PIP, DLA and AA
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upper Tribunal partial refusal of permission to appeal. What now?

cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 99 Pioneering
Hi everybody,
Apologies that I have not been online for ages. Ive been in hospital for most of March which in no small part, has been due to the prolonged and ongoing stress of my pip appeal.
@mikehughescq you have always given me excellent advice and help re my pip appeal and I wondered if I may ask your advice again?

My case in brief was losing life time award of DLA due to Pip transition. Lost FTT for pip daily living component, despite having ESA support reinstated in my favour, by dwp lapsing that appeal just two weeks prior to dwp then to reject my pip daily living.

Had terrible reprrsentation throughout, (understandably due to overstretched WRU)

Discovered my rep had not included key info and/or info Id asked to be included and descriptors id wanted to appeal, key info, docs not being sent with my request to UT.
I wrote on here in Feb saying the UT were rejecting 2 out of the 4 points my rep had submitted (again, key info omitted etc, scant info sent to UT.

UT wrote to FTT as id explained my hearing on the day,, was rushed at the end, due to clerk alerting the judge that the 'next appellant was there waiting'. There was a brief exchange that clearly indicated the next person was already waiting, so my son, who was told his evidence would be heard at the end, wasnt really given chance to speak, as we were rushed out (definitely felt pressured to wrap up' as told theyd ran over time-

Informed id get decision in post due to being over etc. (which Supports what I said to UT)

Other point I raised was presence of PO already being there and we,d no way of knowing etc if my case had been discussed, as I think (but cant be 100 % sure) she was in the room when we entered, but knew shed been there all day, as we were told this upon signing in.

The FTT members have all replied now, their answers very vague and they cant remember, or cant be sure etc due to it being a year ago.

The judge stated whilst she couldnt remember details of case, there had been a person after me but that there was no way she would have cut a present hearing short because someone else was ready and that the clerrk did all the communicating with appellants if times ran over etc.

I can say without any uncertainty (and would willingly swear under oath!) That tthis situation DID occur. Both my son and I were aware that the clerk had indicated to the judge something, and her reply, asking if the next person was already waiting, which he confirmed, put pressure for my case to be rushed .

None of the other panel members can confirm nor deny as to whether my 'allegations' were true or not.
The judge herself could only say she wouldnt have done that (yet she did!) And we even passed the guy on our way out. I wished him good luck as he looked terrified!

In the meantime, between my two letters from UT, as I said, my rep has been unhelpful to put it mildly and in fact, I regret not handling my case completely myself, as i did all the work anyway, but was relying on her support and knowledge and helping with deadlines etc.

The UT make mention of how little info there is on my case from my rep (and again if im honest, its done me more harm than good her being involved as key points omitted etc, no communication, not getting replies from her even after deadlines)

Im going downhill rapidly and have been in hospital two more ocassions this time, with head injuries, a large gash to my leg after losing consciousness and falling onto a large glass jar which got embedded in my leg)

Im just out of hospital again and UT letter dated April 15 which seems to reiterate the one i got in march, which said ive 2 avenues I can pursue (but basically chances are slim)
1 to set aside.
2 judicial review.

This time though, it includes brief replies from ALL the panel. None of whom have confirmed nor denied my allegations, but just said theyve done loads of these hearings and they doubt that wouldve happened, but cant remember.

Ive sacked off the rep, as it was causing me too much anxiety her being 'involved' when she done more harm than good.

I can actually understand why uT judged rejected my request, having read what shed sent in as 'errors of law' or reasons... and these were not the points id said, or wanted to raise (so all i was left with was the vague hope that at least one of the panel members would 'fess up' about us about us being rushed out.

But theyve all said, its been too long and cant recall. They did confirm my case ran over and that i got decision by post. They also confirmed there was a case after minr.
Excrpt I dont know where I go from here now?

Will ut just believe their vedsion, or me? Will it make a diff? Is there still chance they will allow my request to appeal to UT? Nothing is clear tbh.

Ironically, the bundle id sent, was poss too much info to go through as I was very thorough in sending evidence, copies of docs etc. But rep sent just 4 reasons to ut (2 of whjch ut have rejecttd)
Any ideas? I honestly feel this case is killing me and im not sure how long i can last.

But i cant drop it. Not now, not on principle and i cant financially. I can barely afford to eat. Pay my bills etc.

Im so cold and my body temp dropped to 32.0 two days ago. I know i cant sustain this too much longer. 
Im actually in the process of writing my testimony about my case. As i want to be heard in my own words. Something ive not had the chance throughout all of the appeal process.
Im doing this and will send a copy to UT, simply becsuse its my only chance (well, its not really even thatv) to say in my own words how my disability affects my daily living.
Whilst I have a physical/neuro disability and complex health issues, ive never been treated for MH or anxiety (until recently) so they rejected my argument about needing help with social interaction, as i was awarded mobility under 'needs gude dog or person to plan or complete a journey...

My difficulties with social interaction are separate, but this wasnt clearly explained by my rep. She sent an abridged version of what id written, saying the tribunal wouldnt think my points were relevent in law...
So, health wise, its just a matter of time before i end up bk in hospital. Having more falls and injuries and with massive drop in benefits, got to really cut bk. Its catch 22.

Im not saying I feel suicidal, but I know im declining pretty quickly and the concussion and injuries, burns, accidents happening more often.
People say to me, just drop it Cat. Look what its doing. But guess Im too stubborn to do that. Ill die trying though and my situation helps just one other person, if a judge takes time to read my testimony, theb the fight will be worth it.

Mike, once again, my thanks for all your sound advice and help. Still praying for a miracle, but not really holding hope.
 That said, still open to ideas until I actually see it in writing that case number whatever...(ie my fight for pip) has those two words, 'The End'.
Hope everyone is ok and seeing some light at end of this pandemic tunnel? 
God bless you all and keep fighting for justice! big hug, your friend, Cat Xx

Replies

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,297 Disability Gamechanger
    Lot of detail but not clear to me where exactly we’re up to. Any chance you could post anonymised screen shots of what you’ve received?
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 99 Pioneering
    Hi Mike
    thought I had scanned in the recent docs, but can't find them. Will try do that now and post anonymized. Thanks. Hope everyone ok? XX. 
  • sandyp196sandyp196 Member Posts: 131 Pioneering
    Im so sad reading your account of what happened to you. I have had my own battle with pip. I understand the poverty element and the lack of representation. I dont understand why claimants who have to go to tribunal cannot access proper free legsl representation. 
    I couldnt go to tribunal as i literally couldnt cope with jt, either physically or mentally. I couldnt cope for all the reasons capita scored me zero on. I coildnt get representation. I phonef dwp to see how i could fo ahead with tribunal. They gave me no advice. I said the reasons why i couldnt proceed and she said thats fine and hung up. 
    It was two years later after joining a fb group i found out i could have applied for a paper based tribunal. I did not know that and the lady at dwp decided not to share that information when i phoned for help and advice about tribunal.
    Anyway im not looking for advice here as i now have it all in hand and have an advocate.
    I just wanted to wish you well. I hope you have had a good outcome with pip and that you are feeling better too (i know this post was written a while ago). 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,795 Pioneering
    sandyp196 said:.. the lady at dwp decided not to share that information when i phoned for help and advice about tribunal.
    DWP do not administer the tribunal service, the whole point of the tribunal is that it's Independent of the DWP. The DWP therefore cannot be expected to give advice about the tribunal service. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,297 Disability Gamechanger
    sandyp196 said:

    I couldnt go to tribunal as i literally couldnt cope with jt, either physically or mentally. I couldnt cope for all the reasons capita scored me zero on. I coildnt get representation. I phonef dwp to see how i could fo ahead with tribunal. They gave me no advice. I said the reasons why i couldnt proceed and she said thats fine and hung up. 
    It was two years later after joining a fb group i found out i could have applied for a paper based tribunal. I did not know that and the lady at dwp decided not to share that information when i phoned for help and advice about tribunal.
    Anyway im not looking for advice here as i now have it all in hand and have an advocate.
    Ah yes Facebook. The Wild West of benefits advice or indeed most everything. 

    DWP determine benefit entitlements. In the whole history of the DWP (as they are now) they have never offered benefits advice or employed anything resembling bebefits advisers. In your case there was no decision to not share. The staff you spoke to would have no knowledge of the tribunals process as it’s entirely separate to their purpose and processes. 

    The advice from your Facebook group was terrible. The success rate for a paper hearing is currently around 5 to 8%. That’s compared to around 80% for attending in person. I wonder if anyone in your group bothered to arm you with that pivotal piece of information? Opting for a paper hearing is effectively broadcasting “I don’t really care about my appeal and I’d like it to fail”. I am of course being flippant, but not very much. 

    I wonder if they bothered to mention that, even if you opt for a paper tribunal, a panel are now obliged, thanks to recent case law, to explore whether an oral hearing would be the fairer or better way to proceed. So, you could indeed opt for a paper hearing but then find yourself asked to attend an oral hearing anyway. 

    I made a very cocky statement on another forum recently. In 30+ years I’ve had numerous claimants tell me how they couldn’t cope with an oral hearing. By the time I’ve finished arming them with facts like the above I have literally never had one fail to attend. Furthermore, many/most of them have gone on to win the appeal with negligible input from myself. If you attend and are well prepared your case wins itself.
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 99 Pioneering
    Thank you @sandyp196. I hope you fare better this time around too. If you are dealing with an appeal and tribunal, it is unbelievably stressful.
    You won't get advice from DWP and they generally won't offer any. 
    My experience with my Pip appeal, has taught me the importance of having good representation and an advocate who is committed to helping you with your case.
    Also, when you are looking for support and or advice online, particularly on Facebook, there are some great forums out there, but there's also a lot of misinformation too. If you aren't sure about something, check different sources .
    As my case currently stands, I've asked for the UT to set aside.

    I'm waiting to hear on the outcome of whether it will be a yes or no.

    Hindsight is 20/20 as the saying goes. I definitely would have got better representation if I had known ahead of time, the impact your advocate can have on your case.

    You need an advocate who is present and is committed to fighting your corner so to speak.

    My advocate was not present at my hearing and was barely present throughout say of the appeal process.

    In many ways, I feel it was more damaging to my case having it on record that I had an advocate, when the reality was very different.

    Going into the tribunal without an advocate, was terrifying and pretty intimidating to say the least.

    I truly hope you can get the support you need and be awarded Pip.

    There is a wealth of support and advice here at Scope online. Also people who have a lot of knowledge about the appeals process and benefits advice etc.

    Best of luck Sandy.
    Xx
  • sandyp196sandyp196 Member Posts: 131 Pioneering
    Honestly i just wanted to empathise with the poster. I did say i wasnt looking for advice for myself. 
    Many people like myself had no idea how the benefits system worked for disability benefits. I know now as i had to get educated. 
    But years ago i just assumed my govt would help me when i got sick. I look back now and cant believe the blind faith i had in the system. 
    It wouldnt have occurred to me that ringing pip for advice wouldnt get me advice about the pip process. 
    Like i said i am not looking for advice now. I just wanted to know how the lady was doing as her post made me sad and tearful for her. 
  • cat_hugcat_hug Member Posts: 99 Pioneering
    Thank you @sandyp196. I'm still fighting to get Pip daily living. The whole process has taken a lot out of me and like many people going through the same, or worse, it's devastating. You feel like you're literally fighting for your life. I just take things a day at a time and pray for a miracle
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