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Thread: Appeals do not have to be scary

  1. #1
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    Appeals do not have to be scary

    Many people, having gone through the assessment process, then the Mandatory Reconsideration are still let down by the system.
    In order to get justice and the award they deserve, the final stage is to appeal to a tribunal.

    Usually, a tribunal is a panel made up of a judge, a doctor and a disability specialist. This is an independant panel, given the task of looking at all the evidence from both parties, and come to an unbiased decision. In many cases, the panel will want to clarify with the claimant some of the evidence, or give the claimant the chance to explain.

    If you are able to attend the hearing this is more easily achieved, however to some, the accumulated stress makes this impossible and a hearing can be held based just on the paper evidence with out the need to attend.

    In all cases, the judge will notify you before the hearing if he believes that the current award is unsafe, which means that you may lose points and your current award. If this happens you do have the option to withdraw your appeal and keep the award you have.

    This all sounds so scary that many people don't progress to this stage and settle for a lesser award than they deserve. Having already sent in all your possible evidence, what else can you do to persuade the "court" that you deserve a higher award ?

    The simple answer is nothing. You have done everything you can.

    Or have you ?

    Often, the problem is not your evidence, which proves beyond doubt that your condition is real and affects the way you complete the daily tasks in line with the decriptors.

    The problem is with how your evidence is presented.

    Think about it. If you were a DM or a tribunal panel, would you want to read through the equivalent of War and Peace in medical evidence ? Would you even be able to stay awake to do so ?

    Presentation to an appeal panel is made easy for you. You have already done all the work of collecting and submitting your evidence and GP letters where possible. The DWP has sent you back a copy of everything, "the bundle", all you need to do is present your case in an idiot proof form.

    Make it easy for the panel to understand why you deserve the award.

    We have all had the HCP report that at best can be described as a work of fiction. Attacking the HCP will not score you any points
    The panel don't care ! The job of the panel is to make a judgement on your functionality and your job is to present your reasons in a straight forward manner.
    Complaints about assessors are a separate matter and have no place in appeal submissions.

    My "how to template", a formula put together over a year and eight successful PIP claims, may be of use if you want to give it a try. It is not magic, it is not a guarantee of success. You may think it is a load of ****, feel free to disgard it or make comments.
    If it makes sense to you and helps you to appeal in a less stressful way, feel free to use it.

    Template for appeal submission

    MY best advice is, make it simple and idiot proof.
    You do not need to try and find even more paperwork, you have already sent in all your relevant evidence

    Write a brief history of your claim, condition and how it affects your daily life.

    Example:

    I am 61 years old and have had rheumatoid arthritis, multiple joint osteoarthritis and lupus for most of my life. The condition is permanent and deteriorating despite medication to slow the process. The painkillers I take have an effect after a few hours but before they kick in, I have difficulty washing and dressing and the pain make it very hard to get around.

    You may agree with some of the points awarded, in which case say so and reference these to the bundle so the panel can easily find the information if they want.

    Example;

    Undisputed descriptors

    Managing toilet needs 2 points (page 64 of the bundle)
    Communicating verbally 0 points ( page 66 of the bundle )
    etc.

    Next move on to the descriptors that you are disputing. Again reference each point to the bundle.
    State what you were awarded. What you believe you should have been awarded and why.

    Example:

    Disputed activity
    Preparing and cooking food
    I was awarded 0 points for preparing and cooking food ( page 60 of the bundle )
    I believe that I should have been awarded 4 points for this activity
    I need help to cook food, I can prepare vegetables whilst sitting but I cannot reliably, safely and for the majority of time, lift hot pans due to limited dexterity, poor grip and pain in my wrists and hands ( ref GP1, GP3 of the bundle. GP's letter ) There is a clear danger that I will drop things and scald myself and therefore need my wife to do this when necessary.
    The assessment took place at 09:00 when I was fully rested and with the benefit of full pain medication. The HCP stated that I had a normal power and pinch grip at the time ( pages 59 & 60 of the bundle ). However ,I do not believe that the assessor took into consideration the effect of fatigue and the diminishing effect of my pain relief during a typical day, especially at meal times later in the day.

    Do this for each descriptor that you dispute.

    Finally write a brief summary of the above.


    In conclusion, due to the snapshot nature of the assessment, I believe that the assessor did not take into consideration how my conditions affect me during a typical day or how the effects of fatigue and diminishing pain relief impact on my capability to carry out the activities as the day wears on.
    I believe that I should have been awarded XX points for the care component and as agreed 12 points for moving around.
    My conditions are permanent and deteriorating yearly ( GP 1 ) with no chance of remmission. As my condition varies from day to day, I request that the hearing takes place on the paper evidence as I am unable to ensure my attendance.

    Your faithfully.

    These are true examples from a submission used which resulted in a higher award being given.

    I hope this helps some of you tro realise that tribunals don't have to be scary or hard to do.
    Last edited by David69; 09-13-2017 at 07:27 PM.
    Anything expressed is my opinion only and is offered in good faith. It is either from my own experiance or what I have learned on my journey. Take it for what it is or leave it alone. With best wishes D.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gus607's Avatar
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    Good post & easy to understand for us. Thank you.
    Call me Mike.

  3. #3
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    David, you are a star. I am about to request an appeal which because of difficulty coping with strangers has to be based on paper evidence. I didn't have any idea where to start and what would be acceptable so thank you for this example which makes it easier.

  4. #4
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    You should request ADMIN (please note) make a 'sticky' out of that, looks like it would be very useful for many who post here.

    Well done David.

  5. #5
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    David. Nice post simple and gets quickly to the point. Should be at the top of the page imho. Well done.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NeurologicalNed's Avatar
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    Quite a few of David's posts on here should qualify for a sticky; they are very good.

    David, you should have a go at doing a blog mate or even a vlog channel on YouTube, they would both prove very popular and resourceful?

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