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PIP benefits expert

Wheelability1234Wheelability1234 Posts: 11Member Listener
edited October 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hello. Looking for advice from a benefits  expert about PIP.
For learning disabilities and difficulties connected to cp,  What is the best way to evidence it, in the absence of a copy of a Statement  ( it was done a very long time ago and not sure if we can obtain  a cooy). Are there any examples  of  how you can link it on with the daily activities? 
At the moment, can only state that there are significant  difficulties  with learning due to CP, but it's  not overtly obvious to another  person  who doesn't know him well as for example  he can speak  but he can get some words muddled up, use the incorrect  words  and pronounce  words wrong ( to words that sound similar). He can give a vague  description  of what he is trying to  say but not always specific  and clear. He also struggles to remember  details of  a message  such as who has called and what specifically  for. So, if he answered  the phone, he wouldn't  necessarily  remember  the person's  name and the  specific details. He would  only be able to  say that  some lady rang up for you from the  doctors but wouldn't  remember  or be able to express what for. Would  this be enough to get points  for verbal  communication  and needing  support or would you need to  back it up with  SEN statement? 

What is the best way of demonstrating this  difficulty?
Also the learning disabilities apply to other areas such as reading, planning and organisation, mixing with others and planning and following  a route.
I.Q is low, but on the surface, his learning  disabilities  are not immediately  obvious  and  with verbal communication  in particular, it can appear that he is understanding and it appears as though  he can express information  verbally, but this isn't  necessarily  the case. So, it's  a difficult  one to evidence. Can anyone  think of daily  examples that might illustrate this area of difficulty? He also went to a specialist  school  and has never been able to  work as a consequence of his physical  and learning disabilities.
Thanks 

Replies

  • steve51steve51 Posts: 5,861Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Wheelability1234

    A very very big welcome to our online community.

    It's great to me you this evening !!!!!!!

    Is there anything that I can help you with ??????
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Wheelability1234,

    Everything you say is relevant to the PIP form (if that is the stage you are at?) You've already given some really good examples in your post. For example, it would be difficult for him to pass on a simple message because he wouldn't remember important details - that could give him points in activity seven (communicating verbally).

    As a starting point I would recommend the PIP self-test, if you haven't already done it with him. That will show you the points you think he should score and give you a better idea of what the form and the assessment are getting at.

    In the context of reading as well, examples would help - give examples of what he might misunderstand and the help he would need. From what you say, I think he should score points in budgeting, too. The fact that he went to a specialist school is helpful. If you can get evidence from anyone who works with him, that's always good, but it isn't essential. If you can only get evidence from a few years ago, don't worry, but emphasize that his condition hasn't changed. 

    Planning and following a route would be somewhere I would expect him to get points too. Remember that all the activities have to be done 'safely' and 'to an acceptable standard'. If he can't plan a journey safely because he would get lost, then he should get points. Going back to engaging with other people, does this cause him any distress (because he knows he doesn't understand fully), or are there any ways in which he might not be able to do this?

    You can get more ideas about all the activities by looking at the case law on the website pipinfo.net.

    It isn't always easy to get the right level of PIP for some people but I have definitely had quite a few clients in a similar position who have got it, some at tribunal, but some at an earlier stage. Do think about the 'safely' aspect - what risks might apply if he tried to do the activities without help? Think about the 'acceptable standard' factor as well - for example, if he doesn't have help, could he cook a simple meal?

    If you still have questions after you've done the self-test, do get back to us.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Wheelability1234Wheelability1234 Posts: 11Member Listener
    Thanks Will. We are on DLA to pip transfer stage. When completing the form, do you write the categories at the top of each question, you feel applies and then try to write as much as you can to gain the points in that descriptor, or is is better just to write in the box and let them decide which descriptor? I just feel it would make it clearer to say cannot cook and prepare food and try to give enough evidence to explain why i.e he would just eat prepared meals and prepared vegetables because of physical, cognitive needs and the effects of fatigue. Would guess if food was cooked properly and wouldn't time things properly.
    Physical disabilities means that he cannot chop veg or peel and even using appliances would find them difficult to use due to dexterity and would probably have to attempt several times to use. He can drop things so it would take him a very long time to even attempt it. Would this be enough to qualify for 8 points or do I need to write more? Thanks very much



  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,249Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    It is perfectly acceptable to write your answers on  separate sheets, attached to the back of the form with name and NI on each. Just reference to these in the boxes.
    Most people include to much padding on their forms.
    Try writing it out and then cut out stuff that doesn't need to be there. Imagine that you were going to have to read it, make it is as easy as possible to find the facts and evidence that apply to each descriptor. As a reader do you want to read the equivalent of War and Peace  to answer 12 descriptors ? Try to make it simple and idiot proof

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • MatildaMatilda Posts: 2,616Member Disability Gamechanger
    It's a good idea to include a 7-day diary with your PIP application.  List all the aids that you use.  Disability Rights site has a draft diary.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Wheelability1234Wheelability1234,

    I definitely wouldn't specify which descriptor you think applies  - leave that to the assessor and DWP to decide. Instead, concentrate on explaining what he can and cannot do, and how often this applies. You can use the wording of the descriptor if that is helpful but I'd actually avoid doing that and stick to your own words if you can. 

    Looking at cooking for example, he would probably take more than twice as long as someone to cook a simple meal, so he should get points. He can drop things, which is a risk. So, at a minimum, he should get 4 points as maybe he could cook with supervision, but as you say, perhaps it should be 8 because with the effect of fatigue, risk of dropping, having to try to do things several times etc he would never be able to cook something within a reasonable time period, even with help. Don't specify the descriptor though, just explain the problems he has & that this means there is no way to avoid it taking far too long & involving risk.

    I wouldn't rely on getting 8 points in any one activity (even though I suspect that he probably should score 8 in cooking & perhaps others) - I'd give relevant evidence in every activity that is relevant. As CR says, don't say too much. Keep it simple. One example per activity is usually enough. But also, as Matilda says, a diary can be helpful for reference - as long as you are really clear, and if you are using examples from the diary, link them to each box. 

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Wheelability1234Wheelability1234 Posts: 11Member Listener
    HELLO. WE WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE SOME HELP.  VERY ANXIOUS AT THE
    MOMENT. JUST COMPLETED THE PIP FORM WITH A GP LETTER AND A LETTER FROM
    THE O.T FOR MY HUSBAND.  wE BOTH HAVE cp AND ARE PERMENENT WHEELCHAIR
    USERS.   I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO SEND IN MY
    HUSBAND'S SCHOOL ENTRY LEVEL CERTIFICATES, AS AN INDICATION OF HIS
    LEARNING DISABILITY?  HE HAD A STATEMENT OF SPECIAL NEEDS BUT WE DO
    NOT HAVE A COPY OF IT AND RECORDS HAVE NOW BEEN DESTROYED.  I HAVE
    ASKED THE DWP IF THEY HAVE A COPY OF ANY RECORDS RELATING TO THE DLA
    CLAIM.  WE ARE WAITING TO HEAR BACK.

    THE GP HAS WRITTEN A SUPPORTING LETTER, BUT HE SAID IT WOULD NOT DO
    MUCH?? hE JUST BASICALLY WROTE THE INFORMATION THAT /I HAD GIVEN HIM..
    AND WHAT I'VE PUT ON THE FORM, SO IT ISN'T FACTUAL EVIDENCE FROM A
    PROFESSIONAL.  I THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER TO SAY THAT HE WENT
    TO A SPECIAL SCHOOL AND RECEIVED A STATEMENT FOR HIS PHYSICAL AND
    LEARNING NEEDS, USES A WHEELCHAIR AND FINDS EVERYDAY TASKS OF DAILY
    LIVING SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFICULT.  instead HE WROTE... THERE CAN BE
    DIFFICULTIES WITH DRESSING.....AND SO ON.... WHICH DOES NOT EXPLAIN
    HIS LEVEL OF DIFFICULTIES.
    THERE ALSO A SMALL DISCREPENCY WITH ONE OF THE STATEMENTS THAT I FEEL
    MIGHT NEED CLARIFYING... BUT I HAVE DONE THIS ON THE ACTUAL FORM.  IS
    IT WORTH ASKING THE GP TO AMEND IT?  HE DID NOT WANT TO DO IT IN THE
    FIRST PLACE AND WE PAID 40!  AS WE ARE BOTH SEVERELY DISABLED, I'M
    VERY ANXIOUS AND ANGRY THAT WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS.  IF THEY DO A
    F2F, MY HUSBAND WOULD STRUGGLE TO CLEARLY EXPLAIN HIS DIFFICULTIES IN
    FULL DETAIL.  I WOULD NEED TO HELP HIM.  WILL THIS BE ALLOWED?

    I THINK THE DWP JUST GOT ON WHAT'S IN THE RECORDS.  sO, IT SAYS sen
    STATEMENT BUT IT DOES NOT MENTION LEARNING DISABILITY.  HE CAN'T READ
    OR WRITE AND NEEDS ALL MY HELP FOR THIS.  HE ALSO HAS POOR MEMORY FOR
    REMEMBERING VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS SUCH AS DIRECTIONS AND IF BEING TOLD
    WHAT TO DO IN A RECEIPE, OR TAKING MESSAGES ON THE PHONE. (hE NEEDS
    THINGS REPEATED OR RE EXPLAINING IF PEOPLE TALK TOO QUICKLY OR USE
    VOCABULARY OUTSIDE OF HIS RANGE.

    WHEN I COMPLETED THE FORM FOR HIM, HE NEEDED LOTS OF PROMPTING AS HE
    COULD ONLY GIVE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION.  (I THINK IT'S SOMETHING TO DO
    WITH ORGANISING HIS THOUGHTS  AND THINKING ABOUT WHAT HE WANTS TO SAY.
      I ONLY HAVE THE IQ SCORES AND THEY ARE LOW.  FULL IQ IS 65.  VERBAL
    IQ IS 74.  iS THIS USEFUL INFORMATION TO SEND OR NOT?  would IT HELP,
    IF I DID A LETTER AS HIS CARER FOR HIS LEARNING NEEDS.?

    MANY THANKS.  
  • Wheelability1234Wheelability1234 Posts: 11Member Listener
    P.S Would it be worth getting a private assessment from an ED psych or perhaps an O.T?  Would an O.T be able to document his physical and learning needs, re PIP daily living activities?  If so, is there an organisation who could help for a small fee.  I know the private reports can be very expensive!
  • Wheelability1234Wheelability1234 Posts: 11Member Listener
    RE Reports from the health professional.  When we did SDA to ESA transfer, there was no f2f medical and it was done on the basis of the form and I think the GP completed an ESA 311? Or something?  The report from the health professional only stated physical reasons for ESA  and nothing about LD?  Is that because it is not specifically listed on the patient summary sheet?  Just says SEN statement.  Is  the patient summary sheet all that the GP refers to, if they require more info for ESA and PIP?

    Thank you very much
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering

    Hi @wheelability1234

    If the form is in with GP evidence and a supporting letter from the OT, I'd say you've done enough for now.

    I wouldn't be paying for any additional specialist evidence at this stage as there is no indication that the claim will be refused.

    As regards why the ESA report did not look at the LD - who knows - they should have - perhaps they didn't spot it on the application. I presume for the PIP claim though you explained on the form about the LD and that this also appeared in the evidence you submitted - if so, I wouldn't worry too much.

    I realise f2f is a stressful prospect, but it's just the way they assess the claims for PIP...

    Keep us in the loop, but hopefully once the claim is processed yours will be a success story! (of which there are many!)

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Wheelability1234Wheelability1234 Posts: 11Member Listener
    Thanks for all your advice. Very helpful. Does anybody know the level of LD considered to count for PIP.  Or doesn't this matter, i.e does it have to be classed as moderate or severe or can you still justify a mild LD but significant effects on daily activities. I know for DLA is says IQ 55. The claim is for severe physical needs and a mild LD, as classified as the need for SEN statement. Got assessment stating borderline mild LD but no longer have a copy. Thanks very much
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hi wheelability1234,

    A learning disability doesn't have to be classed as moderate or severe to score points on the PIP assessment, but clearly those with a severe learning disability are more likely to score higher points than those with a mild learning disability. I'm not saying you won't score points if a learning disability is mild, it just might be a bit harder to convince the DWP or a tribunal. It's important not to get too bogged down by a diagnosis though, as it is the effects on that person's daily living and mobility that scores the points. I hope this helps.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,249Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    hello lldivall and welcome

    You do need to get in touch with your case worker. or the CAB for advice

    However, if the dwp say that they have not received it then you will have to try asking again  for an MR.

    The problem now is that it will be outside the normal one month that you have to do so which means that you will have to show good reason why it is late or they may reject it.

    If that happens you have two courses of action

    You can appeal to the tribunal
    As you have no award in payment you can make a new claim

    It is important that you do get trained advice asap

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • lldivalllldivall Posts: 6Member Listener
    :* Thank you very much for ur quick reply.Yes I will just  have to get my caseworker [if only] Don't know why she's not got back to me yet,but will try again tomorrow..Thanks  will keep youse posted.
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