My PIP renewal was denied, despite previously being on DLA. Any advice? — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

My PIP renewal was denied, despite previously being on DLA. Any advice?

benno
benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
edited February 2021 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Just wanted to get some advice as PIP turned down even though I have mental diagnosis and arthritis and been on DLA which got crossed over but the renewal was assessed as not qualifying
«1

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 16,401 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome 

    All you can do is put in for mandatory reconsideration and concentrate on where you think you should have scored more points 

    Give examples of what happens when you try and do that task and can you do it or need support or aids or prompting 

    Success at mr isnt always positive but you then have the option of tribunal 

    Any further questions just ask 
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks

    Unfortunately, I have been subjected to at best poor service, at worse abusive

    I called DWP/PIP to report a change in my circumstances as my situation was clearly worse, I had been admitted to hospital and my situation is highly likely to be substantial with a longer-term impact. I was still awaiting the delayed decision from my renewal application and it was felt providing an update may further help inform the DWP/PIP of my worsening circumstances. I had been given two extensions due to backlogs (incompetence in my view). 

    I made the call on Thursday 28th January 2021 waiting over 30 minutes to get through, so it felt very difficult and stressful waiting on the phone.  During that telephone conversation when advising of a change in circumstances, I was informed that the decision had already been sent out and that I had not be awarded anything. 

    I was devastated being mindful that I have 24 years of complex and severe difficulties and had been transferred from DLA to PIP without issue.  The officer (Jade, I think) advised they would make note and advised me to review the decision letter as my knee jerk response understandably, was that of complete incomprehension and incredulity and I started asking for everything (reports, transcripts, recordings) to be sent to me as I was in a panic.

    On Monday 1st February, I made the effort to call the PIP/DWP to update them about my discharge and to get an update that things will be moving forward.  I spoke with Val and was informed that my telephone contact on 28th Jan had not even been recorded/logged, this sent me into another panic (details of that call to 0800 121 4433 at 11.50am for 33m 19s).  Val advised she would make note, request a mandatory reconsideration/change in circumstances review and send out relevant information. 

    What can I do about this matter, if I had not called again (which was also difficult) then my report of a change in circumstances would not be logged and the mandatory request would not have been lodge. This would have let things lapse and cause more stress and delays, in fact I feel it is abusive and put me at a disadvantage and made things worse. I feel abused and persecuted by the handling of this matter and distrustful of how matters have been handled.  



  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 16,401 Disability Gamechanger
    Few points to make 

    30 min wait really isnt a long time when calling try ring first thing to get through quicker 

    There are huge backlogs at DWP due to covid , staff working from home and sickness and new claims 

    By reporting a change this may prompt a new assessment as the renewal will have only taken your condition at that time into account and not a worsening at a later date 

    You should put a MR in writing as well as on the phone that way you wont miss anything you want to say 

    The calls are answered by call centre staff who just read from scripts and are not always the best advisors 

    I'm no fan of dwp myself either but you need to concentrate on your mr now or change as that is what is important to get your award 

    It is always advisable to get expert advice before reporting changes 

    If you feel you should report how you have been treated then make a complaint 
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
     I agree that I need to concentrate on the MR, and I am getting support

    However stats and horror stories are worrying, the process is a joke.  Moreover, they are being allowed to have no accountability and making excuses for poor and abusive practice is not helpful. Other people are doing their jobs in this time of pressure, they could employ more people or even streamline their process.  These people have been paid very well to do a job and it has been going on for some time. People are dying and until they are held responsible it will continue. 

    All they had needed to do was speak with my GP, this was a renewal after being on DLA and PIP for over 20 years. They did not even do that.

    Effectively, I may be illegally parked as my award just stopped and eligibility to blue badge no longer valid. It is not about the money it is about being treated with dignity and care as a vulnerable and disabled person.
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi 

    Just got the consultation report and fears pretty much warranted

    It appears no evidence was looked at as only evidence considered alongside the consultation findings was the AR1 questionnaire.  I did not complete an AR1 questionaire but had completed the PIP2 as this was a renewal and I provided additional information with support from GP and other information which was not used in the completion of the report. 

    It is quite obviously a cut and paste job, as I am referred to as SH and numerous irrelevant justifications and there were things in the report that were not even discussed to justify a position/recommendation. Such as in preparing food, “I can get in and out of my car unaided.”  How was this assessed as I did not mention anything about getting in and out of my car and what has it to do in preparing food. Also, the HP reports about “food supplements”, I did not mention this either and why would I, as I do not eat properly. The HP also advised, “he reports mental health difficulties and is having psychology input,” either I have mental health difficulties or not and if not, why would I need psychological input. This is followed “and using medication he is able to wash and dress as required,” in the nutrition section.  There are many more examples and adds further to my concerns.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,729 Disability Gamechanger
    @benno the DWP will rarely contact anyone for evidence its for you to provide that evidence and to be honest a GP is not the best person to provide evidence.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • AbbieLucy
    AbbieLucy Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Keep trying.  I applied for PIP 3 times before I was granted it
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks for feedback

    I am updating my evidence as gist of my responses was that things had stayed the same in terms of managing activities and mobility after transferring from DLA to PIP and there was no issues with that award.  If anything my mental health has deteriorated and I reported this in the renewal claim. 

    I do find it interesting that nobody is challenging the poor practices of the DWP being that they do not follow there own guidance, For example “HPs should also consider the needs of vulnerable claimants. This includes life events and personal circumstances such as a previous suicide attempt, domestic violence, abuse or bereavement.”  My background history identifies previous suicide attempt, domestic violence, abuse and bereavements. There was also contemporaneous evidence available about the deterioration in my mental health, resulting in suicidal ideation/thoughts and bereavement and need for ICOPE input.

    Also, my GP, has been my primary and consistent healthcare professional contact for over 24years, so would the best person to contact and contribute further as I had given consent to access my medical records. He supported me with the report for this renewal application and has done so in the past for previous DLA/PIP applications.  Guidance advises “The HP should contact the most appropriate person involved in the claimant’s care.”  

    If the HP report not likely to be discussed then why is the consultation/assessment/interview needed?
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,729 Disability Gamechanger
    @benno I'm afraid that whilst they ask for your GP's details they very rarely contact them, the obvious point is that whilst a GP will know whats wrong with you he/she won't know how it affects your care and/or mobility issues, your medical records also wouldn't be much use to the HCP as most of them aren't doctors.
    I'm not quite sure where bereavement comes into the equation as most people have had them during their life. You say that your mental health had deterioated but what matters is how that has affected your care and/or mobility issues,because that's what matters for a PIP claim. It's quite different from DLA and you need to score points against the descriptors.
    Nobody is challenging the practices of the DWP because the report is done by the assessor and then passed to the DWP DM to make the final decision.
    Your next step now is an MR but it might be useful to use this time to make plans for an appeal should the MR fail.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks - It appears that they are using external sources to deflect accountability and that is wrong. We have a right for accountability from DWP as they are paid through our taxes.

    One thing still bugging me is the time frames, effectively I have received the ward for the time period I have/will be evidencing.  The decision will be for a future award and it is not really possible to evidence future events so really it is being based on what has happened and not will happen. So past history is relevant and entitlement of previous DLA/PIP should be valid. They have this information but expect vulnerable people to provide it.
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks

    I expect I have a real problem with the descriptors as they do not help with complex conditions especially, mental health. There was a clear lack of understanding, for example in my case, early childhood abuse/neglect, trauma, poverty and other social factors, which is backed by research evidence of later life disability, backed up in reality of hospitalisation due suicide attempt. This also makes it more likely to happen again, again research evidence based; suicidal ideation more frequent. I also struggle with loss/bereavement this is not just life event stuff and anyone who suffers depression will know the difference.
     
    It was real difficult reading the HP comments “although he reports mental health difficulties and is having psychology input,” or “despite mental health difficulties” as way to dismiss the impact on managing or motivation to do daily activities. 

    Also in regard to my physical health my polyarthritic gout is excruciating and my otsteoarthritis degerative, yet it is recommended I did not report any significant functional problems with this activity in there questionnaire or at consultation, and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise in regard to mobility. 

    Also, it “could be reasonably expected to give him pain in his upper and lower limbs.” Mentioned several times, please explain what reasonable pain is? 

    But this is what the decision maker will use not to make an award

  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Mike, you seem very knowledgeable about how the PIP works

    Would you be able to have a look at my MR response?
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2021
    Hi @benno -  Everyone above has tried to help, & I fear you're missing the point of some comments. Evidence based research may indicate that a,b, & c can happen, but this doesn't help a PIP claim; it is how it affects you. You could look at, say 10 people, who had unfortunately suffered such abuse as has happened in your case, but would they all have been affected exactly like you? Again, with Polyarticular gout & also osteoarthrosis, another 10 people with either/both will all be affected differently, which is why a PIP claim looks at an individual's response, & PIP is about the functional problems a person may have with activities of daily living &/mobility. If you didn't give detailed explanations of why you couldn't do an activity, what problems you faced attempting or doing it, then what were the consequences, if any, of doing so for each applicable activity/descriptor this would be why the report would say you 'did not report any significant functional problems with [this] activity in [your] questionnaire.'
    I also don't feel 'reasonable pain' was mentioned. It seems rather that the quote you've given does just say that it was reasonable to expect that you would have pain both in your upper & lower limbs, I presume given your diagnosis of the physical problems you also have, which I doubt are in dispute.
    Whilst it may appear that PIP doesn't help those with mental health issues, it both can, & does. We have several members who were awarded PIP solely due to their mental health. I'm hoping the following link may help with your MR, tho if you're getting help with this it may be irrelevant. Please see: https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/pip-mental-health-guide/help-with-your-pip-claim/how-to-fill-in-the-pip-form/   which may give some guidance even if it's about how to complete a claim form.
    As above, 'put the report away and go look at your claim pack. The success rates for MR are low but to have a chance of success you need to focus on the quality of your evidence.'
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
     Thanks for the feedback

    I am not missing the point, and my initial comment indicating I am updating my evidence means I understand.

    What I do not understand is what feels like the abuse of a telephone consultation and report which informs and influences the decision/decision maker. I hear and understand the report is irrelevant

    Also, I am not in a great place, having been recently discharged from hospital after contracting Severe Covid, just like depression,  did not truly understand fatigue. On top of already struggling in the past couple of years (after being hospitalised for Diverticulitis, several losses). My mental health has deteriorated, and I have not been sleeping well for quite a while due various reasons but worse currently (having to go toilet more often/anxiety/irritability/low/self worth/ overwhelming of feelings from anger to apathy/suicidal ideation)

    Sorry for reaching out  
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks for your response Mike

    What are Regs 4 and 7?

  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,729 Disability Gamechanger
    Some (i hope) relevant reading, can I also add that earlier you mentioned bereavement, and later poverty, neither of which have any bearing on PIP anyway here you go:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/861844/PIP-handbook.pdf
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks for updates
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi all

    Looks like MR has been successful but still having major issues with DWP, they actually completed my MR early (Requested on 1st Feb and completed 23rd Feb) without looking at my new evidence.  Even though I had informed them I would send it on within four weeks timescale, as needed to receive and review the HCP assessor's report.  I sent my response on 22nd Feb and it was signed for/received on 23rd Feb. 

    I received the MR decision on 1st March advising on front page that I could not be awarded for both daily living needs and mobility needs.  However, on reviewing the decision/descriptors I had received 8 points for Daily Living and 10 points for Mobility effectively meaning I should have been awarded standard for both.  I did call them waiting nearly 90 minutes and they advised that there was an error with the computer system in producing the letter and in making early reconsideration without looking at my new evidence/response. A case manager did call me back to apologise and advised a corrected confirmation letter would be sent. 

    It is undignified and stressful having to feel like you need to justify how a disability affects you but getting such a poor service makes it worse especially when the assessor's report is clearly looking to justify why you do not meet their restrictive descriptors even though you have long term and enduring conditions. 

    Thanks for advice and support
  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi Mike

    There is a process and the MR should not have started until four week period had passed.  I was informed that they had erred, when speaking with the case manager/officer, so it was a thing.

    So advice that has been provided is that DWP do not answer phone (outsourced/fools errand), so why contact them at all, which against the information provided by DWP/Government. Also that the HP report is not relevant (outsourced) or that HP needs to follow guidance (What's the point of guidance?)  

    There is a four week timescale so they would not wait beyond that time, so your point about submitting evidence seems moot.  No comment on incorrect letter?

    I understand the point you are making on advising to focus on evidence but it is relevant that certain conditions should meet criteria and the DWP/HP should be knowledgeable about these. As stated it can be traumatising discussing things with a stranger who appears to have a certain agenda. There is clear evidence that APs have been producing poor reports yet nothing is done about this and these will inform DMs when making decisions.

    There seems to be be a lot of negativity when I have raised issues around poor service; abuse is abuse intentional or not is still abuse and making excuses for DWP will only allow them to continue with poor practice.

  • benno
    benno Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Mike, Thanks for getting back, you appear to address points you only wish to address (No comment on incorrect letter)

    It appears your views come only from a strictly legal standpoint and I feel that is unhelpful as legalisation will always change (what is legal is not necessarily moral) and does not take into account justice or fairness so becomes quite limited when discussing support and advice.  DWP need to be held to accountability and ignoring guidance only adds to the already disgraceful behaviour/treatment towards people with disabilities. Welfare benefits claims are far from easy to navigate and people often have complex needs which can prove to be barriers to making applications. This seems more difficult with Personal Independence Payment claims, and the complexity of the application process does not help and can stand in the way of successful claims for people who are really in need of the support.

    Also as previously stated and in general there is a lack of understanding of mental health conditions/illness on how this impacts on managing ADLs.  It appears that my MR even without additional information was assessed as meeting descriptors which makes the whole process arbitrary as it had not when making original decision.  Either evidence was there or was not.

    The system is not fit for purpose

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.