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How do you 'prove' you can't walk more than 20 meteres?

Hi

I've recently been refused any kind of mobility allowance help as I can't prove that I can't walk more than 20 metres.

I've suffered quite badly with fibromyalgia for around 10 years now to the extent that I was retired from my job of 25yrs. I was a data officer for my local authority.

I've been claiming PiPs since not long after I retired and was originally refused mobility component 4 yrs ago but got the living allowance. As my mobility wasn't so bad back then, I just let it go. However, since then my mobility has become much worse and I suffer foot, ankle, calf,  knee, pins and needles in my thighs and numbness,hip and back pain even walking more than about 10 metres  but I can't prove this to the dwp. At my last medical assessment the nurse calculated I could walk more than 20 but less than 200 metres just by seeing me walk the few metres (prob less than 5) to the room where the assessment took place. DWP are saying that my condition has not increased/changed since my original claim. I rarely go to my doctors as I know there is little to nothing they can do for me. How would my doctor even be able to judge how far I could walk? It's easy to prove you can do something but not so easy to prove you cant. I desparately need financial support to get/run a car as I'm not working now. My nearest bus stops are around 400 metres away and uphill.

I would appreciate any help/advice you can give me in this matter as soon as possible as I'm fairly sure once it's all been decided that's it until the next review which will be in just over 2 yrs as I completed my last review in December 2016 and just had my appeal yesterday 29th Sept).

The good news is that, although I had my daily care allowance reduced from higher to standard rate they have rescinded this decision as 'they' cannot prove that I have improved any more than I can prove that I've got worse.  Apparently there was a court case about this very recently and I would love for someone to give confirmation about that case as I hope it will be able to help many other people who have had that component reduced since their last review.

Replies

  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    @mel60 Although you say you rarely see the doctor as they can't do anything about your condition, they can do something about this. I suggest that's your first move to see what help your Doctor is willing to offer by way of written evidence. I was given 10 points at assessment by using my stick and walking in to the room slowly and stopping occasionally on the way. The other essential written evidence is about the physical symptoms of your condition in your legs which you describe so clearly here that should be accepted by the assessor or Decision maker as sufficient to cause enough pain to make it impossible to walk more than 20 metres at the same speed as a person without disability. Check out the time and safety regulations for this activity as I am unsure about these and if you meet these then you should be eligible for the mobility component of PIP. 
  • mel60mel60 Posts: 7Member Listener
    Thank you for the advice Wildlife

  • tommtomm Posts: 158Member Pioneering
    They also like to tell fibs and their reports contain inaccuraces designed to deny people benefits my PIP assessment  the methods used by them to check power in my legs where rudimenerary at best, if recognised methods at all, the venue was less than 100 metres from the nearest rail stn,  according to the hcp's report using FEET  which iirc must of equated to more than 200mtrs  which they claimed to of obseved me walk without stopping which was also untrue
    So by using public transport  i failed their test basically, i may as well not attended ,but if i every re apply, i will request they pay in advance for a taxi or visit my home
  • mel60mel60 Posts: 7Member Listener
    edited September 2017
    Yeh I had that too tomm.  The assessor saw me walk less than 10 metres but assumed I could walk more than 20 and upto a 100  or 200 (I can't remember exactly without checking my paper work).  She also said she observed me remove my cardigan and put it back on again which was a downright lie as my daughter (23yrs old) was with me and assisted me in doing this.  She also totally disregarded the fact I said I had difficulty eating due to choking or fear of choking and that I couldn't manage my medication alone - my daughter does that for me as I have trouble removing things from blister packs and also have trouble remember what I should take and when.

    It's just sickening they make us go through this (obvs in the hope we'll just give up and not bother)

    Yes, you should definitely request a home visit next time.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,246Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Not sure where you are in the process.
    Have you appealed to the trbunal or just had MR ?

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    @mel60 has just had their appeal on 29th Sept. CR but although the daily living was raised to higher rate the mobility must be still at standard rate and that's what this post is about, how to increase the rate of this. If the tribunal decision was to keep it at standard there's not a lot that can be done without risking losing what's already in place. It would have to be a supersession later on when the whole claim would be looked at again. I don't think there's any other option. 
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,246Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    That was what I thought. I did query it as some people refer to MR as an appeal. As you say, not a lot can be done without a worstened  condition or a new one. Only thing to be done is start preparing for next review

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    @CockneyRebel I guess it was the actual appeal as it was a specific date that was mentioned and it is so long after their review date.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,677Member Pioneering
    mel60mel60 ,

    All the advice you've had on this thread, and from Matilda too, is relevant. However, the problem you've got now is that you have a tribunal decision which has decided it's standard mobility only (I think), and it is hard to take things further from that. You would have to show there'd been an error of law by the tribunal. That can include something such as favouring the health professional's report above your evidence without a good reason, so maybe you do have an error of law, but it''s very hard to say. 

    I'd suggest you start off by asking for a statement of reasons (SOR) from the tribunal. That is worth having anyway. Then, once you have got that, you could decide to appeal further, but you need to seek permission from the tribunal within a month of getting the SOR. It's best to have some help with doing this if you can (eg from Citizens Advice or another advice organisation).

    You can always come back for more advice here when you get the SOR too.

    On your last point about getting your enhanced daily living back. There was a recent PIP decision about what are called 'supersessions'  - where a decision is changed due to a supposed change of circumstances. That case says that it isn't enough to show there was a review, or even a new medical assessment. The DWP still has to show how the evidence gives grounds to change the decision. The case also says that just because evidence is more recent (say, a new assessor's report) doesn't make it more accurate. So, as you say, the DWP can't 'prove' that you've improved - all they can say is that they looked at your situation again, and that by itself isn't enough.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    @Will Just to say rescinded means the decision was changed back again to higher rate Daily Living for @mel60 .
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