PIP a Journey from DLA to PIP and from 0 to 22 points

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?

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    thank you John for taking the time to post this, although i got my pip award there are so many that dont and i feel reading your post may offer some of them hope

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing. I'm glad to hear she was awarded in the end. There's lots of people that are awarded first time without the need for a fight but we rarely hear the good stories.

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much JohnWill for giving me some kind of hope? I too was given DLA for life 30+ years ago! Without going into the long story of my life, this stopped in May 2015 aswell as my Disability Premium and Severe Disability Premium! I am currently awaiting an answer to my appeal against judges decision to not allow me to go to Upper Tribunal? This is my 3rd attempt at claiming for PIP after all the assessment's that I had done by the now becoming well known Atos who have been told by the DWP that they will only get paid for the assessments that get refused to the claimants as they have to drastically reduce the numbers of claimants who win? My health has gotten considerably worse since winning my original claim for Mobility allowance in 1988/89. Yes this has taken so much out of me as after reading all three of my assessment results and seeing an untold amount of lies which the assessment officers had put then losing my claims because the tribunal's believed the DWP's reports over all the evidence like doctor's letters, consultants letters etc? The most points I was allowed was 4 for mobility and 4 for day to day living! I have had to give my own car up as I could no longer afford to run it, cannot walk more than 25 - 30 yards without being in pain and breathless? This is just a small part of my health problems. I have lost all trust in this country's government system.

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    • Posted

      Hi Angie13theangel,

      DLA and PIP and completely different benefits, with different criteria. PIP is about how your conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activities based on the PIP descriptors. Believe it or not you can have a disability and still not qualify for PIP because if you don't meet the descriptors you won't score the points for an award.

      Did you take all those PIP claims to Tribunal and you failed to have an award each time? Did you receive help and support from an advice agency near you? Were you represented by anyone from welfare rights or a law centre or did you do it all yourself?

      The evidence you sent did it state exactly how your conditions affect you against the PIP descriptors? Evidence of diagnosis and GP letters aren't the best evidence to send because they very rarely tell them how your conditions affect you.

      When you presented your case for the Tribunal did you concentrate on where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why? or did you focus on the lies/contradictions that were told in the report?

      The Tribunal are totally independent to the DWP and the health assessment providers and 74% of those who appear in person have a decision in their favour, that's quite a large percentage. Paper based decision success drops drastically to between 5-8%. Did you appear in person?

      You can only appeal to the upper Tribunal if an error in law has been found, if no error in law was found then you won't be able to proceed any further. Did you get advice about the error in law?

      I'm not sure who told you about the assessment providers only being paid for those they fail but it's not true. They receive a salary/hourly pay rate just like most other people. Lots of people successfully claim PIP without any problems but of course we only hear the bad stories because if someones had an award they happy with they have no questions to ask so we don't hear their story.

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