I received my decision letter today — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

I received my decision letter today

YoelD
YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
edited August 2020 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Zero points. 
This is quite unfathomable. The explanation of the decision makes it sound as if she is talking about a stranger. It is basically a tissue of lies. Here is an example:
"Whilst your anxiety is acknowledged there is no evidence to suggest you are unable to function while you are out. I decided you can an and follow a route of a journey unaided."
I have examined in detail on my form and in the interview I cannot go anywhere unattended, and have severe panic attacks even alone in the house. I cannot believe they are allowed to lie in such a manner and now I'm at my wits end. 
«1

Comments

  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,412

    Scope community team

    edited August 2020
    Hi @YoelD

    Welcome to the Scope community and I am sorry the initial PIP decision has gone this way for you.  I can really empathise with how you are feeling.  

    When you have had time to think it through, maybe you would want to challenge the decision and ask for a mandatory reconsideration.  The citizens advice website gives more advice about this process here https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/mandatory-reconsideration/ If you are able to get more supporting evidence from your GP or health care practitioners about your anxiety then this would give you an opportunity to submit it at the same time.

    Are you receiving help for your panic attacks?  I hope so, but I can signpost you to some organisations that could help if not.
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi @YoelD

    Welcome to the Scope community and I am sorry the initial PIP decision has gone this way for you.  I can really empathise with how you are feeling.  

    When you have had time to think it through, maybe you would want to challenge the decision and ask for a mandatory reconsideration.  The citizens advice website gives more advice about this process here https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/mandatory-reconsideration/ If you are able to get more supporting evidence from your GP or health care practitioners about your anxiety then this would give you an opportunity to submit it at the same time.

    Are you receiving help for your panic attacks?  I hope so, but I can signpost you to some organisations that could help if not.
    Thanks for the reply.
    I shall be ringing for the mandatory reconsideration on Monday (for all the good it will do), also contacting my MP, and seeking legal advice on seeking a prosecution against the decision maker (as this is not the first time I have received a dishonest response, it happens every 2 years with my ESA).
    I contested Healthy Minds three weeks ago seeking treatment and they're arranging one to one telephone CBT. 
    What really makes me angry about this is I applied early for PIP after receiving DLA for 13 years as a benefits advisor I spoke to informed me I had clearly been receiving DLA at a lower rate than I should.
    It's quite frankly unbelievable that despite severe panic disorder, health anxiety, agoraphobia, IBS, hypocobalaminaemia which has led to difficulty coordinating, standing, and memory problems I have 0 points for every discriptor.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,497 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    HI and welcome,

    Rather than ring DWP to request the MR i'd advise you to 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.

    As much as it's extremely annoying when you see things written that may not be correct, i don't advise you to mention any of those in the MR request because they won't be interested in any of those.

    You can certainly make a complaint to the health assessment providers regarding the report, which i assume you received a copy of?

    I'm not sure how a presecution will be possible though because it will be your word against theirs. The health assesment provider probably doesn't even remember you. I know that sounds awful, but it's true.

    You'll be much better off concentrating on your claim pack, rather than the assessment itself and the report.

    Although you were claiming DLA previously, PIP and DLA are 2 different benefits with totally different criteria.

    MR decisions are much more successful since Covid19 with more than 50% of claimants having the decision changed at this stage, compared with about 17% before Covid19.


  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    It wasn't the assessor but the decision maker where the fault lies, in this case.
    All of the information on the form and from the assessment makes it pretty impossible for the decision maker to have come to the conclusions they have. 
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    edited August 2020
    What's strange is that the decision maker has made statements that are categorically false. Essentially she is just saying "I don't believe you". 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @YoelD - Welcome to the community. I'm sorry to read about your PIP decision letter. Sadly you're not alone as many others here have felt the same. As Cher says, you can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration. You have one month from the date on your decision letter in which to do so. This is best done by writing, ensuring you put your name & National Insurance number at the top of each page.
    Try & give a couple of examples for each applicable descriptor as to the difficulties you faced, detailing when you you have a problem, why, how does it make you feel during or after attempting it; can you do it reliably?, etc. PIP is different to DLA; less about your diagnosis, more about how your disability affects you in activities of daily living & mobility. It's this detail about your functional difficulties that may be missing.
    Try to put the 'inaccuracies' in the Health Care Professional's report (which the Decision Maker usually goes along with) behind you, as concentrating on them doesn't get you an award of PIP. :)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,497 Disability Gamechanger
    YoelD said:
    It wasn't the assessor but the decision maker where the fault lies, in this case.
    All of the information on the form and from the assessment makes it pretty impossible for the decision maker to have come to the conclusions they have. 

    Have you seen a copy of the assessment report? Or are you just going by what you stated on the form and what you told them during the assessment?
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    chiarieds said:
    Hi @YoelD - Welcome to the community. I'm sorry to read about your PIP decision letter. Sadly you're not alone as many others here have felt the same. As Cher says, you can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration. You have one month from the date on your decision letter in which to do so. This is best done by writing, ensuring you put your name & National Insurance number at the top of each page.
    Try & give a couple of examples for each applicable descriptor as to the difficulties you faced, detailing when you you have a problem, why, how does it make you feel during or after attempting it; can you do it reliably?, etc. PIP is different to DLA; less about your diagnosis, more about how your disability affects you in activities of daily living & mobility. It's this detail about your functional difficulties that may be missing.
    Try to put the 'inaccuracies' in the Health Care Professional's report (which the Decision Maker usually goes along with) behind you, as concentrating on them doesn't get you an award of PIP. :)
    It's actually ironic that that's what I did for the original form and assessment. As far as I can tell, the assessor hasn't noted anything inaccurate. 
    That said, I had this with ESA several times, where the decision maker claimed some very odd things (including offering me health advice in the decision, which was reported in a complaint and upheld).

    However, after my last appeal against an ESA decision, last year, something very odd happened. Within days of the court receiving my appeal, a lady from the DWP phoned me and asked "is there anything you can tell me to help me change the decision?"
    Very odd, as I mentioned the same things as always, and the decision was changed a few days later. 
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    What's also interesting is my form and the assessment we're focused all on what limitations I have, but the decision maker claims I don't have any. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,497 Disability Gamechanger
    YoelD said:
    It wasn't the assessor but the decision maker where the fault lies, in this case.
    All of the information on the form and from the assessment makes it pretty impossible for the decision maker to have come to the conclusions they have. 

    Have you seen a copy of the assessment report? Or are you just going by what you stated on the form and what you told them during the assessment?

  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Not yet, no. But it seems very odd they wouldn't have included any information at all, as I also have numerous daily living problems and have to use support to stand and walk. 
    If it's the case that nothing has been recorded, then I will certainly have to push something legally. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,497 Disability Gamechanger
    Then it will be worth you ringing DWP to request a copy. Not that it will help in anyway for your MR request, or for a presecution because the HCP won't remember you and it will be your word against theirs.

    You stated that you can't go anywhere alone, did you tell them the reasons why, rather than just state "i can't go anywhere alone"

    The aids that you use, did you tell them why you use them and what would happen if you attempted that activity without the aid? Anecdotal evidence is the best you can send to support your claim. Medical evidence is not helpful unless it states exactly how your conditions affect you and very often it doesn't state this.
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    In fact, this is even in the text of the decision itself. Here is a quote:
    "You have said you have difficulties preparing food, taking nutrition, managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, washing and bathing, managing toilet needs or incontinence, dressing and undressing, communicating verbally, reading or understanding signs,, symbols or words, engaging with other people face to face and making budgeting decisions.
    ...
    You report no diagnosed physical condition (incorrect) and have been advised that all your symptoms are anxiety related."
    Then follows more text that I reported things I didn't say. 

    It seems as if because it is only mental health related (however, that's not what I stated and my doctors are dubious it is psychologically based), they refuse to acknowledge my limitations. 
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I did, yes. I even told them precisely what happened when I actually tried once (I was lying in the road clinging to a lamp post, in a full on panic attack). I explained all of my reasons both on the form and during the assessment.
    The decision maker seem to have decided that I can do things that I cannot. In fact, those are her precise words, "I decided you can manage these activities unaided".

    Well, I can't. 
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I do have one question, however. The decision maker lists the information used to come to their decision, but it only mentions the "How your disability affects you" form.
    It doesn't mention the assessment. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,497 Disability Gamechanger
    It didn't mention the assessment in my decision letter either. It does also help to have some understanding of the PIP descriptors and what they mean.

    It may not be possible to score as many points as you think, likewise it maybe possible to score more points than you think. Some help to write the MR and with the Tribunal (if it gets that far) would be helpful. Even better if you can get representation for the Tribunal.

    Start here with your postcode. https://advicelocal.uk/

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,497 Disability Gamechanger
    Also do be aware that with your DLA ending soon, any other benefits you maybe claiming could also be affected by this decision.
  • YoelD
    YoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I have a copy of the PIP assessment criteria that was sent to me by the DWP (and found out today it is available online anyway.).
  • laurapeach
    laurapeach Member Posts: 104 Pioneering
     You'll want to call them and ask for a copy of the PA4 Assessment Report to have a read through it. Have you got any extra evidence you could send in with your MR as well? Even if it's a letter from someone close to you like a family member or something like that it can be helpful.
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,497 Disability Gamechanger
    YoelD said:
    I have a copy of the PIP assessment criteria that was sent to me by the DWP (and found out today it is available online anyway.).

    That's not the assessment report. The report is what's written after you've had the assessment. It contains recommendations for the descriptors/activites and justifications for why they recommend that descriptor. There's more detail in there than the decision letter.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.