PIP for autism. Requesting copy Full Assessment. Is this a kosha law firm? Time limit running out.

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Commanded2bwell
Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Contributor
edited August 2021 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hello. I applied for PIP based on my autism, and have just been turned down. I'm now researching how to proceed with a Mandatory Reassessment. I've read an article on the disabilityclaims.uk website that I should request a Full Assessment Report because the notification letter only contains a brief summary. So, I'm looking at how I do that: letter or phone call? The documentation is not specific (unsurprisingly).

The same website also tells me the law firm behind it doesn't usually take on clients to help them with a Mandatory Reassessment because the success rate is below 20%! They say come back when it's time for the tribunal... god, this whole thing is depressing.

Is disabilityclaims.uk a well known firm? I've only discovered them, today. Are they reputable? Anyone dealt with them and can recommend their services or vouch for the accuracy of their advice articles?

Anyone else made a claim based on autism? Would be very interested in hearing about your experiences!

I noticed something interesting about the timing of the award letter. It was sent on Friday 13 August. It arrived on Friday 20 August. Can I expect all future DWP correspondence to take a week to arrive and to arrive only on a Friday, thus forcing me to wait until the following Monday before taking any action? At a stroke, they have already eroded at least nine days from the one month time limit that I have to request a reassessment.

I'm wondering if requesting the Full Assessment Report will push me over that one month time limit.

Comments

  • Commanded2bwell
    Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Contributor
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    Hello. I'm going through the PIP saga and am looking for somewhere to get ideas and help.

    Also, if I'm honest, I probably need to expand my support network. I had a late in life diagnosis of autism and it's taken me three years to admit that it's real, that it's been ruining my life for my whole life, that I finally know why and that it's incurable.

    I still hesitate to describe myself, in my own mind, as disabled, but I'm trying to accept this new reality. Still trying.

    My chosen username is from a poem by an Elizabethan called Fulke Greville, which came to my attention thanks to the adaptation of it into a song by the Irish singer, Hozier. It seemed to summarise the plight of mental health conditions like autism very well, with its social deficits, alternative perception of reality and wider society's insistence that the autistic mask their behaviours in order to fit in:

    Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity!
    Born under one law, to another bound:
    Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity,
    Created sick, commanded to be sound:

    I can be found on Twitter as @commanded2bwell if anyone wants to connect on there.

    I'm not using my real name because of the stigma associated with autism in many quarters. To date, only eight living human beings know about my diagnosis (outside of the health services) and for now, I think it wise to keep it that way. Since getting my diagnosis, I've become much more aware of the casual and pervasive prejudices (mostly inaccurate) that are alive and well in society concerning autism, and while I might feel strong enough, one day, to stand up to all that, I'm not strong enough right now. I'm barely holding my own (most days, not).

    That's a fight for another time.

    Right now, I've got the DWP to deal with!

  • rubin16
    rubin16 Community member, Scope Member Posts: 796 Championing
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    Hi Welcome to the community,

    I have autism but with other conditions too and i'm on PIP, since autism is a spectrum condition it varies from person to person so how it affects you is different for each person.

    To answer your questions you have to phone PIP for a copy of your report, it is sent the same day but as second class post so varies on how good royal mail is in your area. For me I requested on a monday and got it the next day.

    That lawfirm looks like it charges for cases, you don't have to pay to take a case to a tribunal or to do an MR, you just write a letter for an MR and explain in more detail where you struggle, it is worth having a copy of the report with you so you know areas you can improve you explanation on. MR's currently have a 50% success rate not 20%. I would look into free services that help you with claims like citizensadvice.

    Hope this helps.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,313 Championing
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    HI,

    You don't need a copy of the assessment report to request the MR. Having a copy of the report will likely lead to you focusing on any "lies" that people seem to like to think the HCP's tell. It won't help you at this point by requesting the report.

    What you really need to do is focus purely on where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Then add a couple of real world examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you. You should aim for at least 2 examples per activity, although this should have been done when you filled out the claim form.

    As for receiving the decision letter on a Friday is neither here nor there. Post going from DWP has to go through the same mail sorting process as post going there and often this can take time.

    With regards to timescales, you actually have 13 months to rewuest the MR (with good reason) if DWP don't accept your reason for being late, you just carry on with Tribunal.

    Paying for help with the MR and Tribunal process? There's absolutely no need to pay anyone for this especially when there's advice agencies out there that will help you for free, at least for the Tribunal process, if it gets that far.

    Success rate of MR's right now is about 50%.
  • Commanded2bwell
    Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Contributor
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    Thanks, guys. This information is actually encouraging, which is the first time in a long time anyone's told me anything about this whole process that is!
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,611 Championing
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    Hello @Commanded2bwell

    Welcome to the community, good to see you join us and thank you for being so honest about how you've been impacted by your condition, that must be really hard to speak about.

    As mentioned above, you never need to pay for support with a benefit process, there are places out there like CAB or Advice Local where you can find support, and your nearest Welfare Rights too. So if you do end up at the tribunal phase at all (which I hope you don't of course) then you could consider these as possible avenues to get support with it.

    Regarding your autism, you mentioned wanting to expand your support network, do you mind if I ask what support you have in place at the minute? Have you received advice from your GP about how you could best manage it along with any other struggles you are having with your mental health? Furthermore, the National Autistic Society (NAS) have a free helpline that you might find useful, here are the contact details. 

    I hope the other replies above have been helpful, and do let us know how you get on.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,117 Championing
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    I always find it slightly odd that the DWP seem to be able to get letters containing bad news delivered by the post office on a Friday or usually Saturday, i'm sure like me many of you have noticed this.
  • Commanded2bwell
    Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Contributor
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    Regarding your autism, you mentioned wanting to expand your support network, do you mind if I ask what support you have in place at the minute? Have you received advice from your GP about how you could best manage it along with any other struggles you are having with your mental health?
    Hi Ross. I failed the postcode lottery where support is concerned. I was diagnosed at Willis House in Merseyside (I live in the North West and this was the only "local" option, despite not being very local). I was told on the day of my diagnosis that there was no ongoing support available. I was just given the piece of paper and sent on my way. Oh, and a collection of brochures for charities like Mind, but which have not been useful (mostly because I'd already tried most of them in the years leading up to my dx).

    By comparison, I came across a comment from a diagnosed autistic person in Surrey who was given six weeks of counselling and education on her condition, and help with daily living skills!

    The problem this has now caused, aside from leaving me to figure everything out on my own, is that the lack of any ongoing support or therapy was cited in my PIP summary letter as a reason against me getting it!

    Thus, I am very keen to figure out how I'm supposed to respond to this via the Mandatory Reassessment process. Do I point out that I lost the postcode lottery and can't afford to go private? Will this be regarded as a complaint rather than an explanation?


  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,005 Championing
    edited August 2021
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    Commanded2bwell said: The problem this has now caused, aside from leaving me to figure everything out on my own, is that the lack of any ongoing support or therapy was cited in my PIP summary letter as a reason against me getting it!
    You should state what you have explained above. Explain what you have done to seek support and that you have been unable to find or obtain any.  The absence of support is not evidence that it is not needed.
    The PIP Assessment Guide part 2 itself says
    "2.1.18 The assessment does not look at the availability of help from another person but rather at the underlying need. As such, claimants may be awarded descriptors for needing help even if it is not currently available to them."
    PIP assessment guide part 2: the assessment criteria - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)