Issues with PIP decision (mental health)
Sorry that this is a rather rambling, long message but I wanted to get everything down. I don’t really have a specific question but I feel I may have been treated unfairly and am looking to see what people think, as well as for any general advice.
I have just had a decision for my PIP. Previously, I was on the enhanced daily living component and the standard mobility component. This has just been cut to the standard daily living component (8 points) and nil mobility (0 points!).
I suffer from a few diagnosed conditions: autism, OCD, anxiety, obsessional thoughts and depression.
For daily living, I agree with some of what they decided. However looking at their report I scored 0 for some things even though I feel I meet the descriptors for scoring points. I intend to challenge this.
However, scoring zero for mobility is what most surprised me - last time I scored 10 (I believe this should have been 12 but it was at the time when you couldn’t score 12 for a mental condition - this has changed now) and my condition hasn’t gotten any better since then. My situation is that I cannot go out of the house to make any journey (familiar or unfamiliar) unaccompanied - without my parents, I am housebound. Furthermore, I absolutely cannot use any public transport under any circumstances. All of this was explicitly stated both on my claim form and at my interview.
In spite of this, the decision letter states “I decided you can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided.” This is categorically untrue, and made me think they may have mixed my forms up with someone else’s!
The other issue I have is with the wording in their report. I initially asked for a home visit but was declined as they demanded more evidence from a doctor that I needed one, but I could not get a doctor’s appointment in time. So, I spent several weeks psyching myself up for the interview and managed to attend it, having been taken there and accompanied the whole time by a parent. It took huge effort to attend while retaining my dignity and composure - I was incredibly anxious throughout the entire interview. However, in the report it was stated, “you were not observed to be anxious, agitated or tense” and “there is no evidence of overwhelming psychological distress”. I was upset by the assessor’s view which, seemingly, was that I did not appear distressed, so I wasn’t distressed. The view that physical appearance has this much bearing in relation to a mental disorder seems discriminatory towards someone with a hidden disability. Effectively they are saying, “you didn’t look unwell” which I find very unfair, and sounds like something that someone would say in the 1970s, not 2019.
Just wondering what you think? Am I right to ask for a mandatory reconsideration or do you think I am being unreasonable?