PIP, DLA and AA
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I received my decision letter today

YoelDYoelD 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. 

Replies

  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,404

    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.
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  • YoelDYoelD 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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.


    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.
  • YoelDYoelD 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. 
  • YoelDYoelD 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". 
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 8,065 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. :)
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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?
    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.
  • YoelDYoelD 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. 
  • YoelDYoelD 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. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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?

    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.
  • YoelDYoelD 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. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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.
  • YoelDYoelD 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. 
  • YoelDYoelD 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. 
  • YoelDYoelD 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. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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/

    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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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.
  • YoelDYoelD 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.).
  • laurapeachlaurapeach Member Posts: 100 Courageous
     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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 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.
    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 Co-Production Group Posts: 8,065 Disability Gamechanger
    @YoelD - please know we are all here trying to help & support you, that's why we ask questions in order to find out more. You can ring the DWP (0800 121 4433) to get a copy of your assessor's report, as @laurapeach kindly says, this is a PA4 form.
    An understanding of the 'descriptors'/ activities that Poppy has mentioned may help. Please see: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/asset-library/Scores-for-PIP-Descriptors-2020.pdf  & read the notes at the end too.   
    The DWP's PIP assessment guide is lengthy, & is just a guide for the Health Care Professionals, not something they have to adhere to.
    Decision letters do come with some standard cut & pasted words that may often seem completely unrelated to yourself, or the problems you have. I've also had the same.

  • greenmangreenman Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Im really sorry to hear about your frustration and disapointment.  Ive had a similar experience with the DWP Assessors.  They are absolutely terrible and I really do not understand how they live with themselves.  When i recieved my decision and read their statements I could only cry.  Its absolutely devastating to read denial of your difficulties and medical issues.  
    I spoke to one of the Assessors a while back and was told an absolute lie regarding the PIP Regulations, be careful what advice you might receive from them on the phone.  The Citizens Advise bureau are quite helpful and experienced and it would be worth contacting them about your problems.    

  • YoelDYoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    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.
    I know, but earlier you mentioned being aware of the descriptors. 
  • YoelDYoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    As the issue involves state employees acting dishonestly within a system open to abuse, I feel my MP is the person to go to. 
    And if people have been acting outside of the law, I shall persue legal options as this is a constant issue with the DWP, and has had a detrimental effect on my mental health, leading to previous self-harm. 
  • YoelDYoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Regarding going into detail and using examples (which I did both on the form and during the assessment), even that was used against me by the decision maker:
    "You gave a detailed history of your conditions demonstrating adequate memory and concentration. You were not noted to display any signs of anxiety."
    The last sentence is odd, as it was by telephone (due to COVID-19 lockdown), and I had two panic attacks during the assessment. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    This is a great explanation on assumptions versus evidence, thanks @mikehughescq.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    YoelD said:
    Regarding going into detail and using examples (which I did both on the form and during the assessment), even that was used against me by the decision maker:
    "You gave a detailed history of your conditions demonstrating adequate memory and concentration. You were not noted to display any signs of anxiety."
    The last sentence is odd, as it was by telephone (due to COVID-19 lockdown), and I had two panic attacks during the assessment. 
    Which would have been a copy and paste from the assessment report. Any complaints should be sent to the health assessment providers, not DWP. Details how to do that will be on their website.

    Although my advice would be to concentrate on the MR then Tribunal if it gets that far. If it does go to Tribunal then concentrating on the report can only weaken your case because they won't be interested in any of that.
    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.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,002 Disability Gamechanger
    YoelD said:
    As the issue involves state employees acting dishonestly within a system open to abuse, I feel my MP is the person to go to. 
    And if people have been acting outside of the law, I shall persue legal options as this is a constant issue with the DWP, and has had a detrimental effect on my mental health, leading to previous self-harm. 
    They are not state employees. The HCP is an employee of a private company. They owe you no legal duty of care, which is a fact rather than an opinion, and your MP holds no sway with a private company unless they sit on their board... in which case they’re even less likely to take your side. Whilst the temptation in anger to flail about looking for legal redress the better approach with a proven record if success is MR and appeal. 

    Additionally, writing a report you disagree with is not an offence of any kind and nor us making a decision with which you disagree. If the latter is erroneous in law then you already have a legal route, which is MR and appeal so no other route is available to you. 
  • pinkrosepinkrose Member Posts: 22 Connected
    edited August 2020
    hi yoeld  , good evening everyone !  been a longtime since i have been on scope.
    yoeld , im so sorry for the experience you have had but the advice you have been given here in this thread is excellent  ! however  i was just wondering do you have a report or letter  from your gp or someone who provides care for you that would clarify your daily living and mobility issues and exactly what causes them ? if not , would they be willing to write one for you ? its definitely worth asking for  as anything from a medical professional to back up the evidence you have provided might go a long way in helping you .
    anyway sorry to have jumped in on this thread but just trying to help . x
    good luck  !!!
  • YoelDYoelD Member Posts: 15 Listener
    YoelD said:
    As the issue involves state employees acting dishonestly within a system open to abuse, I feel my MP is the person to go to. 
    And if people have been acting outside of the law, I shall persue legal options as this is a constant issue with the DWP, and has had a detrimental effect on my mental health, leading to previous self-harm. 
    They are not state employees. The HCP is an employee of a private company. They owe you no legal duty of care, which is a fact rather than an opinion, and your MP holds no sway with a private company unless they sit on their board... in which case they’re even less likely to take your side. Whilst the temptation in anger to flail about looking for legal redress the better approach with a proven record if success is MR and appeal. 

    Additionally, writing a report you disagree with is not an offence of any kind and nor us making a decision with which you disagree. If the latter is erroneous in law then you already have a legal route, which is MR and appeal so no other route is available to you. 
    I'm not "flailing around in anger", but as I say, if someone has acted illegally then I shall persue legal options.
    And of course, a decision maker is an employee of a government department. 
    I recieved a copy of the assessment report today. It doesn't say what the decision maker has claimed. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,002 Disability Gamechanger
    And as I say, they haven’t acted illegally and your sole legal option is MR.
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