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DWP's response to my PIP appeal

MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
edited February 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
The DWP's response to my appeal only states that they agree with the original decision and oppose the appeal.  They have not added anything not already stated to their original reasons for making their decision (standard rate PIP daily needs and mobility).  Is this significant or not?  

I think that the DWP's reasons for their award decision were very weak.  I refuted those in the award letter in my mandatory reconsideration request.  And I refuted the new reasons in the DWP's mandatory reconsideration response in my appeal. 

In other words, have the DWP in essence accepted my refutation of their reasons for the award and have no further arguments to offer to support their case?  I assume that if they had additional reasons to offer for their decision they would have included these in their response?

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hello Matilda

    It is not unusual that the DWP have given no further reasons as to that offered in their previous decisions.  This does not mean that they have accepted what you say, but that they stand by their decision that you are entitled to PIP (standard daily living and standard mobility). 

    As you are probably aware when an appeal is lodged a tribunal can look at the whole of the award, and thus they can question if the award you receive is correct, and either take the award away, keep it as it is or increase the award.

    Are you challenging the rates of both components i.e. are you asking a tribunal to consider that you are entitled to enhanced rate daily living and mobility? 

    Kind Regards

    Maria



    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks, Maria. Yes, challenging both rates - on good grounds
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Daily living:  DWP's own PIP handbook states that a PIP claimant must be able to complete an activity reliably which includes being able to complete it in a reasonable time.  If the person cannot complete an activity reliably then they cannot be considered able to complete the task at all.  Usually I am able to complete the tasks - but each takes more than twice as long as it would take a non-disabled person.

    Mobility:  Again, DWP's own PIP handbook states that walking distance must be measured outdoors using pavements and kerbs.  The Atos assessor decided that, because I could walk 16 metres indoors on a level, carpeted surface, then I must be able to walk more than 20 metres but less than 50 metres outdoors.  A preposterous assumption.
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Just fallen in why DWP have awarded points they did for daily living.  Apparently they have decided that I can do tasks three quarters reliably so have awarded two points instead of eight in each category. I think this is wrong. My reading of the reliability rule is that to be able to do a task the person must meet all criteria. I can't complete tasks in a reasonable time so should be considered unable to do the tasks at all.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hi Matilda

    You are right that you must be able to complete each activity reliably and that this includes all four aspects of the word: safely; to an appropriate standard; repeatedly; in a timely manner.

    The legislation defines a timely manner as no more than twice the time it would take someone without your condition.

    I'm not clear what stage you are up to with your challenge. It's sounds like you have had a response to your request for a mandatory reconsideration and now have the right to appeal. You must usually submit your appeal within one month of the mandatory reconsideration notice and i suggest you do this promptly or contact us again if you need further advice.

    David
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you very much, David, for confirming that all reliability criteria must apply for the person concerned to be considered able to complete an activity reliably.  Does legislation itself state that this must be the case?

    Following mandatory reconsideration I sent my appeal in to the courts system in Dec '16 and have now received the DWP's response - which comprises no additional information than contained in previous documents.  The DWP have merely stated that their original decision stands and they oppose the appeal.


  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,
    Yes, legislation does state all those criteria. It's in the Personal Independence Regulations 2013, regulation 4(2A).

    It is well worth stating this in your submission (the bundle of evidence and arguments you ask the tribunal to consider). Ideally, you would have an adviser from any agency such as a CAB to help with this. There is nothing wrong with quoting the PIP assessors' guide, but legislation and case law are what forms the law, not guidance.

    You can find the PIP regs on this site. Make sure you use the up-to-date version of the regs! Another good source which I've probably mentioned before is PIPinfo.net. You can see there the relevant case law on the activities, and on the main principles of PIP (for example 'reliably'). 

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2017
    Thank you, Will.  I have already submitted my appeal form to the Courts and Tribunals service quoting the guide only.  I have received a letter dated 26 Jan 2017 from the Courts and Tribunals Service stating that: 'It is important that you send us any further evidence that you wish the Tribunal to consider now".

    Should I now write to the Courts and Tribunals Service again quoting the PIP regs?  If so, how long from the 26 Jan will I have to do this?
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hello Matilda

    The appeals process is as follows:
    1. Submit appeal on the SSCS1 form, which you have done
    2. An acknowledgement letter from the Tribunal Service that your appeal has been received is sent, which you have received
    3. Receive the PIP bundle of appeal papers, which will include copies of application forms, copies of medical evidence the relevant law and reasons for the PIP decision. This undle can be anything from 60 to 100 pages long.
    4. A letter informing you what date, time and venue your appeal will be heard at
    5. Attend a PIP hearing, and (most of the time) receive the tribunal decision straight after the hearing.

    It is good practice to send in additional evidence as soon as possible to the Tribunal Service, HOWEVER, evidence will be accepted if it is received by the tribunal just 7 days before the date of the hearing. When you do send any additional evidence quote your national insurance number and appeal reference, which will be on the letter from the Tribunal Service. 

    Given that the appeal papers can quote the law, you may find that the PIP regs are already detailed in the PIP appeal papers.  So i would therefore wait to you get the appeal papers before you respond, as then you will have the full PIP case in front of you.  Importantly, you will also have  a copy of any medical assessment that you attended and this can shed light on how and what the decision maker reached the conclusion they did. 

    You can still prepare for the hearing however for example obtaining relevant medical evidence e.g addressing the issue of reliability that you have already picked up on.  As David said it may also be worth taking your appeal papers (when you receive them) to a benefit specialist at a local advice center to see if they can also help, and guide you on relevant medical evidence. 

    Kind regards

    Maria
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2017
    Hi Maria

    Thank you.  I have received DWP's response papers which do not include the PIP Regs.  This was followed by a letter from the court stating that if I wish to add anything I should send it in now - and I shouldn't wait until I get a hearing date before so doing.

    I've already referred to the PIP Handbook in my appeal papers.  Is it worth my while at this stage sending in an additional letter referring to the PIP Regs as well?  Or can I wait until the hearing to refer to the PIP Regs?
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2017
    Please would you advise the number of the PIP Regs about mobility.  Many thanks.
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