PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP review paperwork - less is more or more the better

JonnycJonnyJonnycJonny Member Posts: 10 Listener
When it comes to submitting evidence regarding how your condition affects your 'daily living' is it a case of 'less is more' or 'more the better' ? By this I mean, do the DMs actually pay close attention and read everything or do they just take a cursory look ? Any views ? Thank you.

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,081 Disability Gamechanger
    You only need to send relevant evidence that explains how your affected day to day 

    Things like OT reports , carers report , , prescription list statements from people who see how you live 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,974 Disability Gamechanger
    DMs have no choice but to read everything. Digesting that volume of information is another question altogether. However, less is more in very specific circumstances.

    1 - your claim pack should have 2 detailed examples of what happened when you attempted to perform a specific DL activity for every activity you believe applies. Half a side of A4 per example or per two examples is fine. You will always need extra sheets, if you don’t then you’re not providing the right or sufficient information. 

    2 - lots of stuff elsewhere on this site about evidence. Medical evidence is useful where someone lacks full insight into their own condition e.g. mental ill health or learning disability. It’s less useful elsewhere. Medical evidence will rarely talk about the DL activity specific impacts of your condition. It can cover diagnosis, medication/treatments and prognosis but those things will rarely be in dispute. Five reports covering those areas are no more helpful than one report and it can be argued that if those areas are not in dispute then even one report may not assist. 

    Medical evidence is neither binding nor all powerful. If it doesn’t explicitly address what happens when you perform an activity it can be largely disregarded in favour of evidence which does. This is why so many people complain that the HCP evidence took precedence in the eyes of the DM over their own GP. 

    Generally speaking your own GP won’t cook with you; watch you toilet, budget, read or bathe etc. They only know what you tell them. Their repeating that suggests they believe you but it’s not medical evidence. It’s the equivalent of your well-educated next door neighbour repeating what you’ve said. 

    Focus on incident and anecdote and loads of detail. Don’t worry about quantity or diversity of sources.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,222 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @JonnycJonny - it's usually the case that less is more. Look through any medical evidence you have. Perhaps the most recent you have might be the best; now look at the rest. If they're all just repeating the same diagnosis, & don't give any insight into how your daily life is affected, then they're not of much use. Often consultant's letters will give little or no evidence about difficulties you might have dressing, bathing, cooking, budgeting, or using the bathroom for example.
    Everything will be looked at, but you can see that if they don't have much relevance, less is definitely more. Also you would need to check that any evidence doesn't contradict what another has said, & is it accurately describing you.
    What may be helpful instead is a short 'diary' of up to a week, where you would highlight the key functional problems you have each day. Or, get someone who knows you well to write a supporting letter.
    With a review, treat it just as if it was an initial claim form, & give a couple of detailed examples for each applicable descriptor/activity. Say when it happened, why, who witnessed it , what exactly happened, & how did it leave you feeling afterwards, if that also applies. Just add extra pages at the end (with your name & National Insurance number on each page). Hope that helps. :)
  • JonnycJonnyJonnycJonny Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Thank you for your reply. I guess OT/PT reports are invaluable along with prescription lists  - personal statements from a carer or partner useful but clearly open to bias or exaggeration.
    Best wishes to you.


  • JonnycJonnyJonnycJonny Member Posts: 10 Listener
    It does seem to me that, though personal statements from a carer / partner or diaries are undoubtedly useful - no medic is there to watch you bathe - they clearly lack 'verification' and thereby make the whole process open to abuse. No system is perfect but I think I would rather lean on OT reports that explicitly point out inabilities or at least imply an inability.

    Thank you all for some very helpful information - I guess the result of the review will ultimately depend on the professional insight / judgement of the DM.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,974 Disability Gamechanger
    By all means put in an OT report which details specific limitations. However, that will be useless without the anecdotal stuff. 

    So, for example, if an OT details why you can’t stand for more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time that is meaningless unless accompanied by an example of a real world incident showing in detail how that impacts cooking, bathing, dressing etc. 

    You need to look at it from the perspective of a HCP. If you leave gaps or just rely on assertion (and all medical reports contain assertion rather than evidence) you are leaving yourself open to the HCP drawing a variety of inferences with which you might profoundly disagree but... you gave them that opportunity. If you don’t explain why, for example, you can’t sit for long either, then a HCP will rightly assert that there’s no evidence you can’t sit instead of stand.

    There are years of posts on here along the lines of “I don’t care what you say, my HCP told lies”. This is very rarely the case. Most often they joined the dots incorrectly because you didn’t give them enough of the picture. 
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