So for anyone who has been following the saga that is my PIP appeal I thought I’d do a new update. If your memory goes back that far my first appeal was back in February and the decision made was based on inaccuracies and didn’t apply the facts to the guidance properly etc and as my case is quite unique with regard to the mobility element whereby my photosensitivity is a major factor I was granted a new appeal with a different judge which I was told would be allocated double the normal time to go over everything in more detail. I requested a telephone hearing and was told if I couldn’t attend my advocate could attend on my behalf ... because the disabled charities and CAB can afford for someone to waste an entire day going to a hearing an hour away obviously.
So despite requesting they reconsider this as any advocate would be unable to attend, they couldn’t provide me with a safe environment last time and it sparked off a flare that I’m still not fully recovered from and my consultants at Guys would confirm it was unsafe for me if requested I have just received a hearing date for next Tuesday (24th).
I’ve sent a letter explaining that I simply can’t go. I’m recovering from dysentery which has knocked me off my feet, I’ve just had my hips injected as they got so painful and I have a frozen shoulder which means I can’t drive myself the hour there (with evidence) and is excruciatingly painful at the moment and they can’t privide a safe environment for me if I did. I can’t get a taxi as the windows won’t be uv filtered and it’s an hour either way which just makes it impossible for me and my fiancé can’t drive me, or attend on my behalf as the best person to answer how I’m affected, as he’s just had six weeks of chemotherapy for stage 2 bladder cancer. I’ve even had to cancel my appointment with Guys which we’d have been the same week as I’m simply not able to cope with that right now and that’s been put off for 6 months to give me time to recover properly.
I’ve then sent my statement of evidence. I’ve quoted case law, the way in which the guidance states that the descriptors should be applied, evidence that I saw an adult social care occupational therapist who assessed that I needed a wet room - it was referred to in my first assessment 4 years ago but now the report isn’t in the evidence and I can’t find my copy of it. I do have a letter from the council confirming that I’ve been referred by adult social care for a grant for adaptations to my house though so that proves I’m not making it up. I’ve broken down every descriptor and provided backup evidence on every part - I even paid for a physio to carry out grip tests and provide a report of the precise angle restrictions in my right hand which the report claimed was normal but which hasn’t been for over 20 years following an operation on my wrist and has nothing to do with my lupus - it can’t change. I’ve given in depth arguments about why the mobility section should be reassessed to the higher level by taking the guidance and applying it to my circumstances section by section. I’ve even sent them photos of the huge bruise on my butt from the last time I fell down the stairs when my legs gave way!! It goes on for 11 pages ... as opposed to the DWPs stance that I can drive a manual car so can do everything. I’ve even told them that I’ll keep myself available by phone as I would like the chance to answer questions as nobody else can as it’s so unusual a combination of illnesses and how they interact - even Guys tell me I’m in a very small rare group and the interactions make me pretty unique.
So realistically I’m not expecting to get anywhere despite all that and the cynic in me wonders of the DWP will send someone this time as they will have received a copy of the letter saying I can’t attend.
Right now I’m in so much pain with my shoulder and so tired from lack of sleep that the fight in me is pretty much all dried up right now. Its beyond depressing that after all this the DWP may win by default because my illness makes it impossible for me to attend somewhere that’s unsafe and I’m trying hard not to let the system get me down as I’m still in a better position than many others. I’m consoling myself that at least with the written evidence I’ve submitted someone will actually have to read it properly and assess me on the actual facts now which is all I’ve ever asked for.
No idea when I’ll find out the outcome but will update once I hear anything - by this stage what will be will be.
But if anyone knows how to ease off the shoulder please please please let me know - even the strongest painkillers just aren’t touching it at all and the physio isn’t helping. It’s never ending and excruciating so if anyone knows of anything that brings even the slightest relief it would be much appreciated. Oh and trying to find front fastening bras when you’re “busty” isn’t easy either! Got one arriving Monday but just hope it fits.
Sorry for this one being less positive than usual - just feeling rather dejected by it all tonight and having a pity party. I’m sure I’ll be back to normal tomorrow x