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Thread: PIP Tribunal lost and current award lost

  1. #1
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    PIP Tribunal lost and current award lost

    Hi, Made a first claim for PIP early 2015. After assessment was awarded 10 points for mobility and 8 for Daily Living. However, claim initially wasn't successful as they didn't accept the condition would last more than 9 months. I had a severe ankle injury, with 5 operations from 2013 and it was worsening.
    However, both consultant and GP advised in January that I would continue to have issues for 18-24 months as I was awiting further surgery. I provided these letters to DWP, along with evidence from my Physio, and under mandatory consideration they reviewed and award PIP for 18 months - on the points given above. Whilst I was pleased I was also a little disgruntled that I had not been awarded the 12 points to qualify for high rate mobility, as my mobility was very restricted and I was using a wheelchair. I decided to appeal as I had clearly told the lady at the assessment that I could not walk more than 20 metres using crutches and without stopping etc.
    I did not attend the tribunal hearing but received the decision today and I was gobsmacked that they have removed all of my points as they do not believe my condition will last more than 9 months? I am so confused and worried that I will have to repay the money I have already received.
    I feel silly that I was never made aware they might look at the whole award, just because I felt the assessor had made a mistake. Looking for information today some reputable sites state that "tribunals should provide warning to the appellant if whole claim at risk" and that this may be an error of law??
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you
    Last edited by bell6182; 05-09-15 at 21:49.

  2. #2
    I'm so sorry to hear this news, I'm afraid I won't be much help to you. The only thing i can say is it's always best to go in person to a tribunal if at all possible.

    I'm sure someone will come on and advise you, perhaps if there is a welfare rights officer at your local council they would be able to advise you.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I would strongly advise you to get in touch with CAB (with benefits specialist) or welfare advisor.

    Appeals to the Upper Tribunal are very complicated so you will need specialist advice.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice so far. I still can't believe they have just revoked the whole award without warning. Neither my appeal letter nor the DWP decision letter warns that this could happen. I don't understand why have they looked at this, when I have provided evidence? The decision letter doesn't even mention my appeal matter, which was that I was unable to walk over 20 metres repeatedly or safely? As a newby to claiming I can only imagine the stress other people must have to go through.

  5. #5
    Guest081215
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    I've not been to a tribunal but my feeling is that as you didn't go they couldn't have warned you and had to go ahead anyway. Posts I've seen on tribunal mention the courts person speaking to the appellant on the day a few minutes before the tribunal hearing to warn them, in your case they couldn't do that and saw your absence as not a valid excuse to postpone it. I could well be incorrect and you may have good recourse to upper tribunal. You need expert help with upper tier.

  6. #6
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    I think my lack of "digging" beforehand and underestimating the need to attend has certainly backfired. I've trawled about today and found some interesting things though:
    http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=3933 was very interesting in that Tribunals should offer an adjournment before removing part of an award. It also advises that the Upper Tribunal set aside a decision and added that tribunals should refrain from making decisions less favourable to claimants than the decisions being challenged, except in the most obvious cases. It doesn't mention whether it is relevant if the appellant has attended or not, although in hindsight I wish I had. However, after many hours of looking this I am beginning to feel a little more positive.

  7. #7
    You should apply for a statement of reasons as soon as possible.

    It does seem that you could apply for the decision to put aside because you were not present. Search for "set aside tribunal decision"
    http://www.actionforme.org.uk/Resour...als-copier.pdf


    There's a lot of legal jargon around on it. The statement of reasons may help you to identify a error of law to go to the upper tribunal.

    There are also solicitors who work on fixed fees for this sort of thing, if that is an option for you but do try to get some help from someone specilising in welfare rights and law.

    Good luck

  8. #8
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    I don't know whether to attend my appeal in a few days. Why do you say it's always best to attend? I have an unseen disability and have heard they are influenced by how you look. They certainly did this in the original PIP assessment, judging my situation by how I looked. I have sent a lengthy written submission and not sure whether to attend.

  9. #9
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    the panel may ask you to clarify something that could lead to them giving you an award.

    if you don't go they cant ask, so will decide on the evidence they have there.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the replies. Just received statement of reasons 2 days ago, can't believe it took that long. It's very long, but basically they removed the award because they didn't believe that my medical condition would last 9 months and ruled that dwp had been wrong in their decision. They state in one section that "the appellant would not, on the balance of probabilities, have been entitled to any points for any other activities or descriptors which would continue until xxxxxx 2015."
    I have drafted a 3 page letter referring to 3 of their points and the fact their decision was based upon probabilities?? I have also referred to case number CDLA/3710/2012, in which section 3 states “as had been said in R(IB) 2/04 the claimant had to be given sufficient notice to enable him to prepare his case on the new issue. For that reason, the Commissioner held (paragraph 10) that tribunals should refrain from making decisions less favourable to claimants than the decisions being challenged, except in the most obvious cases, or after an appropriate adjournment.” I have added that the procedure followed at the hearing did not allow me the opportunity to provide any further evidence and so the tribunal did not have sufficient and recent evidence to support its decision in removing the whole award and provided a letter from my doctor in relation to my mobility and pain.
    However, the surprise at how they dealt with the appeal does not leave me with the confidence that this will be enough. Will just have to wait and see.

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