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Fair award. Should I go for an MR? I'm uncertain about rocking the boat

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EMMc1966
EMMc1966 Community member Posts: 26 Connected
edited August 2022 in PIP, DLA, and AA
I was awarded last week and I'm really happy I was awarded but someone has said to me I should have gotten the higher rate for Mobility. I hadn't gave it a second thought until this was mentioned. I have profound hearing loss and was awarded 18 points for the Daily Living part and 10 points for the Mobility part. The person who spoke to me said she has profound hearing loss and was awarded high rate for both after she got help. I don't want to sound ungrateful, as I've said I'm over the moon with what I have after fighting two years to get an award but curiosity is getting the better of me. I would like people's take on this, should I get help to pursue this or do I risk getting my award taken away if unsuccessful. I'm really uncertain about rocking the boat. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance. 

Comments

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @EMMc1966 I can completely understand your reservations about rocking the boat, and also your curiosity. 

    You could try searching for a professional adviser using Advice Local or you could contact the Scope Helpline if you prefer, by email: helpline@scope.org.uk, or textphone: dial 18001 then 0808 800 3333.

    I think at the end of the day, only you can decide what you're happy doing, but to score the maximum points for mobility you would really clearly need to evidence that your conditions mean that you either: 

    • Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid.
    Or
    • Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided.
    Or
    • Cannot, either aided or unaided, – (i) stand; or (ii) move more than 1 metre.

    I hope that is helpful for you, but if it's not clear please let us know, and please ask if you need a hand.
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  • EMMc1966
    EMMc1966 Community member Posts: 26 Connected
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    @Alex_Scope thank you so much for your advise, much appreciated. I was awarded 10 points for needing supervision for planning and following an unfamiliar journey but I need supervision for familiar journeys too. I've gotten in touch with a disability group in the hope they may help advise me. 
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    Okay @EMMc1966 thanks for explaining :) I hope you can get the award you're hoping for whatever you decide.

    It sounds like you can meet that descriptor on familiar journey's so I wish you the best of luck. 

    If you'd like to read an overview of Mandatory reconsideration, Turn2Us has a useful summary.
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  • yanni
    yanni Community member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    edited August 2022
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    @EMMc1966

    I also have severe / profound hearing loss and like you PIP decided I didn’t need help with familiar journeys. I sent in an MR (mandatory reconsideration)which didn’t change their decision so I sent in the appeal form pretty much repeating what I had said at MR and at this point they decided to award me enhanced mobility for needing someone with me on familiar journeys.

    PIP had accepted that I needed someone with me on an unfamiliar journey because, due to communication difficulties, I wouldn’t be able to sort myself out if something unexpected happened but that I could 're-orient' myself on a familiar journey.

    At MR, I pointed out to them that something unexpected could also happen on a familiar journey. Also that they had completely ignored the safety aspect of not hearing approaching vehicles and that it wasn't necessary for something unexpected to happen for me to need to communicate e.g. buying a ticket from a bus driver.

     I gave examples such as a bus driver verbally telling passengers that the bus was going on diversion / terminating early on a familiar journey and if I didn’t hear him say this I could end up somewhere different to where I intended to be and would struggle to sort out how to get to where I intended to go as I can’t reliably understand what people are saying.

     With a train journey,I can’t understand tannoy announcement so I wouldn’t realise the platform had changed, the train is delayed / cancelled etc and in such a noisy place I wouldn’t be able to ask for help from staff members. The fact a journey is familiar doesn't mean I can suddenly hear tannoys and communicate in a noisy setting.

     I don't drive but with driving, if you break down can you contact the breakdown people at the side of a busy road, can you get somewhere safe to wait if you don’t hear traffic approaching, can you communicate with the mechanic when he arrives, can you get yourself to your intended destination if your car is taken to a garage for repair?

     The other aspect is being safe around traffic. Hearing is 360. It alerts you to what you can’t see such as an approaching vehicle. With hearing loss, we only know if there is a danger if we can see it. No-one can see behind, round corners, over hills, through parked cars, hedges, fences etc which is when hearing people rely on their sense of hearing to alert them to approaching dangers they can't see. With hearing loss we don't have that sense of hearing to alert us. Also we can only look in one direction at a time and we don't know what is happening in the direction(s) we are not looking in. There is nothing to indicate that we can’t hear, drivers expect us to hear them and stop, step back or speed up to get out of their path but we don’t because we haven’t heard them. Car parks and roads without pavements are not safe for me as I don't hear traffic approaching from behind or the engine noise of a vehicle about to reverse out into my path. Even in pedestrianised areas I don't hear cyclists approaching from behind and nearly step into their path. I also struggle to work out where a noise is coming from so look in the wrong direction.

    None of this changes just because a journey is familiar.

    I would give some real life examples of familiar journeys that have gone wrong because you couldn't  understand what was said, misheard what was said or didn't realise something had been said and explain that those communication difficulties are why you need someone with you.  Make it clear that these are familiar journeys. Familiar journeys don't need to be local or short just familiar.

    Also give examples of near misses with traffic on familiar journeys where you haven't seen or heard a vehicle or a cyclist approaching.

    If you had someone with you on a familiar journey how do / did they help - talking to the bus driver to buy tickets because you couldn't understand the driver, telling you what the driver / announcement said, pulling you out of the way of a cyclist, telling you when it is safe to cross the road etc.

    Separately, what length award have you been given? Profound hearing loss is unlikely to improve so please ask in your MR for an ongoing (10 year) award if you haven’t got this already.

    This explains how the DWP are supposed to decide on award lengths: 

    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Award period guidance - 8 August 2018 (2).pdf

    I appreciate you are worried about ‘ rocking the boat’ but whatever reasons the DWP have accepted you need help with unfamiliar journeys for also apply to familiar journeys if you have hearing loss.

    Good luck

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks for sharing your insight on this @yanni :) 
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