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Thread: Applying for PIP in Covid times.

  1. #1

    Applying for PIP in Covid times.

    Hello people. I have some questions for my daughter's DLA -> PIP transfer case. Too many (sorry - we have zero familiarity with PIP, even in "normal times"). Thank you in advance for any advice & help you may be able to offer.

    Our simple questions:

    1. Can she have it recorded & get a tape like with ESA?

    2. Will they look at her DLA case? (Is this even a good idea, as it's old (nearly 10 years old) & we have no idea what info they made that award based on)?

    3a. Can she still have a family member present for this "phone interview" like with her f2f ESA assessment?
    3b. Will they give us some notice of when they are going to call, like "next Tuesday at 3pm", or just ring out of the blue, & if the time they offer is (going to be/is) inconvenient, can we change it?
    3c. Once they receive her returned PIP form, approximately how long will it take for them to (arrange to/actually) ring (Days/weeks/months)?

    4. When she went through the ESA assessment for the 1st time last year that included a f2f, it was pretty hellish for her mental health, & without my input & the help of this site, the form would never have gotten sent back in time. Still, the form & medical evidence was desperately sent back signed for, internet tracked, next day delivery, arriving on deadline day exactly. This time she has another deadline fast approaching, & their instructions are to use the second class address attached to the form. Do we have to do this? The form itself only arrived 11 days after the date printed on it & I don't want her to lose another week on 2nd class post, & then anxiously sit around hoping they open it quickly enough when due to her mental health problems, the ESA case was almost lost automatically in 2019 due to running out of time. This feels very deja vu. I want to use quick mail if they'll accept it, for peace of mind. My main issue is that it's Freepost, meaning they've already paid for it, second class, then told us to use it. The instruction feels somewhat explicit.

    More "difficult" questions.

    5. We understand that PIP is more about the how something affects you day to day than the "Medical Evidence" itself. Perfectly. This is where Covid starts to play havoc. According to this site, & if the stickies are still up to date then we are allowed to request a maximum of 1 delay of 2 weeks for more time to fill in the form. To illustrate by example:

    5a. Epilepsy. The medical evidence is essential if she wants to get points for "needs supervision to bathe" (seizures & water don't mix). However, we don't have a scanner, photocopier, & nor a working printer for that matter. The PIP form insists she sends photocopy evidence only, as medical evidence will not be returned. Therefore the normal way to resolve these problems would be to use library facilities to obtain photocopies. Nearly all local libraries are still closed, & those few that aren't are still operating a no computers, "books in & books out" only policy. If we cannot obtain photocopies of clearly relevant evidence, what are we to do if the libraries are still closed after our one "2 week extension" runs out (assuming she even gets that)?

    5b. With respect to diagnoses made 5, 10 years ago etc: I'll stick with epilepsy for simplicity's sake. It's impossible to see a GP right now & they are just doling out prescriptions month after month. Should she be putting these specialist doctors on the form whom she only saw a few times, many years ago? They won't remember her (We would love to ask the CAB or a welfare rights officer these questions, but getting such an appointment always takes ages, & that's assuming they're even open. With Covid, even if they are open, it will take even longer - there just isn't the time). Or should we just write down the details of her GP?

    6. Finally, there's question 9 on "Communicating". This question is causing her much consternation, so I will mention it. It would appear on the surface that this question is about hearing loss & deafness. However Q9b does ask for example "Do you need help from another person".....(to)....."help you understand what people are saying". Now in everyday conversation, there's always what people are literally saying with the words they say, & then there's "What they're REALLY saying". As an autistic, she finds this distinction impossible to understand. Is this an issue to talk about in "extra information" to Q9(b), just a social issue to discuss in Q11, or should she be giving extra information in regards to both these questions?

    Thank you for your time. I'm sorry it's so long.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    117
    Hello Xylophone,

    PIP is stressful enough at the best of times and these are obviously not the best of times. I'm no expert and I'm sure others will be able to provide more detailed information and advice but I can offer a perspective from my own experience with regard to questions 5a & 5b though I should point out this was at a f2f tribunal and not assessment. But it may be of some use to you as the arguments/evidence were exactly the same as at assessment. Like your daughter my application was via DLA. In my case I was on the lower rate for daily care for around 20 years prior to PIP transition.

    5a. Concerning supervision to bathe I said it was necessary for my wife to be present when I showered or bathed. I also have additional difficulty with having rheumatoid arthritis so it wasn't solely epilepsy I was basing my claim on but the tribunal accepted it wasn't necessary to specify number or extent of seizures. The fact that it was POSSIBLE to have a seizure while in the bath or shower was sufficient for them to accept I needed supervision on ALL occasions.

    5b. I was first diagnosed in the mid-1960s but for a long period from the 1980s onwards was seizure-free and took no medication. I was "re-diagnosed" in the 2000s while living in Spain and nothing formal was put in writing either in Spanish or English, merely prescriptions for lamotrigine and epilim. I explained this and concerning specialists said it was important to take up appointments when offered rather than wait for a specific consultant. In other words I saw whoever was available to see me and I didn't expect any specialist to have detailed first hand knowledge of my condition. I said onset varied from person to person, was difficult to explain to people who didn't have the condition and that even those who did knew how difficult it was to explain to others. They accepted it wasn't possible to provide named specialist details though on my application form I did provide addresses, phone numbers and emails of contact details and lead consultant as well as full GP information.

    The outcome was I received enhanced rate for both daily care and mobility. This is personal and relates to tribunal but while circumstances differ from person to person - no two people are alike in terms of epilepsy - i hope it may be of some assistance to you. My understanding is that applications are more likely to be successful now than previously as the DWP are under immense pressure because of Covid and to be blunt aren't as willing to spend time dealing with mandatory reconsiderations and subsequent appeals as hitherto. I have also read but unfortunately forget where that the success rate for mandatory reconsiderations has jumped to over half from around a fifth prior to the pandemic.

    Obviously I hope your initial application is successful but please remember it's nowhere near the end of the road if not. It's not just that it's more likely to be successful with mandatory reconsiderations, over 70% of tribunal appeals are successful too.

    Good luck

    PS. On question six while it doesn't relate to my personal experience my son is autistic and again while the "spectrum" is wide, thirty seconds on the phone with him would be more than enough to demonstrate his communication problems and he has no hearing loss or deafness. His inability to understand what he is being asked and his one-word repetitive responses allied to his limited attention span would prove beyond doubt he was unable to communicate with others without assistance. Once again this is highly individual and you will know best what your daughter's specific limitations are but communication is about far more than hearing issues.

  3. #3
    Hi Scotleag & thank you for the detailed reply.

    I think we'll go with "if in doubt, mention it" - that means at least it was introduced as evidence if it does end up in front of a tribunal.

    This is the essential stress of these forms. "Don't write too much" and ....... "Don't write too little".

    The old doctors are getting mentioned since I have names though not department addresses. They also get the basic facts on the questions where she will probably get no points (at assessment stage) & then maybe a short story for Q6, Q9 & Q11 where the chance of scoring is significantly higher. Eg the story on Q6 will be why supervision is always essential.

    We got a 2 week extension.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Hope it all goes well for your daughter. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi Xylophone,

    Quick answers:

    1. Yes.
    2. Maybe, but probably not if it's 10 years old. Also remember that PIP has different criteria and scoring to DLA.
    3. a) Yes, they can even arrange 'conference calls' to more than one phone now. b)Yes, notice is given. c)Is a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question.
    4. You can send it first class, signed-for, or even registered if you want to. At your expense of course.
    5. a) Post Offices are still open and most have photocopiers and scanning/printing facilities available.
    b) Old evidence can still be valid, often many with long term conditions don't have anything newer because there is not a lot the NHS can do for them. I'd just put down any consultant named on any evidence that you do send, as well as the GP of course.
    6. I'll leave that to others who have been through the PIP assessment.
    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.

  6. #6
    Thanks very much guys.

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