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PIP appeal

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tifo
tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
edited October 2022 in PIP, DLA, and AA
I applied for PIP in March 2021.

I suffer from chronic recurrent gout, with regular flare ups many times a year, at first severe, then moderate and mild until it disappears. I'm on medication for it.

I got left eye problems in October 2018 and had to stop work and come to UC. My eye conditions gave me severe pain and migraines for over a year, then they started getting better but have not gone away to date. My gout gives me severe to moderate pain for many months in the year. My eye conditions give me moderate pain throughout the year. Both are present for more than 50% of the year each hence in the majority. Both eye and gout are variable and fluctuate and flare without warning.

I had an assessment in August 2021. I got 0 points. The report was full of lies and said things i'd not mentioned, it wrote about what I can do when I don't have symptoms of my conditions but nothing about when I do. Apart from the PIP form, the assessor did not list any other evidence they looked at, which included substantial medical evidence and photos I submitted with my written statements.

I appealed and had the tribunal hearing in June this year. They gave me 0 points and at the hearing said they did not believe me or any of the substantial evidence I'd submitted.

I asked for the statement of reasons and received this a few weeks ago.
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Comments

  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
    edited October 2022
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    Read the statement and they've basically repeated what the assessment report said and seem to think I go to the Trafford Centre all the time so can walk around and be around people! I can't remember saying this and there was covid in 2020/2021. I've not been to the Trafford Centre for at least 4 years. They say I can walk around the town centre and supermarkets and go to school for drop off and pick up every day. This is copied from the assessment report.

    They say I can drive fine and if I had gout I wouldn't be able to. I've said in the PIP form, my evidence to the tribunal and at the hearing that I drive only when I can and that with gout or eye flare up I do not drive, including for school drop off or pick up.

    They've said "We preferred the evidence of the HCP as it was more consistent". I've said that the report was full of lies and stated I can do things which I didn't even mention. And everything it said I can do is during the good days, none of it said I can't do an activity because of my medical conditions on bad days.

    I don't say i'm affected all the time but combined they are over 50%. The symptoms of my conditions are variable and unpredictable and start any time.

    Though WCA and PIP have different criteria, a week earlier the WCA tribunal had given me 6 points for being able to walk up to 200 metres whereas this PIP tribunal gave 0 points for being able to walk over 200 metres. Same evidence. I can either walk under/over 200 metres or not. The PIP form was part of the DWPs WCA evidence and the tribunal asked many questions from it.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,208 Disability Gamechanger
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    You need to find someone to take a look at the SOR to see if they can find the error in law. You have 1 month from the date HMCTS sent the SOR. Start here. https://advicelocal.uk/

    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.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
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    You need to find someone to take a look at the SOR to see if they can find the error in law. You have 1 month from the date HMCTS sent the SOR. Start here. https://advicelocal.uk/

    I've looked at advice local but there's nobody they point to apart from Citizens Advice and Turn2us. There's no pointers for a tribunal appeal.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Is there a local Law Centre that deals with benefits?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
    edited October 2022
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    calcotti said:

    Is there a local Law Centre that deals with benefits?
    No idea, i'll look into it. I should've done it with the WCA too. Thanks

    I need it for Lancashire. Greater Manchester or Liverpool covers the North West so might help but i'm not in their catchment area.

    https://www.lawcentres.org.uk/about-law-centres/law-centres-on-google-maps/alphabetically
  • yanni
    yanni Community member Posts: 92 Pioneering
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    When I was looking to appeal against a tribunal decision Citizens Advice referred me to a Law Centre. The Law Centre didn’t accept cases directly from claimants only through Citizens Advice so it might be worth speaking to your local Citizens Advice branch and see if they can refer you? 

  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
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    I did try Citizens online chat but it's always busy, i'll call them. Can't email my nearest centre. But Shelter also offer help and have asked them.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
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    In my last hospital visit in May I was told that i've a cortical cataract developing in my right eye. As i'd driven there the clinician didn't dilate the pupil to see inside. The left eye is the one with the inflammation and gives me problems, i've no vision in that. They tend to leave it alone and let it progress as it will.

    I've had my 6 month hospital appointment recently and this time clinician told me I should be careful about direct sunlight, wear sunglasses etc as radiation can accelerate the cataract. My left eye still tears a lot, is occasionally dry and stings. She prescribed different drops to what i've had before.

    The cataract is a new condition, which will affect me in times to come and worries me a lot because it's the only eye I see from. The PIP claim is prior to this and so the tribunal will probably not take it into consideration. Any advice on how I should proceed with this as it affects me and I will have to make daily changes which might affect the claim.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,208 Disability Gamechanger
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    You are correct the Tribunal will not take into consideration a new or worsening of condition. What is actually happening regarding that Tribunal refusal? ON 4th October you said you received the SOR a few weeks ago and we are almost in the middle of November.
    If you start a new claim then you would create what's known as a closed period. This means that if in the future you were awarded by the Tirbunal then you would only be owed money up until the day before you started your new claim.
    Any new decision made on the new claim will overrule the Tribunal decision. If you were refused again then the process will start all over again.



    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.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
    edited November 2022
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    You are correct the Tribunal will not take into consideration a new or worsening of condition. What is actually happening regarding that Tribunal refusal? ON 4th October you said you received the SOR a few weeks ago and we are almost in the middle of November.
    My local advice agency is Shelter and they're helping me with the permission to appeal from the lower tribunal for my PIP claim, then the upper tribunal if needed. Shelter appts were 5 weeks away in October and I got permission from a judge to submit by 13 December as Shelter need 4 weeks after I see them next week.

    One point of appeal will be that the lower tribunal said they believed the assessor and their medical report over my statements and evidence. The assessor did not look at any of my evidence and the report was full of assumptions and inaccurate statements. The lower tribunal basically quoted the medical report. The judge even said "I don't believe these" about my photographic evidence.

    (The same with my WCA appeal though that is a request for permission to appeal to the upper tribunal from the same as the lower tribunal refused the permission). This claim is 1 step ahead of the PIP claim.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,208 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2022
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    Then the same applies to both, if you report a change of circumstances for UC then any new decision made from that will overrule any new decision made by the Tribunal.
    For the PIP starting a new claim will mean if the Tribunal award you then you will only be owed money up until the day before you started the new claim. Any new decision will overrule the Tribunal decision.
    You really should be getting further advice from the agency that's helping you because they should know all about your health conditions.
    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.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
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    You really should be getting further advice from the agency that's helping you because they should know all about your health conditions.
    I'm meeting them for the first time next week then they need 4 weeks to draft the requests. At the moment they don't know anything about me apart from the initial info I sent for where I was up to in October. I'll mention everything up to the day I see them.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
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    Had a chat with the welfare advisors today and they say I have no grounds for apply for permission to appeal (first tier tribunal) but that if there is a change of circumstances, for example I now suffer from a cataract, I should make a new claim.

    They said it's lack of medical evidence from the GP and hospital which cost me the claim and that they tend not to believe what the claimant says unless there's medical evidence. I think there was enough evidence I gave but from a GP or hospital carries more weight
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,208 Disability Gamechanger
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    tifo said:

    They said it's lack of medical evidence from the GP and hospital which cost me the claim and that they tend not to believe what the claimant says unless there's medical evidence.

    That's shocking advice and simply not true. You don't need medical evidence for a successful PIP award.
    You can start a new claim but doing so using the same evidence you previously used will likely see another refusal.
    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.
  • ChiChi
    ChiChi Community member Posts: 50 Connected
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    tifo said:

    They said it's lack of medical evidence from the GP and hospital which cost me the claim and that they tend not to believe what the claimant says unless there's medical evidence.

    That's shocking advice and simply not true. You don't need medical evidence for a successful PIP award.
    You can start a new claim but doing so using the same evidence you previously used will likely see another refusal.
    Poppy is right. I sent in my forms with no medical evidence at all, just what care needs I have and my illnesses and I got awarded pip for both.

    It really is dependent on what you wrote on the form and how your daily care or mobility is affected.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,981 Disability Gamechanger
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    This is a really insightful and supportive thread. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread. 

    @tifo How are you feeling about everything at the moment, especially not being able to appeal? It sounds like a really difficult situation and if we can do anything to support you please don’t hesitate to let us know  :)  

    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.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
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    Apologies for our lateness to this. We’re the umbrella group for WR advisers in GM. See https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/. We can’t give advice ourselves but our members can. 

    It is very rare for a FTT to produce a decision which doesn’t contain an error of law. In GM you have https://www.gmlaw.org.uk/ and this will not require a referral from another advice agency. MCC also have a team who deal with FTT and UT appeals but in order to access them you’ll need to go via Manchester CitA. 
    Hi, I did ask gmlaw but they can't help me as i'm not in Greater Manchester. I'm in East Lancashire.

    The medical report was full of lies and the assessor did not look at my evidence. The FTT did not believe any of my evidence (they said this at the tribunal) and the decision just quotes the medical report. They've used the same untruths the assessor used to justify their decision. I'm very surprised that Shelter do not find anything wrong with this though the manager I spoke to kept saying "they've followed the process" but the FTT can follow a process and still make an error. Following something is different to making a mistake.
  • tifo
    tifo Community member Posts: 76 Connected
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    @tifo How are you feeling about everything at the moment, especially not being able to appeal? It sounds like a really difficult situation and if we can do anything to support you please don’t hesitate to let us know  :)  

    I don't feel too good at the moment, the DWP have treated me badly and unfortunately the FTT also did. I try as much as I can, and i have many relevant skills, but am not experienced in such claims.

    I'm genuinely at a loss. My WCA claim went even worse than this and there appears to be no comeback on the DWP for the long delay they put me through, and have apologised for, as it affected the assessment and subsequent decisions. The law is what it is but I cannot believe it can be so against the claimant.

    Thanks for the offer of help.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2022
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    tifo said:
    Apologies for our lateness to this. We’re the umbrella group for WR advisers in GM. See https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/. We can’t give advice ourselves but our members can. 

    It is very rare for a FTT to produce a decision which doesn’t contain an error of law. In GM you have https://www.gmlaw.org.uk/ and this will not require a referral from another advice agency. MCC also have a team who deal with FTT and UT appeals but in order to access them you’ll need to go via Manchester CitA. 
    Hi, I did ask gmlaw but they can't help me as i'm not in Greater Manchester. I'm in East Lancashire.

    The medical report was full of lies and the assessor did not look at my evidence. The FTT did not believe any of my evidence (they said this at the tribunal) and the decision just quotes the medical report. They've used the same untruths the assessor used to justify their decision. I'm very surprised that Shelter do not find anything wrong with this though the manager I spoke to kept saying "they've followed the process" but the FTT can follow a process and still make an error. Following something is different to making a mistake.
    We’re not here to advise but you’re describing a difference of opinion on evidence. An error of law, which you need for a UT, is a very different thing. If you’d be willing to define East Lancs. we could maybe point you in the direction of one of our members who could help. 
    Unless the Statement of Reasons, once obtained, clearly explains why the FTT believed the assessment report over the evidence t the appellant that could well be an error in law.
    https://www.gov.uk/administrative-appeals-tribunal-decisions/mh-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-pensions-pip-2022-ukut-248-aac

    if the SOR does explain the reasoning then it may well be lawful
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/633ad1ab8fa8f54111498efa/UA-2021-000155-PIPc_.pdf
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,208 Disability Gamechanger
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    calcotti said:
    tifo said:
    Apologies for our lateness to this. We’re the umbrella group for WR advisers in GM. See https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/. We can’t give advice ourselves but our members can. 

    It is very rare for a FTT to produce a decision which doesn’t contain an error of law. In GM you have https://www.gmlaw.org.uk/ and this will not require a referral from another advice agency. MCC also have a team who deal with FTT and UT appeals but in order to access them you’ll need to go via Manchester CitA. 
    Hi, I did ask gmlaw but they can't help me as i'm not in Greater Manchester. I'm in East Lancashire.

    The medical report was full of lies and the assessor did not look at my evidence. The FTT did not believe any of my evidence (they said this at the tribunal) and the decision just quotes the medical report. They've used the same untruths the assessor used to justify their decision. I'm very surprised that Shelter do not find anything wrong with this though the manager I spoke to kept saying "they've followed the process" but the FTT can follow a process and still make an error. Following something is different to making a mistake.
    We’re not here to advise but you’re describing a difference of opinion on evidence. An error of law, which you need for a UT, is a very different thing. If you’d be willing to define East Lancs. we could maybe point you in the direction of one of our members who could help. 
    Unless the Statement of Reasons, once obtained, clearly explains why the FTT believed the assessment report over the evidence t the appellant that could well be an error in law.
    https://www.gov.uk/administrative-appeals-tribunal-decisions/mh-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-pensions-pip-2022-ukut-248-aac

    if the SOR does explain the reasoning then it may well be lawful
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/633ad1ab8fa8f54111498efa/UA-2021-000155-PIPc_.pdf

    OP has already got advice and they were told no error in law could be found.
    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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