Pip tribunal lost. More advice needed please — Scope | Disability forum
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Pip tribunal lost. More advice needed please

ladylulu
ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
Hi, I lost my tribunal. There were a lot of factors which I think contributed to this. My GP confirmed that she had redacted lots of information from my medical notes - all 400 pages on them, which she deemed too sensitive. They focused on my suicide attempts and sexual abuse counselling amongst others. I foubd outvafter my tribunal. I was waiting to be reassigned a mental health care worker when I appealed originally. I didn't get any help with the forms apart from my sister who has bi polar.  The tribunal assessment on the phone was a nightmare for me. More like a trial. I was on trial. The questions they asked related to BEFORE I had actually claimed mobility on the grounds of my mental health and physical health due to being diagnosed with FND last year. I struggle to walk now. Only short distances. 

I had a terrible fall last September and they questioned me on this. Not about the effects of the fall but why I was suing the place where I had the fall. I tried to explain that I rarely go out, never alone but on this occasion I went to a local rhs garden. There was a hole in the ground, I tripped and was knocked unconscious for at least 20 minutes apparently. Broke my nose and suffered a massive blow to the head.  All additional stress. They said well if you can sue, you must be OK. My sister and family helped. I literally got first number off googlebabs rung them on the advice of my father. Everything was done from home. 

Anyway, yesterday, after months of tests etc with neurologists and my FND OT, they confirmed that my short term memory and periods of confusion, my ability not to be able to retain short term memories was due to this fall. I did incur brain damage, most likeky permanent. Despite ALL my various  health conditions including Cluster headaches,  CPTSD, EUPD, chronic pain after 40 operations and anxiety and chronic depression, I was still able to read a book, enjoy TV and make the most of what time I could 'feel good' and not be stuck in bed with chronic pain
 After this fall, I haven't been able to read. I found myself reading the sane paragraph over and over again. Lots of problems with retaining short term information.  Forgetting my late mum's name!!! I did ask the judge for all the reasons but haven't had any response. Will this make a difference? 

The fact that the tribunal didn't have all my medical information ( this wasn't my fault) my gp sent the records and I wasn't in the right state to cope with the tribunal, the questions. I couldn't answer them. I had a panic attack. I tried to ring piptodau for helo and they cut me off as I got hysterical.  I didn't mean to but I was so angry and the whole unfairness of it all. 
Do I have any chance of going to the next level? Was my tribunal fair? Can I reapply for pip without them stopping my standard amount. 

The tribunal asked me how I coped with a family holiday. I told them, I coped because I wasn't on my own. I had help through the airport. My health doesn't stop or change because I have moved into a different area.  Mental health doesn't disappear either. I don't drink or party, I spent two weeks in a villa with my family. They made me feel like I was a liar. I didn't realise that you weren't allowed to go away and claim pip? I don't understand because the whole idea is to be able to be independent again. They asked if I used a comuter, i said yes, im not stupid. Its my lifeline. I used to be a journalist and a writer with a full life. Now I spend 5 days a week in my room. If I'm lucky I get 2 'good days' when I'm not in bed or having to rest up
 

I now have 'brain damage ' and they can't tell me if it will get worse or if I will stay this way although my issues have got worse in the past 6 months. I cannot begin to tell you how I feel right now. Its the principle. 

I don't know what to do now. 
 Sorry for rambling on and on but apparently thats all I do now. Ramble. I feel like I'm losing my mind and I am. The only advice I got was to try and avoid unnecessary stress as this puts too much pressure on how my mind works. I might as well be dead. I'm.sorry for rambling. I'm.just St thevebx of my tether. 
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,383 Disability Gamechanger
    When you request the statement of reasons (SOR) and Record of proceedings (ROP) there's no timescales how long it will take to send you this. The judge needs to write them up first and this could take quite some time because they are only completed when the judge has time to do it.
    Once you receive them you need to find an advice agency to have a look to see if they can find the error in law, if they can't you won't be able to take it any further.
    The fact that medical evidence was left out because your GP didn't send it, is not an error in law. As your sister was helping you with this, she should have taken a look through the bundle to make sure everything was there because everything that was sent to HMCTS would have been included in the bundle.
    You also mention your condition getting worse but the Tribunal wouldn't have been able to take this into consideration.
    If you report a worsening of condition now then you'll be sent more forms to fill in and return with all your evidence. You'll likely have another assessment which could be face to face, telephone or video call because most people have them. Once the decision is made you could either be refused, then your PIP would stop. Be awarded the same as you have now or your award could be increased.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 486 Pioneering

    Good morning @ladylulu      and welcome to the online community,

    I am so sorry that you feel that you were unfairly treated by the tribunal.  As poppy has explained there is a right of appeal to the Upper Tribunal if the first tier tribunal has made an error of law.  In order to show the first tier tribunal has made an error of law you will need to request a the statement of reasons of the tribunal decision and also, if possible record of the proceedings.  This is what you should do

    1.      Ask the Tribunal for a statement of reasons of its decision within 1 month of the date it gave or sent you the decision notice.

    2.     Apply for permission to appeal to the Upper tribunal within one month of being sent the statement of reasons.  Your letter will need to explain why you think the decision was legally wrong and what result you seek. You will need to include a copy of the first tier tribunal’s decision notice and a copy of the statement of reasons. Our Scope fact sheet further Appeal to the Upper Tribunal provides information how to do this.

    You asked about your chances of success.  I think you need to bear in mind that even if you are able to show the first tier tribunal made an error in law in some way, you need to show that it had an impact on their decision. You seem to be concerned that the Tribunal did not take into account how the fall you sustained back in September appears to have caused a deterioration in your mental health conditions and particularly your ability to plan and follow a journey. As poppy explained the tribunal can only consider your conditions as they were when you made your claim. If you had a deterioration in your conditions after you made your claim if that deterioration significantly impacted on your ability to carry out an activity to the extent that you should have been awarded points for a higher scoring descriptor you should have reported a change in circumstances and poppy has advised of the risks and implications of this.

    You are allowed to go on holiday and claim PIP. I think the point of the tribunals questioning was to explore to what extent you could follow the route of a familiar or unfamiliar journey.  You will need to go through the statement of reasons very carefully to see if there are any examples of where the evidence you supplied does not support the decision reached.  You should also explore whether there was a breach of natural justice as you think you were not given a proper chance to make your case.  You may feel you need to get help and poppy has suggested you may want to make contact with an advice agency such a citizens advice.


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  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Sue_Scope said: You may feel you need to get help and poppy has suggested you may want to make contact with an advice agency such a citizens advice.
    Unfortunately this is likely beyond CA. If you have access to a Law Centre that may be a better option.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ladylulu
    ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
    Thank you everyone for your advice and kind words. I was extremely distressed last night and I'm so sorry if I rambled on. I will get proper advice and I'm going to get someone to deal with thevPIP issue on my behalf. I need to try and deal with things in a calmer way but sometimes I can't help myself. So many triggers and I 'lose it'. I wish i had got proper advice and help in the beginning but I literally wasn't thinking straight. I don't behave rationally when under pressure or anxious. 

    Thank you all for 'listening' and again, I'm so sorry for the rambling on before. X


  • jamrumples
    jamrumples Community member Posts: 112 Connected
    I’m so sorry this happened to you, the bit that stood out to me was they asked how you managed to go on holiday. 

    How did they know this did you tell them so? I know that you supposed to, I know a lot don’t. Seems so unfair that they give the money to gain independence and they take it off you or don’t grant it because you’ve done with it what it is intended for. 

    If you didn’t tell them how did they find out? Do they check? I’ve never heard of this before and I’m intrigued on how they do this if so and what else they check for… 
  • ladylulu
    ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
    It was on my medical records because I returned from it ill. I had a chest infection and had struggled being away so my doctor prescribed more meds.

    I told them that if and when I ever travel, I use special assistance and I'm always accompanied. I'm also take valiam for panic attacks as I'm not good with crowds of people. I trued to explain this but got upset. I really find it difficult in circumstances where I am being fired question after question. I get defensive and upset. There is a reason for this but I'd rather not get into it x I assumed that pip mobikity was awarded to help you regain independence. Instead I'm less independent than ever.  I admit I resent them for that. It hurts and it's unfair. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 174 Listener
    Unfortunately once a tribunal has made a decision the odds are not great. Tribunals usually go against the DWP so the fact you still were not awarded is not a good sign. I would put in a fresh claim and hope for the best. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,383 Disability Gamechanger
    I would put in a fresh claim and hope for the best. 

    There is already an award in payment here so a new claim isn't possible. It would need to be a change of circumstances.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • ladylulu
    ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
    Thank you Poppy. You have made that quite clear. I can't go through all that again. It's never been about the money- it was about being believed. I should have got proper help from the start but I haven't been thinking straight. At least my neurologists, specialists, mental health team, counsellors and my gp - know the truth and know what I deal with every day. I niavely thought that 400 pages of medical reports, assessments,  facts and the confirmation of the medicines that I will have to take for the rest of my life, would have been enough. It wasn't. I came on here for advice - I know I repeat myself (i have brain damage from a fall due to FND so sorry about that!!!!! It effects my legs the most so im mainly confined to home)  but I just wanted to vent. I feel hurt and angry and upset. I'm sorry. 

  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 376 Pioneering
    edited August 2022
    Hello Ladylulu

    There is no need at all to say sorry for letting out your frustrations because claiming PIP can be a very frustraiting process. The key is to make sure you understand the activities and the meaning of the descriptors. My advice being as you have an award in place is to give it a bit of time for you to calm down and to clear your head. Take your mind off it for a while. You said your condition had got worse since you first applied. That means that you could put in a "Change of circumstances" like poppy advised. I would strongly advise before you think about starting a "Change of circumstances" to get professional advice from citizens advice or your local welfare group and see if you do meet the requirements for a higher award than you have now and what supporting evidence would help to get a higher award. I hope things work out for you but in the short term take some time off to get yourself in order mentaly so you can tackle any possible "Change of circumstances" with a clear head and mind. That is just my advice and what I would do if I was in your situation.

    Kind regards
    Nasturtium



    How to challenge a PIP award that has been reduced at Review https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/696285#Comment_696285
  • ladylulu
    ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    You are welcome @ladylulu. It is the very least you deserve. If we can do anything else to support you, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are all here for you  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 486 Pioneering
    Hello @ladylulu please don't blame yourself and there is absolutely no need to apologise for anything. The PIP process is unbelievably frustrating and lengthy and causes so much distress to so many people. I do agree with you that the PIP form itself is misleading and disingenuous. The name of the benefit suggests that it is to promote independence for disabled people and yet disabled people have to state what help they need and in effect explain how they are reliant on others!

    I don't know whether you have grounds to ask for leave to appeal to the Upper Tribunal.  The first step is to ask for a statement of reasons as I suggested in my previous post.  The time period for requesting this is 30 days from the date you received the tribunal decision and it is normally enforced strictly.
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  • ladylulu
    ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
    Hi Sue, thank you. Pip have agreed to re assess my whole claim again on.the basis of new medical information which was withheld from the tribunal. This time though I am being helped by experts who will help me fill out the form accurately and with all the proper information.  I'm hoping very much that it's successful.  I couldn't go through all this again. I was also told by the CAB that I did have grounds to go to the upper tribunal if this fails. X
  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 486 Pioneering
    @ladylulu I am so pleased you are getting help and wish you lots of luck with everything 
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,383 Disability Gamechanger
    So you've gone ahead and reported a change of circumstances?
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • ladylulu
    ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,383 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2022
    ladylulu said:
    Yes. 

    Then i don't understand this comment.
    ladylulu said:
     I was also told by the CAB that I did have grounds to go to the upper tribunal if this fails. X
    For you recent Tribunal decision you can't appeal it without first requesting the statement of reasons and record of proceedings. This must be done within 1 month of the date of the decision and the rules are very strict for this.
    If the worst happens with the change of circumstances then you will need to request the MR followed by  first Tier Tribunal, not upper Tribunal.
    I just want to make sure you fully understand everything.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • ladylulu
    ladylulu Community member Posts: 35 Listener
    I did ask for the statement of reasons but I laat week i was finally diagnosed with 'brain damage'  caused by my head injury last year. I hit my head on a stone wall, due to my physical conditions, knocking myself out, breaking my nose, and causing a dent and permandnt scar to my forehead. I waw knocked out for 15 minutes. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,383 Disability Gamechanger
    PIP isn't about a diagnosis.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.

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