PIP - the final chapter (hopefully!)

As promised I received the Tribunal decision this morning and typed a big long update earlier quoting what it said etc ... and my iPad did something odd and I lost all of it 🙈 I haven’t got the energy left to type it all again so I’m going to keep it short and sweet ....

I WON!!!!

Oh. My. God. After over 13 months of fighting to prove that the assessor had lied through his teeth and that I wasn’t being dishonest the new tribunal have overturned the previous award and grants me higher rate for both elements. They’ve accepted that I can’t chop vegetables etc for myself and granted an extra 2 points for that and have reinstated my 2 points for needing help with food as I have to regularly use a nutribullet due to my mouth ulcers and have chunky cutlery made for arthritis sufferers due to the grip in my right hand - I’d been awarded the points for that 5 years ago when I was first assessed and as nothing had changed I was lost as to why it was then removed on my reassessment. I didn’t gain any extra points on the using a normal bath which is the one that I thought I had the best argument on but could care less as it gives me 13 points up from the 9 I was granted before. They’ve also accepted that I qualify for the higher rate mobility as well, which I’m quite emotional about as I have been becoming more isolated at home as I’m struggling with my manual car and desperately need to switch to an automatic with adjustments made to help me and I simply couldn’t without the help. That decision alone is going to make a HUGE difference to my life.

They state that they relied heavily on the medical evidence confirming my diagnosis of hip bursitis and also the letter from Guys spelling out just how dangerous the photosensitivity I have is for me and how much it affects my joints and mobility. They also stated that the supporting evidence supplied by me was compelling - I’ve taken photos of my swollen joints at various stages over the last few years to be able to show doctors and so on what my joints do as a visual always helps them if I’m not flared at the time I see them and they came in very helpful thankfully.

All along all I’ve asked is for my case to be looked at properly and assessed on the facts not on the twisted picture and outright lies from the ATOS assessor and if I don’t qualify than so be it. Thankfully someone finally has.

I’m not sure what happens now as I hadn’t dared to look at what would happen if I won - I know the DWP can appeal in the next 30 days so I’m not celebrating yet. But it then says they don’t have to follow the ruling so I’ve no idea how likely that is to happen and whether they just automatically make the adjustment and sort it out or if I have to contact them to get it sorted. I also have no idea how long that will take so if anyone else has any experience of that please do share.

So after a very long and uphill fight I should now be able to relax (hopefully) for the next 4 years before having to go through all of this again. Anyone out there who is going through the same I hope this gives you some hope and encourages you not to give up and keep fighting. If you know you are right you shouldn’t let anyone else bully you into defeat. I felt like I’d been accused of being a liar for the last year and looked at as if I was some kind of benefit cheat and I knew that wasn’t true and couldn’t let that go unchallenged. It feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall at times but just keep going.

So another 30 days before I can relax fully but finally some good news to share.

Oh and it’s my birthday today as well - couldn’t have time it better 😊 (and Yes I did sit down and cry once I read the result - stupid I know but I’m sure many of you will understand that rush of relief)

18 Replies

  • What a nice birthday pressie and very very well done to have fought your way through. I suppose it is too much to hope that the lying little toad will be disciplined at the very least - hanging is too good for people who do that sort of thing.

    Happy birthday!!!!

  • What a perfect result! I'm so pleased they have actually looked hard at your case, and hope the Atos person gets their just desserts. You really deserve this, and are an inspiration to us. 🍰🍰🍰💐

  • I’m very tempted once it’s all done to raise a complaint about him with ATOS as I haven’t done that while it as going on in case it went against me - but then the other side of me doesn’t want to rock the boat and thinks I’ve had enough fighting now. Hopefully they get reviewed each time they lose an appeal

  • I wouldn't be too sure - and if you have the strength please do lodge a complaint or some poor innocent who hasn't got your courage will be left floundering. ATOS is disgusting - and needs full exposure. Like the people who put them in place...

  • I do keep thinking the same - that man outright lied on my report and totally misrepresented everything I said and the idea that me keeping quiet means someone else gets put through it makes me very likely to request that he be reviewed at the very least! On top of that how much of the taxpayers money have they wasted on having to go through this whole process because he didn’t do his job properly .. if I did that I’d be sued!

    Thankfully both tribunals totally ignored everything he said and seemed to put no weight whatsoever on his report as everything I provided to them proved it to be totally inaccurate. The first one were very scathing of it when I attended so I think they are seeing it a lot. Hopefully karma will deal with ATOS soon.

  • I think there is a lot - and it IS catching up with them. But as you say, how much money is being wasted having to redo it all.

    What worries me above all is how many people have committed suicide as a result of being left unable to survive financially? It's like the universal credit thing - you have no money, how on earth do you survive for 6 weeks with no income? A total lack of understanding on the part of people who have never had to decide whether to heat or eat, who have never had to wonder where their next meal is coming from. Not even murderers have that problem to face - they get their 3 meals a day and central heating paid for. By us...

  • You should complain about him , I complained about the doctor who wrote ridiculous lies at my esa assessment and they looked into it and told the dwp the report was not correct and they said the assessors manager would be informed and suggested she should be retrained and she was suppose to be a doctor , because I've had a brain tumour I have to see a doctor which you would think would be better but she said I had heard a conversation in both ears even though I lost my hearing in right ear following acoustic neuroma surgery basically implied I had lied about the deafness then 2 pages later wrote i had my eardrum removed in 2013 . She said I had told her I was immunosuppressed because I was on steroids , I had told her I was immunosuppressed because I was on Mycophenolate , she didn't mention that at all nor the fact that I had lupus nephritis , she hadn't a clue what my medications were she didn't even know what ibandronic was which is a common medication for osteoporosis she said is this your lupus medication ? The report was a joke and I do not believe she was a doctor they must lie about that aswell . They should pay us compensation for all the stress they put us through making our condition worse

  • Milford,

    I’m sure you’re going to be alright, but it is a real uphill struggle.

    Try not to think about it now.

    Great news.

    Happy Birthday 😀🎂🍸

  • I had an email from the lady at the charity that helped give me support and confirmed that I was right to keep fighting it - she pointed out that in order to appeal it the dwp would now have to find a point of law to take it to the upper tier tribunal. As I’ve already had the first tribunal overturned and this was the rehearing she would place money that they were extra careful to make sure they dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s so it should hopefully be watertight. After this length of time it’s a bit surreal when someone finally accepts what you’ve been saying all along though so it’s going to take me a little bit of time to believe it might really happen :)

    Oh and when I looked at it again the entire award is 4 years so of course I’ve now got just under 3 years left. I’ll still take it though.

    Thanks to everyone on here for the support as well - I really hope that sharing the whole ridiculous process will help anyone else going through the battle - I know without other stories and support on here I would have struggled to keep fighting

  • If you can catch your breath, please consider reporting the ATOS person. If he did it to you, who else has had the same treatment and didn't have the ability to fight? ATOS employees often do have people's lives in their hands.

    Little anecdote: I worked in a large Government apartment and had an ATOS appt to discuss my sickness absense. The woman dealing with me just threw up her hands, asking how she was supposed to know anything? " I thought I was going to check on firemen's bad backs". My union rep offered his syrupy mock sympathy, and suggested that reading job descriptions is a good idea. He then went straight to HR. We ( including HR) were in despair when ATOS got the DWP contract.

    To be fair, my ATOS person was professional when I went for PIP last year, but a wrong 'un can do horrendous damage.

  • My first one 4/5 years ago was brilliant as well. She actually did a much better job for them as well - I was only one point below higher rate on the daily living and there was an area I could have contested but I felt that I was at the right level and once I read her overall report it was so accurate that I felt she’d actually got it spot on. She noticed things I didn’t even realise I did and gave good reasons why I didn’t qualify for other bits based on her observations. I’m confident that doing the job properly like that means that fewer of the people stretching the truth get past her and therefore she’s actually doing a better job for everyone. It was only after she was finished assessing me that she told me her husband had lupus - it clearly hadn’t affected how she assessed me but once it was off the record she gave me loads of advice about Pilates, physio that had been really good with him and even let me know about a place that can assess me in a working kitchen so I can try adapted equipment and find what works for me and what doesn’t. She really was brilliant. If I’d had her again I’m confident she’d have been able to see the changes from last time and assess it properly based on that as well. There really are some good ones out there and hopefully the powers that be will start realising those ones are actually more cost effective and quit trying to cut corners with false economy.

  • Wow! It really goes to show there are very good ones. I know mine pushed about things like my having to buy ready chopped veg etc because I can't chop ( and the nutribullet that I need)

    After my assessment, my friend asked if I'd seen the assessor's hands ( she had a better view). The ATOS lady's fingers were quite twisted and her hands were crooked. RA? I don't know, but I don't think she let any of her own possible difficulties affect her judgement, which was in any case exactly as my Welfare Rights Adviser said it should be.

    Hope you are eating lots of 🍰 X

  • Happy birthday 🍰 sweetie. I am truly happy for you and you can relax now. Well done 👍 you. Have a lovely weekend sweetie you truly deserve it. 🤗🤗🤗🌹🌹🌹xxx

  • I wonder if these assessors work on a sort of reverse commission......the more people they slant their report to deny the Benefit- the more 'Brownie Points' they get?

    Just a thought.

  • Oh mifford

    Well done with your tribunal result!. You've worked so hard for it that I'm pleased they finally gave you what you should have been granted!. I'm sorry your health is so bad but glad you'll benefit from Motability to help your quality of life. Not surprised at all you cried with relief. You've had so much stress on your life lately and DWP just added to it!. I hope you enjoyed your birthday and your shoulder is improving with the physio.

    You could ring citizens advice if you have any queries about anything from DWP now!. They'll be able to answer any thing. The number is 03444 111 444 mon- fri.

    Take careX

  • My local CAB were helping me when I first applied for the appeal and then put me on to the charity lady when they realised I was a bit too “unique” for their level of expertise. They’ve kept in touch to follow how it’s going though and have been brilliant throughout. I need to ring them Monday to update them so will see if they can guide me on what happens next and how long it takes 👍🏻

  • Hi mifford

    I'm so pleased the cab have helped so much and keep in touch regularly!. That's rare these days!. I'm a big fan of them as they helped me get my DLA a long time ago now!. I'd tried on my own and had failed and they were brilliant!. They will certainly on Monday be able to answer your questions about next step. Good luck. X

  • Oops posted this on the wrong thread so adding it here too ...

    For those following my confirmation of the new award arrived from the dwp today - I honestly thought I’d have to wait the 30 days and then chase it but they’ve done it really quickly with no argument so I can finally relax.

    And the new automatic car was on order within 2 hours! lololololol Unfortunately the back orders mean I might not get it until March but that gives me time to pay a bit more on my current lease and I should be able to hand that back without any penalties by then so it ties in quite well.

    It’s all a bit surreal at the moment and I keep waiting for the catch but it’s a huge relief to know that life should be getting a lot easier soon.

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