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Help with Pip investigation

Hi all .. pleased to meet you ! .. I'm in need of advice on a very stressful subject , I have severe schuuermans kyphosis disease which gives me restrictive lung capacity along with scoliosis which makes every day a challenge ! I was awarded Pip 3 years ago and have a mobility car etc.. out of the blue I got a awful letter saying my Pip benefit has been suspended and that I've to attend a meeting under caution , I spoke to my solicitor whom advised me not to attend and he wrote to them of his advice .. can anyone tell me what happens next and what to do as I'm terrified of losing my car as without it I'd lose my independance .. I have given dwp/pip  copies of years of evidence from doctors and specialists over my condition . Any advice would be very grateful as my health is now starting to suffer ..
Thank you 

Replies

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Posts: 2,896Member Brian Blessed
    Your solicitor told you to NOT attend an interview under caution! That’s interesting advice. So, my first issue would be wanting to know why they advised that. For starters a failure to end will lead to a decision being made on your PIP in which you have had no say. 

    Here’s some interesting perspectives.

    https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-deal-interview-under-caution

    https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/pdfs/Benefit_fraud_Leaflet.pdf

    https://crimebodge.com/had-an-interview-under-caution-letter-heres-why-you-should-bin-it/

    The third one is fascinating as is

    https://www.hyltonpotts.com/2016/04/why-you-should-be-careful-with-interviews-under-caution/ 

    These are but examples. 

    My experience of IUCs as conducted by DWP et al is that whilst you do not have to attend it is your last chance to say something before a decision is made; many times they’re got nothing but an anonymous accusation and are using the IUC as an evidence gathering exercise and generally they’re easy to challenge as they’re poorly transcribed from tape; the questioners often don’t know the benefit about which they’re asking and they breach PACE quite frequently and in obvious ways. 


  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Wow that's very very interesting reading indeed which has answered a lot of questions for me so thank you for this ! 
    They suspended my benefit but only my Pip my esa hasn't been stopped I've been told that they can't stop my benefit entitlement until they have spoke to me .. is this correct ?
    Thanks again for the great advice .. 
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Update.. 2 people from dwp turned up at my home today and handed me a letter that said that due to me not turning up to there appointment (advice from my solicitor) that what info they've been given on a possible change in my circumstances has been sent to a decision maker ? Does this sound like someone has decided to report me ? I'm very confused and my mental health has started to deteriate over all this as I have no idea what they are assuming .. 
  • kalenkalen Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    Hi, that's what it sounds like to me. I believe your solicitor has given you bad advice because disability benefit is not an automatic legal right, it is a benefit and DWP can ask you at any time to attend an interview and by doing this they are, yes, probably acting on information they have received, but still giving you the opportunity to put you side to them. Had you attended the interview, where you would have been well within you rights to have someone with you you could have prevented any further problems for yourself. 
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    I’m now wishing I had ignored my solicitors advice now .. is there anyway To get in touch with the disability benefits to sort this mess out ..
    many kind thanks .. 
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 6,618Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @dave68
    If it would help, you could try speaking to one of our helpline staff? You can call them on 0808 800 3333
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 4,782Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    HI,

    I really do not understand why your solicitor told you not attend the IUC, it would have given you a chance to have your say and defend yourself. At this stage i'm not sure what else you can do but wait for that decision. Good luck.
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Hi , yes most people have now said the same ! His advice has caused me a lot of stress .. thank you for your message .
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 440Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Hi

    I have read the links that @mikehughescq kindly put up for you to consider and his own experience of IUC.

    Hylton Potts law firm, advices take a solicitor with you to the IUC.

    Other suggestions solicitor writes to DWP to find out what matters are of concern and any additional information, "then my client will be happy to visit your offices with me".

    Suggest you speak to solicitor for a copy of his letter to DWP.

    I would also speak to Motability Scheme about your situation.

    More importantly get some welfare rights advice from CAB.

    For me I would always attend such a meeting, as I know for certain I have done nothing wrong (accompanied by a welfare rights advisor).
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Thank you I'll call my solicitor tomorrow and suggest this . 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 4,782Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    As they've suspended your PIP award i'm assuming you've also had to return the mobility car, as there's no payments to pay for this?
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    No I've still got the car but that's my biggest worry as without it my independance is gone ! 
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Would it be worth phoning dwp and try and refresh arrange an appointment ? At the end of the day I havent done anything wrong my circumstances have not changed in fact they've worsened over the last year or so .. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 4,782Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    I'm very surprised you still have your car as your payments have been suspended. I would have thought that would have to be returned when the payments stopped because motability still have to be paid. If it was me i'd ring my solicitor tomorrow.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Posts: 2,896Member Brian Blessed
    All that’s happened is that because you failed to attend the IUC the case has now been referred for a decision. Depending on what evidence DWP supposedly have that may or may not be a good thing but it at least speeds things along and gives you the right to an MR etc. 

    I don’t think it’s automatically the case that a solicitor who has advised you to not attend has given bad advice. It very much depends on the circumstances of your case. If DWP are using an IUC as an infirmatyin gathering exercise for example then there may be no harm in attending to bring matters to an early conclusion. On the other hand if they’re implying fraud then the advice could be very d8fferent and in both scenarios the opposite could be true.

    I see no reference to them referring the matter for consideration of prosecution so they may have little to go on and the decisikn when it comes may bring matters rapidly to an end. Hard to judge on a forum though so best thing would be a chat with your solicitor. If there’s no element of fraud though you may be better advised to simply go get a WRO.
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    I'll let you know the outcome 
    Thanks for your knowledge on this !
  • kalenkalen Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    Dave,
    you have had good advice here, all the very best of luck x
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Yes thank you all  :) 
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Spoke to my solicitor today and he stands firmly on his advice of not going and to wait and see what the decision maker decides then take it from there ! Very confusing as I have still no idea on what their allegations are so I can address them ! 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Posts: 2,896Member Brian Blessed
    If they were fishing then they’ve got nothing but a possibly anonymous allegation and thus the advice to not attend and let them hand themselves for lack of evidence may well hold good.
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    Hi all ...update and some advice again please ? 
    it was an anonymous malicious phone call from a carer i used to have whom i had a fall out with and told not to come back !!! The DWP acted on her accusations and followed me taking very selected pictures of me such as walking to my car unaided (i have been using a stick a lot more but the Dr suggested on good days try and walk without it to strengthen up my muscles as im leaning to one side).  
    and pictures of me trying to live independently as i live alone with my 14year old daughter ..myself and my daughter feel very violated and now we have this horrible feeling every day that we are being watched which has caused huge anxiety levels . there decision was to cease my pip , im now going to appeal against this decision ... who is the best person/organisation to help me with the appeal ..
    many thanks again 



  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Posts: 2,896Member Brian Blessed
    Depends on where you live.
  • dave68dave68 Posts: 17Member Listener
    I’m in Scotland 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Posts: 2,896Member Brian Blessed
    Would need something more precise than that. 
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