Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Pip tribunal in 4 days

Hi
I have a pip tribunal in 4 days time. Panicking is an understatement. I was on dla high rate care and low rate mobility, I know pip is a different benefit to dla and different process, with the descriptors and all. When I received the assessment report I was shocked, it was like she was describing a different person and a different assessment, which in doing research seems the norm, such a messed up system that doesn't work.
My Gp wouldn't give me a report (practice policy) said if dwp would have to request it, which they didn't. The only evidence I could get was from two CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) stating my diagnosis, all mental health related and a letter from my carer and partner stating my daily living issue's. Does anyone know if this evidence would hold any weight with the tribunal? My condition is generalised anxiety disorder, social phobia, depression and specific phobias (all stated on the letter from my therapist).
Thanks in advance 

Replies

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @dc2908 The evidence you have is legitimate medical evidence so yes the Tribunal should use it to confirm your diagnoses. But once these are confirmed the panel will be focusing more on how you are affected by these on a daily basis. Regarding your surgery. GP's write a short report of every patient's visit which is recorded on a computer. Our surgery and maybe all surgery's have a scheme where by presenting ID you can get access to your records. I copied and pasted info. from mine for evidence. However whether or not you have this access you should be able to ask for copies of anything useful to your appeal to be printed off and made available to you. There will be a small admin charge but you may still have time to do this. If you haven't already I would also advise you checking the PIP points system on line to see which descriptors apply to you and have your argument ready for specific problems you have which meets those. If you want any more help repost in ask a benefit advisor category and someone will be along to give you expert advice. Good Luck and let us know how you get on...
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Hi, thanks so much for your reply. I did a written submission with a explanation under each descriptor as to how my daily living is effected. My Gp practice is so unhelpful. They made me wait 4 weeks to only tell me they won't do it. Thanks for your help
    Much appreciated 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @dc2908

    Tribunals are well aware that most assessor's reports are largely works of fiction so they don't have much confidence in them.  

    I had my tribunal hearing last week and won.  However, all of my conditions are physical not mental.  The medical evidence I had did help, no doubt.  But the tribunal grilled me for half an hour all about what I can and can't do so my answers carried a lot of weight, too.  

    Have your wits about you and prepare to be cross examined.  Beforehand, think about the kinds of questions the tribunal are likely to ask you.  Preparation in advance should help you stay confident, calm and focused during the interview.

    The first question the tribunal asked was how my health had been over the past year.  They didn't ask how I travelled to the tribunal which I understand is a common question.  In case the tribunal asks you, best have your carer drive you, or travel by taxi.

    The tribunal ask me a lot of questions about how often I drive.  Even tribunals seem to think that people who can drive can't be very disabled!   Though this might be more relevant to mental rather than physical illness.

    As @wildlife says, you can ask in 'Ask a benefits advisor' category for more help.

    Good luck at the tribunal.
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Matilda said:
    Hi @dc2908

    Tribunals are well aware that most assessor's reports are largely works of fiction so they don't have much confidence in them.  

    I had my tribunal hearing last week and won.  However, all of my conditions are physical not mental.  The medical evidence I had did help, no doubt.  But the tribunal grilled me for half an hour all about what I can and can't do so my answers carried a lot of weight, too.  

    Have your wits about you and prepare to be cross examined.  Beforehand, think about the kinds of questions the tribunal are likely to ask you.  Preparation in advance should help you stay confident, calm and focused during the interview.

    The first question the tribunal asked was how my health had been over the past year.  They didn't ask how I travelled to the tribunal which I understand is a common question.  In case the tribunal asks you, best have your carer drive you, or travel by taxi.

    The tribunal ask me a lot of questions about how often I drive.  Even tribunals seem to think that people who can drive can't be very disabled!   Though this might be more relevant to mental rather than physical illness.

    As @wildlife says, you can ask in 'Ask a benefits advisor' category for more help.

    Good luck at the tribunal.
    Thanks for the advice. Appreciate it.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @dc2908 Just to add about the evidence you tried to get from your surgery. Asking the GP for a letter is totally different to asking your surgery's admin dept. for your own medical information to be printed off for you. Everyone has a legal right to have access to their medical records and if they refuse to allow you to have the information they should be told exactly that. This is not personal to you but there is a general attitude amongst disabled people to back down all the time and allow other people to tell them what's what. You have rights as a human being whether or not you're disabled and you need to fight for them especially when it's so important to you to win the Tribunal. When I was younger I did exactly the same as you but years of fighting for 2 disabled children and elderly relatives I cared for have hardened me so no-one now tells me what I can or can't do. Before you think that maybe I don't have any mental health issues, I do and they're not minor conditions. I hope that between now and your tribunal next week you will be able to find strength from somewhere to get through it. Imagine how you will feel if you lose and then how good it will feel to win that should help. x
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    @wildlife thank you, trying my best to stay positive.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @dc2908

    I had doubts right up to the day of the tribunal and many times thought of withdrawing my appeal.  Pleased now that I didn't, of course!

    Stay positive.

    What is your current PIP award?
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    @Matilda
    They gave me 4 points for daily living. Nothing for mobility. I wasn't shocked by the mobility bit, because I know you'll rarely get that for mental health. I wish I had of researched all this before assessment but it happened so quick. My money was gone in a blink of an eye
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @dc2908

    Appellants have gone from next to no points to qualifying points before.  And have got mobility for mental health.

    Look at the list of descriptors and think about how you meet the criteria.  Don't over-estimate what you can do.

    A benefits advisor will be able to give you more advice on Tuesday (or maybe earlier).
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    @Matilda I scored myself on the descriptors, without being generous I got at least 12 - 14 for daily living and at most 10 on mobility. The one thing I am worried about now is I'm able to drive. I rarely do, I don't own my own car, I'm on my mums insurance. I only drive when someone's with me, never independently. Again not alot. One of the reasons they only scored me 4 points is because I can drive. I only drive if I'm with my mum and I don't see her that much. I'm litterally in my house 95% of the time, due to my social phobia. I feel that when I'm in the car I'm safer than being in the outside world if you get what I mean. Thanks for the support
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @dc2908

    I scored myself 30+ points for daily living and the DWP awarded me 11!  Happens all the time.  Tribunal put me up to 13 points which gave me enhanced (I understand that once a tribunal has decided that one activity puts someone over the limit then they don't look at the other activities).

    I scored myself 12 on mobility and DWP gave me 10 which the tribunal increased to 12.

    That I drive didn't stop the tribunal increasing my mobility points to 12.  But I did have to keep emphasising that I only drive two to three times a week and then journeys of not more than 12 miles return.
     
    You should be all right if you don't deviate from saying that you only drive when accompanied and then only short journeys.

    Assessor said in her report that, because I could drive, then I must also be able to do all sorts of daily activities as well.  DWP repeated this in their award letter which I challenged in my MR request.  DWP didn't change award - but didn't repeat again that being able to drive meant that I could dress, wash, etc without difficulty.

    Far more complex movements and manual dexterity are required to wash, dress, prepare food than to drive an automatic car with power steering.





  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    @Matilda
    Thanks so much for your replies and help
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @dc2908

    The PIP appeals section on the Disability Rights website is very helpful.
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    @Matilda

    Thanks I'll check it out now
  • JusticeJustice Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    Hello dc2908.

    I wish you the best of luck with your tribunal.Lots of good advice there from Matilda, and Wildlife. We are all routing for you, please let us know how you get on.
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    @Justice
    Thanks means alot 
  • dc2908dc2908 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Hi all.
    Thought I'd update you all. Had my pip appeal 2 days ago, the tribunal was running late, couldn't give me decision there and then. So had to wait 2 days for the letter to arrive. Very long 2 days. Anyway I was awarded 14 points for daily living  (enhanced) and to my surprise 12 points for mobility (enhanced) thanks for all the positive messages. Hopefully they don't appeal it. 
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