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Has anyone had a successful PIP mandatory reconsideration?

Jamie_L
Jamie_L Member Posts: 11 Connected
I've received DLA/PIP for at least the last 10 years (not sure of actual length) due to mental health difficulties.

I had a telephone evaluation several months ago and on the 1st of December I got my decision, I'd been awarded no points and told I showed no signs of stress or anxiety during my interview. I find this unfair because, since my last evaluation I have had my medication increased twice just to keep me stable, due to my health getting worse.

So now I'm in the MR stage and have heard conflicting advice from people who should know.

Citizens advice told me "No-one every gets MR, but you have to do it before I you can appeal, which can take 18 months to process"

Benefits Advice said, "Around 50% of MR are upheld and that appeals are taking 6-8 months"

Now I know that it's right about needing to do a MR before appealing but does nobody ever get their decision overturned by MR?

I am considered an out patent and sent a letter from my doctor with my MR but was told by benefits advice that sometimes letters from doctors don't help and that the letter I sent didn't say how bad my condition was before the decision just how the decision has effected my health, but did state the increase in my medication.

It's taken the best part of the last month and a half to pick myself up after being turned down for PIP and now I'm not sure which advice I've been given is correct. I guess my real question is should I be hopeful that I might get the MR or if I should prepare for an inevitable appeals process?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance. 
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Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,637 Disability Gamechanger
    The answer is that some people do get an award from a MR and some don't, it doesn't matter how many do or how many don't it matters if you do and we can't answer that one.
    I would agree that letters from GP's rarely help as it's not about your condition but how it affects the PIP descriptors. It won't do any harm whilst waiting for a MR decision to make some preparation for an appeal.
    Good luck
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    We've had members here that have been successful with their MR decision. Some who didn't score any points at all and then went onto have an award. Others who did score points for a standard award went onto to have Enhanced rate, whether it be for daily living and/or mobility.

    Before Covid the MR success rate was about 17% which was very low. Then oddly MR success rate increased to about 50% but that soon fell rapidily as the months went on.

    Letters from a GP are not the best evidence to send because they rarely know exactly how your conditions affect you against the PIP descriptors, they only ever know  the basics.

    If the MR isn't successful then it's Tribunal and for this, if you haven't already then you need to concentrate on where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Adding a couple of recent real world examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you.
  • Jamie_L
    Jamie_L Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Thanks for the lightening fast reply.

    So some people do get them. After reading through the threads here I think I'm unlikely to get it overturned, was emailed a letter by benefits advice to copy out to send and I included the letter that came from my psychiatrist. Should of looked here sooner the advice seems to be to go through the questions and explain where I thought their conclusions were wrong, my MR is pretty light on details compared.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,731 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm assuming you were previously claiming PIP and this was a review? When you filled out the form did you put as much relevant information as possible about how your conditions affect you?
  • Jamie_L
    Jamie_L Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I'm assuming you were previously claiming PIP and this was a review? When you filled out the form did you put as much relevant information as possible about how your conditions affect you?
    Sorry it's taken so long to reply.

    Yes it was a review for PIP. 

    I did post a thread on here around this time last year when I first received the review pack asking for help (I think I got a response from yourself, thanks) and had some help from CAB with filling in the actual form, which did go into detail about how my illness affects me, how I need reminding/encouraging to perform day to day tasks and the help I need when my illness is at it's worse when I can't manage, where I require help with taking my medication, meals cooked for me and watched over because of the risk of self harm.

    According to the decision letter because I only require round the clock care for a couple of weeks every 6 months, which is a simplified version of what I said, but it didn't take into account that my illness is of the remitting and relapse type that's gradual over those 6 months, not like flicking a switch as they suggest. The letter from my psychiatrist does mention this, which is why I posted this thread because the advice from CAB was "no-one gets a MR".
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,731 Disability Gamechanger
    All you can do now is wait for the MR decision, which can take 2-10 weeks, sometimes longer. If there's no change then it's Tribunal.
  • ryan123
    ryan123 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    This was my experience applying for PIP (btw, i was successful!). 

    My mental health issues have been ongoing for nearly 15 years (10 of which unemployed). I am agoraphobic (but able to cope, just about, with being outdoors) but get bad anxiety when outside. That is why i receive ESA and PIP. Obviously, this is a difficult one to prove. 

    I used to get DLA in the early days, say 9-10 years ago, then suddenly it was cut (after maybe 18-24 months). I called them to ask why and i spoke to an incredibly unhelpful woman who told me i was no longer entitled to DLA and i needed to apply for PIP. Literally no letter, no warning, i only knew because i checked my bank online. When i asked why, and asked to speak to a manager to ask why i am not entitled to just be switched from DLA to PIP (especially since i was cut off with no warning), but i just kept getting, "DLA isn't the same as PIP... you need to inform me what your complaint is about". 

    Anyway, i gave up. I wasn't in the frame of mind for a battle back then. 

    Fast forward to today, and i'm much more game for a fight. So, i decided to apply for PIP in 2019. I received ZERO points. The lady who assessed me seemed oh so very attentive and happy to hear about my issues. Clearly a very kind-hearted person. The answers to my form suggested not so much. Basically, i'm a malingerer with no desire to work and who has imagined it all. So, i challenged that, brought into question her ability to make such statements - an occupational therapist cannot do such a diagnosis (check the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website for what an OT actually is supposed to do) - and countered with some other stuff. 

    Then came the next letter from her boss saying he agreed with her decision etc. (Which part of this is the MR, i'm not entirely sure, but i know i received around 3 rejection letters). 

    So, i prepared to take them to a tribunal. 

    I did my research on cases that had won in court before. I did my research on what an OT can do (definitely not diagnose people as essentially imagining their illness). I did my research on scandals within the DWP. I think my entire case was about 100 pages long. 

    At the tribunal, they asked me every question i expected to be asked, e.g. "you say you can't walk very far, but if i asked you to walk around this table for 10 minutes, could you do it?". "Of course", i replied, "My illness restricts my ability to function normally and to walk by crippling me with anxiety the further away from my home or car that i get. I don't have a debilitating leg injury and have never claimed to". 

    In the end, i won. 

    I don't know if anybody can win by putting in less hours, but i made sure i covered everything. I went alone. I rang ahead and *told them* (didn't ask) i would be parking literally outside the door (just on the grass basically). I rejected their initial venue as there was no parking anywhere nearby. I told them to review my case and tell me who decided to have the tribunal in such a ridiculous venue. They changed it. 

    If you need any help with some of the arguments i made, i can send you some. For me, the key is to be honest, consistent, and knowledgeable. 'Honest' might seem obvious - after all, i don't doubt 99.9999% of disability claimants are honest - but more to the point, it's imperative to not get muddled up. When i've been asked, "You say you can't walk very far, but you walked in from the carpark" etc, i'm not going to trip up on my own shoelaces. I know exactly what i've said on every form. 
  • jadeXX
    jadeXX Member Posts: 53 Connected
    I sent my MR off 1 month ago and it was successful they rang me on the weekend I was receiving standard daily living and then I was scored 0 points after my review and I have now been awarded high daily living and standard mobility so it does happen 
  • Girl_No1
    Girl_No1 Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    I had a successful MR.  Initially awarded Standard DL.  Increased to Enhanced DL and Standard Mobility at MR.
  • Jamie_L
    Jamie_L Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Thanks to ryan123, jadeXX and Girl_No1 for sharing your stories and of course poppy123456 , they have given me a little more hope that I might get a successful MR.

    I'm thinking the best approach is to expect the worse and hope for the best, luckily I won't have to go through the tribunal (if it comes to that) alone like you had to Ryan, for which I can only commend you for, I do have benefits advice who can speak on my behalf, I don't know if could manage it alone like you did.

    Now it's just that wait, again, for the brown envelope to arrive 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,632

    Scope community team

    Keep us updated @Jamie_L :) 
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  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 409 Pioneering
    I have a couple of friends who had successful MR.  Also a friend who represents people has told me he has had dozens of cases successful.
  • laurapeach
    laurapeach Member Posts: 104 Pioneering
    Mine was partially successful- I went from standard daily living and no mobility, to standard on both. I then went to tribunal and got enhanced on both.
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • mdowney86
    mdowney86 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    ryan123 said:
    This was my experience applying for PIP (btw, i was successful!). 

    My mental health issues have been ongoing for nearly 15 years (10 of which unemployed). I am agoraphobic (but able to cope, just about, with being outdoors) but get bad anxiety when outside. That is why i receive ESA and PIP. Obviously, this is a difficult one to prove. 

    I used to get DLA in the early days, say 9-10 years ago, then suddenly it was cut (after maybe 18-24 months). I called them to ask why and i spoke to an incredibly unhelpful woman who told me i was no longer entitled to DLA and i needed to apply for PIP. Literally no letter, no warning, i only knew because i checked my bank online. When i asked why, and asked to speak to a manager to ask why i am not entitled to just be switched from DLA to PIP (especially since i was cut off with no warning), but i just kept getting, "DLA isn't the same as PIP... you need to inform me what your complaint is about". 

    Anyway, i gave up. I wasn't in the frame of mind for a battle back then. 

    Fast forward to today, and i'm much more game for a fight. So, i decided to apply for PIP in 2019. I received ZERO points. The lady who assessed me seemed oh so very attentive and happy to hear about my issues. Clearly a very kind-hearted person. The answers to my form suggested not so much. Basically, i'm a malingerer with no desire to work and who has imagined it all. So, i challenged that, brought into question her ability to make such statements - an occupational therapist cannot do such a diagnosis (check the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website for what an OT actually is supposed to do) - and countered with some other stuff. 

    Then came the next letter from her boss saying he agreed with her decision etc. (Which part of this is the MR, i'm not entirely sure, but i know i received around 3 rejection letters). 

    So, i prepared to take them to a tribunal. 

    I did my research on cases that had won in court before. I did my research on what an OT can do (definitely not diagnose people as essentially imagining their illness). I did my research on scandals within the DWP. I think my entire case was about 100 pages long. 

    At the tribunal, they asked me every question i expected to be asked, e.g. "you say you can't walk very far, but if i asked you to walk around this table for 10 minutes, could you do it?". "Of course", i replied, "My illness restricts my ability to function normally and to walk by crippling me with anxiety the further away from my home or car that i get. I don't have a debilitating leg injury and have never claimed to". 

    In the end, i won. 

    I don't know if anybody can win by putting in less hours, but i made sure i covered everything. I went alone. I rang ahead and *told them* (didn't ask) i would be parking literally outside the door (just on the grass basically). I rejected their initial venue as there was no parking anywhere nearby. I told them to review my case and tell me who decided to have the tribunal in such a ridiculous venue. They changed it. 

    If you need any help with some of the arguments i made, i can send you some. For me, the key is to be honest, consistent, and knowledgeable. 'Honest' might seem obvious - after all, i don't doubt 99.9999% of disability claimants are honest - but more to the point, it's imperative to not get muddled up. When i've been asked, "You say you can't walk very far, but you walked in from the carpark" etc, i'm not going to trip up on my own shoelaces. I know exactly what i've said on every form. 
    Hi Ryan123 this was very helpful for me , I just got the letter for my mandatory decision and they awarded me no points , I'm going to appeal and I think the way you handled your appeal is how I should do it , would you please be able to help me with some of your research and what you done to win your appeal.
  • ryan123
    ryan123 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    mdowney86 said:
    ryan123 said:
    This was my experience applying for PIP (btw, i was successful!). 

    My mental health issues have been ongoing for nearly 15 years (10 of which unemployed). I am agoraphobic (but able to cope, just about, with being outdoors) but get bad anxiety when outside. That is why i receive ESA and PIP. Obviously, this is a difficult one to prove. 

    I used to get DLA in the early days, say 9-10 years ago, then suddenly it was cut (after maybe 18-24 months). I called them to ask why and i spoke to an incredibly unhelpful woman who told me i was no longer entitled to DLA and i needed to apply for PIP. Literally no letter, no warning, i only knew because i checked my bank online. When i asked why, and asked to speak to a manager to ask why i am not entitled to just be switched from DLA to PIP (especially since i was cut off with no warning), but i just kept getting, "DLA isn't the same as PIP... you need to inform me what your complaint is about". 

    Anyway, i gave up. I wasn't in the frame of mind for a battle back then. 

    Fast forward to today, and i'm much more game for a fight. So, i decided to apply for PIP in 2019. I received ZERO points. The lady who assessed me seemed oh so very attentive and happy to hear about my issues. Clearly a very kind-hearted person. The answers to my form suggested not so much. Basically, i'm a malingerer with no desire to work and who has imagined it all. So, i challenged that, brought into question her ability to make such statements - an occupational therapist cannot do such a diagnosis (check the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website for what an OT actually is supposed to do) - and countered with some other stuff. 

    Then came the next letter from her boss saying he agreed with her decision etc. (Which part of this is the MR, i'm not entirely sure, but i know i received around 3 rejection letters). 

    So, i prepared to take them to a tribunal. 

    I did my research on cases that had won in court before. I did my research on what an OT can do (definitely not diagnose people as essentially imagining their illness). I did my research on scandals within the DWP. I think my entire case was about 100 pages long. 

    At the tribunal, they asked me every question i expected to be asked, e.g. "you say you can't walk very far, but if i asked you to walk around this table for 10 minutes, could you do it?". "Of course", i replied, "My illness restricts my ability to function normally and to walk by crippling me with anxiety the further away from my home or car that i get. I don't have a debilitating leg injury and have never claimed to". 

    In the end, i won. 

    I don't know if anybody can win by putting in less hours, but i made sure i covered everything. I went alone. I rang ahead and *told them* (didn't ask) i would be parking literally outside the door (just on the grass basically). I rejected their initial venue as there was no parking anywhere nearby. I told them to review my case and tell me who decided to have the tribunal in such a ridiculous venue. They changed it. 

    If you need any help with some of the arguments i made, i can send you some. For me, the key is to be honest, consistent, and knowledgeable. 'Honest' might seem obvious - after all, i don't doubt 99.9999% of disability claimants are honest - but more to the point, it's imperative to not get muddled up. When i've been asked, "You say you can't walk very far, but you walked in from the carpark" etc, i'm not going to trip up on my own shoelaces. I know exactly what i've said on every form. 
    Hi Ryan123 this was very helpful for me , I just got the letter for my mandatory decision and they awarded me no points , I'm going to appeal and I think the way you handled your appeal is how I should do it , would you please be able to help me with some of your research and what you done to win your appeal.
    The basic order of the application goes like this:

    1 - We reject your application. 
    2 - Mandatory reconsideration, where you counter all of the nonsense they wrote about you. 
    3 - Somebody higher up than the person who did your assessment then counters you and backs the person who did your assessment. 
    4 - You then write a 'grounds for appeal' letter, appealing everything. 
    5 - I was then sent a letter inviting me to a tribunal and i wrote yet another letter just countering anything else they said in their last letter and including any other useful information i'd researched. 

    This is what my PIP application basically looked like:

    1 - They scored me zero points and basically said there was nothing wrong with me. 

    2 - I countered all of the things they said that were false. 

    Examples: 

    - They said i can 'mix with people...and engage with people unaided'. This is probably because i said things like i see a close friend nearby every week and we might go to a cafe or whatever. This, for them, gives them ammunition to attack my claim that i'm 'agoraphobic' and 'anxious'. They conveniently leave out the bit about me having a disabled badge, parking within about 20 metres of the cafe, and only going to the same places all the time. They also didn't consider that my parents live abroad and i haven't visited their home abroad for nearly 15 years! Not exactly engaging with people unaided. 

    - They said i could 'plan and follow a journey unaided'. Well, actually, i can drive down motorways and stuff more easily nowadays, but i still don't walk anywhere (i.e. i'll stop car and walk about 30 metres or so from car then i get anxious). So, my journeys are planned meticulously: i use a satnav, i Google map the building/home i'm going to, i look for parking situations etc. I wouldn't call that 'planning and following a journey unaided'.

    - They said i can move around unaided more than 200m. Well, i haven't walked that kind of distance for a decade! So, no. 

    - They said my 'mental examination showed that you have adequate memory, concentration and intellect'. 

    I attacked them hard here. Is this suggesting only dumb people can have mental health issues? What's all this 'intellect' business about? I also informed them that i have a degree in psychology: 'mental examination'...? The woman is an occupational therapist: they DO NOT have the right to be performing 'mental examinations'. Big, big, naughty! Imagine i tried to pass myself off as a mechanic and did somebody's MOT for £25. That would be a criminal offence. 

    and so on...

    3 - The person higher up countered all my points saying things like, 'i'm confident staff member X is qualified to do this... etc'. 

    4 - I began my grounds for appeal by slating the member of staff because, as stated, an occupational therapist has no right to make such claims. It's obvious occupational therapists are just a cheaper way of doing these assessments, as opposed to hiring more expensive clinical psychologists (who are allowed to make such diagnoses). As i wrote in my earlier post, you can find out what an occupational therapist's duties are by looking at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website. 

    - I then gave an outline of my mental health history and how it's affected me over time. 

    - I then examined the initial assessment report written about me by the occupational therapist. I received this in the post after calling them and asking for a copy (you're entitled to a copy). I replied to everything that was wrong. For example, she talked of my 'mental state' (again, no right to do so as an occupational therapist), my appearance, that i didn't look anxious, planning journeys etc. 

    5 - After receiving a date for the tribunal, i did some further research.

    For example, i wrote that 'PIP policy has discriminated against people with mental health issues' and '...from Mental Health & Money Advice website: “Regulations introduced by the Government in March 2017 meant people unable to travel independently on the grounds of psychological distress - rather than other conditions - were not entitled to the enhanced mobility rate of the benefit."'

    Also: "in December 2017 a disabled person with mental health support needs challenged the changes the government made to PIP in March 2017 in the case RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. I quote you the following from the Disability Justice Project: “According to the government’s own estimates, these changes [in March 2017] prevent 164,000 people who cannot plan and follow a journey due to psychological distress from qualifying for higher rates of this benefit or qualifying at all. The Public Law Project, who represented RF, argued in court that the changes are discriminatory and unlawful because they go against original policy intent of PIP. The judge said those regulations are discriminatory against Disabled people with mental health support needs. He said that the true reason for this change in regulation was to save money; plainly if money was no object the measure would not have been passed. In the judge’s view this is not sufficiently important to justify discrimination.” High Court judge Mr Justice Mostyn also said “The wish to save nearly one billion a year at the expense of those with mental health impairments is not a reasonable foundation for passing this measure.”

    Obviously, i did my research very thoroughly. These are key rulings: courts going against government legislation. 

    - I then go on to reject their claims against me as they are 'unqualified' to be making such claims. As i said, i'm not a mechanic and it would be illegal for me to parade as one. Well, these people are not clinical psychologists. At my last assessment, i had an upgrade: this time, a 'mental health nurse'. I don't care. A mental health nurse is still not a clinical psychologist. These are just fancy terms to make you feel they're qualified to do the job: they're not. I laid out a full list of occupational therapist job roles from the aforementioned website. 

    - Finally, i criticised the government's tax discrepancy that could be in part because X, Y, Z companies have paid no tax (example: 'Atos and G4S paid no corporation tax in 2012 despite carrying out £2 billion of taxpayer work') and that, 'High Court judge Mr Justice Mostyn rightly said regarding the government wanting to save money at the expense of disabled people, perhaps the government should consider saving money in other ways'. In other words, get some money back from these tax-dodging companies and leave the disabled alone. 

    It takes a while to achieve, but it's all the more satisfying when you win.



  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,797 Disability Gamechanger
    Hate to be the naysayer here but you will not have won because of much of that. You will have won despite some of that. Tribunals really couldn’t give a damn about, for example, tax issues; your opinion on who is qualified to judge your case and especially slagging an OT and picking apart the HCP report. Had you dropped all of that you’d have won in half the time.
  • LeeA380
    LeeA380 Member Posts: 57 Connected
    edited August 3
    I think I won my MR.

    Yesterday I got a phone call and she asked me a few questions about my condition and then said she was going to change the award from NOTHING to standard daily living AND standard mobility. I will apparently also get arrears dating back six months.

    However, I do hear of stories where you get told 'successful' news on the phone, only for a rejection letter to turn up the following week...

    So I am trying not to tempt fate until I see the letter and/or notice a payment in my account.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,416

    Scope community team

    Hi @LeeA380

    Sounds promising, but yes best wait for the letter. All the best :) 
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  • mdowney86
    mdowney86 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    ryan123 said:
    mdowney86 said:
    ryan123 said:
    This was my experience applying for PIP (btw, i was successful!). 

    My mental health issues have been ongoing for nearly 15 years (10 of which unemployed). I am agoraphobic (but able to cope, just about, with being outdoors) but get bad anxiety when outside. That is why i receive ESA and PIP. Obviously, this is a difficult one to prove. 

    I used to get DLA in the early days, say 9-10 years ago, then suddenly it was cut (after maybe 18-24 months). I called them to ask why and i spoke to an incredibly unhelpful woman who told me i was no longer entitled to DLA and i needed to apply for PIP. Literally no letter, no warning, i only knew because i checked my bank online. When i asked why, and asked to speak to a manager to ask why i am not entitled to just be switched from DLA to PIP (especially since i was cut off with no warning), but i just kept getting, "DLA isn't the same as PIP... you need to inform me what your complaint is about". 

    Anyway, i gave up. I wasn't in the frame of mind for a battle back then. 

    Fast forward to today, and i'm much more game for a fight. So, i decided to apply for PIP in 2019. I received ZERO points. The lady who assessed me seemed oh so very attentive and happy to hear about my issues. Clearly a very kind-hearted person. The answers to my form suggested not so much. Basically, i'm a malingerer with no desire to work and who has imagined it all. So, i challenged that, brought into question her ability to make such statements - an occupational therapist cannot do such a diagnosis (check the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website for what an OT actually is supposed to do) - and countered with some other stuff. 

    Then came the next letter from her boss saying he agreed with her decision etc. (Which part of this is the MR, i'm not entirely sure, but i know i received around 3 rejection letters). 

    So, i prepared to take them to a tribunal. 

    I did my research on cases that had won in court before. I did my research on what an OT can do (definitely not diagnose people as essentially imagining their illness). I did my research on scandals within the DWP. I think my entire case was about 100 pages long. 

    At the tribunal, they asked me every question i expected to be asked, e.g. "you say you can't walk very far, but if i asked you to walk around this table for 10 minutes, could you do it?". "Of course", i replied, "My illness restricts my ability to function normally and to walk by crippling me with anxiety the further away from my home or car that i get. I don't have a debilitating leg injury and have never claimed to". 

    In the end, i won. 

    I don't know if anybody can win by putting in less hours, but i made sure i covered everything. I went alone. I rang ahead and *told them* (didn't ask) i would be parking literally outside the door (just on the grass basically). I rejected their initial venue as there was no parking anywhere nearby. I told them to review my case and tell me who decided to have the tribunal in such a ridiculous venue. They changed it. 

    If you need any help with some of the arguments i made, i can send you some. For me, the key is to be honest, consistent, and knowledgeable. 'Honest' might seem obvious - after all, i don't doubt 99.9999% of disability claimants are honest - but more to the point, it's imperative to not get muddled up. When i've been asked, "You say you can't walk very far, but you walked in from the carpark" etc, i'm not going to trip up on my own shoelaces. I know exactly what i've said on every form. 
    Hi Ryan123 this was very helpful for me , I just got the letter for my mandatory decision and they awarded me no points , I'm going to appeal and I think the way you handled your appeal is how I should do it , would you please be able to help me with some of your research and what you done to win your appeal.
    The basic order of the application goes like this:

    1 - We reject your application. 
    2 - Mandatory reconsideration, where you counter all of the nonsense they wrote about you. 
    3 - Somebody higher up than the person who did your assessment then counters you and backs the person who did your assessment. 
    4 - You then write a 'grounds for appeal' letter, appealing everything. 
    5 - I was then sent a letter inviting me to a tribunal and i wrote yet another letter just countering anything else they said in their last letter and including any other useful information i'd researched. 

    This is what my PIP application basically looked like:

    1 - They scored me zero points and basically said there was nothing wrong with me. 

    2 - I countered all of the things they said that were false. 

    Examples: 

    - They said i can 'mix with people...and engage with people unaided'. This is probably because i said things like i see a close friend nearby every week and we might go to a cafe or whatever. This, for them, gives them ammunition to attack my claim that i'm 'agoraphobic' and 'anxious'. They conveniently leave out the bit about me having a disabled badge, parking within about 20 metres of the cafe, and only going to the same places all the time. They also didn't consider that my parents live abroad and i haven't visited their home abroad for nearly 15 years! Not exactly engaging with people unaided. 

    - They said i could 'plan and follow a journey unaided'. Well, actually, i can drive down motorways and stuff more easily nowadays, but i still don't walk anywhere (i.e. i'll stop car and walk about 30 metres or so from car then i get anxious). So, my journeys are planned meticulously: i use a satnav, i Google map the building/home i'm going to, i look for parking situations etc. I wouldn't call that 'planning and following a journey unaided'.

    - They said i can move around unaided more than 200m. Well, i haven't walked that kind of distance for a decade! So, no. 

    - They said my 'mental examination showed that you have adequate memory, concentration and intellect'. 

    I attacked them hard here. Is this suggesting only dumb people can have mental health issues? What's all this 'intellect' business about? I also informed them that i have a degree in psychology: 'mental examination'...? The woman is an occupational therapist: they DO NOT have the right to be performing 'mental examinations'. Big, big, naughty! Imagine i tried to pass myself off as a mechanic and did somebody's MOT for £25. That would be a criminal offence. 

    and so on...

    3 - The person higher up countered all my points saying things like, 'i'm confident staff member X is qualified to do this... etc'. 

    4 - I began my grounds for appeal by slating the member of staff because, as stated, an occupational therapist has no right to make such claims. It's obvious occupational therapists are just a cheaper way of doing these assessments, as opposed to hiring more expensive clinical psychologists (who are allowed to make such diagnoses). As i wrote in my earlier post, you can find out what an occupational therapist's duties are by looking at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website. 

    - I then gave an outline of my mental health history and how it's affected me over time. 

    - I then examined the initial assessment report written about me by the occupational therapist. I received this in the post after calling them and asking for a copy (you're entitled to a copy). I replied to everything that was wrong. For example, she talked of my 'mental state' (again, no right to do so as an occupational therapist), my appearance, that i didn't look anxious, planning journeys etc. 

    5 - After receiving a date for the tribunal, i did some further research.

    For example, i wrote that 'PIP policy has discriminated against people with mental health issues' and '...from Mental Health & Money Advice website: “Regulations introduced by the Government in March 2017 meant people unable to travel independently on the grounds of psychological distress - rather than other conditions - were not entitled to the enhanced mobility rate of the benefit."'

    Also: "in December 2017 a disabled person with mental health support needs challenged the changes the government made to PIP in March 2017 in the case RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. I quote you the following from the Disability Justice Project: “According to the government’s own estimates, these changes [in March 2017] prevent 164,000 people who cannot plan and follow a journey due to psychological distress from qualifying for higher rates of this benefit or qualifying at all. The Public Law Project, who represented RF, argued in court that the changes are discriminatory and unlawful because they go against original policy intent of PIP. The judge said those regulations are discriminatory against Disabled people with mental health support needs. He said that the true reason for this change in regulation was to save money; plainly if money was no object the measure would not have been passed. In the judge’s view this is not sufficiently important to justify discrimination.” High Court judge Mr Justice Mostyn also said “The wish to save nearly one billion a year at the expense of those with mental health impairments is not a reasonable foundation for passing this measure.”

    Obviously, i did my research very thoroughly. These are key rulings: courts going against government legislation. 

    - I then go on to reject their claims against me as they are 'unqualified' to be making such claims. As i said, i'm not a mechanic and it would be illegal for me to parade as one. Well, these people are not clinical psychologists. At my last assessment, i had an upgrade: this time, a 'mental health nurse'. I don't care. A mental health nurse is still not a clinical psychologist. These are just fancy terms to make you feel they're qualified to do the job: they're not. I laid out a full list of occupational therapist job roles from the aforementioned website. 

    - Finally, i criticised the government's tax discrepancy that could be in part because X, Y, Z companies have paid no tax (example: 'Atos and G4S paid no corporation tax in 2012 despite carrying out £2 billion of taxpayer work') and that, 'High Court judge Mr Justice Mostyn rightly said regarding the government wanting to save money at the expense of disabled people, perhaps the government should consider saving money in other ways'. In other words, get some money back from these tax-dodging companies and leave the disabled alone. 

    It takes a while to achieve, but it's all the more satisfying when you win.



    Hi ryan123 thankyou for all this it has helped me to keep fighting ,sounds like you done a good job all on your own , I would like to be able to that but I'm not sure my mental health would be strong enough, 
    I'm wondering at the tribunal do they let you run through how your disability affects you throughly ?  As on my phone call assessment she just asked short questions which she just wanted a yes or a no, she asked could I drive I said yes but only to get me to get what I need as I can't walk far 1 because of my anxiety and 2 my back pain and 3 my feet pain don't allow me to get very far
    But they are saying "you said you can drive so thresfore no shoulder pain could be present ,they asked me was I on mes I said yes and they said do they work I said yes to an extent they take the edge of but not much , so now they are saying you said your meds work so your ok and this type of trickery goes on and the stuck to this even with my MR and basically wrote the same letter for that rejection. Its absolute disgrace that they can do this to people, I am hoping that I can be heard at the tribunal with the truth been heard. Would you say this is the case ?
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,797 Disability Gamechanger
    Could we please stop quoting long posts in full. It makes the entire thing very difficult to follow. mdowney86 said:
    I'm wondering at the tribunal do they let you run through how your disability affects you throughly ?  As on my phone call assessment she just asked short questions which she just wanted a yes or a no, she asked could I drive I said yes but only to get me to get what I need as I can't walk far 1 because of my anxiety and 2 my back pain and 3 my feet pain don't allow me to get very far

    But they are saying "you said you can drive so thresfore no shoulder pain could be present ,they asked me was I on mes I said yes and they said do they work I said yes to an extent they take the edge of but not much , so now they are saying you said your meds work so your ok and this type of trickery goes on and the stuck to this even with my MR and basically wrote the same letter for that rejection. Its absolute disgrace that they can do this to people, I am hoping that I can be heard at the tribunal with the truth been heard. Would you say this is the case ?
    All tribunals are different but you are not there to make a speech so, no, you will not be allowed to do that. You will be asked further questions and expected to answer them in full. 

    There is no "trickery " involved at all. Tribunals and HCPs have a limited time in which to perform their role and so they use questions which serve multiple purposes. Good use of time rather than trickery. 

    Whilst the poster had success with their approach I have already observed that they would have been successful twice as quickly had they not done half of what they did and their approach will have been antagonistic to a tribunal rather than co-operative. Tribunals are generally in the claimants corner. They are inquisitorial rather than adversarial. If you go in there thinking you need to be on the front foot and challenging from the off then you will have an adversarial experience and it won't be pleasant. 

Brightness

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