What to do if the award is incorrect, in that it seems too high? — Scope | Disability forum
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What to do if the award is incorrect, in that it seems too high?

Sumi
Sumi Member Posts: 15 Listener
edited October 8 in PIP, DLA, and AA
I know if an award is not what you’d expect you would raise a mandatory reconsideration as the first stage of appeal. However is this the same if you believe the award is too high? 
We applied for PIP for my husband and he was given a paper-based assessment but we both feel he has been awarded too highly for mobility. 

The points he scored I don’t believe he meets the criteria for and although we can see where they may have made the leap to it, neither of us feel it is correct to take the higher award that we don’t feel he’s owed it. 

Is there a process for rectifying this? 

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,843 Disability Gamechanger
    I think before you doing anything else you need to get some expert advice. It's very easy to under score yourself for PIP when you don't fully understand the descriptors and criteria and there's a lot of people that just don't understand it. Start here. https://advicelocal.uk/

  • Sumi
    Sumi Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I’d imagine it’s more common to over score yourself rather than under? 
    I’m certain it is incorrect. He has no physical disability and they scored him 4 points in moving around. 
    We only filled in the mobility section to reinforce what we’ve said in in care. Reading online we thought it may score  him on planning a journey under descriptor “c” but they’ve awarded “f” giving 16 points in total when he should at most have scored 8 (and we’d have been content with zero). 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,843 Disability Gamechanger
    Nope, people can underscore as well as overscore. 
    Descriptor 1C .. can't plan the route of a journey. 1F can't follow the route of a familiar journey, there's quite a difference between the meaning of both. Extremely difficult to give any advice without knowing exactly how his conditions affect him.

    For moving around, does he have asthma, COPD or anything that causies him to become out of breath while walking?
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,508 Disability Gamechanger
    You are not the expert here and you need to seek advice. It is worth noting that it is possible to score points for moving around without having a physical disability for starters for example. 

    However, the other side of this would be to ask why you’re concerned. If you have retained a copy of the PIP 2; any accompanying evidence and have obtained a copy of the HCP report and can see no contributory error in there then what’s the issue. 

    Any overpayment would be official error and non-recoverable. Entirely an issue of the DWPs own making. 

    I suspect the truth of this will be somewhat more mundane. 
  • Sumi
    Sumi Member Posts: 15 Listener
    We thought perhaps 1c because my husband can’t read or write, so planning a journey is very difficult because he can’t read directions, road signs and such, but that’s all we covered in mobility. 
    The 4 points in moving around we don’t understand at all and doesn’t appear to have been written about him. He has no issues with this and it even notes that my husband goes on solo walks around our area each day for around an hour for his mental health. They’ve written 1f with a safety slant. I’d understand if it was places he doesn’t know but he has a better sense of direction than me most the time! 

    It’s definitely incorrect. 

    I tried calling Citizen Advice but they basically said we’d be stupid to give up extra money. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,508 Disability Gamechanger
    So, as per my previous post. This is not your problem. Any o/p would not be recoverable of the facts are as described. In any event it's hard to get to the bottom of these issues on a forum and as I said earlier the reality is much more mundane.

    Last case I had like this one partner nodded along with the outrage and concern of the other but it was really as simple as the fact that one kept a medical condition hidden from the other. 
  • Sumi
    Sumi Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Aw it’s sad they felt the need to hide their condition from the other. I’m certain that isn’t the issue here, he gave permission for me to get copies of his medical records when filling out the forms and I wrote them all for him with his verbal input. The mobilising part is definitely an error, the 1f I don’t know why they’ve scored it that way and doesn’t feel correct. I really don’t want to do anything wrong.
    I know you say about official error but as I’ve noticed the problem, wouldn’t any overpayment be recoverable because I didn’t notify them as soon as I was aware? 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,843 Disability Gamechanger
    Without fully understanding the PIP descriptors in question, how do you know for certain that 1F doesn't apply? Offical error overpayments in this case are not recoverable.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,508 Disability Gamechanger
    O/ps are recoverable if there was a failure to disclose/misrepresentation and that caused the o/p. Here, that does not appear to be the case. 

    Different with Housing Benefit et al where all o/ps are recoverable by default unless you can show official error and, even if you can, you also have to show that you didn't know you were being overpaid and didn't contribute to it in any way. The same tests do not apply to social security benefits. 

    Your obligation is to notify of changes of circumstance. This is clearly not that. 
  • Sumi
    Sumi Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Without fully understanding the PIP descriptors in question, how do you know for certain that 1F doesn't apply? Offical error overpayments in this case are not recoverable.
    I’ve a fair understanding of the descriptors and understand my husband enough to know it doesnt really apply. He has no issues with following route of a familiar journey on his own or otherwise.
  • Sumi
    Sumi Member Posts: 15 Listener
    O/ps are recoverable if there was a failure to disclose/misrepresentation and that caused the o/p. Here, that does not appear to be the case. 

    Different with Housing Benefit et al where all o/ps are recoverable by default unless you can show official error and, even if you can, you also have to show that you didn't know you were being overpaid and didn't contribute to it in any way. The same tests do not apply to social security benefits. 

    Your obligation is to notify of changes of circumstance. This is clearly not that. 
    Do you know where I could do more reading on this? I’ll try and leave it as is but the worry they might think we’re being fraudulent does concern me. 
    I’ve re-read our application and evidence and no where did we even slightly suggest he had trouble with mobility or needed someone with him outside so definitely not our fault here.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,508 Disability Gamechanger
    Short of buying yourself a CPAG Welfare Benefits Handbook or a Disability Rights Handbook there is no online resource which is especially good at this. They won't give you your answee however. They will simply explain the law on recovery. You've already had that in essence here. You are now in danger of overthinking this. 

    It is simply impossible to leap from Sumi said:

    I’ve re-read our application and evidence and no where did we even slightly suggest he had trouble with mobility or needed someone with him outside so definitely not our fault here.
    to 
    Do you know where I could do more reading on this? I’ll try and leave it as is but the worry they might think we’re being fraudulent does concern me. 
    If you're happy with your presentation of the evidence then how would it ever be possible to move from that to fraud? The answer of course is that it simply isn't. Acting in good faith is never going to suddenly become fraud. That is anxiety talking. 

    What you're currently doing is looking for a definitive answer. There isn't one. If you sought ought any further advice all you would be getting would be either a restatement of the legal position and/or someone's moral perspective about what would be the right thing to do. You are looking for someone to make a decision/choice for you and we can't. We are not you. There is only the right answer for you.

    The legal position is that whilst you have done a lot of reading it is not for you to decide whether you have been overpaid or whether it will be recoverable. You appear to have acted in good faith and there is no change of circs. to declare here so legally there is simply no issue.

    If at some point DWP decide that there is an overpayment here, and assuming you have disclosed the full facts here, which of course we can never be 100% certain on, then the onus is on DWP to show there is a recoverable overpayment on the basis of a failure to disclose or misrepresentation. 

    If there is some fact you have failed to post here, or didn't realise was relevant to the decision/discussion then of course recovery is possible but that still doesn't lead all the way to fraud. It simply leads to recovery and the legal right to challenge that should you wish to do so. 

    So, once again, legally this sounds like official error and thus there will ultimately be no recoverable overpayment even if that were to be the DWPs starting position. There is nothing to disclose here. 

    Some people, knowing the above, will chose to contact DWP and some will not. You simply need to decide which group you fall into. I personally see nothing to be said because legally that is the position. Others will adopt a moral position about what you "ought" to do but that doesn't really fly when none of us can know the full picture. 

    You also need to appreciate that this is the internet and there's no such things as privacy on the internet. Having had an answer the less you now say the better. 
  • yanni
    yanni Member Posts: 51 Courageous

    @Sumi

    I was awarded 1F because I have difficulty understanding verbal communication and I can see why your husband may have been awarded it for having difficulty reading and understanding written communications.

     A ‘familiar’ route does not need to be either local or short - it just needs to be familiar as it says here https://pipinfo.net/activities/planning-and-following-journeys.

     If your husband goes somewhere he has been to before, he is familiar with the route.

    If he goes by bus:

    How does he know the bus that is approaching is the bus he needs if he can’t read the destination?  

    What if there is a notice that the bus is not serving the stop he wants to get to (due to a diversion or a change of bus route), how would he know if he can’t read the notice?

    If he needs to change buses along the route he may get off the first bus and wait for the second bus. Normally this is something he can manage but today there is a notice that says ‘ This bus stop is closed please use the bus stops in Anytown Road or Somewhere Avenue’

    How would your husband know that the bus he is waiting for is not going to arrive if he can’t read the notice? How does he sort himself out and get to his intended destination or get home?

    If he went by bus to an event and expected to get the 2.30pm bus back home. However when he arrives he find out that  the event is canceled .

    Would he be able to read the bus timetable and work out when the next bus is coming or would he have to wait until 2.30pm and catch that bus?

    Or if the event went on longer than expected and he missed the 2.30pm bus would he be able to work out when the next bus arrives?

    If he goes on a familiar journey by train.

    Can he buy a ticket at a ticket machine if he can’t read the instructions?

     If the platform number has changed since the last time he did the same journey.

    How would he know this if he can’t read the timetable / display board? Likewise how would he know that the train at the usual platform isn’t the correct train if he can’t read the destination? How would he know if the train had been canceled or is delayed?

    The descriptor is not just about if someone normally find their way around. It is about whether they would be able to sort themselves out and reach their intended destination if something goes wrong, And that they can do it in a reasonable time, safely, to an acceptable standard and repeatedly.

    If your husband wouldn’t be able to buy a ticket, find the right platform / bus stop or deal with the changes such as the ones I have mentioned above my personal opinion is that he is entitled to be awarded 1F.

     The 4 points he was awarded for Moving Around then become irrelevant as he is not awarded any more money for having 16 points than for the 12 points he has for 1F.

  • Sumi
    Sumi Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thank you @mikehughescq you’ve helped put things into perspective 
    Thank you @yanni as you’ve helped me view 1f and why he may have been awarded in a different way too 

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