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Planning and Following a Journey - What does it really mean?

MorecatMorecat Posts: 4Member Listener
Hi, this is my first posting on this site. I have read some many interesting posts that are full of information and helpful tips for making a PIP claim. This site certainly gave me the confidence to make a PIP claim.
 I made the claim early in July of this year and received a an appointment for the 7th November. The assessor pointed out that the decision could take eight weeks or more to come through. I received the decision on 16/12/17, letter was dated 10/12/17. DM awarded me the enhanced for daily living but only 4 points on the mobility component. On the question of Planning and Following a Journey, I was deemed to be able to plan and follow a journey unaided.
 I certainly have the ability to plan a journey, hey I can plan multiple journeys, complicated journeys but I can never carry those journeys out without a person being with me. I am only able to leave the house with a vital piece of medical equipment in tow and since I cannot carry it, I rely on another person to be with me. The suction unit keeps my airways clear of secretions, I am unable to do it myself because of my conditions. It is such a vital part of my life that should it fail, I have been instructed to get to any hospital immediately. I am unable to turn my neck to the left or the right so crossing a road safely is beyond me, I need a navigator with me. I am unable to make a journey safely without my suction unit. When I attended my assessment, my partner was with me, he was carrying the unit. It is clear to everyone who helps me that this information has been overlooked/ignored by the DM. I have asked for the full report of my assessment but as it is the Christmas period there's no telling when that will come through. I have drafted a letter to ask for an MR but I am unsure if I should sent it or just settle for what I have been given. Does anyone know of a reason why the mobility component of my claim has been rejected? I would love to hear people thoughts on my situation and any help would be really appreciated. 

Replies

  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    @Morecat The reason your Mobility was only given as 4 points is not down to the DM but is the fault of the assessor, many of whom are dishonest. It was the assessor who saw your partner with your vital equipment not the DM. The DWP can only go by what the assessor recommends on your report. When you receive your report all will become clear. What I suggest is for you to examine your Daily Living points and decide how strong these are because any further reviews of your claim will result in every part of it being looked at so a slight risk of losing what you already have. Also then decide how strong your case is for never being able to leave the house alone, and from what you've said it's obvious you should be eligible for mobility. Whatever you decide that is what you should do i.e. Mandatory Reconsideration. Do you have medical evidence about the equipment you need?   
  • MorecatMorecat Posts: 4Member Listener
    Thank you for reply wildlife - I do have medical evidence regarding my suction unit, I did submit it with my claim. The points awarded for Daily Living seem fair and are a good reflection of the limitations my condition has on my life. I have fibrosis in my neck, it is a condition that is not curable or treatable, it unfortunately gets worse with time. I think I will wait for the assessors report to arrive, I'll then be able to see if or where she refers to my dependency on my suction unit. If it is not mentioned then I will base my reasons on requesting an MR on that. 
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Posts: 609Member Pioneering
    When you say "I need a navigator with me", what do you mean?

    The planning and following a journey means can you get from A to B (either a familiar or unfamiliar) place without help from another person or aid. (including an assistance dog) When they say aid, it's an aid adapted for a disabled person, so I can't clam I need Google Maps. Because I'm sure my non-disabled sister uses that from time to time. But I can claim that in my case, there is a safety issue.

    Can't comment on your case, because I'm not really sure whether it would count.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,248Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Morecat

    I am horrified that you have been treated this way

    From your description and looking at the descriptors it would appear that you should meet 11f as you cannot make any journey without another person.

    11 f. For reasons other than psychological distress, cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12 points

    If an MR is does not give you the award you deserve then you should appeal to tribunal, but that is just my opinion the decision is yours

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • MorecatMorecat Posts: 4Member Listener
    When I say  I need a navigator with me, I mean I need a person to asses if it is safe to cross a road as I am unable to look left or right. I regard any person doing this action for me and telling me it is safe to cross the road a navigator. I do not think there is an aid that can do that job. it needs to be a person. 

    CockneyRebel - When I filled in my claim form, my thinking was along the lines of your reply. I need assistance to undertake a journey. I do not travel anywhere without help, if help is not available I do not go out. I have the added problem of limited speech, an impairment that came about from the cancerous tumour that led to losing my tongue. I can manage short replies but long conversations are impossible. 
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 5,248Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Forgive me but I am curious about your moving around capability also.
    Do you require your suction unit all the time ?
    If not, how far are you able to walk without it ?

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,679Member Pioneering
    Hi Morecat,
    From what you have said about the points you have been awarded, it looks as though you have been awarded zero under the Planning and Following a Journey activity and 4 points under the Moving Around activity (which means the DWP think you can stand and then move between 50m and 200m). It looks as though the assessor and the DWP decision maker have not really considered your needs under 11f, which should have scored you 12 points, but as you say, without sight of the assessor's report, you don't yet know what you need to be challenging. The structure of your MR / appeal case needs to be based on these questions:
    1) What is the health condition and what are the symptoms which cause you problems with following a route to another (familiar) place?
    2) Describe the problems you have, giving details and examples
    3) Describe how your partner / carer helps you with the equipment and why you cannot do it yourself
    4) Describe what would happen if you embarked on a journey without either your partner, your equipment, or without both
    5) Describe whether you need this every time you go out
    6) Describe any occasions or incidents which could have been disastrous if your partner was not available to help you.
    It is always a good idea to try and obtain medical evidence which addresses these exact issues, and even better if your medical evidence can be very precise about the points you should get, e.g 'my patient satisfies the 12 point descriptor under 11f in that this person cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person and these are the reasons why....'
    Please get back to us if we can help you further and good luck with challenging your decision.

    Jayne
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • MorecatMorecat Posts: 4Member Listener
    My suction unit is required night and day. I have a large one for home use, it is portable and needs to be where I am. I have help showering as I have limited upper body movement, so it is the there during this time. I am never more than three meters away from the unit, hence the reason for the smaller one I use on journeys out of the house. Thankfully my flat is small and compact, moving around is fine. I can normally walk for about three to five minutes before I need to stop, my left leg hardly has any strength due to lymphoedma. 
  • TopkittenTopkitten Posts: 1,003Member Pioneering
    Unfortunately mobility can be considered as a subjective situation and would depend entirely on the questions and viewpoint of the assessor. I am not yet on PIP so cannot comment in great detail but I believe that they have assumed that as you can walk and talk this means your mobility is quite good. They have ofc overlooked the assistance you need in getting about entirely which is most definitely wrong. However, a lot of people, especially healthy ones, assume that if they can do something additional (like carry an item) then others can too so long as they can walk in the first place. I have had many issues like this because I can walk a little with 2 sticks. It has been assumed that because I can walk I can also carry which is nonsensical unless I have more than 2 arms, lol! There are also occasions when I am at home with friends when I will risk using 1 stick or even none purely out of pride in that I do not want my friends to believe I am totally useless. My risk is falling over but ofc I have walls to hang onto and bounce off at home. Every now and again though new friends will assume that if I can do it indoors then I can do so outside. I can't and I would never even try but they just go by what they see under those specific circumstances and apply them across the board. The same thing applies with my wheelchair and scooter both of which are not used ALL the time.

    I certainly believe you have been rated far too low based on what you have typed but it may not necessarily be all lies but some misconceptions made by untrained and unsuitable staff.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
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