PIP APPEAL/TRIBUNAL , ANY ADVICE?

Oh well, here goes. I was on high care rate DLA for 10 yrs, now they have awarded me just 7 points. Doesn't matter that I have R.A, PBC, Raynauds, Osteoarthritis,Osteoporosis. The fact I can make an attempt to put makeup on, understand a conversation, count, pay my bills, and do not have a diagnosis of "any anxiety related disorder or sensory impairment".

Having illnesses as above does not make me feel happy at all, I ache, I get depressed, my fingers go purple, I get so knackered after trying to dry my hair, i need another shower.....

The guy doing my assessment was totally judgemental, and put "his own take on things" .

I am just upset. x

17 Replies

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  • My hubby has cirrhosis with his main symptoms being chronic debiliating fatigue, sleepless nights, symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy including confusion difficulties, difficulty with conversation and hearing & understanding information - impacting on his communication, eating & drinking, management of his condition, managing finances, going out and about etc. etc. We were disgusted by his first PIP assessment when he scored zero across the board - the 'nurse' was a complete *itch.

    I submitted a lenghty breakdown of where the assessor had ignored the details we'd submitted in the How your disability affects you form and in fact had blatantly lied on her report in a request for Mandatory Reconsideration although it again was completely knocked back.

    We then made contact with the Welfare Rights Officer at our local council who went through hubbies issues step by step and completed the paperwork in order for us to go to appeal. She also made contact with hubbies various doctors and hospital social work team to see if they would write letters in support of the appeal. She was an expert on getting the legal wording correct whereas I could only have re-iterated what I had already written twice.

    Anyway we went to appeal tribunal and it was a very fair process - in our case there was a judge, a disabilty officer and a doctor on the panel and at the end of it they awarded hubby enhanced rate daily living and some points for mobility (although not enough for any award for that). It was awarded for two years only with one year being back dated to our first date of application - on reassessment last year we had a much more fair face-to-face assessment where the nurse really listened and wrote what she really observed and hubby was awarded enhanced rate daily living and basic rate for mobility - till 2018 but a review next July.

    Definitely challenge it, go all the way to appeal, don't down play anything and all the very best. If you haven't already seen it there is an excellent website called Benefits & Work ( benefitsandwork.co.uk/ )and for a very small subscription they have amazing guides to the whole process including the tribunal and appeals process.

    Wishing you the very best of luck.

    Katie xx

  • Thank you Katie, I totally understand how you must have felt reading the "so called professional persons "assessment".

    Professional my **se.

    I get emails from benefits and work, but I haven't subscribed to them.

    I did go to CAB, unfortunately I was never too convinced on the person from there, going over all the paperwork.

    Is it too late do you think to go to somewhere else to be better prepared for this tribunal? I am a nervous wreck.

  • Have you submitted the request for tribunal paperwork because there is a limited time on it - we contacted Welfare Rights as soon as we got the knock back from Mandatory Reconsideration and the lady came out within a couple of day and did all that needed done plus she came with us to explain hubbies case at the Tribunal.

    We felt we got a much fairer hearing at the tribunal than the face-to-face.

    Like you say the so called health professionals can be awful. The first one had made up her mind before we entered the room, she didn't want me to go in at all despite me being hubbies 24/7 carer and ATOS and DWP saying you can go in and play an active role in the assessement. That was an ordeal and we were both physically sick after it and the pack of lies that were written in the report was truly awful.

    As I say you get a much fairer hearing at Tribunal with the Judge acting to supervise and make sure all is legally done, the doctor asks medical questions and the disability person all those pertaining to how you actually get on day to day etc.

    Check and see if your council has a Welfare Rights Officer - they have different titles in different councils.

    Ours came to the house, she went through the How you disabilty affects you form with us and said she often struggles to find the addtional points but for hubby she said there was absolutely no trouble doing so and as I say at Tribunal we got the higher Daily Living award.

    If you didn't get medical reports from your specialist earlier it is well worth submitting them with your appeal documents. Hubbies specialist wrote us a cracker, I found a pro-forma on line somewhere on what medics should write on their report and after I told her what we'd written in each portion she backed it up with the medical viewpoint. Then second time round she just wrote a follow up, confirming hubbies condition and how he had the same or increased difficulties.

    Rooting for you, must be galling with all your various health conditions and having already been on DLA. The system is rediculous and so stressful on the most vulnerable in society. Like I say I am rooting for you.

    Katie xx

  • The appeal for tribunal has been posted, even though I wasn't too impressed with the CAB lady. I never had the heart to ask for someone else to help me cos I though it would hurt her, being replaced.

    The CAB lady just wrote the same thing as before on the mandatory reconsideration appeal. I could've done that.

    Why do i not go with my "gut feelings"?

  • Hopefully you'll get a tribunal date soon and it all goes well. As I said it is a lot fairer than the assessment & most folks (not all) get a success at appeal. If DWP don't send someone along to challenge the appeal you've more or less got the floor to yourself to explain your difficulties. Most of the so called health professionals working for ATOS/Capita arn't qualified to assess complex needs. Heard of physiotherapists assessing mental health and all sorts of other nonsense. How in 30 minutes can they decided how you live your life the other 365 days of the year.

    GOOD LUCK, let us know how you get on.

    Katie x

  • I will Katie, and thank you so much for your support. x

  • I've said it before and I'll say it again on this forum. I had the worst experience ever at CAB. The agent thought I was contagious and had me out of there in minutes having told me to go home and look up a few websites.

    I think their services are very hit and miss.

  • Hello jennymore I completely empathise with you it took six months and many phone calls and evidence gathering for my PIP application to be assessed

    I had a home assessment and the lady who did it was more concerned about how far she had had to travel to get down to me and sat with the computer on her lap and gave me very little eye contact and, as with you ,she put her own take on it and I was refused on the same grounds as you .

    It is such a prescriptive format and after six months of waiting I felt that I was very let down by the system

    Having worked for over forty years as a trained nurse and contributing to the tax and national insurance systems, I realised that trying to navigate the Welfare System is a bit like walking through a maze backwards wearing a blindfold !! Another example of the divide between the haves and have nots

    Good luck with your appeal 🙀

  • when you appeal dont tell them you dry your hair hun dont tell them nothing you can do, focus on the worst as for memory hun it does go with cirrosis it just cause you live with it you dont realise it if you recorded yourself you would know, if you sit in your house in your pjs cause you just cba getting dressed that is depression if when you go shopping you feel like your a sardine in a tin and start to have trouble breathing thats anxiety it gets so bad your head starts spinning you have to get out. start doing your shopping online because of this. if im just going for appointments im doped up on diazepam and i cant go on my own. when you appeal write everything down and remember every small detail down to not being able to peel a spud or open a can of beans see a dietician get on the protien drinks cause you need them too.

  • People are identified and diagnosed of being seriously ill and disabled by highly qualified specialist consultants. However we are judged at these centers of being the opposite by unqualified so-called doctors and civil servants with a remit from the department of health

  • You mentioned HE. The British Liver Trust have excellent iinformation regarding the condition. There are so many health professionals who either have never heard of it or fail to understand the condition and how debilitating iit can be when at its worst.

    I was assessed for my ESA and I completely lost all benefits while I appealed. I got nowhere until I wrote a long letter to my MP. Two weeks later I had a phone call from a high level DWP official. One hour later she called back, my ESA we re instated on the enhanced Support group. Ironically my MP was a Conservative minister.

    So find out when you MP next has a surgery, get an appointment taking all the medical notes and BLT information you can find.

  • As a matter of interest. Some health professionals refuse to work for such companies or leave soon after starting as it puts their registration at risk if they practice unethically. In my opinion to work for those companies is unethical by definition as their remit is not to ensure people get their correct benefit but to reduce the cost of the system for the DWP.

    I considered reporting my assessor to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for the way she conducted the assessment. She had no choice about me obtaining her registration PIN number as its in the public domain. Same would go for any doctor involved in the assessment. After all, part of a doctors oath is " to do the patient no harm "

  • hi tony here,have sympathy for you,had similar problems with esa support group assessment,they put into work related activity group ,appealed and lost,have cirrhosis grade a with varices also heart problems,didn't seem to care ,was just concerned with their 15 question s ,in the appeal they even brought up that I was managing to get to a/a meetings,communicating with other people,could travel on transport,feel they cherry pick on what you can do ,if I had to do it again would focus more on the mental anguish that it brings and the anxiety,depression that it also arise,s,agree with ayrshirek best of luck with it,what's written is written now so push on the mental side ,they are heartless,incompetent so called professionals,hope they and their family never have to go through it, all the best again tony,x,

  • Hi Tony would you and anyone's else who are " battling "with the beaurocratic system be prepared to sign a petition to protest about the shabby way people with Liver problems are , sometimes, treated by the Welfare System : it is unfortunate that the assumption is that liver problems run hand in hand with alcohol abuse which is just not always the case and even if it is people are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity !

    The problem ,sometimes, is that we do not have the emotional and/ or mental energy to deal with these applications because they are so long winded !

    One vital question should be " How has this situation impacted on your life ---- who do you have to support you? "

    What say you ?

  • sorry I've just noticed reply,so sorry for the late late reply,count me in esmerelda62.agree with all you say ,unjust,unfair and under represented,all the best,will reply swiftly only just realised there was a reply.xx

  • You have my deepest empathy; it is incredibly difficult to get; all i can say is follow the advice of others and appeal; good luck x

  • In the Disability Discrimination Act it specifically mentions alcoholism is NOT a disability however the resulting iiver failure IS a disability. It then states - the cause of the disability is irrelevant only the resulting condition is to be considered.

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