How long is too long? (Sorry long post) — Scope | Disability forum

How long is too long? (Sorry long post)

collyettey
collyettey Member Posts: 10 Listener
edited May 5 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Ok so for a quick timeline (and yes I understand COVID has caused issues) 

March 2019 - applied for PIP - sent a stack of evidence from 2 medical professionals plus my completed for

April 2019 - assessment at my home, assessor fabricated/guessed at lots - such as stating I maintained eye contact throughout and then 2 pages later, he couldn’t see my eye as I was wearing dark glasses and had my head in my hands, or that I answered every question, when I fact my husband answered probably 95% 

End May 2019 - received discussion - rejected

June 2019 - sent request for Mandatory Reconsideration (inc more evidence which included audio recording of assessment as I was questioning the info in the report and was providing evidence to support he entered details incorrectly)

October 2019 - called to chase up MR to be told it had been ‘incorrectly filed as a request for notes’ (which never came), spent an hour on the phone waiting for them to change it from a notes request to a MR

November 2019 - MR decision - original rejection upheld

December 2019 - Appeal filed - more evidence sent to tribunal (stuff that happened between the requesting an MR and the appeal date plus another copy of the audio from the assessment)

July 2020 - received a letter stating paper tribunal was held but postponed/suspended as they want a telephone tribunal plus more details from GP

August 2020 - Requested documents from GP sent and received (sent by a signed service) plus more evidence from a second medical professional 

May 2021 - called them on 1st for update - can’t tell me anything and I have to wait

my question is - how long is too long??? 
It feels like it’s been forever and I’m being ignored!! 

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,919 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    It does seem an awful long time but not unheard of 


    I presume it is the phone tribunal you are waiting for ? 

    Have you been in touch with the court or was it dwp 

    Maybe try and get your local mp involved though often it doesn't make much difference 

    Might also be worth lodging a complaint about the waiting time  

    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,842 Disability Gamechanger
    Author of your own misfortune to a large extent here I’m afraid. 2 things:

    1 - the paper hearing will have been a single judge sitting alone triaging the case. If they thought it could have been won on the evidence submitted then they would have made a provisional decision to award. They did not think that and so you proceeded to an oral hearing which currently largely means a telephone hearing.

    2 - the evidence you have submitted seems significant in quantity and, as can be seen from the triage decision, wholly ineffective. You have directed your energy to providing medical evidence and proving the HCP wrong. Neither will get you PIP. You need to forget their evidence and start looking at the quality of your own. Direct yourself solely to the points scoring activities and ask yourself if you have provided examples for each of the ones which you feel apply to you of specific occasions when you tried but could not complete said activity reliably as defined by the law. I’m sure you will tell me that you have. I’d like to hear one of those examples as most people make assertions like “I fall regularly” which are neither evidence (anyone can make an assertion) but that’s not the same as evidence which would come by way of an example such as “I fell in my kitchen on the 1st of April and this was in front of person x. It happened like this.” and so on.

    You have also fallen into the trap of trying to dot the i’s and cross the t’s by recording the assessment by submitting what sounds like an illegal recording of the assessment. My guess would be that you assume they can play said audio but this is almost certainly not the case. Your 3 tribunal members will be sat at home previewing what sounds like several hundred pages of evidence and with some audio they likely cannot play. As telephone hearing are also conducted remotely then that’s likely to not change. 

    In the circumstances your appeal will likely be a very low priority because the large volume of paper requires a clerk to be in the office to scan, print and distribute multiple copies whilst competing with other priorities for the limited time they will be allowed in the building, 

    Nagging them to speed it up isn’t going to help you so much as weeding your own evidence and paring it down to only that which is relevant.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,425 Disability Gamechanger
    Also worth pointing out that “stuff that happened between the requesting an MR and the appeal date” may have no relevance as the appeal is about whether the original decision was correct with respect to how your health impacted you at the time of that decision. Any deterioration resulting in greater difficulties since that date is not relevant.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,842 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @calcotti I could have added that but figured that spelling out that volume and audio were the big issues here would do for starters and… I was busy watching the football.
     
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,425 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 3
    mikehughescq said:… I was busy watching the football.
    It’s important to prioritise!

    Quite understand you can’t cover everything and you know far more about tribunal procedures than I do but that just jumped out at me as I read the opening post. 
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,842 Disability Gamechanger
    I was quite impressed with myself  :)

    Simultaneously eating tea and biscuits; watching a live stream of the footy on my iPad Pro with Zoom running in the background for the audio descriptive commentary; typing posts in 2 forums and running the footy scores up every now again to check what else was going down in our division whilst doing a firmware update on my streamer. Put 3 bins out at half time and completely remade the bed. 
  • collyettey
    collyettey Member Posts: 10 Listener
    calcotti said:
    Also worth pointing out that “stuff that happened between the requesting an MR and the appeal date” may have no relevance as the appeal is about whether the original decision was correct with respect to how your health impacted you at the time of that decision. Any deterioration resulting in greater difficulties since that date is not relevant.
    There was a hospital admission due to my disability - is that not relevant? As well as the standard tick box for each question on the form I did give examples, many of which were backed up by evidence because it would often result in a visit to the GP or A&E
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,919 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    As above the tribunal is only  concerned about how your condition was at the time of the decision  as that is the decision YOU are appealing 

    Any hospital admissions after that are not relevant as they hadn't happened when the decision was made 

    Also even if if was prior to decision did the hospital admission cause a worsening in your daily living? 

    You could use it as an example on your claim if it was prior to your claim and was down to you completing one of the tasks covered in the descriptors 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • collyettey
    collyettey Member Posts: 10 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    Hi there 

    As above the tribunal is only  concerned about how your condition was at the time of the decision  as that is the decision YOU are appealing 

    Any hospital admissions after that are not relevant as they hadn't happened when the decision was made 

    Also even if if was prior to decision did the hospital admission cause a worsening in your daily living? 

    You could use it as an example on your claim if it was prior to your claim and was down to you completing one of the tasks covered in the descriptors 
    I do understand that but DWP are using evidence from my Universal Credit Work Capability Assessment which took place AFTER the MR rejection so the disability service who’s helping me said if they can use evidence from after the decision to back up their decision then I should show more evidence to support my side that happened after the decision. My GP has also sent a sternly worded letter as he has never heard of a PIP claim/appeal from start to finish being over 2 years. While the appeal is still classed as ‘in progress’ I can’t get the adaptions required to my home. I’m in catch 22 that the length of time is actually causing me more distress and issues in my daily life because my already life limiting disability is being made worse.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,919 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi again 

    I get your point I am only advising from my own experience 

    From my tribunal b4 I went in the clerk said they ats only looking at how you were at time of decision  

    Then when I went in that's first thing judge said too 

    Maybe due to length time your has taken they might but mine took 14 months 

    Is the disability service going to represent you at tribunal ? 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,842 Disability Gamechanger
    Evidence from stuff that happened after the decision is fine provided that it relates to the period of the decision. A hospital admission casts what light exactly on how you were on your date of claim? Please refer back to my previous post about excess and unfocused evidence.

    Your GP clearly doesn’t do a lot with PIP. Plenty of cases take a long long time to resolve. In this instance I’ve already highlighted what will have caused the delays and exactly what you can do about it. 
  • collyettey
    collyettey Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Evidence from stuff that happened after the decision is fine provided that it relates to the period of the decision. A hospital admission casts what light exactly on how you were on your date of claim? Please refer back to my previous post about excess and unfocused evidence.

    Your GP clearly doesn’t do a lot with PIP. Plenty of cases take a long long time to resolve. In this instance I’ve already highlighted what will have caused the delays and exactly what you can do about it. 
    The hospital admission was for a fall related to my disability, which i have had many of in the years before my claim and since the initial refusal so yes it does show its not a one time issue.  AS for your post regarding excess and unfocused evidence, the form itself states to send medical letters and reports - which is what the evidence sent was, AND THEN the tribunal asked for further medical evidence from a GP from 3 years BEFORE the claim to the date of the suspended tribunal so tell where where I have sent evidence which was unfocused, unrelated or in excess when it is exactly what they asked for?  My GP is the one who pushed for me to claim PIP, he has lots of successful applicants on his books and as already stated the delays have no started to impact my daily life even more, as I can't file a new claim because I have an open appeal and I can't claim the adaptations needed to make my life easier because i don't have a decision and sadly becasue I'm not made of money i can't afford them myself.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,842 Disability Gamechanger
    Ah, I see we’re in shouty capitals territory. Suggest you lose that else I’m out. Let’s take those one at a time then.

    1 - you don’t need to prove how long you’ve had a disability. You need to show how long you’ve had consequences and that those consequences score points. I’m not sure what is a “one time issue”. Falling? Hardly needs a hospital admission to demonstrate it but yes likely to be relevant if it’s a real world example. However, if you don’t have the same sorts of examples from before your date of claim then it won’t be relevant anyway and, if you do have those examples, then they should have gone in. If they did then you didn’t need the hospitalisation example.

    2 - as for what “the form itself” says it is useful to remember that the form is not the law and the form is not even guidance. It is a form. Designed to be in fairly plain English and give you some clues as to completion but not always accurately. The current PIP 2, which I’m looking right at as I type this, asks you to send in “supporting evidence”. It actually ask you to not send in appointment letters etc. Either way what it asks is irrelevant. It also asks you about mixing with people and yet there’s no such descriptor. 

    3 - tribunals ask for medical evidence for 3 reasons:
    - because they want to adjourn and not deal with you or one of their members, or,
    - because they see such a lack of basic evidence they feel unable to make a decision so they genuinely think it would at least give them something upon which to base a decision, or, 
    - there is a specific issue to be resolved.

    So, play, you did what you’ve been asked. You also say you sent in more than they asked. Why? What specifically did that address which had not been addressed? Nothing at all in your posts about addressing the descriptors. It’s all about what they told you to and problems they caused. I note you don’t address my point about the audio recording. That isn’t going to go away. It will be a major reason why no-one is keen to get you listed.

    At this point in time you need representation to sort through your evidence and get back to basics. 
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    @collyettey I'm sorry that the PIP process hasn't gone smoothly for you.  Our members have given you lots of excellent advice on this thread and as suggested, getting support going forwards would be a wise move.  To find support, you can visit the Advice Local website - entering your postcode and selecting 'Welfare benefits' from the drop down list - which will then bring up a list of local independent advice organisations on the next page.  

    Although I understand your frustration, I'd just like to remind you of our house rules around keeping it friendly which state:
    We want our community to be a safe and supportive place.
    Please make sure your messages respect others’ views and suggestions, even if you do not agree with them.
    Therefore, when responding to others please bear this in mind and avoid capitalising entire words as this can be perceived as shouting.  

    Good luck and please let us know how you get on. 
    Online Community Co-ordinator

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