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Hi, I'm Jacqueline_Rose! Is it standard practice for DM's to offer awards before tribunal?
Prior to my son's tribunal, someone from the DWP a <moderator removed name> called to say that the DWP had looked at the claim and decided to award Dylan PIP at the standard rate. He emphasised that he was the decision maker and he had conceded that my son (who has early onset psychosis and applied for PIP over 3 years ago) scored sufficient points to be awarded the standard rate.
I questioned how he had come to that decision when his OT, Consultant Psychiatrist, Private Psychotherapist and GP had stated in a report that he should be awarded the enhanced rate. He said that if we agreed he would put the money in our account the next day. His approach was initially quite brusque, and at one point I had to ask him to stop shouting.
The nature of the whole call was highly inappropriate. It felt like he was 'doorstepping' us. It was as if it was a private claim and he was offering to settle out of court. The experience was unnerving and I told him, we would rather take let the judge decide. I'm so glad we made that decision as my son was awarded the enhanced rate.
I feel calling just before the hearing could be deemed as intimidation (although <moderator removed name> was not threatening), as some people would be very worried about appearing in court (pre-Covid) and for that reason may have accepted the DWP's offer as an easy option.
Is this normal practice on the part of the DWP to treat sick people in this way and to essentially put them in a position where they could potentially lose out on money which is, not only rightly theirs, but for which they have already waited so long for? I am appalled to know that this practice is condoned by the Government. Please can you keep this email as a record and add it to any Social Change Activity you may have.