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How often do tribunals reduce/remove PIP already awarded?

MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
I am aware that tribunals, besides awarding/increasing PIP can, in theory, reduce/remove PIP already awarded.  But, is it rare in practice for awards to be reduced/removed by tribunals?

I have been awarded standard rate daily needs and mobility, have had my mandatory reconsideration turned down, so am planning to appeal to a tribunal to have both elements of PIP raised to enhanced.

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,677Member Pioneering

    Hi Matilda,

    As you know, tribunals can increase, decrease or leave awards the same. The important thing with tribunals is to be clear with them which extra points you think you qualify for and try and evidence this, for example with a letter from your GP or other health professional. Keeping a daily diary noting down how long it took you to complete an activity, whether it caused discomfort, how long it took you to complete the activity etc can be very useful to take with you on the day of the hearing.

    Have a look at the information an appealing at http://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/money/dwp-appealHi

    If you have any other questions please post back. Good luck with the appeal.

    Best wishes,

    Michael

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2016
    Thanks, Michael.  I am trying to assess how safe my current award might be if I appeal to a tribunal.

    In my mandatory reconsideration letter I detailed what extra points I qualify for and why - all of which the DWP has ignored.  With my original claim form I attached a diary setting out how long it took me to complete activities and how difficult these were - which the assessor and DWP have ignored.I shall take these docs to the tribunal.

    A GP or rheumatologist's letter would be of no help as neither know how my medical condition affects me on a daily basis.  DWP have already accepted that I do have a degenerative disease for which I take medication and they have decided only to award me standard rate using spurious arguments.

    While I can easily demolish the DWP's ludicrously spurious arguments for not awarding more points than they have, I do not have independent corroborating evidence to support my evidence of how my disabilities affect my ability to perform daily tasks and to walk outside.

    If I were a tribunal member, I'd say, yes, the DWP have not proved their case - but neither has the claimant proved hers. I think how well the hearing will go will depend on how convincing I am on paper and in person.  Of course, while assessors and DWP are biased, the courts are supposed to be impartial.

    I don't see how a tribunal could find fault with my current standard awards but I'd like to be confident they are safe. I must try and find out how these tribunals are conducted.

  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Is it the case that I must appeal within 28 days of the DWP's mandatory reconsideration decision?
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,677Member Pioneering

    Hi Matilda

    How safe your existing award is will largely depend on how well reasoned the decision is in the first place. If you had an assessment then in my view it becomes less likely that a tribunal would think it over generous and look to remove it.

    In my experience most tribunals are happy to accept existing awards in principle and will only interfere with an award if there is obvious evidence to support doing so. Again in my experience tribunals will warn you at the beginning of a hearing if they are minded towards lowering or removing an award and therefore giving you a chance to withdraw your appeal at that stage. There are two Upper Tribunal decisions worth having a read of that go into detail about this that you might find useful they are CSPIP 33 2015 and CDLA 884 2008 – whilst the second decision is primarily concerned with DLA the principles would still hold for PIP appeals.

    Remember also that you can withdraw your appeal at any stage prior to the start of a hearing so it may be worth submitting an appeal and then weighing everything up once you have had sight of all the available evidence including the DWPs’s submission.

    Hope that helps and please post back if we can assist you further

    Best wishes

    Paul

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, Paul - that is very helpful.

    The Atos assessor decided that, because I could walk 16 metres indoors, then I must be able to walk between 20 and 50 metres outdoors.  The first decision-maker accepted this and awarded me 10 points.  The second decision-maker decided that I could walk between 50 and 200 metres (though the 10 points wasn't lowered to 8).  I fail to see how ability to walk 16 metres indoors translates into ability to walk considerably further than this outdoors.  And the DWP's own PIP Handbook states that walking distance should be measured outdoors using pavements and kerbs.

    Though assessors aren't supposed to make judgements based on one day, in practice they do.  The assessment day was a very good day.  Tribunals also informally observe walking ability on the day, again indoors.  If the day of the Tribunal hearing happens to be another good day, then I'll be able to walk in and out of the hearing room quite well, so the tribunal probably will come to the same conclusions as the DWP decision-makers.

    Measurement of walking ability outdoors clearly is inadequate both on the part of the DWP and tribunals since neither measures outdoor walking.  So, how can either make an accurate assessment?  They just guess.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,677Member Pioneering
    Hello Matilda

    The issue of fluctuations is a difficult one. The principle is that you must satisfy the criteria on more than 50% of the days in the assessment period, which is 12 months in total. And so this is more than six months of the year, or 26 weeks, or 183 days however you prefer to think of it. Or at least 4 days of a typical week. Here is a link to the DWP's PIP Assessment Guide. It is paragraph 3.2.9 onward that is most relevant.

    It may be a good idea to get some evidence of how your walking ability fluctuates, perhaps from your doctor. It may also be helpful to provide evidence from your own records, such as a diary.

    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks, David.  The DWP have accepted that over 50% of my days are bad for walking but not bad enough, in their opinion, to grant me enhanced rate mobility - they have awarded me standard rate mobility for the bad days.  I am appealing to a tribunal as I contend that my 50%+ days are bad enough to entitle me to enhanced rate mobility.

    I submitted a diary which indicated my walking abilities on bad days with my original claim form, a diary which the assessor and DWP have ignored.  This diary will be included in the papers that the DWP have to submit to the tribunal.

    From reading members' stories on Scope, it appears that the DWP refuse enhanced rate mobility to virtually everyone - however, according to Disability Rights, over 60% of those who appeal are awarded enhanced rate.  It'll come down to whether the tribunal believe me or the DWP.
  • LDBWILLILDBWILLI Posts: 22Member Connected
    Hi Matilda
     don't be so disheartened as I've been where you are and came out the other side, I decided not to appear at my tribunal as it's very stressful plus they watch your every move, I wrote a long letter explaining why I thought they should overturn my appeal one of the main reasons were the lies told by the capita rep who came to my home to assess me and insisted I could walk more than 20 metres but less than 50, I totally disagreed saying more than 10 metres but less than 20 , arguing my point to which they gave me the extra points on "Moving Around "therefore entitling me to enhance mobility as apposed to standard which they gave me to start with, don't over think it ask for paper tribunal and write it all down it honestly less stressful. Good luck

    LDBWILLI
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, LDBWILLI.  That's very encouraging.  Really pleased to hear that you won your appeal.  I think that I have a far better case than the DWP does so am optimistic about winning my appeal, especially as over 60% do.
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