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Received PIP - half DLA amount - what can I do?

Hi All Hope you are all as well as you can be. I have just received my letter. I will get PIP but it is less than half of the DLA I have been receiving for years! Has this happened to anyone else? I have a month to appeal. My Dr and physio wrote reports. My physio did not ask me any questions. He filled the report in on his own. I have asked to see it 4 times but haven’t seen it yet. The Pip assessor has quoted my physio saying I am basically OK. I have therefore lost points and money. I am furious. I will appeal. Any advice gratefully received. Many Thanks. Anne xx I The The Pip assessor has quoted hi.

You have to apply for a mandatory reconsideration I believe. what on earth did your physio write about you, surely you are entitled to see the letter? what was their decision based on i mean what points did you get and what was their outcomes. I actually got MORE then my DLA.

Thanks CC for yr reply. I honestly don’t know what physio wrote but I will find out! I know one thing g he said my communication skills were unaffected. What !! Hé sees me for 20 mins once a week or a fornight! And I am having a massage! My cousin a Solicitor says he has no rights to have written the report. My doctor didn’t question in detail either. So upset and angry. I need to harness these emotions to fight this. Last thing I need though. Sooooo stressful. Thanks again. Anne x

Hello Anne

The way it works now is that if you’re unhappy with your benefit decision, you have to request a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ within one month of the decision. When that is considered together with any extra information/evidence you can get hold of, it will either be decided in your favour or the decision upheld. You then have a further month in which to appeal.

Clearly you need to see a copy of your physiotherapists report. What’s always happened for me is that someone writes me a letter supporting my claim and sends it to me, for it to be included with my claim (or not if it doesn’t support what I’m saying). It’s an odd way round for the physio to send evidence direct to the contract company preparing the report for the DWP. If you get no joy with phoning the physiotherapist for a copy, write to him and ask for it.

You could also get anyone else who knows you well to write a supporting letter. This could be your MS nurse, a carer (even if they’re not paid), an OT, just anyone really who can be trusted to write you a letter. You can also include letters from the past, photos of equipment, anything else you have or could get.

You could consider joining https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ They have really good, accurate guides for claiming PIP and also for mandatory reconsideration and appeal. Otherwise, you could try and get help from the Citizens Advice Bureau or other welfare rights service. Just remember you only have a month from the decision date, so get cracking on extra evidence ASAP.

It sounds like your physiotherapist has done you a massive disservice with their report. You have my sympathy for that. Don’t be too disheartened, many decisions are overturned at MR stage. And as many as 70% are overturned at appeal. Any money they’ve done you out of would be backdated to the start of your claim.

Good luck.

Sue

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Sue, I hoped you would reply. You always seem to gave lots of knowledge, as do others, I dont have. I don’t have an MS nurse,OT and saw my Specialist about 4 years ago. I have PPMS. He told me as he couldn’t help me to see him only occassionally. So I only gave my Dr. And the physio. Both my doctor and physio have written directly without me seeing the report. Will get the report from my Dr.next week. I have today asked my physio for the report. Maybe the 4th time I have asked. He says his wifeceill get it tomorrow he cant find it. I am wondering whether to be suspicious? Especially ially he asked me in a roundabout way why I needed it? I just said I need it asap. My husband has taken early retirement to look after me. He could write a letter. I didn’t think about that. Good idea. Any more advice, I’m your woman ! Thanks again. Anne x

Sue, I hoped you would reply. You always seem to have lots of knowledge, as do others, I dont have. I don’t have an MS nurse,OT and saw my Specialist about 4 years ago. I have PPMS. He told me as he couldn’t help me to see him only occassionally. So I only have my Dr. And the physio. Both my doctor and physio have written directly without me seeing the report. Will get the report from my Dr. next week. I have today asked my physio for the report. Maybe the 4th time I have asked. He says his wife will get it tomorrow he can’t find it. I am wondering whether to be suspicious? Especially he asked me in a roundabout way why I needed it? I just said I need it asap. My husband has taken early retirement to look after me. He could write a letter. I didn’t think about that. Good idea. Any more advice, I’m your woman ! Thanks again. Anne x

Sorry for replying twice! See the physio was right. No communication problems me !!

Anne x

I wonder if the physio has followed correct procedures - if not is that in itself grounds for appeal?

I doubt it. If one could blame the evidence provided for which you’ve asked / suggested, then no evidence would be worth having as the DWP / assessors would discount anything they read!

Sue

Definitely get your husband to write a letter Anne, anyone who knows exactly how much help you need with either mobility or daily living could provide a letter. And if your husband is your carer, then he is doing a valuable job and his opinion should be taken more seriously than either of your other ‘evidence’ providers!

By the way, did you have a face to face assessment? If not, that fact in itself could form part of the grounds for reconsideration. If you did, try to think back to what happened in that assessment (chances are you won’t remember in much detail - if your brain works like mine anyway) and ask for a copy of the medical report written by the Capita/Atos. It may take them longer than you have to provide the written report. But ask for it anyway, you could also ask them for the written submissions provided by your doctor and physio. Explain that your physio in particular is not willing to provide you with a copy (which I think they are required to do!).

I don’t know masses about the mandatory reconsideration or appeal process. I’m fortunate in never having had to do either. I dread the need happening, I just hope I don’t have to. But that’s why I recommend Benefits and Work. It costs money to join, and therefore access their resources, but it’s worth it. They have for example a sample reconsideration request together with sample appeal letters. Just reading other people’s written submissions can help you to think about your own.

Sue.

I am glad sue came on. Kind of becoming our mentor lol. xxx

I will say though my doctor and my neurologist did send letters to the DWP without my knowledge and thankfully they fully supported my claim. Phew.

I am PPMS too. I have dire cognitive at times, especially if i meet someone i don’t know. However, i think being with a physio you would feel more relaxed and probably appear to be more in charge of yourself if that makes sense.

I think its really bad they failed you for cognitive when you clearly have mobility issues and care needs. when i put in my form i had a picture of all my aids, and inserted them in a word table and explained why i used them.

I hope you get this sorted out but go for your mandatory reconsideration I am sure you will win it hun.

big hugs. xxxx

Thanks everyone for replying. Lots of reading for me. I didn’t have a face to face assessment. I only have gp and physio for reports to help me. My cog problems affect me every day. They can totally shut me down depending on the day. TalKing can be too difficult. Oh so many things as I am sure you all understand. The Assessor has quoted the physio as saying communication is no problem therefore no points!! Once again thank you all. Anne x

Oh!and as my cousin (who is well versed in problems of fighting for rights) says. Of course the physio will say am ok. He has to justify that his work is working ! Anne x

I just thought I’d say, benefits is sort of my ‘thing’. It’s close to what I did for a living back in the days of employment (it’s scary to realise I last worked nearly 13 years ago!) So while the current benefits with which so many of us have trouble are different to what I did for a job, I do have the experience of decoding the DWPs twisted regulations and find it easier than most people to learn about the newer benefits.

This prior experience doesn’t help to ease my nerves when faced with the forms and waiting for the decision feels like being in purgatory.

I’m always very happy to be able to help people on the forum who need assistance with PIP or ESA. (But I don’t help via private messages - it’s better to answer in public so more people can read the information.) I can’t tell anyone exactly how to claim, or what to say: I can only tell people what the guidelines are, provide some basic information, include links for useful websites and tell you my experience.

Sue

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Hi Anne I don’t have any great advice for you I’m afraid but I did get turned down the very first time I applied and I did do a mandatory reconsideration for which I was awarded care component. I have progressed since then unfortunately I do hope you get things sorted out and wish you all the best of luck with it. I also had a problem receiving a copy of my assessors report but I contacted my MP who was able to assist me getting it quicker. Izzy

Question for Sue…from another Sue!

I am getting my PIP2 ready, I’m wondering from your comment above, if I can include a letter from my Health & Beauty therapist, she gives me a one hour full body deep hand massage each month to help my muscles. My podiatrist also offered (without being asked) to write a letter, I have orthotics but due to neurological damage (her words) my toes on my left foot claw and turn under making walking very painful. Both these people are qualified people in their field.

What do you think?

Sue

Hello Sue

I would say yes, definitely include letters from anyone who provides you with therapy and/or personal care. If the PIP assessor chooses not to use that information, then they won’t - but that in itself provides you with more information/evidence for MR (which hopefully you won’t need!)

Basically, I would say to anyone that evidence is evidence, regardless of the source. So if the same type of hand massage or podiatry treatment was performed by a friend or a family member, a letter from them could be included with your claim regardless of their professional or otherwise status.

Good luck with the claim.

Sue

Hi, Appeal,appeal and appeal again until you get your DLA amount. Go and talk to CAB they are very helpful, qat least they were for me. Sometimes your answers on the PIP form will not indicate your disability sufficiently severely so that you were awarded the enough points. At the end of the day you need to describe your disability on your worst possible day and talk it over with someone who you have known for a while and can be honest with you. Yes I know its unfair, DLA were there to help you but PIP is quite the opposite so you must play hardball

Hi Patrick

I disagree about writing as if it’s ‘your worst possible day’. The reason is that if you do this, then are called for a face to face assessment and just happen to not be having one of those really bad days, you look like a liar or that you have exaggerated at the least. Then the entire assessment will be coloured by the belief that you have overstated your needs and understated your abilities.

It’s a better idea to describe how you are most of the time, then explain just how bad things can get and also, how frequently you have these really bad times and how long they might last for.

And evidence is the key to it all. Whatever you say, provide some kind of evidence to back it up. For my PIP claim, I had letters from: my neurologist, physiotherapist, urologist, colorectal surgeon, rehabilitation consultant, bowel and bladder nurse and psychologist. I also explained that the MS nurse post was vacant which is why there was no evidence from her. If you have a Care Plan from your GP or local authority, include this. If you have care provided by the local authority, an agency or a named individual, include evidence about this. If you don’t have professional letters, non-professionals can write explaining what help you get from them and why.

I also included photos of my home, showing adaptations and aids.

The bit I do agree with is to appeal if you get an award that is lower than you believe you should have been given. First request Mandatory Reconsideration, then appeal if the MR is unsuccessful. Don’t forget, you have a month to request a MR from the date of the decision, then a month to appeal. Don’t do it in a rush, gather more evidence and make sure you are saying the right things. But don’t miss the deadlines.

Sue

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Hi Ssasue,

I think we each negotiate the PIP requirement in our own way. The most important thing is to explain your disability in full and accurately.

You say ‘It’s a better idea to describe how you are most of the time, then explain just how bad things can get and also, how frequently you have these really bad times and how long they might last for.’ I don’t have relapses, instead consistently rubbish and slowly getting worse but determined not to see myself as disabled which would completely destroy my PIP application. Sometimes you do need to overstate the point. Its like the question when you have to state how many units of alcohol you drink each week, doctors never believe you

For example I gave my MS consultant and nurses names and addresses but they were not approached. No photos or receipts for adaptations to the house were supplied but I got the same PIP as DLA at first time of asking. Was I lucky? Who knows.

My daughter who has worked in the third sector for several years along with my wife helped me to assemble the paper work and complete the form. The whole process was stressful, unnecessarily so. The entire process is not designed to help people with a cognitive or learning disability and Wales is a particular black spot as far as I can judge.