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Just had my PIP tribunal, and would like to vent about the whole process.

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alexthefrog
alexthefrog Scope Member Posts: 6 Listener
Hi everyone. I'm a new user, but have been looking through this forum a lot recently, in the run up to my PIP tribunal hearing. The hearing was today, it was a very stressful situation and I just feel deflated now. Admittedly, I gave up on the idea of getting PIP before I got the tribunal date through, so I didn't expect to be so affected by it.

I was diagnosed with severe ADHD in August 2021. The assessing nurse also suspected that I am autistic. Due to a number of mishandlings by the a number of people (the assessing nurse, my local health authority) my diagnosis was not put on my medical record and I was not able to start treatment. I was placed back on the assessment waiting list, despite being able to provide the letters I had been sent confirming my diagnosis and the suggested treatment. I suffered more and more between September 2021 and December 2021 and became suicidal. Only then was I actually listened to and started on medication.

I had regular meetings with a CPN (clinical psychiatric nurse) and she advised me in January to apply for PIP. So I did, and I scored 4 points in Daily Living and 0 in mobility. I asked for Mandatory Reconsideration and nothing changed. So I asked to take the appeal to tribunal. When I got my bundle through with notes from my health consultation, I was shocked and disheartened at what they'd written about me. So much emphasis put on the fact that I was working 5 days a week, the fact that I could drive to work and the fact that I was "well-kempt and average build". And again today at the tribunal, so much focus on me working (I no longer work 5 days a week), me driving (I barely drive any more) and the fact that I went on holiday with some friends over summer (I had to tell them this because I was out of the country during my appeal window and had to tell them why it was late).

It feels so unfair. I live alone, I rent my flat from my mum. She used redundancy money and her pension to buy a small flat to stop me becoming homeless in summer 2021 after months of flat-hunting, and she now relies on me paying rent to supplement her wages to look after herself and my younger sisters. Working full-time was hell for me, I had to get several sick lines (which I told the assessors about), I would cry after work and in the bathroom during my shifts and I was exhausted all the time. Because I worked in food preparation, I had to wash daily and wear clean clothes, and that was used against me. I was terrified of losing my only source of income, I had to follow those rules. My work was less than a 10 minute drive from my work, right by my vets so I knew the route well, and I hated driving but there were no buses I could get there, and I finished my shift at midnight so trains wouldn't be on when I finished.

I looked "well-kempt" at my consultation because I was wearing casual clothes?? Is it not a societal rule to put on clothes to leave the house? Should I have gone in my pyjamas? The "normal build" comment was incredibly inappropriate. I told them I eat one meal a day at most (dinner that my partner comes over and makes for me, I don't eat anything else in a day), I lost almost 30kgs of weight in under a year because I stopped eating, and I don't experience hunger. I see a dietician and have been prescribed supplements because I'm not eating. And when I mentioned my partner the doctor present started grilling me on how we met (online), where we met up in person for the first time (a public place because I didn't fancy being possibly murdered by a near stranger at his flat or mine).

I grew up caring for my disabled father, from the age of 12 until he died just before I was 24. It has been ingrained in me not to ask for help, not to show when I'm suffering, to do things I don't want to for other people, because I was the oldest child. I had to look after everyone, I couldn't be a burden. I can put on a brave face, I can act almost normal when I really have to, but it hurts me and I suffer and struggle. I tried to tell them this, I don't think they cared. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to get anything from these people, but to be treated so inhumanely by everyone except the judge is just too much.

Anyway, I'm sorry for posting such a big rant. I appreciate it if anyone reads it, I am just very tired and burnt out.
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Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Sorry if I've missed it in your narrative but do I take it your trinomial was unsuccessful or are you waiting for a decision?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • alexthefrog
    alexthefrog Scope Member Posts: 6 Listener
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    calcotti said:
    Sorry if I've missed it in your narrative but do I take it your trinomial was unsuccessful or are you waiting for a decision?
    Hi Calcotti, sorry for the confusion! I just had the tribunal today, and was told they'll mail the decision out to me, so I haven't had it yet. But based on the questions I was asked and the attitudes of the doctor, disability specialist and DWP representative, I am not feeling very optimistic about it.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,112 Disability Gamechanger
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    There's lots of people that feel exactly the same way but go onto have a decision in their favour. Not having a decision on the day doesn't mean you've been refused. The only issue now is that there's lots of Royal Mail strikes coming up so the decision letter may take quite sometime.
    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.
  • alexthefrog
    alexthefrog Scope Member Posts: 6 Listener
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    There's lots of people that feel exactly the same way but go onto have a decision in their favour. Not having a decision on the day doesn't mean you've been refused. The only issue now is that there's lots of Royal Mail strikes coming up so the decision letter may take quite sometime.
    Hi poppy, thanks for the response. I know it's common to feel it went poorly and then be awarded something, so I know I should try to be optimistic, it's just tough. I feel like the attitude towards me so far "well, you've survived this long under these conditions, so you can keep doing it, you don't need help" and so I don't feel like help is coming. It has just been a long day.
  • rebel11
    rebel11 Community member Posts: 1,664 Pioneering
    edited December 2022
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    If your circumstances has changed, which they have, if the Appeal is 'unsuccessful' (which you don't know at the moment), apply for PIP again, but get CAB etc to help with your claim. Get all the evidence that backs up what you are saying and it needs to be presented clearly where they can't change it in a 'wishy, washy' way. 
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm so sorry you feel so low @alexthefrog.

    You mentioned your partner and mum, as well as friends you managed to go away with, are they all still a good support system for you? I just wanted to check in. We are always here if you need to vent <3 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Puja
    Puja Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 104 Courageous
    edited December 2022
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    @alexthefrog Hi 👋🏽
    welcome to the forum 🙂
    you’re in good company here, many of us can relate am sure.

    It sounds really stressful but well done on going through and answering them in the hearing too, I really hope you get it sounds really tough.
    As much as they shouldn’t sadly they do seem to count people who work as ‘not disabled enough’ to qualify and a way to save the DWP money I suppose 🤔
    but still you don’t know the outcome til you get that letter so my 🤞🏽 fingers are crossed. 

    Please do update us when you find out, and hopefully it’ll be successful 🙂

    But if not you can reapply with help from a specialist organisation like CAB or welfare rights or a local disability organisation perhaps? good luck 👍🏽
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    I have lived experience of ND conditions, chronic pain, mental health & well-being, PIP, ESA, employment and benefits. 

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  • alexthefrog
    alexthefrog Scope Member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Hi all, sorry for not updating sooner, I got very busy with my university coursework and then swept up in Christmas preparations. Honestly, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, too.

    I got the results of my tribunal in (twice, for some reason) and, unfortunately, nothing changed. No extra points awarded, and so no PIP awarded. Very disheartening, and I do feel like I've been ignored. I might reapply in the future, but probably not until I'm at least done with university because I can't take the stress of the PIP process on top of stress from uni.

    Thanks everyone for your replies and kind words, I hope this holiday season is as relaxing as possible for you all!
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