Sent in PIP appeal and now wish I hadn't :-( — Scope | Disability forum

Sent in PIP appeal and now wish I hadn't :-(

Debra012 Member Posts: 3 Listener
hello everyone,

ive been reading all the posts on here for a while but this is my 1st time posting as I'm hoping somebody might understand me :-(
The posts on here gave me the confidence to appeal my PIP decision but now I've sent it in I feel so ill.

 I'd been in receipt of DLA at MR for care & HR for mobility ("lifetime") award for the past 15 years. I received a renewal notice to transfer to PIP and filled in the questionnaire and received a letter to attend an assessment in March. I received a letter a few weeks later telling me they had stopped my DLA and I had received "0" points on all activities for care or mobility. I was absolutely devastated and my mental health suffered substantially. My GP was concerned for me and sent an urgent referral to see a psychologist.

After searching online for help and assistance I found out I had the right to appeal. I sent in a mandatory reconsideration notice with the belief they had just made an honest mistake due to the assessing HP's comments ... But sadly I received the same outcome. Again, I was beside myself. It's just a short time before we have to hand back my mobility car and we don't have funds to buy another. I will be totally housebound and unable to attend specialist appointments and we are struggling financially since losing my care component and my husbands carers allowance.

i wanted to leave it as I honestly didn't feel that I had it in me to take it any further, but after advice and reading posts from others in the same position my husband talked me into taking it to an appeal tribunal. I sent off the letter and received a letter back last week telling me they had informed DWP and they would send me all their information in due course. Now I feel so ill I don't think I can go through with it. I'm not the brightest, my stress levels are through the roof and I'm not sleeping due to extreme anxiety. I can't cope with months of this, I'm dreadful at filling in forms etc, I never know what to say, I won't have a clue what to do in court and I'm terrified. I'm terribly depressed and having thoughts of self harming. I know I can't work and I need my husband with me so he's really concerned about everything.

The only family we have are our two adult daughters who work and have children of their own and do what they can to help me, to take some of the strain off my husband. 

Im so sorry to ramble I just needed to talk to someone x


  • debsidoo
    debsidoo Member Posts: 325 Pioneering
    Hi Debra012
    Please don’t let yourself get into a state over this.You said you got zero points in both components so you really have nothing to lose.I know the thought of a tribunal can be very overwhelming but don’t give up,keep talking to people.Just remember that the tribunal is independent of the DWP so they will listen to your answers.
    As for your lack of transport,see if you can speak to your GP practise and arrange either hospital transport or the voluntary car service.If not there may be other help you can get in order to attend specialist appointments.Remember it never hurts to ask and you may find more support.Good luck.
  • lisabrazil80
    lisabrazil80 Member Posts: 94 Connected
    Debra that what happened to me the same as u I still waiting a appeal I fill likening doing my self in it killing with worry good luck
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I am not sure how they work out the criteria for using it but hospital transport is available for those who cannot attend appointments any other way. I have been using it since before my DLA decision came through. I do know they have changed the rules more recently though but it never hurts to ask.

    As for the PIP situation I am currently waiting on a letter since I put in my claim and despite the fact that I was on MR care and HR mobility DLA am expecting problems ever since I found out the PIP (unlike DLA) is not paid whilst waiting for an appeal. Consequently I expect they fail a lot of claims as this saves them money and puts the decision off onto someone else.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,442 Disability Gamechanger
    A lot of claiments who claim DLA with long time awards then transfer over to PIP find they either get no points and go for a MR or not enough points to keep their cars. Because the criteria for scoring points in each category care, daily living activities and mobility are totally different between the two benefits. So we have to ask did the acessor mark you down to as other say to save money or was it because you had stated that you can do certain activities or walk certain distances thus lowering you points scored. Remember PIP is about your abilities and you mobility in daily life not your illness or disability.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger

    Try to get some f2f advice from CAB or similar, or welfare rights.  Mind Helpline might be able to help.

    It's worth appealing despite the hassle as 71% of appeals win.  You don't have to worry about what to say at the tribunal as the panel will ask you questions about your daily living and mobility.  Just be confident and give clear answers.

    As others have said, PIP is awarded for how your disabilities affect you.  Your disabilities have to fit the relevant descriptors.  Take a look at PIP on the Disability Rights UK site.
  • Milly123
    Milly123 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Hi Debra012. 
    I too was on the same dla as you and  had to change over to pips. I had my face to face in which the assessor lied and said I had walked across the room a few metres on my partners arm, but not leaning on him, slowly in some discomfort but steady. In other words, I didn't need any support and there was nothing wrong with my balance. It was a big lie as I never walked in the room at all. I was pushed in my wheelchair by my partner and he helped me out and onto a chair. He did the same in reverse when we left. I never walked at all. It's just her word against ours and at the end of the day, the dwp took her word. I was awarded standard in both care and mobility. I felt it was unfair as I was expecting enhanced mobility so we sent in a mandatory reconsideration. Again, I was only awarded the same as they kept referring to the assessors report about me walking. I know it's extremely upsetting and frustrating how these assessors keep getting away with all these lies. I have had enough of the worry and stress all this has caused me. I know I can appeal but I'm frightened I will loose what they have awarded me so I think I'm going to have to accept it and go with what they've offered. It really does get to me that it's because of her lies that I didn't get awarded what I really deserve but I feel that I've lost the battle. If I had not been awarded anything, I would have carried on and gone on to appeal as there would have been nothing to loose, but I'm afraid in case I loose what I've got. The dwp are banking on people being afraid to carry on to appeal like myself in case we loose.
    So, if I was you Debra012, I would carry on fighting and go to appeal as you were not awarded anything so you have got nothing to loose and everything to gain by doing so. I know you are going to find it really hard but you have got to be strong and get what is rightfully yours. Don't let them get away with it. Ask your c.a b. for help with it, that's what they are there for. They were very helpful to me and helped with my pip application. Make an appointment with them and take all your paperwork including the letter that the dwp sent back for the mandatry consideration. And if you asked dwp on the phone if you could have a copy of the assessors report, take that too. If you haven't asked for a copy of the report, then I would get onto dwp and ask for a copy as you are entitled to see what has been written about you. And lastly, keep copys of everything and get as many doctors and specialist reports as you can. You will need as much information on your health problems as you can to take or send in with your appeal. You will probably have to wait a few months but that is a good thing as it gives you lots of time to get this information together. Lastly Debra, I'd like to wish you lots of luck if you do decide to appeal. Take care xx
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Whilst giving good advice some posters seem not to realise that the effects on the claimant of pursuing an appeal is extremely concerning. It's like telling someone to just pull your socks up and get on with it. I sometimes feel that some advice would leave claimants with a feeling of letting the side down if they don't push forwards. The last thing is not to give anyone a guilt complex.
    I know what the strain is and many posters do in fact say the same story.
    Yes it would help if there was a helping hand for all such as the CAB, but from mine and many other people's experiences getting hold of these agencies is either difficult or non existent.  
  • Androgen
    Androgen Member Posts: 69 Connected
    I recently had to go through an appeal with my partner, I'm not sure if it will help you at all to know, but it's not an actual court procedure, it's fairly informal.

    You'll be in a small meeting room with 3 people, they'll ask you some questions each (general about you, daily living, and mobility) and they're usually quite nice, they don't work for Capita/Atos or the DWP, they're completely independent, and are generally on your side unless you give them overwhelming evidence that you're not actually entitled to it.
    Also, it says that there will be someone from DWP there, but they often don't send anyone, and you can also request a paper based trial instead if you really think that you can't face going to the tribunal (which you can take someone with you for support, you don't have to go alone, and you can also get a representative to help you).
    One of the things I'd recommend is to go through all the PIP descriptors, write down which ones you think you should be entitled to (the points as well) and maybe give a small bit of evidence as to why, and you can hand that over as evidence at the tribunal as well.
  • Debra012
    Debra012 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you all so very much for your comments. I'm sorry I don't know how to quote people but in answer to questions: I have suffered with severe depression and anxiety for many years. I was first diagnosed some 35 years ago and suffered with additional PND with each birth. I am unable to engage with people most of the time, I have no friends and spent most of my life hiding and trying to gloss over how bad I was for fear of intervention from social services and losing my children. Since their births I had low thoughts but never attempted suicide as they where my reason for living.

    i have suffer from osteoarthritis (diagnosed 1995) which affects my ability / mobility greatly I am in constant pain. I was given a walking frame by the hospital and I have walking sticks and a wheeled frame when I'm outdoors. I have gotten worse over the years but due to my anxiety and depression have been too embarrassed and fearful to ask for help. 

    Since my my assessment my health both physically and mentally has declined, I have since suffered two fractured vertebrae and seeing a orthopaedic specialist and I'm now awaiting a bone density scan. 

    The HP that assessed me was awful, I complained about him after the assessment, he lied in his comments, failed to put a lot of what I said and asked my husband to remain quiet during the assessment as I had to answer for myself. There are several things he put that I never said and some part sentences that make absolutely no sense? He made his own assumptions and said I heard my name called, had good recollection of my ailments, looked clean although a little unkempt! That I walked slowly with a frame and had an even gait. He said I had adequate eye contact, but I rarely looked at him. I sat facing away from him transfixed on the door. He didn't ask anything about journeys, going out etc or if days vary, in fact he didn't really ask a lot, just made statements and typed. 

    I felt so so embarrased and was in so much pain I just wanted to get out of there and get home. It was a dreadful experience and not one I wish to endure again in a hurry :-(
  • Androgen
    Androgen Member Posts: 69 Connected
    You won't have toahave another assessment like that as part of the appeal, they will ask you questions, but it's not an interrogation, also they tend to make their decisions on the day, or the day after, and you're likely
    to be awarded at least a 5 year award, if not more, which means you won't have to deal with another assessment for a few years
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger

    Many assessors tell lies and tribunals know this.  Tribunals are impartial and decide for themselves what you can and can't do.  Only in a minority of cases do the DWP send a rep.

    The Disability Rights Handbook gives an outline of PIP tribunal hearings procedure.  £18.50 from Disability Rights UK site or probably available in your local reference library.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,566 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Debra012
    Thank you for sharing your story with us all and a very warm welcome to the community! I hope you continue to share things with us.
    I am really sorry to hear about your PIP experience, and how stressful you have found it. I wish you the very best of luck.

  • Debra012
    Debra012 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you again for all your comments and support. Thank you Matilda, I've ordered the handbook and will read through it when it arrives. I will wait till I receive all the info from DWP and take it from there. 

    Im still very nervous at the idea of sitting in front of three strangers, I get all flustered and go into panic mode and cry a lot, but I will have my husband with me. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,327 Disability Gamechanger
    @Debra012 having just read your post I’d definitely not describe you as not bright. Detailed and articulate. Excellent stuff. So...

    1) The advice to seek representation is excellent. Look up your local Citizens Advice, Law Centre, independent advice centre or local authority welfare rights service and book an appointment or home visit. Don’t worry if they’re busy. You e plenty of time as appeal delays are quite long. Once you have someone on your side some of your concerns about the process will reduce. @Yadnad quite rightly mentions that the process and the delays can take a toll but help is out there and it will ease some of that weight. Make sure you get an actual representative though. Not just someone who will do a written submission and leave you to fend for yourself on the day. Bear in mind also that there are many types of tribunal. You should never opt for a hearing just on the papers. The success rate is ludicrously low. Always opt for an oral hearing and even if you’re not well enough to go they can explore Skype or telephone hearings. Lots of options.

    2) Whilst your experience might feel very personal to you it’s actually pretty common to get HCPs who play fast and loose with facts and inferences. Equally the success rate at mandatory reconsideration is 17% whereas at appeal it’s 71% so, it’s likely to be them not you :) Always keep that in mind. 

    3) Whilst the Disability Rights Handbook is a great resource it’s not that great on appeals and there are much more detailed and cheaper resources on the internet that go into the sort of practical information you will need. If it helps, I represent at appeals and can answer any questions you might care to throw at me. Let’s start by saying it’ll be a little while before you get the appeal papers so you should use the time wisely to get a rep but also not be daunted by the suze if them when you get them. They will mostly contain things you’ve seen before that the tribunal haven’t like your claim pack; decision letters; your MR; their MR decision; the HCP assessment and so on. The only original material in there will be a submission from DWP arguing their case. Mostly this is templates pick a paragraph type stuff; often stuff and nonsense and largely disregarded by most tribunals.  
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Debra012 said:

    Im still very nervous at the idea of sitting in front of three strangers, I get all flustered and go into panic mode and cry a lot, but I will have my husband with me

    I can fully understand that. One genuine question, if that experience is going to be uncomfortable and difficult how would you feel about sitting in front of a camera and a microphone when having to go for an assessment?


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