Refused PIP - going through Appeal

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souptin
souptin Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited October 2022 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hi,

I am writing this with the help of my partner for advice for what I can do for my PIP appeal.

They have denied me on the following grounds:
- attended mainstream school without support 
- can work
- university
- can drive 

My diagnosis’ are the following:
Autistic Spectrum Disorder 
Depression (including suicide attempt in 2020)
Anxiety 
Functional Neurological Disorder 
Thoracic scoliosis 
Disordered Eating 
Borderline personality disorder 

We are very confused that I have been refused. I know that PIP doesn’t go off of diagnosis alone, but how can someone have that list of diagnosis and be okay? 

I will break down a little why I am confused about each thing.

Attended Mainstream School without Support 
This is really offensive to me! I wasn’t diagnosed with a majority of things on that list until after education - hence why I wasn’t fully supported. However, it’s simply not true that I wasn’t supported. During A-levels, I was given rest breaks, extra time and laptops during exams due to pain from my FND.
During in normal school years, I was given a time out pass, had regular safeguarding meetings because the school were concerned, was put under the school nurses, was on medication for mental health, had therapy and group sessions and was under a mental health team. I also had a music pass so I could be away from other kids at lunch and break because it made me so nervous.
The assessor literally lied about this! 

Can work
At the time of the assessment, I was working as a support worker at my mothers workplace. I was allowed to used the bed for night staff to sleep at work during the day when I found it too difficult. My work duties were adjusted so I didn’t actually support clients, all I done was paperwork in the office. I had 7 periods of sickness between September 2021 to February 2022. I have since had 3 jobs between March 2022-August 2022. I had another 4 jobs that I had and never started because I had a mental breakdown over them before even starting. Although I had a job, I cannot maintain a job very well and really struggle! The assessor even acknowledged that I had extreme periods of sickness and had my entire job role adjusted but apparently that means I’m okay??? 
I don’t understand! Has anyone else encountered a problem like this? I wouldn’t work if I could, but I have rent and bills to pay!!

University 
I attend university to study accounting and finance. I’m autistic. I’m obsessed with numbers, so of course I thrive in working with numbers. Just because I am autistic, it doesn’t mean that I am academically stupid! Surely I shouldn’t be discriminated against because I’m using my special interests to try and better myself?
Also, I am only at university with GREAT support. I am living at home with my parents. I am under the disability and dyslexia team. I get rest breaks, laptop in exams, early release of assignment questions, extensions, I get to leave the class because it becomes overwhelming. My attendance is not amazing. I struggle mentally with the work there, I really do. I have meltdowns in which I delete ALL of my work and have to start again! It’s difficult. Just because I attend university, I do so with a lot of support, and I don’t cope well. My mental health is greatly impacted and my mental health impacts my ability to attend university, as well as my FND at times!!!!
I don’t understand the mentality of just because I try to better myself, that I shouldn’t get government help? Also, my course is actually only about 10 hours a week. 10 hours a week over several days. It’s not a fully intensive course, and it doesn’t require that much contact time. 

Can drive
This is probably the most offensive and patronising reason yet I have read for them refusing PIP on these grounds. 
The assessor acknowledged that I only drive 1 day a WEEK. My partner drives me everywhere other times of the week. 1 day a week is 14% of the year, not even a quarter and they have denied me this “because it shows I have good hip mobility” and because “I have cognitive function”. I want to point out that at NO point in my claim have I complained about my hip. NO point at all.
and because I have good cognitive function for 14% of the year, they have said I don’t need support with anything??
Driving TERRIFIES me. I get intrusive thoughts that tell me that I am going to die if I leave the house, or that I will get into a car accident if I drive, hence the incredibly low use of my car! 
Also, because of my mental health, and physical health, I am on a range of medication which means that I LEGALLY cannot drive after taking them. These medications include:
promethazine 
diazepam 
codeine 
cocodamol
gabapentin
zapain

In essence, the assessor has said that I can drive all the time because I can drive for 1 day of the week. No I can’t! That is an outright lie. I legally cannot drive after taking most of my medications. So she is saying that I have to sacrifice my mental and physical health so that I can drive? Keeping in mind that my medication like diazepam and promoethazine are given to help keep me in a mental place so I don’t end up like I did in October 2020.

Has anyone got any advice, or any advice from anything citizens advice has told them? The assessor has blatantly lied and even contradicted herself in the assessment! She has ignored medical evidence in favour of an hours PHONE CALL. She is making comments on my mobility from a PHONE CALL, not once have they even assessed me in person! 

I’m at my wits end and so desperate for help with this appeal. CAB have still not gotten back to me after a week, so I need to see if other people have appealed against any of the above points and successfully appealed them.

any help is greatly appreciated. I’m just so run down, and honestly offended at the things they have written about me.

thank you in advance!

Comments

  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 373 Empowering
    edited September 2022
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    You did not say if you have done a Mandatory Reconsideration? You need to do a MR before you can go to appeal. You can claim PIP and work.

    "I legally cannot drive after taking most of my medications."
    You need to explain why you cannot drive on your MR or Appeal Submission. You can drive and still claim PIP.

    First thing I would do is to read what the activities involved in PIP are and what the descriptors mean. Also you need to remember it is about how your complaint affects you for the majority of days (more than 50%) and you need to complete the activities according to the correct descriptor that applies to you reliably https://pipinfo.net/issues/reliably

    What you need to do is to look at the activity and how it is worded. For my example I am going to use Activity 2 "Taking Nutrition". For you to score Zero points for this activity you need to be able to do that activity Reliably. That means doing the activity:-

    (a) safely;
    (b) to an acceptable standard;
    (c) repeatedly;
    (d) within a reasonable time period.

    If you cannot do the activity safely then you should score points. It only takes one of the above to apply to you then that means you cannot do that activity. So for Activity 2 "Taking Nutrition" https://pipinfo.net/activities/taking-nutrition it considers a person’s ability to be nourished, either by cutting food into pieces, conveying it to the mouth. So you need to think about your Tremmor and think about how you eat your food and ask your self questions around the four "Reliably" sections and apply then to the descriptors and the activity. So for example can you cut up your food safely? Do you use any special cutlery?

    Do you spill your food on your clothes when you eat because of your tremor?  If you do then you cannot complete that activity "to an acceptable standard" (Reliably) so you should score 2 points for that activity. (Needs - (i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition) Do you use clothing protectors to stop you from making your clothes dirty when you are eating? Do you use a cup with a lid to stop you spilling what is in the cup? Do you use a two handled cup to make it easier for your to drink? All those are classed as an aid. You would need to describe in detail why you need to use clothing protectors and what would happen if you did not have clothing protectors.

    That is just one example to show you how PIP works. It is advised that you also give detailed real world examples of when you had problems doing the PIP activities, what happened, was there anyone who witnessed what happened and what where the consequences. For more information on the PIP descriptors please check out this site https://pipinfo.net

    You can use the advice above showing you how PIP works to complete your mandatory reconsideration. Think of it like re-applying again but this time adding more information and keeping to the activities and more important the descriptors.

    So what I would do first is to do a brainstorm on what restrictions you have for the majority of time around the list of complaints you have. The best way to over come that problem is to keep a mental health/disability diary using the PIP descriptors on the PIP info site and write each day the problems you had with the applicable descriptors that apply to you. Keep the diary for 7-10 days and this will show you what problems you have each day and it will give you an idea of the problems you have on the majority of days (more than 50% of the time) In the diary describe what happened and give details of any witnesses and the consequences. You can use the diary then to build up your claim and use it as evidence to backup your claim. Remember you need to do each activity "Reliably" The diary does not need to be complicated. You will need to include you D.O.B, National insurance number, The date and year of diary entry and if you want to be really detailed you can include the time of incident etc (that is not vital but it will show you the time of day when you are least likely to complete the activity reliably)  read the activities on the PIP info website and look at the descriptors and see how they are worded. Then choose the descriptor that is applicable to you and your conditions.

    Then you need to ask yourself can you do the descriptor (a) safely; (b) to an acceptable standard; (c) repeatedly; (d) within a reasonable time period. Like I said above it only take one of those for you to not be able to complete the activity and you should score points. Explain in detail any problems or accidents you have had when doing those activities. If there was any witnesses and what where the consequences.

    Do you have any family members that can provide you with a supporting letter? You can ask them to write you a letter explaining in detail the problems you have and what help you need but do not get or the help and support that they provide you. Make sure they include how they are related to you friend/mother/father and how often they see you and how often they give you help and what that help is. Again remember the word "Reliably"

    "She has ignored medical evidence"
    On you MR or Appeal Quote the medical evidence you submitted and make sure the medical evidence supports your claim.

    "I am under the disability and dyslexia team."
    Can you ask them you provide you with a supporting letter explaining the problems you have with your disability and dyslexia?

    You said you wrote your post with help from your partner. Did your partner help you fill in the PIP2 Application form? If yes then explain this on your MR or appeal submission and explain in detail why they help you and what woud have happened if they where not there to help you fill in the form.

    The link here gives advice on how to fill in a PIP2 Application form but it you could possible use some of the information to complete a MR letter for each activity that applies to you. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/help-with-your-claim/fill-in-form-pip/

    and

    Hope that helps
    Nasturtium
  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 373 Empowering
    edited September 2022
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    Hello @souptin
    Was my advice of any help?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,310 Championing
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     I see you edited your original post on Sept 18th.

    That wouldn't be possible for anyone to edit their own comment after 59 minutes of posting. The only ones that can do this after this time are the scope team.
  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 373 Empowering
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    Thank you Poppy I have edited my post and removed that.
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,715 Championing
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    @souptin Hello and welcome to our online community, I'm sorry to read of your frustrations with the outcome of your PIP application.  Reading other's interpretations of our private health matters, that don't align with our own reality, can be extremely hard going.

    You mention having depression and anxiety; I wanted to check that you are coping with that ok now and receiving sufficient support and regular medication reviews? 

    Also, did you hear anything back from Citizen's Advice? If you haven't, you can find independent welfare advice close to where you live via the Advice Local website so do give that a look.

    @nasturtium has given you some excellent advice, did any of that help clarify what to do in terms of your next steps?

    I hope things are progressing more positively for you now, and be sure to check back in with us if we can offer support. Take care.