PIP, DLA and AA
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Using tribunal SOR as evidence next time.

sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
As I posted the other day my sister won her PIP tribunal and has been awarded the enhanced rate for both components. This is after getting 4 and 4 points at her change of circumstance assessment and then 6 and 4 after I slaved over research and an MR form for days! So to go from that to enhanced is amazing - I was her representative throughout and so I get copies of all the paperwork etc. We haven't yet had the court letter or any letter from the DWP - we know she won the appeal as she got the hospital/prison phonecall from the DWP and they gave her the information then. 

We don't know how long the award is for but as it's backdated over a year I'm aware that it might be sooner than we would like! Is there any sense in getting the tribunal's SOR to use as evidence at a reassessment? 

Honestly I'd be interested to read it anyway and see how they perceived her needs as I was unexpectedly unable to be present for the telephone tribunal!

Replies

  • romlaromla Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited December 2020
    Hi @sistersupporter
    Congrats on helping your sister win her case! My sister was so important in helping me with my PIP tribunal process when I was just 16 and made to switch to DLA to PIP early and my award changed from 0 points to enhanced in both components (it is ridiculous!). I and your sister are very lucky to have such supportive and proactive family :blush:

    Soon the DWP will send you a letter saying how long they are awarding PIP to your sister. In my case (and my elder sisters who just recently changed to DLA to PIP last month) the tribunal did say how long they will recommend PIP to be awarded for - though it is up to the DWP whether they listen to this recommendation.
    I'm not sure what an SOR is unfortunately. I would suggest getting all possible information from your tribunal process as well as the documents you provided ready for a future reassessment - or to have as a guide. There isn't too much information regarding PIP reassessments yet (I may be wrong here) so the more you can keep the better I'd say.
    I'm no expert on this but hopefully this helps a bit - well done on appealing your sister's PIP decision anyway!!!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    I would only advise anyone to request the SOR if they are unhappy with the decision that was made and they're looking for an error in law. The SOR is never written unless it's requested because it's a huge amount of work for the Judge to do, which is only ever done in their spare time.

    As the award was Enhanced, you can't get any higher award than this so for this reason i'd advise against requesting this.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    HI,

    I would only advise anyone to request the SOR if they are unhappy with the decision that was made and they're looking for an error in law. The SOR is never written unless it's requested because it's a huge amount of work for the Judge to do, which is only ever done in their spare time.

    As the award was Enhanced, you can't get any higher award than this so for this reason i'd advise against requesting this.
    Oh okay I didn’t realise this I assumed it was more like the assessors report which gets written up anyway! I won’t worry about it then and I’ll rest assured I was right in thinking she was entitled to enhanced from the start
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 851 Pioneering
    That’s amazing hope your sister enjoys back pay in time for the January sales x 
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    cupcake88 said:
    That’s amazing hope your sister enjoys back pay in time for the January sales x 
    Thank you! She got the phone call to confirm her details from the DWP yesterday and they said it should be paid within 5 working days!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    Just to clarify further.

    1 - whatever length of award the tribunal give it is not a recommendation. It is the decision and DWP gave 2 choices. Abide by it or appeal it. That does not prevent them from reviewing at any time unfortunately.

    2 - as @poppy123456 says, the SOR does not exist unless you request it. It won’t be quick in coming as most tribunals and clerks continue to work from home. As she also says, it doesn’t tend to play well if you request an SOR when you won. However, it’s important to remember that there are potential challenges to be made if you win e.g. if you’re unhappy with the length of award. So, it’s not automatically frowned upon if you request an SOR. It’s only frowned up if you don’t have a hope of im[raving what you have.

    3 - a statement of reasons is certainly something you could use for a future claim renewal etc. but it really depends when that is. If it’s in the next year then it may still be relevant but if it’s five years down the line then it’s no better than any other five year old evidence. 
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Just to clarify further.

    1 - whatever length of award the tribunal give it is not a recommendation. It is the decision and DWP gave 2 choices. Abide by it or appeal it. That does not prevent them from reviewing at any time unfortunately.

    2 - as @poppy123456 says, the SOR does not exist unless you request it. It won’t be quick in coming as most tribunals and clerks continue to work from home. As she also says, it doesn’t tend to play well if you request an SOR when you won. However, it’s important to remember that there are potential challenges to be made if you win e.g. if you’re unhappy with the length of award. So, it’s not automatically frowned upon if you request an SOR. It’s only frowned up if you don’t have a hope of im[raving what you have.

    3 - a statement of reasons is certainly something you could use for a future claim renewal etc. but it really depends when that is. If it’s in the next year then it may still be relevant but if it’s five years down the line then it’s no better than any other five year old evidence. 
    Thank you! I’m hoping it will be a long award, she previously was on standard rate daily living indefinitely but informed them of a change of circumstance around her mobility which is what led to her being denied anything just over a year ago. Fingers crossed they see fit to make it a long one! 

    We didn’t send much in the way of external evidence, relied mostly on the mandatory reconsideration form which I slaved over (alongside the legislation, PIP descriptors etc). The only extra bits we sent to the tribunal were a written statement on behalf of my sister by a welfare worker from the council and a psychiatrist letter stating her need for a dossette box as she hadn’t been awarded points for managing therapy. 

    I’m glad to see having joined the forum here wayyyy too late to get help with the reconsideration that I did the right thing in focussing on how she met the descriptors rather than her disabilities and things that she does struggle with but don’t count for PIP! Especially as she only got 6 for daily living and 4 for mobility after MR, to come out with enhanced for both components feels like a win.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Just to clarify further.

    1 - whatever length of award the tribunal give it is not a recommendation. It is the decision and DWP gave 2 choices. Abide by it or appeal it. That does not prevent them from reviewing at any time unfortunately.

    2 - as @poppy123456 says, the SOR does not exist unless you request it. It won’t be quick in coming as most tribunals and clerks continue to work from home. As she also says, it doesn’t tend to play well if you request an SOR when you won. However, it’s important to remember that there are potential challenges to be made if you win e.g. if you’re unhappy with the length of award. So, it’s not automatically frowned upon if you request an SOR. It’s only frowned up if you don’t have a hope of im[raving what you have.

    3 - a statement of reasons is certainly something you could use for a future claim renewal etc. but it really depends when that is. If it’s in the next year then it may still be relevant but if it’s five years down the line then it’s no better than any other five year old evidence. 
    Thank you! I’m hoping it will be a long award, she previously was on standard rate daily living indefinitely
    There are no indefinite awards for PIP. The longest award is 10 years with a light touch review.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Just to clarify further.

    1 - whatever length of award the tribunal give it is not a recommendation. It is the decision and DWP gave 2 choices. Abide by it or appeal it. That does not prevent them from reviewing at any time unfortunately.

    2 - as @poppy123456 says, the SOR does not exist unless you request it. It won’t be quick in coming as most tribunals and clerks continue to work from home. As she also says, it doesn’t tend to play well if you request an SOR when you won. However, it’s important to remember that there are potential challenges to be made if you win e.g. if you’re unhappy with the length of award. So, it’s not automatically frowned upon if you request an SOR. It’s only frowned up if you don’t have a hope of im[raving what you have.

    3 - a statement of reasons is certainly something you could use for a future claim renewal etc. but it really depends when that is. If it’s in the next year then it may still be relevant but if it’s five years down the line then it’s no better than any other five year old evidence. 
    Thank you! I’m hoping it will be a long award, she previously was on standard rate daily living indefinitely
    There are no indefinite awards for PIP. The longest award is 10 years with a light touch review.
    Ahh I wasn’t involved in her previous claim - she had had it over 5 years so it must have been that. 
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    She has it til November next year... less than a year until we might get to do this whole thing again!!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That's a very short award indeed. When awarded by a Tribunal DWP will contact her about 14 weeks before her award is due to end and then she will need to start a new claim by ringing DWP. She will then be sent the PIP2 forms again.

    When it's time for her to do this post back here and i'm sure someone will advise you further regarding filling out the form.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    That's a very short award indeed. When awarded by a Tribunal DWP will contact her about 14 weeks before her award is due to end and then she will need to start a new claim by ringing DWP. She will then be sent the PIP2 forms again.

    When it's time for her to do this post back here and i'm sure someone will advise you further regarding filling out the form.
    I guess because she first notified them of a change of circumstance over a year ago it sort of means she's had a 2yr award period before the review. Either way I feel a lot more prepared to make the case now and can see where the tribunal have scored her points so know where to focus the main bulk of the information in the forms! 

    We were told by the welfare worker at the local council the MR I wrote was detailed and concise and that was the evidence we relied most on at the tribunal. Thankfully I have a copy of everything I wrote for it so it can be tweaked and updated as necessary for the PIP2 when the time comes. 

    Will it be a new claim rather than a reassessment?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That's a very short award indeed. When awarded by a Tribunal DWP will contact her about 14 weeks before her award is due to end and then she will need to start a new claim by ringing DWP. She will then be sent the PIP2 forms again.

    When it's time for her to do this post back here and i'm sure someone will advise you further regarding filling out the form.

    Will it be a new claim rather than a reassessment?

    It will be a new claim but even if it was just a review all claims should be treated as a new claim by all claimants.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    Or you could challenge the decision on the basis of award length only. 
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Or you could challenge the decision on the basis of award length only. 
    We would need to go to the upper tribunal for that I think? I almost don’t want to rock the boat for my sister (her disabilities are largely mental health related) if it would be an ordeal. I feel in a much more prepared place to help her with the new claim next year now. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    You would indeed need to go to UT and that would open up the whole award in theory but only if the UT sent it back to the FTT. An appeal based solely on an error of law around the award length would be a prime candidate for the UT to substitute a decision of their own which would maintain the existing award but for a more appropriate length of time. My guess would be that there is not a shred of medical or other evidence fo suggest an improvement is likely in the next 12 months. That’s potentially your whole argument right there. 

    The other way of looking at this might be that a one year award is singularly unhelpful to her mental health as would a sequence of such awards be. Effectively then it’s potentially doing a disservice to her by allowing the current award length to stand. Whilst you say you feel much more prepared for the next claim I wonder whether, for example, you are aware that you can use the claim pack to ask for a specific award length?

    Whilst you patently have her best interests at heart I think now is the moment to seek formal representation. https://advicelocal.uk/ is as good a starting point as any. Looking back on some of your questions to the forum it suggests you have struggled to get answers on basic procedural aspects and at this stage that ought not to be the case. 
  • sistersupportersistersupporter Member Posts: 13 Connected
    You would indeed need to go to UT and that would open up the whole award in theory but only if the UT sent it back to the FTT. An appeal based solely on an error of law around the award length would be a prime candidate for the UT to substitute a decision of their own which would maintain the existing award but for a more appropriate length of time. My guess would be that there is not a shred of medical or other evidence fo suggest an improvement is likely in the next 12 months. That’s potentially your whole argument right there. 

    The other way of looking at this might be that a one year award is singularly unhelpful to her mental health as would a sequence of such awards be. Effectively then it’s potentially doing a disservice to her by allowing the current award length to stand. Whilst you say you feel much more prepared for the next claim I wonder whether, for example, you are aware that you can use the claim pack to ask for a specific award length?

    Whilst you patently have her best interests at heart I think now is the moment to seek formal representation. https://advicelocal.uk/ is as good a starting point as any. Looking back on some of your questions to the forum it suggests you have struggled to get answers on basic procedural aspects and at this stage that ought not to be the case. 
    You’re right I have had to go into this completely blind. The only “official” help we had leading up to the tribunal was a few weeks before when I was informed that our local council have a welfare advice service - I’ll try to get back in touch with them about appealing the award length and see if they think her case is strong enough. I’ve now seen where she scored points and it all seems to be well within what she deserves as to how her disabilities affected her at the time of her claim. Some things since then are better and some worse! 

    Thank you for the advice!
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