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PIP refused after telephone assessment

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Pick3500
Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
edited November 2022 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hi all, 

I'm new to the group and received my decision today (July applied, Assessment 5th Nov, refusal letter received 16th Nov but dated 9th November). I have been diagnosed degenerative arthritis, a brace, leg gait swing, callus on the sole of both feet, contracting toes (walking on toes nails), sciatica, chronic ankle instability, plus lots of other noted walking, standing, bending difficulties. I wear a carbon brace NHS, AFO on both legs NHS, still under the physio, podiatrist, and saw my consultant in Aug 2020. My medication list is ridiculous, co-codamol, Ibuprofen gel, creams to soften skin, sleeping tablets. I basically suffer in pain  every day and walking is a challenge, especially on uneven surfaces, upstairs etc. The DWP have decided that because I can drive to work Mon to Fri down a dual carriageway from 24 minutes I can walk over 200 metres. Walking is weight bearing that is why I lost weight and the medication suppresses my appetite (no points). I have lost 2st 3lbs in 7 months, which she asked me about. I can only walk short distances (80m without having to stop because of the pain

In addition to this, I have fatigue, sweats and breathlessness when walking because the gait swing requires a lot of energy. They said that because I'm not prescribed medication then no points.

If this normal? I'm confused. How is a 'The mental state examination' conducted over a telephone? I suffer from stress and anxiety because I'm worried about falling, my ankles giving way and the pain I will when I'm moving around. I'm also very self-conscious of the way I walk, the appliances I have to wear, people staring and the questioning. They stated that a teacher requires 'adequate cognition' and because I'm familiar with the children, staff and parents at work then  I can make significant engagement. 

Totally astonished by this and the decision seems to have been made very quickly.




Comments

  • Pick3500
    Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
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    Any insight or advice would be appreciated.

  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2022
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    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Pick3500

    I am so sorry you are going through such a tough situation. Like calcotti mentioned above, you can challenge the decision. 

    If you don't mind me asking, did your GP provide any medical reports for this first claim? If not, I would also advise you speak to them as they can help you with that. 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Pick3500
    Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
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    I provided evidence from the hospital consultant, podiatrist, physiotherapist and occupational health through work but not my doctor because I stupidly thought that scans and x-ray plus the written evidence a brace and AFO was going to be sufficient enough. I am concerned how they've made this such a stressful situation and how much it is impacting on my mental and physical health, totally exhausted from the conditions, the barriers to getting the help I need, calling to request the report (2 hours) only to have the phone hung up.
  • schoolmum
    schoolmum Scope Member Posts: 123 Pioneering
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    Hi @Pick3500
    I know you are disappointed at the refusal of PIP but as many will advise you it is not down to any diagnosis of you conditions but how you are effected by them on a daily basis.
    I don't know how your conditions effect you as everyone is different and individual but I do know in order to fulfill the PIP criteria certain conditions have to be met, explained and shown in great detail. I don't know how you completed your 'How my disability effects me' form but again I do know that it is not accepted to just say I can't do X, you must explain why you can't do X, what happens when you try to do X and the repercussions of doing X.
    Also as many say on here you must provide real time situations of when you tried to do X and the outcome.
    Please be assured I am not undermining you whatsoever as the rules and regulation of PIP do allow you to work and to drive but you have said you are a teacher and as such I imagine your job is quite demanding and driving does require you to have 'adequate cognition' and your role as a teacher must mean you must be engaging with pupils and staff constantly throughout your working day.
    If you do an MR you must explain in complete detail why you disagree with their decision and your reasons.
    Regarding your mobility PIP doesn't take into account difficulty with stairs or uneven surfaces.
    Maybe you are moving around the school to several classes during the day or need to be situated in the same class room.
    Have you had a health and safety assessment for your position in school and if so have any adjustments been made to take into account any mobility issues, speed etc you have. For example have you been given a  classroom near to a fire exit and evacuation route as your mobility issues would be a major concern if a fire was to break out and a quick evacuation was needed for pupils, staff and yourself.
    Have you been given a designated parking space to help and ease your walking into school.
    Have you been excluded from taking part in certain activities because of your conditions.
    If so that may be further evidence in you favour if you are doing an MR. 
    Please use all the other advice given on this site by knowledgable members.
    Wishing you well 
    Schoolmum

  • Pick3500
    Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
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    Hi school mum, 

    My form details everything from pain, not being able to clean the house because of trigger finger, claw hand and carpal tunnel to having a swing gait. A 1/4 of the report refers to work and her interpretation of the OT report. Work has made adjustments, a lift, higher desk, new lumbar chair, wrist and arm supports. I don't go on trips (can't walk), microwave in the next room, I don't teach PE, full time TAs and additional staff in the afternoon plus two fire wardens designated to making sure I get out of the building (all in the report) and I teach in the same class every day and the children come to me. 

    During my 2hour and 30 minute assessment and on my form, I clear stated the challenges and pain I struggle with.

    I wasn't going to appeal because I feel like it was always going to be know and this is what they want, people throwing in the towel. 
  • Pick3500
    Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
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    EDIT  I wasn't going to appeal because I feel like it was always going to be no and this is what they want, people throwing in the towel. Everyone has told me to challenge the decision and request the report.


  • Tina12
    Tina12 Community member Posts: 175 Pioneering
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    Am so sorry to hear about your pip decision,And I know exactly how you feel I got my decision letter 16 November to and it was a no no for me to..But am definitely appealing my socks off with more evidence ..and more documents from Doc's and hospital...I hope you will do the same babe don't give up ok they have no right to treat us like this 🙏
  • Pick3500
    Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
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    Hi Hannah,

    I request all my medical notes from 1989 to present day. I have reports from doctors, a rheumatologist, consultants, podiatrists and physios who have all confirmed my condition and my difficulties with walking e.g. swing gait, not possible to place loadbearing weight for walking. 

    I going to see my doctors tomorrow to request a letter from him/her to support my application. 

    In the report they say that 'There has been no recent changes in your pain relief, and you have been taking co-codamol for over 5 years'. 
    Crazy! Does this mean I'm not in pain? I've been taking it at the highest dosage because I had a umbilical hernia (thin stomach lining). I have to take medication to counteract the painkillers. My doctor has refused to change it and as a consequence I can't have sleeping tablet, instead strong he prescribed 'Phenergan'.

    Pick3500
  • Pick3500
    Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
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    Thanks Tina. Spent yesterday analysing everything I said in the assessment and then spent today being annoyed, not at the people doing their job but the nonsense of it all. 

    Hopefully you being successful once you challenge the decision, good luck.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,167 Disability Gamechanger
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    You don’t need the assessment report to request the MR because this only causes a distraction to what you should be concentrating on.
    You mention cleaning the house when you filled out the form but PIP doesn’t consider your ability to clean the house. 
    What you need to do is give a couple of real world incidents of exactly what happened the last time you attempted each activity that applies to you.
    Include detailed information such as where you were, what exactly happened, Did anyone see it and what the consequences were. You should aim for at least half an A4 side of paper per descriptor that applies.
    Most MR decisions remain the same, if this happens you can proceed to Tribunal.
    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.
  • madquasimodo
    madquasimodo Community member Posts: 140 Pioneering
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    I know it's not easy, but either read up on filling in the form, you need to be precise, or get some help filling in the form or going for the MR, they are very strict on definitions, you need to be accurate
  • Pick3500
    Pick3500 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
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    Thank you all. Yesterday I had my ninth physio appointment and the physio is going to writing a letter and give me all my notes. On Wednesday, I'm going to see my doctor concerning my current conditions carpal tunnel, trigger finger, claw hand, pain management - medication (sleeping and co-codamol tablets) that I can not change due to a thin stomach lining, multiple joint arthritis, chronic ankle failure, AFO and brace that I wear and my parasomnia. Hopefully a letter from both rectify the 2 points given for 'You can only get on or off a normal toilet, go to the toilet and clean yourself afterwards with a special aid'. e.g. place my hand on the wall or radiator.

    This morning finally received the report that mostly refers to me being able to drive for 20 minutes to work and me being a teacher that in their opinion doesn't suffer from anxiety and problems talking to new people (I've worked in the same school for 5 years and never meet new people alone).

    On the report the paramedic (medical professional) says that she was late for my appointment because she had spent 30 minutes reading my notes (120 sheets of a document) and she also managed to write things down that I didn't say e.g. I use a laptop. I have a new desktop computer, desk, lumbar chair and support for my wrists that she asked about but doesn't mention. The council's OT assessed and sent a report. None of this is included in her report.

    Fingers crossed for the reconsideration.


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,167 Disability Gamechanger
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    Don't get too focused on the report because this isn't going to get you a PIP award. It's their opinion based on everything you wrote in the form, the extra evidence you sent and what you said during your assessment. It's not the purpose of the assessment for them to write what you said verbatim.
    If you've already sent 120 pages of evidence, that's far too much. Several documents all stating the same thing isn't helpful. Then to send more medical evidence on top all saying the same thing isn't going to help you. Medical evidence is only useful if it states exactly how your conditions affect you and most doesn't. A diagnosis is often not in question.
    Your GP isn't the best person to ask for evidence because they don't spend anytime with you to know how you prepare food, use the toilet, dress/undress etc etc.
    If you haven't already given a couple of real world incidents of exactly what happened the last time you attempted each descriptor that applies then i'd advise you to do this. Include detailed information such as where you were, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were. You should aim for at least half an A4 side of paper per descriptor that applies to you.
    The most likely outcome of the MR will be the decision remains the same. If this happens you can proceed to Tribunal.
    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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