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Thread: PIP Deciison - 0 Points! Going to write a Mandatory Reconsideration. Advice please.

  1. #1

    PIP Deciison - 0 Points! Going to write a Mandatory Reconsideration. Advice please.

    Hi all. I am new to this site, but have been reading many posts here, and am amazed at how knowledgeable and helpful you all are, regarding personal issues relating to the complex benefit system. I have a case I would like advice on, if anyone can help?

    My daughter is 35 and lives with me and her mother (my wife). We are in our 60's and retired. Our daughter suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, Cyclothymia (a moderate form of bi-polar disorder), depression, stress, anxiety, suicidal ideation, self-harm and a whole host of other conditions. We try to get her as independent as we can, but many of her issues require our constant assistance and promoting to help.

    in July 2014, we helped her make a claim for PIP. The assessment wasn't until last month - my wife went with her and guided her. Reading up on all the scoring criteria, we were certain she would qualify as the amount needed isn't very high. On Saturday we received a letter confirming she scored 0 points! Basically claiming she needed no help whatsoever. This is ridiculous, and is suggesting she is as able as the average person without disability. The assessment she said felt uncomfortable, and the majority of her issues were not even discussed.

    Reading online, I am writing up a Mandatory Reconsideration request to send to them. I have read through the PIP guidebook assigned to those who do the tests, and written a detailed explanation and example of how we live related to each question. I hope this is enough, but any advice would be very helpful. I am really angry and frustrated as the PIP we were hoping would help build her self-esteem and independence. To award 0 points just seems absurd.

    On another note, I read that the case workers who make the decisions, are not qualified as healthcare professionals in any manner. So I do not see what gives them authority to make decisions on the mental/physical state of others.

    Any advice would be helpful. I am at my wits end here.
    Thanks,
    John.

  2. #2
    In the first place I am sorry to hear of your plight.

    The 'case workers/decision makers' look at all of the evidence including the report from the disability analyst (ATOS/CAPITA)
    They have no need to have any medical experience or backround - that job is done for them when you have the assessment.

    There are lots of opinions and some confusion over who should supply the evidence to back up what you say. If no independent evidence has been given to the DWP case manager/decision maker, they can only decide on the report of the assessment and the PIP 2 form you sent in.

    Some say that you should supply as much evidence as you can get hold of, even paying for it and send it all in with the PIP2. The official line is that you only need to send in what you have and should NOT go looking for any more or paying for it - that is the responsibility of the assessors.

    Maybe your problem is that there isn't enough evidence to back up what you say - either you haven't sent it in or the DWP/assessor didn't bother to apply for any.

    You need to get hold of the assessors report from the DWP to find out.

  3. #3
    First step is to get a copy of the report and challenge it point by point -and refer to your supporting documents that you do qualify to score points for each applicable descriptor. For example ..... I can only walk 20 metres before I experience pains in my legs and start to feel breathless - see letter from my consultant/doctor/physio dated .....
    Take care to reply within the timescale and always keep copies if your submissions and mail them signed-for post to ensure you leave a paper trail and can give proof of delivery etc ! Good Luck

  4. #4
    I also got 0 points and its not a nice experience. Chances are slim at mandatory reconsideration. something like only 10% of decisions get changed. I haven't got the decision on my mandatory reconsideration, but am already preparing for tribunal.

    As mentioned above request that assessment report. There is a high probability however you wont receive it before the mandatory reconsideration deadline. I'm still waiting for mine. the deadline was weeks ago. Still send the mandatory reconsideration before the deadline. When the assessment report finally arrives, it'll be useful for preparing for the tribunal.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by carl30 View Post
    I also got 0 points and its not a nice experience. Chances are slim at mandatory reconsideration. something like only 10% of decisions get changed. I haven't got the decision on my mandatory reconsideration, but am already preparing for tribunal.

    As mentioned above request that assessment report. There is a high probability however you wont receive it before the mandatory reconsideration deadline. I'm still waiting for mine. the deadline was weeks ago. Still send the mandatory reconsideration before the deadline. When the assessment report finally arrives, it'll be useful for preparing for the tribunal.
    I too got a big fat 0 for my PIP claim despite having High rate Mobility and Care DLA for many years. As you say, the MR is a joke, very few get the decision changed - mine stayed the same!

  6. #6
    Good luck with your MR. The DM completely ignored the new evidence and the descriptors I disagreed with. I am now also preparing my appeal & have an appointment with the CAB next week.

  7. #7
    Hi John,

    Sorry to hear of your disappointment. Just know that many people have been in your situation and in the end have been successful. I was supporting a recent case and they initially received 4 points on the mobility component and 0 points on the care component and after I finished with the case they received Enhanced rate mobility and Standard rate care. Many cases I deal with are from the point where they have been refused or not happy with the award they was given. I usually come in when they are preparing to write their mandatory reconsideration letter to offer them some support.

    Usually the issues I notice with people I come across is a PIP2 form not completed to the standard needed in order for it to hold a lot of weight in the Decision Makers decision. By this I mean vague answers. When writing your mandatory reconsideration letter try to be as specific as possible and include the descriptor you feel best describes your daughters condition, tell them WHY and back that up with evidence where possible.

    you are on the right track of writing a detailed explanation and example of how you live relating to each question. If you understand what the decision makers base their decision on in relation to the laws and regulations then you are also on the right path. Many of the descriptors the decision makers uses are quite specific i.e. "Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided." So for example if you stated in your PIP2 form that "I struggle to walk and I can not walk far because of X and Y" then this is too vague. That statement does not fit into a descriptor, so more than often the decision makers go to the next piece of evidence (The assessors REPORT). Which if you have the chance to see, you will notice that the assessor would have selected a SPECIFIC descriptor which he/she believes your daughter falls into. So then the decision maker has no option other than to choose this descriptor provided by the assessor.

    So in your reconsideration letter I advise you to take a look the all the descriptors which can be found here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Gl...and-points.pdf

    And for each activity note down which descriptor applies to your daughter. After this write down the reasons why you believe daughter falls into that descriptor give DETAILED examples of this also include how many days in the week, how often in a day she requires help, how long things take and give specific time for example takes you 15 minutes to motivate your daughter to get out of bed everyday. Then back this up with evidence. That means doctors letters, prescriptions, Hospital letters (reports), and any other reliable evidence to back up what you are saying.

    I hope this helps you write a stronger reconsideration letter for you daughter and I wish you all the best.

  8. #8
    Hi everyone. Thank you for posting advice and ideas towards this situation. As you can imagine it has been pretty stressful, then again it seems most of you know exactly how it feels, so there is no need to imagine.

    I contacted PIP and asked them to send the assessors report, and was told it will arrive late next week at the latest. The decision was dated August 5, and was told once I call to make an official MR, we have another 4 weeks to gather any medical information.

    I am starting to believe the score was due to a lack of clarity on the PIP 2 form, and a lack of medical evidence. I assumed they would contact her doctor direct, but am not sure if they did, and even if so, just how much information was provided.

    The plan now is to await the assessors report, then finish the MR letter from there. I have already written a detailed draft, but may change the odd way of explaining after reading the report.

    I have also booked a doctors appointment for my daughter on 25th August. I will go with her and do all the talking, but was wondering what exactly I should ask them, and how they can help in terms of providing professional evidence to my daughter's disabilities?

    On top of this, my wife took her for an emergency appointment today with the locum GP. My daughter has been suffering quite badly since the weekend, and the stress is causing a host of mental health issues which are worrying for us. The locum said they will send a urgent letter to her psychotherapist, who we are hoping can get her reassessed asap. Since the doctors today, my wife has taken her to the local A and E, as we are concerned about her current state. The last I know is she is awaiting to see a Mental Health professional, who I am hoping can help her in any manner.

    Thanks again for the information. It is an excessively frustrating time for us.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyD View Post
    Hi John,

    Sorry to hear of your disappointment. Just know that many people have been in your situation and in the end have been successful. I was supporting a recent case and they initially received 4 points on the mobility component and 0 points on the care component and after I finished with the case they received Enhanced rate mobility and Standard rate care. Many cases I deal with are from the point where they have been refused or not happy with the award they was given. I usually come in when they are preparing to write their mandatory reconsideration letter to offer them some support.

    Usually the issues I notice with people I come across is a PIP2 form not completed to the standard needed in order for it to hold a lot of weight in the Decision Makers decision. By this I mean vague answers. When writing your mandatory reconsideration letter try to be as specific as possible and include the descriptor you feel best describes your daughters condition, tell them WHY and back that up with evidence where possible.

    you are on the right track of writing a detailed explanation and example of how you live relating to each question. If you understand what the decision makers base their decision on in relation to the laws and regulations then you are also on the right path. Many of the descriptors the decision makers uses are quite specific i.e. "Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided." So for example if you stated in your PIP2 form that "I struggle to walk and I can not walk far because of X and Y" then this is too vague. That statement does not fit into a descriptor, so more than often the decision makers go to the next piece of evidence (The assessors REPORT). Which if you have the chance to see, you will notice that the assessor would have selected a SPECIFIC descriptor which he/she believes your daughter falls into. So then the decision maker has no option other than to choose this descriptor provided by the assessor.

    So in your reconsideration letter I advise you to take a look the all the descriptors which can be found here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Gl...and-points.pdf

    And for each activity note down which descriptor applies to your daughter. After this write down the reasons why you believe daughter falls into that descriptor give DETAILED examples of this also include how many days in the week, how often in a day she requires help, how long things take and give specific time for example takes you 15 minutes to motivate your daughter to get out of bed everyday. Then back this up with evidence. That means doctors letters, prescriptions, Hospital letters (reports), and any other reliable evidence to back up what you are saying.

    I hope this helps you write a stronger reconsideration letter for you daughter and I wish you all the best.
    An excellent package of advice. However it does come across that you are somewhat an expert in filling out these forms especially the PIP2. This can't be said for the majority of claimants. They struggle (like myself) to even understand what is wanted by the DWP. Finding suitable 'professionals' like yourself is now an almost impossibility. Many people (like myself) muddle through the form as best they can.
    And when it comes to the assessment it seems that it is pot luck if you manage to get a helpful assessor or one that is either plain rude or pretends to be DI Banks!
    With no available support for that assessment (many go it alone) it is like entering into the lions den with no idea what will happen. Stress, anxiety are at an all time high - no wonder people have bad assessments.

    I am pleased for those that you help, but please remember there are many that cannot access that help.

  10. #10
    Just to update. My daughter was assessed at the hospital by the mental health team, and placed on some temporary anxiety medication. They also wrote a full assessment of her conditions, and have sent the report to her GP They are also fast tracking an appointment with her psychiatrist for next week, where she will assess everything; including medications and how she is coping.

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