Call from DWP told to decide by tomorrow if I accept PIP award instead of tribunal?

Posted , 2 users are following.

Hi all.

First of all I hope you are all as well as possible and my sincere apologies for not being here for a long time.

I am hoping someone can offer some words of advice as I really don't know what to do although I know only I can decide, this is my first PIP claim so its all new and despite me reading about it and looking at the descriptors I can't retain information at all like I used to.

So here goes, in previous posts I had some advice regarding sending in medical evidence etc and had a lot of difficulty with it as some I couldn't get then had a flare of my condition and couldn't get out to photocopy it. I rang and explained and asked could I try photographing it to send it online but was told no they could not accept it on their servers. At this time I was at the stage of requesting mandatory reconsideration but told it would not go ahead for several months due to the pandemic this was 25th March. I explained I had already started sheilding in early March prior to official date, as I was fearful of the situation as my background was in nursing and my illhealth now places me at high risk of infection plus I live with my elderly mum who is also high risk.

In june I received the mr back with no award I was not surprised as they had no further evidence from me due to lockdown. I applied for tribunal with help from cab who said I scored high and should be awarded pip. The lady who was helping me was amazing and wrote it out for me with two long telephone calls. I again was struggling with how can I submit medical evidence if I can't print copies or post them or can't email it then was told I can email or upload it to tribunal. I have been doing this albeit very slowly due to my ongoing pain, fatigue and spending huge parts of the day in the bathroom with inflammatory bowel disease and getting urine infections ontop due to becoming dehydrated. I have not quite completed uploading the medical evidence as i have no working computer an old mobile and intermittent internet access, i have one new device that I've been transferring the photos to. I have to say the tribunal webchat facility has been helpful and they have been patient with me so far.

Today I received a call out of the blue who I initially thought was the tribunal looking at my case. Unfortunately I'd not slept at all as I'd been waking in pain all night so explained I was not feeling well but would try as he said he wanted to discuss some details of my case. He was from dwp and I thought it was about two links they said they could not access but he then proceeded to ask if I had anything more up to date than 2019 I said I wasn't sure but as the NHS clinics etc that I attend have been closed I doubt it over the last year. I have been in hospital for one infusion at the end of summer. After a lot of repetitive conversation where I got upset being asked details and being told they don't fit the criteria even though they acknowledged it and him saying he felt a lot of my difficulties were due to the amount of medication I need?

He said that a lot of my case doesn't fit the criteria but he was going to change it from no award to standard care and standard mobility. He said that he would award it for 5 years and backdate it. He did at one point say it would be best for me to continue with tribunal but then seemed to be trying to persuade me to accept? I asked if i could think about it as a lot of what he said was contradicting what is reality for my everyday difficulties he said yes but wanted to ring me later but he is ringing tomorrow lunchtime. He did say the tribunal often only award for 2 years and may give less than him? He did also say he had dealt with someone else with the same conditions as me and she had less score but I thought PIP was about how your conditions affect you?

I am so sorry this is so long, thanks if you read it all and any words of wisdom will be much appreciated.

Stay safe all

take care x

0 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Edited


    It's rare that DWP offer an award before a hearing takes place but when they do they almost always offer a lower award/and or a short award length than any Tribunal would give. Which is why he was trying to convince you to accept that offer.

    I've no idea what he means by "he dealt with someone with the same conditions as you and they scored less" PIP isn't awarded based on any diagnosis and we are all affected differently by these conditions, no 2 people are the same.

    You can accept the award and DWP will contact HMCTS to tell them you've accepted the award and your hearing will be cancelled. Then (and this is the important part) You can request another Tribunal for that decision and start all over again. The time will start from the beginning so do be aware of that and you'll need to submit the same evidence you did for this hearing because it's a new case.

    You'll continue to receive the payments from that award until HMCTS make a decision. There's not really any risk as such when requesting any Tribunal because if they plan on removing any points they have to warn you first, this will then give you the chance to consider your options. If you decide not to carry on then you can cancel the Tribunal and stick with the award you already have.

    You can also challenge the award length by asking for a longer award but you need to specifically state which evidence you're submitting that proves your condition won't improve anytime soon.

    The part where he said "Tribunals often only award 2 year" ok yes, they do give short awards, just like DWP but they also give ongoing awards (10 years) which is the maximum time for a PIP award.

    Good luck, what ever you decide.

    • Posted

      Hi Denise.

      I hope you are as well as possible. Thank you so much for your reply and you have helped me in the past at the start of applying for pip. I'm so grateful as I am at a loss how to make a decision about this with no notice and have no experience of dwp before...well apart from applying for esa which I'm in the support group for.

      As I'm still uploading medical evidence to the tribunal service would I be able to send the remaining evidence if I did accept the pip award to a new tribunal case or would they only consider what they already have? Sorry for another question I'm really not taking information in very well. He did ask me yesterday if I have anything else more up to date or a letter from my gp which due to the pandemic I've been unable to ask for, especially now as they are trying to sort covid vaccination clinics. I just don't feel as if they have enough proof of the complete picture of the effects of my conditions. Also would they accept a signed letter from my mum although I'd have to write it as she has sightloss, as she knows how my illhealth impacts me as I live with her, but as she is my mum will they accept it?

      Sorry for more questions I can't think straight as in pain and have injections due one of which is overdue as need it in hospital.

      thank you again for reply

      stay safe x

    • Edited

      No problem,

      If you did accept this award offer then this Tribunal would be cancelled. You would need to submit another Tribunal and all the evidence you have would need to be sent again for the next Tribunal. They won't look back for the evidence submitted from this Tribunal.

      Letters from a GP aren't the best to send because they just don't know exactly how our conditions affect us against the PIP descriptors.

      Yes you can ask your mother to write a letter but the best person to know how your conditions affect you is yourself. Anecdotal evidence (recent real world examples) will always be the best evidence you can ever send. Remember though that the Tribunal will only take into consideration what your condition was like at the time the assessment took place. Any worsening of conditions since then will not be looked at.

    • Posted

      Hi Denise.

      I hope you are as well as possible. Thought I would update and also I am bit confused by a letter I received so wondered if you might be able to offer any thoughts on that?

      So after a couple of calls from dwp where at some stages of the call he seemed to be advising I go to tribunal as they didn't want to pressure me into accepting pip if I felt I scored higher points than awarded, which I did on a few descriptors..then he was trying to convince me that some of my issues/symptoms were not included in the criteria although they are acknowledged? In the end after the discussion started causing me a lot of distress and I became upset I went with my gut instinct and asked to continue with the tribunal. At that point despite me remaining courteous and calm he said he was going to tell the tribunal how long I'd stayed on the phone which showed I had no difficulty with communicating etc etc.

      Anyway I had my tribunal hearing almost 2 weeks ago and had decision letter saying I had scored as requiring enhanced rate for both care and mobility. I only had the letter a few days ago and was still receiving the copies of my evidence after the hearing. However yesterday I had a letter again with information to add it to my evidence file, it states from dwp that evidence was considered and secretary for state decision remains unchanged? I did think it was part of dwp response to the case but now wondering if dwp can refuse to follow the tribunal decision? Tribunal letter states they cannot enforce payment so I'm confused by this letter..I haven't heard anything as yet from dwp since the hearing or decision but realise it may take time during the pandemic. Can dwp refuse to accept the tribunal decision?

      Many thanks if you can shed any light and hope you and everyone are doing okay

      Take care

    • Edited

      That's great news.

      I can only assume that the letter you received from DWP regarding the evidence overlapped with the Tribunal's decision and them sending out the letter to DWP, which can happen.

      Although the Tribunal made a decision DWP have the same chance we do to appeal that decision but to do this they must first ask for the statement of reasons and record of proceedings within 1 month of the date of the decision. Once they receive this they must then find the error in law before they can appeal that decision. If they request these it doesn't mean they are appealing the decision. They sometimes request them but very rarely appeal that decision.

      You will receive any backdated money owed but this can take anything from around 2-10 weeks, sometimes longer.

      The final stage will be for DWP to contact you asking you to confirm bank details and also asking if you've been in hospital in the past several months and more. Once this has been done payment usually follows sometime later.

      I know it's stressful but there's nothing more you can do but wait.

    • Posted

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you it is great news and thanks very much for your reply. Sorry I'm late to respond I haven't been too well. I hope that it is just that the letter overlapped with the decision although its dated over a week after my hearing, but hopefully the pip will be paid as decided by the tribunal. I really hope it is over as its draining and as its my first time to claim pip the process was all new to me.

      Thanks for letting me know what happens next from dwp. I haven't as yet been told how long the pip has been awarded for so hope I get clarification on that too. Maybe I will get a letter soon from dwp.

      Thanks again for all your help. I will update when I can.

      Take care x

    • Edited

      You're welcome. For the length of time for the award you need to look at the decision letter you had from HMCTS and it will tell you on there how long the award is for.

    • Posted

      Hi Denise,

      Bless you for replying and for your help. I too thought the award length must be somewhere on the letter from HMCTS so I've read through it again a couple of times but can't find the length mentioned anywhere. It just says the points I scored and for which descriptors followed by the decision but no award length..having said that, my concentration is pretty poor so I may have missed it. It also states that the tribunal cannot enforce payments to be made which I didn't think would be an issue. I just thought once the case went to tribunal their decision had to be followed as it is a court hearing. I'm repeating myself now though...Fingers crossed it goes through as I'm worn out.

      Many thanks again for your replys which are always very helpful and informative.

      Stay safe x

    • Posted

      No worries. It's worth remembering that it's not a court decision, it's a Tribunal and they are 2 completely different things.

      A Tribunal can't force DWP to pay any backdated money but i've never heard of anyone be refused what they are owed so i wouldn't worry about that.

      Regarding the decision, have another look on the letter, does it say something like "we can't enforce a timescale" or it would be inappropriate to give a timescale?

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