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PIP Tribunal decision

MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
edited May 2017 in Talk about PIP/ DLA
Had my Hearing today and have been awarded enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility; indefinite award.

Tips?   Have your wits about you and be prepared for a grilling; and have thorough medical evidence even if it's not recent.

The only medical evidence I had was the DWP doctor's report and my GP's report from 1998 (both very thorough) when I was awarded DLA highest rates both components indefinitely.

The other two tribunal members weren't too bad - but the doctor asked some probing questions.  Asked for how long I could walk (time).  The Atos assessor asked that, too.  Although of course PIP points are supposed to be awarded for distance, not time (or so I thought).

Doc also asked how did I know I could only walk 20 yards?  Had I ever measured it?  I replied no, it was an estimate based on experience of distances.

The judge, doctor (as well as the Atos assessor) all seemed to think that ability to drive indicates a low level of disability.  Which is nonsense.  What's the point of Motability, then?  And many disabled people would be housebound without a car.  

I only take two, maybe three, round trips of 12 miles or less a week; I find driving long distances tiring.  I wouldn't advise any claimant to state that they do a lot of driving, especially longer distances.


  • daffloverdafflover Posts: 6Member Listener
    Well done Matilda. Good news. I have been following your blogs with interest as your case sounds very similar to mine. I haven,t got a date yet for my tribunal but your tips have been very useful. I have asked for my medical records to be sent to me but get the impression Doctors surgeries can't be bothered and even though you have the right to see them and have to pay a charge they tell me it is not a priority for them so I have no idea how long I will have to wait. I have also written to my MP but have had no reply from her. An acknowledgment might have been nice at the very least but have heard nothing. Sometimes I think is it worth it but stories like yours have spurred me on.
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Hi @dafflover

    It was the positive Tribunal decisions posted on here that encouraged me.  I think it's usually worth appealing despite the slight risk that claimants might lose their entire award.  65% of appeals succeed.

    I think what swung it for me was:

    - medical reports, though old ones
    - that I've had rheumatoid arthritis for nearly 30 years
    - before DLA/PIP changeover I was on DLA highest rates both components
    - that I had already been awarded PIP 11points daily living and 10 points mobility

    Were you on DLA before and did you ask for the medical reports from then to be included in your PIP application?

    Because of the Election, there are no MPs at the moment, only candidates.  After the Election you'll probably hear from your MP.

    Good luck with your appeal!
  • daffloverdafflover Posts: 6Member Listener
    Thanks Matilda. Won't give up on my MP yet then. No I didn't think to include my medical reports with my PIP application. I was on higher rate for mobility and lower rate for daily living on DLA awarded indefinitely in 2007. This was changed to no daily living award 7 points for that and lower rate mobility 10 points even though over that 10 years both my mobility and being able to carry out daily living tasks has become a lot more difficult. DWP have ignored this completely and the assessor at Capita lied on my assessment which made the information DWP had on which they made their decision incorrect. I have complained to DWP and  Capita but they will not change their decisions. Why is it so difficult to make DWP understand that what you have told the assessor and what they put into their computer is not correct.
    The assessor put down that I told her I could walk to a friends house in 2 minutes when I distinctly told her it takes me 10 minutes to walk there. This is with a walker as I can't walk at all unaided and I am still prone to falls even aided. This was backed up by a letter from my GP but totally ignored. I just hope the panel will see how difficult it is for me to get around not just on a nice carpeted office floor but outside with paving slabs etc. Did anyone from DWP turn up for your hearing?
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    edited May 2017
    Hi dafflover

    No DWP rep for me.  DWP don't attend many tribunals and I think that those that they do usually are for mental illness.

    You could ask PIP helpline for copies of your previous medical reports and submit those to the tribunal as additional evidence.

    Virtually all assessors tell lies!  Mine put in her report that I took my bag off over my head and put it down on the floor.  I never took my bag off at all!

    DWP tend just to rubber stamp assessors' reports.

    I think it's partly because tribunals know that assessors are pathological liars that so many appeals are successful.  Assessment companies are defeating their own ends by lying.

    It's in the claimant's favour at PIP tribunals if they've been on long-term DLA.  And if the DLA award was supported by medical evidence, which it would have been.

    I had a doctor come to my address to assess me for DLA and DWP obtained a report from my GP.  For PIP, I had to go to a centre to be 'assessed' by a paramedic and DWP didn't contact my GP.  So it's nonsense for the government to claim that PIP assessments are more thorough than assessments were for DLA!

    The Tribunal asked quite a lot about my indoor walking (in shops, etc) whereas mobility points are supposed to be for walking outdoors.  

    Disability Rights have a PIP appeals section on their website which is worth reading.

  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,037Member Chatterbox
    @Matilda, WELL DONE!! so pleased for you. It just goes to show how wrong your decision was before. I notice how the scores are often kept at just 1 point below the higher rate. My DL is currently at 10 but ATOS are still investigating that. @dafflover Your story is interesting and I wonder if you have actually spoken to a Decision Maker by booking a call back? I did this after my MR and got my award changed to advanced mobility and 2 more points on my Daily Living. If you can get hold of further medical records you may be able to negotiate a further review at the same time as you continue with the Appeal. That would actually help DWP to know you still disagree with their Decision. I do believe they know the assessors are lying but cannot admit it until it's proved to them and even then they send claims back to be reviewed by a different Assessor. I also had medical evidence ignored but by accusing DWP of doing this and telling them exactly what they were ignoring I did get them to look at it and use it.
         Matilda good luck for the future. Have a good rest tonight you deserve it after what you've been through....x
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    edited May 2017
    Thank you very much, @wildlife.  I feel drained but it was worth all the stress in the end.  Never give up if you have a good case.  I feel a bit of an anti-climax now after my life being PIP, PIP, PIP for the past nine months.  It might be a a bit strange tomorrow not having to worry about PIP any longer.

    I get the distinct impression that Tribunals are not happy about indefinite DLA high rate awards, backed up by medical evidence, being downgraded by assessors and DWP.  Tribunals know that the lower assessments are made on spurious evidence just to save bucks.
  • JusticeJustice Posts: 202Member Chatterbox
    edited August 2017
    @Matilda I am very late getting on here today with one thing and another , and some technical problems but I am DELIGHTED to see this news before i turn in

    I am really pleased for you Matilda, well done!! it all paid of for you, now you need to give yourself a little treat :-) Congrats xxx
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Thank you, @Justice.  I'm not sure if I'd have stayed the course without all the help and support I've had from people on this site.  So a big 'thank you' to everyone concerned.

    I had some hazelnut chocs earlier as a little reward :).
  • ariesaries Posts: 42Member Whisperer
    GREAT NEWS, so pleased it worked out for you and it's so good to hear you have your award. 
    Strangely they asked me about driving? 
    Anyway great positive outcome
  • jose2jose2 Posts: 97Member Talkative
    edited August 2017
    @Matilda, that is wonderful news, you and @wildlife and all others spurred me on to fight too.
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox

    Thank you.

    Even Tribunals seem to think that if you can drive then you can't be very disabled.  But severely disabled people have been driving for years - otherwise, many would be housebound.

  • jose2jose2 Posts: 97Member Talkative
    I too agree,without my car I would have been totally house-bound,I do a total of about 50 miles per year,as @Matilda I get so tired ,fatigued  and stiff and the pain in my legs hips and knees is quite unbearable sitting in my car too long,it gets me from A-B and I do only necessary journeys now,and having an automatic car  has been a god-send ,just put in drive and away you go!,feel as though can get on with looking around for other road users and my own safety.
  • jose2jose2 Posts: 97Member Talkative
    Received this from Benefits and Works yesterday,
    DWP admits MR are rigged,the DWP have as good as admitted that MR are a sham.In response to a recent freedom of information query,the DWP revealed that they have a target of upholding the original decision in 80% of all MR requests. 63% are been over -turned.and goes on to say -So,no matter what the decision is on your initial claim,and no matter how utterly you are turned down at the MR stage,don't lose heart ,you have a very good chance indeed of winning your appeal.
    Voting soon ,I can't wait,disabled folks should not be put through this terrible ordeal,I've lost half a stone with all the worry.
  • Jayne66Jayne66 Posts: 33Member Listener
    @Matilda, Well done,so pleased for you. I have gained so much from this site,in the fight to get my partners pip reinstated. Still waiting for a date,hopefully it won't be to long. Well done again.
  • AlexAlex Posts: 1,171Administrator Scope community team
    @Matilda Well done! And thanks for sharing your tips.
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox

    Thank you.  

    MRs are just to rubber stamp the first case worker's decision, with a few exceptions for the sake of form.  The jokers force people to go on to tribunals. Tribunals are so disenchanted that cases reach them that should never have got that far so they are sympathetic to claimants and allow their appeals.

    Despite all the stress, unfortunately I haven't lost any weight ;) .

  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Thank you, @Jayne66.

    Hope you don't have to wait too much longer for a date.
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,037Member Chatterbox
    edited August 2017
    Everyone I'm amazed at the statistics for MR refusals and consider myself very fortunate in being amongst only 20% that are successful. I hope I have helped someone to fight that bit harder at MR stage. There's good news for me today that the final things my assessor lied about will be proven to be false as I've said all along. Next week I am having a full assessment by someone from the Adult Care Team from Social Services on all movements around the house including showering. I am confident that with medical evidence I already have and her report I will be able to increase my DL score and use the report also for my ATOS/DWP complaint. So although I haven't had to go to Appeal my PIP journey is not over yet.. 
  • jose2jose2 Posts: 97Member Talkative
    edited August 2017
    Good luck @wildlife,routing for you !, I as you was amongst the 20% that it was over turned at the MR stage,fought like mad at that stage in the stupid process,knew they were turning the disabled down just by conversations I had with them (bit fishy some of the reply's I got back ).I've always had a pen and paper near my phone ,and wrote word for word everything that was said by me and them,(the smell of deceit was incredible)suggestion by me get an  app with a recording devise on,they are great too.They tape us ,so why can't we,'what's good for the goose applies to the gander too'.I'd have even had or got  a listening devise in my home too if they had come to my home to do an assessment,but that's only my point of view on the matter and if or if a time comes again will do both.
    @Matilda everyone noticing how drawn I have become,so weighed myself , shocked I'd lost so much weight,I only weighed 7 stones 4 lbs to begin with.Last phone call from DWP told them never ring me again,that I've had enough of them.Have got brown letter syndrome now,(if there is such a thing ,know I've got it)
    The Benefits advisers on Scope site have been without exception the best !!!!!!!
  • JusticeJustice Posts: 202Member Chatterbox
    edited August 2017
    @Matilda, mmmm Hazelnut choccies. @Wildlife, well done for getting so far, good luck for the next step , maybe more choccies will be in order :-)
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,037Member Chatterbox
    edited August 2017
    @justice No I'm off sugar maybe for life. I had a day a while ago when I felt so ill had pain everywhere and could only see myself getting worse. So, as I've been doing on and off for years, I went on a Candida diet. No sugar including fruit, no wheat (gluten). This is not for the faint hearted as you go through a healing crisis feeling worse than before but am finally feeling better and back on fruit. Maybe this will be my next campaign after PIP. I've also heard from HCPC about my assessor's fitness to practice. Apparently say someone is registered with them as a Paramedic they are not supposed to be working in another job that isn't either what they are registered for or something closely related. So they say that if I asked, which I have now done, for my assessor to be investigated for fitness to practice as an assessor it would become an employment issue instead. Watch this space. Does that mean all assessors are not supposed to be doing the job if they're qualified medical practitioners registered with their appropriate council? We'll see... 
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    I wonder how many paramedics are working for Atos/Capita.  A high percentage from what claimants have said.  What they lack in incompetence they make up for in lying.
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,037Member Chatterbox
    edited August 2017
    @Matilda Lying should definitely come under fitness to practice especially if it causes harm to a person. It  also applies in any job of a medical nature which they may decide an assessor is. They have to behave in a fit and proper manner so maybe more people should bring cases against them to their registered council. Did the Tribunal accept you never picked up your bag or wasn't it mentioned?
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Wasn't mentioned.  Tribunal know Atos are liars.

    But the doctor did pick up my reply to the assessor about for how long I could walk.  Doc thought that length of time someone can walk is relevant, whereas PIP regulations only refer to distance.  Claimants should be aware that they are likely to be asked about length of time at assessments and at appeals.
  • JusticeJustice Posts: 202Member Chatterbox
    edited August 2017
    @Wildlife, Sorry about your not too tasty diet :-(, but if it makes you feel better I suppose it is worth it.That's interesting what you say about the assessors fitness to practice. It sounds as though at last you might be getting somewhere with this,I do hope so :-)
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,037Member Chatterbox
    @Justice Actually my diet is far more tasty than before. Not eating sweet things enhances the flavour of all savoury food. I eat puddings too using the natural sweetness of fruit. I would like to write a cookery book with my ideas. Maybe one day. Yes I'll keep going till I get my assessor made responsible for what she put me through or if I know she's been found out as not being qualified this may suffice as I would ask for my report to be made not fit for purpose...   
  • JusticeJustice Posts: 202Member Chatterbox
    edited August 2017
    @Wildlife A Cookery Book sounds like a lovely idea, I agree we all eat too much sugar ( says she who is a chocaholic) lol. Do you do facebook? You could have a page there I think doing your recipes. I am no expert on facebook though in fact i left it. 
    Definitely get them to recognise that your report is not fit for purpose, that is what worked for us. It is just so annoying though that they make all the mistakes( If they are mistakes, sometimes I think they just do it that way), and we have to do all the fighting, we are the ones who have to prove ourselves.
    It makes me so mad, and when you are in the throws of dealing with it I cannot think of anything more frustrating. Good luck once again. we are all behind you.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 4,089Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @Matilda I know this has been a long and stressful process for you, Im so pleased you have got the result you were hoping for!
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Thank you very much, @Sam_Scope.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 917Member, Helpline, Community advisor Chatterbox
    Hi @Matilda,

    I'm so pleased to see your good news after what has been a very worrying and stressful time for you (not to mention a long process).

    You've conducted yourself with dignity and honesty the whole way through but the thing that stands out most is the way in which you've reached out to others going through similar challenges. To offer that level of support when you're going through such an agonising and draining process yourself is inspirational.

    We must continue challenging negative PIP decisions. We must continue sharing information, tips and continue to support to each other. It's evident how useful this is, particularly when there is such a lack of face to face welfare benefits advice. I've spoken to many people who have contacted the helpline having seen the various PIP related discussions on this community. Everyone has reported how helpful they found the community so please keep up the good work!

    Best wishes
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox

    Very nice to hear from you, Debbie.  And thank you very much for the compliments.

    I'm not sure that I would have got through the PIP process without the help and encouragement of the community and the benefits advisors - and your help and encouragement in particular.  Your links to the DWP PIP Handbook and DWP PIP Guide were very helpful indeed.  So, I'll always be grateful to you.

    I hope that one day the government will see sense and overhaul the vicious PIP system into a humane one.

    I intend to stay on Scope and offer help and encouragement where I can.

  • JusticeJustice Posts: 202Member Chatterbox
    @Matilda. I second all that Debbie has said. I am glad you are going to stay around :-)
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Thank you very much, @Justice.
  • craig85craig85 Posts: 13Member Listener
    so it doesnt matter if ur medical evidence is old?
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Apparently not, at least not in a case like mine.  I have a degenerative disease (rheumatoid arthritis).  A DWP (or its forerunner) appointed doctor assessed me in 1998 for DLA and wrote a comprehensive report that stated that I had serious RA and had difficulty walking and undertaking daily activities.  My GP's report from the time backed this up.  As RA never gets better, only worse, the tribunal accepted that my condition could only be worse now.

    However, if someone has a very fluctuating condition, it would be wise to get some up to date medical evidence.
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Another tip.  The tribunal drew heavily on my diary for their questions.  So think carefully about what to put in your diary in case you need to appeal.
  • BlackPam70BlackPam70 Posts: 1Member Listener
    Hi there all,

    I am bipolar and went from being awarded DLA at the highest rate for personal care and lowest rate for mobility indefinately, to scoring 0 points for either element at my initial assessment.

    My assesment was carried out by a "nurse".

    I went to my tribunal yesterday and was awarded the enhanced rate for personal care, but didn't qualify for the mobility element.

    The tribunal wasn't as scarey as I thought it would be, in fact, the panel was much nicer than the nurse who gave me the initial face to face assesment!

    The stress has been terrible during the whole process, but I would encourage anyone to persue their case to the tribunal.

    I have only been given the award for two years (not indefinatley like the DLA award), so I'll have to go through the whole process again in what seems like a very short while.

    Welfare Rights helped me prepare for the tribunal, so many thanks to them.

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 2,232Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Hello BlackPam and welcome

    Congrats on getting your award :)

    Give it a week or so and ring the DWP to make sure that they have received tthe notification from the tribunal, they have a bad habit of mislaying them.

    Next, also be aware that the DWP often request a SOR from the judge. They can only challenge the decision on an error of law which doesn't happen often, but they still look at it sometimesm

    When you do get your decision letter, look carefully at the dates. Often with a short term award it will be finite, that is it will have an end date and you will be invited to reapply 14 weeks before that date. You may have a reveiw date instead, which will be a year before your award is up. Which ever you have, you should start preparing for the next round, keeping a diary is a good place to start.

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • shay17shay17 Posts: 1Member Listener
    Matilda said:
    Thank you, @Justice.  I'm not sure if I'd have stayed the course without all the help and support I've had from people on this site.  So a big 'thank you' to everyone concerned.

    I had some hazelnut chocs earlier as a little reward :).
    Glad you finally got the award you deserved Matilda . 
    This is my first post as I just joined the forum . 
    I wish you well for the future .
           Regards  Shay 
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox

    Thank you!  I wish you well for the future, too.
  • tigger8596tigger8596 Posts: 1Member Listener
    Inspired to read some of the success stories on here.  I have bipolar, severe deafness, moderate to severe osteoarthritis in left knee, angina and ischemic heart disease.  ATOS and DWP turned my down with only 2 points for hearing aids.  They claim I rarely encounter noisy situations.  I appealed and had tribunal this morning.  I broke down when the disability woman kept on about my voices I struggle with.  My husband said they looked shock then.  I don' know their decision yet as they said it would be posted out to me. I was questioned for an hour.

  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox
    Hope it's a good decision, @tigger8596
  • ceege4ceege4 Posts: 4Member Listener
    Hi Everyone I have been waiting over 20 weeks now for a tribunal date. Does anyone know how long it takes to get a date? Also, how do I find out where (locality) the tribunal is likely to take place? Many thanks Ceege4
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 1,562Member Chatterbox

    I had to wait 5.5 months in London, but waits are longer now.  Unless Tribunal Clerk's letter has said otherwise, probably he hearing will be at the letter heading address but you could find out for sure by phoning the Clerk.
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