Helping friend with PIP appeal- advice please

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hi, a while back I asked for advice when I was refused pip, thanks to everyone who offered advice and support, and I was successful at the tribunal and got standard rate care, no mobility which seems fair, and reflects the impact of my disabilities on my life.

now, a friend has asked me for help, as she was getting DLA and applied for pip, went for an assessment and was scored zero points. Now, I have known this lady on and off for years, she is. Late 50s, or possibly 60, I'm not entirely sure, she has some physical mobility problems, and recurrent episodes of depression, and an almost constant anxiety state, but under all this she has learning disabilities. She has problems understanding even basic written information, and both understanding and expressing herself verbally, she also cannot manage her money, regularly gets into debt, and also has a history of being exploited by others. To my eyes she clearly qualifies, using the tasks and her ability to do them, but still she was scored zero!

It looks to me as if, when filling the form in over the phone and during the assessment if she didn't understand something she just nodded and said yes, which I know from the past is what she does when she is in a situation she doesn't understand, or where she's frightened, which she would have been, without support and faced with a professional.

my problem now is what to do to help her, I have done a letter asking for mandatory reconsideration, and listing the areas where I feel the assessment was wrong, but I'm assuming this won't be successful. Our local CAB can do an appeal, but they can't attend tribunals, and she obviously needs someone to keep her focussed, and help her to speak. My real question is, if I go with her will this then be used against me, as evidence that I am not disabled, as I can support someone else. Needless to say, I will also find going to a tribunal with her very hard, I am still having flashbacks to my own tribunal, but at the same time I want to support this lady, she is so clearly someone who should get PIP, it makes me really angry, in fact almost angrier than when I was refused myself.

sorry this q is so long, felt that the details were important 

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    HI, it may or may not go against you it would depend on what you're claiming PIP for. Does she have anyone else that can go with her? Any family?

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise, no she has no family who can help, just two sisters, one has a severe learning disability and is in a care home, the other has mild LD and major health issues, this is how I became aware of this lady's pip problem, as I am already supporting her sister, and to be honest this is taking all my available time and energy.

      i have fm, muscle tremor, dyspraxia and mental health issues , the thought of going to a tribunal to support someone else scares me stiff.

      there is a real shortage of anyone else to support her though

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  • Posted

    Oh what is going hear, makes me real mad reading this. I do think what your doing trying to help this lady in spite of your own past experiences is a very nice and brave thing to do. As youve already been refused but then got it at a tribunal i can understand your concerns for your self hear.  How old is she, could she not get any support form age concern.  I dont know why she was espected to answer all the questions over the phone either, why was this. It took me 3 days going through the form at home and written answers to help my hubby apply.  Yes it makes us all angry. No one out theres seems to care either the way claimants are being treated . 
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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for the suggestion about age concern, I'll see if they can help. I think she phoned the DWP, and they said it would speed up her claim if she filled it in over the phone!

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry but i don't understand what you mean by "fill put form over the phone and that it would speed up her claim" I thought you said she's taking it to tribunal appeal, her PIP i mean.

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    • Posted

      Her original pip form. She received the letter telling her that her DLA was changing to pip and she needed to make a claim for pip, and phoned them up because she found it too confusing to do herself- she is barely able to read- the person at DWP on the other end of the phone said she could complete the pip form over the phone. So she did this. And I know that lots of the questions she would not have understood, and will have just afgreed with the person on the other end of the phone. So now, not only is the assessment wrong, but the information on the form is wrong as well, which makes it harder to challenge. In some ways, starting from fresh would be best, but you can't do that until you've been through the appeal process can you?

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    • Posted

      I've never heard of anyone filling a PIP form in over the phone. Even more so if it was the DWP that did it. Are sure it was the actual "how your disability affects you form"? When starting a PIP application off they do usually ask you few basic questions but this is only name of DR, what your coniditon is etc etc. I wasn't asked anything about my disability.

      There's nothing stopping her from apply again but there would be no point. She may as well continue with the appeal process because as she was on DLA before and that stopped if her appeal is successful they'll backdate her money from the day her DLA stopped. If she started again then she would lose that backdate money.

      I can't help you with the issue about attending the tribunal with her though sorry. Hopefully she'll be able to get someone to go with her if you can't.

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    • Posted

      Hi, yes I had never heard of that either, but she is certain that's what happened, " the lady on the phone asked her questions and wrote down what she said" 

      the advantage of starting from scratch is that I could fill the form in with her, and get a realistic record of how her disability affects her. As regards finding someone else, problem is if you don't have relatives, or care workers which are impossible to get unless you have a severe LD, or are in the middle of an acute mental health crisis then, out here there's nothing! I will try age uk though, I'll check with her if she's over sixty first

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    • Posted

      I think your friend is confused about those questions she was asked. I personnally think what actually happened was she was asked the usual questions on the phone and they didn't send her a form for "how your disability affects you form" they just sent her for an assessment. They couldn't have possibly have gone through that entire form over the phone. It's far too complex. If you're thinking of reapplying then i'd think carefully if i were you. Even more so if she's over 65 because then she wouldn't be able to reapply for PIP it would be Attendance Allowance. If she is over 65 i'd carry on with the appeal. If she isn't 65 then starting the whole process again won't gaurentee her an award. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      So in that case she never filled in a form at all? That makes even less sense to me. I'll try and hav another conversation with her, one thing I do know she hasn't got a copy of her form, which makes it harder to sort out

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    • Posted

      Yes that makes more sense to me than the DWP helping to do this via a phone call. First i've ever heard of this and find it very highly unlikely. I'm trying to help but it just doesn't make any sense, i'm sorry. Maybe you could call DWP and ask if the form was actually filled in? They'll most probably know as they've probably got a copy of it if it was filled in. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Denise, yes it is all strange, the only thing I know for sure is that she attended a pip assessment and was refused, I've seen the refusal letter from DWP. Cannot phone them myself as I don't do phones, I find them extremely stressful, due to my dyspraxia, couldn't phone DWP about my own claim, let alone someone else. So far I have done a letter asking for MR, then will support her to go to cab to get appeal, assuming MR is unsuccessful. Maybe they will be able to get a copy of the form from DWP, assuming there is a form, filled in by someone, at some point.

      as for attending tribunal, I really have no idea, worst case is no one to go with her, and she won't be able to make it on her own. Then, I guess start again. 

      The system just seems so unfair, for those who can't help themselves and don't have anyone to fight on Their behalf.

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  • Posted

    Hello, I am pleased that your appeal went week. I had my initial application refused and was awarded 0 points. I asked for a reconsideration and also scored 0 on that occasion. Today I have received a letter from my appeal telling me I have been awarded standard rate daily living component. I have had so much stress and worry over this but I'm happy to say that good sense came through and my GP letter and copies of hospital appointment letters were finally accepted as evidence. The initial assessment was not fair and the report was nothing like my daily life. Good luck everyone in their appeals

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