PIP, DLA and AA
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Discussion on award reduction

SystemSystem Posts: 520

Scope community team

edited February 16 in PIP, DLA and AA
This discussion was created from comments split from: Pip wrong decision.

Replies

  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 823 Pioneering
    edited February 14
    MarkN88 said:
    Just bear in mind too that the decision maker looking at the MR can also reduce the award, so that is also a possibility. 
    I’m absolutely not a fan of comments like this I’m afraid. Awards get reduced largely because of poor information and evidence. There’s no random element to it and the stats show that the numbers who lose benefit when they go for an MR are very small. Overwhelmingly the most likely outcome is an unchanged award. Warning people that they could lose benefit when on a forum and completely unable to assess the risk is likely to put people unnecessarily off pursuing valid claims. 

    All that said, I’m not sure the process is understood here. The claimant asserts they can’t go out without their partner. The HCP assesses otherwise. The fact the claimant has made an assertion won’t be enough. A statement is not evidence. What’s the supporting evidence for that? Have specific incidents on particular occasions been described in detail? 
    You don’t have to be a fan. I was just pointing out it can happen, fact. 

    I had no intention of scaring anyone into losing benefit. 

    I pointed out a scenario that COULD happen and wanted them to be aware of this. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,250 Pioneering
    edited February 14
    mikehughescq said:... The claimant asserts they can’t go out without their partner. The HCP assesses otherwise. ...
    In this instance, according to OP
    afells said: ..However, on the decision write up it states that my wife can make a planned journey to see her regular gp and small walks to the post box etc as long as she is accompanied by me (her husband). She cannot do this alone, only with the help of me. 
    There appears to be no disagreement about the need to be accompanied, just about the applicable point score,
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,001 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 14
    MarkN88 said:
    You don’t have to be a fan. I was just pointing out it can happen, fact. 

    I had no intention of scaring anyone into losing benefit. 

    I pointed out a scenario that COULD happen and wanted them to be aware of this. 
    Might I politely suggest then that before the next time you feel the desire to point this out you do a search of this and other sites for those instances where it has happened. Even in a world where the natural bias of the internet is towards negative outcomes you will struggle to find examples. 

    Unfortunately both lay people and some advisers live in a world where default qualifications are offered along the lines of “your benefit can go down as well as up” without ever feeling the need to check that against the stats of how little that actually happens; without ever explaining that often it’s the correct outcome; without ever mentioning that no-one can comment on the likelihood of that happening without doing a one to our assessment of the actual risk based on the facts of the case rather than what they “feel” or “know”. 

    The consequence for not doing the above is that significant numbers of people believe the risk is far higher than it is; believe that a high risk exists in their case when it does not and thus decide to not proceed. In many cases this costs them years of money. On a site like this no-one is liable for that loss. They might perhaps think less of their “right” to say what they want if they did have such a liability. 

    Last case I came across where someone was put off pursuing challenges probably cost them circa £50k.

    By all means tell people, accurately, that benefit can go down as well as up. However, never ever fail to accompany that with the reality that the risk in most cases is small, often negligible, and cannot be commented on further without an assessment by a professional adviser. 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 823 Pioneering
    edited February 14
    MarkN88 said:
    You don’t have to be a fan. I was just pointing out it can happen, fact. 

    I had no intention of scaring anyone into losing benefit. 

    I pointed out a scenario that COULD happen and wanted them to be aware of this. 
    Might I politely suggest then that before the next time you feel the desire to point this out you do a search of this and other sites for those instances where it has happened. Even in a world where the natural bias of the internet is towards negative outcomes you will struggle to find examples. 

    Unfortunately both lay people and some advisers live in a world where default qualifications are offered along the lines of “your benefit can go down as well as up” without ever feeling the need to check that against the stats of how little that actually happens; without ever explaining that often it’s the correct outcome; without ever mentioning that no-one can comment on the likelihood of that happening without doing a one to our assessment of the actual risk based on the facts of the case rather than what they “feel” or “know”. 

    The consequence for not doing the above is that significant numbers of people believe the risk is far higher than it is; believe that a high risk exists in their case when it does not and thus decide to not proceed. In many cases this costs them years of money. On a site like this no-one is liable for that loss. They might perhaps think less of their “right” to say what they want if they did have such a liability. 

    By all means tell people, accurately, that benefit can go down as well as up. However, never ever fail to accompany that with the reality that the risk in most cases is small, often negligible, and cannot be commented on further without an assessment by a professional adviser. 
    I said it was a "possibility", just like it going up is a possibility and staying the same is a possibility. 

    I don't need to do a internet search, I have family and friends that have experienced all three "possibilities" and therefore all three CAN happen/ 

    [Removed by moderator - personal attack]

    What I said is correct, I don't need to start linking to articles, it can happen, it does happen and its fact!

    [Note from moderator - we do prefer when members provide evidence to back up their views where possible. This helps other members trust the advice being provided, and also means they can read the resources for themselves]
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,001 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 14

    [Section removed by moderator - off-topic, and please watch your tone]

    If we’re getting into advice then 

    - please don’t quote entire previous posts [end of sentence removed by moderator - please watch your tone. Avoiding quoting whole posts and comments can help with accessibility @MarkN88]
    - [Removed by moderator - unnecessary, please watch your tone]
    - please don’t accuse me publicly of saying things which I have not. At no point have I said that a reduction in benefit cannot happen. What I have explicitly said is that to say that in isolation, with no qualifications, is misleading and dangerous. I absolutely stand by that. It puts many vulnerable people off rightly challenging decisions.
    - [Removed by moderator - unnecessary, please watch your tone. This point was regarding citing resources, as I've now mentioned above in your comment @markn88]

    DWPs own stats show that roughly 66% of MR requests result in no change. Roughly 20% result in an increased award. Roughly 5% are withdrawn. Roughly 5% are deemed as not meeting the criteria for MR. Do the maths. What percentage does that leave as reducing? 4%. Last I saw the 66% was closer to 68% with the other figures broadly unchanged so a 2% or less chance of losing what you have. Over the past 7 years the only reason I’ve seen anyone at all in that 2% (and I can remember close to nil) was through poorly presented cases rather than chance or DWP incompetence.

    So, the possibility that you raised was the least likely of them all. [Edited by moderator for tone]

    [Removed by moderator - now out of context due to comment split]

  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 823 Pioneering
    edited February 14
    [Section removed by moderator - personal attacks, please watch your tone, off-topic]

    What I said was valid, it can happen.

    The stats you quote still state that a reduction can happen and that's what I said can happen...a possibility!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,001 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 14
    No-one has attacked you. I have confined myself to the contents of your post and the consequences of same. [Removed by moderator]

    I would love to place you on ignore but advising people that there is a risk without qualifying that is irresponsible and someone needs to say that and repeatedly. I have said this several times previously on this site and have been consistent in that. I’m not about to stop saying it. 

    If you don’t like the tone then report it and put me on ignore. Job done. 

    For the avoidance of all doubt then.

    - is there a risk an MR could result in benefit being lost? Yes, but it is insignificant.
    - can anyone say what that risk is in an individual case? Yes, but only if they’re a professional adviser fully au fait with the facts of that case.
    - could the risk be higher in an individual case? Yes, of course but only where the person isn’t capable of competently presenting their own case or wasn’t entitied in the first place?
    - aren’t lots of people going to struggle to present such a case? Yes, and that’s exactly why the advice on risk needs to be qualified, personal and precise. 
    - if you’re not an adviser then you don’t understand the potentially massive and permanent consequences of just telling a forum full of potentially vulnerable benefit claimants that they could lose what they have. 

    Such a simple assertion has potentially significant consequences and is ill-considered.
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 823 Pioneering
    I offered a fact that is true. I said something that can happen and does happen. I’ve said nothing wrong. 

    I haven’t offered any other benefit advice. 

    We’ll leave it there. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,001 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 14
    By telling people they could lose what they have you have very much offered benefit advice and, as I’ve observed, it’s incomplete advice. Incomplete advice always has consequences. 

    If you were to offer said advice whilst working for an advice agency and a claimant subsequently used the anxiety it induced to not claim for years only to then find out they would have had no such issue then the consequences would rightly be a complaint or worse. If you were to assert in your defence that you were not offering benefit advice in making such a statement frankly you’d be laughed out of the building. 

    I’m afraid you’re not an admin here. If you want to stop contributing to this then that’s fine but don’t try and silence others having earlier accused me of not wanting to hear other perspectives. My perspective is that I know this area and I know the consequence such ill-considered comments can have. I have done no more than explain those and ask you to qualify such statements in future. That you have a problem with any of that likely speaks for itself. 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,081

    Scope community team

    Hi everyone,

    I've edited most of the comments in this thread, with the aim of making the discussion more constructive. I tried to edit out personal attacks and examples of inappropriate tone. 

    We do allow members to disagree, but we ask that these disagreements remain civil and constructive. As I explained in a comment in the original thread, comments should remain on-topic and aim to answer any questions the OP has.

    In this case, the OP was not involved in the discussion on award reduction, so I split the comments into a new discussion. 

    As always, please remember to report any comments you feel breach the community guidelines so that they can be reviewed. It's perfectly fine to step away from a thread if you're unhappy with what's being said. 

    I've left this thread closed for now, as it seems the discussion has run its course.
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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