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Thread: Going through a PIP appeal, here's what we've had to deal with. (Long Post)

  1. #1

    Going through a PIP appeal, here's what we've had to deal with. UPDATED

    Hello,

    A little background info before I get into it, I've been acting as my mother's carer since she retired in 2012, she has respiratory problems, as well as various other ailments which make her life difficult. She was deemed "Not disabled enough" to warrant care, however, her conditions are getting progressively worse, and she said that because I was doing more for her, maybe I could apply again, with the idea that because I do so much for her, maybe they could at least point me in the right direction, because I cannot go to work, because she can't be left on her own.

    Well, I got rejected again, and this triggered the process of being moved over to PIP.

    We filled out a form, listed all of her problems (which are a lot, I won't bore you with the details now, I'll tell you those later), and we were called to the PIP assessment, which was being undertaken by a Capita assessor. We got to the building, and ran into the first problem right away, her wheelchair wouldn't fit in the lift, that's right, a disability assessor has a lift where a wheelchair cannot fit in. Luckily, she can stand, albeit with a great deal of pain in her back. But we managed to get there on time.

    Then we get to the assessment, he's a physiotherapist, and he asked various questions, sometimes, my mother has lapses in memory, so I try to help her answer, and he refused to let me help her answer. I smelled a rat almost immediately, when he asked her "Where did you work before your retirement?" and she gave her answer, and I repeated it, verbatim, and he was trying to lead her to change the answer, he's literally saying a different job to her, to which we both reply "No, it's this".

    And he keeps asking her questions, she's answering, he's trying to get her to say something different, and when I try to say "No, this is what it is", he'd just put his finger in my face as if to say "I don't want to hear from you".

    We get to the MSK tests, she does them, with some difficulty, and when she tried to say "I can't do it, it's not possible", he basically said "Do it anyway!" Which then lead to him telling her to stand on the tips of her toes, when she tried, she fell forward.

    She is asked to answer more questions, and half way through them, he just looks are her, with a look of abject disgust, and says "So, you don't do anything?!" and my mum, feeling absolutely embarrassed, and upset, said "Well, I do try to walk the length of my living room couple of times, so that my joints don't seize up", and it was like a shark smelled blood in the water. He basically concluded the assessment then, which I found odd, because he didn't actually have my mum up to walk any distance at any point during the assessment.

    As we were coming out, we had to deal with the lift all over again, he just walked right passed, not even a cursory glance, with a huge Cheshire Cat grin on his face, even though he's a "Healthcare Professional", and he's seeing a disabled woman in pain trying to deal with a lift that wouldn't accomodate her wheelchair.

    So, we got the decision, she gets nothing for care, and a reduced rate of mobility. After reading around, I told her to get a copy of the report, here are some of the lies contained within the report.

    - She was accompanied by her "family". Not so much a "lie", but it made it sound like there was more than one person with her, which is untrue, I was the only one with her, and why would you put "Family" when "Son" would have sufficed?
    - Despite being told where she worked, and what her job was, he decided to completely make up a different job and place of occupation.
    - Remember when I said that she fell forward when she was asked to stand on the tips of her toes? That was amended to "a slight lean forward"
    - She can walk over 20m "Because she can walk half way, rest for 10 minutes, and then do the rest of it", but still didn't get her to walk in the assessment
    - She can touch her toes from a seated position, without difficulty. What he neglected to mention was that she was sat in her wheelchair, with her foot on the footplates, and the distance she would have had to reach, was shorter than the length of her arm.
    - Was awarded 2pts for handling toilet needs, one of the caveats being "We don't take ability to get to the toilet into consideration".
    - Was awarded 2pts for washing and bathing, as you probably know "needs help getting in and out of the bath/shower" gets 3, the reason they didn't give her that being "Even though she needs help getting in and out of the bath/shower, she can't get to the bathroom to use it, so it's not necessary". Meaning that they don't take the ability to get to the toilet into consideration, but they do when it comes to getting into the shower.
    - "She crouched with the aid of her sticks", she didn't crouch, not once, he made it up
    - "She stood on one foot without aid", didn't happen, he made it up, and all of a sudden, she's put her sticks down.
    - In fact, the need for her sticks changed numerous times in her report, she had them, then she didn't, then she had them, then she didn't.
    - "She didn't use her inhalers", he was told numerous times "It gets really bad when it's hot, especially when there's steam, and with physical exersion". It's not paticularly hot when you're sat in an air conditioned office, in February.
    - "She has moderate swelling around her legs, ankles, and feet". He looked at the state of her legs, gasped and said "Oh god!", implying that maybe they're a little worse than "Moderate", especially when you consider that he asked her "Can you put socks on, and do shoelaces?", and her reply being "I've not done that for years, my legs are too swollen to get them
    - "She has good grip strength" one of her conditions is "Dupuytren's Disease", otherwise known as "Viking's Disease" in her right hand, as well as arthritis in both of her hands. The Viking's disease in particular, causes her hand to spasm, sometimes cause her finger to dislocate. That meant that she could cook for herself with aids, and not having her breakfast, lunch, and dinner made for her, by me.

    We went through the Mandatory Reconsideration, providing even more evidence, and pointing out where he's lied, and a rebuttal, they rejected it, even decided to twist the knife a little more and say "Our assessors are specially trained".

    So, we moved to the tribunal, with the DWP making a motion to have the appeal dismissed, so I called the courthouse, and asked them what we need to do in response, and the very nice lady at the courthouse said "Believe me, you WILL get your tribunal, you don't need to do anything, it just takes a long time to do them".

    So, these are our experiences dealing with the farcical DWP.

    TL;DR Cliffs:
    - I've been caring for 6 years, not claimed carers
    - Was talked into trying to claim it, triggered PIP
    - Went to the assessment, scumbag assessor lied, and smiled seeing my mother struggling with the lift.
    - Mandatory Reconsideration rejected, despite all lies being proven to be lies
    - Going to tribunal
    Last edited by Dunno; 03-16-2019 at 08:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Awful but seems all too common an experience, but I am quite sure that before long someone will be along to give detail of how you will succeed at the tribunal and probably get enhanced rates for mobility and daily care and you will get carers allowance with a good amount of backpay. Sadly this is the way the system works for now, every effort to dissuade you from pursuing a rightful claim but those who deserve it getting only by perseverance or help from an outside agency or forum such as this.
    Keep your resolve, turn your anger to cold calculation and you will win.
    As I say their are some members here that will be along with detailed practical advice very soon, I wish you well.

  3. #3
    Make sure you gather as much medical evidence as possible for the tribunal. Keep copies of everything.
    Best of luck.
    Call me Mike.

  4. #4
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    Hello Dunno

    Sadly your experience is not unique. I too, was refused PIP, and at MR - so went on to a tribunal.

    Because of the huge amount of similar experiences to yours, tribunal waiting times have lengthened considerably.

    I was awarded PIP at my tribunal.

    Although I note your frustrations regarding the toileting descriptor, which is woefully underscored especially compared to the other descriptors. Put it this way, I know which disabilities I'd rather have to deal with compared to one of the disabilities I do deal with 24/7.

    Good luck with your tribunal.

  5. #5
    Thank you for the replies.

    The long and short of it, this has devastated my mum, not because of the financial hit she's taken, although, she's had to tighten her belt significantly, but because somebody has been so evil. I can't even think of a different word for it, it's evil. It's one thing to have lied so blatently, but to come out of the assessment, with a huge smile like he's won something like he's thinking "Got 'em!", especially when she's struggling with the lift. By the way, I forgot to mention, the toilets in is building, they aren't even on the same floor, you have to go up three floors to get to them, and somebody with issues like that, it's horrible.

    But, I can't even discuss what is going to happen with her, like who we'd need to talk to, any letters to sign, arguments we can make, because she just starts suffering what could be considered and anxiety attack, my mother has NEVER had anxiety before, to the point of her blood pressure getting higher, like a significant rise, which can clearly be attributed to this, not to mention that she gets scared whenever he sees the postman, and flinches whenever something comes through the letter box.

    The solace that I'm taking with this is that he was so giddy to make everything up, that he lied about things that don't make any sense to lie about, like just making up everything about where she worked and what she did. That's really going to poison the well, because now, I can say at the tribunal "Everything he's said can be called into question, because he just made this up out of nowhere". We've proven him to be at the very least, an incompetant, and that's without the lying about the use of her sticks, and the "crouching" and whatnot.

    I'm just amazed that there are people who are supposed to be there to help people, be so callous.

  6. #6
    You making a claim for Carers Allowance does not "trigger PIP", I can understand you wanting to vent your spleen about liars & lying but this doesn't help your mother's situation, you need to clarify some facts to get the best help.

    1)
    You say your mother's "retired", what age is she now and what benefit(s)/pension does she receive?

    2)
    Was your mother receiving DLA/PIP before this assessment, @ what rate(s)?


    Here's a couple of links that may be helpful to you; follow the links within them.

    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/a...econsideration

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/be...nd-carers/pip/

    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/getting-advice

    Here's one to the Age UK site;
    https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information...dence-payment/
    Last edited by Jard; 09-19-2018 at 02:54 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The tribunal will look at the facts and the evidence with an unbiased eye.

    They are independent from the DWP and currently overturn about 68% of PIP appeals that get to them, and rule in favour of the claimant.

    Don't make the mistake of calling the assessor a liar, that's not the way to go about winning a tribunal.
    (The tribunals know that anyway).

    The tribunal can't consider how he acted, inside or outside of the assessment, they can only consider the facts of the assessment itself.

    We know it's hard and that you are fuming about it, but keeping calm is going to let you think better, and get your points across better.

    Just be clear and calm about your mothers abilities, what she can and can't manage to do day to day.

    Use any medical evidence you have to back that up, but it's the abilities that matter not the medical condition(s) themselves.
    (The same medical condition can affect different people in different ways).

    The evidence they see will make it clear to the tribunal that the assessor was lying, you don't have to shout about it and call him names.

    You should say things like:
    "The assessment report says that I have good grip strength, however my diagnosis of Dupuytren's Contracture, (letter included in my evidence), strongly contradicts this finding."

    You get the idea? You have not called him a liar, you have not even mentioned him, - you have shown, with evidence, that the assessment report is wrong.
    The tribunal will take notice of that, especially when you show it to be wrong in many places.

    Are you getting any help from a local benefit advisor, who can go through the report with you point by point?
    If not I strongly advise that you do so. They are very experienced now about what works at tribunal and what doesn't.

    You can find advisors local to you by putting your postcode into the following webpage:
    https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser

    Keep going, if all is as you say then the tribunal will put things right.
    Do get help from a local advisor who will have done this many times so knows how it all works.
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-19-2018 at 02:40 PM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jard View Post
    You making a claim for Carers Allowance does not "trigger PIP", I can understand you wanting to vent your spleen about liars & lying but this doesn't help your mother's situation, you need to clarify some facts to get the best help.

    1)
    You say your mother's "retired", what age is she now and what benefit(s)/pension does she receive?

    2)
    Was your mother receiving DLA/PIP before this assessment, @ what rate(s)?


    Here's a couple of links that may be helpful to you; follow the links within them.

    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/a...econsideration

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/be...nd-carers/pip/

    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/getting-advice

    Well, when I reapplied for Carer's Allowance, within a week of me applying online, she recieved a letter saying that they're going to move her over onto PIP, and would need to apply for it. So, we were under the assumption that they took a look at my application, and decided to move on with the process of moving her onto PIP.

    1)
    She retired in 2012, when she was 62 (she turned 63 a couple of months after), and she's 69 now. Right now, she recieves the "Standard Mobility" rate for PIP, so she gets £22.60. She also gets a state and private pension. Her health was a contributing factor to it, particularly her respiratory issues.

    2)
    Yes, she was recieving DLA before, she was on the highest rate of mobility, and the lowest rate of care. And like I said in the OP, her conditions have since worsened.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    The tribunal will look at the facts and the evidence with an unbiased eye.

    They are independent from the DWP and currently overturn about 68% of PIP appeals that get to them, and rule in favour of the claimant.

    Don't make the mistake of calling the assessor a liar, that's not the way to go about winning a tribunal.
    (The tribunals know that anyway).

    The tribunal can't consider how he acted, inside or outside of the assessment, they can only consider the facts of the assessment itself.

    We know it's hard and that you are fuming about it, but keeping calm is going to let you think better, and get your points across better.

    Just be clear and calm about your mothers abilities, what she can and can't manage to do day to day.

    Use any medical evidence you have to back that up, but it's the abilities that matter not the medical condition(s) themselves.
    (The same medical condition can affect different people in different ways).

    The evidence they see will make it clear to the tribunal that the assessor was lying, you don't have to shout about it and call him names.

    You should say things like:
    "The assessment report says that I have good grip strength, however my diagnosis of Dupuytren's Contracture, (letter included in my evidence), strongly contradicts this finding."

    You get the idea? You have not called him a liar, you have not even mentioned him, - you have shown, with evidence, that the assessment report is wrong.
    The tribunal will take notice of that, especially when you show it to be wrong in many places.

    Are you getting any help from a local benefit advisor, who can go through the report with you point by point?
    If not I strongly advise that you do so. They are very experienced now about what works at tribunal and what doesn't.

    You can find advisors local to you by putting your postcode into the following webpage:
    https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser

    Keep going, if all is as you say then the tribunal will put things right.
    Do get help from a local advisor who will have done this many times so knows how it all works.

    Whenever I make contact with anybody regarding this, I make sure I don't even insinuate that I believe the assessor lied, I was merely spleen venting privately, and here.

    We did go to a local disability advisor, who did make a point about how he made up her employers/job does work in our favour, because it would show that he would go as far as to make stuff up, and just got sloppy with it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dunno View Post
    Well, when I reapplied for Carer's Allowance, within a week of me applying online, she recieved a letter saying that they're going to move her over onto PIP, and would need to apply for it. So, we were under the assumption that they took a look at my application, and decided to move on with the process of moving her onto PIP.

    1)
    She retired in 2012, when she was 62 (she turned 63 a couple of months after), and she's 69 now. Right now, she recieves the "Standard Mobility" rate for PIP, so she gets £22.60. She also gets a state and private pension. Her health was a contributing factor to it, particularly her respiratory issues.

    2)
    Yes, she was recieving DLA before, she was on the highest rate of mobility, and the lowest rate of care. And like I said in the OP, her conditions have since worsened.
    No one can claim Carer's Allowance on the basis of the lowest Care Component of DLA, it needs to be at least Medium/Middle rate care.

    Most everyone receiving DLA has to change and apply for PIP, I'm still waiting and I'm gone 65.

    Given her situation has said I would strongly suggest you contact your local AGE UK and ask for their help in challenging this Decision.

    All the best with it
    Last edited by Jard; 09-19-2018 at 03:12 PM.

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