Hi everyone. I've been on pip for two years now and recently had my review questionnaire on which I'd indicated that I'm now much worse than I was 2 years ago with hip bursitis making walking difficult and I've since been diagnosed with both severe lupus photosensitivity causing joint pain in uv light and as a separate diagnosis solar urticaria but not just to uv but to ALL visible light. My original assessment had me at 11 points and my reassessment dropped me down to 8 points and kept my mobility the same ... Mainly as he asked me how long I could walk for INSIDE until the point that I literally couldn't move any further and then reported that as me saying I could walk for a few minutes before needing a brief rest. I've pointed out that I didn't say that at all, it was 2 minutes until I literally couldn't walk at all, that I couldn't do it again, that it would be slowly and that I couldn't do it outside. Also how long I can walk inside with uv filters is pretty much irrelevant when I can't spend time outside so have to go everywhere by car to minimise the light exposure anyway!
Anyway I won't go into the full assessment other than to say that the guy lied in his report repeatedly - my letter for mandatory reconsideration ran 22 pages ripping apart the guys report. It won't surprise anyone to see that this was rejected .., apparently I had a different recollection to the assessor but there is no evidence to that effect and I "looked well" (grrrrrrrrrrrrr). So him saying I wear reading glasses when I don't isn't evidence enough??? Ludicrous.
So I'm guessing I'm going to have to take it to tribunal to see what they say. My pip hasn't been stopped but I think the level is wrong and even if it stays the same I feel I should be properly assessed with the correct points allocated. I'm relatively confident in my ability to explain my conditions and how they affect me to people so not put off by dealing with a tribunal but at the same time I want to give myself the best shot of getting it right. I've already asked my rheumy to provide me with backup information regarding the appeal but she won't do it and has said I can send my clinical letters and that should be sufficient ... Her secretary also passed on the comment that my benefit hadn't been removed though which annoyed me beyond belief as it makes me wonder if she'd help if it had making her willingness to help feel like a judgement thing.
Anyway before I lose you all on an essay is there any advice from people who have been through this, successfully or otherwise, and what should I do next? I saw on another thread that Lupus UK can also provide information to back up an appeal but no idea how to go about getting this? I've also seen people mention a welfare officer who will help but I don't know how to access this either.
Any help will be HUGELY appreciated. my first assessment 2 years ago was very supportive, understanding and knowledgeable but the way that I was treated on this one was disgraceful. Luckily I'm confident enough to stand up and fight (with the help of my crutches on the standing bit though lol) and I'm used to dealing with government departments for work but I have no idea how anyone with less confidence and less able to cope with this stress copes I really don't.
Oh and I intend to take the situation to my MP with regard to the total pack of lies that the guy told in his report as this sort of thing shouldn't be allowed. If I lied like that I'd be charged with benefit fraud so for it to be done the other way MUST be stopped.