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Thread: Scared to appeal PIP. What should I do?

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    Unhappy Scared to appeal PIP. What should I do?

    I have limited mobility and on-going health issues due to contracting a serious infection (supported by specialists/gp's). I was awarded standard PIP in 2016 after assessment with HCP. When it came to an assessment with a different HCP in 2019, I was awarded 0 points. After appealing to the tribunal they awarded 0 points.

    The tribunal also made the hurtful comments (despite never meeting me as it was paper tribunal) that pretty much said "claimant has exaggerated mobility issues" and "as well as agreeing with the 2019 HCP assessment where claimant was awarded 0 points, the panel also asserts that claimant should not have been granted an award in 2016 in the first place and the original HCP was in error. We may have revised the 2016 decision but did not decide to do so in this instance."

    I don't know how they can make a threat like this. If I appeal (my CAB representative thinks I'd have a good case regarding 'errors in law' as the panel didn't acknowledge the 2 doctors letters I provided at all in their statement of reasons, despite me having a functional exam in one of them showing limited mobility), do I risk being fined/ordered to pay back my previous award that was granted between 2016-2019?

    Are the tribunal getting above their station?

    Please help as I only have less than 2 weeks to reply to them.

    Thanks, Maria.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Have you already asked this question, with different dates, under a different username?
    (You should not register with 2 names on a forum, it is against the rules of most fora).

    I already replied to the same question here:
    https://www.youreable.com/forums/sho...Previous-Award

    (It's odd to same the same scenario twice in a week from different usernames. The though does occur that this may be a course question for trainee welfare advisors and it's now being asked by a different student - We see a lot of student/course questions on another forum that I frequent).
    Last edited by nukecad; 15-01-20 at 16:23.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Have you already asked this question, with different dates, under a different username?
    (You should not register with 2 names on a forum, it is against the rules of most fora).

    I already replied to the same question here:
    https://www.youreable.com/forums/sho...Previous-Award

    (It's odd to same the same scenario twice in a week from different usernames. The though does occur that this may be a course question for trainee welfare advisors and it's now being asked by a different student - We see a lot of student/course questions on another forum that I frequent).
    No not the same. And no I'm not a trainee advisor.

    I read your reply but it confused me tbh. It seemed like their issue was similar in that the first-tier tribunal threatened a previous award, which is much like mine. Not that 'had they ruled back then they would rule the same now' like you suggested, but that they 'could' revise the decision if they wanted to.

    I'm new here, I hope you or anyone else can advise, as the only advise I've had has been from my local CAB and they haven't had many answers to many questions on this issue.

    Thanks, Maria

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    So no one can help me?

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    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Fine, it just seems odd to have 2 posts that are essentially the same in the same week.

    I don't know where the tribunals are getting the idea that they can revise old awards from?
    That is well beyond their legal powers.

    The First Tier Tribunal can only revise the particular decision under appeal at that time; they can't revise earlier decisions - they don't legally have that power.
    (But see below*).

    I'm guessing there has been some article or memo that both tribunals have read wrongly?
    Unless it's an even bigger coincidence and we are talking about the same tribunal judge in both cases?

    So no one can help me?
    I'm not sure what else you are asking?

    They only way to challenge a First Tier Tribunal decision is if they have made an 'Error in Law', in which case you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

    You say that your CAB representative believes that they have made such an error, and so if you want to continue then you now appeal to the Upper Tribunal with your representatives help.

    TBH if the FT Tribunal judge thinks that he has the power to revise old decisions then it's quite probable that he has made other Errors of Law.

    * Technically if the tribunal/judge thought that there was a strong case for benefit fraud then the FTT could recommend the DWP to look at the older decision with a view to an 'Anytime Revision' - but that would only be a recommendation, the tribunal don't have the power to make the DWP do that, and I doubt that the DWP would do that unless there was clear evidence of fraud.
    (I'm not saying that you have done anything wrong here, just pointing out what is a very remote possibility if the judge is being stroppy).
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-01-20 at 15:50.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Fine, it just seems odd to have 2 posts that are essentially the same in the same week.

    I don't know where the tribunals are getting the idea that they can revise old awards from?
    That is well beyond their legal powers.

    The First Tier Tribunal can only revise the particular decision under appeal at that time; they can't revise earlier decisions - they don't legally have that power.
    (But see below*).

    I'm guessing there has been some article or memo that both tribunals have read wrongly?
    Unless it's an even bigger coincidence and we are talking about the same tribunal judge in both cases?

    I'm not sure what else you are asking?

    They only way to challenge a First Tier Tribunal decision is if they have made an 'Error in Law', in which case you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

    You say that your CAB representative believes that they have made such an error, and so if you want to continue then you now appeal to the Upper Tribunal with your representatives help.

    TBH if the FT Tribunal judge thinks that he has the power to revise old decisions then it's quite probable that he has made other Errors of Law.

    * Technically if the tribunal/judge thought that there was a strong case for benefit fraud then the FTT could recommend the DWP to look at the older decision with a view to an 'Anytime Revision' - but that would only be a recommendation, the tribunal don't have the power to make the DWP do that, and I doubt that the DWP would do that unless there was clear evidence of fraud.
    (I'm not saying that you have done anything wrong here, just pointing out what is a very remote possibility if the judge is being stroppy).
    Thanks for responding. Are you a legal professional as you seem to know more than my CAB rep I spoke to.

    Incidentally, one of my friends told me that her sister had a case about a year ago where the first-tier tribunal also made similar remarks about having the power to 'revise' an earlier award but struggled to find any answers, so ended up giving up. In her case, the tribunal even dismissed her ME as a 'real' condition.

    In my case, the first-tier tribunal didn't reference most of my medical conditions plus didn't mention the physical assessment I had with one of my doctors either. The HCP report was also false as it claimed I can walk more than 200 meters despite the waiting room being only about 3-4 meters from the consultation room. And the taxi I arrived/left in was about the same distance from the front door. I also used a walking aid yet they said it was all unaided.

    Have you had bad experiences with this PIP process? I have and have read around many bad cases. I think compassion and fairness is rare with these assessments/tribunals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duners1 View Post
    I have limited mobility and on-going health issues due to contracting a serious infection (supported by specialists/gp's). I was awarded standard PIP in 2016 after assessment with HCP. When it came to an assessment with a different HCP in 2019, I was awarded 0 points. After appealing to the tribunal they awarded 0 points.

    The tribunal also made the hurtful comments (despite never meeting me as it was paper tribunal) that pretty much said "claimant has exaggerated mobility issues" and "as well as agreeing with the 2019 HCP assessment where claimant was awarded 0 points, the panel also asserts that claimant should not have been granted an award in 2016 in the first place and the original HCP was in error. We may have revised the 2016 decision but did not decide to do so in this instance."

    I don't know how they can make a threat like this. If I appeal (my CAB representative thinks I'd have a good case regarding 'errors in law' as the panel didn't acknowledge the 2 doctors letters I provided at all in their statement of reasons, despite me having a functional exam in one of them showing limited mobility), do I risk being fined/ordered to pay back my previous award that was granted between 2016-2019?

    Are the tribunal getting above their station?

    Please help as I only have less than 2 weeks to reply to them.

    Thanks, Maria.
    That is not a threat, as they have made a decision, they cannot have a bearing on a decision made by a different tribunal.

    One thing to point out though, and it is very important you remember this, although a tribunal can consider removing "existing" awards, descriptors, if they are considering it, they are supposed to inform you ahead of time, if you do not get this advanced warning, it can be used to get the decision set aside by a UT.

    Paper tribunals are not worth it, the success rate is way too low. I know it seems counter productive to attend a tribunal when you may have anxiety/walking issues, the sort of things that would prevent you attending, but given the really low success rates of paper hearings, that is the way I would go, at my last tribunal, I was grilled very heavily, they may have initially had a leaning towards upholding the DWP decision, but in the end I was given "virtually unable to walk" even though I attended in person by myself.

    An option that might be worth considering is the new phone based hearings, so you wouldn't need to attend, but would still have the option of speaking to them. I think it is very unlikely a previous decision that was not appealed would be reversed. It creates too much of a headache for everyone as the DWP would then have to consider chasing down paid monies.
    Last edited by worried33; 17-01-20 at 10:06.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duners1 View Post
    Are you a legal professional as you seem to know more than my CAB rep I spoke to.
    No I am not a legal professional. (Although the DWP seem to be turning me into a good legal amatuer).

    Many of the questions asked here can only be answered by checking the legal stuff, and it all sinks in over the years.

    I've just been doing this disability (and sometimes other) benefit stuff for a number of years now, and was already pretty good at understanding legal documents/legislation from my previous profession as a Mechanical Design Engineer (Latterly in the Nuclear industry - Hence my username).

    We probably see more problems per day on here and other fora than a CAB advisor sees, and a greater range of different problems, so the regulars probably have more experience than some CAB advisors.
    For instance I read the professional advisors forum, rightsnet, everyday so see quite a few different issues there, (some of them being asked by CAB advisors needing help with clients).

    We can specialise in disability benefits, whereas a CAB advisor usually has to have a broader, so sometimes less knowledgeable, base in all kinds of welfare and other issues.
    Just one of those things - you can know a lot about a little, or a little about a lot.
    We also have more time than them to look up the legislation (those who can navigate our way through it) than an advisor sat in a busy office does.
    Last edited by nukecad; 17-01-20 at 16:50.
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    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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    Thank you both for replying.

    I also know of some other forums but you either have to pay to post or there's issues with posting, but this forum is more accessible. A lot of people unhappy with the system and sad to say but it seems corrupted.

    In regards to one quote:

    I think it is very unlikely a previous decision that was not appealed would be reversed. It creates too much of a headache for everyone as the DWP would then have to consider chasing down paid monies.
    Has there ever been such a case as this?

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    One other point I forgot to say is in response to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by worried33 View Post
    One thing to point out though, and it is very important you remember this, although a tribunal can consider removing "existing" awards, descriptors, if they are considering it, they are supposed to inform you ahead of time, if you do not get this advanced warning, it can be used to get the decision set aside by a UT.
    Can you (or anyone) shed light on this? I have never heard of advanced warning before.

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