Posted , 4 users are following.
I hope this helps someone.
This is the account of my daughter’s transition from DLA to PIP. I’ll call her Jane.
When 7 years old Jane suffered brain damage from a medical accident. Luckily we have an professional assessment of her capabilities prepared for a possible medical negligence claim. Lucky? the NHS has lost her files.
She was given DLA for life but last year was called for a PIP interview. Now we cannot fault the interviewer, she was professional and friendly. I recorded the interview on 2 cassette recorders keeping one tape, giving the other to the interviewer and the written report of the interview is accurate.
The recordings allowed me to assess timings when she was asked to count down from 100 in sevens, getting one wrong answer, it took a minute and a half as she counted on her fingers. She was asked how much a change she would get from a pound if she spent 75p, a simple number pair. She took her time and answered correctly but wasn’t sure if she had the correct answer. On this basis the DWP assessment was she was capable of complex budgetary decisions !
The problem for Jane is that although she could pass all the physical tests, like putting her hands behind her back, because of dexterity problems she couldn’t do anything with them like fasten her bra and she cannot prepare a meal as she cannot hold a vegetable peeler properly and she is likely to cut herself with sharp knives.
She can read a simple eye chart but because her brain cannot follow text, she cannot comprehend documents. When she is tired she is likely to fall over and have difficulty with many different tasks.
The DWP assessment gave her zero marks for everything so we lodged a mandatory re-assessment, replying to each point citing the professional assessment, 2 GP letters confirming her problems still existed and two workplace assessments that detailed her problems at work.
The DWP replied citing only the tests from the PIP interview, it seemed they ignored the medical evidence and my submissions.
So we went to appeal. It took 9 months before the appeal was heard. I went to the local tribunal court a week before and asked PIP appellants if I could sit in to see what happened. I had 3 refusals but one was kind enough to let me attend.
There was a judge, a doctor and a disability adviser. The appellant was accompanied by the mother and a relative. The judge took care to put the folks at their ease. The doctor asked how the problems affected the individual and the adviser asked more questions about how this caused everyday problems. The appellant had been given zero points by the DWP and the tribunal awarded enhance living.
In our case when we walked in the judge immediately said that to put us at our ease the tribunal had awarded 12 points for the enhanced rate for daily living on the evidence of the paperwork. The doctor asked Jane about her mobility problems in detail, which because of her brain damage were complex. The judge was excellent, keeping the proceedings light hearted, putting us at our ease.
We were called in about 10 minutes later to find Jane had also been awarded the standard mobility rate. The tribunal didn’t recommend a re-assessment term so with luck the DWP will only use a light touch review every 10 years as she will never improve.
To my mind this raises some serious questions about the DWP assessors. So if the appellant can go from zero points to 22 points at the tribunal, and assuming there is no incentive to reject awards, then surely the assessor must be incompetent? This wastes everyone’s time, costs the courts service fees for the tribunal and causes tremendous stress. I could think of nothing else for the 3 weeks between the date for the appeal and the appeal.
Of course Jane lost her DLA and working tax credits though we were able to support her, but what happens to those that rely on the payments, are they thrown out because they cannot pay the rent and end up on the streets?
2 likes, 4 replies