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Thread: Sad Story but DWP could have helped!

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Sad Story but DWP could have helped!

    Bear with me on this. It's a true story.
    Some years ago, two friends were both diagnosed with lung cancer within one week of each other.
    One decided to have the chemo treatment and care and the other decided not to - basically he went home to die.
    They both died a few months later, within two days of each other.
    One chose to have treatment and medicine, the other didn't.
    In 2008 I was admitted to a mental health unit as the crisis team considered I was a danger to myself.
    For 4 years I saw psychiatrists, mental health professionals and during this time I was taking an anti-depressant which, incidentally was the only tablet I could take because of numerous heart conditions tablets I was also taking. In Aug 2012 as part of my care plan my psychiatrist and I agreed that I should be weaned off the tablets to see if they were still beneficial to my on going condition.
    In my application for PIP the decision maker has decided that as I was not on any medication at the time of my application, I no longer had any condition!
    In my Mandatory Reconsideration submission my GP provided a letter to say he made a mistake in his factual report and I am and have been suffering from chronic depression. Evidently some letters from my psychiatrist to him weren't filed away properly so the information provided to dwp was incorrect. It didn't change anything. My MR was not successful.

    I wish the dwp decision makers could have visited my friend who made the second choice - I'm sure he would have been very relieved to have been told by the DWP that as he wasn't taking any medication he wasn't unwell at all!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    A very sad story, unfortunately I have seen examples of this many times. Someone who chooses to have all the treatments going and having to get through the debilitating side effects of them all and then still ending up in a hospice and dying.
    This certainly changed my mind about having chemo, radiotherapy etc but then again what would our own decisions be when the time came!!
    I agree with you about the decision makers choice, if no medication is taken then there is not a problem. It seems this is the way they think and this is obvious when they ask for lists of current medication and this needs to be kept up to date, it is clearly requested for some reason.
    I have recently decided, with the agreement of my pain clinic consultant - so this is in writing - to reduce the amount of morphine I use in patch form. I need to have more top ups of a lesser strength pain killer, but that is my decision and I will deal with the consequences.
    Youre dead right in saying your friend would have welcomed the news from the DWP! sometimes these people just need to try and be human.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Your post touches on the difficult issues of evidence that exist within the disability benefits system, bendiddly. Assessors and decision makers often have to make what they believe is the most likely deduction from the facts they are given, which can lead them in the wrong direction.

    Stopping all active treatment for a condition creates what a lawyer would call a rebuttable presumption that the underlying condition has resolved. In other words, the strong inference from giving up treatment is that there is no longer a condition to treat. However, if you introduce evidence that shows the condition is still there and it was just that you gave up on treatment that was no longer helping, you rebut the presumption.

    If you provide medical evidence on an important point like this, it's best to point to it directly in your submission rather than merely enclosing the letter hoping it is read. If you say something like "In her letter dated 3 June 2014, Dr Bloggs confirms that my depression remains at the same level as previously, and the recent withdrawal of Seroxat tablets proved they were no longer helping my depression." then you help the decision maker to reach the correct decision.

    Based on your recent posts and Karen's post on DWP's submission to her tribunal, I've added a new section to the sticky PIP thread about the need to show that the problems claimed are a result of your medical condition(s) and not partly or wholly a voluntary decision on the claimant's part. That appears to be behind her failure to get PIP and may be a problem for others attempting to claim PIP, especially if they have mental health problems.

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