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Thread: PIP Mandatory Reconsideration. Do I make my own points suggestions or not?

  1. #1

    PIP Mandatory Reconsideration. Do I make my own points suggestions or not?

    Hi all,

    I've been on lower rate DLA care for almost twenty years and received a letter saying my DLA was ending and an 'invitation' to apply for PIP which I did. Within two weeks of the DWP receiving my PIP application form I had my assessment. Without going into detail this did not go well and this was something I was aware of very early in the assessment, and in fact could have guessed from the attitude of the assessor before I even entered the assessment room.

    As a result, I decided to request the assessor's report immediately once I was notified by text that the DWP had received it so I could begin to prepare for the inevitable mandatory reconsideration. I received it on Wednesday (still haven't had the decision through yet though this will be a formality). It was difficult to estimate precisely what my points score would be but I reckoned nine would be most likely though having read so many scare stories about assessments I was bracing myself for an award of maybe six and the start of the long process towards tribunal. Instead I received zero. I still can't quite take this in but it's there in black and white. I've been looking through these forums for advice and suggestions on how to improve my case come mandatory reconsideration and have come across some excellent posts.

    Given the experience of others winning this is very much a long shot. Trying to move from six points to eight is one thing but arguing I should be allocated that score from zero is something else entirely. Nevertheless I think it best to submit as much information at this stage as I can as I am working on the presumption (and please let me know if this is wrong) that come appeal the tribunal will be furnished with copies of ALL correspondence regarding my application and it is therefore important to put everything down on paper now.

    I believe I have a strong case (obviously, or I wouldn't be posting otherwise) based on two important aspects. Firstly, since receiving DLA I have since developed two other chronic conditions which adversely affect my daily living. Rather stupidly in retrospect I never made any applications to see if my DLA award needed to be changed when these conditions emerged - or re-emerged in one instance. I thought that the 'indefinite' part of the DLA award meant that the DWP would contact ME if they thought anything needed to change. I now understand that I should have informed them. Nevertheless I included details of these conditions as well as the original qualifying one on the PIP application and they were discussed at assessment.

    Secondly and probably most importantly it appears that not all information I provided with my application reached the assessor. I was unaware of this at the time but on her report on the section marked 'List all evidence considered alongside the consultation findings' all she has written is 'PIP Questionnaire' I submitted additional material with the questionnaire in the form of eight pages expanding on my answers and nine pages of a diary kept daily for two weeks following receipt of PIP application form, over 7,000 words in total. This does not appear to have been taken into consideration anywhere and there is no mention of it anywhere in the assessor's report.

    I am in the process of putting this together with much else to be submitted for mandatory reconsideration. The advice from - and experience of - others on this forum has been of great assistance with this. What I am concerned about is how I approach making specific challenges to the awards, or rather lack of, in each of the areas where I reckon I ought to have scored. To be precise should I just outline where and why I disagree in each instance or should I actually say how many points I think SHOULD have been awarded? Or not say anything about what I think I should have received? Basically is it helpful to be specific about what I think I should have received or is it considered presumptuous to do so?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    In my assessment the assessor left out a lot of relevant information which I provided & could have certainly helped my case. Instead she decided it was not important enough.
    The court tribunal thought differently !
    Be prepared for a MR then a tribunal yourself but don't give up. The DWP love people not to bother pursuing a claim for PIP.
    75% of appeals are successful these days & that say's it all really.
    Good luck.
    Call me Mike.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'm not sure, but from a paragraph there it seems you may have made the classic mistake of concentrating on your medical conditions rather than your abilities.
    PIP is all about your abilities not any particular condition(s).
    I'm sure you will have already seen that in Flymo's sticky.

    Never, ever, assume that if you appeal to the tribunal the DWP will send the court everything that you sent to the DWP.
    Send copies of anything relevant to the court yourself, but not yet, see the next point.

    If/when you lodge your appeal don't try to send/explain everything at that stage, you only need to say basically that you belive that the DWP have not considered all your evidence.
    After a while you will get a 'court bundle' - That's the DWP's case/argument and contains a copy of everything the DWP have sent to the tribunal.
    Wait until you have this DWP 'bundle' so you have a clearer idea of what you need to argue against before sending off your own letter and evidence.
    There is no point arguing against things the DWP aren't disputing.

    I would not suggest how many points you think you should have scored.
    (Think about it; that's trying to tell the tribunal how to do their job, nobody likes that).
    Simply say why you believe the DWP have got it wrong, for each descriptor that applies, and why you do qualify.
    Where possible use the wording that is used in the descriptors themselves.
    Let the court weigh the evidence and award points, that's their job.

    Try and keep things as short as you can, while still saying what you need to.
    Don't go rambling off at tangents with clarifications and justifications.
    We know that you'll have a lot to say, but long rambling statements can be hard to read (and may be skimmed).

    (And no offense but the posts you have made here today are each a bit on the long side, yes I understand why but they could have been more concise and given just as much relevant information).

    Get someone to read whatever you write to the court, and suggest how it could be made clearer and easier to read.
    A local welfare advisor would be the best option for that.

    In fact, I would strongly suggest that you get in touch with a local welfare advice organisation to help with your appeal.
    They help people with their tribunal appeals all the time and so know what works and what doesn't.
    (They probably even know the judges in your area, and what works with each one).
    You can find local advisors by putting your postcode in here:
    https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser
    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.

  4. #4
    Thank you for this. I certainly intend to pursue this all the way

  5. #5
    Thank you very much. All solid advice and very helpful. Point taken re long posts. I think I'm taking time to find my feet on this forum. Will try to be more concise in future.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotleag View Post
    Point taken re long posts. I think I'm taking time to find my feet on this forum. Will try to be more concise in future.
    It doesn't matter that much here, I was thinking more about any submission you make to the tribunal.

    It can be a mistake to send pages and pages of information/explanations that aren't needed.
    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.

  7. #7
    Thanks. I have previous (successful) experience of the appeal process though with HMRC not the DWP and I did submit everything I could think of as relevant, which was a lot. But that was only before one Judge (I understand there are three people on the tribunal for PIP).

  8. #8
    Some very good advice and indeed encouragement on this thread with regard to you lodging an appeal against your PIP decision.
    That said, everyone seems to have missed the fact that you're asking about a mandatory consideration, the point of which surely, is to negate the need for an appeal, therefore, my advice would be to fill in all the gaps that you can now.
    Personally, I see no harm in you leading the decision maker into thinking you should have scored a certain amount of points, as long as you're realistic about the points you expected to be awarded. You could try using the Self Test on Benefits&Work.Com, which might help you.
    Speaking for myself, if I were sat on appeal panel, I would wonder why you didn't use the opportunity of a mandatory reconsideration to inform the decision maker about all the relevant information that you feel wasn't accurately reflected in the health professionals report but that's just me.
    Sit and read the descriptors carefully and see how they apply to you on the majority of days and go from there.
    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Thanks. My problem is getting my reconsideration case down to manageable levels. It stood at 28 pages and 12,000 words exactly as of last night. I'm putting everything I can think of as relevant in and will edit before sending. I still haven't got the decision letter but with zero points from the assessor that's just a formality I need to wait for before asking for reconsideration. The most important thing as far as I can see is where the assessor has failed to take my written submission - posted along with the application - into account as evidence. I think at the very least that should require a fresh assessment. Though obviously I need to state my case for accepting my application too. I did self-testing before submitting the application and reckon I should receive the standard rate for daily living and nothing for mobility. I'm not trying to over-egg the pudding. There were several questions ticked with a straight 'no' and no need for further explanation.

  10. #10
    Well, this is all becoming a bit strange. Letter in the post today confirming current DLA rate which says I asked DWP for details of my entitlement to DLA (I didn't. I have asked the DWP for details of their correspondence with ATOS regarding my PIP application and also for anything relating to my work capability assessment in 2017 but nothing about DLA). It also says the claim began in March 2014 and while I can't recall the exact dated when I started receiving DLA it was around 1999/2000. Apart from the fact I never asked for this it strikes me that should (when) my case goes to appeal that being able to prove I've been on DLA for almost twenty years would be more helpful than having been on it for five. I know from experience with something else that I can get bank statements going back seven years. This would prove I was in receipt of DLA prior to March 2014 but I doubt if I'd be able to get anything going back as far as 1999/2000.

    I'm utterly confused by this. Firstly receiving this letter at all and secondly by the inaccurate date for start of claim.

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