwp re. Award of max pojnts for mobility under 'needs help of guide dog or other pedson in plsnning n carrying out a journey', tells me they recognise the anxiety and/or risks my condition place upon mobilitg, but I dony gey how they can say the anxiety is due to planning a journey and not anxiety due to other peoples reactions, multip,e deaths and loss etc. They are not in my head.

They dont see how much my hands shake when im in a shop n the pedson behind is getting irritated because I get nervois im taking too long, so then start to drop everything.

Its sooo frustrating tdying to convry these things and the casualness with which ftt judges decide your life based on incorrect perceptipns or prrsumptipns.

Sorry, my txt deteriorates recently as blurry vision and bad co ordination since this sepsis thing.

Sorrg for woffling.

Does anything sound remotely like I have a chance? It was better articulated in original ask for leave to appeal tban ive explained here.

Thanks again in advance xx


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,141 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi I can't remember what your award was from the FTT was it enhanced mobility and standard care? Personally if that was the case I would be more than happy.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Having read that I’m going to try and keep this simple. You’ve made your argument and lodged the UT1. I understand the impulse but at this point you’re trying to rehearse the whole case and outcome and it will both burn you out nor serve any great purpose as there is a very long way to go and what you’ve written above sounds more like a dispute on the facts rather than the law. My recall of your argument was that it was a lot more simple and clear cut than it’s expression above so I suspect you’re frazzling yourself and overthinking it. Hard as it may be right now, put it to bed and go throw yourself into something completely different. 

    UT judges are pretty damn good on the whole. They will get the gist of what you say and often find more fruitful arguments besides. Moreover when you get the SoS response and your first UT direction then you’ll really have some focus on what your case is or isn’t and you’ll either have something to really get your teeth into or it will breeze along so easily in your favour you’ll be shocked you ever got so worked up.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    @cat_hug - Reading through your post it does seem to be that you are concentrating on the medical info you have an understanding & knowledge about. Whilst your narcolepsy/cataplexy seems to be have been understood, & the symptoms you have because of this, mentioning 'blackouts' could be from a myriad of disorders, & doesn't clarify what might be causing this.
    In my own case I have a diagnosis of a genetic disorder (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). I researched, & found my family is likely also affected by another disorder (Chiari 1 Malformation). This was confirmed by a USA specialist, who by a bit of serendipity was at the same time finding some of his Chiari 1 Malformation patients also had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The chances of the 2 co-occurring was later found to be over 3 million to one, therefore there had to be an association. Despite all I knew at the time, most UK specialists thought such an association unlikely.
    When I had my PIP assessment, I therefore didn't mention this neurological association, rather described how it also affected me. With many genetic disorders there can also be 'variable expression' even within one family. Therefore, even if it was understood that you may have phaeochromocytoma, perhaps nothing certain could be concluded from this.
    Just trying to comment from a different viewpoint, & as a person that has a little medical background.
    As Mike suggests, put all of this to one side for now, &, if needed, concentrate on the law rather than medical 'facts'.


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