Important Change Made to PIP Regulations blog posted on from another hu site

Important Change Made to PIP Regulations - Thanks Select Committee for Making DWP see sense!

Last week at a sitting of the Work & Pensions Select Committee they were taking evidence on the PIP regulations from Esther McVey the Minister for Disabled People. Simon Dawson, PIP Policy, Design, Test and Assurance Programme Manager & Dr Bill Gunnyeon Chief Medical Adviser were also there.

During the meeting it was pointed out to the Minister that the words "reliably/repeatedly/ safely/in a timely fashion" which were used in DLA descriptors were missing from the descriptors/regulations and that the DWP thought they could get away with only putting them into the Assessors Guidance Handbook on the PIP Criteria. What's the difference? For those of us with fluctuation conditions those words are important & the difference is a very important one because if they're in the Descriptors they have legal standing which could be used at appeal if you felt they hadn't been taken into consideration but if they're only in the Guidance documents they don't have legal standing as they are only being used as guidance to the assessor.

Anyway, I've just heard that there has been a DWP Press Release and they have now put the words back into the regulations:

Including consideration of reliability in the PIP Regulations

On 31 January 2013 DWP Ministers announced plans to amend the Regulations on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), to make clear that, when assessing whether an individual can carry out an activity, we must look at whether they can carry out that activity:

safely

to an acceptable standard

repeatedly

in a reasonable time period.

This concept has always been integral to the Department’s proposals for the PIP assessment but Ministers have agreed to include it in the Regulations to make the policy intent clear in legislation.

The Department has published a draft amending Regulation. These may be subject to further refinement. A final Regulation will be laid once the PIP Regulations currently being considered by Parliament are made but before they come into force in April 2013."

dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-dra...

Well done Select Committee- keep the DWP on their toes. You can watch them in action here: parliamentlive.tv/Main/...

14 Replies

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  • Yes well done indeed Anne Begg and the others of the select committee. Don't forget all those who put huge pressure on the gov too.

    But don't be under any disillusion of this welfare reform bill. There are cuts to benefits and services attacking disabled people from every possible angle. Sadly few really understand what is happening to them. From April we are going to be hit mercilessly. Don't be fooled by DWP's fine words of helping the most vulnerable.

    Pat x

  • Paton I agree with you and though I am disabled I dread getting worse as I know I shall. The council would not even come out to me when my husband was in hospital and told me he wasn't. Cos the hospital was in a different county and they had not told my local council he was there and they would not accept he was. They being the local county adult care. I phoned several care operators and still no one telephoned back. If I am voal I can't see how many are going to get along.

  • That is appalling. I presume you have been assessed by your local authority for your care needs? And has your husband had a carers assessment? If not get on to them straight away. If you have had an assessment then they must provide care for you. Let me know. There is help out there for you and can put you in touch.

    Pat x

  • Very worrying time for many people, who through no fault of their own, are disabled. Life is hard enough without having to worry if you qualify for payments or not. Or how long you are going to have them for.

    Although I have a condition that fits the WHO definition of disability, the Government has made up its own set of criteria, which makes me as able as a normal person. Despite the fact that I have continual pain of varying degrees which affects my ability to do things, my thought processes and sleep pattern. I don't need care, but I will do at some point in the future as my condition worsens.

    For me to function at a normal level, I need to do at least 3 sets of exercises during the day. Walk twice for at least half an hour each time. Use the toilet every 4 hours whether or not I feel I need. Plan my day so that I have a balance of activity and rest throughout. I work from home, and I'd be lucky to get 4 hours of work fitted in to this schedule.

    The only thing that would help me just now is a blue badge because I need to open the car door fully to get out. Ordinary spaces are too narrow and if another car parks too closely then I have a problem getting in or out. Its easier if I'm a passenger gecause the driver can move the car to allow me to open the door fully.

    I would only use it when necessary, if I couldn't get an end of row space. Or if I'm in a different town and can park on a street. But because I can walk 400 yards I can't have one. Yet the damage to my spine from twisting, and not being balanced on both feet is not being taken into consideration. Although this may be considered a slow degeneration, as my spine is already damaged, who knows when it will decide its one twist too much? Prevention is 80% of the cure.

    Perhaps the way forward is for the deciders to live the lives of a cross section of disabled people, just to appreciate how and where the difficulties are.

  • I am fortunate not to need to tip toe through the minefield of trying to get benefits because I am able to work. But I have met many people in this awful situation who have been assessed as being fit to work by unqualified assessors who don't understand. I also know that human beings, particularly human beings with disabilities or chronic pain don't fit into the nice neat boxes that the Government believe we all should do. We all have days when we are better and more able, and days when we are not, and it's about time that this variability is taken into account.

    It's my view that all health & social care workers - and now I will add civil servants and politicians etc to the list - spend a day being pushed about in a wheelchair, before being fed liquidized mush lying down blindfolded and left with a full bladder in a dark room with no access to the toilet. Whilst being stabbed with pins. But I think that's probably not allowed. Shame, it might teach them some compassion.

    I accept that there have to be cuts to public spending, but whatever happened to common sense?

  • I agree.

    sandra.

  • Hi

    Teadrnker you have nailed it, the 'Health and Social Care Workers' system is a definite oxymoron with the emphasis on the Moron and in my experience a definite misconception of the word 'Workers' and I am to polite to enter the word that does spring to mind.

    Still the more that are off disability will help the government no end with everyone working their 40 hours a week doing God knows what or at least the politicians and the people who work for Jobcentre plus must know as in the words of Baldrick they have a Cunning plan.........

    Take care and kindest regards

    Terry

  • Hello

    At the moment the system granted is creaking at the seems, and difficult decisions are having to be taken, when you first begin too discuss various things we all have rose coloured glasses and we have all good intentions and want to do so much to assist and provide a good service to the old, infirm and those who are in mental distress No one can agree with what is going on now, throughout the caring services, These people generally have their hearts in the right place, granted some my be bad although the vast majority are as upset as you or I.

    We need to remember it is not generally the staff are the problem, it is their employers, employees do as they are told, and some of them have problems of there own, they sometimes need support like anyone else and they feel as badly done to as anyone else.

  • Hi everyone. I today received my decision letter regarding my Disability Living Allowance application (PIP does not come in to force in North Wales until 2015) and was horrified to see that I have achieved no award at all. I have M.E., my balance is as if I am drunk all the time, I need aid and a walking stick, and even then I can turn and walk into people, walls and supermarket shelves (as did recently and glad it was not glass jars) have to be driven around because I pass out at the wheel and cannot sit for very long without passing out. Obviously this is all very restrictive and thats just a few of the things. Brain fog (as we delightfully call it) causes me to lose focus, space out and struggle to communicate or process verbal or written information. I cannot grip well so sharp knives etc are a no no. Yet, I have been told that because I can get in and out of a wheelchair, prepare a sandwich, walk 50 meters (although in great pain) and generally deal with my own personal toilet needs, I am not a danger to myself or others and dont need to pay for any one to help me with daily living. I have a fluctuating condition and the medical profession do not know how to treat it but will only treat each of the symptoms individually as they become severe.

    So am I to surmise that if I am not under current treatment for my condition (as they view it) then I cannot be ill? Does anyone know how the new PIP parameters stand with regard to M.E. patients? I told them that I could not do things in a reliably/repeatedly/ safely/in a timely fashion" which were used in DLA descriptors but it seems they have ignored that and have stated that I can 'use kitchen tools safely, walk 50 meters, get up and down stairs, carry and lift safely (some hope!!) move about indoors (yes holding on to door posts and chairs) and am not at risk of falling or danger from dizzy spells or blackouts. This latter in fact being the most severe development in my M.E. symptoms which prompted a visit to the doctor but was told to go away and see how things go!

    I have listed all this because I see there is information on here about 'guidelines' etc.

    I filled in one of the old DLA forms but I think they are applying the new PIP parameters which appear to be very severe.

    I cannot face a Tribunal without knowing that M.E. is understood by the Assessors and so far I see no sign of this. I also cannot face another medical assessment.

  • Hi All, I attended a DLA Tribunal and I will never do it again. Instead of just asking questions about how I am currently (in a bad relapse and need additional physical help and was taken to hearing in a wheelchair) they said they could only make a decision on the time of my application which was of course the middle of last year when I was somewhat better and NOT how I am now. OK I understood that but what followed was humiliating and tore me apart. They went through every detail of my past medical records, questioning why a doctor had said this, or why I had done that etc. For a start with brain fog due to the ME it was hard for me to fully understand each question and make a coherent reply, let alone remember medical tests/visits that happened months/years ago. They picked apart the meaning of phrases in Consultants' letters as if they didn't believe them or took the phrases out of context to mean something else. I actually broke down at one point as couldn't take any more of the questioning. My reward for that hell...... Appeal was disallowed.

    I feel things are so hopeless and don't know where to turn. My last ATOS Assessment for ESA (was a continual history) was provided out of time (over 6 months although the assessor said he completed it within an hour,) was not accepted by DWP and so a new Application has had to be made. The Assessor did not believe in my condition, mocked me and fabricated the answers to award 0 points. I had a witness with me who can verify but not sure any good now. Of course the DLA Tribunal were told I had 0 points on ESA so again they did not have the truth. I am awaiting the outcome of the new ESA application but if I have to go for another assessment I really do not think I can mentally handle it any more. Any advice would be greatly valued.

  • Pure sympathy knowing how this defeats one as a person; I felt it took away my right to exist. If I may suggest, don't fill in the forms on a good day. I felt terrible not doing that, as if I was exaggerating but I had help from an experienced charity worker who went through the questions with me in great detail, and recorded everything in 'black and white' Rigidly fair, just it goes against what we tend to try to avoid - looking at the worst scenario. I think most people try to say what they CAN do, and mean to try to appear as independent as possible; unfortunately that will count against your claim. Good luck, , you're not alone.

  • hi ladybear, I am so sorry to read you were treated in that way.

    please do not let it stop you appealing (on the grounds that your condition was neither fully understood nor given full consideration.) their is a website called "benefits & work" that has excellent guides and advice on claiming and appealing pip, dla and esa. it helped me. it costs around £20 but I find it invaluable.

    benefitsandwork.co.uk

    you can also get help & advice from the cab, ageuk (over 50) and many councils have an advocacy service as well as a welfare rights officer.

    be wary - some people advertise "no win-no fee" but then take at least 25% of your money in payment!

    keep in touch and let me know what happens - don't give up.

    regards,

    hamble :)

    can I suggest you copy and paste your part of this post as a new post and I will do the same with my reply - then more people will see it and reply.

    h.

  • Thank you Hamble for your advice. I do subscribe to the benefitsandwork web site. Problem was that ME is still so very much misunderstood and even disbelieved. I took from their site the Case Law but they didnt ask about that so I had no opportunity to 'defend' it. It was a case of only looking at medical history which really tells nothing because I do not go to the doctors very often since they last told me there was nothing further they could do for me, I had to learn to manage it and if a symptom became worse then they would treat that. The Tribunal doctor made an issue of the fact that if I had had balance falls then why was it not in the GP notes? I said because I do not run to the doctors every time I have a fall which didnt go down well with him! I have followed the NICE guidelines and treatment program for CFS/ME but to no real effect. There was real persistence in trying to find a link to mental health and depression but I got very defensive at that since its not true. I think now the DLA has become PIP so I will put in a new application that way and see what happens. They dont make life easy, do they? :-)

  • Ladybear I am so sorry to hear about your experience at the Tribunal. I know exactly how you feel as I have been through 3tribunals! You have described exactly how I was treated, all the questions about things that happened months ago, the dates of treatments received and the continual picking holes in the medical evidence provided. What really annoyed me was the assurance that the tribunal was informal and user friendly-some chance!

    I have a long standing back problem, (I continued to work full time for 30 years even though I was in pain and on a lot of medication) I have osteoarthritis in wrists, knees, elbows, ankles etc and fibromyalgia -all diagnosed by consultants. Yet I was made to feel that I was making my conditions up.

    When submitting my claim in 2012, I had a visit from an assessor and told her that I was waiting for a date for spinal surgery for spinal stenosis and spondylothisis but that I hadn't had the date confirmed. When I finally read her report I was appalled. She said I had minimal problems with my lumbar area and implied that I could do more things for myself if given encouragement ie it was all in the mind. Even my GP was amazed at her decision. I actually had my surgery 3 weeks after this visit-had 3discs fused and decompression carried out, with rods, screws etc put in place to stabilise my spine.

    At the tribunal, I was asked why I had gone for the surgery! My reply was that there were few options left to me as my mobility was decreasing rapidly.

    I took my husband with me and that's something I would advise anyone to do as it is so intimidating to be faced with a panel and be the only one on the other side of the desk with them firing questions at you.

    If the other person has opted to speak on your behalf, be careful that their answers tally with yours, as the panel will try to find inconsistencies so they can just the info to refuse the claim.

    I was awarded higher mobility on the appeal but they reduced my care to the lowest rate. I have just submitted my form for renewal and am prepared that it may have to go to appeal again if they reduce or disallow it. I know it is extremely stressful but they bank on people being put off. This time, my husband will be better prepared with his answers.

    You can get an independent person to accompany you to tribunals. It is worth considering.

    Finally, I understand what you mean about the brain fog. Unless you have experienced it, no one really understands! It turned me from being a competent professional into a dithering, unsure person lacking confidence in my own ability to function.

    Don't give up on your claim. Xo

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