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

  1. #71
    The ESA mobility descriptors are stupid, and I am gobsmacked to this day no one has put in a legal challenge for them. I think someone got sick of people in wheelchairs getting an automatic 15 points so this extreme solution was devised. However with ESA you do have regulation 35 and 26 which adds sanity to the process.

    DLA was a 50m distance for enhanced mobility, and also had "virtually unable to walk" to catch those who clearly were having difficulties but couldnt be assessed as under 50m. PIP changes are a clear money saving exercise for mobility as well, people with mobility issues have been targeted on both benefits for cuts.

  2. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by gbhxu View Post
    They probably could get it if they wanted, but they won't.

    I actually used my PIP assessment as evidence at my ESA tribunal.

    I won my appeal by combining PIP lower rate mobility award (Being able to walk between 20 & 50 metres) with my ESA assessment that said I wouldn't be able to use a manual wheelchair because it would tire me out.
    In this case it is relevant yes, as the ESA assessment was evidence of disregarding a wheelchair (scooters dont seem to be considered),
    so at that point the question was on mobility without a wheelchair which your PIP award covered, clever thinking on your part.

  3. #73
    Well, at least the long wait is over. Spoke to DWP today who confirmed a letter is in the post rejecting my PIP reconsideration request. TBH while hoping against hope I really wasn't expecting anything else. Thoughts now turn to the appeal. To that end I've a few queries that hopefully people may be able to answer.

    Do I need to state specific objections when lodging an appeal or can I just say I dispute the decision and leave details until after I've seen what the DWP have to say?

    Am I right in thinking I will receive a copy of all DWP evidence to go before the tribunal before I submit my own?

    Will the DWP evidence include copies of everything I've sent them or am I going to have to include that myself?

    How much notification of appeal date will I receive beforehand?

    Does anyone know the average wait between lodging appeal and hearing?


  4. #74
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    There is guidance on how to make your appeal and what happens at what stage:

    You don't need to go into detail in the application, but do need to say more than just 'I disagree' - give the basis of why you disagree with the decision.
    Section 5 of that guidance states:
    Your reasons do not have to be lengthy or written in legal language, but you need to say more than just, ‘I disagree‘. You should explain simply why you think the decision you are appealing against is incorrect. It might be useful for you to state what you consider the correct decision should be.
    You will (should) receive a copy of the DWP's submission to the tribunal. (The Court Bundle).
    Once the court also has this they will write to you and give you 28 days to respond.
    You can read through the bundle and then write your own submission arguing against what the DWP are saying.
    This means you can concentrate on refuting their arguments instead of going into everything.

    Check what evidence that you supplied the DWP have included in their bundle, they are known to miss out evidence that would support your case.
    If they have then you can send it to the court yourself with you submission.

    You'll get lots of notification of the date of the hearing.

    The latest statistics for SSCS (benefit) appeals show an average of 30 weeks for disposal (from making appeal to decision).
    See page 3 of this:
    Of those cases disposed of by the SSCS tribunal in April to June 2019, the mean age of a case at disposal was 30 weeks, three weeks more than the same period in 2018.
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-19-2019 at 12:00 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.

  5. #75
    Many thanks. Once the official letter comes through (sent over a week ago but not yet received) I'll put in a subject access request as well so I can see what correspondence (if any) they had with ATOS. Thirty weeks is horrific. No doubt it will act as a deterrent. With HMRC the process was seven months from start to finish and I thought that was long. But even if I get in my appeal next week. and even if the letter arrives today that'll be the earliest they receive notice of aappeal then 30 weeks takes it to mid-end April next year. Almost a year from start to finish. Six weeks from submitting application to interview, two weeks from there to refusal, ten weeks for reconsideration, thirty weeks for tribunal hearing. 48 weeks in total. Horrendous.

  6. #76
    Letter arrived this morning and I've downloaded form sscs1 for appeal. Looking at the letter they've sent me they're not disputing my claim that they failed to send my additional submission to ATOS. They make no reference to it whatsoever. In my request for mandatory reconsideration I wrote (referring to the original decision to reject my claim):

    "There is no mention whatsoever of the supporting evidence I submitted. Neither my expansion on the questionnaire nor my daily living diary. Nor was any reference made to them during my consultation."

    They've also said complaints about assessment providers failing to adhere to the DWP's own guidelines "are not considered disputable within this mandatory reconsideration"

    To me this reads like assessment providers can ignore guidelines at will with applicants unable to complain. Which begs the question of what is the point of guidelines if they can be ignored?

    To my astonishment the MR letter also says of the assessment provider's report "Any complaints regarding the assessment report should be directed directly to them (my emphasis)"

    To me this is utterly astonishing. The DWP ask for an assessment to 'help' them make a decision but when the appellant complains about the report which has done so the complaints made are invalid. Needless to say this is NOT made clear when asking for the MR. But again, what is the point of MR here? Basically they're saying "We made our decision based upon this report. We will not consider any complaints you have about the report when looking at your request for mandatory reconsideration."

    WRT my application my complaints about not looking at all evidence and documentation submitted and several breaches of DWP guidelines form an important part of my MR request, i.e. how can you arrive at a decision without looking at all available evidence? And can you accept a report compiled in contravention of several of your own guidelines?

    I'm a bit at a loss as to how to exactly frame my response. Do I mention this or save it for the tribunal?. Also, should I submit the appeal request online or by letter?

    I'm utterly perplexed by their letter which in summation reads 'You've asked us to look at this again. We cannot look at your reasons for doing this. Therefore the original decision stands,'

    Catch-22 writ large

  7. #77
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    As we always repeatedly say - You have to keep the issues of complaints and MR/appeal seperate.

    Complaints are not going to help you get a decision changed, you need to concentrate on getting the decision itself changed using what the law says.

    If you submit complaints to MR/appeal then you are simply wasting your time. (and the tribunals time).
    The tribunal is there to consider if the DWP decision was correct in law, it is not there to consider complaints and so has to ignore them.

    So from what you say above you simply tell the tribunal that "The DWP have not considered all the evidence that you supplied. In particular they have ignored xyz" And supply that evidence to the tribunal yourself.
    You don't mention the assessors at all. The assessors did not make the decision you are challenging, the DWP did that using insufficent evidence.

    We understand that you are upset at the assessors, rightly so.
    But your task at MR/appeal is to get the DWP decision changed, complaining about the assessors will not do that so you have to put it to one side and concentrate on what matters.

    PS. Tribunals get frustrated when they get a claimant submission that is all complaining about what the assessor did/didn't do.
    They know that the claimant probably has a good case if they had stuck to the facts and not simply complained about the assessor.
    But they can't consider those complaints, it's not their job, - they need facts of why you believe the DWP made the wrong decision, without those facts their hands are tied.
    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. #78
    Thank you. That seems like a good form of wording. I take on board what you're saying about tribunal and assessors but this is the nub of the problem. The DWP take the assessment into account (well, rubber stamp) when making their decision. Surely the appellant must be able to refer to those aspects of the assessment report he/she thinks are wrong or have ignored evidence altogether as these have 'helped' the DWP make their decision. My claim is that the DWP have arrived at an incorrect decision. How can I do that without questioning the basis on which they have arrived at their decision?

  9. #79
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    We understand that, but you have to show that the DWP haven't done their job right, not that people supplying evidence/advice to the DWP haven't done their job right.

    If the DWP have accepted an assessment report that contradicts other medical evidence then the DWP have not done their job right.
    Whether the assessors did their job right or not will be obvious if you have contradictory evidence, but it's the DWP that you are challenging.
    (Tribunals aren't stupid, they know that many assessment reports are not fit for purpose).

    There is another thread today that illustrates the point.
    The claimants GP sent woefully insufficent evidence in response to an ESA113, so the DWP acted on what was said in that ESA113 and found FFW.
    It would be no use going to tribunal and complaining about the GP. - You have to argue that the DWP's deciscion wrong because they didn't have the correct evidence, and supply that correct evidence yourself to show that they were wrong.

    Similarly you can point out what is wrong in an assessment report, and supply evidence to show why it is wrong.
    But if you don't have any evidence then it's just a he said/she said complaint with no proof.
    Which is why people wrongly assume that if assessments are recorded you could use that to show the DWP's decision was incorrect, but again that would just be he said/she said with no real evidence to back it up. (Either/both of you could have been lying through your teeth, taped or not).
    Last edited by nukecad; 09-20-2019 at 12:32 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.

  10. #80
    Point taken but here's where Catch-22 comes in. In the initial application form the DWP say only to send what you already have and not to seek further information from doctors, nurses specialists etc. They say that if they need this information they'll ask for it. Fine. I include a list of all medical appointments within the three months prior to application, names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of specialists and GP so that they can contact them if they need to as per their own statements. Today, in the MR letter they say "You report that you are seen by specialists, however you have not provided any medical evidence to support your claim"

    So first it's don't send us information about specialists. if we need to we'll contact them direct. Now it's you haven't sent us any information about specialists.

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